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Full text of "Edinburgh New Philosophical Journal"

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THE 

EDINBURGH NEW 

PHILOSOPHICAL JOURNAL, 

EXHIBITING A VIEW OF THE 

PROGRESSIVE DISCOVERIES AND IMPROVEMENTS 

IK THE 

SCIENCES AND THE 




ROBERT JAMESON^ 

RKOIVS PROrBSSOR OF NATUBAI, HISTORY, liBCTURBR ON MINKRALOGV, AND KBRPBR OV 
THE MUSKUM IN THE UNIVERSITY OP EDINBURGH ; 

Fellow of the Royal Societies of London and Edinburgh} of the Antiquarian andWemerian Societies 
of Edinburgh ; Honorary Member of the Royal Irish Academy, and of the Royal Dublin Society ; 
Fellow of the Linnean and Geological Societies of London ; Honorary Member of the Asiatic So- 
ciety of Calcutta j of the Royal Geological Society of Cornwall, and of the Cambridge Philosophi- 
cal Society ; of the York, Bristol, Cambrian/ Northern, and Cork Institutions ; of the Royal So- 
ciety of Sciences of Denmark ; of the Royal Academy of Sciences of Berlin ; of the Royal Academy 
of Naples ; of the Imperial Natural History Society of Moscow ; of the Imperial Pharmaceutical 
Society of Petersburgh ; of the Natural History Society of Wetterau ; of the Mineralogical Society 
of Jena ; of the Royal Mineralogical Society of Dresden ; of the Natural History Society of Paris ; 
of the Philomathic Society of Paris ; of the Natural History Society of Calvados ; of the Senken- 
berg Society of Natural History ; 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 Natural Sciences of Philadelphia ; of the Lyceum of Natural History of New York, 



OCTOBER 1827.. APRIL 1828. 



TO BE CONTINUED QUARTERLY, 



EDINBURGH : 

PRINTED FOR ADAM BLACK, NORTH BRIDGE, EDINBURGH; 

AND LONGMAN, REES, ORME, BROWN, & GREEN, 

LONDON. 



1828. 




p. Neill^ Printer^ Edinhnrgh. 



CONTENTS 



Page 
Art. I. Biographical Memoir of Sir William Herschel. By 

Baron Fourier, - - - . i 

II. Description of a New Magnetical Instrument (pro- 
posed to be called the Solar Compass or Heliastron), 
with some Observations on subjects intimately or 
remotely connected with the phenomena it exhibits. 
By Mark Watt, Esq. Member of the Wernerian 
Natural History Society. With a Plate. Commu- 
nicated by the Author, - - - 1 6 

III. On the Semamith of Solomopi Prov. xxx. 28. By the 

Rev. David Scot, M. D. M. W. S. F.H.S. E. Com- 
municated by the Author, - - 30 

IV. On Vegetable Substances growing on the bodies of 

living Animals, - - - - 38 

V. On the relative Proportions of certain parts of the 
Eye of the Foetus, compared with the same parts of 
the perfectly developed Eye. By Professor Carus, 41 
VI. On the Irritability of the Stigma, and on the origin 
and nature of certain parts of the Fructification in 
Pinus Larix. By Mr David Don, Libr. Linn. Soc. 
Member of the Imperial Academy Naturae Curioso- 
rum, of the Royal Botanical Society of Ratisbon, 
and of the Wernerian Society of Edinburgh, &c. 
Communicated by the Author, - - 43 

VII. Essay on the Domestication of Mammiferous Animals, 
with some introductory considerations on the va- 
rious states in which we may study their actions. 
By M. Fred. Cuvier. Continued from former Vo- 
lume, p. 318. - - - - 45 
VIII. On a new Gyrogonite, or Fossile Capsule of the genus 
Chara, occurring very abundantly in the fresh- water 
Limestones of the neighbourhood of Paris. By M. 
Constant Prevost, - - . - 60 
IX. Notice regarding Fossil Remains found in Ava, 63 



ii CONTENTS. 

Art. X. Report made to the Royal Academy of Sciences of 
Paris, upon a Memoir by M. Constant Prevost, en- 
titled. An Examination of the Geological Question, 
whether the Continents which we inhabit have 
been repeatedly submersed by the Sea. By Mess. 
CuviER and Cordier, - - - 66 

XI. On the History and Constitution of Benefit or Friend- 
ly Societies. By Mr W. Eraser, Edinburgh. Con- 
tinued from p. 296. of former Volume, - 69 
XII. Sketch of the Physical Geography of the Malvern 
Hills. By William Ainsworth, Esq. Member of 
the Royal College of Surgeons, Edinburgh, &c. 
Communicated by the Author, - - 9I 

XIV. 1. Proposed Improvement in the Theory of Sound, 
and in the mode of Measuring its Velocity. 2. On 
the Theory of the Variation of the Barometer. By 
H. Meikle, Esq. Communicated by the Author, 100 
XV. Excerpt from a Memoir on British Harbours, drawn 
up in the year 1824. By Robert Stevenson, Esq. 
F. R. S. E. & M. W. S. &c. Civil Engineer. With 
a Plan. Communicated by the Author, - 110 

XVI. Observations on the Coal-field, and accompanying 
Strata, in the vicinity of Dalkeith, Mid-Lothian. 
By Robert Bald, Esq. F. R. S. E. M. W. S. &c. 
Mining-Engineer. Communicated by the Author, 115 

XVII. On the Covering of Birds, considered chiefly with re- 

ference to the Description and Distinction of Spe- 
cies, Genera and Orders. By Mr W. Macgillivray, 
M.W.S. &c. Continued from former Vol. p. 263. 123 

XVIII. A Tour to the South of France and the Pyrenees, in 

1825. By G. A. Walker Arnott, Esq. F.R.S.E. 
F.L.S. M.W.S. Continued from former Vol. p. 356. 130 

XIX. Account of Harris, one of the Districts of the Outer 

Hebrides. Communicated by the Author, 1 40 

XX. On the Discovery of Native Iron in Canaan, Connec- 
ticut, North America, - - - 154 

XXI. General Observations on Natural History, made du- 
ring a Journey among the Blue Mountains in New 
South Wales, By M. R. P. Lesson, - 156 

XXIII. Analyses made at Colombo of Ceylonese Varieties of 
Ironstone and Limestone. ByGEORGE Middleton, 
Esq. Apothecary to the Forces. Communicated by 
Sir James M'Grigor, - - ,- I67 



CONTENTS. iii 

Art. XXIV. Letter from Professor Leslie to the Editor on 
Mr Ritchie's Experiments on Heat, and New 
Photometer, - - - - 171 

XXV. Description of several New or Rare Plants which 
have flowered in the Royal Botanic Garden, 
Edinburgh, during the last three months. 
Communicated by Dr Graham, - 172 

XXVL Celestial Phenomena from January 1. to April 1. 
1828, calculated for the Meridian of Edin- 
burgh, Mean Time. By Mr George Innes, 
Aberdeen, - - - - 177 

XXVIL Proceedings of the Wernerian Nat. Hist. Society, 179 

XXVHL Scientific Intelligence. 

METEOROLOGY. 

1. Great Fall of Rain at Bombay, - - - 182 

HYDROGRAPHY. 

2. Colour of the Red Sea. 3. Melted Snow employed as Drink. 

4. Notice regarding the Falls of Rewah, and a remark- 
able Conical Hill at Myhur, - - - 182 

NATURAL PHILOSOPHY. 

5. Distances at which Sounds are heard. 6. Capillary Action 

7. Farther Observations made on the Solar Compass, 183-4 

CHEMISTRY. 

8. Metal of Alumina, - « - - - 185 

MINERALOGY. 

9. Largest known masses of Native Platina. 10. On the Os- 

tranite, a new Mineral Species; by Aug. Breithaupt 
11. On the Rose-coloured Petrosilex of Sahlberg; by M. 
*Berthier, ----- 185-6 

GEOLOGY. 

12. From what Countries have the Islands in the^ West Indies 
derived their Plants? 13. Fossil Skeletons of Guada- 
loupe. 14. Organic Remains of the Alluvium and Di- 
luvium of Sussex. 15. Hansteens projected Journey to 
Siberia. 16. Partsch's Journey through Transylvania. 
17. Fossil Remains of Quadrupeds in the Tertiary Rocks 
of Vienna. IS. Von Buch's Observations and Specula- 
tions in regard to the Alps. 19- Boue's Memoir on Eu- 
ropean Formations, and their probable Origin. 20. Dr 
Boue on Secondary Rocks, - - - 187-190 

BOTANY. 

21. Signs of Increase, Maturity, and Decay in Trees; by M. 



iv CONTENTS. 

Baudrilla^:, 22. Botanical Excursion in Sutherland- 
shire, - - - - - ^71-193 

ZOOLOGY. 

23. On the tendency of Matter to become Organized. 24. On 
the Animalcules that colour Oysters Green. 25. Bea- 
ver. 26. On the Culture of Bees in Forests ; by M. 
Buttner, 27- Peculiar Cases of the Use of Milk as Food; 
28. On the predestination of the Sex. 29- Growth and 
habits of a Young Rhinoceros. SO. Cuvier's Great Work 
on the Natural History of Fishes. 31. A New Species of 
Pentacrinus discovered in the West Indies, 194-200 

PHYSIOLOGY. 

32. Distribution of Nerves in Muscular Fibres, - 200 

ANATOMY. 

31. Sabulous Formation in the Brain, - - 201 

ARTS. 

34. Water Works of the Ancient Romans. 35, Manner of 
Bronzing Statues, Medals, and Ornaments made of Cop- 
per or Bronze. 36. Loss of Gold and Silver in Gilding 
and Plating. 37- Piney Tallow. 38. Indelible Writing 
Ink. 39. Lardner's Lectures on the Steam-Engine. 40. 
Carter's Patent Cast-Iron Roofing, - - 201-203 

STATISTICS AND GEOGRAPHY. 

41. Civilization of the Aborigines of Newfoundland. 42. Capt. 

Parry's reported Second Expedition to the North Pole, 205, 6 

NEW PUBLICATIONS. 

1. Introduction to Comparative Anatomy. By Professor Ca- 

Rus of Dresden. Translated from the German by R. T. 
Gore, Esq. 2 vols 8vo, with a 4to volume of Plates, 206 

2. Conversations on the Animal Economy. By a Physician. 

In Two Volumes 8vo, - - - - 208 

3. Memoir on the Pentacrinus europaeus; a recent species dis- 

covered in the Cove of Cork, July 1. 1823; with Two 
illustrative Plates. By John V. Thompson, F.L.S. Sur- 
geon to the Forces, _ - ,. - 209 

4. Anatomical Description of the Human Eye. By Alexan- 

der Watson, Esq. Fellow of the Royal College of Sur- 
geons, Edinburgh. Illustrated by a Coloured Plate, ib. 

5. Forthcoming Transactions of Foreign Societies, - 210 
Art. XXIX. List of Patents granted in England, from 1 7th 

August to 29th November 1827, - 210 

XXX. List of Patents granted in Scotland from 3d 

October to 6th December 1827, - 212 



CONTENTS 



Page 
Art. I. Biographical Memoir of Peter Simon Pallas, Coun- 
sellor of State to his Majesty the Emperor of all 
the Russias. By Baron Cuvier, Knight, Professor, 

&c. 211 

11. Observations on the large Brown Hornet of New 
South Wales, with reference to Instinct. By the 
Rev. John M'Garvie, A. M. In a letter to James 
DuNLOP, Esq. Paramatta, - - - 237 

III. Analysis of the Gil-i-toorsh, or Sour Clay, used in aci- 

dulating Sherbet in Persia. By Edward Turner, 
M. D. F.R.S.E. Professor of Chemistry in the Uni- 
versity of London. Communicated by the Author, 243 

IV. Account of Excavations made at Pompeii from De- 

cember 1826 to August 1827. By T. C. RaMaoe, 
Esq. Communicated by the Author, - 244 

V. Sketch of the Natural History of the Salmo Salar, or 
Common Salmon. 1. Of the Process of Spawning, 
and subsequent evolution of the ova: 2. Of the 
growth and movements of the Young Brood, to and 
from the sea during the first year of life ; and, 3. 
Of the migrations of the Salmon betwixt the River 
and the Sea. By Daniel Ellis, Esq. F. R. S. E. 
With a Plate, . - - - 250 

VI. On the Temperature of the Interior of the Earth. By 
M. L. CoRDiER, Member of the Royal Academy of 
Sciences, and Professor of Geology in the Garden 
of Plants, - - - - - 273 

VII. Memorandum from the Right Honourable the Lord 
President, containing some facts relating to the 
Natural History of the Swallow and the Partridge, 290 
VIII. Essay on the Domestication of Mammiferous Animals, 
with some introductory considerations on the va- 
rious states in which we may study their actions. 
By M. Frederick Cuviek. (Continued from p. 60.) 292 



ii CONTENTS. 

Art. IX. On the History and Constitution of Benefit or Friend- . 
ly Societies. By Mr W. Fraser, Edinburgh. Con- 
tinued from p. 91. - - - 298 
X, A Short Sketch of the Geology of Nithsdale, chiefly 
in an Economical point of View, and contrasted 
with that of the neighbouring Valleys. By James 
Stuart Menteath, Esq. younger of Closeburn, 
Member of the Wernerian Natural History Society. 
1. General Account. 2. Basin of New Cumnock. 3. Ba- 
sin of Sanquhar. 4. Basin of Closeburn. 5. Basin 
of Dumfries. 6. Upper and Lower Basin of Annan- 
dale. 7- Upper and Lower Basin of Eskdale. 8. 
Annandale and Eskdale contrasted with Nithsdale. 
9. Basin of the Dee contrasted with Nithsdale, 314 
XI. A proposition for carrying on a Course of Experi- 
ments, with a view to constructing, as a National 
Instrument, a large Refracting Telescope, with a 
fluid concave Lens, instead of the usual Lens of 
Flint Glass. Addressed to his Royal Highness 
the Lord High Admiral, and the Right Honour- 
able and Honourable Members of the Board of 
Longitude. By Peter Barlow, F. R. S. Mem. 
Imp. Ac. Petrop. &c. &c. - - 323 
XII. On the Principal Causes of the Difference of Tem- 
perature on the Globe. By Baron Alexander 
Von Humboldt, - - 329 
XIII. Some Account of the Habits of a Specimen of Siren 
lacertina, which has been kept alive at Canonmills, 
near Edinburgh, for more than two years past. 
By Patrick Neill, A.M. F.R.S.E. and Sec. W.S. 
Communicated by the Author, - - 346 
XIV. A Tour to the South of France and the Pyrenees in 
the year 1825. By G. A. Walker Arnott, Esq. 
F. R. S. E. F. L. S. M. W. S. &c. (Continued from 
p. 139.), - - - - ^ 355 
XV. Narrative of an attempt to reach the North Pole, in 
Boats fitted for the purpose, and attached to His 
Majesty's ship Hecla, in the year 1827, under the 
command of Captain W. E. Parry, R. N. F. R. S. L. 

&c. 363 

XVI. Observations on the Dissecting and Preparing of the 

Bodies of Animals. By Professor Carus, - 378 



CONTENTS. iu 

Art. XVII. On the Irritability of the Sensitive Plant. ByM. 

DUTROCHET, - - - - - - 380 

XVIII. Description of an Improved Air- Pump. By John 

Dunn, Optician, Edinburgh. With a Plate, 382 
XIX. Remarks upon the Wasting Effects of the Sea on 
the shore of Cheshire, between the rivers Mer- 
sey and Dee. By Robert Stevenson, Esq. 
Civil Engineer, F.R.S.E. M.W.S. &c. Com- 
municated by the Author, - - 386 

XX. Description of several New or Rare Plants, which 
have flowered in the Royal Botanic Garden, 
Edinburgh, during the last three months. By 
Dr Graham, - - « . 389 

XXI. Celestial Phenomena from April 1. to July 1. 1828, 
calculated for the Meridian of Edinburgh, Mean 
Time. By Mr George Innes, Aberdeen, 394 

XXII. Proceedings of the Wernerian Natural History 

Society. Continued from p. 1 82. - 397 

XXIII. Scientific Intelligence. 

ASTRONOMY. 

I. Appendix to the Nautical Almanack. 2. Reduction of the 

Observations made by Sir T. M. Brisbane in the Sou- 
thern Hemisphere. 3. Voyage of Experiment and Dis- 
covery. 4. Charts of the Zodiacal Stars, - 398, 399 

meteorology. 
5. Meteorological Table, extracted from the Register kept at 
Kinfauns Castle, North Britain ; Lat. 56" 23' 30". ; above 
the Level of the Sea 140 feet. 6. Mr Watt's Solar and 
Lunar Compasses, - - - - 399, 400 

CHEMISTRY. 

7. Animal Matter in Mineral Waters, 8. Crystals of Oxalate 
of Lime in Plants. 9* Iodine in Cadmium. 10. New 
Mode of preserving crystals of Salts, - - 401 

GEOLOGY. 

II. Inflammable Gas arising after boring for Salt. 12. In- 

flammable Gas from Salt Mines employed for producing 
Light 13. Analysis of Peat. 14. Geology of the Hi.. 



W " CONTENTS. 

malaya Mountains. 15. Natural Gas-Lights at Fre- 
donea^ - - - - - ' 401-404 

BOTANY. 

16. Eriophorum pubescens. 17. Rhodiola and Scilla, 404 

ZOOLOGY. 

18. Recovery from Drowning. 19. Preservation of Skins. 
20. Stupendous Lizard. 21. Sea Serpents and Colossal 
Medusa. 22. Chinese method of Fattening Fish. 23. 
Leacia lacertosa, - - - - 405-408 

GEOGRAPHY. 

24. Mr Cormack*s Journey in search of the Red Indians. 25. 
Mr Thomas Park's Journey into the Interior of Afri- 
ca, - - - - - 408,410 

ARTS. '^ 

g6. Manufacture of Ultramarine. 27. St Helena Silk. 28. 

Size and Value of Mahogany, - - 410, 41 1 

NEW PUBLICATIONS. 

29. Illustrations of Zoology; by James Wilson, Esq. F.R.S. 
M.W.S. 30. A History of British Animals, exhibiting 
the descriptive characters and systematical arrangement 
of the Genera and Species of Quadrupeds, Birds, Rep- 
tiles, Fishes, Mollusca, and Radiata of the United King- 
dom ; including the Indigenous, Extirpated and Extinct 
Kinds, together with periodical and occasional visitants ; 
by John Fleming, D.D. F.R.S.E. M.W.S. &c. Minister 
of Flisk, Fifeshire, and Author of the Philosophy of Zoo- 
logy. 31. Elements of Natural History, adapted to the 
present state of the Science ; by John Stark, Esq. 
F.R.S.E. & M.W.S. 32. Sketches of the Maritime Co^ 
lonies of British America, - - - 411,412 

Art. XXIV. List of Patents granted in England from 20th 

November 1827 to 30th January 1828, 412 

XXV. List of Patents granted in Scotland from 6th 

December 1827 to 23d February 1828, 415 

List of Plates, » - - 416 



THE 



EDINBURGH NEW 

PHILOSOPHICAL JOURNAL. 



Biographical Memoir of Sir William Herschel. By Baron 

Fourier *. 

X HE illustrious individual, with an account of whose life I 
am about to present you, was one of those extraordinary men 
who, although destined to honour their country and their age, 
have at their outset had to surmount all the obstacles which an 
adverse fortune presents to the first efforts of genius. He open- 
ed up new paths in a sublime science ; he saw stars whose exist- 
ence was previously unknown, and extended the boundaries of 
the visible heavens. Supported by the liberality of a powerful 
monarch, he devoted his life to immortal labours, and, for forty 
years, the fame of his discoveries has echoed through all 
Europe. 

At the age of nineteen he was only a musician in the Hano- 
verian Guards. His father, who had a numerous family to sup- 
port, was an able teacher of music, and educated five of his chil- 
dren in his own profession. William, his second son, who was 
possessed of a lively imagination and elevated mind, left his na- 
tive city Hanover in 1757, and went over to England, where the 
state of society held out to him the prospect of a better fate. 

He resided some years in the county of Durham, then at 
Hahfax, and soon after was appointed director of music to the 

■ Read to the Royal Academy of Sciences of the Institute of France, on 
the 7th June 1 824. 

OCTOBER DECEMBER 1827- A 



2 Biographical Memoir of' Sir William Hcrschel. 

Octagon Chapel at Bath. In this situation he enjoyed a con- 
siderable income, arising partly from his office, and partly, also, 
from his directing public concerts, and oratorios. 

His talents were admired, his character bj^loved, and his man- 
ners esteemed ; and, in a country where the fine arts are duly 
appreciated, if the common advantages of fortune had been his 
only object of ambition, his desires would have all been satisfied; 
but an internal power impelled him to higher destinies, — he was 
one day to extend the empire of science. 

The profound study of his art led him by degrees to that of 
geometry ; for there exist numerous relations between the laws 
of harmony and the theorems of mathematics, as has been prov- 
ed by many illustrious geometricians, from Pythagoras and Eu- 
clid to Descartes, Huygens and Euler. 

Herschel, introduced by geometry to the knowledge of theo- 
retical astronomy, was seized with astonishment and admiration^ 
and felt as if transported into a new world. Pie anxiously de- 
sired to contemplate for himself those celestial phenomena whose 
laws the human intellect had been able to discover. It was 
then that he began to construct telescopes, and undertook to im- 
prove their use ; and as perseverance in his resolutions was al- 
ways the distinguishing character of his mind, he accomplished 
these objects, and soon found himself possessed of instruments 
superior to all that an art so difficult and ingenious had yet 
produced. His first astronomical observations, which bear the 
date of 1776, were followed by a memorable discovery which 
excited the public attention to the highest degree, — I mean that 
of the planet which for several years has borne the name of 
Herschel. 

The earliest observers of the heavens distinguished a small 
number of stars, which are continually changing their position 
with regard to the fixed stars, and return periodically to the same 
points of the sphere. The different durations of these revolu- 
tions of the planets were known and compared with each other 
from time immemorial, and to them is owing the period of seven 
days, the universal monument of the astronomy of the ancient 
nations. The moderns had made wonderful advances in the 
description and study of the heavens. Galileo, Huygens, and Do- 
imnique Cassini, had observed the first of the secondary stars 



Biographical Memoir of Sir William Herschel. f3 

which the planets carry along with them in their course ; but it 
was not discovered, till the close of the last century, that there 
existed an immense planet beyond the orbit of Saturn. This 
discovery was destine^- to be the fruit of Hcrschers labours. He 
pursued with constancy the enterprise which he had formed of 
examining successively the various regions of the heavens, and 
of noting down all the remarkable phenomena which occur- 
red. At Bath, on the 13th March 1781, while examining, with 
one of his best telescopes, the constellation of Gemini, he ob- 
served a star, the light of which appeared to him very differ- 
ent from that of the neighbouring stars, and somewhat to resemble 
that of Saturn, but much feebler. The perfection of the instru- 
ment permitted him to see a well defined disk. Having con^ 
tinued his observations, he discovered that this star had shifted 
its place, although its motion with relation to the other stars 
was very slow, for it had been stationary during twelve days 
preceding. This observation was transmitted to Maskelyne 
and Lalande, and was confirmed at Paris, Milan, Pisa, Berlin, 
and Stockholm. The star was generally considered as an ex- 
traordinary comet free of all nebulosity ; and astronomers were 
occupied in determining the parabolic elements of its course. 
The President Bochard de Saron, of the Academy of Sciences 
of Paris, and Lexel, an astronomer of St Petersburg, who was 
in Lond.on at the time, were the first who discovered its circular 
form, and calculated the dimensions of the orbit. It was now 
no longer doubted, that HerschePs star was a new planet ; and 
all subsequent observations verified this unexpected result. We 
have here a striking proof of the perfection of modern theories ; 
for the laws regulating the motion of this new planet, were de- 
termined before it had accomplished the tenth part of its course, 
and that motion was not less accurately known than that of 
other planets which had been observed during so many centu- 
ries. Its distance from the sun is double that of Saturn, that 
is to say, upwards of 660,000,000 of miles ; its volume is more 
than seventy times as large as that of the earth ; it may be seen, 
in favourable weather, without the assistance of a glass. The 
period of its revolution is about eighty-four years ; and its tem- 
perature, situated at the extremities of the known planetary sys- 
tem, is more than forty degi'ees below that of ice. Some idea 



4 BiograpJtkal Memoir of Sir William Herschcl. 

of its distance from the earth may be formed from the fact, that 
light, which travels at the rate of 70,000 miles in a second, takes 
about two hours and a half to come from it to us. 

Herschel, and, previous to his time, IJgiminique Cassini anJ 
Galileo, wished to give to the celestial bodies which they disco- 
vered, the names of the princes who had favoured their la- 
bours ; several astronomers have proposed the names of the first 
observers ; but the names of the recently discovered planets have 
not been dictated either by justice or gratitude ; they have been 
drawn from the confused remembrance of fables that have be- 
come unintelligible. The new planet received from Herschel the 
name of the Georgium Sidus; while astronomers at first gave It 
that of Herschel, but afterwards hesitated with regard to the 
names of Cybele, Neptune, and Uranus, the last of which ulti- 
mately prevailed. 

When the motion of this planet was calculated, the points of 
the heavens which it had successively occupied during the pre- 
ceding century, could be pointed out ; and thus, on consulting 
the collections of preceding observations, it was discovered that 
Flamsteed, Mayer, and Lemonier, had pointed out, in those 
very places, stars which are now no longer to be seen there. 
Their observations evidently refer to Herschefs planet, which 
they had not distinguished from the fixed stars. 

The cosmological opinions of Kepler, Lambert, and Kant, led 
them to suppose the existence of an eighth planet between Jupi- 
ter and Mars. The comparison that had been made of the dis- 
tances of each planet from that of Mercury, which is the nearest 
to the sun, suggested a similar remark. The discovery of Uranus 
rendered the idea much more plausible, and excited astronomers 
to new researches. The result was, that, in the great interval 
between Mars and Jupiter, and at a distance differing little 
from what had been indicated, there were discovered four small 
stars, which look like so many separated parts of the same pla- 
netary body, and which can only be perceived with the aid of 
telescopes. These important observations were made about the 
commencement of the present century ; we owe them to Piazzi, 
Olbers, and Harding. 

The astronomical labours of the music master of the Bath 
Chapel, the perfection of his instruments, which were all his own 



BiograpJiical Memoir of' Sir William Herschel. 5 

workmanship, the singular circumstances of his life, the aids 
with which the arts had furnished him, and the noble use to 
which he applied his leisure hours, were the subject of conversa- 
tion in England, andjrfiroughout all Europe. AH these details 
fiime to the knowledge of the king. George the Third loved 
the sciences as the ornament of states, and as a pure source 
of glory and public prosperity. He sent for Herschel, antici- 
pated and realized all his views, and made him fix his residence 
at Datchett, and soon after at» Slough, within a very short 
distance of Windsor Castle. 

The retreat of Slough became one of the most remarkable 
places of the civilised world ; it was visited by illustrious travel- 
lers ; Herschel dwelt there with his family ; it was there that 
he finished his long and memorable career. The king interested 
himself in all his researches, and frequently wished to augment 
the expences proposed, in order that nothing might hmit either 
the perfection or the dimension of his instruments. History 
ought to preserve for ever the reply of this prince to a celebrat- 
ed foreigner who was thanking him for the large sums he had 
expended in furthering the progress of astronomy. " I pay the 
expences of war,"" said the king, " because they are necessary ; 
as to those of science, it is agreeable to me to prescribe them ; 
their object costs no tears, and does honour to human nature.*" 

Herschel had secured the assistance of one of his brothers, a 
loan well skilled in theoretical and practical mechanics, who se- 
conded all his designs, directed the carpenters in the construc- 
tion of the large instruments, and, with a rare sagacity, realized, 
almost as soon as expressed, all his brother'*s inventions. Their 
sister. Miss Caroline, soon acquired a very extensive knowledge 
in astronomy and mathematics. A lively and constant friend- 
ship, the desire of contributing to the glory of her brother, and 
without doubt a disposition of mind peculiar to this extraordi- 
nary family, procured her unrivalled success in her studies. 
She digested and published his observations. We are also in- 
debted to her for the discovery of several comets. She partici- 
pated in all the watchings, and in all the literary labours of her 
brother ; and assuredly no astronomer ever had a more intelli- 
gent, more faithful, and more attentive assistant. 

In this secluded retreat, adorned by the fine arts, and still 



6 Biographical Memoir of Sir William Herschel. 

more by peace and the domestic virtues, Herschel, free from all 
cares, surrounded by a beloved wife and family, devoted to 
science, surrendered himself to the inspirations of his genius, or, 
in other words, to an invincible desire of studying nature and 
interrogating the heavens ; and, to borrow the words of one (4 
his most celebrated cotemporaries, it was from this solitary vil- 
lage that the world was instructed in whatever was most singu- 
lar, and, perhaps, most difficult to perceive in the heavens. 

The history of optical inventions, and of their progressive im- 
provement, is too well known to require any notice in this place. 
Herschel's telescopes are those that have been named Newtonian. 
But he never ceased to study their properties, to vary them, and 
extend their use. Taught by long experience, he suppressed 
the plain mirror which produced a second reflection ; and this 
happy change, wjiich was long before proposed by Lemaire, but 
difficult of execution, and only applicable in large instruments, 
doubled, in a manner, the optical effect. 

He found, that, by exercising the eye in a gradual manner, it 
is rendered much more sensible to the impression of a weak light, 
and by this means he was enabled to magnify the images of ob- 
jects much beyond the limits at which other observers had been 
arrested. He detected two different properties which had not 
yet been distinguished, that which consists in augmenting the 
apparent dimension of bodies, and that of penetrating into the 
profundity of space to discover objects which might have been 
entirely imperceptible. Multiplied examples leave no doubt re- 
garding the truth and striking utility of this distinction. 

At length he formed the resolution of carrying the power of 
these instruments to the highest possible limits ; regarding less 
the circumstances calculated to facilitate their employment, than 
those which might augment their optical power, he constructed 
a telescope of extraordinary dimensions. It is indeed the largest 
instrument of this kind that has ever been made. 

Let any one imagine to himself an iron tube, 40 feet long and 
15 inches in diameter, suspended beneath an assemblage of inclin- 
ed masts, and moved in all directions by a number of machines. 
The entire system is moveable round a vertical axis, and de- 
scribes a circumference of 40 feet diameter. A highly polished 
metallic mirror, weighing about 2000 pounds, is introduced in- 



Biographical Memoir of Sir William HerschcL 7 

to llie tube, and when the instrument is turned toward the hea- 
vens, this mirror reflects the shining image of the stars. The 
observer is himself transported along with the tube in any di- 
rection required, for he is placed in a seat attached to the upper 
extremity ; the objects which he observes are behind him, and 
he views their reflected images. 

Herschel discovered, with this telescope, two new satellites of 
Saturn ; they are both nearer the planet than those made known 
by Iluygens and Cassini. Never had the heavens been ob- 
served with so extraordinary an instrument ; and, it may be said, 
that the greatest phenomena displayed themselves under a no- 
vel aspect. The nebulosities, those small luminous and irregu- 
lar clouds which may be remarked among the fixed stars, in va- 
rious regions of the heavens, appeared almost all to resolve 
themselves into an innumerable multitude of stars ; others, hi- 
therto imperceptible, seemed to have acquired a distinct light. 
On the entrance of Sirius into the field of the telescope, the eye 
was so violently affected, that stars of less magnitude could not 
immediately after be perceived ; and it was necessary to wait for 
twenty minutes before these stars could be observed. 

The instruments, of which he had previously made use, were 
less advantageous for the observation of some phenomena ; but 
it was more easy for him to multiply them, and vary their modes 
of application. No astronomer had yet been able to acquire so 
complete and so distinct a knowledge of the phenomena of the 
heavens. For example, the ring of Saturn always ceased to be 
jxjrceived when its plane was directed toward the earth ; but the 
feeble light which it reflects in that position was enough for Her- 
schel, and the ring still remained visible to him. 

An entirely new and very important observation made by him, 
was that of certain remarkable points on the surface of Saturn's 
ring. From these points, Herschel concluded, that this satellite, 
remarkable for its singular form, turns upon itself round an axis 
perpendicular to its plane; and he measured the duration of tliis 
rotatory motion, which is about ten hours and a-half. 

Not long before, a great geometrician in France investigated 
tlie same question, and solved it by mathematical anal3'sis, which 
is also a very powerful instrument, and the most general of all. 
M, dc Laplace demonstrated, that the rotation of the ring of Sa- 



8 Biographical Mernoir of' Sir William Herschel. 

turn is a necessary consequence of the general principle of gra- 
vitation. He deduced from his analysis the same duration of 
ten hours and a-half, which the English astronomer afterwards 
found by direct observation. The history of science presents 
nothing more worthy of the attention of philosophers than this 
wonderful accordance of theoretical inductions with the improve- 
ment of the arts. 

HerschePs observations are so numerous and so varied, that 
we cannot here attempt any exposition of their subjects. Most 
of them have been confirmed and reduced to perfect certainty. 
The instruments which he used, and which possess so many re- 
markable advantages, are, however, liable to difficulties which 
limit their utility. His largest telescopes ought always to be 
considered rather as instruments of discovery than as instru- 
ments of precise measurement. In this respect they are among 
the most perfect productions of human ingenuity. 

We shall now speak of HerschePs views and experiments re- 
lative to the physical properties of the solar rays. From a long 
series of observations, made with powerful telescopes, he con- 
cluded that the light does not emanate from the body of the 
sun, but from certain shining and phosphoric clouds, which are 
produced and developed in its atmosphere. He thought that 
this immense ocean of light is violently agitated in its whole 
depth ; that, when it is broken up, we perceive either the soHd 
mass which is not so luminous, or its volcanic cavities, and that 
this is the origin of those black and variable spots which are seen 
on the sun's disk. Their extent is often much greater than the 
whole surface of the terrestrial globe ; they disappear when a 
calm is re-established in the solar atmosphere. It is well known 
that these spots, first observed by Galileo, led to the discovery 
of the sun's motion around its axis, and shewed that this motion 
is accomplished in twenty-five days and a-half. 

The new improvements in optics afford a very unexpected 
means of determining, whether it be true, as Herschel imagined, 
that the solar light does not issue from an incandescent solid or 
fluid. In fact, when such a body, raised to a very high tempe- 
rature, becomes luminous, the rays which it gives off in all di- 
rections do not come from the outer surface only, but are al- 
so emitted like the rays of heat by a multitude of material points 



Biographical Memoir (yf Sir William Hemchcl. 9 

placed beneath the surface to a certain depth, extremely small 
it is true, but actually existing. Now, such of these rays as 
traverse the envelope of the heated mass obliquely, acquire and 
preserve a peculiar property which can be rendered sensible by 
experiment ; they are polarized. But if the same mass, instead 
of being rendered luminous by its proper temperature, is only 
covered with an extended flame, which is the source of its light, 
the rays then do not possess this property. 

We have, therefore, been enabled to submit to this singular 
test the light which the sun sends to us. M. Arago, the author 
of this beautiful experiment, and by whose labours natural phi- 
losophy and astronomy have often been enriched, has in fact dis- 
covered, that the solar rays, even when transmitted obliquely, 
are not polarized. It is therefore obvious, that, in regard to this 
point of the question, the opinion proposed by Herschel would 
be immediately deduced from the latest discovered properties of 
light. His researches, also, regarding the annual variations of 
the solar heat have excited the attention of philosophers ; and 
we shall soon be in possession of more accurate information on 
this subject. In several countries, and especially at the Royal 
Observatory of France, it has been resolved to collect and to 
publish every year accurate observations with respect to the ex- 
tent, the progress, and disappearance of the solar spots. 

We have now to mention the memorable experiments of Her- 
schel, which have given a new development to the physical 
theory of the sun''s rays. In studying the nature of that star, 
which had become with him a habitual subject of meditation, he 
employed variously coloured glasses for diminishing the intensity 
of the light. He thus had numerous opportunities of observing 
to what degree the interposition of these glasses modified the 
heat or light. It was not in the nature of his mind to stop at 
superficial remarks. He therefore undertook a series of varied 
experiments, and general physics was enriched with new and 
important facts, which have been fully confirmed by subsequent 
observations. It had long been discovered that the rays sepa- 
rated by the prism, and forming the solar spectrum, do not pos- 
sess the faculty of heating the terrestrial bodies to the same de- 
gree. This opinion had been verified by experiments made in 
Italy and France. 



10 Biographical Memoir of' Sir William HerscheL 

In tracing the origin of this question, we find it in the writ- 
ings of a celebrated woman, whose name belongs to the literary 
history of France. Emilie du Chatelet, previously to her trans- 
lating and commenting upon the works of Newton, had sent a 
physical memoir to the Academy of Sciences at Paris, and af- 
terwards embarked with Euler in the examination of one of the 
greatest objects of natural philosophy, the theory of fire. In 
this memoir of Madame du Chatelet's, which was printed in 
1738 by order of the Academy, the illustrious author proposes y 
to collect a sufficient quantity of homogeneous light to prove 
whether the differently coloured primitive rays have not also 
unequal degrees of heat ; whether, as appears to her to be very 
probable, the red ray, for example, does not give more heat than 
the violet ray. The writer adds, " the experiment deserves 
to be tried by those philosophers who may examine this es- 
say." The idea here expressed was proved correct, as we have 
said, by the observations of Landriani and Bochon. Herschers 
experiments on the same subject not only afforded a complete 
solution of the question, but led to entirely new results. He 
measured with precision the thermometrical effects of the seven 
unequally refrangible rays, and found that the red rays con- 
tained of themselves more heat than all the others together. 
The impression on the thermometer rapidly diminishes from 
the red to the violet rays, which are placed at the other extre- 
mity. The principal feature of HerscheFs talent was an ex- 
traordinary disposition to consider the same object with unre- 
mitting perseverance, and under every point of view. On re- 
peating his experiments on the solar rays, he wished to deter- 
mine the limit at which all sensible impression of heat ceases, 
and the point at which the impression is strongest. While en- 
gaged in this investigation, he met with a very unexpected re- 
sult ; he saw that the thermometrical effect continues beyond 
the red rays in the dark space bordering upon the spectrum, 
and it was even in that unilluminatcd space, and upon the pro- 
longation of the axis, that he found the point where the heat 
communicated is the greatest. The situation of this point is 
found to vary according to the circumstances of the experiment ; 
but, be this as it may, it is certain that this mixture of rays 
which the same star transmits to us, and which the prism re- 



Biographical Memoir of' Sir William Herschel 11 

Tracts unequally, and divides into coloured elements, contains, 
also, an invisible heat, whose action may be rendered sensible 
and may be measured. 

The same observer further proposed to himself, to discover 
what are the rays which possess the power of illuminating bo- 
dies in the highest degree. He found, by a particular set of 
experiments, that this property belongs to the yellow rays, and 
that it diminishes with considerable rapidity, as we pass from 
these rays to either extremity of the spectrum. 

These singular discoveries excited a lively interest in all the 
learned societies. The existence of an invisible radiating heat, 
mingled with the solar light, was disputed. The discoverer was 
himself exposed to contradictions which exceeded all the bounds 
of literary criticism ; but that great philosopher having given 
the necessary explanations, kept silence on the subject. His ex- 
periments were repeated in England, Germany, and France, 
under the eyes o^^the most expert observers in Europe, and the 
truth of the results was universally recognised. 

It happened, also, that the distinction of the coloured rays, 
and of the invisible heat which the sun transmits, gave rise to the 
discovery of another not less remarkable property of the light of 
that star. The intensity of the chemical action of the different 
rays was made the subject of observation, and it was found that 
this action also, like that of the heat, subsists in an unilluminated 
space, but at the opposite extremity of the spectrum beyond the 
violet rays. We merely mention this experiment, as it does not 
properly belong to our subject ; and it is enough for us to add, 
that, at the present day, the existence of invisible rays of heat 
mingled with the sun''s light, can no longer be questioned. It 
was chiefly in this that the discovery announced by Herschel 
consisted. It seemed as if he were destined to discover and 
render sensible objects and properties, which had eluded the re- 
search of all other observers for a long series of affes. 

Although our planetary system occupies an extent of 
twelve hundred millions of miles, it may yet be said to form but 
an imperceptible point in the immensity of space. Thus far has 
the genius of man enabled him to penetrate into the vast regions 
of the universe. He has seen innumerable suns beyond the na- 
tural limits of his senses ; for the divine intellect frtnn which his 



IS Biog^raphkal Memoir of' Sir William HcrsclicL 

reason emanates, has given him the power of forming, as it were, 
new organs for himself. From time immemorial, sensible 
changes have been observed in the colour and brightness of se- 
veral stars ; new stars have been seen all of a sudden bursting 
forth into brilliancy, and, like ignited bodies, gradually fading 
and disappearing, having, perhaps, been converted into unillumi- 
nated orbs, and for ever withdrawn from our view. The proper 
and always extremely slow motions of a pretty large number of 
stars have been observed, or the alternating and periodical va- 
riations of some of these bodies. A more perfect knowledge of 
the history of the heavens is without doubt reserved for the ge- 
nerations to come. We can only, at present, hope for fixed and 
accurate results, like those of planetary astronomy ; we are con- 
fined to the description of the present state, and the distinction 
of the general characters of phenomena. The invention of te- 
lescopes, and especially HerschePs observations, have ^iven a 
prodigious extension to this branch of celestiaWphysics. 

We shall not here enumerate all the cosmological views of 
this great astronomer. The exposition of so extensive a theory 
would exceed the limits assigned to us ; but we shall point out 
some of its principal features. He ranks in the first class the 
stars which he names isolated, that is, such as are separated 
from the others by immense intervals, and do not appear sub- 
ject to a mutual action, whose effect is appreciable. He then 
considers the double or triple stars, or the more complex side- 
ral assemblages, whicli are systems of luminous bodies, evident- 
ly approximated and retained by an existing cause, and move 
together round a common axis. 

He next passes to the description of the nebulosities, or those 
milky-looking and confused spots irregularly scattered through- 
out the heavens. He chiefly observed the Milky Way, which he 
considered as a single nebulosity formed of many millions of 
stars. In it he saw more than fifty thousand traverse the field 
of his telescope in an hour. All these stars are distributed in a 
multitude of layers of great extent, in longth and breadth, and 
so superimposed, that the thickness of the system is much 
smaller than the other two dimensions. The stars which appear 
to us to be the brightest belong to the Milky Way. This is also 
the case with the sun, the centre of our planetary orbits, and it 



Biog7'apMcal Memoir of Sir WilUam Hersclui. 13 

is for this reason, that, being placed in the interior of this nebu- 
losity, we see it as a zone which divides and surrounds the hea- 
vens. The first origin of these views occurs, if I mistake not, 
in the writings of Kant, and afterwards in those of Lambert, 
one of the most celebrated geometricians of Germany. But Her- 
schel, to whom these works were unknown, did not confine 
himself to general considerations. He deduced from positive 
and multiplied observations that explanation, which had been 
entertained by the celebrated philosopher of Koenigsberg, and 
the academician of Berlin. 

He distinguishes among the nebulosities those which power- 
ful telescopes resolve into a multitude of separate stars, those in 
which one or more shining centres are observed, and those 
which he names planetary, of a more defined spherical form, 
and a more homogeneous lustre. He shews the sin<Tular varie- 
ty of this order of phenomena, most of which were before un- 
known. His catalogues contain more than two thousand nebu- 
losities, some resembling the~ Milky- Way, others open in the 
middle, and of an annular figure, but the greater part under the 
most diversified and irregular forms. Lastly, He added a mul- 
titude of observations to those that had already been made on 
the stars which are coloured red, blue or green, or which pre- 
sent shades of these colours, and principally on the double or 
multiple stars. 

If one now considers the whole of these Pacts together, he na- 
turally rises to the idea of a rare and diffuse luminous matter, 
of which all the celestial bodies have been formed. This mat- 
ter, diffused over every part of the universe, is very une- 
qually condensed there. It is still in the state of vapour in 
many nebulosities, and in the atmospheres of the comets, which 
are so extended and so variable. The principle of gravitation 
does not act on the bodies of the planetary system alon? ; it is 
present in all points of space, and always opposed to the expan- 
sive force of heat. It is conceived that universal attraction may 
have gradually united these luminous vapours ; that the shining 
centres, whether single or multiple, the groupes of stars, and the 
solid bodies, are formed of them. These effects are not equally 
sensible in the different stars ; they are much advanced in some, 
very weak in otliers, and tend to manifest themselves more and 



14 Biograpfncal Memoir of Sir William Herscheh 

more. Lastly, the same causes keep up among all these bodies 
immense motions, which their extreme distance scarcely permits 
us to distinguish. 

Such, in so far as it is possible to express them in a few 
words, are the cosmogonic views of Herschel. The illustrious 
author of the Mecanique Celeste has arrived at similar inferen- 
ces, by following a path directly the reverse. He has seen in 
our system of planets and satellites, striking indications of the 
origin of these bodies. He considers them as formed at the li- 
mits of the sun's atmosphere, gradually condensed by the at- 
tractive forces, and the loss of radiant heat. Thus all the funda- 
mental circumstances of the planetary system are naturally 
explained. There is no opinion more in conformity with the 
present state of science ; it accounts for all the phenomena 
known. 

The celestial bodies, therefore, which are least distant from 
us, present, with great precision, the general characters which 
they retain of their origin ; they appear to have been produced, 
like all the great phenomena of the Heavens, in the bosom of 
those luminous vapours subjected to the two contrary actions of 
gravitation and heat. 

I shall not undertake, gentlemen, to fix your attention to the 
various parts of this vast picture, to compare the distances of 
these stars from those which we are able to measure, to compute 
the years that must have elapsed before their light reached us. 
Here the numbers, the times, and the spaces, want limits ; the 
most comprehensive mind is unable to form a conception of the 
immensity of the universe; it only attains it by rising to 
thoughts of an order still more sublime. This reflection brings 
us back to the sentiments which Herschel has frequently ex- 
pressed, and which the contemplation of the wonders of the 
Heavens constantly forced upon him. In each of the great 
phenomena which he observed, he found the impress of an eter- 
nal and creative wisdom, which rules, animates, and preserves, 
and which has given immutable laws to all nature. 

Let one now represent to himself the picture of an entire life 
devoted to the fine arts, and to the description of the Heavens. 
In the early period of his life Herschel struggled against fortune 



Biographical Memoir of Sir WiUia77i Herschel. 15 

and subdued her. His glory was increased by all that the 
chance of birth had refused him. 

The arts introduced him to the sanctuary of the sciences ; 
he improved optics; he undertook to describe the natural his- 
tory of the heavens; he saw new stars at the extremities of the 
planetary world, the extent of which lie doubled. 

He contemplated innumerable phenomena in regions where 
the eye of mjsm had never before penetrated ; he studied the na- 
ture of the sun, divided its rays, measured their brightness, se- 
parated light from heat ; he saw the effects of gravitation in all 
the depths of space. To no man was it given to make known 
to others so great a number of new stars. Whatever the uni- 
verse displays of what is immense and imperishable, was the ha- 
bitual object of his contemplation. Such were the occupations 
of his mind ; let us now notice the sentiments with which they 
inspired him. 

He lived in the heart of a nation which, above all others, re- 
gards the glory of its great men as public property. He enjoy- 
ed pure happiness in the bosom of his family ; his prayers were 
answered by the success of his son, and he heard the public 
voice repeating the just and soothing expression, which may. 
here be applied to so many others, Herschel leaves a son worthy 
of his father. A benevolent prince had wished to be acquaint- 
ed with him, and from that moment declared himself his pro- 
tector and friend. His sister Caroline Herschel, an admii'able 
model of disinterestedness, gentleness and perseverance, devoted 
her life to him. For more than forty years she assisted at all 
his watchings, collected all his thoughts, transcribed with her 
own hand, and published all his works ; nor could she permit 
any other to have this charge committed to him. She wrote 
and preserved those immense registers which Herschel left to 
his son, in which are faithfully deposited from the year 1776 
all his observations and experiments, — a truly noble and glo- 
rious inheritance, which is at once the monument of a sublime 
science, and of the most affecting friendship. 

Astronomy and physics will long find in these records a fer- 
tile source of comparisons and discoveries. Thus the influence 
of great men stretches forth into futurity ; and it is not at dieir 
death that all the fruits of their labours can be appreciated. 



16 Biographical Memoir of Sir William Hersclui. 

The physical picture of the heavens traced by Herschel, will 
be compared with recent observations, and the changes will be 
remarked which a long interval may have produced. Already 
striking consequences present themselves to the mind, but time 
alone can develope them ; and they will only become manifest 
after a great number of ages. 

Tlien entire revolutions will be accomplished, our successors 
will admire other phenomena and other stars ; a part of the 
spectacle of the Heavens will be changed ; but at those remote 
epochs the memory of Herschel will still be fresh. 

He died in the eighty-fourth year of his age, without infir- 
mities and without pain. His name, confided to the grateful 
sciences, is for ever preserved from oblivion, — ^they crown it 
with immortal glory. 



Description of a New Magmetical Instrument (proposed to he 
called the Solar Compass or Heliastron)^ with some Obser- 
vations on subjects intimately or remotely connected with the 
phenomena it exhibits. By Mark Watt, Esq. Member of 
the Wernerian Natural History Society. Communicated by 
the Author*. 

X HE effect of the sun upon the earth, and on all the animate 
and inanimate existences that it contains, has seldom or never 
been over-rated, but, perhaps, hitherto, has been in many minor 
instances under-rated, or entirely overlooked. It is long,'indeed, 
since the grand influence the sun exerts on the planetary sys- 
tem, and the general and striking changes it produces upon the 
world, observable in the seasons, the tides, the trade-winds, the 
diurnal revolutions, &c. have been made objects of investigation 
and calculation, whilst its less ostensible, though, perhaps, not 
less important impulses on animal organisation, plants, chemical 
changes, and delicately formed instruments for meteorological 
observations, have been comparatively the subjects of modern 
research. 

• Read before the Wernerian Natural History Society, 24th November 
1827. 



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Mr Watt 071 a New Mag^ietkal Instrument. 17 

From observing, in particular, the daily variation of the baro- 
meter and the magnetic needle, and remarking that a similar series 
of alternate changes was more or less observable in every instru- 
ment capable of indicating a slight alteration in the impressions 
made on them, as the hygrometer, aethrioscope, photometer, &c. ; 
and that these diurnal changes bore a proportionate relation to the 
latitude in whicli the instruments were placed, or to the degrees 
of solar influence that might exist in the regions in which they 
were used, and of which they would partake ; and from noti- 
cing, in coincidence with these movements, the daily expansion 
and contraction of the petals and leaves of most plants, and that 
the different species of the heliotropium and chrysanthemum 
turned their corollas round toward the sun for many hours du- 
ring the day, when the atmosphere was clear, I could not help 
concluding, for a long time past, that what was thus partially 
exhibited by some instruments, and more perfectly by the co- 
rollas of plants, might be still more clearly shewn, by an instru- 
ment constructed upon principles nearly similar to the laws 
which regulate these motions in plants ; and that one might be 
formed, that would, when suspended, move to the sun's appa- 
rent course, or that would, from the attracting or repelling in^ 
fluence of the solar rays, stand still, in opposition to the diurnal 
revolution of the earth. 

Having an opportunity, last spring, of making some simple 
experiments in pursuit of what had become with me rather a 
plausible idea, I commenced, by attempting to trace the gene- 
ral connection that appears to subsist between the solar rays, 
electricity, magnetism, and the radiation of caloric, in as far as 
they had any reference to the object I had in view ; to mark 
their natural effect on plants, and to observe if metals, or other 
substances, when placed in favourable circumstances, were not 
susceptible of similar impressions from these general agents, at 
least so far as to indicate by their motion when suspended, the 
same attraction or repulsion, in respect to the sun's influence 
that the daily alterations in the positions of the corollae of plants 
evinced. 

In the course of those investigations, I observed, amongs 
other things, (which it would be unnecessary here to detail. 

OCTOBER DECEMBER 1827. B 



18 Mr Watt mi a New Magnetkal Instrumeni, 

that the leaves, petals^ and stamina of all plants, were, whert 
growing, strongly attracted by any good electric, when it was 
rubbed ; and that, particularly, when any of the precious stones 
that were transparent, were rubbed and presented to the leaves 
or petals of plants, that they sprung to it, and stuck to it, as a 
piece of iron to the magnet, and they remained attached to it as 
long as the electricity was retained by the stones * ; sometimes 
half a minute. 

I also found, that all electrics attracted the magnetic needle 
in proportion to their powers of retention, and that, consequent- 
ly, the magnet attracted all electrics when charged with electri- 
city ; and that all feathers of birds, hairs of animals, and pistils, 
petals, and stamina of plants, were strongly attracted by elec- 
trics ; and when in contact with any body that retained electri- 
city, were more or less attracted by the magnet ; and that, there- 
fore, they might all be considered, in a certain sense, natural 
magnets, — being all attracted to, or attracting, light, caloric, 
electricity, and the magnetic fluid. 

In illustration of these observations, I would mention, that 
when a piece of wax or amber is rubbed, it attracts the compass 
needle. A Brazilian topaz will attract the magnetic needle if 
only once or twice passed over a piece of woollen cloth. If 
rubbed a few seconds, it makes the needle move round on its 
pivot, in the same manner as a magnet would. The topaz, 
amethyst, and sapphire, also, when rendered electrical by fric- 
tion, suspend small pieces of iron or steel. A topaz of an inch 
square will suspend six common sewing needles horizontally, for 
an hour or two ; and if this is frequently repeated, the stone 
being rubbed for half a minute or so each time, the needles ac- 
quire the magnetic property ; and if they are placed gently on" 
the surface of water, so as to swim, they will all arrange them- 
selves parallel to the magnetic meridian ; this polarity they seem 
to lose in a day or two. 

If a piece of clear amber, of an oblong shape, be subjected to 
rapid friction for half a minute, it will, when made to swim on 

* The conducting power of living plants, in favouring the rapid distribu- 
tion of electricity, has been reckoned three millions of times greater than 
that of water. I should conceive from this fact, that the conducting power of 
Eving plants was too highly rated. 



and Remarks on the Theory of Magnetism, 19 

still water, indicate polarity, by pointing according to the mag- 
netic meridian. Feathers, hair, and the pistils of large plants, 
as the digitalis and antirrhinum, appeared to me, when treated 
in the same way as the needles, to indicate a similar disposition. 
If the downy part of feathers, fine hair, or the large thistle 
down, is laid upon an electric, after friction, the parts that pro- 
ject beyond the sides of the electric, are considerably attracted 
by the magnet. 

All electrics evince polarity, and those that have the power 
of retaining electricity long, demonstrate this, by pointing north 
and south, if formed into an oblong, and made to swim by 
means of a thin piece of cork on water, after being excited to 
an electrical state by friction. The tourmaline, ruby and brazU 
iian topaz readily exhibit this. 

The affinity of iron to all the imponderable substances seems 
greater than that of any other body, electricity, galvanism, heat 
produced by percussion, and coloured light) rendering the iron 
magnetic ; and the magnetic property, when once acquired, con- 
veying such a sensibility to the metal, to all the impulses of 
these bodies, that I found, when a number of small needles were 
rendered magnetic, and so placed as to traverse freely, being 
connected together at small distances by any light substance, 
and so arranged in reference to each other, that none of the 
needles could shew its tendency to the poles of the earth ; they 
then indicated, by their motion^ the impressions they received 
from the sun's rays, the radiation of caloric, and the other sub^ 
tie bodies alluded to ; but this will be easier apprehended by 
stating the following experiments. 

Twfelve or fifteen needles (of the size marked No. 10, used 
for sewing) were rendered magnetic, and stuck into a thin cir- 
cular slice of cork, of an inch diameter, at the distance of one- 
sixth of an inch from each other. The heads of the needles were 
so* fixed into the piece of cork, that they stood perpendicularly ; 
and all the points being south poles, stood uppermost. The 
cork was then placed on the centre of a surface of water, 1^ feet 
in diameter. The needles, in this situation, being prevented 
from evincing any polar attraction by their perpendicular posi* 
tion, were attracted by a moderate degree of light, heat, or elec- 
tricity, but were repelled by the more powerful impulses im-^ 

B 2 



20 Mr Watt on a New Magnetical Instrument, 

parted by the concentration of any of these bodies. When the 
rays of the sun were collected into a focus by a lens, and made 
to impinge on the needles, they moved rapidly on the water 
from the solar beam. The same effect was produced by a piece 
of metal heated, and held over the points of the needles. Elec- 
tricity also seemed to attract or repel them, in proportbn to its 
force. 

I also found, that, if the small seeds of plants are dried, and 
laid upon any good electric, which has been smartly rubbed, 
and the poles of a strong horse-shoe magnet is moved slowly 
over the seeds, they will spring from the electric to the magnet 
more readily than to any other body not magnetic. 

Observing, therefore, a considerable similarity between the 
effects of all these imponderable bodies on plants (the petals of 
which contain iron), and on iron, I formed a thin piece of silver- 
plated copper into the shape of the calyx of a flower, and fitted 
a thin circle of cork to the edges of the copper cup. Into this 
circle I fixed twenty needles, highly magnetic, at equal distan- 
ces from each other, in the form of the extended radii of the 
circle (as represented by the first sketch), with all their south 
poles pointing outwards, and their north poles directed to the 
centre of the circle, (destroying by this arrangement their power 
of indicating their polarity, in respect to the earth). I suspend- 
ed this by a very delicate filament of silk, from the centre of a 
glass cover, excluding any current of air, by fixing the cover to 
a smooth board by wax. I exposed this star of needles to the 
influence of the solar rays, and it continued first to revolve, and 
then to vacillate, for the most part of the day ; exhibiting, 
however, when it ceased to revolve, a movement corresponding 
to the position of the earth in reference to the sun, as the sun 
was always found opposite to the centre of the arc of vibration. 
After repeating the experiment for four or five days, the vibra- 
tions diminished in the extension of the arc they described ; and 
the movement corresponding to the rising and setting of the 
sun was more regular and certain. The first combination of 
this sort which I made was very light. The next I formed in- 
tentionally of an ounce weight, to mark the extent of the influ- 
ence of the solar rays. It was formed in the same manner as 
the first, with the addition of a circle of zinc round the copper 



nnd Remarks on the Theory of Magnetism, it\ 

cup, which I conceived might possibly increase its sensibility, 
by creating a slight degree of electricity or galvanism. This 
combination of metals also moved regularly to the apparent 
motion of the sun, and continued to vacillate as long as the rays 
of the sun impinged upon the metals ; the vibrations diminish- 
ing and encreasing with the sun''s altitude, being greatest when 
the sun was near the meridian, and decreasing as the number 
of the degrees decreased that the sun was above the horizon. 

The next form of the instrument I tried, was twenty-five 
needles fully impregnated with the magnetic fluid, fixed into a 
circular ring of cork, of about three inches diameter. They 
were placed at equal distances round the circumference of the 
circle, with their north and south poles placed outwards alter- 
nately. This circle was affixed to a light slip of wood, five in- 
ches long, and one-fourth inch broad, by a piece of copper- wire, 
of a semicircular form, the extremities of which passed through 
the opposite sides of the cork circle ; and the slip of wood was 
attached to the centre of the wire. Into the centre of the bar 
of wood was fixed an agate cap ; and the whole traversed like a 
compass needle upon a fine steel point, the bar of wood being 
equipoised by a small weight at the other end of it, equivalent 
to the weight of the needles (as represented by fig % PI. I.) 
This instrument was placed under a glass cover, of a conical 
shape, and secured from any passage to the air. 

When first exposed to the sun's rays, the instrument con- 
tinued to revolve upon the pivot for several hours, and then 
settled with one side of the circle pointing toward the sun, in 
such a position that one-half of the external part of the circle 
was illuminated by the solar beams, and one-half of the internal 
part of the ring. In this situation it continued to stand still, in 
opposition to the diurnal motion of the earth, till the sun sunk 
beneath the horizon ; the points of the needles on the edge of 
the circle pointing always to the sun, so that the solar rays fell 
in a direction nearly parallel to the plane described by the star 
of needles. 

This instrument (like all other magnetical instruments that I 
have made experiments upon) accommodated itself to the pecu- 
liarities of its construction. For the magnetic needle, when 
placed in any situation that may be termed new to it, in respect 



SS Mr Watt (y)i a New Magnetical Instrument^ 

to the influence that may affect it, always indicates a greater de- 
gree of disturbance during the first experiments that are made 
upon it, than it does after being subjected to a repetition of 
them. In a few days, therefore, this instrument ceased to re- 
volve for such a length of time ; and after being exposed to the 
solar rays for five or six days, only revolved for a few minutes, 
when first it met their influence, but continued to remain sta- 
tionary, while the pivot moved with the earth, as long as the 
sun remained unclouded. Towards the sun's meridian altitude, 
however, when the thermometer was high (about 70°), as if sur- 
charged by the solar rays, it sometimes vacillated a little, or 
turned quite round, but rested in its usual position ultimately. 
I found this instrument extremely sensitive, quickly indicating 
by its motion an increase of heat, light, electricity, galvanism, 
or a change of colour in the light that shone upon it. It moved 
readily to any electric, when very slightly rubbed and held near 
one side of the circle of needles ; and to all the prismatic co- 
lours, and particularly to the solar beam, when concentrated by 
a lens, and passed through coloured glass or silk. The violet 
and red ray had the greatest effect upon it. 

When a piece of scarlet dark-blue or purple coloured velvet, 
of a circular shape, is placed over the face of the instrument, so 
as to cover the needles, the sensibihty of the instrument is great- 
ly increased. 

When first placed with a disk of purple-velvet across the 
needles, in the sun''s rays, it continued to revolve nearly the 
whole of the day, moving always in the direction from east to 
west by south, in the course of the sun's apparent motion. It 
was attracted by a piece of coal or wood, ignited to red heat. 

It moved also 40° or 50° to the light of a single candle, held 
close to one side of the circle. All these experiments were 
made when the instrument was inside the glass-bell, and the 
bodies affecting it outside. 

The same phenomena were exhibited when the needles were 
all placed inside of a circle, all their points nearly meeting in the 
centre, and no part of the needle appearing outside the circum- 
ference of the ring. When suspended, it turned always one 
side of the circle to the sun *. 

* These experiments were made in May and June 1827. 



and Remarks on the Theory of Magnetism. 23 

One circle of needles, affixed to a small bar of wood, appears 
to be the best for making experiments with ; but the most pre- 
ferable form of the instrument for shewing the influence of the 
sun simply, is to affix two circles of needles to the bar of wood, 
one at each end, in a perpendicular position *. As the circles 
always turn their edges to the sun, the bar of wood in this form 
will be directed to the sun, or to the angle of incidence described 
by its rays. 

In constructing the solar compass, the wood should be of the 
lightest kind, as willow or British fir. An agate or ruby cap, 
and a fine steel point, are requisite to facilitate the traversing 
of the instrument ; and fine long shaped needles should be 
used. 

Magnetism is easily communicated to the needles, by two 
magnetic bars, in the usual way. A paper-full of needles, con- 
tidning twenty or fifty needles, may be used, as the magne- 
tism can readily be conveyed to the needles at once through the 
paper : this can be performed by one holding down the pa- 
per with the needles, by placing a knife or thin slip of wood up- 
on the centre of the paper, and drawing the bars along it about 
twenty or thirty times. If they are rendered sufficiently strong, 
they will spring asunder as soon as the paper is opened, similar 
poles being in contact. It is necessary that the needles should 
be fully impregnated with the magnetic fluid. 

A piece of clear amber, formed into a convex lens, if fixed in- 
to a circle of cork, and suspended, by any flne hair or filament, 
under a glass cover, will also be so arrested by the incidence of 
the solar rays, that it will continue to present its surface to the 
sun, if unclouded, as long as he is visible above the horizon. 
And if, in addition to the lens, there is added a few small bars 
of amber, attached horizontally to the edges of the circle, it ra- 
ther increases its aptitude to exhibit the solar influence. The 
amber I exposed to the beams of the sun, in this form, never 
ceased to vacillate a little the whole of the day, the sun's posi- 
tion, however, being opposite always to the centre of the arc of 
vibration. 

The power of the solar compass does not seem diminished, 

* Represented by Fig. 3. PI. I. 



24 Mr Watt on a New Magnetical Instrument^ 

but rather increased, by augmenting the number of the needles. 
I have tried it with about three hundred needles, and obtained 
the same results. 

It appears to be, to a certain degree, affected by the light 
of the moon, when full, and also seemed at times, when first 
formed, to be strangely influenced by the different states of 
the atmosphere during the night, when the moon was not in 
our hemisphere. Once or twice, when placed in the open air, 
in a clear atmosphere, it continued for a considerable time to re- 
volve upon its pivot, stopping occasionally, and then commen- 
cing its circular movement. What occasioned this motion I 
could not discover, except it was some change in the electrical 
state of the atmosphere. 

This instrument, besides exhibiting clearly the power of solar 
influence on magnetic needles, perhaps might be rendered a good 
photometer. It might be used in climates where the sun is seldom 
shrouded by clouds as a moving dial. Its dip, which is visible 
when formed of one star of needles, may be useful at sea ; and I 
conceive it is possible, that it may be ultimately made so sensi- 
tive as to be attracted or repelled by the sun's influence through 
its partial obscuration by mist or clouds, and then its utility at sea 
would be of great service. The instrument is at present affect- 
ed by the solar rays through thin clouds ; and if a piece of cork, 
of six inches diameter, is cut into a circular shape, and its two 
flat surfaces made a little convex ; and if about two hundred 
magnetic needles are fixed into one of the surfaces of this lens- 
shaped piece of cork, radiating from the centre like the petals 
of a double anemony or daisy, and all the south poles of the 
needles, placed so as to point to the circumference of the circle ; 
and if this star of needles is suspended under a glass cover, they 
are affected so far, by the light afforded by a window, that, whether 
the sun shines clearly or not, the side of the cork on which the 
needles are placed will not rest opposite to the light, but the cir- 
cle will either turn its edge or the side without the needles to- 
wards the window, before it remains stationary. 

And here I feel inclined to offer a few remarks on the theory 
,of magnetism, which are naturally suggested by tlie facts which 
have been stated. 

The great similarity that subsists amongst the general charac- 



and Remarks' cni the Theory q/' Magnetism. 25 

teristics of the laws that govern many of the phenomena exhi- 
bited by Hght, heat, electricity, galvanism, and magnetism, has 
led many to conclude that they were only a modification of the 
same subtle fluid, or that the principal material that occasioned 
the effects these agents produced, was variously mixed in close 
affinity with other substances too etherial for us to detect. What 
I have already detailed seems to favour this conclusion. 

The most prevalent idea that has long existed respecting the 
theory of magnetism, is, that the magnetic inffuence proceeded 
from the north pole of the earth, and was originated either from 
the abundance of magnetic and iron ore, that was likely to be 
found there, or from some fluid which unceasingly emanated 
from the north, similar to the aurora borealis. And, latterly, 
the polarity of the needle has been referred to the magnetism 
of the whole earth, or to a law of nature, similar in its simplici- 
ty to gravitation. The north pole * has, however, been consi- 
dered the most important of the two poles of the magnetic needle, 
and the north the great seat of magnetic attraction, even by the 
latest writers. I cannot perceive, however, that the grounds up- 
on which this hypothesis is framed are conclusive, or that they 
do not admit of as clear an explanation being given of the chief 
phenomena of magnetism, by taking an impartial view, in some 
respects the reverse of that which is generally maintained, at 
least in so far as regards the notion that the north pole is the 
chief magazine of magnetic attraction. 

M. Prevost and others, who conceive that the magnetic fluid 
is composed of two distinct substances, one of which tends to the 
north, and the other to the south, suggest that the sun is most 
probably the source of one of these substances ; and I would 
humbly propose, but with the utmost deference to those who 
are more able to judge, whether we may not reasonably enter- 
tain the idea, that the sun is the chief source of magnetism ? 
If we take into consideration both the facts already alluded to, 
and also take a combined glance at the facts already generally 
known, and explain them upon this principle ; it appears much 
more clear and plausible than we would at first be inclined to 
apprehend. 

• I use the term North Pole in the same sense as the French writers, 
for the pole which pomts to the north. 



36 Mr Watt on a New Magnetical Instrument, 

If we simply consider that the south pole of any magnet pos- 
sesses as great a power of attraction and repulsion as its north 
pole, that the compass needle diminishes in its variation as it ap- 
proaches the equinoctial line, and increases both in its annual 
and daily variation as it advances towards the north pole ; and, 
after passing a certain degree of latitude, loses its power of ex- 
hibiting its polarity altogether ; reasoning analogically, we should 
be led to a conclusion the opposite of that usually held. 

The fact, that the sun in the Arctic Regions produces a more 
visible and extensive variation in the magnetic needle than in 
the latitudes near the equator, seems to indicate, that the needle 
v^fithin the Arctic Circle is more free to move to any incidental 
impulse, than when near the Torrid Zone ; and we would na- 
turally be inclined to conclude from this circumstance (nihil 
contradicente) that it possessed near the Arctic Regions, both 
less polar attraction and less local, than when near the Equa- 
tor. 

The observations made by Captain Parry and his officers de- 
monstrate, that the needle, in its diurnal variations, was influ- 
enced by the sun, and that the south pole of the magnet was at- 
tracted to the sun ; the maximum westerly variation of the 
north pole of the needle having been observed to occur at Port 
Bowen, between 10^ a. m. and 1^ p. m., and the minimum be- 
tween 8^ r. M. and ^ a. m. ; and the diurnal variation some- 
times amounting to 6° and 7°. 

It was likewise discovered, that an increase of magnetic in- 
tensity was exhibited from the morning to the afternoon, and a 
decrease from the afternoon to the morning. Captain Parjy 
farther observed, " that it appeared that the sun, and, as we 
had reason to believe, the relative position of the sun and moon, 
with reference to the magnetic sphere, had a considerable influ- 
ence, both on the intensity and diurnal variation,*" (of the 
needle)*. 

It therefore appears to me to be perhaps as consonant to ge- 
neral ol>servation, if not more so, to conclude, that when the 

♦ One of Captain Parry's officers, who was frequently employed in watch- 
ing the movementa of the needle at Port Bowen, mentioned to me, that he 
sometimes obseryed a considerable deflexion of the needle just at sun-rise, 
when the atmosphere was clear. 



and Remarks on the Theory of Magnetum, 27 

compass needle ceases lo act, in the most northern latitudes, it 
* is because the magnetic influence there is feeble and unequally- 
supplied, and not because the needle is then placed over the 
very seat of magnetism. And that the cause of the needle'« 
pointing due north and south when near the Equator without 
any diurnal variation is, because it is there always fully acted 
upon by that combination of light, heat and electricity, or the 
component parts of those bodies, that may produce the mag- 
netic fluid ; and which are so abundantly and constantly gene- 
rated around the Torrid Zone ; and which ever exist there more 
or lessj in such force as to render the direct diurnal influence of 
the sun comparatively inferior upon the compass needle, and 
therefore incapable of producing much daily variation. 

It is evident that there must be an everlasting emanation of 
caloric, light and electricity from the Equator, verging to the 
north and south poles of the earth. And it is obvious, that 
whether they are distinct bodies, or only states of bodies, that 
the sun is the great agent that produces these phenomena, or 
regulates their rpovements. And, as this must create a conti- 
nual Jlood of light, heat and electricity, advancing in the direc- 
tion of the meridional lines to the north and south, and pervad- 
ing the whole of the atmosphere and surface of the globe ; and 
as the magnet is attracted and repelled by these bodies, accord- 
ing to their various modifications, it is not perhaps unreasona- 
ble to conclude that it is highly probable, that the unceasing 
motion of those bodies from the central line of the earth to the 
poles, may be the principal cause of most of the phenomena that 
are connected with the polarity of the magnetic needle. 

The property which Mr Barlow's plate possesses, of causing 
the needle to continue its action beyond the degree of latitude 
where it would otherwise cease to act, appears to me to be a far- 
ther confirmation of this view of magnetism, as iron seems to re- 
tain always more or less of the magnetic fluid, or something very 
analogous to it, and the rectifying plate will therefore for a time 
supply the deficiency at the poles of the earth. 

If this view of this branch of magnetism is correct, it would 
not be difficult to conceive why a magnetic needle should assume 
a position parallel to the magnetic meridian, or nearly parallel 
to the true meridian of any part of the earth, as it would, being 



SS Mr Watt on a New Magnetical Instrument, 

attracted by the magnetic fluid, necessarily place itself parallel 
to the direction of the current of that fluid. 

But this will be still more easily comprehended if we attend 
to the manner in which magnetism is communicated to a bar of 
steel ; and we would observe that the general notion, that the 
poles of a magnet, when used in communicating magnetism to a 
bar of steel, produce their opposites, is not literally true, as ei- 
ther the North or the South Pole of the magnet produces al- 
ways both a North and South Pole. And it depends entirely 
on what part of the bar, to be rendered magnetic, we first place 
the pole of the magnet, to determine where any of the poles shall 
be. If, for example, we place the south poles of two magnets 
upon the extremities of a bar of steel, and draw them towards 
the centre of the bar, we render, by a repetition of this ope- 
ration, both the extremities south poles, or similar to tlie poles 
used ; and the two north poles will be found at the centre of the 
bar of steel ; and a needle thus treated will stand east and 
west, or north and south. And as any single pole of a magnet 
will communicate both a north and south pole to any bar of 
iron, the part of the bar it touches first being always a pole si- 
milar to itself; and the part it is in contact with last, being ne- 
cessarily of the opposite description ; this seems unfavourable to 
the idea that there are two magnetic fluids. 

The magnetic fluid simply seems to follow the first direction 
that is given to it along any piece of steel ; and which can only 
be changed by drawing a magnet along it in an opposite direc- 
tion, as almost all our compass needles are rendered magnetic 
by drawing the north and south poles of two magnets from the 
centre of the needle to its extremities. Each of our compass 
needles possess actually four poles ; they have a north and south 
pole at their centre, and the same at their extremities. 

It is evident, therefore, that the magnetic fluid (or whatever 
it may be), will run along a bar of steel, in any way it is direct- 
ed. It will commence at both the extreme points of the bar, 
and give out at the centre ; or it will commence at the centre, 
and run off* by the extremities ; and the ends of the same bar 
may be made both north poles ; or they may be rendered both 
south; or alternately north and south. 

If this theory of magnetism be correct upon the whole, and 



and Remarks on the TJieory of Magnetism. 29 

if we find that the south pole always receives the magnetic fluid, 
and the north gives it out, it follows that it must necessarily 
point north and south, according to the direction of the current 
that moves it. 

Upon this principle also, we would readily conceive why the 
needle dips when rendered magnetic, as it will be disposed to 
dip to the inclination, which the stream of the subtle bodies, al- 
ready alluded to, must assume in passing continually from the 
sun and central parallel line of the earth, to the north and south 
poles. 

The sun, indeed, in a clear atmosphere, has a visible effect on 
the dip of the needle. And if we take a thin bar of steel, about 
the thickness of the main-spring of a watch, and two feet in 
length, and render it magnetic, and balance it on a fine pivot, 
we can observe a slight variation occasionally in the dip of the 
needle, by a graduated scale, placed opposite one of its extre- 
mities, corresponding to the clearness of the atmosphere and time 
of the day. 

Upon the same principle also, the annual variation of the 
magnetic needle may be partly accounted for, by the radiating 
heat produced by the sun, and the other fluids already mention- 
ed, being conducted in greater proportions for a course of years 
towards the western part of our hemisphere, from a combina- 
tion ot causes no doubt similar to those which sometimes pro- 
duce a series of warm seasons to the west, and sometimes to the 
east of the world ; ' and perhaps this may be affected by the 
comparative progress of cultivation in the diff'erent nations of 
the earth. And this seems to coincide with the accounts of our 
late navigators, who have found the ice more melted toward 
the west than toward the east of the North Pole. 

I should conceive it to be but a very imperfect method of 
determining the magnetic intensity at any place, to subject the 
needle to vibration or torsion, as the state of the atmosphere, 
the influence of the sun at different periods of the year, and at 
different times of the day, local attraction, the attraction of gra- 
vitation, and the law of the vibration of the pendulum, must all 
have their share in the calculation ; and all these may be modi- 
fied by circumstances not readily perceived. 

Brighton Crescent, Portobello, 
\st October 1827. 



( 30 ) 

On the Semamith of' Solomon^ Pro v. xxx. 28. By the Rev* 
David Scot, M. D. M. W. S. F. H. S.E. Communicated 
by the Author *. 

W E are told in the 25th verse of the 30th chapter of the 
Proverbs of Sofomon, that there are four things Httle on the 
earth, but endowed with great wisdom ; and in the 28th verse of 
the same chapter, we learn that the last of these four things is 
called semamith, which lays hold with its hands, and is in kings' 
palaces. 

As no other instance of this word semamith occurs in the He- 
brew Bible, several absurd interpretations of it have been given 
by the Jewish doctors. All these we shall not spend time in 
considering, but only notice two of the least objectionable, in 
addition to the commonly received interpretation. 

The first of these makes the semamith a swallow, but for no 
other reason, which we can conceive, than a similarity of sound 
in semmith, the Chaldee name for that bird. There may be 
cases, in which the meaning of a word may be learned from an- 
other, resembling it in sound ; but in others, such a resemblance 
will lead into gross mistakes. 

The swallow, to be sure, builds its nest in the windows, and 
sometimes the chimneys of our houses, and they may do so in 
Palestine ; but such a fact would not warrant the declaration, that 
they lay hold with their hands, and are in kings' palaces, as it 
would be grossly absurd to talk in that manner of any winged 
animal. 

The other interpretation referred to makes the semamith an 
ape, which is a very shrewd animal, occasionally a favourite of 
princes, and also furnished with two fore-legs, with which it can 
seize objects, which, in a loose way of speaking, may be called 
hands. 

An ape, perhaps, may not be thought too large for being 
called a little thing on the earth ; and most will agree that it 
may excite attention, if not wonder, by its tricks ; but it' does 
not go into palaces, unless by constraint. These must be desert- 
ed, before it choose them for its ordinary residence. 

• Head before the Wernerian Natural History Society 7th April 1827« 

1 



Rev. Dr Scott on the Semamith of Sohtnon. 31 

To avoid these incongruities, lecourse has been had to the 
spider, and certainly this insect can quote a host of names in its 
favour. With a surprising uniformity, its cause has been sup- 
ported by Levi, EHas, and Kimchi among the Jews ; by Santes, 
Arias, Mercer, Munster, CastaHo, Junius and Tremellus among 
Christians : in short by the English, Italian, and Geneva trans- 
lators. 

That the spider is found in kings' palaces as well as in the 
houses of meaner men, is unquestioned. The species of spiders 
are numerous, and one of these has the peculiar attribute of the 
house spider. 

This species of spider, however, is oftener in a cottage than 
a palace, because there is less tolerance for such an insect in 
those buildings where there is more scrubbing and sweeping. 
In neglected forsaken apartments, containing useless or forgot- 
ten lumber, they are most ready to take up their abode. - 

But granting that palaces were not kept so neat and clean in 
ancient as in modern times, or that in warm climates it is more 
difficult to free buildings even of the better sort from insects, 
yet, we apprehend, that the spider, which is larger of size in 
warmer climates, and multiplies faster, will neither be a welcome 
nor a frequent guest in kings' palaces. It will oftener obtain an 
entrance into mean houses. It is encouraged by the careless- 
ness which prevails among the inmates, or the quietness which 
reigns through the apartments. In this manner, at least, Plau- 
tus, in the Aulalaria, talks of the dwelling of poor Euclio : 

" nihil est questi furibus, 

Ita inaniis sunt oppletae et araniis." 

Nay, when spiders abounded about one's house or furniture, 
the circumstance was deemed a sign of poverty ; thus, Afranius, 
quoted by Festus, 

" Tamque arciila tua plena est aranearum ;" 
In these terms Catullus excuses the meanness of an entertain- 
ment to a friend, 

" Tui Catulli plenus est sacculus aranearum ;" 
And old Hesiod exhorts, in the 474th line of his works and days, 

" You must drive away spiders from your vessels," i. e. banish 
poverty from your houses. 



39 Rev. Dr Scott on the Semamith of Solomon. 

Tliese quotations seem to shew, that, according to the expe- 
rience of mankind, spiders are rather found in the cottages of 
the poor than in the palaces of kings ; but quite the reverse is 
the testimony of Solomon, who had seen so much of life, and 
thought so much of nature, if his ordinary interpreters have 
done him justice. 

The semamith f which is commonly interpreted the spider, is 
said to take hold with its hands, while in kings' palaces. The 
house, as well as many other spiders, has eight legs, and, from 
the structure of these, it can move along the under surfaces of 
the planks and rafters of a house, like the common fly, and se- 
veral animals of the lizard tribe. 

Now, the legs with which this operation is carried on, have 
sometimes been called fingers. They are so called in the Frogs, 
a comedy of Aristophanes, and in the 6th book of Ovid's Meta- 
morphoses. These are the words of the latter : 

" In latere exiles digiti pro cruribus hserent." 

Even when these are called fingers, the language is highly fi- 
gurative ; but the figure would border on absurdity, if it made 
the row of feet on each side a hand, to which it has not the least 
resemblance. Indeed, we do not recollect a passage in any au- 
thor, in which hands are assigned to the spider, though we recol- 
lect one in which there is a direct assertion to the contrary. 
The spider itself speaks, 

" Nulla mihi manus est, pedibus tamen omnia fiunt." 

Among the feet with which, according to this assertion, it per- 
forms every thing, the two feelers may be included. These are 
not organs by which it moves, but sometimes assistants when it 
seizes its prey with its teeth. We do not know how poets or 
orators would describe this action ; but if they should say that 
it lays hold with its hands, the language would neither be very 
obvious nor very intelligible. 

If, however, laying hold with the hands is to be viewed as a 
figurative description of the spider's spinning its thread, and 
weaving its web, these actions are seen with far more advantage 
in the country than in a palace. In a misty morning during 
summer, the webs of the field spider are hung from twig to 
twig, among the surrounding thorn hedges and whin bushes, as 
far as the eye can reach ; but though admiration may be thus 



Rev. Dr Scott on the Semamith of' Solomon. 33 

awakened at the thought of the industry as well as the numbers 
of this insect, yet the chilling recollection is apt to steal on, that 
all these webs are instruments of destruction, snares for catching 
as prey, those little unfortunate beings who happen to be en- 
tangled. 

These operations of the field-spider have been beautifully il- 
lustrated by the Abbe Pluche, in a work once very popular, but 
now little read, entitled, Spectacle dc la Nature, or Nature 
Displayed. 

But whatever occasion these operations of the field spider may 
give to ornamented description, they have nothing to do with 
the proceedings of the semamith, as mentioned by the wise king 
of Israel ; and, therefore, that his account may be consistent, we 
are forced to look about for some other animal. 

To the lovers of truth, we will be justified in so doing, after 
they understand that the semamith is not the ordinary name of 
the spider in the Hebrew language. This is ocubish, which has 
become ocuhlm in Chaldee, and unhiibus in Arabic, both of 
which signify a spider. 

In the Hebrew Bible^ there are two passages in which the 
spider, under the name of ocubish, is mentioned. One of these 
is in Job viii. 14, " The hypocrite's hope shall be cut off, and 
Ills trust shall be a spider''s house or web."" The other is in 
Isaiah lix. and 5, " they hatch cockatrice eggs, and weave the 
spider'*s web." In these passages, every one sees that the pro- 
per work of the spider is noticed. 

We allow that this insect, or any other thing, may have two 
names, provided that the one recall some idea which is not sug- 
gested by the other ; and we would not object to semamith, as 
the name of the spider, more than to ocubish, if the accounts 
accompanying the use of the former, corresponded as well with 
the habits of the insect, as they do when the latter is used. 

From the want of this correspondence, several ancient as well 
as modern interpreters have been persuaded, that the animal 
denoted by semamith belongs to the lizard, and not the insect 
tribe. The Septuagint translators, who are more ancient than 
any other, and whose authority is entitled to high regard, have 
rendered semamith by the term calabotes, which Ilesychius the 

OCTOBER DECEMBER 1827. C 



d4} Rev. Dr Scott on the Semamith of' Solomon. 

lexicographer declares to be a certain fish or a lizard, i^hq Troixi 

As lizards are not unlike fishes in shape, and some of them 
live in water as well as on land, that expositor was to be excused, 
who contended that Solomon meant a fish by semamith, though 
it required no great reach of thought to discover, that fishes are 
not the residents of a king's palace, however they may inhabit 
his ponds. 

The calahotes of the Septuagint is rendered stellio by the 
Vulgate interpreter ; and many lizards may be called stelliwies, 
because of the variegations in the colour of the skin, peculiarly 
brilliant in warm countries. Hence, Ovid says of the stellio, 

" aptumque colori 

Nomen habet, variis stellatus corpora guttis." 

This rendering of the semamith by the Septuagint and Vul- 
gate is supported by the Syriac, Chaldee and Samaritan trans- 
lators. The term which each employs signifies stellio, or a 
spotted lizard. 

Bochart, in his Hierozoicon, says, that there are two species 
of stellio, the one poisonous and the other harmless ; but doubts 
which was meant by the semamith. If it be the stellio reputed 
poisonous, sem with a samech, which is convertible with sin, 
according to some, will signify poison, and of course the sema- 
mith will be the poisonous lizard. Others, however, pronounce 
shemamith, and bring it from a verb, which signifies to stun or 
stupify ; and they think this lizard is so called, because it stuns 
or stupifies the scorpion, to which it is said to be a determined 
and terrible enemy. So Galen, De Theriaca ad Pisonem, as- 
serts, that " the stellio, as soon as seen by scorpions, stuns, and 
so destroys them ;" and ^lian and Isidore, &c. agree with Ga- 
len in ascribing to the stellio this power over the scorpion. 

But what is still more to our purpose, in proving the sema- 
mith to be a stellio, is this sentence of the Talmud, treatise on 
the Sabbath, chap. 8. " The terror of the sernamith is upon the 
scorpion,"" a sentence which cannot be predicated of any spider, 
however formidable. Every spider has no other way of catch- 
ing its prey, but by entangling it in its web ; and the scorpion 
must have a far stronger and fiercer creature to deal with, when 
it is almost deprived of sense and life, at its very sight. 



Rev. Dr Scott on the Semamith of Solomon. S5 

Now, if the semamith be a lizard reputed poisonous, Bochart 
informs us, that the Arabs have a lizard to which they give the 
name of samahras, signifying a spotted lizard, or the lizard 
which has spots like a leper, and to which the semamith, if ac- 
counted poisonous, may answer. 

If, however, the semamith be the stellio accounted harmless, 
Bochart thinks it may be the wezgu, which is less in size than 
the samabras, and so far suits the account which Solomon gives 
of the semamith, that it is a thing little upon the earth. 

But whether the semamith be the samabras or wezgu, as Bo- 
chart has endeavoured to establish, lizards are most abundant 
in warm and dry countries ; and as Arabia does not yield to any 
country in these respects, it may be called the land of lizards. 
They are present wherever a tent is pitched or a house is rear- 
ed. The Arabs, who are continually infested with their presence, 
have a name for every species ; and we believe, that, in no lan- 
guage spoken on the face of the globe, is the nomenclature of 
this tribe of animals more perfect than in Arabia. 

With or without reason, this creature is detested by the Arabs, 
as it was by the Greeks and Romans, Jahius, the son of Chomer, 
asserting, that the man who killed 100 stelliones, would be dearer 
to him than he who redeemed 100 slaves ; and Antonius Libe- 
rales, that they were abhorred by gods and men, and that he 
that slew one of them, did a most acceptable service to Ceres. 

All lizards, into whatever divisions, stelliones, geclcos, igua- 
nas, &c. they may be marshalled, have four feet. The hind, 
but especially the fore feet, very much resemble the arms and 
hands of a man. Whoever has seen any of the lizard tribe, 
will be instantly struck with this resemblance ; and on this ac- 
count, all the individuals of the tribe, which are very numerous, 
have been properly and strictly called Lacertce, that is, creatures 
with arms or hands. 

Supposing the semamith of Solomon a lizard, it is most con- 
sistently said to take hold with its arms or hands, in moving 
from one place to another, that it may catch flies, which are its 
ordinary food, elude the pursuit of its enemies, when it moves 
along places which they cannot reach, or secure its safety, if its 
back be undermost. In these respects it was natural for him 

c 2 



26 Rev. Dr Scott 07t the Semamith of Solomon. 

to admire its dexterity, and declare that it discovered great wiiv- 
doni, though it was little on the earth. 

Indeed, every reflecting person would be filled with amaze- 
ment, when he beheld this Httle animal creeping up the walls, 
or along the ceiling of a house, grasping, as it would seem, the 
inequalities of the timber, and roughnesses of the stones, that 
its fall might be prevented, and its journey, perilous, at least, 
if not impossible to other creatures, accomplished. 

The animal, which performs such feats of daring and skill, 
loves to frequent houses of every name, new houses as well as 
old, palaces as well as cottages. Aristotle says, that it dwells in 
stables ; Antonius Liberalis, that it is found near common shores ; 
Pliny, that it resides in slaughter-houses, windows, caverns and 
tombs ; Arnobius, that it nestles in the cavities of statues ; and 
Mathiolus, that it lodges in the holes of walls near the ground. 
With great propriety, then, it has been called the house-lizard, 
by Porphyry, as quoted by Eusebius, by Suidas^ by the Ety- 
mologist, and Phavorinus, among the Greeks ; and by Alhasim, 
an Arabian physician of Bagdat. 

Aristophanes, Dioscorides, and Avicenna declare, that this li- 
zard fastens itself by its hands to the roofs of houses, but some- 
times losing its hold, drops down among the dishes on a table, 
and poisons the liquor of the cups, if it happens to touch it. 
Those may believe this account who can, but our faith is not 
strong enough to credit what Bustamentinus of Complutum as- 
serts, that, when, by some accident, these animals have been 
mingled with the food, they have poisoned whole nations. Many 
are the remedies prescribed against these poisonous results by 
yEtius, Paulus ^gineta, and Avicenna, but whether they be 
dictated by knowledge or error, is another matter. 

That lizards of all kinds are very numerous in Syria, these 
words of Bruce demonstrate : " I am positive that I can say 
without exaggeration, that the number, I saw one day in the 
great court of the Temple of the Sun at Balbec, amounted to 
many thousands. The ground, the walls and the stones were 
covered widi them ; and the various colours of which they con- 
sisted, made a very extraordinary appearance, glittering in the 
sun, in which they lay sleeping and basking." 



Rev. Dr Scott on the Semamith of Solomo7i. 37 

Whore lizards are so numerous, there must be many species ; 
and, after all that has been done to clear up differences, consi- 
derable confusion must still remain, two or more species being 
described as one, while the same name is given to two or more 
species. 

While we acknowledge our obligations to Bochart for the 
chief materials of this essay, we regret that we have not had the 
power of perusing Scheuchzer, who has treated at great length 
the natural history of the Bible ; and we have not read or heard 
of any, who has attempted to point out the kind of lizard whicli 
corresponds with the semamith of Solomon. 

Cuvier^s Stellio of the Levant may be mentioned, the synonyms 
of which are the Stellio lacerta of Linnaeus, the Koscordylos of 
the modern Greeks ; though not the Hardun of the Arabians, 
if we mistake not, which rather answers to what is called the 
land crocodile. It is this Stellio of the Levant, which is often 
killed by the Mahometans, for mocking them, as they suppose, 
by lowering its head, when they say their prayers. 

Or Solomon's semamith may be the Gecko des murons of 
Cuvier, the synonyms of which are the Gecko of Hasselquist, 
the Gecko lohatus of Geoffroy, the Lacerta Hasselquista of 
Schneider. It is very frequent in the houses of all those coun- 
tries, bordering on the Mediterranean to the east and south. At 
Cairo, it is called Ahou hurg, or father of the leper, because it is 
supposed to communicate the leprosy to those who eat the food 
which it has touched with its feet. When it creeps over a per- 
son'*s hand, the skin inflames ; more, perhaps, says Cuvier, from 
the delicate sharpness of its nails, than the deleterious matter 
which it communicates. 

We know not whether the Lacerta ocellata, as it has been 
called by some, be different from the lizards just mentioned. It 
is about a span long : the feet are short, and five-toed in gene- 
ral : the colour is greenish-grey, with brown spots or disks. It 
is a native of Egypt, we presume also of Palestine, and frequents 
houses. 

Upon the whole, both authority and probability favour the 
idea, that the semamith of Solomon is a house lizard, and not a 
house spider ; though at present we are unable to say which spe- 
cies of house lizard has a preferable claim to every other. 



( 38 ) 

On Vegetable Substances growing cni the bodies of living Ani- 
mals. 

XN a letter from Dr Samuel S. Mitchill of New York to Pro- 
fessor A. P. De Candolle of Geneva, in Silliman's Journal, 
March 1827, there are some interesting observations stated with 
regard to vegetable substances growing on the bodies of living 
animals. 

His attention was called to these curious appearances in the 
year 1808, when W. A. Burwell, Esq. brought him, from his 
own plantation in Virginia, the larva of an insect, upon which a 
vegetable had fixed itself, and grown to a considerable size. 
Fjom its appearance, he was induced to consider it as belonging 
to the species of Melolontha, ^whose grub is destructive at times 
to the roots of grass, in meadows and pastures. The vegetable 
was single, and, although somewhat injured, yet the lower part 
of the stem and the point of attachment, were very distinct. 

Some years afterwards, another vegetating insect was present- 
ed to him by Dr W. M. Ross, who obtained it in Jamaica, du- 
ring his residence there. It was a full grown Sphynx, whose 
whole body had been covered with a vegetable crop, issuing 
thick from the thorax and abdomen. 

Another Sphynx, similarly covered with vegetables, was sub- 
sequently shewn him by Dr J. B. Ricard Maddiana, who brought 
it from Guadaloupe. 

This gentleman also gave him severdl vegetating wasps, pro- 
cured by himself in the same place. On the 16th June 1823, 
while on a botanizing excursion at Bay Mahaut in the above 
island, he saw lying on the ground a wasp's nest, which had 
fallen from a branch of Laurus persea. Some of the animals 
were flitting about over the cells, and, by the softness of their 
wings, and the faintness of their colours, were easily' known to 
have been hatched but a short time. Many others were lying 
dead on the ground. On examining these, he instantly percei- 
ved vegetables proceeding from their bodies, and this uniformly 
from the anterior part of the sternum or thorax. Some of the 
cells still contained young wasps in the larva state, and which 
had not reached the last stage of their metamorphosis. He 



On Vegetable Substances growing on living Animals. 39 

drew them from their cells, and satisfied himself that there was 
an incipient vegetation, and moreover that its progress had kept 
pace with the growth of the chrysalis. It was remarked, that 
rarely or never was there more than one vegetable on a single 
wasp. 

He then satisfied himself why the vegetable parasite was a- 
tuated on tne fore-part of the body. Botanists have pronounced 
this production to be a species of Spharia, belonging to the na- 
tural order of FtmgL Upon the supposition that it is propa- 
gated by seeds* in the ordinary mode, these seeds would natu- 
rally alight upon the most exposed part of the unhatched insect 
that was accommodated for their reception. This would of 
course be near the head. Being fixed there, it would increase 
with the enlargement of the animal, and drawing nourishment 
from its body, would continue to grow even after it had attain- 
ed its last and perfect state, until the Spharia had destroyed 
the Hfe of the wasp. 

The mind becomes reconciled to the idea of a vegetable sus- 
taining itself upon a living animal, by considering the history of 
the Ichneumon, an insect of the Hymenopterous order. It is 
called pupivorous, on account of the voracity with which its 
larvae devour the larvae, chrysalids, and even eggs of other in- 
sects, more especially those of the Lepidopterous order. Some 
of them penetrate the bodies of their prey, and, with their num- 
berless brood, slowly consume, and at last kill them ; while 
others, the Ophions, are attached to the skin of the larva by the 
footstalk of a cocoon, through which their heads pierce the in- 
ternal parts, while their tails remain in their own inclosures. 
This operation frequently continues until the large invaded larva 
completes its cocoon, when it dies consumed and exhausted. 
After this, the family of ichneumons come forth, first bursting 
their own cocoons, and then that of their prey. It is also stated 
as a fact, that one species of Ichneumon sometimes destroys the 
larvae of another species of the same genus. These occurrences 
furnish strong and instructive analogies. 

Here we find that the living bodies o£ caterpillai's and their 
chrysalids, are the habitations and nurseries of other insects, the 
Creator having arrayed one tribe against another, apparently 
for the purpose, among others, of putting a limit to their own 



40 On Vegetable Suhstajices groivhig on living Animals. 

excessive multiplication. There seems also to be another check 
upon their inordinate increase. The fungous tribes of vege- 
tables are in various instances the destroyers of the insect race. 
Their germs or seeds, conveyed by the winds or otherwise to the 
surface of these creatures, find them to be situations fit for their 
adhesion. 

If it now may be considered as certain, continues t>Y Mitchill, 
that a vegetable may grow upon the larva or chrysalis of a wasp, 
and continue to increase until they change into the complete or 
imago state, and after, why may not the like happen to the larva 
and chrysalis of the Sphynx and Melolontha ? The presump- 
tion is strong, that the seeds were scattered on the back and 
sides of the larvae, exposed everywhere to their influence, and 
not incased and protected like the young wasps. Whence it 
might be inferred they would germinate and enlarge until after 
the beginning of the fourth metamorphosis, when they would 
probably overcome their supporter. 

Dr Maddiana, however, thinks, that, in some instances, the ve- 
getation commences only after life has ceased. Dr Mitchill 
continues to adduce instances of vegetable substances issuing from 
the bodies of insects ; and in conclusion draws the following in- 
ferences : 1. That this kind of vegetation is not confined to a 
single species of insect, but obtains in several, viz. the Wasp, 
Sphynx and Melolontha, there being also reason to suppose that 
it extends to others : % That the bodies of insects nourish more 
than one species of vegetable, as the Sphasria, Clavaria, and pro- 
bably others not yet investigated : 3. That a part, at least, of 
this order of parasitical vegetables, begin their work of annoy- 
ance, like the larvae of the ichneumon, in the body of the living- 
insect, and continue it until the creature is killed by its destruc- 
tive inroads : 4. That these mixed associations of vegetable with 
animal matter, are not prone to rapid putrefaction, but remain 
long enough to be collected by naturalists, and become the ob- 
jects of scientific inquiry. 

The chief or leading fact intended to be established, is the 
derivation of nourishment by the vegetable from the living 
animal, which the Doctor thinks may be rendered more admis- 
sible, when we reflect that the bodies of dead animals support 
vegetation, in the form of manure and otherwise, and that many 



Prof. Carus on the relative Proportions of the Eye. 41 
Crustacea and MoUusca are invested with a dense vegetable co- 



On the relative Proportions of cei'tain parts of the Eye of tlie 
Foetus^ compared with the same parts of the perfectly de- 
veloped Eye. By Professor Carus. 

JL HE remark has ah'eady been made by some anatomists and 
physiologists, that the human eye, as well as all the organs, runs 
through a series of degrees of development, in which its analogy 
with the eye of animals is so much the greater, the nearer it is 
to its first formation. The object of Professor Carus, in his 
memoir, is to follow out this proposition in some of its details. 
The following are among the most interesting results of his in- 
vestigation. 

The eye of man, compared with that of animals, presents -the 
most extended retina, in proportion to the size of the. eye-ball 
(consult Sommering''s Plates, De Oculorum hominis ariimor- 
Uumque sectione hj)rizontaVi, Gotting. 1818). The vitreous 
body of the human eye 'Hi the largest of all, compared with 
the bulk of the crystalline humour : the portion of the eye-ball 
which covers the transparent cornea, and which allows the iris 
and pupil to appear, is smaller in proportion to the part which 
the sclerotic covers ; and this proportion is modified only in 
birds, especially the birds of prey, in which the extraordinary 
breadth of the ciliary processes puts limits to the extension of 
the retina, which is kept at a distance from the edge of the cor- 
nea. In the eye of animals, also, the sclerotic scarcely appears 
imder the palpebrae, while a considerable portion of it is visible 
in the human eye. 

It is equally observed, in the different forms of the latter, 
that the relation of the extent of the iris and pupil, to the sur- 
face of the visible portion of the sclerotic, is not always the same. 
In children, the iris and pupil have a greater proportional ex- 
tent, exhibiting an analogy with the eye of animals ; and in 
adults a large iris with its pupil, seems to us rather to be the 
expression of physical power, while an eye in which the contrary 
takes place, and in which the sclerotic coat shews itself to a great 



42 Prof. Car us on. the relative Proportions of the Eye. 

extent, expresses rather something spiritual or celestial. The 
pious painters of the old Italian and German schools had a clear 
idea of this proportion, and in their representations of eyes of vir- 
gins, angels, Christ, and saints, it may be seen that the pupil and 
iris are smaller in relation to the sclerotic, than they are in well 
formed ordinary eyes. From this it may be presumed, that the 
eye of the foetus will equally present modifications in the pro- 
portion of the parts of which it is composed. The results which 
M. Carus has obtained, in consequence of accurate measure- 
ments, are the following : 



Age of the Foetus 
in lunar Months. 


Relation of the diameter 
of the iris to that of the 
globe of the eye. 


Relation of the diameter 
of the iris to the length 
of the axis of the globe. 


2 


3 : 6=1:2 


3: 4 = 1:1J 


3 


9:17 = 1:1| 


9:15 = l:lf 


4 


12:22 := 1 :!]£ 


12:17 = 1:1J 


5 


23:38 = 1 rlJJ 


23:33 =r 1:1|§ 


6 


26:45 = 1 :1JS 


26:43 = lilll 


7 


30:58 = 1 :li| 


30:55 = 1:1|^ 


8 


33:65 = 1 :li| 


33:62 = 1:1|§ 


9 


37:73 = 1 :l|f 


37:70 = 1:1|? 


10 


45 :85 = 1 :1|? 


45 : 77 = 1 : Iff 


Woman of 60 ] 


[-50:110 = 1 :2^ 


50:112= l:l/y 



years, 

It is seen from this, that the proportion of the breadth of the 

iris to that of the gl6be of the eye, as well as that of the iris to 

the axis of the eye-ball, increases with age. The following is 

another table, which presents some points of comparison with 

the eye of animals : 

Relations of the breadth Relation of the breadth 

Animal. of the iris to that of the of the iris to the axis 

globe of the eye. of the globe of the eye. 

Pike *, . . 8.5 : 10.5 = 1 : If J 8.5 : 8.5 = 1 : 1 

Crocodile, ,5.0 : 7.5 = 1 : If J 5.0 : 6.5 = 1 : IJg 

Golden eagle, 7.5 : 16.0 = 1 : 2^ ? 7.5 : 14.6 = 1 : 1|J 

Chamois, . 10.5 : 14.0 = 1 : l//y 10.5 : 12.8 = 1 : 1//^, 

There results from all this, that the eye of the foetus only as- 
sumes by degrees the proportions that obtain in the eye of the 
adult ; and that the smallness of the iris, in proportion to the 

* Brochet, Esox iucius, Linn. 



Mr Don ofi the trritabiUty of the Stigma in Pinus iMriac. 43 

diameter as well as tx) the axis of the ball of the eye, is one of the 
characters by which the fully developed human eye is distinguish- 
ed, both from the eye of the foetus, and from that of animals. 



On the Irritability of the Stigma, and on the origin and nature 
of certain parts of the Fructification in Piniis Larix. By 
Mr David Don, Libr. L. S., Member of the Imperial Aca- 
demy Naturae Curiosorum, of the Royal Botanical Society of 
Ratisbon, and of the Wernerian Society of Edinburgh, &c. 
(Communicated by the Author). 

XT is a well known fact, that certain plants themselves, but 
more generally particular organs, are endowed with a species of 
irritability analogous to that observable in the animal kingdom. 
While engaged in examining the female flowers of the common 
Larch, during the last spring, in order to satisfy myself respect- 
ing the real nature of the stigma, I was much surprised by the 
remarkable degree of irritability observable in that organ, a cir- 
cumstance which I am not aware had ever been before noticed. 
That the cucullate processes at the base of the ovaria are the 
true stigmata, is a point so fully established, as to render im- 
necessary any additional facts in its support. To regard the 
ovaria as naked ovula, and that impregnation takes place by the 
pollen being immediately shed on their surface, instead of being 
conveyed by means of an organ analogous to the stigma of other 
plants, are opinions by far too paradoxical to admit of belief. 
These cftcullatc processes, when fully mature for the reception 
of the pollen, expand, and their inner^surface is then clothed with 
innumerable minute papillae. I took a branch bearing unimpreg- 
nated female flowers, and having dusted them with the pollen 
from the ripe male catkins of another branch, I found on exa- 
mination the cucullate stigmata completely filled with the pol- 
len, and I could readily perceive the sides of the female organ 
contract gradually, until they finally became completely collapsed. 
The pollen in Coniferat being composed of minute vesicles filled 
with a prolific fluid, the collapsing of the sides of the stigmata 
is evidently for the purpose of pressing out the contents of these 
vesicles, and forcing the fluid through the narrow duct on to the 



44 Mr Don on the irritability of the Stigma in Pinus Larix. 

ovulum. When impregnation has taken place, the sides of the 
stigma again expand, and soon after wither. In this state, the 
stigma is seen filled with the empty cells of pollen. If a branch 
with female catkins is separated from the tree before impregna- 
tion has taken place, it is surprising how long the stigmata will 
remain expanded and in a perfect state. This circumstance has 
been also remarked in the female organs of other plants. That 
the amentum of Finns is nothing more than a modified branch, 
is well exemplified in the larch, where a comparison between an 
expanding bud and the female catkin is at once convincing. 
The bracteae, which in the larch are persistent, being regarded 
as altered leaves, the flowers are, therefore, truly axillary, and 
their situation may be compared to those of Hippwis. The 
fleshy scales, which afterwards compose the cone, are analogous 
to the nectarium of Salix, &c. ; and one of their uses, namely, 
the nourishing the early stage of the ovarium, as the albumen 
does the embryo, is precisely similar. The ovaria at first are 
firmly attached to the upper surface of the scales ; but on their 
increasing in size, they by degrees lose the connection, till at 
length, in the ripe state, they become perfectly free. These 
scales, in the early state, are fleshy and orbicular, composed of 
a cellular substance, having neither veins nor nerves traversing 
them ; their upper side is convex, and underneath flat, with an 
acute, slightly fringed margin ; the whole surface is pruinose : 
in the young state succulent, and gradually increasing in size, 
they finally constitute the cone, becoming then dry, coriaceous, 
or woody. In this state, from their arrangement and structure, 
they admirably serve to protect the seeds from the destructive 
effects of the severe weather to which in winter they would 
otherwise become exposed ; and we cannot but admire the wise 
provision of Nature in this instance, which has given to these 
natives of cold regions the means of protecting their seeds 
through the winter, until finally matured in the warm weather 
of the following spring. In judging of the origin and analogies 
of the stamina in Conifera^, instead of looking for the resem- 
blance in the leaves, we must begin by comparing them with 
the bracteae of the female catkin, which we have already shewn 
to be modified leaves ; and it therefore follows, as a deduction, 
that they are both modifications of the same organ, namely of 
the leaf. 



( 45 ) 

Essay ofi the Domestication of Mammiferous Aiiimals^ with 
some introdtictory cansideratiovis on the variozis states m 
ivhich we may study their actions. By M. Frederick 
CuviEK. Continued from former Volume, p. 318. 

jl\S our means of goocl treatment are various, and as the effect 
of each of them differs, according to the different nature of the 
animals on which they are made to act ; the choice of them 
is far from being a matter of indifference, and they require to 
be accurately appropriated to the object in view. 

To satisfy the natural wants of animals would be a means 
which eventually might bring about their submission, especially 
if applied to very young animals. The habit of constantly re- 
ceiving their food from our hand would familiarise them, and 
render them attached to us ; but, unless the employment of this 
means were continued for a very long time, the bonds which it 
would form would be feeble. The good which, in this manner, 
an animal would have received from us, would have been pro- 
cured by itself, had it possessed the power of acting conforma- 
bly to its natural disposition. It would also, perhaps, return to 
its original independence, the moment we might wish to employ 
it in any service ; for it would find, in this state, more than an 
equivalent for all that it received from us, namely, the faculty 
of giving itself up to all its impressions. To attach animals, 
therefore, itwould not probably be enough to satisfy their wants; 
more is necessary ; and it is, in fact, by increasing their wants, 
or by creating new ones, that we attach them to us, and, so to 
speak, render the society of man necessary to them. 

Hunger is one of the most powerful of the means which are 
at our disposal for captivating animals ; and as the extent of a 
benefit is always in proportion to the necessity which is expe- 
rienced of it, the gratitude of the animal is so much the more 
intense, the more necessary the food which we give it has be- 
come to it. It is applicable to all the mammifera, without ex- 
ception ; and if, on the one hand, it may give rise to an affec- 
tionate feehng, it produces, on the other, a physical debility, 
which re-acts upon the will to weaken it also. It is in this man- 
ner that the training of horses, which have passed their first 
yeai's in a state of entire independence, usually commences. 



46 M. F. Cuvier on the Domestication 

After they have been caught, a small quantity only of food is. 
given to them, and at long intervals ; and this suffices to fami- 
liarise them to those who take care of them, and inspire a cer- 
tain degree of affection, which the latter may turn to their ad- 
vantage, by increasing their authority. 

If, to the influence of hunger, there be added that of a se- 
lected food, the power which the benefit possesses may be con- 
siderably increased ; and this power arrives at an astonishing 
point, when, by an artificial food, the taste of animals is much 
more gratified than it would be by a better food, which nature 
had destined for them. In fact, it is principally by means of 
real dainties, and especially sugar^ that we manage those her- 
bivorous animals, which we see submitting to the extraordinary 
exercises of which our public circuses sometimes afford us the 
opportunity of witnessing. 

This agreeable food acts immediately upon the will of the 
animal. To obtain, by its means, the effect desired, hunger 
and physical weakening are not necessary ; and the affection 
which it entertains for its keeper is altogether owing to the plea- 
sure which the animal experiences ; but this pleasure depends 
upon a natural want, and all the pleasures which animals may 
feel, have not, if I may be permitted the expression, so sensual 
an origin. 

There is one which we have transformed into a want in some 
of our domestic animals, which seems to be altogether artifi- 
cial, and not to address itself to any particular sense ; it is 
the pleasure of being caressed. I beheve that there is no 
wild animal that does not ask caresses of the other individuals 
of its species. Even in our domestic animals, we see the young 
ones affected with joy on the approach of their mother, the male 
and the female glad to see each other again ; and individuals, 
which have been accustomed to live together, happy in being 
united after separation. 

But these feelings are never expressed in a striking degree ; 
and it is but in few instances that they are accompanied with 
reciprocal caresses. This kind of testimony, in which the plea- 
sure received is doubled by that given, belongs, perhaps, exclu- 
sively to man. It is from him alone that the animals have ac- 
quired the wa,nt ; it is also for him alone that they experience 
it ; with him only that they satisfy it ; and as the feeling of 



of Mammiferous Animals. 47 

Ii linger may acquire strength when the food increases the sen- 
suality, in the same manner the influence of caresses may be ex* 
tended when they more particularly flatter the senses. It is 
thus that the gentle sounds of the voice add to the emotions 
excited by the touch, and that these latter are increased by 
touching the mammae. 

All domestic animals are not, by any means, equally accessi- 
ble to the influence of caresses, as they are to the influence of 
food, whenever they are pressed by hunger. The ruminantia 
appear to be little affected by them ; the horse, on the contrary, 
seems to relish them in a very high degree, as do many of the 
pachydermata also, and especially the elephant. The cat is not 
indiff\?rent to them ; it might even be said that it sometimes 
seeks them with a sort of fury ; but it is without dispute in the 
dog, that they produce the most marked effects ; and what de- 
serves attention, is, that all the species of the genus which I 
have had an opportunity of observing, are similarly affected by 
them. There was once a she wolf in the Royal Menagerie, on 
which the caresses of the hand and voice produced so powerful 
an effect, that she seemed to experience an actual delirium, and 
her joy was not less vividly expressed by her cries than by her 
motions. A jackal, from Senegal, was affected precisely in the 
same manner ; and a common fox was so strongly agitated, that it 
became necessary to abstain from all such expressions of kindness 
toward it, from a dread of the disagreeable consequences that 
might follow. It is worthy of being remarked, that all the three 
animals were females. 

I do not know whether I may put songs, or harmonious ipo- 
dulations of the voice, among the number of artificial wants by 
which the will of animals is captivated. It is well known that 
the camel-leaders make use of it to slacken or accelerate the pro- 
gress of the animals which they conduct. But is not this a mere 
sign with vvhich the march of these animals is associated, as the 
sound of the trumpet is with respect to horses, which are there- 
by apprised that the lists are clear, and that they are to be let 
loose .? I would be inclined to believe so, not knowing any fact 
that could afford a contrary idea ; for what has been said of the 
power of mu^c upon elephants, has been viewed with some pre- 
judices ; at least, so far as my own observation extends, I am con- 



48 M. F. Cuvier on the Domesiicatimi 

vinced that such is the general impression. It would be curious^ 
however, to enquire on what foundation this association rests, 
and what relations exist between sound and the hearing of mam- 
miferous animals, whose voice is so limited as to variation and 
harmony. 

It is not, however, sufficient that the means of attachment aU 
ways precede the acts of docility which are required ; they must 
also succeed them. Constraint prudently employed does not 
remain foreign to these acts; and it might be injurious if con- 
tinued too long. Caresses or dainties make this effect instantly 
cease ; calmness and confidence are renewed, and quickly weak- 
en, if they do not efface, the traces of fear. 

As soon as confidence is obtained and familiarity established ; 
as soon as, by good treatment, habit has rendered the society of 
men indispensable to the animal, our authority may be enforced^ 
and we may employ constraint, and apply chastisement. But 
our means of correction are limited ; they are confined to blows, 
accompanied with precautions necessary to prevent the animals 
from escaping ; and they produce but a single effect, which con- 
sists in transforming the feeling, whose manifestation it is neces- 
sary to repress, into that of fear. From the association which 
results, the first of these feehngs is weakened, and sometimes at 
length entirely destroyed, even in the bud. But the application 
of force ought never to be without limits, for its excess produces 
two contrary effects, it either intimidates, or excites hatred. Fear, 
in fact, may be carried to the point of disturbing all the other 
faculties. A naturally timid horse, imprudently corrected, and 
entirely absorbed by his fright, no longer perceives even the 
gulf into which he precipitates himself with his rider ; and the 
spaniel, so adapted by its intelligence to the chace, and so obe- 
dient to the voice of his master, is converted into an undecided, 
wild, or trembling animal, when a severity without bounds has 
presided over its education. With regard to resistance, it al- 
ways commences on the part of the animal, at the point where 
our authority passes beyond the limits which time and habit had 
imposed upon its obedience. These limits vary with respect to 
each species, and to each individual ; and the moment they are 
passed, the instinct of preservation re-awakens, and at the same 
time the will manifests itself with all its force and independence. 



of MammiferoiiS Animals - 49 

How often do we see domestic animals, and the dog itself, revolt 
against bad treatment, and exercise the most cruel vengeance 
on those who inflict it. The very individuals which we regard 
as vitious, and which we name restive, arc only essentially dis- 
tinguished from those which are possessed of mildness and docility, 
by more imperious propensities, which often, it is true, no means 
can captivate, hut which, in many cases also, a more judicious 
application of those commonly used might serve at least to 
weaken. 

I shall not relate the numerous examples of vengeance inflict- 
ed by domestic animals, and particularly by horses, upon those 
who had maltreated them ; the hatred which these animals have 
cherished towards their cruel masters^ and the time during which 
it has been retained by them in all its original violence. Such 
examples are numerous and familiar ; and although they ought 
to have shown that brutality is a means little calculated to ob- 
tain obedience, they have been ineffectual for this purpose, and 
animals are still treated by us as if we had nothing to subject in 
them but their will. I cannot, however, forbear mentioning one 
example which was exhibited by an elephant, and this less on 
account of its rareness among us, than from the peculiar charac- 
ters which accompanied it. 

This animal was entrusted, at the age of two or three years, 
to a young man who took care of it, and who taught it various 
exercises, which he made it repeat for the amusement of the 
public. It rendered an entire obedience to its master, and felt 
a lively affection for him. Not only did it submit, without the 
smallest hesitation, to all his commands, but it was even unhap- 
py in his absence ; it repelled the advances of every other per- 
son, and even seemed to eat with a kind of regret, when its food 
was presented to it by a strange hand. 

So long as this young man was under the eyes of his father, the 
proprietor of the elephant, whether the influence of his family re- 
strained him, or age had not yet developed his bad propensi- 
ties, he conducted himself with propriety toward the animal en- 
trusted to his care ; but when the elephant came into the pos- 
session of the royal menagerie, and the young man, who was 
taken into its service, was left to himself, things became changed. 

OCTOBER — DECEMBER 1827. D 



50 M. F. Cuvier on the Domestication r'^^ 

He gave himself up to dissipation, and neglected his duties ; he 
even went so far, in his moments of drunkenness, as to strike 
his elephant. The latter, from being habitually cheerful, be- 
came melancholy and taciturn, in so much as to be thought un- 
well. It still however obeyed, but no longer with that brisk- 
ness which shewed that all its exercises were regarded by it as 
amusements ; signs of impatience were even sometimes manifest- 
ed, but they were immediately repressed. It was obvious that 
very different feelings were combating within, but the situation 
so unfavourable to obedience to which this violent state reduced 
it, did not the less contribute to excite the discontent of its 
keeper. It was in vain that the most positive orders were given 
to this young man never to strike his elephant, and that he was 
made to see that good treatment alone could restore the original 
docility of the animal. Mortified at having lost his authority 
over the elephant, and especially at not going through his 
exercises with the same success as formerly, his irritation in- 
creased, and one day being more unreasonable than usual, 
he struck his animal with so much brutality, that the latter, 
goaded to the utmost, uttered sucSh a cry of rage, that its terri- 
fied master, who had never before heard it emit such a terrible 
roar, ran off precipitately ; and it was well for him, for hence- 
forth the elephant would not so much as suffer him to come 
near it ; at the mere sight of him it became furious, and all the 
means which were afterwards employed in order to inspire it with 
better feelings, were ineffectual. Hatred supplied the place of 
love ; indocility succeeded to obedience ; and, as long as this 
animal lived, these two feelings predominated in it. 

Benefits on our part are therefore indispensable to bring ani- 
mals to obedience. As we are not of their species, they do not 
naturally experience affection for us, and we can only act at first 
upon them by restraint ; but it would not be so on the part of 
individuals towards which these animals are attracted by their 
instinct, which are of the same species, to which a powerful tie 
tends to unite them, and for which the constraint exercised by 
their kind is a natural state, a possible condition of their exist- 
ence. 

From the moment when they first come together, these ani- 
mals are opposed to each other in the same manner as the do- 



of Mammiferoufi Amnials. St 

mestic animals are opj^oscd to man, after the latter has become 
necessary to them, has seduced them and captivated their affec* 
tions ; that is to say, the one may immediately employ force for 
subjecting the other. It is the elephant, which, by the manner 
in which it is rendered domestic, furnishes us with an example 
of this truth. But, to be properly understood, I must first re- 
late certain facts which I have already developed in my memoir 
on Sociability. 

All the social animals, when left to themselves, form herds 
more or less numerous, and all the individuals of the same herd 
know each other, and are mutually attached, according to the 
relations which circumstances and their individual qualities have 
established among them ; and these herds live in harmony so 
long as no incident occurs to disturb it. But this sort of attach- 
ment exists only with reference to the individuals of the same 
herd ; a strange individual is not at first admitted by them, 
they almost always receive it as an enemy, and bad treatment 
often reduces it to the necessity of flying. 

On the other hand, every isolated individual has need of the 
society of its fellows ; it seeks them out, approaches them, fol- 
lows them at first at a distance^, and, in order to be admitted, 
renounces its will to the point at which the feeling of self-pre- 
servation determines it to defend itself, or to withdraw. 

The domestic elephants, obeying the man who leads them, 
are opposed to an isolated wild elephant, in the same manner as 
every individual of one herd is opposed to those of another, 
Avhilc the solitary elephant is irresistibly impelled by its instinct 
to approach other individuals of its species, and to submit to 
them within certain limits. 

Elephants, like all other social animals, might therefore im- 
mediately employ force for the purpose of subjecting others; 
and, in fact, this is what takes place in the manner in which 
wild elephants are reduced to domesticity. 

Domesticated individuals, commonly females, ai-e conducted 
to the neighbourhood of places in which wild individuals have 
settled. If there be in their herd one which is forced to keep 
separate from the rest, and even to live solitary, or because, be- 
ing a male, there are stronger individuals in the herd, or, from 
any other cause, is impelled by his natural propensity, he quickly 

d2 



52 M. F. Cuvier on the Dmnesticatioji 

discovers Ahe domestic individuals, and approaches them. The 
masters of the latter, who are at hand, run up, and confine the 
strange elephant with ropes, being protected by those which 
belong to them, and which, on the smallest resistance from the 
new comer, strike it with their proboscis or tusks, and compel it 
to submit to be led away. 

The chastisements inflicted by the domestic individuals upon 
the wild individuals, joined to the good treatment which he re- 
ceives, soon complete his captivity, or, in other words, soon 
bring about the period when his will conforms itself to his new 
situation, when his wants are in accordance with the commands 
of his master, and when he submits to the various labours allot- 
ted to him, and which habit soon renders easy ; for it is said 
that a few months only are required to transform a wild ele- 
phant into a domestic one. 

So long as animals are, to a certain degree, susceptible of af- 
fection and fear, — so long as they can attach themselves to 
those who treat them well, and dread those who punish them, 
it is sufficient to develope in them these feelings, in order to 
weaken those which might be opposed to them, and to give ano- 
ther direction to their will. This is what we have obtained by 
the application of means, which now form the subject of our in- 
quiries and observations. But it happens, either from the na- 
ture of individuals, or from the nature of species, that the en- 
ergy of certain propensities acquires such power that no other 
feeling can overcome it, and under the empire of which no other 
feeling can ever arise. For such animals, neither good treat- 
ment nor correction will suffice, neither the one nor the other 
would operate effectually ; they would even be nothing else 
than new causes of exercise to the will, and, in place of weaken- 
ing, they would exalt it. It is therefore indispensably neces- 
sary, with respect to animals which experience so imperious a 
desire of independence, to commence with immediately acting 
upon their will, to deaden their rage, in order to render them 
capable of fear or gratitude ; and, for this purpose, the happy 
idea was suggested of submitting them to a forced state of watch- 
fulness or to castration. 

According to all accounts, it appears, that the first of these 
means, namely, a forced state of watchfulness, is of all the modifi- 



of' Mainmif'erous Animuls, 5S 

cations which an animal may experience, without its being muti- 
lated, that which is best adapted to weaken its will, and dispose 
it to obedience, especially when benefits and chastisements are 
prudently associated with it ; for then the affectionate feelings 
experience less resistance, and take root more quickly and more 
deeply, and fear, for the same reason, acts with more prompti- 
tude and more force. 

The means which may be employed for suspending sleep, 
consist in strokes of a whip, applied more or less smartly, or in 
a loud noise, such as that of a drum or trumpet, which is va- 
ried to avoid the effect of uniformity, but especially in render- 
ing hunger urgent, by withholding food ; and among the ob- 
servations to which these different modes of procedure give rise, 
there is one which it will not be without interest to dwell upon for 
a moment, although it does not result exclusively from the parti- 
cular case which we examine, but presents itself under a va- 
riety of other circumstances. It shews us, that animals do not 
know to refer to their cause the modifications which they expe- 
rience through the medium cff sound, whenever certain particu- 
lar relations do not exist between them and their causes. 

When an indocile stallion or bull is struck, it does not mis- 
judge regarding the cause of its pain, but immediately throws 
itself vipon the person who has directed the blow, — even when 
it may have been struck by a projectile, like the boar which 
rushes upon the hunter whose ball has wounded it. I do not 
examine whether experience has any thing to do with their ac- 
tion ; this much is certain, that whatever experience these ani- 
mals may have of the noise from which they suffer, they are ne- 
ver able to refer the cause, either to the instrument which pro- 
duces it, or to the person who employs this instrument. They 
suffer passively, as if they experienced an internal disease ; the 
cause, hke the seat of their uneasiness, is in themselves, and yet 
they very correctly discern the direction of the noise. The 
moment they are struck by a sound, their head and ears are di- 
rected, without the slightest hesitation, toward the point from 
which it proceeds ; there are even animals in which this action 
is instinctive, and precedes all experience ; and with regard to 
the sensations, I might add, that the bull acts upon seeing a 
red ray, as he would under the impulse of blows. The cause o[ 



54j M. F. Cuvier on the Domesticatioii 

the modifications which he experiences^ is in both cases entirely 
external ; which shews us farther, that if the horse and the bull 
do not refer the sound to the instrument which produces it, it 
is less on account of the distance which separates them from the 
instrument, than on account of the peculiar nature of the sensa- 
tions of hearing. 

The above means are applicable to all animals, and to both 
sexes, although they do not produce the same results in all. 
The means of castration applies only to the male individuals ; 
and it is absolutely necessary only for certain ruminantia, and 
chiefly for the bull. Almost all the natural wants, when not sa- 
tisfied, especially when their object is to repair the strength, 
such as hunger and sleep, are accompanied with a physical 
weakening. There is one, on the contrary, which seems to in- 
crease in proportion as the obstacles which oppose it increase, 
until it is satisfied ; it is love. As we are unable to exercise 
any immediate controul over it, we mutilate the animals, which 
experience its effects too strongly, by removing the organs from 
which it has its principal source. 

In fact, the bull, the ram, &c. do not really submit to man 
until after their mutilation ; for the influence of the spermatic 
fluids extends in them, as also in all the other animals, much 
beyond the seasons at which the desires of love are experienced. 
At no period of their lives have these animals the docility which 
domestication requires ; whereas the ox and the sheep have al- 
ways been looked upon as models of patience and submission. 
Hence it follows, that bulls and rams are useful only for propa- 
gation ; and that in the ram it is only the female that is do- 
mesticated. 

This operation is not necessary in horses, although those 
which have undergone it are generally more tractable. The 
dog, on being castrated, loses all its vigour and activity ; and 
this effect appears to be common to all the carnivora, for the 
domestic cat is in this respect precisely in the condition of the 
dog. 

It is therefore by wants, over which we are able to exercise 
some influence, which it depends upon us to direct, to develop, 
or to destroy, that we are enabled to tame, and even entirely cap- 
tivate animals ; and, from the small number of them of which 



of MammifcrwiS Animals. 55 

we have hitherto taken advantage, we may be eillowed to think, 
that, in practice, we have not yet exhausted this source of the 
means of seduction, — and that others might be brought to our 
aid, should new species to be rendered domestic, or new ser- 
vices to be demanded of those which already are so, enforce the 
necessity of searching them out, and induce us to make the at- 
tempt. Although, however, the number is thus limited, it will 
easily be conceived, that, in applying them to animals of very 
different natures, the results obtained must vary in a high de- 
gree. In fact, scarcely any comparison can be instituted be- 
tween the dog and the buffalo in this respect. While the one is 
a pattern of attachment, submission, gratitude, fidelity, and de- 
votedness, — the other is destitute of every benevolent and affec- 
tionate feeling, and of all docility.* Between these two extremes, 
come the elephant, the hog, the horse, the ass, the dromedary, 
the camel, the lama, the rein-deer, the goat, the ram, and the 
bull, which could all be characterised by the qualities which 
have been developed in them by the influences to which we have 
subjected them ; but this subject would lead me too far beyond 
the limits which I ought to prescribe to myself in a mere me- 
moir. 

Hitherto I have only coi^idered the general effects which tl:e 
various means, described above produce upon domesticated ani- 
mals. It will not be useless to cast a glance over those which 
they produce in wild animals ; for the comparison that will re- 
sult, will perhaps assist us in eliciting the first elements of do- 
mestication. 

The monkeys, that is to say, the quadrumana of the old world, 
which, to the highest degree of intellect in animals, unite the 
organization most favourable to the development of all the fa- 
culties — which have the propensity to unite together, and form 
large herds, — appear to possess the conditions most favourable 
for receiving the influence of our means of taming, — and yet no 
adult male of this numerous tribe has ever submitted to man, 
whatever good treatment it may have received. I intend con- 
fining myself to the guerons, macaci, and cynocephali ; for the 
orangs, gibbons, and semnopitheci, are animals as yet too little 
known to us to have ever been subjected to experiment. With 
regard to the former, their sensations are so vivid, their infer- 



56 M. F. Cuvier on the Domesticatimi 

ences so prompt, their natural distrust so great, and all their 
feelings so violent, that it were impossible, by any means what- 
ever, to confine them to any particular order of circumstances, 
or habituate them to a determinate situation. Nothing could 
quiet their desires, which change with all the modifications they 
experience, and, even to a certain degree, with all the motions 
that are performed around them : hence we have never been 
able to count upon any good feehng on their part ; at the mo- 
ment when they are giving the most striking tokens of affection, 
they may be induced to tear one with fury ; and there is no 
treason in this, for all their vicious qualities depend upon their 
excessive mobility. 

It appears, however, that, by violence, and by continually 
keeping them in torment, they may be induced to perform cer- 
tain exercises. It is in this manner that the islanders of Sumatra 
succeed in teaching the Macacus nemestrirms to ascend trees on 
being ordered, and collect the fruits ; but it is only individuals 
that are thus trained, and where force is necessarily employed ; 
domestication is not yet effected. 

It is in consequence of the same treatment that we see some 
of these animals, and particularly the magot (Macacus inuus), 
learn to obey their master, and to perform those adroit and ac- 
curate leaps, to execute those bold dances which their organiza- 
tion and their natural dexterity render easy for them, and which 
often strike us with astonishment. Yet they are so exclusively 
subjected to force, that, whenever they can escape, they run off, 
and never appear again, if they happen to be in countries to 
which they can accommodate themselves, and which are calcu- 
lated to afford them the means of subsistence. 

We should better succeed in taming the American quadru- 
mana with pendent tails, such as the ateles, and sapagons, which, 
to a high degree of intellect and the social instinct, may join an 
extreme gentleness and a lively desire of being caressed. With 
regard to the Lemuridae, so many difficulties would be encoun- 
tered in taming them, and so few advantages obtained, on ac- 
count of their untractable and timid nature, that the uselessness 
of making the attempt would have been discovered, had it been 
tried. And the same remark applies ^o the Insectivora, which 

4 



of Mmmniferous Anirtuds, 57 

would, moreover, have the disadvantage of a very limited intel- 
lect, and of an unfavourable organization of limbs. 

The carnivora, such as the lions, panthers, martins, civets, 
wolves, bears, &c. all of them species which live a solitary life, 
are very accessible to benefits, and little susceptible of fear. In 
a state of liberty, they retire from danger ; in captivity, violence 
irritates them, and seems especially to carry confusion into their 
intellect; anger and fury then possess them. But let their 
wants be satisfied when they feel them keenly ; let them expe- 
rience goodness only on the part of their masters ; let no sound 
of the voice, no motion, give indication of a menacing character ; 
and these terrible animals will soon be seen approaching their 
benefactors with confidence, manifesting the satisfaction which 
they experience on seeing them, and affording the most unequi- 
vocal demonstrations of their affection. A hundred times has the 
apparent mildness of a monkey been followed by treachery ; but 
never have the outward signs of a carnivorous animal proved 
deceitful. If it is disposed to hurt, every thing in its gestures 
and look will announce it, and the same will be the case when it 
is animated by a benevolent feeling. 

Lions, panthers, and tigers have often been seen yoked to 
carriages, and obeying their, drivers with much docility. Wolves, 
trained for hunting, have been seen faithfully to follow the pack 
to which they belonged, and the exercises which bears are made 
to perform are well known. But although we have been able 
to habituate these animals to obedience, although we may have 
succeeded in training them to certain exercises, we have not gone 
so far as truly to associate them with us ; and yet what services 
might not man derive from the lion or bear, were he able to em- 
ploy them as he has succeeded in employing the dog. 

The seals, which are all social animals, and possessed of un- 
common degree of intellect, are, perhaps, of all the carnivora 
those which would undergo the greatest modifications from our 
good treatment, and which would perform, with most facility, 
what we might require of them. 

The glires, that is to say the beavers, marmots, squirrels, 
hares, &c. seem only to be endowed with the faculty of feeling, 
so little activity has their intellect. They retire from whatever 
causes them pain, and, on the other hand, approach whatever is 



58 M. F. Cuvier oii the Domestkation 

agreeable to them,' whence they can be habituated to certain 
conditions, and even to certain exercises, but they distinguish 
these causes but very imperfectly ; they appear to exist for them 
only when they act, and to form but little association in their 
memory. The animal of this tribe, to which we have done most 
good, docs not distinguish us individually, and shows no more 
satisfaction at our presence than at the sight of any other per- 
son ; and this is equally true with regard to those which live in 
society as with regard to those which lead a solitary life. 

If we pass to the tapirs, the peccaris, the daman, the zebras, 
&c. in a word to the pachidermata and solipeda, we find ani- 
mals living in herds, which pain may inspire with fear, and good 
treatment render grateful, which distinguish their masters, and 
sometimes form very strong attachments to them. 

A similar effect takes place, to a certain degree, with the ru- 
minantia, but principally the females, for the males, without any 
exception I believe, have a brutality which bad treatment in- 
creases, and which good treatment does not soften. 

We learn, therefore, from the facts which have come under 
our consideration, what influence the various means which have 
been devised for bending animals and attaching them to our 
service exercise upon them ; but they disclose nothing to us re- 
garding the dispositions which are necessary in order that do- 
mestication may result from this influence ; for we have seen 
that several animals receive this influence like domestic animals, 
without, however, becoming domestic. 

Were our action upon animals limited in individuals, were it 
necessary for us, at each generation, to recommence the same la- 
bour, in order to associate them with us, we should not have had, 
properly speaking, domestic animals ; at least domesticity would 
not have been what it really is, and its influence, upon our civi- 
lization, would not have had the results which the wisest ob- 
servers must have discovered it to possess. Fortunately this ac- 
tion is connected with one of the most important and most ge- 
neral phenomena of animal nature ; and the modifications which 
we have made those animals undergo, which we have first re- 
duced to domesticity, have not been lost with respect to those 
which have been produced by them. 



of Mammiferous Animals. 69 

It is a fact universally recognised, that the young of animals 
have a very stmng resemblance to the individuals which liave 
given life to them. This fact is as obvious in the Imman spe- 
cies as in any other ; and it is not less true with reference to the 
moral and intellectual faculties, than to the physical qualities. 
Now, the distinctive qualities of animals of the same species, 
those which have most influence over their particular existence, 
which constitute their individuality, ai'c those which have been 
developed by exercise, and whose exercise has been called forth 
by the circumstances amid which these animals have lived. 
Hence it follows, that the qualities transmissible by animals tjo 
their young, those which give rise to a mutual resemblance in 
them, are of a nature to arise from fortuitous circumstances; 
and, consequently, that we are enabled to modify animals and 
their progeny, or their race, within the limits which bound our 
power to produce the circumstances calculated to act upon them. 

What is thus established by reasoning, the observation of 
domestic animals fully confirms. It is we who have formed 
them, and there is none of their race that has not its distinct 
qualities, — 'qualities which make such or such particular race to 
he preferred to any other, according to the purposes for which 
it is intended, and which are constantly transmitted by genera- 
tion, so long as circumstances opposed to those which have occa- 
sioned them do not destroy the effects of these latter. It is by 
this means that we are enabled to preserve the races in their 
purity, or to obtain by their mixture races having new qualities, 
intermediate between those which have been united. But all 
these facts are so well known, that I consider it superfluous to 
dwell particularly upon any of them. 

It will not, however, be useless to remark, that the most do- 
mestic races, those which arc most attached to man, are those 
which have experienced on his part the action of the greatest 
number of the means, the use of which we have seen for render- 
ing theni' attached. Thus the dog species, on which caresses 
have so much influence, without distinction of sex, is indisputa^ 
bly the most domestic of all ; while the ox species, the females 
of which alone experience our influence, and on which we have 
had no other means of acting, for the purpose of attaching them 
to us than feeding, is certainly that which least belongs to us. 



60 Mr F. Guvier on Mammiferous Animals. 

And this difference between the dog and the ox would still ne- 
cessarily be increased by the difference of fecundity of these two 
species. In fact, the dog, in an equal time, submits to our in- 
fluence a much greater number of generations than the ox. We 
are ignorant what dispositions the dog originally had to become 
attached to man and to serve him, and upon which consequently 
man might have acted to bring him to the degree of submission to 
which he has arrived ; but there is every reason to believe that 
they were numerous ; and with the promptitude with which the 
elephant becomes domestic, it is extremely probable that if our in- 
fluence could be exercised over a certain numberof its generations, 
it would become, like the dog, one of the most submissive and 
affectionate of our animals, inasmuch as all the means adapted 
for rendering animals domestic are calculated to modify it. 
Unfortunately no pains have been taken in attempting to make 
it breed ; and, in the countries where its services have become 
necessary, the natives have contented themselves with taming 
individuals. This transmission of individual modifications by 
generation does not, however, aflbrd a basis to domestication, 
although it is indispensable to it. It is a general phenomenon 
which has been observed in the wildest animals, as in those that 
have been most subjected to our will. Let us inquire, there- 
fore, now that we know the animals which are associated with 
us, what is the disposition common to some and foreign to others, 
which might be regarded as essential to domesticity ; for with- 
out a particular disposition, which would second our efforts and 
prevent our empire over animals from being merely accidental 
and transitory, it is impossible to conceive how we should have 
succeeded. 

{To he concluded in next number.) 

On a new Chjrogonite^ or Fossil Capside of the genus Chara, 
occurring very abundantly in the fresh-water Limestones of 
the neighbourhood of Paris. By M. Constant Prevost. 

X. HE author commences with a historical account of the Gy- 
rogonites, in which he relates all that has been said regarding 
these small bodies, which are now generally considered as fossil 
seeds of the genus Chara. In Forfarshire, the analogous fossil 



M. Prevost on a New Gyrogcmite, 61 

charae form part of one of the newest deposits, the formation of 
which, if it does not belong to the present period, is at least more 
recent than the diluvian deposits on which the Forfar marls rest. 
On the contrary, the gyrogonites observed by M. Constant Pre- 
vost, in the upper fresh water limestones of the neighbourhood 
of Paris, are connected with an older formation, probably ante- 
rior to the great revolution which has left the globe in its pre- 
sent state. This difference of position it is of importance to 
remark, because it serves to connect, by insensible shades, the 
productions of nature as it exists at present, with those of the 
period when the soil on which we now live was formed. 

The new gyrogonite observed by M. Constant Prevost, is not 
less abundant in certain localities of the heights of Montmorency, 
than the gyrogcynites medicaginula along with which it occurs. 
It differs essentially from this latter in its form, which is elon- 
gated ovoidal ; in its size, which is less by a half or even two- 
thirds, a circumstance which renders it scarcely perceptible with- 
out the aid of a glass ; lastly, in the number of spiral turns, 
which, in place of being six, vary from nine to ten. These 
characters prevent our confounding the new gyrogonite with the 
two species described by M. Ad. Brongniart, and they serve to 
approximate it to the fossil which M. Ch. Leyell has made 
known, and consequently to the capsules of Clmra vulgaris at 
present so common in the waters of numerous marshes, which 
exist upon the very soil filled with analogous fossil bodies. The 
distinction becomes so much the more difficult to be established, 
that in the seeds of the same species of chara^ gathered from 
the same stalk, there are perceived in the size, the more or less 
elongated general form, the number of spiral turns, differences 
which some might consider sufficient to estabhsh several genera. 
M. Constant Prevost has found similar variations in the fossil 
gyrogonites, of which he has a great number in his possession. 
Most of these, as in the G. medicaginula^ have lost their outer 
covering, and the part preserved, or rather replaced, is only the 
internal nucleus of the capsule, of which, however, the impres- 
sion is frequently preserved in hollows in the compact silex. 
These petrifactions are seen principally in blocks of white and 
compact fresh water silex, which affect irregular rounded forms, 
representing geodcs, which are disseminated without order in 



62 M. Prevost oji a New Gyrogomte. 

the midst of clay, marbled with red and bluish colours. These 
siliceous blocks, which are often hollow in their interior, are 
filled with the same clay, and with an immense quantity of 
G. medicag^inula, and of the new species. In that case, the 
fossils are free, and it is easy to separate them from the clay by 
washing. The residuum obtained by this operation, appears to 
the naked eye to be nothing but a very fine sand ; but, with the 
assistance of a lens, it is distinctly seen that each grain is a part or 
a complete mould of one of the two gyrogonites, or a broken 
fragment of stems, the structure of which differs in no way 
from that of the stems of the genus Chara. Nitric acid pro- 
duces no effect upon these parts, which renders it probable 
that they have been transformed into silex. When nitric 
acid is poured upon the dried, and even the fresh, capsules of 
recent chara, it causes a lively effervescence, produced by the 
decomposition of a great quantity of carbonate of lime, which is 
contained in the outer envelope of the capsule, as well as in 
the stems. This effervescence destroys the opaque part of the 
envelope ; and the nucleus, which is almost, in every respect, si- 
milar to those that have become fossil, remains untouched in the 
liquid. It ought to be remarked, on this occasion, that, in the 
calcareous rocks which contain fossil gyrogonites, it is the outer 
envelope that has been preserved, while the nucleus has disap- 
peared, — a result the reverse of what the siliceous rocks dis- 
close. 

M . C. Prevost found the same gyrogonite in the fresh-water 
flints of Nogent le Rotrou, which were given him by M. J. 
Desnoyers, who has also some specimens of a greenish compact 
limestone, resembling, in its mineralogical appearance, some 
beds of Jura limestone, of the Department de la Manche ; in 
which country the specimens were found in digging wells. They 
contain a globular gyrogonite, which differs, in some points, 
from the G. medicaginula. Some fresh- water marls of the vi- 
cinity of Epernay, collected by M. Deshayes, are filled with 
gyrogonites which are also globular, but less perfectly so, and 
larger than the G. medicaginula, and, perhaps, similar to those 
already pointed out by M. Bigot de Morogues. There has also 
been observed in the deposits, superior to the Fountainbleau 
sandstone, above Valvin, a constant variety of elongated gyro- 



M. Prcvost on a ^ew Gyrogonite.. 63 

gonitc, larger than that which forms the j)iuu'i|)al object ot the 
present notice. If, to all these indications, there Ikj added the 
description of tubercular gi/rogonite^ discovered by Mr Charles 
Lyell in the Isle of Wight, it will be seen that the genus of 
fossil Chara is an object of much interest to the botanist and 
geologist. There remain, without doubt, many fossil species 
to be discovered, but it is of importance that the gyrOgonites 
receive specific names only after a preliminary examination of 
the Chara, at present existing, may have fixed the limit of the 
possible differences in the capsules of the same plant, and deter- 
mined the value of the parts which are capable of furnishing 
distinctive characters. This philosophical object cannot be bet- 
ter attained than by the naturalist who first discovered the ex- 
istence of fossil Charae ; and the circumstance, that M. Leman 
is at present occupied with a work on the subject, prevents the 
author of this notice from bestowing a new name upon the gy- 
rogonite which he imagines he was the first to observe. 



Notice regarding Fossil Remains ^ound in Ava. 



T] 



HE Calcutta Government Gazette contains the following 
account of the fossil remains brought to Calcutta, on account of 
Government, from the Burmese Empire, by the late mission to 
Ava. 

" Of the fossil bones, the most numerous and remarkable are 
those of an animal about the size of a large elephant, stated to be 
the bones of the mammoth. This is a mistake. The mammoth 
is an extinct species of the elephant, differing from the two living 
species, the African and Indian. The remains of this animal 
have only been found in Europe, and chiefly in Siberia. The 
Burman fossil bones are unquestionably those of the mastodon, 
as may be clearly seen, by comparing, as I have done, the grind- 
ers with those of the Indian elephant, as well as the accurate de- 
scriptions and representations of both in the work of Cuvier. In 
the different species of elephants, the crown of the moiares, or 
grinders, is marked by superficial transverse bands. In the 
mastodon, the form is widely different, the crown being marked 



64 Notice regarding Fossil Remains Jbund in Ava. 

by deep transverse furrows and ridges, the latter divided into 
two or liiore obtuse pyramidal points or mammillae. 

It was this singular appearance which made the mastodon 
a long time be considered erroneously as a carnivorous animal. 
Five species of the genus mastodoix are supposed by Cuvier to 
have been discovered, and I imagine the bones now under con- 
sideration will be found to constitute a sixth species ; for the mo- 
lares, on which he principally rests for his specific distinctions, 
differ very materially from the representations which he has 
given of the ascertained species. The mastodon of Ava, if it 
be a distinct species, will be found equal in size to the great 
mastodon of the Ohio, which is reckoned to be equal in size to 
the Indian elephant. A grinder, which I examined, measures, 
in circumference, between sixteen and seventeen inches, and the 
circumference of a humerus round the condyles is not less than 
twenty-five inches. Several of the grinders and bones, however, 
apparently of an animal of the same species, are much smaller 
than these, but this is probably on account of their belonging 
to younger individuals. I need hardly observe that our mas- 
todon, like others of the same genus, and all the species of the 
elephant, had tusks. Several fragments, but no entire tusks, 
are in the collection. 

" The next most remarkable remains are those of the fossil 
rhinoceros. There are several molares of an animal of this ge- 
nus in the collection. Cuvier describes four species of the fossil 
rhinoceros to have been ascertained, all differing from the living 
species. The bones, now found, bear a striking resemblance to 
one of the species represented by Cuvier ; but the molares are 
considerably larger than any of those which he has represented. 
The collection seems to me to afford evidence of the existence 
of two other animals of the same family with the elephant, mas- 
todon and rhinoceros ; at least, teeth, which I have seen in it, 
exactly resemble two species of a genus represented in the work 
of Cuvier, and to which he gives the name of Anihracotherium. 

" The other teeth of quadrupeds which exist, and which I am 
able to recognise, are those of an animal of the horse-kind, and 
those of an animal of the ruminant family, apparently of the 
size of the buffalo. 

" Among the remains are numerous specimens of those of a 



Notice regarding Fossil Remahis foimd in Aviu 65 

crocodile, which I conjecture to resemble the long-nosed alliga- 
tor of the Ganges, the native name of which !ias been corrupted 
by naturalists into GaviaL It is singular that this description 
of alligator, as far as we know, is not at present found in the 
rivers of Ava. 

In the same situation with the bones were found considerable 
quantities of fossil shells. Some of these were filled with blue 
clay, but far tlic greater number with hard siliceous matter. 
The shells which I have seen are of the genus Turbo and genus 
TelUna *, and the productions of fresh water, although they 
do not, at the same time, resemble the present shells of the lakes 
and rivers of the neighbourhood. 

The fossil wood is found in the same situation with the bones 
and shells. This is in vast quantity, the hills and ravines being 
strewed with blocks and fragments of various sizes, some of 
them five and six feet in circumference. 

The fossil remains now enumerated are found on the left bank 
of the Irawadi, and within four and six miles inland fVom the 
river, between the twentieth and twenty-first degrees of north 
latitude, and close to the celebrated wells of Petroleum. The 
aspect of the country is very remarkable. It is composed of 
sand hills and narrow ravines, very sterile, and, for a tropical 
country, very deficient in vegetation. Among the sand there 
are beds of gravel, with iron-stone and calcareous breccia. The 
whole is evidently a diluvial formation. The few scattered 
trees which exist in this tract, consist of some Acacias, a Celtis, 
a Hhus, a Barringtonia, a ZizT/phus, and some Indian fig trees. 
To say whether or not the fossil timber found belongs to the 
same species as these, would be a matter of difficulty : but, up- 
on the whole, it may be said that the blocks appear too large 
to warrant a belief that it docs. 

The fossil bones, as well as the shells and wood, are all found 
superficially, or rather indeed upon the surface, for all of them 
were more or less exposed. Notwithstanding this exposure, 
they have suffered very little decomposition. They are not 
rolled, nor have they suffered from attrition, for their sharp 
edges and processes are preserved with great distinctness ; tlic 
inference from which is, that the individuals to which they be- 
• Probably of the genera Cyclosioma and Cyclas, — Ed. 

OCTOBER— DECEMBER 1827. B 



66 Notice regarding Fossil Remains found in Ava. 

longed died, or were destroyed, on tlie spot en which they are 
now found. In one respect the bones differ essentially from all 
fossil bones of which I have heard. They are complete petri- 
factions, and all of them more or less deeply coloured with iron. 
Their substance is siliceous, and some of them are so hard as to 
strike fire with steel. This no doubt accounts, in a good mea- 
sure, for their perfect state of preservation. 

The wild quadrupeds of the neighbourhood, at present, are a 
species of leopard, cat, deer, and the hog. The bones of these do 
not seem to exist among the fossil remains, nor is there any evi- 
dence of those of the elephant, or of any carnivorous animal. 
As amongst similar remains in other parts of the world, not/ji 
vestige is to be discovered here of the human skeleton. 

I need hardly attempt the refutation of the idle notion which 
has been entertained by many, that the fossil remains found on 
the banks of the Irawadi have been generated by a petrifying 
quality in the water of that river. Abundance of organic mat- 
ter may be seen on the shores of the Irawadi, both animal and 
vegetable, undergoing the common process of decomposition as 
elsewhere. There can, I think, be no doubt that the fossil 
bones, shells, and wood, are here, as similar remains are admit- 
ted to be elsewhere, all the result of the last, or one of the last, 
great catastrophes which changed the face of the present globe. 
They are, in fact, the remains of a former state of our world, 
when the greater number of the present races of animals had no 
existence, and, above all, before man was called into existence. 

The collection is altogether both extensive and curious, and 
the more worthy of attention, since it is, as far as I am aware, 
the first of any moment that has ever been discovered in the 
East. 

Report made to the Royal Academy of Sciences of Paris, upon 
a Memoir by M. Constant Prevost, entitled An Eocaminatio7i 
of the Geological Questicm, whetJier the Continents which we 
ijiJtabit Imve been repeatedly submersed by the Sea. By 

Mess. CUVIEB & COEDIER, 

JL HE author, in the first place, endeavours to prove, that, 
among the sedimentary and alluvial formations j there is no bed 



On the Svhmcrgence ofContments. 67 

that could be considered as representing an old continental sur- 
face, that might have been long covered with terrestrial vegeta- 
bles, and inhabited by land animals, before being enveloped by 
marine deposits. He shews, that he has in vain sought the 
traces of old continental surfaces in contact with the marine and 
fresh water formations, which alternate in several parts of France, 
Germany, and England. He unfolds the reasons for thinking 
that the remains of vegetables, which are sometimes found in a 
vertical position in sandstone of the coal formation, owe this po- 
sition only to chance. The presence of remains of mammifera, 
whether in the diluvian strata properly so called, or in caves an- 
terior to these strata, appears to him to afford no better evidence 
that the sea has overwhelmed a soil previously inhabited ; and 
he ultimately arrives at the conclusion, that the countries which 
are occupied by alluvial and sedimentary deposits, were covered 
by the waters during the whole time that these deposits required 
for their formation. 

The author then carefully enumerates the principal circum- 
stances which characterize the formation of the deposits which 
take place in our own days in lakes, at the mouths of rivers, on the 
shores of the ocean, and in all the parts of its basin which have 
little depth. Among these deposits, he distinguishes those 
which result from more or less rapid currents, and those which 
proceed from quiet precipitations; those which belong to the 
shores, and those formed in the open sea. He calls to mind the 
fact, that rivers frequently carry out to great distances continen- 
tal organic remfdns of all descriptions, and that the waters of the 
sea, accidentally raised from their basin, sometimes make mo- 
mentary irruptions over surfaces of great extent, which are com- 
monly occupied by marshes, lagoons, and lakes, the bottom of 
which is incontestably formed by deposits filled with fluviatile 
and terrestrial organic remains. He makes various remarks up- 
on the nature of the moUusca, which live isolated or in families, 
near the shores, or at a distance from them. Lastly, he shews, 
that, by the concurrence of presently existing causes, the English 
Channel (La Manche) ought to contain alternations of strata ana- 
logous to those which constitute the lower part of many tertiary 
formations ; that >verc the level of the' sea lowered twenty-five 
fathoms, this strait would be changed into a vast lake ; and that 



"68 On the Submergence of Continents. 

after a certain lapse of time, there vvould necessarily be formed 
a series of strata analogous to those which occur in the upper 
part of the same deposits of various countries. 

Proceeding from these data, and supposing, in general, that 
the level of the sea has actually imdergone a slow and progres- 
sive lowering from the origin of things, the author undertakes 
to explain the manner in which the tertiary deposits of the 
neighbourhood of Paris have been formed, as well as those 
which constitute their continuation, whether extending to the 
Loire, or across the Channel in the neighbourhood of the Isle of 
Wight. Considering all these deposits as belonging to an an- 
cient basiuj he represents their constitution by means of two 
transverse sections, in which he has brought together all the ob- 
servations that have hitherto been collected, and which afford a 
precise idea of the alternations, mixtures, and entanglements 
which the various deposits present. The author is of opinion that 
these sections are sufficient, with the aid of the explanations an- 
nexed, to shew that marine strata of chalk, coarse limestone, 
marls, and superior sandstones, have been formed in the same 
basin, and under the same waters, as the plastic clay, the sili- 
ceous limestone, and the gypsum itself, which essentially con- 
tain remains of terrestrial and fluviatile animals and vegetables ; 
but he does not fail to add to his system of explanation, all the 
details and inductions which appear to him calculated to insure 
probability. The following is a brief statement of his views. 

First Epoch. — A calm and deep sea deposits the two varie- 
ties of chalk which constitute the sides and bottom of the great 
tertiary basin in question. 

Second Epoch. — In consequence of the progressive lowering 
of the ocean, the great basin becomes a gulf, in which matters 
carried down by the rivers form chalky brecciae and plastic clay, 
are soon covered by the marine spoils of the first coarse lime- 
stone. 

Third Epoch. — The deposits are interrupted by a commo- 
tion which breaks and sensibly displaces the strata. The basin 
becomes a salt lake, traversed by voluminous currents of water 
coming alternately from the sea and the continents, and which 
produce the mixtures and entanglements presented by the se- 



On tJte Submergence of Coniinenls. C9 

cond coarse limestone, the siliceous limestone, and the gypsum 
deposits. 

Fourth Epoch. — Irruption of a great quantity of fresli water, 
charged with clays and marls, in the midst of which there are 
still found some deposits of marine bivalve shells. The basin 
is now only an immense brackish pool. 

Fifth Epoch. — The basin ceases to communicate with the 
ocean, and the level of its waters falls below that of the waters 
of the sea. The muddy deposits of the continental waters con- 
tinue. 

Sixth Epoch. — Accidental irruption of the ocean, which de- 
posits sands and the upper marine sandstones. Immediately 
after, the basin, nearly filled up, contains only fresh water of 
little depth ; it receives fewer streams ; vegetables and animals 
are established in it ; the buhrstones and the fresh water lime- 
stone are deposited. 

Seventh and Last Epoch. — The succession of these various 
operations is terminated by the diluvian cataclysm. 

From the preceding analysis, it will be seen that the object 
of M. Prevost's memoir is not to make known new facts, but to 
bring together a great number of curious facts, to discuss their 
characters, to determine their influence, to compare those which 
appear capable of comparison, and to endeavour to get at the 
causes by means of certain suppositions which may be more or 
less probable. Attempts of this kind have certainly their im- 
portance and their utility in geology ; they present, liowever, 
great difficulties, and we ought to be the more indulgent to M. 
Prevost for having engaged in them, that he has done so with 
remarkable ingenuity. We have therefore the honour of pro- 
posing to the Academy that his memoir be printed in the Ke^ 
cueil des Savans Etrangers. 



On tlve History and Constitution of Benefit or Friendly Societies. 
By Mr W. Fraser, Edinburgh. Continued from p. 296 
of former Volume. 

N the preceding Number of this Journal a summary was given 
of the investigations of the Highland Society of Scotland, and of a 
Select Committee of the House of Commons in 1825, into the 



70 Mr W. Fraser on the History and Constitution of 

average rate or Law of Sickness among mankind, as deduced 
from the experience of numerous Friendly Societies in Scotland, 
and from the Monthly Reports of the whole army quartered in 
Britain during the years 1823 and 1824. It was likewise stat- 
ed, that another Select Committee had been appointed by the 
House of Commons in 1827 to make farther inquiries into the 
same subject, and other matters connected with Health and Life 
Assurance. The Report of this latter Committee was presented 
to the House at the close of the last session of Parliament, and, 
along with the Minutes of Evidence on which it was founded, 
ordered to be printed. This interesting document contains 
much additional information on subjects of the utmost import- 
ance to all classes of the community ; a brief detail of which shall 
be given in the following pages. 

The Report commences with stating, that the Committee of 
1825 having entered minutely into all matters connected with 
Friendly Societies, the Committee of 1827 have not gone into 
any farther investigation as to sickness, but have chiefly confin- 
ed their attention to those points upon which the former Com- 
mittee had come to no conclusion. The opinion, however, of 
Messrs Finlaison and Davies, two eminent actuaries, was re- ' 
quested as to the proper contribution required for a given bene- 
fit during sickness ; and these gentlemen accordingly gave in 
a report, exhibiting in a very brief form, all that is essentially 
necessary for securing the stability of such societies as limit their 
benefits to allowances during sickness, in old age, and at death. 
These comprehensive rules^ which the Committee have recom- 
mended for general use, will be given when we come to treat of 
the rates of contributions and benefits ; but it may here be ob- 
served, that, in giving their opinion, these actuaries had no other 
materials from which to calculate the probable rate of sickness, 
than those which had been before the Committee of 1825. 
Their data, therefore, consisted of a rate of sickness assumed by 
Dr Price— of that deduced by the Highland Society from the 
experience of numerous Friendly Societies in Scotland — of the 
rate assumed by the Reverend Mr Becher of Southwell, in 
Nottinghamshire, — and of that found to prevail in the army 
from the official returns at the Adjutaiit-Gcnerars Office. This 
latter rate, however, we formerly remarked, could not, for the 



Benefit or Friendly Societies, 71 

reasons then assigned, be applicable to the members of Friendly 
Societies ; and it appears that Messrs Finlaison and Davies are 
now of the same opinion, for they state, " that this is a rate of 
sickness which certainly exceeds all estimate of what has hither- 
to prevailed among the labouring classes, and arises, no doubt, 
from causes to which the members of friendly societies in gene- 
ral would not be subject."" But these gentlemen also state it to 
be their opinion, that the rate of sickness reported to the High- 
land Society falls short of the proportion that would be experien- 
ced in the practice of Friendly Societies in England, in the same 
degree that the .sickness of the army is excessive ; and they have 
therefore taken a mean between the two, in calculating their 
rate of contribution for benefit during sickness. As, however, 
this mean is, under 50 years of age, double that reported by 
more than 70 Friendly Societies in Scotland, comprising up- 
wards of 100,000 members, — and, as no reason whatever is giv- 
en by these gentlemen why the rate of sickness should be so very 
much higher among the same classes in England, the accuracy 
of their conclusion may at least be doubted. At all events, as 
no additional information has been obtained on this subject ,by 
the last Committee, we cannot but still adhere to our former 
opinion, — that the law of sickness deduced by the Highland So- 
ciety of Scotland is the most satisfactorily authenticated of any 
yet published. 

Law of Mortality. 
The next, and perhaps the most important, question that 
falls to be considered, is that regarding the rate or Law of Mor- 
tality. 

Tables of Mortality, it is well known, are intended to shew how man/ 
persons, out of a given number at any age, may be expected to survive to a 
nigher age ; and, consequently, these tables form the basis of all calculations for 
Health and Life Assurance. Such tables have been hitherto formed from regis- 
ters of mortality, which usually include the marriages and births, as well as bu- 
rials— from bodies of annuitants — and from actual surveys or enumerations of 
the proportion of deaths among persons living at the same ages in countries 
and in towns. 

Mortuary registers were begun to be kept in Germany about the end of the 
15th century ; and, in 1538, the incumbent of every parish in England was 
ordered, by the Privy Council, to keep an exact account of all the weddings, 
christenings, and burials within his district. This duty, however, seems to 
have been for a long time very ill discharged; and it was not till about 1690, 
that the ages were first inserted in the buls kept at Breslaw in Silesia, and 
not till 172H, in those kept at London. In 1749 the government of Sweden 
*' established what in this country would probably be called a Board of Popu- 
lation, but is there denominated Tabclvarkcty for reducing into convenient 
forms the extracts from the parish registers, and the returns from the magis- 



72 Mr W. Frascr on the History and Const'itntion of 

trates of the numbers of the people, which the governors of the different pro- 
vinces are required to state to the commissioners appointed for these purposes. 
The extracts from the registers are made and transmitted annually, but the 
enumerations only once in three years. Printed forms, with proper blanks, 
distinguishing the ages and sexes, both of the living and the dead, with the dis- 
eases the deaths were occasioned by, are distributed throughout the country 
to enable the people to make these returns correctly and uniformly ; and the 
information thus acquired, respecting the state of population and mortality, is 
much more correct and satisfactory than what has been obtained in any other 
place of considerable extent."* 

The first table of mortality was constructed by Dr Halley from the regis- 
ter kept atBreslaw for the five years ending with 1691 ; and Mr William Kersse- 
boom of the Hague, published a tract in 1742, in which he gave a table of 
mortality formed from registers, kept for nearly 130 years, of many thousand 
life annuitants in Holland and West Friesland. JNIr Nicholas Struyck also 
published at Amsterdam, about the same time, two tables of mortality from 
registers of annuitants kept there for about 35 years, — one of these tables 
shewing the mortality of females, and the other that of males, but both, when 
combined, agreeing very nearly with the table of Dr Halley. In 1742, like- 
wise, Mr Thomas Simpson gave a table of mortality for liondon ; and in 174G, 
M. Deparcieux published an essay at Paris, in which he inserted six ne»v and 
valuable tables of mortality, one of them constructed from the lists of the no- 
minees of the French Tontines, principally for the years 1G89 and 1696, and 
the others from the mortuary registers of various religious houses in France. 
Four of these shewed the mortality of the monks of different orders, and the 
fifth that among the nuns of different convents in Paris. Dr Price, in the 
first edition of his Observations on Reversionary Payments, published in 1771? 
gave three new tables of mortality, constructed from the London, Norwich, 
and Northampton bills ; and in his second edition in 1772, five other tables, 
likewise new, for various places on the Continent and in England. In his 
fourth edition, which appeared in 1783, he gave some other new tables of mor- 
tality, for Warrington and Chester ; likewise for all Sweden and Finland, and 
for Stockholm separately, in which the sexes were distinguished These latter 
tables for Sweden and Finland, were the first which had been constructed 
from data that could be relied on, being enumerations made at seven different pe- 
riods, of the living, and registers of the annual deaths, in each interval of age, 
among the whole population for 21 years ending 1776, (Stockholm excepted, it 
being for 9 years only) and the materials for which had been communicated to 
him by M. Wargentin, one of the Commissioners of the Tabelvarket. In 1806 
M. Duvillard published a work at Paris on the Influence of the Small Pox 
on Human Mortality, in which he gave a table of mortality for France, found- 
ed on observations made from extensive materials collected previous to the 
French Ilevolution. Mr Joshua Milne, in his Treatise on Annuities and Insu- 
rance, published in 1815, likewise gave two new Swedish Tables of mortality, 
exhibiting that of the sexes both separately and together, and deduced from 
the Swedish observations for the 25 years ending with 1795. He also furnished 
a table constructed from very accurate observations made at Carlisle upon 
a mean number of 8177 persons of various ages, ranks, and conditions, by Dr 
Heysham, who, for the 9 years from 1779 to 1787, carefully preserved the bills 
of mortality of that city, supplied their deficiencies, and kept correct accounts 
of two enumerations of the people, in which their ages were taken. And, last- 
ly, Mr Milne gave another table of mortality from the Swedish Observations 
for the 5 years ending in 1805, in his article on the Law of Human Mortality 
inserted in the volume of the Supplement to the Encyclopaedia Britannica pub- 
lished in 1824. 

Such were the principal tables of mortality up to this latter date ; but the 
one which had been for a long period almost uniformly relied on for practi- 
cal purposes in this country, was that denominated the Northampton Table, 
constructed by Dr Price from the mortuary registers of that town for 46 
years ending with 1 780. A pretty general opinion, however, had for many years 
prevailed, that this table exhibited the rate of mortality much higher than what 

♦ Supplement to Encyclopaedia Britannica, art. Bills of Mobtalitv. 



Benefit or Friendl?/ Societies. 73 

actually occurred, but of this no perfectly satisfactory evidence had, till lately, 
been obtained. The three Swedish Tallies, although perhaps not applicable 
to this country, were always acknowledged to be formed from the most correct 
data, being founded upon observations neither confined to a short period 
of time nor to a small extent of territory. The two latter of these tables ex- 
hibit an increased duration of life in that country ; and all the three represent 
the rate of mortality there as ])eing much less than that shewn by the Nor- 
thampton Table. Although the Carlisle Table gives a still lower rate than the 
Swedish, yet, as the observations from which it had been deduced were more 
complete than any which had previously existed in Britain, this table was 
thought l)y many to exhibit more accurately than any otlier the duration of 
human life in this kingdom. 

The difference of mortality in the sexes, and also the disproportion of male 
and female births, were found by Dr Price, from very extensive investiga- 
tions, to be as follows : 

According to the registers of several large towns in Germany, it appeared 
that the still-born males and females were as three of the former to two of 
the latter ; and from a very extensive collection of facts derived from the 
registers of various places, both in this country and on the Continent, it was 
ascertained that there were also more males every where born alive than fe- 
males, — the total number of males born in those places, during certain periods, 
being 2,388,950, and that of females 2,271,201, or in the proportion of 20 to 
IJ) ; and throughout France, in the ratio of 18 to 17- But from equally satis, 
factory obsei*vations, it was likewise ascertained, that, from some peculiarity 
inimical to life in the male constitution, the males were reduced to a lesser 
number than the females before the expiration of the first year of age. In some 
situations also, more than a half, and in others more than a third or fourth, 
of both males and females were found to die before the fifth year of age. 

In large towns, the births were fewer, in proportion to the marriages, than 
in the country ; and the mortality was so great, especially among children, that 
had it not been for a continual influx from the country, the population of large 
towns would have rapidly decreased. 

The mortality of males continues to be greater at all ages, throughout 
the whole period of life, than that of females, — the difference being, in Dr 
Price's time, least in the whole kingdom of Sweden, greater at Chester, and 
greatest at Stockholm. The number of deaths or '* decrements among males, 
increase regularly through every period of life, from 10 to 75; but among 
females, this increase is interruj)ted for a few years after 45. This cannot 
be an accidental irregularity, the numbers being too great, and the period 
for which the observations have been made too long, to admit of such an 
irregularity. Probably, therefore, it must be accounted for in the folloAving 
manner. From the age of 30 to 35, the number of manied, ^d conse- 
quently of child-bearing women, is greater than at any other ages ; and this 
raises the decrements in that division of life. After 35, this number is dimi- 
nished, and the decrements fall. Between 40 and 45, the critical periods come 
on, and the decrements are raised again ; but after 45, the number of deaths 
arising from hence becoming less, the decrements become also less, but con- 
tinue afterwards to increase, with increasing years, till they become greatest 
at 74 or 75. It is, however, remarkable, that notwithstanding the peculiar 
dangers to which the lives of females are subjected, from the causes just men- 
tioned, there are no ages at which a smaller proporticm of them does not die 
than of males, except the ages in which the number of deliveries is greatest, 
and that even tJien the probabilities of living among them are nearly equal to 
those among males*." It may likewise be mentioned, that females are found 
to live, upon an average, from 3 to 4 years longer than males ; and married 
women longer than unmarried. 

But however accurately the rate of male and female mortality may be dedu- 
ced from observations made among the population at large, it must be evident 
that such a rate will not correspond with the experience of Life Assurance Socie- 
ties, whose members must be all in good health at the period of their admission. 
Accordingly, in almost every such society, the actual number of deaths among 

• Price on Reversionary Payments, vol. ii r« 408, 7th Edit. 1812. 



74 Mr W. Frascr on the Histori/ and Comtitution of 

their members, for the first 10 years at least after entry, fall greatly short of 
that represented by the tables of mortality ; and, of course, this difference 
will be the greater, the more incorrectly any table in use may represent the 
average rate of mortality among mankind to be. Thus, in the Equitable As- 
surance Company of London, whose premiums are regulated by the Nor- 
thampton Table, it was ascertained by Mr Morgan, the eminent actuary 
of that association, upon a calculation for 30 years, ending with 1810, and 
upon 83,201 members, that the mortality which had occurred was only to the 
claims which might have been expected, from the age of 20 to 30 as 1 to 2; 
30 to 40 as 3 to 6 ; 40 to 50 as 3 to 5 ; 50 to 60 as 6 to 7 ; 60 to 80 as 4 to 5, 
and in all ages together, in the ratio of 2 to 3. 

Any rates of contributions, therefore, calculated from the Northampton 
Table for sums payable at death, must be necessarily more than adequate to 
defray these benefits, and hence the principal source of the large surpluses or 
profits that are always realised upon those assurances. Indeed, according to 
the above experience, the premiums charged by the Equitable, and, till lately, 
by all the other offices, for sums payable at death, are 30 per cent, higher, and 
in many cases more, than are necessary to provide for the sums assured. 

In the case of annuities, however, calculated from the Northampton Table, 
the effect is generally the reverse ; for, as none will purchase these benefits but 
those who are in the best state of health, and of strong constitutions, it has usu- 
ally been found that they live, on an average, considerably beyond the time ex- 
pected. Comparatively few offices, therefore, have schemes for annuities, 
and such as do insure these benefits, generally purchase them from govern- 
ment, which is now ascertained to be losing considerably every year by such 
transactions. 

While, therefore, the premiums for annuities calculated by the Northamp- 
ton Table have been found greatly insufficient, the premiums for sums pay- 
able at death have been as much in excess ; and as the great mass of assurances 
consists of this latter benefit, such excess had become an oppressive and un- 
just tax on the higher classes of the public. 

But inaccurate mortality tables must, if possible, prove still more hurtful to 
Friendly Societies, than even to the higher classes of mutual assurance associa- 
tions ; for, on the one hand, the members of those societies are ill able to pay 
more than is necessarily required, while, on the other, an inadequate contribu- 
tion would prove ruinous in the extreme. Hence an accurate table of morta- 
lity is of the utmost importance in the computation of their rates of contribu- 
tions and allowances ; and it therefore became a serious question, first with 
the Committee of the Highland Society of Scotland, and next with those of 
the House of Commons, what table of mortality ought to be adopted. 

The Highland Society confined their inquiry among Friendly Societies to 
age and ^ckness only ; but this they afterwards regretted, as it was found that 
the mortality of their members might have been also pretty accurately ob- 
tained. As already mentioned, the committee had therefore to consider what 
tables of mortality could best be relied on, and applied for the opinion of seve- 
ral eminent calculators on the subject. Among many communications which 
were in consequence received, the following are extracts from one made by 
Dr Hamilton of Aberdeen. 

" The choice of proper tables for ascertaining the rate of mortality, is a point 
of the greatest importance. I have not seen Mr Milne's Treatise on Annui- 
ties, containing the Carlisle Tables, but observe that they give the probabili- 
ties of life higher than any tables I am acquainted with. The Swedish Tables, 
given by Dr Price, are also high, and give an intermediate result between the 
Northampton and Carlisle Tables. I think the calculations should not pro- 
ceed upon one set of tables only, but upon the medium of several esteemed 
the best. Perhaps the three above mentioned (Northampton, Swedish, and 
Carlisle), are as good as any we are at present in possession of. I consider it, 
however, as a desideratum to obtain tables founded upon more recent observa- 
tions than those which we at present use, which, with the exception of the 
Carlisle one, are founded upon bills of mortality kept long ago." — " Now, it 
is generally believed that there has been a sensible increase in the duration of 
Uuman life in this and other civilized countries, within the last half century, 



Benefit or Friendly Societies, 



75 



which may be accounted lor from more cleanly habits, the l>etter treatment of 
diseases among the poor, the practice of vaccination, &c. The belief of this 
is so prevalent, that some of the insurance oflices have altered their terms ; 
and the Carlisle tables seem to confirm the opinion. The effect of an increase 
of longevity is to increase the value of an annuity for life ; to lower the tenns 
upon which insurance for life may be effected ; to ameliorate the terms for an- 
nuities to widows ; but it increases the demands upon Friendly Societies for 
the relief of sickness and old age." — " Although the possession of more tables, 
founded upon recent observations, is to be desired, we must, in any present 
scheme, make the best of those we have •.'* 

Accordingly, upon considering various tables of mortality, and after the 
most mature deliberation, it was resolved to found the computations upon a 
medium derived from the Northampton, Carlisle, and latest Swedisli tables ; 
and, from such data, Mr John Lyon, now one of the masters of the High School, 
Licith, and an able calculator, constructed a new table of mortality. In the 
formation of this table, Mr Lyon reduced the three tables, of which it is an 
average, to the same radix^ or number, at the completion of 20 years of age (it 
being only after that age that such tables are chiefly useful, at least for 
Friendly Societies); added the corresponding numbers together, and assumed 
1005 as the radix for a new table, using the nearest whole numbers to avoid 
fractions. Before, however, giving this table, it may not be superfluous to 
contrast those tables from which it has been deduced, in decades, or periods 
of ten years, by which means some idea will be formed of the propriety of the 
rate of mortality adopted. According to those three tables, then, the propor- 
tion of the deaths to the living, at different ages, is as follows ; 



AOES. 


Northampton. 


Carlislk. 


Latkst Swedish. 


Between 20 and 30 


1 to 63.7 


1 to 132.60 


1 to 134.86 


30 — 40 


1 — 53.5 


1 — 94.44 


1 — 102.96 


40 — 50 


1 — 41.7 


1 — 69.72 


1— 70.07 


50 — 60 


1 — 29.9 


1 — 54.74 


1— 39.81 


60 — 70 


1 - 20.3 


1— 24.24 


1 — 20.43 


70 — 80 


1 — 11.0 


1— 12.04 


1 — 8 95 


80 — 90 


1— 6.0 


1 — 5.69 


1 — 4.30 


Above 90 


1— 2.4 


1 — 3.50 


1 — 2.38 



Thus it appears that the Northampton Table represents the rate of morta- 
lity, in the earlier ages, to be double that represented by the Carlisle ; 1 out 
of 63 persons, of any age between 20 and 30, dying annually according to the 
former table, while there is only 1 out of 132 according to the latter. The 
following is the average of the three, and also the average of the number of 
the living to those who died at the same ages in the city of Glasgow, as cor- 
rectly ascertained by Mr Cleland, during the year 1822, the one succeeding 
that in which the last census was taken, and in which the number of deaths 
differed only by four from that of the preceding year. The table of the High- 
land Society represents the average rate of males and females combined. 



Ages. 


Highland Society 

AVBRAOB. 


GLASGOW. 1 


Males. 


Females. \ Both. | 


Between 20 and 30 


1 to 95.50 


1 to 81.5 


1 to 137.5 


1 to 107.5 


30 — 40 


1 — 76.67 


1 — 73.5 


1— 81.1 


1— 77.5 


40 — 50 


1 — 58.14 


1 _ 58.7 


1- 74.2 


1 — 66.0 


50 — 60 


1 — 40.28 


1 — 41.5 


I— 47.5 


1 — 44.6 


60 — 70 


1 — 21.90 


1 — 20.7 


1 — 23.6 


1 — 22.3 


70 — 80 


1 _ 10.48 


1— 8.1 


1— 9.6 


1 — a9 


80 — 90 


1 - 5.17 


1 — , 5.9 


1 — 6.6 


1— 6.3 


Above 90 


1 — 2.50 


1 — 1.6 


1— 2.9 


1 — 2.4 



• Highland Society's Rqx)tt ou Baicfit or Fricmlly Societies, p. M. Edin. 1884. 



76 Mr W. Fraser on the Historij ayid Constitution of 

Here the difference between male and female mortality is very strikingly 
shewn by the Glasgow Table, — a fact which, although well known to those ac- 
customed to such investigations, has been hitherto seldom contemplated by the 
great majority of the public. But, as the average of these two tables for males 
and females combined, come so near to each other, in ])eriods of ten years, be- 
ing, according to the Highland Society's average for all ages between 20 and 
60, one in 7G.77 annually, and, according to the Glasgow observations, one in 
83.66, it may be presumed that the following Table will represent pretty ac- 
curately the mortality of the working classes of this country, at all ages from 
that of 20 to the vitmost period of life. The average number alive, through- 
out the year, is a mean between those alive at the beginning, and those alive at 
the end of each year. 



MORTALITY TABLE, exhibiting the Law of Mortality after 20 years 
of Age, or the Number of Persons alive at the beginning of each year, till 
all are dead, out of 1005, all commencing the 21st year of their age at the 
same time ; — ^being an average of the Northampton, Carlisle, and latest 
Swedish Tables of Mortality *. 





o c 


o ^ 


(U c 




i-s 


O c, 


<a a 




o c 


o ^: 


<U g 




A-^ 


if 


> 5 . 




11 


So • 




^•^ 


A s 


> o . 


Age. 


ill 


1:1 


Age. 


ill 


ifi 


Age. 








21 


|8S 


1-^ 


lis 




lii 


3. a 


727 


71 


s 5 rt 


3.2 


lu 


1005 


10 


1000 


46 


733 


13 


324 


23 


313 


22 


995 


10 


990 


47 


720 


13 


714 


72 


301 


23 


290 


23 


985 


10 


980 


48 


707 


13 


701 


73 


278 


22 


267 


24 


975 


10 


970 


49 


694 


13 


688 


74 


256 


22 


245 


25 


965 


10 


960 


50 


681 


13 


675 


75 


234 


21 


224 


26 


955 


10 


950 


51 


668 


14 


661 


76 


213 


21 


203 


27 


945 


10 


940 


52 


654 


14 


647 


77 


192 


20 


182 


28 


935 


10 


930 


53 


640 


14 


633 


78 


172 


19 


163 


29 


925 


10 


920 


54 


626 


14 


619 


79 


153 


18 


1'14 


30 


915 


10 


910 


55 


612 


15 


605 


80 


135 


17 


127 


31 


905 


10 


900 


56 


597 


15 


590 


81 


118 


16 


110 


32 


895 


11 


890 


57 


582 


15 


575 


82 


102 


15 


95 


33 


884 


11 


879 


58 


567 


15 


560 


83 


87 


14 


80 


34 


873 


11 


868 


59 


552 


16 


544 


84 


73 


13 


67 


35 


862 


11 


857 


60 


536 


16 


528 


85 


60 


11 


55 


36 


851 


11 


846 


61 


520 


16 


512 


86 


49 


10 


44 


37 


840 


11 


835 


62 


504 


17 


496 


87 


39 


9 


35 


38 


829 


11 


824 


63 


487 


17 


479 


88 


30 


7 


27 


39 


818 


12 


812 


64 


470 


18 


461 


89 


23 


6 


20 


40 


806 


12 


800 


65 


452 


19 


443 


90 


17 


5 


15 


41 


794 


12 


788 


6G 


433 


20 


423 


91 


12 


4 


10 


42 


782 


12 


776 


67 


413 


21 


403 


92 


8 


3 


7 


43 


770 


12 


764 


68 


392 


22 


381 


93 


5 


2 


4 


44 


758 


12 


752 


69 


370 


23 


359 


94 


3 


2 


2 


45 


746 


13 


740 


70 


347 


23 


336 


95 


1 


1 


1 



Such, then, was the rate of mortality adopted by the Highland Society of 
Scotland in calculating the necessary contributions for allowances in Sickness, 
Deferred Annuities, and sums payable at Death, to the Members of Friendly 
Societies ; and it will next be seen from the evidence taken before the two 
Select Committees of the House of Commons, how far the above Table may 
be considered as suitable for these purposes. 

• Hjgliland Society's Report, p. 146. 



Benefit or Friendlij Societies. 77 

Report of Parliamentary Committee in 1825. 
The causes which led to the appointment of this Committee, and the result 
of their in(j[uiries into the rate of sickness, have been already detailed. As to 
the law of mortality, comparatively little information was obtained, except 
that atfbrded by Mr John Finlaison, actuary to the National Debt Office, 
from the experience of the Government annuitants. The following extracts 
contain all that is important hi the JMinutes of Evidence on this subject. 

1825, March 8 — The Rev. J. T. Becher of Southwell in Nottinghamshire, 
gave it as his opinion, that no greater approach to accuracy in the rate of morta- 
lity can or need be made, than what is made by the Northampton Tables.— 
Report, J). 29. 

John Finlaison, Esq. Actuary to the National Debt Office, stated. That, 
six years ago he had been appointed by Government to investigate the true 
law of mortality which prevails in England, among persons of either sex, at 
the present time, — at the present time, he says, because he had discovered a 
very extraordinary prolongation of life in the course of the last hundred years. 
He had thus been enabled to make observations upon nearly 25,000 life-an- 
nuitants of both sexes, consisting of the nominees in the three Tontines com- 
menced in Ireland between 1773 and 1779 ; the nominees of the great Ton- 
tine commenced in the year 1789, in England ; and the nominees of Life 
Annuities granted at the National Debt ()ffice since the year 1 808. — Yrovn. 
which observations it appeared that the duration of existence now, compared 
with what it was a century ago, is as four to three in round numbers ; but 
that the difference in the duration of male and female life is much the same 
as it had been stated by former authors. (See p. 73. of this Journal) These 
Life Annuitants, of course, chiefly consisted of the upper classes ; but Mr 
Finlaison had also been enabled, by the orders of Government, to observe the 
law of mortality prevailing among 7^,000 out-pensioners during the seven 
years between 1814 and 1822, when a very great difference was found, as might 
have been expected, between the mortality of these two classes, the latter 
being all men who had been discharged either on account of long service, 
wounds, or impaired constitutions. Mr Finlaison also found, that the Car- 
lisle table came nearest to that which he had deduced from the observations 
of the 25,000 people, had he combined both males and females together, as 
had been done by the framer of the Carlisle table ; but was of option that 
the data for this latter table was rather insufficient : " In reference to the 
Northampton tables, which are the basis of most of the calculations issued in 
this country, it is well known that that table underrates human life to a very 
great degree. I hold in my hand a calculation of the effects of the Nor- 
thampton table, as applied to the nominees who have purchased annuities from 
the Sinkmg Fund within the last sixteen years ; and the statement also shews 
the application of my own tables to the same events, both of them as com- 
pared with the fact, — the result is, that 481 of those nominees would, accord- 
ing to the Northampton table, have deceased beyond what the fact has been, 
out of 5,940 ; and that, by my own table, the excess that should have died 
beyond the fact is only 21 ; and we rather think that difference will vanish 
when we come to know the whole of the facts of the case, because several 
people have not claimed their annuities, who may possibly be dead." The 
witness, in the course of his examination, delivered to the Committee several 
tables in confirmation of his statements. — Pages 44, 45, 46. 

March 15.— AVilliam Morgan, Esq., Actuary to the London Equitable So- 
ciety, conceives that there is a very great difference between the mortality of 
the children of the lower and of the higher orders, more deaths taking place 
among the former than among the latter class ; and that he is sure not half 
the children born in London live to be four years of age. — Page 52. 

April 28 William Frend, Esq. Actuary to the Rock Life Assurance lusti- 

tution, thinks the Northampton table would come nearer to the average of 



78 Mr W. Fraser 07i the History and Constitution of 

life among the members of Friendly Societies than they would do among the 
higher classes ; but does not think that there is any dilterence in the duration 

of human life since the time when the Northampton table was framed 

Page 87. 

Dr Augustus Boxssie Granville, professionally connected with two extensive 
lying-in institutions, and with the Infirmary for Sick Children, gave some 
valuable and interesting information as to the earliest ages at which women 
marry, — the period they are most prolific, and when they cease to bear child- 
ren,i — the average number of still-born and living children to each marriage, 
—the periods ot infant life when the greatest mortality prevails, &c. " The 
numbers of married women, to whom my observation has extended, as far as 
the statements in the books before the Committee bear me out, are 7,060 at 
the Westminster General Dispensary in seven years and a quarter ; 2,755 in 
three years at the Benevolent Institution ; and, in reference to the children 
at both these institutions 9,000 ; while at the Royal Infirmary for Sick Child- 
ren, 5,040 is the number as stated before ; giving a general total of observa- 
tions, amounting to 24,450." We must delay till a future opportunity a full 
detail of the results of Dr Granville's investigations ; but he states that, 
in 1818, " I made a calculation referable to about 400 women, whom I had 
closely questioned respecting miscarriages they might have had ; the re- 
sults which that examination gave me was, that, among the class of the poor, 
1 woman in 3 who is pregnant invariably miscarries. After a lapse of seven 
years, I picked out, without reference to age, or any thing else, 840 other 
women, attendant on another medical charity under my care, different from 
that which had supplied the number obtained seven years before ; and, on 
calculating from their answers to the same question respecting miscarriage, 
the results of those answers, I found that, in both institutions, though the 
poor are resident in different parts of the town, but of the same class in life, 
precisely the same proportion resulted from the calculation, viz. that 1 in 3 
miscarried, passing over the number of women who might have been exa- 
mined during the intermediate period of seven years on the vsame subject." — 
Pages 84, 85. 

May 4 — Mr John Finlaison having on a former day received the books of 
Dr Granville, with a view to calculating results that might be useful for the 
purposes of the Committee, he now gave in a paper containing these results, 
as calculated from a careful analysis of those registers. Whence " it appears 
that the mortality among infant life, in the class of poor people, is very great, 
so much so, that out of every 1000 births, only 542 infants survive the period of 
nursing, or, in other words, are alive at the time of the mother's next lying- 
in. It appears further, that, for whatever period child-bearing goes on 
among the lower classes in London, up to the twentieth year of parturition 
inclusive, the number of births are invariably constant at the rate of two in 
four years ; while the number of children reared and alive at the period of 
the mother's next lying-in, is also invariably constant at the ratio of one in 
every four years." — " It does not appear that any material observation re- 
sults from the age at which marriage is contracted on the side of the female, 
with this exception, that, when marriage is formed very young, the births 
are not so quick as when marriage is formed at maturer years. For example, 
while 400 females, married under 17, would, in each year, from the period of 
parturition, have 182 births; 400 females, married between 28 and 33, would 
have 23C births, because these last happened in the earlier years of marriage ; 
but the projwrtion of children which the one and the other class would be 
able to rear, would be just the same." — It is added, that these observations 
apply exclusively to the lower orders in London, from which class the regis- 
ters were framed — Page 90. 

Such was the principal information obtained by the Committee of 1 825, re- 
lative to the births and mortality of this country ; but it is proper to remark, 
that these subjects did not form a primary object of this inquiry — endowments 
for children, the average rate of sickness, and the more minute details of the 
ra^iagement of Friendly Societies, being the points, which the Committee 



Benefit or Friendly Societies. 



79 



had principally In view. They stated, however, in their Ueport, that " it is 
certain that the oxperiencc ot* the offices for insurance on lives has profed 
the Northampton Tables to be much more unfavourable to human life than 
the purposes of those offices require ;" and recommended to the House to 
resume their inquiry in another session, that such information might be ob- 
tained, under parliamentary authority, as should place the question almost 
beyond controversy. 



Report of Parliamentary Committee in 1827. 

The attention of this Committee was chiefly directed to the Superannua- 
tion Allowances of Friendly Societies, and consequently to the average dura- 
tion of life, on which all computations for such allowances must necessarily 
depend. It was therefore indispensably requisite, that the history and ac- 
curacy of the Northampton Tables should be more particularly considered 
than they had been by the former Committee ; and that this has according- 
ly been done, will appear from the following brief summary of the Minutes 
of Evidence. 

April 3. 1827. — The Reverend J. T. Becher gives a detail of his investiga- 
tions into various tables of mortality, and of the different mortuary registers 
from which Dr Price had deduced the observations on which he constructed 
the Northampton Tables. From such a concurrence of testimony as " was 
brought under the consideration of Dr Price, when he originally formed the 
Nortnampton Tables, I venture to presume that they were then render- 
ed as correct as calculations founded upon the doctrine of such chances 
could avail ; and consequently that they still remain sufficient for every prac- 
tical purpose, unless some variation can be shewn in the ordinary standard of 
mortality." — " In a note published by Mr Morgan upon Dr Price's Obser- 
vations on Reversionary Payments, he states the mortality prevailing among 
the members of the Equitable, or the proportions subsisting between the 
claims that had been actually made, and the claims that should have been 
made, according to the Northampton calculations : which statement of Mr 
Morgan has, as I conceive, given rise to considerable misapprehension and 
error. Subsequent calculations have been made by Mr Babbage, an eminent 
mathematician, and by Mr Griffith Davies, an intelligent actuary of the 
Guardian Office. Both of them have formed tables upon what they' denomi- 
nate the experience of the Equitable, meaning the experience of Mr INIorgan, 
as communicated to the public in the few lines which they cite as their ba- 
sis. Now, in the year 1777, it will be found in the Journals of the House 
of Commons, that when Mr Morgan gave evidence before the Usury Com- 
mittee, he stated the claims made upon the Equitable to be to those which 
should have been made, in the following proportion," Table I. " And in the 
year 1810, Mr Morgan made a calculation for 30 years, upon 83,201 mem- 
bers of the Equitable, from which he deduced, that the mortality which had 
occurred was to the claims which might have been made," as in Table II. 



Table I. 


Table II. 


Froni 20 to 30 as 7 to 17 


From 20 to 30 as 1 to 2 


30 to 40 as 3 to 5 


30 to 40 as 3 to 5 


40 to 50 as 1 to 2 


30 to 50 as 3 to 5 


50 to GO as 7 to 5 


50 to 60 as 5 to 7 


^s^m}*^" '»:"'-*- ="-'x. 


CO to 80 as 4 to 6 
And hi all ages together, in the ra- 




tio of 2 to 3. 



80 Mr W. Fraser oji the History and Constitution of 

" Here we find subsisting between the sums a singular eoiTespondenee. 
From 30 to 40, and 40 to 50, the j)rc)portions are precisely the same, and at 
all other ages nearly so ; and the general ratio in both instances is as 2 to 3 ; 
but so far is life from having been improved, that in all cases except where 
the proportions are the same, they appear to be less in favour of life than they 
■were in the year 1777 *• Besides which, in a conversation with Mr Morgan, 
I find that a little inadvertency has occurred in calculating these proportions, 
so as to render them less in favour of life than what they seem to be. This, 
I have no doubt, Mr Morgan will explain, though I do not feel authorised 
to enter upon it. But to ascertain the accuracy of his conclusion upon the 
numbers taken in 1810, he made a further calculation upon 151,754 persons, 
members of the Equitable for 20 years, ending in the year 1821, and specify- 
ing the diseases by which the deaths were respectively occasioned ; and his 
conclusion most decidedly is — as given to me in correspondence, and printed in 
my Observations upon your Report, p. 99, which I solicit permission to lay 
upon the table, as well from his opinions delivered in his charge to the Equi- 
table in 1825, and personally repeated to me on Saturday last, — that life 
among the members of the Equitable has rather diminished than increased in 
value ; which opinion I find also confirmed by other actuaries." " With re- 
spect to the mortality of females, he (Mr Morgan) is fully convinced that no 
such difference exists as to authorise any variation of tables. If such a dif- 
ference had existed, he must have discovered it, because the Equitable insures 
both sexes very largely, and more especially upon survivorships, principally 
between husband and wife, consequently the excess must have appeared in 
the superior number of females, and this the more distinctly, as the survivor 
possesses the option of receiving either a gross sum, or of becoming an annui- 
tant." Mr Becher then gives a very long and minute detail of the rates of 
various life assurance associations and Friendly Societies ; also, a further ac- 
count of the data possessed by Dr Price for the construction of his tables ; but 
our limits preclude us quoting any more of his evidence, which occupies near- 
ly eight pages folio, all chiefly in defence of the Northampton Tables. — Re- 
port^ pp. 15-22. 

Joshica Milne, Esq. actuary, states, that there now exist three tables, which, 
he conceives, show, with sufficient accuracy, the rate of general mortality, or 
the proportion of the people, including all ages, which die annually. Speak- 
ing with reference to this country, these thiee tables are " the Carlisle and 
two others constructed from the experience of the Equitable Society, of the 
mortality that has been observed to take place among its members for a period 
of upwards of 30 years. One of these tables was constructed by Mr Babbage, 
a gentleman well known and justly appreciated in the scientific world ; the 
other by Mr Griffith Davies, actuary to the Guardian Insurance Company ; 
they were both published in the beginning of the last year. I had, previous- 
ly, in the Supplement to the Encyclopaedia Britannica, given a comparison of 
the mortality prevailing in the several intervals of age, from 10 years to the 
age of 80, according to the Carlisle and Northampton Tables, and the expe- 
rience of the Equitable Society ; by which that experience and the Carlisle 
table appear to agree remarkably well. The two gentlemen just named, have 
since shown it at each separate age ; and I have here tables of the values of 
annuities calculated from these three tables of mortality, compared with the 
results of the Northampton table, derived in a similar way. I beg leave to 
states as to the nature and uses of a table of mortality, the object being to 
show how many persons at any one age will arrive at any greater age ; the 
simplest way of considering it, is to suppose them all born at once. I can 
illustrate this subject by comparing it with the table of mortality for Sweden, 

•If we rightly understand the note by Mr Morgan, at p. 132, 103 of vol. i. of Dr Price's \<ork (7th edi- 
tion), the deaths expected to occur previous to 1777> had been calculated by the table of mortality 
constructed by Messrs Simpson and Dods from the London Observations, while the number of 
deaths expected to happen during the 30 years ending with 1800, had been calculated by the Northamp- 
ton table. Now, as the London table represents a much higher rate of mortality than the one for 
Northampton, and as the deaths among the members of the Equitable previous to 1777 bore the same 

Eroportion to the former table as the deaths occurrinc for the 30 years ending with 1810 did to the 
itter tablet it aecessaxily follows that the duration of life must have increased since the year 1777> 



Bejiefit or Friendly Societies. 81 

which was published in my work on Annuities in the year 1815. Of 10,210 
nijile children born in Sweden, just C090 arrived at 15 years of age, 3026 at 
GO, and so on. In a male pojjulation, where the law of mortality was the same, 
and the number of the annual births, as well as that of the annual deaths, wa» 
constantly 10,210, the whole number of the jjeople would be 364,733. This It 
where there is no migration, and, consequently, the number of persons is re- 
duced by the law of mortality onlv : but if you suppose the population to in- 
crease, which has been the case for the last century and more, in almost all 
the countries of Europe ; then of course there will be a great many in the 
early parts of life for whom there are no corresponding survivors in the later 

{)eriods. If, for instance, the population has doubled in Kngland within the 
ast 45 years, then the number now existing at 15 years of age will be twice 
as great as it was 45 years ago ; but the number at CO will be only the survi- 
vors of those who were 15 years of age 45 years since, and consequently only 
half as many as the survivors 45 years hence will be, out of the persons now 
15 years of age ; and therefore, such a table is of no kind of use for determin- 
ing the probabilities of life, and if applied to that purpose will only mislead : 
for instance, out of this number C098, 45 years ago, at 15, if the })opulation 
had doubled, the same table would represent only 302G to have attained CO, 
whereas the 12,1 DC, now 15, will leave twice as many survivors at CO, that is 
C052 ; therefore, if you wish to provide annuities for them, and calculate ac- 
cording to that table of an increasing population, you will only provide half 
the annuities wanted. The principle applies in all cases, and hence it is ma- 
nifest, that these tables (the Northampton) are quite unfit to determine the 
probabilities of life by." Mr Milne having been requested to state which ta- 
ble he would prefer for the calculations of Friendly Societies, declined giving 
any direct oj)inion. " Having myself constructed the Carlisle table, and cal- 
culated tables of the values of annuities from it, I would rather that the Com- 
niittee should decide on that question than take my opinion ; and I consider 
it would not be difficult to aftbrd honourable gentlemen the means of judging 
with facility of the preference." — Pages 25, 2C. 

April d.-^Francis Baily^ Esq, actuary, thinks that the safest tables for cal- 
culating annuities for the working classes would be the Swedish. According 
to him, out of 1000 born, there would be alive at the age of 65, " in Nor- 
thampton 140, in Sweden 235, and in Carlisle 302 ; those have been formed 
from particular towns, Sweden has been made from the country at large. 
Friendly Societies are partly made up of persons from the country, a great 
portion may be in town, and a great number in the country farms." He can- 
not account for the extraordinary difference between the longevity of the peo- 
ple of Northampton and Carlisle : — hardly thinks it worth while to perplex 
the subject with a different rate of payment for males and for females, to en- 
sure the same object : — has an opinion, but can hardly tell upon what it is 
founded — whether from the small-pox being removed, or from habits of clean- 
liness being more common among the lower classes — that the duration of life 

has increased within the last 40 years Page 27. 

May 4 — Charles Babbage and Benjamin Gompertz^ Esquires, actuaries.^ 
For calculating the necessary payments by the working classes in youth and 
manhood for annuities in old age, Mr Babbage would prefer, of the tables he is 
acquainted with, the Swedish tables in Dr Price's work, or the French tables 
of M. Duvillard. By these tables fewer persons die from the age of 5 to 17, 
but after that age more than by the Swedish tables. , -Mr Gompertz thinks the 
table constructed by Mr Finlaison for the Committee in 1825, agrees nearly 
with the Carlisle tables, and therefore, that it would be a good table to calcu- 
late endowments for children from, in consequence of its making death among 
the younger branches of mankind less than some of the other tables, and there- 
fore, that a greater endowment might be expected than was calculated on ; 
but does not think it would be by any means safe to rely on the Northamp- 
ton tables for those purposes, "'it appears to me, that a great part of the 
profit of the Equitable Assurance Company has arisen from insuring lives, in 
consequence of the Northampton table being more favourable to death than it 

OCTOBER DECEMBER 1827. F 



82 Mr W. Fraser on the History and Constitution of 

should be ; and if that should be the cause of profit, of course a reverse wilt 
take place in annuities." " The society use the Northampton table, but the 
real experience of the Equitable appears to agree with the Carlisle tables to- 
lerably well to a great extent ; and the same observations have been made by 
other gentlemen— I believe Mr Babbage, Mr Davies, and Mr Milne, as well 
as myself." — Mr Babbage again remarks, that " this will aflPord an opportunity 
of explaining something which might perhaps otherwise be misunderstood. 
If I am asked which tables I should wish to use in making any calculations re- 
lative to the poorer orders of society, I should state that my object would be 
to get such tables as exactly and perfectly represented those classes through- 
out all their ages ; but it may be said that this is unsafe, and that others 
should be taken where the deaths are more numerous than those which really 
happen. My view in all cases is, let us get as nearly as we can the law of 
mortality of the class for which we want to calculate, and add to the prices 
computed from it some proportional part sufficient to insure the safety of the 
establishment which uses them. I strongly object to using tables giving a 
greater mortality than is expected to take place, a course which has sometimes 
been defended on the ground of safety to the establishment. Safety is much 
more certainly secured by judging as nearly as possible the true risk, and add- 
ing an additional sum for security. If tables not representing the mortality 
of the class for whom they are designed are employed, every step in the rea- 
sonings which are deduced from them is liable to increased error ; and if the 
calculations are at all complicated, the errors so introduced may not impro- 
bably act on the opposite side to that which they were introduced to favour." 
— " I will mention a little work, which is probably known to some of the mem- 
bers of the Committee ; its title is " Annuaire ;"'it is published by the French 
Board of Longitude, and contains an account of the progress of population in 
France and in Paris ; an account of the marriages and of births, male and female. 
There are some singular facts very recently established, by a large enumeration. 
It is published every year at the price of one franc, and contains a great deal 
of very useful information. It has usually been supposed, that the proportion 
of males born to that of females, was 21 to 20 ; that is to say, the quantity of 
males above females was one-twentieth. In France it has been observed, 
that out of 0,705,778 persons born, legitimate and illegitimate, there are 
3,458,905 males and 3,240,813 females, or nearly 10 males to every 15 females. 
Out of 400,391 illegitimate children there are 235,951 males and 224,440 fe- 
males. These numbers differ considerably from the ratio of 10 to 15 found 
among legitimate children. That ratio would give 221,204 females for 235,951 
males, whereas 3,230 more females are really produced. From these data it 
follows, that, in France,for every 100,000 legitimate female children, there 
will be 100,534 legitimate males ; but that for every 100,000 illegitimate fe- 
male children, there will be born only 105,128 illegitimate males, so that the 
probability of a child's about to be born being a female is greater if it is ille- 
gitimate than if it is legitimate." In conclusion, Mr Babbage states, that he 
should " certainly think it would be very desirable to calculate for the poorer 
classes on other tables than those used for the higher classes." — Pages 28-33. 
John Naylor, Esq. actuary of the Economic Life Assurance Society, has no 
hesitation in saying, that a society founded for the purpose 'of granting an- 
nuities, which adopted the Northampton table, and a mean rate of inte- 
rest, would be ruined, from that table representing the rate of mortality by 
far too high. He consic^^rs Mr Finlaison's table (p. 80.) to be accurate from 
its near agreement with the Carlisle tables, and recommends these for the 
purpose of calculating annuities. He is farther decidedly of opinion, that the 
average duration of life has increased within the last forty years ; and in far- 
ther exphmation of all these points, he afterwards gave in a detailed written 
statement to the Committee, containing much valuable information. We can 
only, however, give the following extracts : — " The Northampton table is less 
to be depended on than any of those above mentioned, because it is not de- 
rived from proper data ; no enumeration of the population, classed according 
to the ages, having been, in this instance, obtained. It is well known, that a 
table of mortality, deduced from mortuary registers only, cannot be correct, 
unless the population had been stationary, and the births and deaths equal, 



, Benefit or Friendly Societies. 83 

not only during the time the registers were kept, hut also during the previous 
century. The celebrated Dr Price supposes a table of mortality may l>e ac- 
curately constructed from bills of mortality, where the deaths exceed the 
births, if the numbers and ages of the annual settlers can be determined ; and 
in constructing the Northampton table, he computes the number of settlers 
from the excess of deaths, and their ages from the bills of mortality. But the 
number so computed would be correct only, if the j)opulation of Northamp- 
ton had remained stationary during a century and a half; and the ages could 
not be ascertained by the bills, unless the law of mortality (the very object of 
the investigation) were previously known. Little dei)endence can be placed 
on a table thus constructed. Indeed, it must be obvious, that a table of mor* 
tality, t. e. a table exhibiting the proportions of deaths to the numbers living 
at all ages, can be accurately constructed only, by means of enumerations of 
the living and registers of deaths, each classed according to the ages." " It is 
much to be lamented, in a country like England, where calculations on life 
contingencies are so constantly required, that no efficient means have been 
adopted for computing an accurate table of mortality. If fre^iuent enumera- 
tions of the living at all ages, and registers of deaths at all ages, throughout 
the kingdom, were obtained, not only the law of mortality for England in ge- 
neral, but the variations of that law for different places, and for the same 
places, at different times, and the law for each sex, might be accurately deter- 
mined." Pages 34-84 and 85. 

May 11 Griffith Davies^ Esq. Actuary to the Guardian Assurance Company, 

states his opinion to be, that the Northampton table gives the average dura- 
tion of life rather lower, and the Carlisle and Finlaison's tables somewhat 
higher, than that which obtains among the aggregate mass of mankmd in Eng- 
land and Wales; and therefore that neither are well adapted for calculating 
payments for annuities to the members of Friendly Societies. Neither does 
he think the experience of the Equitable would give an accurate result for the 
persons insuring in Friendly Societies, as the Equitable insurers are, general- 
ly speaking, in a higher rank of life, and are more select lives than those of 
Friendly Societies. " On that account, unless the incidental expences neces- 
sarily attendant upon the management of societies were taken into account, 
the experience of the Equitable would be full high ; but taking into account 
the uncertainty as to the rate of interest, and also the incidental expences, I 
think it would be more safe to use the Carlisle table, Mr Finlaison's table, or 
the experience of the Equitable, to determine the contributions for deferred 
annuities." He conceives that, throughout all ages, the duration of life is 
higher now than it was a hundred years ago, and that it has been gradually 
increasing during that period, but morejwticularly since the beginning of the 
present century. " All observations tend to confirm that female life, I believe 
at all ages, is better than male, and even married better than single ;" and " as 
another corroborative of the increased value of life within the last 100 years, 
I think on examination of different tables, the fniitfulness of women, say from 
the age of 15 to 50, will be found nearly the same at all periods; and in the 
greater part, I believe of the different countries of Europe that we have tables 
for, prior to the time Dr Price wrote, that degree of fruitfulncss was scarcely 
adequate to compensate for the existing mortality; so that he strenuously ar- 
gued that the population was decreasing in this country; and I believe that, 
supposing the documents he had to reason upon to be correct, the conclusion 
he drew was not so erroneous as it has been represented. It is not an increase 
in the number of births, as compared with the number of bearing women, that 
has increased the population, but the increased number of children that have 
been reared from the birth, and passed through the different stages of life." 
Pages 3G-38. 

Dr A. B. Granville not being aware that he should be again examined 
before the Committee, had not 'prepared the additional information which he 
might have done, in addition to what he had laid before the Committee in 
1825. He stated, however, that he had been for some time preparing a sc- 
ries of tables, and a paper for the lloyal Society, which would bear \\\yon the 
question before the Committee. He also stated, that he had obscrve<l a very 
decided decrease of mortality among children from one to adult age, within 

f2 



84 Mr W. Fraser on the Histm^y and Constitutvm of' 

the last ten years ; at least among the total number of children that came 
before him as patients. The Doctor likewise gave some farther results of his 
observations since 1825, which confirmed what he had then stated; and " with 
regard to the question as to the number of children that such married women 
may produce in a given period, I have to observe for the present, that it is a 
curious fact, that if a woman marries at the age of twenty-one or twenty-two, 
and is j)laced under precisely similar circumstances for the following fifteen 
years as women at fourteen, fifteen, and sixteen, marrying at that age, may 
be supposed to be under, will produce the same number of children as the lat- 
ter would, though the party marry seven or eight years later ; and the reason 
of that is this, that the latter ones, those that marry very young, cease either 
sooner, or go a great number of years Avithout children. "When they arrive at 
twenty or tAventy-five years of age, they will stop till about thirty,' and begin 
again ; whereas the age of maturity at which a woman is most prolific, appears 
to be about twenty, and there seems no stoppage, except disease steps in, go- 
ing on regularly every two years, or if she does not suckle, every year until 
she arrives at forty or forty-two years of age, which is the usual period for it to 
terminate." The whole of Dr Granville's evidence is extremely interesting ; 
but as it is not immediately connected with our present object, we cannot af- 
ford room for a fuller detail. {Pages 40, 44.) 

May 25 — William Morgan^ Esq. actuary to the Equitable Assurance Office, 
affirms that the Northampton tables are " certainly the most correct tables 
for the mean duration of Ufe, in all private concerns. For the last fifty years 
I have never used any other, and I think they are the most correct ; indeed I 
know they are" — " in all cases between one man and another." It having 
been stated in evidence before the last Committee on Friendly Societies, that 
the expectation of life is now to what it was a century ago as four to three, 
Mr Morgan was asked if he adhered to that opinion ; to which he answered 
that he does not adhere to it, from his own experience, " because the probabili- 
ties of life in the office, compared with those in the Northampton tables, are 
not higher than they were fifty years ago ; indeed the very contrary." — " The 
duration of life, in general, is a little better among females than among males, 
but, in my opinion, not sufficient to render it necessary to compute separate 
tables for them." He thinks the Northampton Tables are as correct tables as 
any that can be formed, adapted to all parts and all classes of people in Eng- 
land, but thinks they want some little addition to secure them both for pay- 
ments on death, and for deferred annuities. He is sure the tables construct- 
ed by Mr Davies, from the experience of the Equitable, were not founded on 
data sufficient for constructing any tables ; as they hardly insure any lives un- 
der 30 ; and as those tables begin in early life, a great deal must be assumed 
where there is no data to go upon ; besides, he finds the " probability of life 
•approaching nearer to the Northampton tables in our office, than it used to be 
in the later periods of life ; for the Northampton tables give the decrements 
of life as high as most tables in old age." Pages 45, 49. 

John Pensam, Esq. actuary to the Amicable Assurance Society, states that 
they use the Northampton tables, but that the Society does not grant deferred 
annuities. Upon a comparison of the Northampton tables with the experience 
of the Amicable,, he found the continuance of life was materially higher than 
that in. the tables, but which he attributes to the recency of selection, or the 
benefit of selection rather at different ages. " I should think, in looking to 
annuities, the longer continuance of life would make it necessary to take some 
consideration exceeding the value of annuities by the Northampton tables." 
Page 50. 

June 7 — John Fiidaison^ Esq. has greatly extended his observations since he 
was before the Committee of 1825 ; has gone over, of new, the whole of the 
calculations from which he had deduced the law of mortality, by a far more 
elaborate process than he had resorted to before, and the result of the whole 
has been, that the law of mortality, as originally stated by him in the tables 
before reported, is, in every part, and in every particular, upon each sex, now 
satisfactorily confirmed. He alludes to the table resulting from the observa- 
tions on the government life annuitants (p. 86.), and attaches no particular im- 
portance to the table derived from an observation on the pensioners of Chelsea 



Benefit or Friendly Societies. 85 

and Greenwich Hospitals, because it was given on a view of human life in iU 
worst state. He therefore considers the table resulting from the government 
annuitants to represent most accurately the duration of life among the persons 
generally composing Friendly Societies. He is aware, however, that the 
poorer classes might be expected to die somewhat faster than those of the 
nigher orders ; but it is to be remembered, that in all Benefit Societies the 
members are selected lives, as well as the people who purchase annuities. If, 
then, the severity of labour, and the want of comforts, should subject the 
poor to a greater mortality, I do not believe that the difference can be very 
considerable, when it is borne in mind that we are here referring to picked and 
chosen persons from among the lower orders." Pages 50, 64. 

June 12 — John Finlaison, Esq. again examined. He states, that the tables 
he is calculating for Government may be divided into two parts,— the one re- 
lating to the investigation of the law of mortality, and the other relating to 
tables, for practical use, to be deduced therefrom. "In regard to the first 
branch of the subject, I have completed all the materials necessary ; and I am 
now directed, by the Lords Commissioners of the Treasury, to prepare a Re- 
port, showing the deductions which I have made, and the evidence upon which 
they are founded, in order that such Report may be printed by their Lordships* 
authority, and submitted to the investigation of scientific persons. I hope 
that that Report will be ready before the 1st of January next. In regard to 
the other branch of the subject, which relates to the practical tables, to be 
deduced from the law of mortality, it is of vast extent. I have now, how- 
ever, the assistance of six calculators, who are at work upon it, and a very 
great proportion of the most necessary tables has already been calculated ; 
perhaps nearly eight times as much as any preceding calculator has ever pro- 
duced, is already executed." — " The Treasury have not, however, directed 
me to prepare, for present publication, any part of the work, except what re- 
lates to the law of mortality, and such tables of the values of annuities on 
single lives, as may be sufficient to illustrate its practical effects. The rest 
of the work, when finished, is intended for official purposes at the National 
Debt Office, and may or not be printed, according as I shall receive their 
Lordships' directions." He hopes that his tables " will supersede all the ta- 
bles now in use ; and with good reason, for they have been eight years in pre- 
paration, with all the means for perfecting them which the Government could 
supi)ly, and to which no private individual has hitherto had access." — " The 
difference between the sexes, in regard to mortality, leads to a most important 
conclusion, as respects the practicalpUrposes of societies for granting pensions 
to survivors. By my tables, it may, generally speaking, be said to result as 
follows : Supposing a mother were to leave a pension to her son, the value of 
such a pension would only be two-thirds of a pension left by a father to his 
daughter, the relative ages of the children and parents being precisely the 
same. It follows, therefore, that any society making no distinction of sex, 
and granting pensions to widows, according to the strict arithmetical result, 
would inevitably be ruined." 

The above summary of the evidence has extended to a greater length than 
was at first anticipated, or may appear well adapted for the pages of a Philoso- 
phicalJournal; but such a detail has been deemed necessary, in order that the 
interesting and important information communicated by so many intelligent 
and highly respectable witnesses might be duly appreciated. It would have 
been also very desirable to have inserted some of the tabular views of the 
different rates of mortality, and other illustrative documents, contained in the 
Appendixes, perhaps the most valuable portions of these Reports ; but as we 
have already exceeded our limits, all that can be given additional at present, 
is the following table, exhibiting the expectation of life at every age above 
20, deduced from tables of mortality which have been founded upon obser- 
vations made in this country. 



66 



Mr W. Frascr on the Hislory and Constitutmi of' 



TABLE of EXPECTATION of LIFE, at and after the Aye of 20 Years, 
according to the Northampton and Carlisle Tables of Mortality ; as also, accord^ 
iny to the Table (p. 76), dcdticed by Mr John Lyon, for the Hiyhland Society 
of Scotla?id, from a medium of the Nortliampton, Carlisle, and Swedish Tables, 
— according to that constructed by Mr Griffith Davies, from the experience 
of tJie Equitable Society of London, — and according to the rate of Male and Fe- 
male Mortality found by Mr John Finlaison to have prevailed among the 
Government Annuitants for the last 45 years. 

The Expectation or Mean Duration of life is the number of years which a body of people, 
taking them one with another, may be considered as sure of enjoying,— those who live or 
survive beyond that period enjoying as much more time, in proportion to their number, 
as those who fall short of it enjoy less ; — or the portion of future existence which an indi- 
vidual at any age may reasonably expect to enjoy. This •' expectation of life " is found by 
dividing the total years by the number alive at the age whose expectation is required, do- 
<lucting half unity or .30 from the quotient, on account of the chance being equal, whether 
a person shall die in the beginning or end of the year. Thus, in the Table of Mortality, 
(p. 7<>), .34,8JJ5 is the sum of the second column, at and after 25 years of age, and m5 
the number living at that age; therefore, 34,895 being divided by 965, tlie quotient will be 
36.16, and the half of 1, or .50, being subtracted ffom this latter number, it will leave 
35.66, which is the expectation of life, according to the Highland Society's Table of Mor- 
tality, of a person aged 25. 

The Probability of Life, or the chance of a person living from one a^e to another, is found 
by dividing the number living at the latter age by the number living at the former age, 
according to any table of mortality which may be adopted. 

Hence the Value of an Aimuity, commencing at any given age, or a Sum payable at Death, 
obviously depends upon the number of years which, accorduig to such expectation and pro- 
bability, a person of any age has to live. 













Government Annuitants, 


Age. 


Northamp- 
ton. 


Carlisle. 


Highland 
Society. 


Equitable 
Society. 


according to Mr Finlaison. 






Male. 


Female. 


Mean. 


20 


33.43 


41.46 




41.06 


38.39 


43.99 


41.19 


21 


32.90 


40.75 


38.16 


40.33 


37.83 


43.36 


40-60 


22 


32.39 


40.04 


37.54 


39.60 


37.34 


42.73 


40.04 


23 


31.88 


39.31 


36.91 


38.88 


36.87 


42.09 


39.48 


21 


31.36 


38.59 


36.29 


38.16 


36.39 


41.45 


38.92 


25 


30.85 


37.86 


35.66 


37.44 


35.90 


40.81 


38.36 


26 


30.33 


37.14 


35.02 


36.73 


35.41 


40.17 


37.79 


27 


29.82 


36.41 


34.39 


36.02 


34.86 


39.52 


37.19 


28 


29.30 


35.69 


33.75 


35.33 


34.31 


38.87 


36.59 


29 


28.79 


35.00 


33.11 


34.65 


33.75 


38.22 


35.99 


30 


28.27 


34.34 


32.47 


33.98 


33.17 


37.57 


35.37 


31 


27.76 


33.68 


31.93 


33.30 


32.59 


36.91 


34.75 


32 


27.24 


33.03 


31.17 


32.64 


32.00 


36.26 


34.13 


33 


26.72 


32.30 


30.56 


31.98 


31.40 


35.61 


33.51 


34 


26.20 


31.68 


29.82 


31.32 


30.79 


34.96 


32.88 


35 


25.68 


31.00 


29.31 


30.66 


30.17 


34.31 


32.24 


36 


25.16 


30.32 


28.68 


30.01 


29.54 


33.68 


31.61 


37 


24.64 


29.64 


23.05 


29.35 


28.91 


33.04 


30.98 


38 


24.12 


28.96 


27.42 


28.70 


28.28 


32.40 


30.24 


39 


23.60 


28.28 


26.78 


28.05 


27-65 


31.76 


29.71 


40 


23.08 


27.61 


26.17 


27.40 


27.02 


31.12 


29.07 


41 


22.56 


26.97 


25.56 


26.74 


26.39 


30.46 


28.43 


42 


22.04 


26.34 


24.94 


26.07 


25.74 


29.81 


27.78 


43 


21.54 


25.71 


24.32 


2.5.40 


25.08 


29.14 


27.11 


44 


21.03 


25.09 


23.70 


24.75 


24.42 


28.48 


26.45 


45 


20.52 


24.46 


23.08 


24.10 


23.75 


27,81 


25.78 


46 


20.02 


23.82 


22.48 


23.44 


23.07 


27.13 


25.10 


47 


19.51 


23.17 


21.87 


22.78 


22.38 


26.44 


24.41 


48 


19.00 


22.50 


21.27 


22.12 


21.68 


25.75 


23.72 


49 


18.49 


21.81 


20.65 


21.47 


20.08 


25.06 


23.02 


50 


17.09 


21.11 


20.04 


20.83 


20.30 


24.35 


22.33 



Benefit or Frkndlij Societies, 

TABLE — continued. 



87 













{JovcTnmcnt .A mm 


iuiits. 1 


A(jc. 


Northamp- 


Carlisle. 


Hi^^hLind 
Society. 


E(iuitable 
Society. 


according, 


to Mr Kl.NL.\IhMiN. 1 




ton* 








1 












Male. 


Female. 


Mtaii. 1 


51 


17-50 


20.39 


19.42 


20.20 


19.02 


23.65 


21.64 


52 


17.02 


19.08 


18.82 


19.59 


18.97 


22.93 


20.95 


53 


IG.54 


18.97 


18.22 


19.00 


18.3i 


22.22 


20.28 


51 


1G.0C 


18.28 


17.02 


18.43 


17.73 


21.50 


19.62 


55 


15.58 


17.58 


17.01 


17.85 


17.15^ 


2079 


18.97 


5fJ 


15.10 


10.J!9 


10.43 


17.28 


10.57 


20.08 


18.33 


57 


14.03 


10.21 


15.81 


10.71 


10.02 


19.38 


17.70 


6H 


14.15 


15.55 


15.25 


10.15 


15.47 


18.09 


I7.O8 


59 


13.0« 


14.92 


14.05 


15.00 


14.93 


18.00 


16.47 


GO 


13.21 


14.34 


14.07 


15.06 


14.39 


17.32 


15.86 


(jl 


12.75 


13.82 


13.49 


14.51 


13.84 


10.04 


15.24 


02 


12.2H 


13.31 


12.99 


13.90 


13.28 


15.90 


14.02 


03 


11.81 


12.81 


12.33 


13.42 


12.72 


15.30 


14.01 


01 


11.35 


12.30 


11.70 


12 88 


12.17 


14.04 


13.41 


(>5 


10.88 


11.79 


11.21 


12.35 


11.03 


14.00 


12.82 


(>G 


10.42 


11.27 


10.08 


11.83 


11.10 


13.37 


12.24 


«7 


9.90 


10.75 


10.17 


1 1.32 


10.01 


12.76 


11.09 


G8 


9.50 


10.23 


9.09 


10.82 


10.14 


12.16 


11.15 


CI) 


9.05 


9.70 


9.24 


10.32 


9.07 


11.57 


10.02 


70 


8.60 


9.18 


8.81 


9.84 


9.22 


10.99 


10.11 


71 


8.17 


8.05 


8.40 


9.36 


8.79 


10.44 


9.02 


72 


7.74 


8.10 


8.01 


8.88 


8.37 


9.92 


9.15 


73 


7.33 


7.72 


7.63 


8.42 


7.90 


9.41 


8.09 


74 


0.92 


7.33 


7.24 


7.97 


7.54 


8.92 


8.23 


75 


0.54 


7.01 


0.87 


7.52 


7.12 


8.46 


7.79 


70 


0.18- 


0.09 


0.50 


7.O8 


6.69 


8.00 


7.35 


77 


5.83 


0.40 


0.10 


6.64 


6.23 


7.58 


0.91 


78 


5.48 


0.12 


5.82 


6.20 


5.78 


7.19 


0.49 


79 


5.11 


5.80 


5.48 


5.78 


5.35 


6.83 


6.09 


«0 


4.75 


5.51 


5.14 


5.38 


4.94 


6.50 


5.72 


«1 


4.41 


5.21 


4.81 


5.00 


4.55 


6.20 


5.38 


82 


4-.09 


4.93 


4.49 


4.63 


4.18 


5.89 


5.04 


83 


3.80 


4.05 


4.18 


4.30 


3.82 


5.57 


4.70 


84 


3.58 


4.39 


3.77 


4.00 


3.46 


5.22 


4.34 


85 


3.37 


4.12 


3.02 


3.73 


3.12 


4.84 


3.98 


86 


3.19 


3.90 


3.32 


3.50 


2.81 


4.44 


3.03 


87 


3.01 


3.71 


3.04 


3.31 


2.53 


4.03 


3.28 


88 


2.86 


3.59 


2.80 


3.11 


2.31 


3.62 


2.97 


89 


2.00 


3.47 


2.50 


2.91 


2.12 


3.21 


2.07 


90 


2.41 


3.28 


2.21 


2.65 


1.95 


2.83 


2.39 


91 


2.09 


3.20 


1.92 


2.30 


1.83 


2.49 


2.16 


92 


1.75 


3.37 


1.02 


2.03 


1.65 


2.21 


1.93 


93 


1.37 


3.48 


1.30 


1.70 


1.49 


1.97 


1.73 


94 


1.05 


3.53 


0.83 


1.31 


UU 


1.75 


1.55 


95 


0.75 


3.53 


0.50 


1.05 


1.18 


1.55 


1.37 


90 


0.50 


3.40 


0.00 


.75 


0.97 


1.32 


1.15 


97 




3.28 




.50 


0.75 


1.12 


0.94 


98 




3.07 






0.50 


0.94 


0.72 


99 




2.77 






0.00 


0.75 




100 




2.28 






0.00 


0.50 




101 




1.79 












102 




1.30 












103 




0.83 













88 Mr W. Fraser 07i the History and Constitution of 

From the imperfect account which has now been given of the 
various investigations into the probable duration of human life, 
some idea may be formed of the difficulty and importance of ob-^ 
taining accurate tables of mortality. The Northampton tables 
were the result of many years'* arduous research and observa- 
tions, and were consequently long considered as representing 
the rate of mortality in this country more accurately than any 
others. Whether those tables may still be the most correct for 
the population at large, it were needless for our present purpose 
to inquire ; but it is obvious, from the long experience of the 
Equitable Society of London, and of that of the Government 
annuitants, — from the concurring testimony of Messrs Milne, 
Naylor, Gompertz, Davies, Babbage, and Finlaison, all men 
of the highest eminence, — and from the opinions of seve- 
ral other persons well informed in these matters, that the 
Northampton tables are unfit for the practical purposes of 
Health and Life Assurance. Messrs Morgan and Becher, no 
doubt, have endeavoured to support these tables, and have cer- 
tainly urged all that can be stated in their defence ; but, as is 
remarked in the Committee^s last Report, there " is not, in 
truth, even a prima facie case made out in their favour. It is 
admitted that those tables were originally formed in a degree 
upon hypothetical data ; the observations upon which they were 
founded come down no farther than the year 1780, or at the 
latest to 1 791 ; and it is not affirmed that they have been verified 
by any actual and subsequent observations, or by the experi- 
-ence of any society which has endured for a period sufficiently 
long to bring to sure test the accuracy of its calculations ;"" — 
and to the evidence of Mr Milne and Mr Naylor the Commit- 
tee more particularly refer for the objections to the Northamp- 
ton tables, (pages 80, 82 of this Journal.) 

In illustration of their effects, it is stated, that, according to the 
tables, out of 1000 persons existing at the age of 25, 3i3 will sur- 
vive at the age of 65 ; while, by the Carlisle tables, which appear 
to approach very near to the truth for the higher classes, no fewer 
than 513 will survive that age. Hence a society which should 
;adopt the Northampton tables for annuities, would inevitably 
go ultimately to ruin, for it would in all probability have three 
annuitants where it calculated only upon two ; and of the 343 



Benefit or Friendly Societies. 89 

persons who would be annuitants, 98 would live for 15 years ac- 
cording to these tables, while 162 persons would survive through 
that period, and attain the age of 80 years, according to the Car- 
lisle tables. 

There is also given in the Report a comparison of the results 
of various tables of mortality, constructed from observations 
made in Britain, in France, and in Sweden ; but we shall only 
select those of this countrv. 



Of 1 00,000 persons ^ 
aged 25, there f 
would be alive f 
at the age of 65 j 

Of 100,000 persons ^ 
aged 65, there f 
would be alive i" 
at the age of 80 J 

Expectation of life ) 
at the age of 25 j 

Expectation of life \ 
at the age of 65 

Value of an annui- 
ty of £ 1 on a life 
aged 25, interest 
at 4 per cent. 

Value of an annul- "I 
ty of £ 1 on a life f 
aged 65, interest l* 
at 4 per cent. J 

Value of a defer, -v 
red annuity of £1 # 
commencing at \ 
65, to a life now /' 
aged 25, interest V 
at 4 per cent. J 



} 



By Dr Price's 
Table, found- 
ed on the Re- 
gister of Births 
and Burials at 
Northamptoji. 



34,286 

28,738 

Sfears. 
30.85 

10.88 
£ 15.438 

£7.761 
£ 0.55424 



By Mr Milne's 
Table, found 
ed on the Mor 
tality observed 
at Carlisle. 



51,335 

31,577 

Years. 
37.86 

11.79 
£ 17.645 

£ a307 
£ 0.88823 



By Mr Griffith 
Davles's Table 
founded on the 
Experience of 
the EquiUble 
Life Insurance 
Office. 



According to 
his First In- 
vestifjation, as 
mentioned in 
hl« evidence in 
1825. 



49,330 

37,267 

Years. 
37.45 

12.35 
£ 17-494 

£8.635 
£ 0.88723 



By Mr Finlalson's Tables, 
founded on the Experience of 
the Government Life Annuit. 



Mean of both 
Sexes. 



53,470 

38,655 

Years. 
38,35 

12.81 
£17.534 

£ 8.896 
£0.99078 



According to 
his Second In- 
vestigation, as 
mentioned in 
his evidence in 
1827- 



Mean of both 
SeJtes. 



53,950 



37,355 

Years. 
38.52 

12.50 



£ 17.634 



£8.751 



£ 0.98334 



Note.— In the above Tables, it is to be observed, that the mortality is deduced from 
an equal or nearly equal number of each sex ; with the single exception of Mr 
Davies's Table founded on the experience of the E(iuitable, in which office, 
from the practical objects of Life Insurance, it is evident the male sex must have 
composed the vast majority of lives subjected to mortality. But as it is agreed 
on ah hands, that the duration of life among females exceeds that of nude*. It 
follows that the results of Mr Davies's Table fall materially short of what they 
would have been, if the facts on which he has reasoned had comprehended an 
equal number of each sex. 



No comparison is here given of the different values of sums 
payable at death ; but it may be stated that a society, whose 



90 Mr W. Fraser o?i the Hidory and Constitution of 

premiums were calculated by the Northampton tables, and by 
interest at 4 per cent., would take from a person insuring at the 
age of S5, cither a single sum of £S67 : 15 : 5, or an annual pay- 
ment during life of £2^:11 : 5, for <^ 1000 payable at death ; 
while, by the Carlisle table, and assuming the rate of interest to 
be also 4 per cent., one single payment of £ S82 : 17 : 8, or an 
annual one of £ 15 : S : 5, would only be required. 

" Upon the whole, your Committee are of opinion, that the Carlisle Tablfes 
may prudently be adopted for general purposes, including that now in view, 
the valuation of an allowance in old age. Mr Finlaison's, which are the most 
recent of all the Tables, Avould, in all cases, give a higher expectation of life, 
and consequently require a larger payment from the members of a Friendly 
Society ; but the objection arising from selection does apply, in a considerable 
degree, to these Tables; and Mr Finlaison himself bears testimony to the 
sufficiency of the Carlisle Tables." — Report, p. 8. 

This opinion, with the immense mass of documentary and 
other evidence which has been obtained in the course of the late 
inquiries, cannot fail to be of the utmost importance to all ranks 
of the community, and to the higher classes in particular, as 
shewing both their rate of mortality from their own experience, 
and also the excessive premiums which they have usually been 
charged for assurances at death. 

While, however, the mortality of those in the better ranks of 
life has been found to correspond very nearly with that repre- 
sented by the Carlisle tables, it is by no means clear that the 
same rate prevails among the members of Friendly Societies. 
Regarding this contingency, no results from their experience 
have as yet been obtained ; but as sickness and accidents are 
undeniably increased among the working classes, by noxious and 
dangerous employments, by ill ventilated dwellings, scarcity of 
food and clothing, and by many other causes, from all of which 
the higher classes are in a great measure, if not altogether, free, 
60 it necessarily follows that the mortality will be greater among 
the members of these Societies than among those of T.ife Assu- 
rance Associations. Nor can we reconcile the idea of a high rate 
of sickness with that of a low rate of mortality, as has been 
virtually done by Messrs Finlaison and Davies, in calculating 
their proposed rates of contributions and benefits for the mem- 
bers of Friendly Societies. 



Benefit or Friendly Sockiks. 91 

Taking, therefore, those circumstances into view, and more 
especially that not nearly the same attention will be paid by 
these societies in the selection of their members, as is done by 
Life Assurance Companies, it is evident that a somewhat higher 
table of mortality should be adopted for the purposes of the for- 
mer than of the latter class of assurers. Security, no doubt, 
ought always to be a principal object of these societies ; but, as is 
remarked by Mr Babbage, " Safety is much more certainly sc- 
cureil by judging as nearly as possible the true risk, and adding 
an additional sum for security. If tables not representing the 
mortality of the class for whom they ai'e designed are employed, 
every step in the reasonings which are deduced from them is 
liable to increased error ; and if the calculations are at all com- 
pUcated, the errors so introduced may not improbably act on the 
opposite side to that which they were introduced to favour."" 

By referring, then, to the table of expectations of life at p. 86, 
it must be obvious that the rate of mortality adopted in the Re- 
port of the Highland Society of Scotland will represent pretty 
accurately that of the working classes, and consequently that 
their table is the most suitable for all the purposes of Friendly 
Societies. 

(To he continued,) 



Sketch of tlic Physkal Geography of tJie Malvern Hills. By 
William Ainsworth, Esq. Member of the Royal College 
of Surgeons, Edinburgh, &c. (Communicated by the Au- 
thor). 

JL HE Malvern Hills form a range running nearly due north 
and south, through part of the three counties of Gloucester, 
Worcester and Hereford, and seldom attaining any great height ; 
but their rugged outline, and bold accHvity, rising abruptly in 
the centre of a champaign and level country, make them re- 
markable, giving to the eye of the stranger *the same impres- 
sions of independence of origin and formation, as their difference 
of structure does to the judgment of the geognost. They have 
not unaptly been compared to the Sierra of the Spaniards, 



92 Mr Ainsworth cm the Physical Geography 

From their peculiarity of outline, height, and pointed summits, 
they are fully entitled to be called mountains, though, as La- 
mouroux ( Cours elementaire de Geogf. Phys.) would say, moun- 
tains of the second and third order. They are one continuous 
range, having no lateral branches; they have no pseudoor ex- 
tinct volcanoes, or ignivomous mountains ; nor do they present 
any mineral allied to the products of volcanic action, excepting 
in as far as they are composed of primitive granite (Daubeny 
cm Volcanoes). Their form varies but little : the Worcester- 
shire Beacon, and the two most southern hills, have the most 
acute pointed summits. The Herefordshire Beacons have been 
altered by the labours of the Romans, digging trenches in the 
talus for their encampment ; while the adjoining hills, which 
will be found to be the oldest districts of the range, present 
the most rounded tops, as being formed of more easily decom- 
posed rock. Two of the hills are cultivated to their very sum- 
mits : the ground is tilled by means of three-pronged forks ; 
and there is but a very slight difference between the abundance 
and date of ripening in the crops reared on the hills, and those 
vegetating in the valleys below. The summits are not dis- 
tirictly marked out from the acclivity : there are about sixteen 
in the whole range ; a few are isolated, but more generally they 
are connected, as in the hill between the Whyche and the 
Sedbury and Upton road, which, rising gradually from the 
south, forms five summits, before it reaches the highest point, 
where it forms an insulated prominent head, which the Nor- 
wegians, whose language is rich in names for the different 
forms of mountains, call Kullen, while a round or less promi- 
nent hill is Nuden (Von Buch, p. 52.). From this point it 
afterwards descends, forming another rival series of summits, 
to where the pass is hewn out of the solid rock for the Whyche 
road *. The rock in this case every where rises to the north, 
so that one of the extensive slopes lies in the direction of the 
dip of the mountain rock, another in a direction contrary to 

• The last southern summit of this range, descending towards the Here- 
fordshire Beacon, makes a curve round to the west, forming a table land, on 
which houses are built, and part laid out in gardens. The Herefordshire Bea- 
con descending with a gradual slope to the east, bends slightly round in that 
direction ; the convexity of the first corresponding with the concavity of the 



of the Malvern Hills. 93 

that dip, and on that side the summits are more abrupt, and 
the acclivities less clothed with vegetation. The highest hills 
of the range, viz. the North Hill and the Worcestershire and 
Herefordshire Beacons, have a more perpendicular slope to 
the north ; and throughout the whole range, the angle of the 
acclivity is greater on the southern and eastern than on the nor- 
thern and western aspects. The ridges are also much more nu- 
merous and distinctly marked on the north-east, than any where 
else. 

There are, strictly speaking, only five valleys, and all of these 
run in transverse directions ; nor is there a single valley to 
be met with running longitudinally with the mountain-range. 
Wherever they occur, roads are cut through them ; the deep- 
est is the one through which the road passes from Sedbury to 
Cheltenham. No boulder-masses or field-stones are found in 
these valleys ; and the alluvial or transported soil seldom ex- 
ceeds twenty or thirty feet in depth on the base of the hills. 

No river of any magnitude takes its rise from this range. 
The springs are numerous : there are eight to the west, and as 
many if not more to the east ; they have long been remarkable for 
their purity, but have only met with a few advocates for any pe- 
culiar medical efficacy, their chemical analysis not favouring any 
such views. They are so superficial, that experiments on their 
temperature did not afford an approximation sufficiently identi- 
cal, or approaching to the mean temperature oi the latitude or 
locality, to be worth recording. Those rising on the east run 
their course immediately into the Severn : those on the west, on 
the contrary, divide in their direction from the Herefordshire 
Beacon, which is thus shewn to be, though not the^highest hill, 
yet the most elevated part of the range corresponding to its geo- 
gnostical importance. Those to the south run into a stream 
which joins the Severn at Gloucester : those on the north join 
the river Cadwell, which unites with the Terne, the latter fir 
nally emptying its waters into the Severn at Leigh near Wor- 
cester. 

latter, exemplifying that the same rules exist with segments of spheres, as 
Buffon has laid down with respect to angles, and thus the valley through 
which passes the Sedbury road is formed. 



94) Mr Ainsworth 071 the Physical Geography 

An examination of the geognostical structure of tlie Malvern Hills offers 
the following positions : 

liY, That, throughout the whole range, the various rocks entering into the 
composition of the mountain-masses contain no organic remains. 

2d, That in no place are they found superimposed on, or alternating with, 
rocks containing organic remains, or which, from mechanical analysis,' 
are known to be formations deposited subsequent to the appearance 
of organization. 

From the most northerly point to as far as their structure can be investi- 
gated in the south, they present an uniform series of primitive rocks, from 
highly crystalline granite to the more compact chlorite-slate ; and the transi- 
tions between these two rocks may, with a little patience of research, be traced 
throughout all their gradations ; — not that these gradations occur exactly in 
accordance with the relative situation of the mountain-masses, but that, in 
particular localities, such transitions are distinctly marked out. The central 
part of the range, comprising the Herefordshire Beacon and its table land, 
the hill extending to the north to Whyche road, and the hill above Eastnor 
Wood to the south of the Beacon, arc all composed of granite, with slight lo- 
•cal variations of texture. Dr MacCuUoch has remarked, that specimens may 
frequently be obtained from beds of gneiss, undistinguishable from genuine 
granite, an example of which he mentions as occurring in South Uist ; and fur- 
ther remarks, " that the views of the geologist, embracing a wide field, must 
not be limited by variations which are minute, irregular, and inconsistent, and 
which do not affect the broader principles that regulate his investigations." 
However just these remarks may be, they admit of too much latitude of ex- 
pression to accord with the severe science of a philosophy founded on obser- 
vation alone. From the slaty appearance Avhich these rocks sometimes pre- 
sent, — ^from the general tendency which, throughout the whole mountain 
range, they show towards assuming the appearance of gneiss, the more crys- 
talline portion of the series might be considered as mere varieties of that for- 
mation. This suggestion I would, however, strongly oppose. To assign the 
proper denomination to a rock whose connexions and mechanical texture offer 
distinctive and recognizable characters, is a basis to all strict geognostical 
science. When, therefore, we find a rock in all its characters a representa- 
tive of granite, assuming the highest situation in the range, independent in 
itself, and only varying through gradual transitions into subordinate forma- 
tions, it becomes a genuine granite, and in situation and chemical constituents 
marks itself out as the oldest rock and basis of the mountain range. Its in- 
vestigation in situ is interesting, and affords in its localities very marked dis- 
tinctions. The hills which it forms, though bold and rugged in their outline, 
are nevertheless the most rounded at their summits of any in the range. 
The Herefordshire Beacon, which I have already mentioned, may be divided 
into two summits, each having the remains of a Roman encampment on it, 
as well as the neighbouring southern hill, formed of a red granite, in which 
flesh-coloured felspar is by far the most abundant ingredient, mica being a 
rare component, and often entirely wanting. The whole rock appears so liable 
to decomposition, that near Eastnor Wood it is quarried and sieved for gra- 
vel It bears a great analogy to the red granite met with between Loch 

2 



of the Malvern Hills. 95 

Gilphead and Inverary ; but its effects in destroying vegetation „i. lUc sides 
of the hills are not so remarkable as in the Grampians,— a circumstance most 
probably owing to the diminished height, less j)erpendicular slope, and more 
genial clime of the Malveni Hills, than to any material difference in the con- 
stituents of these two rocks. It is worthy of remark, that the ridges by which 
the Koman encampments are still so distinctly tracetl, are scooped out of the 
granitic rock itself, and that the walls are not, as might be supposed, the gra- 
vel, and other residue of digging the furrow, but always formed of the native 
rock, which, to the present day, crops out in some situations hard and un- 
changed by the lapse of years, and must have presented a much more secure 
barrier than the unconnected residue of their operations, placed without sup- 
port on an abrupt and oftentimes precipitous acclivity. 

On the hill between the Scdbury and Ui)ton, and the Whyche road, which 
rises from the two opposite points of the compass to a summit which attains 
an elevation of more than 1500 feet above the level of the sea, this granite 
becomes more compact, retaining, however, on the summit, the same charac- 
ters ; but on the road, where several extensive sections are to be met witli, 
becoming much changed, and at times its constituents are almost amalga- 
mated the one into the other, being at some points, more especially at a 
q\iarry on the Sedbury road, very nearly allied to a chlorite-slate. This quar- 
ry, towards its upper part, presents very much the appearance of distinct stra- 
tification. In fact, wherever large sections of this or the former rock occur, 
they may distinctly be perceived to have a dip towards the south, and invo- 
luntarily give to the mind of the geologist the idea of a once stratified rock 
heaved up, deranged in the parallelism of its strata and the uniformity of its 
direction, yet still preservii-g the same dip and inclination. Not fifty yards 
from the milestone near the last-mentioned quarry, a vein of the same com- 
pact feldspathic rock may be seen rising in an almost vertical direction, and 
traversing the adjacent strata almost at right angles : it is scarcely two feet 
broad. At the section made through the rock, affording a passage for the 
Whyche road, the red granite may also be perceived occupying apparent- 
ly distinct localities, presenting the appearance of beds in the more com- 
pact and frequently ironshot mountain-rock. The mica at this point becomes 
more abundant, and soon forms the principal constituent. The red gra- 
nite is frequently almost entirely feldspathic ; beyond the hill crystals of 
hornblende first make tlieir appearance, and becoming gradually more abun- 
dant, have led the English geognosts to consider the whole as a sienitic for- 
mation. Undoubtedly if in any part of the range such a rock occurs, a few 
partial beds are to be met with here, but not in sufficiently extensive forma- 
tions to be considered as the basis of the range ; but to this I shall liave oc- 
casion to refer afterwards. 

The investigation of the geognostical structure of the two most nortlicriy 
hills in the Malvern range, though interesting, presents little variety. Known 
by the names of the Worcestershire Beacon and the North Hill, they lie 
nearly due north and south of one another, the latter being the more nor- 
therly, and intersected by a narrow valley, deeper and more abrupt on the 
eastern side. No stratification is discernible excepting on the western asiH?ct> 
where a gentle dip to the north may be perceived, and a direction of its strata 



96 Mr Ainsworth on the Physical Geography 

apparently east and west. On the eastern side, the new red conglomerate * 
makes its appearance, covering the sides of the Worcestershire Beacon. The 
occurrence of this formation implies either a breaking and elevation of its 
strata, by causes similar to those to which perhaps the Malvern Hills owe 
their existence, or the deposition of the sandstone subsequent to the hills, a 
supposition implying a stratification of the last-mentioned rock nearly paral- 
lel to the acclivity of the hill, or in a more or less concave form filling up its 
base, neither of which last mentioned appearances are presented by this rock ; 
and, in the second place, implying an elevation of the formation, which, ac- 
cording to Werner, in common with aU floetz rocks, is at once chemically and 
mechanically deposited, little supported by the confined limits of the forma- 
tion. 

To the north-west low hills of limestone are found running nearly parallel 
with the portion of the range which they face. The rock interposed between 
them and the granite is old red sandstone, and in their organic remains and 
texture they bear too remarkable an analogy with the hills of the same for- 
mation which crop out, bounding at intervals the red marl across the whole 
of England, not to be referred to the same formation which at Caleford is as- 
sociated with the old red sandstone, and with greywacke at Chepstow and 
Monmouth. 

The mechanical analysis of the rocks forming these two hills, indicates 
that both are mountain-masses of granite, presenting, however, great variety 
of texture, and appearances, with difficulty associated by the geognost. The 
granite is generally speaking close-grained, containing both mica and horn- 
blende, the latter, however, often entirely wanting ; highly crystalline gra- 
nite, with little mica and no hornblende, becoming as much a part of the 
mountain-mass as that formation. It occurs principally en filons, which is 
particularly remarkable at the pass through which the Whyche road is cut. If, 
with Jameson, we consider strata as similar contiguous masses, and beds as dis- 
similar, these filons will come under the latter denomination, and so we may 
avoid exciting prejudices by adverting to the stratification of granitic rocks. 
In these beds felspar is the most abundant constituent, — not, however, oc- 
curring in prisms, disseminated through a quartzose basis, but rather itself 
forming a basis for imperfectly crystallized quartz, with now and then partial 
scales of mica. On the Worcestershire Beacon, a vein of quartz, of a few 
feet in breadth, occurs traversing the rock in a nearly vertical direction. On 
the southern part of the hill, a hole has been dug, with a view of obtaining for 
strangers visiting these hills specimens of mica, which, from their highly me- 
talline lustre, have been called gold -j-. This is a bed traversing the granite 

• This formation, the variegated sandstone (Bunter sandstein) of Werner, has not unaptly 
been called by the English geologists Red Marl, as, whenever I have applied acids, the application 
has been accompanied with effervescence. Though, as its name imports, its general colour is red, 
yet it almost everywhere, where large sections are presented to the eye, exhibits streaks of a more 
compact sandstone, of a light blue or cream colour. 

t The decomposition of granite first commences from a chemical change taking place in the 
iron, which, in however smaU quantities, is yet universally distributed through the mineral king- 
dom. The water aud extraneous moisture gaining access to it, converts it to a state of hydrate and 
peroxide, increasing its bulk, and thus destroying its amalgamating effect on the rock, and, at the 

4 



of the Malvern Wills, 97 

ih a direction nearly at right angles. Wherever I coiUd examine it, it wc.i 
so weathered as to render my decisions very fallacious. It has, however, to 
Jill appearances a decomposed basis of felspar (clay -slate) with folia of mica, to- 
wards tlie surface, and, when exj)osed to decomposing agents, (Mssessiiig a high 
metalline lustre, becoming towards the centre of the rock, dark and shining. 
If the formation was sufficiently extensive, it would be called a porjjhyry. I 
have only met with an account of a similar rock occurring near Felsobanya in 
Transylvania, and in Saxony. With respect to the accuracy of denominating 
these formations Sienite, 1 need only remark, tliat, notwithstanding it has 
been proved that the rock from which a supposed similar series has received 
its name from the time of Pliny, is not a compound of hornblende, quartz 
and felspar, as first advanced by Werner, and that this name becomes no 
longer applicable to the same set *, still, under all circumstances, this rock 
has no claim to that title : the dissemination of hornblende is not universal, 
though in some places abundant, yet it is regulated by particular localities. 
The existence of mica, in some places so abundant, is at once decisive as to 
its real characters ; and though hornblende is met with as a mineral occur- 
ring often in abundance, but yet not so universally as to be entitled to be 
called a mineral constituent, or to give to the formation a name depending 
on its occurrence. 

Under these circumstances, Worcestershire Beacon and North Hill, like 
Hereford Beacon, will be formed of granite, containing occasionally crystals 
of hornblende, and associated with gneiss, which, with little variation, forms 
the northern part of the Beacon, and the whole of the North Hill. I did not 
perceive it any where alternating with the granite* 

To the north, then, the central granite varies slightly in its appearance, 
becoming slaty -granular, yet scarcely ever losing its distinctive characters. 
Towards the south, however, it presents more remarkable differences, and be- 
comes scarcely recognisable in the more compact and less crystalhne rocks 
forming the southern outline of the mountain-range. On the hill to the 
south of Hereford Beacon, a cave has been artificially hewn out of a portion 
of the mountain rock, which juts out beyond the regular acclivity, bar- 
ren, and covered only with a few stunted lichens. In this cave, though 
not many feet deep, the Hypnum splendens and luiescens, and a Bryitm^ ])ut 
forth their leaves to a vegetation never exceeding five or six lines in length, 
and then wither. This portion of the rock is more compact than the body 
of the hill, and proves that the nature of the mountain must not be judged 
of by the examination of a portion which, by the opposition its structure of- 
fers to decomposing agents, is barren, and unclothed with vegetation, offering, 

same time, by the increase in size thus given to its particles, disseminateti so generally through the 
mass, uniting chemically and mechanically to destroy the cohesion, and Influence the further de- 
composition of the rock Itself. In a close-grained granite, the felspar becomes of a redder hue, and k 
gradually reduced to an impalpable powder, or from the quantity of alumina entering Into its com- 
position, forms a basis of slate-clay : the pieces of quartz change gradually their form, and gene- 
rally roll off in the shape of pebbles ; while the lamella: of mica, the last to be decoropoted, oftm 
t-xhibit a metalline lustre. 

• M. de Humboldt has proposed the name of Sinaite. 
OCTOBER-i— DECEMBER 1827. G 



98 Mr Ainsworth on the Physical Geography 

at tlie same time, great facilities to the geognost ; for, as in this case, they will 
generally be found to vary a little in their structure, — circumstances which, 
of themselves, account for their solitary bleakness, when compared with the 
other side, and oftentimes the adjacent portion of the hill. The first transi- 
tion is, when the quartz becoming less extensive, and the mica more abun- 
dant, at the same time assumes gradually a more lamellar aspect, and becomes 
a distinct gneiss. This transition may be observed on the hill forming the 
third summit to the south of Hereford Beacon. Its next transitions are two- 
fold, on the one hand losing almost all parallelism of lamellae, the mica less dis- 
tinct, and becoming more or less amalgamated with the other constituents, 
forming a blue chlorite-slate, at times very much resembling the same forma- 
tion as it occurs on the north of Tarbet Bay, in the Mull of Cantyre, and 
known to Faujas St Fond and other old geologists by the name of Lapis ol- 
laris. It is this rock, Avhich some authors, mentioning the occurrence of green- 
stone in these hills, have, I suppose, mistaken for it. 

On the other hand, the mica becomes still more prevalent in the rock, the 
slaty structure more decidedly marked, and in all its characters it approxi- 
mates to mica-slate. This may be most distinctly seen in the London road 
that crosses the southern extremity of the hills. De Saussure has very ex- 
pressively called gneiss Granite veine. The term conveys the ground of dis- 
tinction between gneiss and mica-slate ; yet the distinctive characters of this 
rock are not sufiiciently well marked out to warrant its receiving the latter 
appellation. To the west, it again becomes very compact, and less crystal- 
line, the mica becomes almost entirely lost, and the rock becomes a dark 
quartzose mass. Finally, this last hill is divided by the deep valley through 
which courses the London road from a mountain-mass of gneiss and chlorite- 
slate, whose compact structure, and power of resisting decomposition, have 
given to the last-mentioned hills more acute summits than any others in the 
range. The transition of the gneiss into green chlorite-slate, I did not ac- 
tually trace in situ ; but, by fracturing some of the larger pieces rolled down 
the sides of the hills, or even examining the broken stones on the road, many 
examples will be found, fully demonstrating that it is a mere transition of the 
first-mentioned rock into a more compact and less distinctly lamellar mass. 
Beyond this, cultivation has effaced the bold outline and rugged grandeur of 
the primitive mountains, and the line between the old rocks and the super- 
incumbent formations becomes totally lost. 

From these investigations, the following general facts may be deduced : 

1. That the Malvern Hills are composed of that class of rocks denominated 

primitive, including granite, gneiss, and chlorite-slate. 

2. That these rocks are indefinitely stratified, having generally a direction 

from east to west, and rising with little variation to the north. 

3. That they contain no organic remains, nor are ever found alternating with 

or superimposed on rocks of a more modern formation, and that they 
are of a formation much more ancient than the surrounding rocks ; and 
though theoretically, it is not impossible that they might have assumed 
theii* present situation at a period more modern than the deposition of 
the old red sandstone, or even of the red marl, that they nevertheless 



of the Malvern HilU. 99 

are neither chemically or mechanically connected with those formations, 
hut of a much older date. 

4. That as they are older, so they assume a more lofty situation than the sur- 

rounding more modem formations, even than the oolite capping the 
summits of the Cotteswold range, or the transition limestone of Bristol 
and Calesford. 

5. and lastly^ That, in their nature, situation, and appearance, they hear evi- 

dence with the granitic hills of Cumberland, North Wales, Anglesea, 
Cornwall, and more esj)ecially Mount Sorrel in Leicestershire, that the 
intricate and numerously alternating modem formations of England, lie 
upon rocks of granite *. 
In their mechanical analysis, the Malvern Hills aifbrd 

A highly crystalline compound of flesh-coloured felspar and quarts;. 
Of felspar, quartz and mica. 
Of felspar, quartz, and hornblende. 
Of felspar, quartz, hornblende, and mica. 
Of felspar and mica. " 

These are all referrible to the class Granite, varying in the predominance and 
proportion of the ingredients. In the next transition, the rock becomes more 
compact in its texture ; and the folia of mica ranging themselves in lamina?, 
give a veined appearance to the formation. This is genuine gneiss, distin- 
guishable, as found on the Malvern Hills, into 

\st^ Gneiss, in which felspar and quartz are tht'most abimdant ingredients. 
2</, In which felspar and mica alternate in layers. 

3rf, In which mica becomes the predominant ingredient, verging into mica- 
slate. 
The compounds of felspar and mica exist, 1*/, In a highly crystalline state. 
2(i, In a state in which the felspar becoming decomposed, offers a clay-slate 
basis to crystals or foliae of mica. 3rf, In which the felspar is almost entirely 
lost, and the mica assumes a metallic lustre and appearance. 

The gneiss varies from its veined structure into a compact granular green 
rock, whose principal ingre<lient is generally quartz, at first slightly lamellar, 
and soon becoming small-grained lamellar, and more indistinctly crystallized 
(chlorite-slate). 

The geographical distribution of Plants on the Malvern Hills does not offer 
any very remarkable features. Their height does not allow of the growth in 
a single latitude of plants of a whole zone ; and the temperature at the sum- 
mits of the hills difiers too little from that of the valley, to afford much diffe- 
rence in the nature of its vegetation. The plants of the genus Erica are rare 
for apparently so favourable a situation. Bushes of the Spartium scoparium arc 
to be met with above Little Malvern, and to the south of the hills. Specimens 
of Genista Atiglica, Ononis arvensis^ Ulex europcens and nanus, are scattere<l about 
the hills ; but excepting the Grasses, the Ferns are by far the most abumlant 
plants filling the valleys, while the dwarf fern gives a green covering to the 

* According to these views, the formation south of London, more especially the chalk traced 
by Mr Conybeare as far as Prussia, would still come under this clause, as in Great Britain they He 
on their north-western boundary on granite ; and on their eaetem, their relatioo ii fioaUy erery 
where the same. 

G S 



100 Mr Meikle on a proposed Improvement 

rocks above. I did not meet with the Viola lutea. I visited tlie hills in Sep- 
tember : at the time of flowering it is likely it might be found ; the V. trico- 
lor was flowering in abundance. To offer a list of the plants growing on the 
hills themselves, or at their base, is needless, as it would embrace half the 
compendium of British plants. I shall allude only to the rarer ones. The 
most remarkable, and those which seem to have claimed these hills as their 
own, are the Digitalis purpurea, of which a white variety is often met with, 
and the Hyoscyamus niger, most abundant on the North Hill, and above East- 
nor Wood a varisty occurs with five racemes : whenever the soil has been ac- 
cidentally disturbed, it sends forth its leaves, and, like the Digitalis, abounds 
most in those stony spots which the Motacilla cenanthe has marked out as his 
abode. In the moist places towards the base of the range, Marchantia poly- 
morpha, Serapias longifolia. Orchis bifolia, O. conopsea, O. ustulata, Ranunculus 
lingua, Myosotis minimum, R. pa'i-vijiorus, Colchicum autumnale. Polygonum minus, 
P. aviculare, P. viviparicm, Scirpus acicularis, Satyrium, viride. Campanula rotun- 
difolia, patula, latifolia, &c. In the woods, Galanthus nivalis, Chlora perfoliata, 
Aquilegia vulgaris, Acer campestris and pseudo-platanus, &c. &c. The brambles 
and briars are covered with the Clematis and Tamus communis. On the hills, 
Arenaria tenuifolia, Drosera rotundifolia, Fumaria claviculata, Cistus helianthe^ 
mum, C. polyfolius, Helleborus viridis, Hypericum androscemum, &c. On the 
granite rocks, were found the Sedum album, and Cotyledon umbilicus. On the 
limestone rocks the Potentilla verna flowers prettily; and the following list of 
the Lichens which I obtained, is a pretty accurate list of those which are to be 
found on this range : Lichen geographicus, L. islandicus, L. parellus, L. physodes, 
L. plicatus, L. pustulatus, L. rangiferinus, L. scrobiculus, and L. scrobiculatus. 



1. Proposed Improvement in the Theory of Sounds and in the 
mode of Measuring its Velocity. 2. On the Theory of the 
Variation of the Barometer. By H. Meikle, Esq. Com- 
municated by the Author. 

A HE propagation of sound through elastic fluids, was first 
considered by Sir Isaac Newton ; but his investigations led to a 
result considerably short of 1142 feet, the experimental velocity 
in a second, so long received in this country, and which, owing 
to some inaccuracy, was far above the truth ; for the mean ve- 
locity is now found by experiment to be only about 1100 feet. 
Newton's result still lay much below the latter number ; but those 
who have investigated the velocity from the same data, have ac- 
quiesced in his conclusion. It was not known in Newton''s days, 
that, when air undergoes a change of volume, it at same time 
changes its capacity for heat, becoming warmer by compression, 



in the Theory of Sound. 101 

and colder by rarefaction. The want of acquaintance with this 
circumstance, has led him and many others into the erroneous 
conclusion, that the particles of elastic fluids repel each other 
with forces inversely as their central distances, which could never 
be the case, if the capacity be affected, no matter in what manner 
or degree, by a change of density. Newton himself has shewn in 
his Principla^ that, if the cube of the pressure in an elastic fluid 
were as the fourth power of the density, the particles must re- 
pel each other with forces inversely as the squares of their central 
distances. Now, the experiments of the French philosophers near- 
ly agree with such a relation subsisting between the pressure and 
density of air. Numerous experiments which I have m'ad^on this 
subject, answer almost exactly, and this was far from my expecta- 
tion ; for, till these experiments were made, I had conjectured 
that the true result would lie quite on the contrary side of those 
obtained in France; but on perceiving that my result accorded 
with the existence of a repulsion between the particles of air in- 
versely as the squares of their distances, which is such a general 
law of nature, I was led to adopt this as the true law of gaseous 
repulsion. MM. Desormes and Clement have given a particu- 
lar description of their apparatus and mode of experimenting, in 
the 89th volume of the Journal de Physique. But I am not 
aware that any intelligible account has been published of the 
apparatus employed by MM. Gay-Lussac and Welter; though, 
from the brief and obscure hints given in the 12th book of the 
Mecanique Celeste^ I still suspect they are liable to some of the 
inaccuracies which I hinted at in the Number of this Journal 
for April last, and used every means to avoid, in my own ex- 
periments. 

The late celebrated Marquis Laplace had often directed his 
attention to this subject ; and reflecting that sound is propagated 
by aerial undulations, which cause a compression of the air as 
they move along, he conjectured that such compression, by ge- 
nerating an increase of temperature, augmented the elasticity of 
the air, and consequently the velocity of sound ; and that this 
was the reason why Newton'*s result fell short of experiment. 
According to Laplace, the velocity of sound, as deduced by 
Newton s theory, and which is about 91().3 feet, should be mul- 
tiplied by the square root of the quotient obtained by dividing 



102 Mr Meikle on a proposed Improvement 

the specific heat of air under a constant pressure, by its specific 
heat under a constant volume, viz. 1.1547. Still, however, this 
multiplier, as obtained from the experiments above mentioned 
on the specific heat of air, gives the velocity of sound too small. 
The object of the present article is to suggest a reason for this 
deficiency. 

The theory of sound, as improved by Laplace, supposes it to 
be propagated by a wave of air, having an increased temperature, 
without any addition to its quantity of heat ; but as each portion 
of the air forming the wave is warm when it communicates mo- 
tion to the next, it must also impart to it a portion of its heat *. 
Hencd? sound is propagated by a wave of air, having not mere- 
ly its temperature increased by compression, but having also an 
addition to its quantity of heat. In this way, a wave of heat 
accompanies sound through the air ; and I presume, that to it 
we owe the excess of the experimental, over the theoretical, ve- 
locity of liaplace. The theory of this distinguished philosopher 
lays no stress on the amount of the rise of temperature ; but 
such amount must depend on the degree of compression, that 
is, on the iritensUy of sound ; and as the transference of a quan- 
tity of heat from each portion to the next, will be greater as its 
excess of temperature is greater, it is clear that the velocity of 
sound must be greater when it is more intense. I am perfectly 
aware, that some suppose sounds of all intensities to be propa- 
gated with the same velocity, and allege as a proof, the undis- 
turbed succession of musical notes, when heard at a distance. 
So far as regards the present inquiry, I need only remark, that 
musical notes, or the differences of their intensities, are mere 
playthings, when compared with the penetrating report of a 
cannon issuing from the flames. 

From the account of experiments made in Holland by Dr 
Moll, with many excellent precautions, and published in the Phi- 
losophical Transactions for 1824, p. 424, it appears that sound 
moved slower from Kooltjesberg to Zevenboompjes, than in the 

• Heat cannot be here lost laterally, because sound is propagated, not in 
an insulated line of air, but rather as in a pyramidal figure, or something like 
a spherical sector, having the sonorous body for its centre, as is plain from 
sounds being heard over a considerable lateral extent. A line of air, there- 
fore, which is not near the outside of the sector, will lose no heat laterally. 



in the Theory of Sound. 103 

opposite direction. For, on tlie 25th June, p. 452, the interval 
is longer, even when sound could not be heard in the opposite 
direction, than the mean of both directions on the 27th and 28tli 
June *. This difference, I apprehend, has arisen from the dif- 
ference of the guns/orof the mode of charging and firing them. 

When the production of sound is accompanied with intense 
heat, as in the firing of guns, there is reason to think that a 
portion of such heat is propagated from one portion of air to 
another along with the sound. On this account, I conceive 
that tlie report of a gun moves faster than the sound of a bell, 
over and above what is due to superior intensity. As, however, 
a bell is not Iieard at such a distance as a gun, and the methods 
hitherto employed are too complicated for measuring with ac- 
curacy or facihty the minute interval of time in which a sound 
passes over a small distance, the exact velocity of sound from 
bells has not yet been determined. I therefore beg to propose 
the following simple expedient, by which I presume the diffi- 
culty of measuring the minute interval of time would be entirely 
obviated. I shall begin with a very familiar illustration of the 
principle. 

Suppose a hammer, moved by clock-work, to strike a bell at 
equal short intervals, as seconds, and that an obsei*ver sees the 
hammer just touch the bell, at the very instant when he first 
hears the sound. It is evident, that he must be either quite 
near the bell, or at such a distance as requires exactly one se- 
cond, or a whole number of seconds, for the sound to reach him •^. 
By removing himself a very little farther off, the sound will ar- 
rive too late, and by approaching rather nearer, the report 
will precede the visible stroke. In short, a very small varia- 
tion on the distance will sensibly disturb the coincidence ; and 

• In pages 430, 4.31, some experiments are mentioned as made in January 
1823, which, from the rest of the article, seems so exceedingly improbable, 
that I think the author or translator, not being alike familiar wdth both lan- 
guages, has put January several times for June. 

f 1 here mention seconds for convenience ; but in practice, I suspect the 
intervals must be at least of sufiicient length to keep the sounds of the 
strokes quite distinct ; which, at any rate, will require very small intervals. 
If the vibrations caused by music were quite clear of each other, the veloci- 
ties of the notes might not be so nearly equal. 



104 Mr Meikle 07i a proposed Improvement 

as this experiment might be often repeated in the course of a 
few minutes, ample opportunity would be afforded for deter- 
mining the exact distance which should make the two setisations 
perfectly harmonize. 

But instead of watching the motions of the hammer itself, a 
more precise and conspicuous signal might easily be contrived ; 
such as a long index, cojnpleting a revolution during each in- 
terval between the strokes, and then passing or covering some 
conspicuous mark or line. For experiments in the dark, a small 
hole might be opened, and instantly shut by the clock-work, at 
the very nick of time to allow a lamp placed behind a screen 
sending a momentary ray to the observer. 

This brief outline, I hope, will make it evident, that such 
machines, in proper hands, would tend in a great measure to 
obviate the uncertainty inseparable from hurriedly measuring 
the short interval of time v/hich elapses during the motion of 
the sound of bells over small distances. For, if the visible sig- 
nal be observed exactly to agree with the sound, we are sure of 
the true elapsed time, from the rate of the clock, without flus- 
tering ourselves to measure it at the moment. The observer, 
in this mode of operating, would merely be required to walk a 
very little backward and forward till he found himself at the 
exact distance. But, as neither eyes nor ears are in all per- 
sons equally acute, several observers might be employed at 
each station ; and if they did not exactly agree about the dis- 
tance, this might lead to a more minute investigation of the cir- 
cumstances. 

For the better obviating the eflPects of wind, a clock would be 
required at each end of the base over which the sound was to 
pass. They need only be pieces of strong machinery, without 
any compensation to the pendulums ; and yet from them the 
minute interval of time could be obtained, to a degree of exact- 
ness to which the nicest chronometer, when used as formerly, 
can have no pretensions : For the method now proposed pos- 
sesses the same sort of advantages over the former method, that 
Hadley's quadrant does in measuring angles at sea over the old 
instruments. 

The theory of sound is besides very imperfect, otherwise it 
would not leave us so much in the dark regarding the sovereign 



in the Titeory qfSouml 105 

controul which wind exercises over the intensity of sound, and 
which is tlie more remarkable, considering tJie vast dispropor- 
tion of their velocities. It is generally suptx)scd that the rela- 
tive velocity of sound and wind is not affected by the motion 
of tlie latter ; but this opinion stands much in need of confir- 
mation. It is clear, that the effect of wind on sound is very 
different from merely bearing it along, as a current in the ocean 
does a floating body. For in this way, the intensity would un- 
dergo no sensible change ; whereas, we know, that, in most cases, 
wind annihilates sound, when opposed to it, and magnifies it pro- 
digiously when moving in the same direction. The most natu- 
ral inference which we can draw from this is, that wind reflects 
sound in the opposite direction ; something in the way that the 
tide sends the bore up a river. 

The tremendous explosion of the Stobbs Powder Mills in 
1824, shewed, in a very striking light, how feebly, and to how 
short a distance, sound moves against the wind, while it is pro- 
digiously strengthened to leeward. A moderate breeze then 
blew from the south-west, and, although in the opposite direc- 
tion, the report was loud, and the houses sensibly shaken, to 
the distance of thirty miles, yet very few heard it, and that 
feebly, three miles to windward. 

Chap. III. Book xii. of the Mecanique Celeste, is devoted to 
the theory of sound, and forms a continuation of the author's 
speculations on heat and gases contained in the two preceding 
chapters. In it, particularly pages 127, 128, occur some of the 
formulae that are employed in the memoir of M. Poisson on the 
same subject; and which are closely allied to what I commenced 
with in the Number of this Journal for October 1826. I then 
pointed out an error into which these eminent mathematicians 
had fallen, in determining the proper form of the integral of a 
differential equation ; and which error arose from their intro- 
ducing a needless and erroneous hypothesis, at variance with 
the conditions of the problem. The mistake to which I allude 
admits of being placed in a still clearer point of view ; and this 
becomes the more necessary, considering the very unfair repre- 
sentation which Mr Ivory has given of what, in the Phil. Afaff. 
for April last, he calls the equations of the Mecanique Celeste ; 
though, in fact, the equations which he has prothiced there, to- 



106 Mr Meikle on a proposed Improvement 

gcthcr with the errors he complains of, are the offspring of his 
own contradictory hypotheses, and do not proceed from the real 
nature of the subject. This will be rendered evident from the 
perfect consistency of the following plain view of the case, in 
which no hypothetical work is introduced. 

Let t be the temperature, or rather the indication on the common scale of 
an air thermometer, p the corresponding^ pressure, and ^ the density of a mass 
of air ; then a being the expansion for one degree, and b another constant, we 
have, from the law of Boyle, 

p = *j(H-aO (A.) 

Whilst the quantity of heat in any body undergoes the minute variation 
dg, the corresponding variation dt in its temperature must obviously be in- 
versely as its specific heat. Hence, 

the last term of which is the general expression for the specific heat of any 
body ; especially if the volume and pressure do not vary at the same time, 
for in that case, the variation of heat might not change the temperature. But 
differentiating equation (A) with p constant, we obtain 

at =■ —— . do^ 

and substituting this value of dt in the general expression, the specific heat 
of air under a constant pressure, relatively to a degree of the scale to which 
t belongs, is 

d^ 1 + a^ 
Differentiating, again, equation (A) with ^ constant, and supposing that the 
mass of air undergoes the same variation dq in its quantity of heat as in the 
former case, we obtain for the specific heat of air under a constant volume, 
for the same degree of the thermometer, 

dp \ •\- at 
Now, it is admitted by all parties, and corresponds with experiment, that 
these specific heats have to each other an invariable ratio ; or, in other words, 
that the relations of the differentials is of a known and determinate charac- 
ter. Hence, they are of the fittest possible sort for integration. Calling this 
constant ratio that of A; : 1, and we get 

dp 1 + at d^ i + at 

From the conditions under which we have obtained this equation, dq has 
the same value in both terms. The degree of the common scale, considered 
as a linear quantity, is constant, and is likewise the same in both terms. 
Hence, dividing by the common factors, we obtain 



in the Theory qfSmind. 107 

an extremely simple equation, the integration of which is free from all ambi- 
guity, and gives jp r= g* ; supposing p and ^ to become each equal to unit at 
the same instant *. It hence follows, that the 'general expression for 7, or 
for any change which occurs in the quantity of heat contained in the air, 
is no " arbitrary function," such as we might modify at our whim or fancy, 
but a determinate function, fixed down by the above condition ; that the pres- 
sure vary as the k power of the density, in every case whatever, in which the 
quantity of heat in the mass of air undergoes no change, or when 7 = 0; and 
this condition will accord with no other form but what I formerly gave, 
viz. 

y :^ B (logp — Ar log e) + C. 

It is very remarkable, that four of the greatest mathematicians of the age 
should have been so completely bewildered regarding this integration. 1«/, 
The Marquis Laplace, Mec. Cel. tome v. p. 127.; 2</, M. Poisson, Annales de 
Chim. xxiii. 338. ; 3rf, Mr Herapath, Phil. Mag. Ixii. 329. f ; and IMr Ivory 
even after the only possible form of the function had been clearly pointed out, 
as I have shewn at length in the Number of this Journal for July last. 



2. On the Theory of the Variations of the Barometer. 

In the Supplement to the EncycloptEdia Britannica, Profes- 
sor Leslie has proposed a theory of the depressions of the baro- 
meter, in which he supposes, that the wind describing a curve 
in passing over the surface of the globe, acquires a centrifugal 
force sufficient to diminish the pressure of the air on the earth's 
surface, and consequently to depress the barometer. Mr Da- 
niel!^ in his Meteorolog^ical Essays^ has endeavoured to contro- 
vert this theory; but I am not sure that I have caught the 
meaning of either of these gentlemen in their respective argu- 
ments, and therefore do not pretend to decide on their merits. 

If we proceed to compute the centrifugal force of air, as if con- 
sisting of detached particles like sand, revolving in circles about 
the earth's centre, the result is by no means considerable ; but, to 

* This supposition has nothing to do with the value of the results : it 
merely gives the formula a neater appearance. 

f It is but justice to M. Poisson to observe, that Mr Herapath, in bis 
first note, page 328, accuses him of setting out with the hypothesis, that the 
increments of expansion, under a constant pressure, are jjrojwrtional to the 
increments of heat ; whereas nothing of the kind is assumed, till he had 
got to p. 330, after having obtained the " arbitrary function," as they are 
pleased to call it. 



108 Mr Meiklc 07i the Theort/ of the 

admit the correctness of such a conclusion, would be taking for 
granted, that the fluidity and the mutual action of the particles 
on each other do not affect the result. Mr Tredgold has lately 
shewn, that Newton''s overlooking this circumstance, in investi- 
gating the laws of the resistance of fluids, has led him and his 
followers into very erroneous conclusions ; and, by hastily pur- 
suing a similar path, we should have reason to fear the like 
consequences. It was probably considerations of this nature 
which induced Mr Leslie not to apply the ordinary mode of es- 
timating the centrifugal force of solids to the fluid atmosphere. 

There is, however, a very important circumstance connected 
with the centrifugal force of wind, which does not appear to have 
been yet attended to, and which throws a very different hght 
on the subject, though still adding greatly to the probability 
that the barometer has to do with the centrifugal force. The 
circumstance to which I allude is, that the curvilinear motion of 
wind, describing a circle about the earth, in place of always 
lowering- the barometer, ought frequently to augment the pres- 
sure of the atmosphere, and consequently to raise the barometer. 
At first sight, this may seem paradoxical enough, if not tho- 
roughly absurd ; but to solve it, we have only to consider, that, 
when the wind is from the east, its diurnal motion round the 
eartVs axis is thereby lessened, its centrifugal force will be of 
course weakened ; and so the air will be more at liberty to gra- 
vitate or press freely on the earth's surface, and consequent- 
ly to raise the barometer. Westerly winds, on the contrary, 
by conspiring with the diurnal motion, increase the centri- 
fugal force, and diminish the pressure. Hence the reason why 
the barometer is commonly lower with westerly winds than east- 
erly. Such difference of effects in opposite winds, so far as 
centrifugal force is concerned, will become smaller as the lati- 
tude increases, and the currents approach nearer to the direction 
of the meridian. But cold air from a higher latitude raises the 
barometer, from its being heavier than the comparatively moist 
and warmer air of a lower latitude. Hence, from the combina- 
tion of these two causes, the barometer in this country is usually 
hiffhest with a north-east, and lowest with a south-west wind. 

But the effects just mentioned are liable to be modified or 
overruled, by various causes of a less general nature. The de- 



Variations of' the Barometer. 109 

scent of the barometer during storms, I conceive to be frequent- 
ly influenced in no small degree by the reaction of the wind on 
the acclivities of the earth"*s surface. When a horizontally 
moving wind encounters an inclined plane, its direction is there- 
by more or less elevated, and an increase of pressure necessarily 
takes place on the reflecting surface. The whole pressure on 
the inclined plane, when estimated in the vertical direction, is 
obviously reduced in the ratio of the cosine of the inclination to 
radius ; but still the vertical force exerted within a horizontal 
square inch will, from the principles of hydrodynamics, be the 
same as the pressure on an inch of the inclined surface. If 
the one be equal to a column of 35 or 40 inches of mercury, so 
will the other. This vertical pressure, therefore, exceeds that 
of the barometer, in a sheltered place on the same level, in the 
same ratio as the direct force on the inclined plane does. Even 
a wall or precipice opposed to the wind, will occasion a greater 
pressure on the ground at the windward side of its base. Hence 
the mean of the whole vertical pressures over an extensive dis- 
trict, exceeds what is indicated by the barometer in a sheltered 
spot. 

Since, then, these surfaces, on which the wind forcibly acts, 
sustain a weight greater in proportion to the part of the horizon 
which they occupy, than the rest of the district does, a part of 
the weight of the atmosphere is, as it were, supported on pillars 
during a storm ; but the pressure indicated by our barometers 
in sheltered spots, being only the diminished pressure between 
the pillars, is therefore too small. This affords one very satis- 
factory reason why the barometer should so often be depressed 
duiing storms, especially where the surface of the country is 
uneven, and sometimes likewise in a ship riding among moun- 
tain-like waves. 

Between the tropics, the wind usually blows from the east, 
diminishing the centrifugal force, which so far accounts for its 
not depressing the barometer. And if, as is believed, the aerial 
currents from the south-east and north-east, by meeting near the 
equator, unite in a current directly from the east, which has no 
other mode of escape but by accumulating upwards, and flow- 
ing back to the tropics, this will aflbrd a farther explanation. 
For the greater the wind, the more will it tend to accumulate 



110 Mr Stevenson 6n British Harbours. 

the air about the equator. So that the depression of the baro- 
meter, due to the action of the wind on the acchvities of the sur- 
face, seems to be prevented in the vicinity of the equator, by tlie 
weight of a greater mass of air. But this, after all, is attended 
with some difficulties. 



Excerpt Jrom a Memoir on British Harbours^ drawn up in the 
year 1824. By R. Stevenson, Esq. F.R.S.E. & M.W. S. 
&c. Civil Engineer. With a Plan. (Communicated by the 
Author *.) 

L^TH Roads. — OUR nautical readers know that the Frith of 
Forth is a principal rendezvous for shipping during the storms 
which affect the eastern coast of Great Britain ; and as a naval 
station, especially in the event of war with any of the northern 
powers, it is of primary importance to the best interests of the 
nation. To those who are not locally acquainted with this 
great estuary, we may notice, that its access is obvious, and its 
navigation easy. Leith Roads, which afford its chief anchor- 
age, are ample and commodious, possessing a soft bottom, with 
a depth of water varying from three to upwards of seven fa- 
thoms, and, for larger vessels, to sixteen and eighteen fathoms. 
Connected with this extensive roadstead there are other valuable 
mooring grounds above Queensferry, which resemble the higher 
parts of Plymouth Sound and Portsmouth, in regard to the shel- 
ter and security which they afford to shipping. 

Leith Haebour. — Leith Harbour, the subject of the pre- 
sent section, is situate on the southern side of the Roads above 
described, at the embouchure of the river Leith, about two miles 
north from Edinburgh, of which it is the port. The advance- 
ment of this harbour is consequently an important object with 
the corporation of that capital, and also with the constituted 

• Mr Stevenson communicated to us his Memoir on British Harbours 
nearly three years ago ; but from the state of the I>eith Harbour Bill, then 
before Parliament, and other considerations of delicacy, the author requested 
us to delay its publication. There being now a variety of opinions regarding 
this object of great commercial importance, we have obtained Mr Stevenson*s 
consent to the publication of an excerpt of the Memoir.—EDiT. 



Mr Stevenson oji British Harhoiirs. Ill 

authorities of the town of Leith. I am now, therefore, to give 
some account of it, and to state what appears to me most suit- 
able for its improvement. 

At high-water of ordinary neap-tides there is a depth of only 
about eight or nine feet at the present entrance of Leith Har- 
bour, and in spring-tides the depth is about thirteen or fourteen 
feet. From the pecuhar form of its piers, and, particularly, ow- 
ing to a considerable extension of the eastern pier beyond the 
western one, as will be seen from the accompanying sketch-plan, 
vessels are by this means often shut up for a length of 
time with north-westerly winds. Till of late years the birthage 
of the harbour was confined to the bed of the river, and had be- 
come so extremely incommodious from the increase of shipping, 
that its enlargement became indispensable. An additional reve- 
nue was accordingly provided ; and two spacious wet-docks, ex- 
tending to ten acres, were formed. These docks have proved a 
vast accommodation to the port ; but a great desideratum still 
remains, in the want of a sufficient depth of water, and a more 
commodious entrance for the reception of large ships. 

If we inquire into the cause of the shallowness of the water 
at Leith, and generally along the southern shores of this frith, 
it may be accounted for, on the great scale, by the set both of 
the flood and ebb tides, in the following manner. The strongest 
current, for example, of the flood-tide, in its course from the At- 
lantic Ocean, runs along the coasts of Caithness, Aberdeen, and 
Kincardine, to the higher parts of the Frith of Forth, meeting with 
comparatively few obstructions on the northern side; whereas 
the stream of tide which supplies its southern shores, separates 
off* St Abb's Head, in Berwickshire, — one branch of the tide pro- 
ceeding to the English coast, and the other along the Lothians 
up the Frith. This last, however, has more the character of an 
eddy-tide, having changed its course almost at right angles, at 
or near St Abb's Head, and being further intersected in its pro- 
gress by the Bass and other islands lying off* the coast of Had- 
dingtonshire. At Gullen Ness, which forms one of the chops of 
the inner part of the Frith, the channel suddenly expands into 
the comparatively great bay of Musselburgh. This expanse 
gives another check to the velocity of the tide, which at Leith 
is again obstructed by a chain of rocks extending toward Inch- 
keith, throwing the currents, both of flood ^aiid ebb, still off the 



112 Mr Stevenson on British Harbours. 

southern shore. Between Lcith and the Narrows at Queensferry, 
the incumbrance is continued by the interposition of Cramond 
Island and the foul grounds of Mickery and Oxscares, which 
altogether are favourable to the process of deposition on this 
shore ; while the force of the current and consequent depth of 
water are increased upon the northern »ide. Of this we have an 
anomalous example at Queensferry, where the soundings are 
about thirty-five fathoms in depth, and consequently greater than 
on the same parallel of latitude any where between the Frith of 
Forth and the opposite coast of Denmark. 

The great obstacle to the improvement of the present entrance 
of Leith harbour arises from the extensive flat or bank trend- 
ing northward to the rocky grounds called the Symonds, lying 
seaward of the Martello Tower, as delineated on the annexed 
Sketch of the shore between Leith and Newhaven, shewing the 
figure of the bank and the position of the respective rocks in the 
oflSng. On the southern side of the Frith, immediately above 
Newhaven, the scouring effect of the tide is chiefly with the ebb, 
and thus we account for the peculiar form of the sand-bank off* 
Leith, and the greater depth of water ofl* Newhaven : at this 
place the bank is comparatively narrow, and it attains its great- 
est breadth off* the entrance to Leith Harbour. 

The scouring effects of the river Leith are, no doubt, benefi- 
cial to its alveus ; but if we carefully examine this matter, we 
shall find, from the extent and flatness of the ground, that its 
influence is, upon the whole, languid. The bar does not consist 
of mud, but of sand, similar to that which is deposited above 
and below Leith. It is not a particular ridge, but an extensive 
flat, which has its origin in the local set of the tides, arising from 
the configuration of the shores opposed to the tidal current. I 
am therefore of opinion, that every effort to deepen the present 
entrance of the harbour, which stops short of carrying two con- 
tinuous piers at a very moderate distance from each other, sea- 
ward of the Symond Rocks, or to the extent of about a mile 
from the shore at Leith, will not only prove ineffectual, but that 
one pier, of any form, which extends much beyond the other, will 
prove ruinous to the best interests of the port. I would not, 
however, be understood as recommending so extensive a plan 
of operations, as the extension of piers to the Symond Rocks, 



Mr Stevenson on British Harbours. 113 

but merely as stating what humbly appears to be the only prac- 
ticable mode of deepening the present entrance to the harbour of 
Leith. 

In quest of this object, some have projected the extension of 
a single pier, in various hues of direction, toward the Martello 
Tower, as a weir to the current. Others, with somewhat more 
plausibility, carry two piers to a certain extent over the sand- 
bank, and then proceed with one pier to the Martello Tower, as 
shown in dotted lines upon the Plan. I confess that I have ne- 
ver been able to satisfy myself upon this point, either as to its 
beneficial effect upon the bar, or its proper influence upon the 
accessibility of the harbour. To illustrate this, we simply refer 
to the Dresent state of things. For example, every one conver- 
sant with the nautical localities of Leith knows the difficulty ex- 
perienced in leaving the port with north-westerly or favour- 
able winds down the frith. In such cases, a vessel must cast 
qff^ or make sail, from the western pier, beyond which the east- 
ern one projects about 100 yards. But let us imagine that this 
single pier were extended to a mile, or even 1000 yards, and 
then, according to our views of seamanship, the difficulties at- 
tending the access of the harbour would be increased tenfold ; 
or, as before noticed, " it would prove ruinous to the best in- 
terests of the port." 

To obviate this state of things, it has been proposed to pro- 
ject a pier from Ncwhaven, till it meets the continuation of an 
eastern pier beyond the Symond Rocks, or seaward of the Mar- 
tello Tower. By this means, several hundred acres of sand-bank, 
which dries at low-water, would be included in the form of a 
great outer harbour. In this case, it appears to be impossible 
to avoid the silting up of so large a space as would thereby 
be included by the two piers projecting respectively from Leith 
and Newhaven, while the effect of the winds, at high-water, 
upon a surface of about one mile in breadth, would render it 
extremely difficult to transport vessels through it, to or from 
the interior harbour. It is therefore to be feared, that, after ha- 
ving expended a very large sum in either of these diversified 
operations, we should only have an incommodious, if not im- 
practicable, harbour. 

Having made these observations on the set of the tides, and 
the natural situation of Leith harbour, in alkision to various 

OCTOBER — DECEMBER 18.^7. H 



114 Mr Stevenson on British Harbours. 

plans latterly suggested for its improvement, we shall now en- 
deavour to inquire into the effect and tendency of executing in 
whole, or in part, the apparently abandoned plan of the late 
eminent Mr Rennie, and upon which, it is believed, upwards of 
.^'^OOjOOO have already been expended. When Mr Rennie was 
consulted on this subject, about the year 1800, he had before 
him an early design by Mr Whitworth, a celebrated engineer of 
his day, who had proposed to extend the birthage of the harbour, 
by following the course of the river above Leith Saw-mills. 
But when Mr Rennie maturely considered this subject, and took 
into view the natural difficulties which present themselves, to 
forming a deep-water entrance to Leith harbour from which 
the tide ebbs to the extent of about one mile, he was properly 
induced to form a design suitable for vessels of a greater draught 
of water than were generally in use in Mr Whitworth's time, by 
opening a communication at Newhaven. 

Now, as the greatest breadth of the sand-bank above alluded 
to is immediately off the present entrance to Leith harbour, and 
as the bank becomes narrower as we approach Newhaven, a 
more commodious line of direction is evidently by the erection of 
a continuous sea-wall toward Newhaven ; where a sufficient 
depth of water may be obtained for His Majesty''s ships of war. 
After therefore consulting with that eminently scientific naviga- 
tor, the late Captain Huddart, who made a survey of Leith, Mr 
Rennie ultimately determined upon placing the deep-water ac- 
cess to the harbour near Newhaven, as delineated in dotted lines 
upon the accompanying Plan. I have endeavoured to give the 
subject of the improvement of this harbour every possible atten- 
tion, and I am humbly of opinion, that no design for this pur- 
pose has yet been submitted to the public, which seems to warrant 
the total abandonment of Mr Rennie's plan. I am also confi- 
dent that it may be satisfactorily shown, not only to be the best 
which, under all circumstances, can now be followed ; but also, 
that the least expensive mode of obtaining a deep-water entrance 
is to continue the sea-wall from the docks westward ; for I do 
not now propose a suite of docks from Leith to Newhaven, 
but merely a tide-harhour, which might be occasionally scoured 
from the present wet-docks. To take a practical example of 
this, let it be observed that a sea-wall from the wet-docks toward 
Newhaven would not be more than two-thirds of the extent of 
the pier required, to carry a ship to a similar depth of water 



Mr Stevenson 07i British Harlours. 115 

off the Martello Tower, as may be seen from the accompanying 
Plan. 

Wc are aware that the proposed entrance at Newhaven is dis- 
tant from the chief scat of business in Leith, and that it is dif- 
ficult for those accustomed to the present state of things to look 
favourably u{X)n any other view of the subject ; but, in j>oint.of 
fact, the pier-head near Newhaven would not be more distant from 
the central parts of Leith than a pier at the Martello Tower, 
while the former would be much more commodious and acces- 
sible than the latter. In every extended port, more or less in- 
conveniency of this description is felt ; and if the situation of the 
merchants of Leith be contrasted with that of their brethren of 
London, Liverpool, Dublin, and many others, they will appear 
to have little cause to complain, although the entrance of the 
harbour were at Newhaven. 

Upon the whole, I hesitate not to recommend that the en-» 
trance to Leith harbour should forthwith be improved upon a 
moderate scale. Its present condition is a source of much incon- 
veniency. to the trade of Leith, having, perhaps, as difficplt and 
awkward an access as I have anywhere met with in the whole 
course of my survey, and personal observation, on " British 
Harbours '"* between the Shetland and Scilly Islands. I am fur- 
ther of opinion that a sea-wall should be extended from the wet- 
docks toward Newhaven, and that a deep-water entrance should 
there be formed, upon the principle, if not the form, suggested 
by Mr Rennie. This, as formerly stated, I conceive to be the 
most proper and convenient mode of acquiring a sufficient depth 
of water, and also the most economical mode of improvement of 
which the port of Leith is susceptible. 

Observations on the Coal-Jield, and accompanying Strata, in 
the vicinity of Dalkeith, Mid-Lothian. By Robert Bald, 
Esq. F. R. S. E., M. W. S., &c. Mining-Engineer * (Com- 
municated by the Author.) 

JlXaving, in a former paper, which I read before this Society^ 
made several observations upon the Mid-Lothian Coal-fields, I 
have, since that time, made many investigations of this very in- 
teresting district ; and these confirm tlie ideas I had formed of 

• Read before the Wemerian Natural History Society 7th April 1827* 

h2 



116 Mr Bald on the Coal-field 

the coal strata in the vicinity of Dalkeith, viz. that the edge- 
coals, and accompanying strata, found at the collieries of Drum 
and 'Gilmerton, four miles south of Edinburgh, with the well- 
known bed of limestone, which lies immediately under all the 
workable coals, decline into the centre of the valley, southward, 
to a very great depth, and then deflect, rising to the south, and 
are again found at Dalkeith, where the lime rock, under the 
lowest workable coal, is found, and wrought extensively. We 
therefore conclude, that the bed of lime-rock in the lower part 
of the Dalkeith section, is a continuation of the lime-rock at Gil- 
merton ; that the coal named the Parrot Coal in the sections, 
corresponds with the lowest coal at Gilmerton, next the lime- 
rock, named the North Green Coal ; and that the several coals 
above the parrot-coal in the section correspond with the edge- 
coals which lie above the said north green coal. 

The following minute section of the strata was made in the 
course of running a day-level some years ago from the South 
Esk, to drain the Marquis of Lothian's coal-field along the Ro^ 
man-camp Hill. The strata cut through had a dip of from one 
in four to one in three ; but the section now exhibited shews the 
strata in a perpendicular line at the South Esk, calculated from 
the horizontal section ; which perpendicular section extends to 
the depth of 387 fathoms to the lime-rock. In it are found no 
less than 27 beds of coal, making a total thickness of 82 feet 8 
inches. The different beds of separate and distinct coals passed 
thrpugh are of various thickness, extending from 6 inches to 9 
feet, and lie at very various distances from each other, as is com- 
mon in all coal-fields. 

Section of the Coals, and their accompanying Strata, beginning 
at the surface. 

Fath. Ft. In. Fath. Ft. In. 

1. Alluvial soil - - 2 Brought forward 10 4 6 

Slate sandstone - 2 10. Coal - - - 6 

White sandstone - 4 Indurated clay - 14 

Red sandstone - 2 4 Do. do. hard - 10 

5. Blue sandstone - 10 ^q^| . . _ 16 

White sandstone - 4 indurated clay . 16 

Red sandstone - 5 15. White sandstone - 16 

Slate sandstone - 3 Red sandstone - 5 3 

Slate clay - - 2 6 slate clay -.040 



Garry forward 10 4 6 Carry forward 20 2 6 



in the vicinity of' Dalkeith. 



117 





Fath. 


FU In. 




1 


Fti . 


Ft. In. 


Brought forward 


20 


2 


« 


Brought forward 121 


4 


6 


White sandstone 





3 





Indurated clay with Coal 


3 





Slate clay 


1 


2 





G5 Bituminous shale 


_ 


1 








20. White sandstone 





3 





Do. very 


hard 


1 


3 





Slate clay, very hard 





3 





White sandstone 







6 





Do, do. soft 





4 


6 


Indurated clay 







4 





€oal 





2 





White sandstone 







4 





Indurated clay 


1 








70 Indurated clay 







3 





25. Red sandstone 


3 


3 





Do. soft 







3 





Slaty sandstone 


2 








White sandstone 







4 





White sandstone 





3 





Red sandstone 




2 


3 





Slaty sandstone 


2 


1 





White sandstone 




1 





c 


Slate clay with Coal 





3 





75 Coal 







2 


6 


30 Slaty sandstone 


2 


2 





Indurated clay 




1 


4 





Red sandstone 


3 


3 





White Sandstone, hard 


3 


3 





Slate clay with Coal 





3 


c 


Slaty sandstone 




10 








Indurated clay 


1 








Slate clay 




2 


4 


6 


Coal 





2 


9 


80 Grey sandstone 




1 








35 Indurated clay 


3 







Slate clay 




1 


1 


6 


Red sandstone 


10 







Red sandstone 







3 





Indurated clay 


1 







Slate clay 




8 








Red sandstone 


11 







Grey sandstone 




2 








Bituminous clay 










85 Coal 







3 





40 Red Sandstone 


4 







Indurated clay 




1 


4 


6 


Indurated clay 










Whitish; sandstone 




13 


3 





Red Sandstone 










Slate clay with ironstone 








Bituminous shale 










balls - 


. 


16 








Red sandstone 


2 








White sandstone 


- 


7 








45 Slate clay 


1 


2 





90 Slate clay 


- 





4 





Red sandstone 


1 








White sandstone 


. 





5 





Slate clay 





3 





Slate clay 


- 


1 


3 





Red sandstone 


1 


3 





White sandstone 


. 


6 


3 





Slate clay 





5 





Slate clay 


- 


1 








50 Red sandstone 


2 


3 





95 White sandstone 


. 


1 


2 





Slate clay, very dark 


3 








Slate clay with ironstone 


6 


1 


6 


Do. lighter - 


1 


1 





Bituminous shnle, < 


:oarse 


1 








Indurated clay, coarse 


3 


3 





Slate clay with ironstone 


1 








White sandstone 


1 


3 





Red sandstone 




2 


4 





65 Slate clay, very dark- 





4 





100 Coal 







3 





Do. light 


2 


3 





Slate clay 




2 


4 





Do. white 


1 


1 





White sandstone 




4 








Red sandstone 


10 


1 


G 


bo. 




2 


3 





Slate clay 


1 








Do. 




4 


4 





00 (Iroy Sandstone 


3 


3 





105 Slate clay 




4 








Slate clay 





4 





White sandstone 




S 








Red sandstone 


6 


3 





Blue sandstone 




1 


4 


6 


Slate clay 





4 


« 


Red sandstone 







4 


6 



Carry forward 121 4 5 



Carryforward 148 3 5 



118 


M 


rBald 


on 


the Coal-field 












Fath. Ft 


In. 




Fath. Ft. 


In. 


Brought forward 


148 3 


5 


Brought forward 


293 


3 


11 


Slate clay 


- 


2 





White sandstone 


4 


4 


c 


110 Coal 


. 


2 





Coal 





3 





Slate clay with ironstoi 


le 2 





Slate clay 





4 


6 


White sandstone 


. 


1 3 





145 Coal 








6 


Slate clay with sandstone 2 2 





AVhite sandstone 


3 


3 





Slate clay 


- 


3 





Slate clay with Coal 





4 


6 


115 Coal 


- 


2 


3 


Slate clay 


2 








Indurated clay 


- 


^ 


3 


Coal 





2 


6 


White sandstone 


- 


1 4 





150 Slate clay 


1 








Slate clay, liard 


- 


2 3 





White sandstone 


3 


4 





Coal 




3 





Coal - . *" 





4 


6 


120 Indurated clay 


- 


3 





Red sandstone 


4 








Red sandstone 


- 


3 4 





154 Coal 





3 


8 


Slate clay 

Coal 


_ 


1 4 













_ 


3 





Total ascertained depth 


316 


2 


7 


Indurated clay 


- 


3 





Various strata 


15 


1 





125 Red sandstone with 


abed 




A Coal 





3 


G 


of slate clay 


- 


9 4 


6 


Various strata 


6 








Coal - - 


- 


1 3 





B Coal - - . 


1 








Indurated Clay 


. 


0* 2 


6 


Various strata, depth not 








White sandstone 


- 


5 





precisely ascertained; 








Slate clay 


- 


1 


3 


but the coals marked 








J30 Coal 


- 


3 





A, B, C, D, E, are 








White sandstone 


_ 


2 3 





from the best informa- 








Slate clay 


. 


4 


6 


tion that could be ob- 








Coal 


. 


2 





tained, 


19 





9 


Indurated clay 


- 


1 


6 


C Coal 





5 


3 


135 Slate clay 


- 


1 1 


6 


Various strata 


3 


2 


3 


Coal 


- 


3 





D Second ©jlittt Coal 





3 


9 


Slate clay 


- 


2 1 





Various strata 


19 


3 





Coal 


- 


4 


6 


E Iparrot Coal 





3 





Slate clay, light 


- 


2 3 





Various strata 


4 








140 Do. dark 
Do. light 




1 1 


fi 










." 


X J. 

2 


D 

3 


Total supposed depth 387 


1 


1 










f Then the 

t LIMESTONE ROCK, 








Carry forward 


293 3 


11 


&c 







But great and valuable as this section shews the Mid-Lothian 
coal-field to be, it only comprehends the class of Edge-Coals on 
both sides of the coal basin with the underlying bed of lime- 
rock. None of the very valuable coals, termed the Flat Coals, 
which chiefly supply Edinburgh, are comprehended in it ; for 
hitherto the strata betwixt the upper coals in the section and the 
flat-coalsj which lie above these, have not been accurately ascer- 



in the vicinity of Dalkeith. 119 

taincd, but the chief of these coals are presently working at the 
collieries of SlierifF-hall and Edmonstone in the middle of the 
valley, and are well known in the Edinburgh market ; particu- 
larly the two named the Diamond and the Jewel coals, which 
are of very superior quality. 

The following is a Section of the Coals in the Edmonstone 
Colliery district. 





ROCKS. 


COAL. 




Fath. Ft. In. 


Ft. In. 


Alluvialcover 


8 







Rock strata 


6 







Coal 





5 


5 


Various rock strata (containing Coals) 


31 







Splint Coal 





5 


6 


Various strata 


6 


4 6 




Coal, named Coal-llough 





4 6 


4 6 


Various strata 


5 


3 




Coal named BeefFy Coal 





3 


3 


Various strata 


12 


1 6 




Diamond Coal 





5 


5 


Various strata 


4 


1 6 




Jewel Coal 





5 


5 



78 2 27 6 

There is a coal said to be much mixed with pyrites, named 
the Gold Coal, which lies under the jewel coal, but it never has 
been wrought, nor the strata explored accurately under it. 
The strata betwixt the upper coal in the Dalkeith section and 
the pavement of the jewel coal have not yet been ascertained. 

Of the twenty-six coals in the section only two are unwork- 
able to profit, from their thinness being only six inches thick. 
The thinnest coal reckoned workable is one of 18 inches thick. 
Hepce, if the thickness of all the workable coals ascertained in 
the Dalkeith district be added together, they amount to the un- 
common thickness of 109 feet 6 inches ; viz. 

Coal in the section, - - 82 

Flat coals ascertained, - - 27 6 

Total, '. 109 6 



120 Mr Bald mi the Coal-field 

This exhibits a body of workable coal altogether uncommon, 
and is of the highest importance and value to the capital of 
Scotland for affording a supply of coal for many generations. It 
is, however, particularly to be remarked, that this astonishing 
thickness of coal is found not to extend the whole length of 
the basin, from the sea at Fisherrow to its western extremity at 
Magbie Hill and Carlops : the coals continue only to the great 
road leading from Edinburgh to Dalkeith at Sheriff-hall, where 
there is a dislocation, which throws the coal strata up to the west; 
and has the effect of throwing off all the valuable flat coals, as 
they are not to be found westward of that line ; and it appears 
that the flat coals found at Eldin, Polton, Dalhousie, and 
Whitehill collieries, are part of the edge-coals rendered flat by 
the slip or dislocation. 

This coal-field extends to the south side of the Roman-camp 
Hill near Dalkeith, and takes a reverse dip to the south ; then 
deflects, and rises again to the south near the village of Ford. 

I have now to make the following remarks on this coal-field 
and sections. 

All the coals are of the common bituminous kind, partly 
splint and partly cubical coal. 

The strata betwixt the coals are Various shades of yellow, white, 
grey, and bluish coloured sandstone, argillaceous schistus, bitu- 
minous shale, argillaceous earth, named Fire-clay, and a little 
coarse clay limestone in some places. All the coals are of open 
burning quality : — no caking coals have ever been found. 

The coals lie, in general, at the common distances from each 
other, as in other coal-fields, with this remarkable exception, that 
betwixt the coal marked No. 34. in the section, and the next 
coal under it, marked No. 75., the distance is no less than 90 
fathoms, or 540 feet, in which space there is no coal. I know 
of no such thickness of strata in a coal-field without a coal being 
found ; and it is a fact of great importance in the searching of a 
district for coal. 

There are no beds of greenstone found in the strata hitherto 
explored, although there are several vertical dikes or veins of 
this rock, which intersect the strata seen in the Port-Seaton dis- 
trict along the shore. 



in the vicinity of Dalkeith. 121 

There is very little ironstone found in the strata, less than in 
any other Scotch coal-field ; so much so, that none has been got 
for the purpose of making iron in the district now treated of. 
Bands and balls of good ironstone have been found, and a little 
wrought, at the verge of the coal-field near Abcrlady and Goss- 
ford, on the estate of Lord Wemyss. 

Lastly, it is a remarkable fact, that no inflammable air has been 
found in any of the mines of this district, however deep, though 
found in abundance in the coal mines in the counties of Stirling, 
Lanark, Renfrew, and Ayr. The Lothian mines, being free 
from this most destructive pestilence, is a great comfort, and no 
common blessing to the miners. Carbonic acid gas is fre- 
quently found, but happily few misfortunes arise from it. 

As the carburetted hydrogen is certainly produced from the 
coal, we might have expected it in the Lothian coal-field, which 
affords parrot or cannel coal of the best quality for producing 
the greatest quantity of gas, as each pound of this coal produces 
from 4 to 5 cubic feet of gas. 

With regard to the depth of the coal strata of this coalfield^ 
in which the beds of coal and organic remains are found, I am 
of opinion, that in the deepest part of the basin it will extend 
to at least 500 fathoms or 3000 feet, which shews how very deep 
the valleys have probably once been ; and the more so, if the 
theory of the mountains having been at one period much higher 
than they now are, is taken into account. 

In an economical point of view, relating to the quantity of 
coal in Great Britain, upon which the numerous manufactories 
and population depend for fuel, — 'it is frequently asked, Will 
not the coals in the kingdom be soon exhausted ? That they 
are rapidly exhausting, is evident to any one of the least obser- 
vation, particularly from the increased depth of the coal-pits ; 
and it being estimated that more coal has been wrought during 
the last hundred years, since the general application of the 
steam-engine, in working the mines, and at manufactories, than 
was wrought and used for the 500 years preceding, when coals 
first began to be commonly used for domestic purposes. Never- 
theless, great as the consumption is, and greatly as this has been 
increased during these last twenty years, still the quantity of 
coals remaining to be wrought is uncommonly great, so that the 



122 Mr Bald on the CoaUJield in the vkinity of Dalkeith. 

period when it will be exhausted is yet very remote, and not 
easily calculated. In confirmation of which, I have to state, 
that, from investigations lately made, as to the quantity of work- 
able coal in the estate of Newbattle, near Dalkeith, the proper- 
ty of the Marquis of Lothian, there is in it alone as much coal 
as would serve the city of Edinburgh, at the rate of 350,000 
tons yearly, for the long period of 500 years. This statement 
I made from practical data and measurements, and it gives a 
very wonderful view of the aggregate quantity of coal in the 
Mid-Lothian basin. In this estimate many of the coals calcu- 
lated are at a great depth, much greater than any coals have 
yet been wrought. There is, however, no doubt that the abso- 
lute necessity of having a supply of coals, the progressive im- 
provement of the steam-engine, and of mining, will induce min- 
ers to adventure much deeper than the state of the coal-mines 
and present prices lead them to contemplate. There are yet no 
coal-mines working in Scotland above eighty fathoms deep ; but 
in the vicinity of Newcastle coals are now working at the depth 
of 200 fathoms ; and the engineers now contemplate going much 
deeper, and that is to be expected, according to the progressive 
improvement in mining. 

Not thirty years ago, in working the Newcastle coals, from 
a fourth to a third of the whole coal was lost in pillars ; where- 
as at present in the best regulated mines, only about an eighth 
part of the whole bed of coal is left underground. This shews, 
in a strong point of view, how coal-fields may, within a certain 
limited area, produce much more coals than formerly from the 
same space, — simply by the improved system of conducting coal- 
mines, and that under a cover of rock 200 fathoms in thickness. 

From this we may conclude, that the capital of Scotland is 
not likely to be in want of fuel for a very long succession of 
years; for, besides having the Lothian Coal-field, the Union 
Canal connects it with the Western Coal-fields ; and the port of 
Leith connects with it the Fife, Stirling, and Clackmannanshire 
Collieries, and also those of the north of England. 



( 123 ) 

On the Covering of Birds, considered chicjly with reference to 
the Descrijition and Distinction of Species, Genera and Or' 
ders. By Mr W. Macgillivhay, M. W. S., &c. Continued 
from former Number, p. 263. 

-T EATHKRS, considered witli regard to their uses, may be dis- 
tinguished into two kinds. Those which are more especially 
employed as the medium of locomotion, are much stronger, 
more compact, and more elongated than the others. Of this 
kind is the row of feathers bordering the wing behind, and that 
terminating the rump or tail. The names of quills, penna, 
pennes, ought to be applied to these alike, although it is usually 
confined to the former. The feathers which lie immediately over 
the wing-quills, on both sides of the wing, partake in this respect 
of the nature of the quills themselves ; but those which lie over 
the tail-quills are seldom, if ever, of so dense a texture. The 
rest of the feathers are not, in this most general sense, distin- 
guished by any particular name in our language, although, by 
ornithologists who write in Latin, they are termed plurncB, and 
by the French plumes. The word plume, however, being with 
us the poetical name for a feather, or being used to designate 
such feathers as are applied to the decoration of hearses and 
heads, it cannot well be proposed as an ornithological term. 

It has been mentioned that the accessory feather is always 
downy, excepting in those birds in which its developement is equal 
to that of the feather itself. It has also been remarked, that the 
part of the webs nearest the tube is always of a looser texture 
than the rest. In the feathers of many birds, the downy part 
occupies by far the greater portion ; in some it is merely the tip 
that is compact, while in others the loose part is limited to a very 
small extent, and in others scarcely exists. As an example of 
feathers all downy, may be mentioned the subcaudal feathers of 
Pavo cristatus, and the abdominal feathers of Strix bubo, and 
owls in general. The abdominal feathers of Falco albicilla, and 
eagles in general, are nearly all of this loose texture. The gal- 
linaceous birds have a very large proportion of down upon their 
feathers, and the Columba? are the same in this respect. Of 
such as have very Uttle down of this kind, may be mentioned 



124 Mr W. Macgillivray on the Covering of' Birds. 

the different species of Aptenodytes. The crest feathers of Pa- 
vo japonicus are almost destitute of these soft barbs at the base ; 
and this is, in general, the case with all those elongated feathers 
which, by the French, are termed Plumes de luxe, on whatever 
part of the body they grow. In quills, there is, in general, 
scarcely any downy part. In the downy barb, the filament is 
nearly equal in all its diameters, and is extremely attenuated. 
The barbules are also elongated, in many of the gallinaceous 
birds, for example, being twenty times the length of the bar- 
bules of the apicial part of the feather. These barbules are, in 
all cases, biserial, like the others, but very frequently they as- 
sume a direction the reverse of these, coming off from the fila- 
ment, not in the plane of the web, but at right angles to it, or, 
in other words, from the face and back of the web, so as to pre- 
sent on these surfaces a layer of minute silky filaments. This 
arrangement is especially remarkable in the gallinaceae. Fre- 
quently the filament becomes spirally twisted ; in which case the 
barbs seem to have a circular arrangement, although they are 
still biserial. 

With respect to relative magnitude, the following is an ac- 
count of the ordinary distribution of feathers in birds. From 
the head, backwards to the tail, they increase in length and 
size ; those on the face, or around the base of the beak, being 
smallest, the tail-coverts longest. The wing-feathers are much 
shorter than those of the body, and also increase backwards. 
Those of the upper or dorsal half of the body are almost always 
shorter than those of the under or abdominal ; and the dispro- 
portion seems to have reference to the degree of obliquity of the 
body in its ordinary posture ; for, in those birds which have a 
nearly vertical position, such as penguins, auks, guillemots, the 
feathers of the under surface are scarcely longer than those of 
the upper. The feathers of the upper parts are also more com- 
pact than those of the lower. 

There is at least as great a difference as to size among fea- 
thers, as there is among the hairs of [quadrupeds. The margi- 
nirostral feather of Trochilus moschitus is about one-sixteenth of 
an inch, while the middle caudal feathers of the Argus are three 
feet in length. In the same bird, also, the disproportion is of- 
ten extremely great. For example, the frontal feathers of Pavo 



Mr W. Macgillivray on the Covering of Birds. 125 

cristatus are not more than a quarter of an inch in length, while 
some of the posterior dorsal exceed two feet. Even in the same 
part of two species of the same genus, the greatest difference is 
often observable in this respect. Compare, ibr example, the 
scapulars of Ardea cinerea and Ardea garzetta. 

Besides the feathers properly so called, there enters into the 
constitution of the plumage or general envelope, another modifi- 
cation of the same general nature. On removing the whole of 
the feathers whose tips appear externally, in certain orders, and 
especially in the aquatic birds, we find the skin still covered 
with a more or less dense envelope of a very soft, filamentous, 
highly flexible, and very elastic substance. This is the down^ 
tomenturriy diivef. It also consists of individual parts, for which 
we have no general name in our language, nor indeed in any 
other that I am acquainted with. The name which seems most 
applicable to this sort of feather is plumule. 

A plumule, plumula, plumule, consists of two parts ; a small 
tube, less perfect in form and texture than in the feather, being 
very narrow, soft, and not well defined in its lower or proximal 
part, and having its walls composed rather of soft scales than of 
one continuous piece ; and a pencil of filaments issuing from 
the base of this tube internally, without any connecting shaft. 
These filaments vary in length and number, according to the spe- 
cies. In all cases they are extremely slender, pliant, sinuous, 
and more or less spirally twisted. They consist of an extreme- 
ly delicate shaft, along the sides of which there come off, in ge- 
neral, two sets of short delicate filaments. The former may be 
denominated the filaments, the latter the filamentules, corres- 
ponding to the barbs and barbules of the feather. These fila- 
mentules have the same relation to the filament, their shaft, that 
the barbules of the feathers have to their barb, and are, in ge- 
neral, equally distichous ; but they enter into no connection, re- 
maining perfectly loose, and, owing to the manner in which the 
shafts are twisted, have the appearance of coming off all round 
them. The general arrangement, as has been observed, is in 
two rows ; in the down of Sula alba it is in three, one row con- 
sisting of filamentules somewhat shorter than the others, and di- 
rected toward the end of the filament. The filamentules of 



126 Mr W. Macgillivray on the Covering of Birds. 

the plumules, unlike the barbules of the feather, come off in ge- 
neral at right angles to the filaments. 

The uses of the down are not well understood. As it is well 
known, however, to be a bad conductor of caloric, it i-s presum- 
ed that it serves in the aquatic birds, and particularly in those 
of cold climates, ""to retain the heat generated in their bodies. 
In birds which are not furnished with down, but which yet in- 
habit cold countries, the deficiency might be supposed to be sup- 
phed by the downy feathers which we observe in these birds, as 
in Strix bubo, Strix nyctea, Falco albicilla, and Falco chrysaetos. 
In the gallinaceous birds, the accessory feather might, in like 
manner, be imagined to be subservient to this purpose. But 
when we reflect that the eagles, owls, and gallinaceous birds of 
cold climates, are at least not much better furnished with down 
or downy feathers than species of the same genera inhabiting 
warm climates, we naturally look for some other reason for which 
birds are furnished with down ; and. when we observe that the 
Alca impennis of the arctic seas is not more plentifully supplied 
with plumage than the penguins of the pacific ocean, nor the 
Sturnus vulgaris of Europe than the Sturnus capensis of Africa, 
we suspect that other principles than heat have been employed 
in modifying the nature and quantity of the plumage. 

In the gallinaceous birds, the omnivorous, and many others, 
in fact, in land birds in general, there is no general layer of 
down immediately covering the skin. 

In the genus Falco, and many others, and especially in the 
larger species, F. albicilla, for example, F. chrysaetos, and F. 
pere<Trinus, besides down of the above description, there exist 
plumules of the following structure. From the upper part of 
a short tube, there issue two filamentary shafts, which are flat- 
tened, and exceedingly delicate. From these there branches 
out on either side a series of extremely delicate filaments, having 
each two lateral series of filamentules. The whole has the ap- 
pearance of a single tuft of extreme fineness, and silky texture. 
The filaments have a very considerable degree of elasticity. 
The tube is open above, between the two shafts, there being a 
direct continuation of it on either side into the shafts ; and at 
this opening the pith comes out and terminates. These plu- 
mules being largest on the belly, may be best seen there ; they 



Mr W. Macgillivray on the Covering of Birds. 12T 

exist, however, in the other parts of the body, but are not 
readily distinguishable from the down-feathers properly so called. 
If it be necessary to give these feathers a name, they may be 
called Flake-feathers. 

In most birds, after the feathers have been removed, we find 
a sort of envelope, consisting of hairs as it were, set so widely 
and so small in themselves, that they might readily be overlook- 
ed. These are the hairs that are singed off in a common fowl 
after it has been plucked. In Phasianus colchicus their struc- 
ture is as follows : from a very short bulbiform tube rises a very 
slender roundish piliform shaft, resembling a hair of the human 
head, but much smaller and straight, which, at the extremity, 
gives off two or three short simple barbs on either side. This^ 
is the most simple modification of the feather, if we except the 
quills of the Cassowary. 

In all nestling birds, before they have received their full plu- 
mage, the skin is covered with a greater or less quantity of 
down, resembling that described above as occurring in adult 
birds. This down is generally more or less developed, even be- 
fore exclusion from the Qgg. It consists of two orders of plu- 
mules. One set, which is connected solely with the skin, is si- 
milar in structure and relations to the down of the adult bird, 
each plumule consisting of a tube, out of which issues a 
pencil of filaments, furnished with filamentules. The other set, 
which, at first sight, is not distinguished from the former, being 
blended with it, is of the following nature. The plumules at 
first arise from the skin in the ordinary manner and form, but 
liaving fewer filaments than the others. Shortly after, when the 
feathers begin to sprout, they are observed to be elevated from 
the skin, being borne upon the tips of the feathers. The tips 
of the extreme barbs of the feathers are drawn together, and 
united into a point by a scaly envelope, similar to that which 
incloses the feather itself during the first stages of its growth. 
From this point there proceeds a pencil of filaments, consisting 
of a variable, but generally small number. These filaments 
have two lateral series of filamentules, and are loose and float- 
ing, and more or less spirally twisted. The filaments are con- 
tinuous with the tips of the barbs, as is proved by discussing 
the point of adhesion with a needle, when the scales fall off, 
and the filaments remain attadied to the tips of the barbs, and 



128 Mr W. Macgillivray on. the Covering of Birds. 

continue so until rubbed off, which, in some species, and in cer- 
tain parts of the body, the head, in particular, does not take 
place until the bird has been fully fledged. 

To recapitulate, the plumage consists ofybathers, properly so 

called, which are ordinary or quills, the former sometimes sim- 
ple, more frequently furnished with an accessory feather ; o^ plu- 
mules or down feathers ; sometimes mixed with feathers having 
a structure intermediate between the double feather and plu- 
mule, and denominated Jlalie feathers ; and of piliform feathers, 
or feathers resembling hairs ; the plumules, flake-feathers, and 
hair-feathers, being always, as well as in almost every case, the 
accessory feathers, concealed among the true feathers, the extre- 
mities of which alone form the surface of the plumage. 

Having now briefly described the general structure of the 
plumage, I shall proceed to the particular details, which may be 
rendered subservient to the purposes of description and classifi- 
cation. And, in the ^rst place, it will be necessary to define 
the situation of the feathers, denominating them according to 
the parts of the surface oa which they are placed. 

Considered with respect to situation, feathers may be named 
as follows : 

Capital, on the Head. 

Frontal, on the fore-part of the head. 

Vertical, on the upper-part of the head. 

Occipital, on the hind-part of the head. 

Genal, on the side of the head, under the eye. 

Loral, on the space between the beak and the e^^e. C' 

Marginirostal, round the basilar margin of the beak. 

Upper marginirostral, at the base of the upper mandible. 

Lower marginirostral, at the base of the under mandible. 

Auricular, about the aperture of the ear. 

Palpebral, on the eyelids. 

Ciliary, on the edges of the eyelids. 

Cervical, on the Neck. 
Posterior cervical, on the back-part of the neck. 
Anterior cervical, on the fore-part of the neck. 
Lateral cervical, on the sides of the neck. 

Each of these may be subdivided into upper, middle, and lower. 

ON THE BODY. 

Dorsal, on the Back. 
Anterior dorsal, on the part of the back nearest the neck. 



Mr W. Macgillivray on ttie Covering of Birds. 129 

Middle dorsal^ on the middle part of the back. 

Posterior dorsal^ on the part of the back nearest the tail. 

Pec T ORAL, on the Breast. 
Anterior pectoral^ on the fore-part of the breast. 
Middle pectoral^ on the middle-part of the breast. 
Posterior pectoral^ on the part of the breast next the belly. 
Lateral pectoral^ on the sides of the breast. 

Abdominal, on the Belly. 
These may be divided according to their relative situation ; but this is 
scarcely necessary. 

Hypochondrial, on the sides of the Body under the Wings. 
The same remark applies to these as to the abdominal. 

Alar, on the Wings. 

Upper Alar, on the upper part or dorsal aspect of the wings. 

Under or Lower Alar, on the under part or sternal aspect of the wings. 

These feathers are usually termed wing coverts. The name is absurd, 
because all feathers are coverts, and the cervical or dorsal feathers 
mightas well be called neck coverts and back coverts. 

Alar Quills, feathers growing from the posterior edge of the wing. These 
are best defined according to their connection with the bones of the 
wing. 

Primary Quills, the first ten, counting from the outer end of the wing, situ- 
ated upon the digital and carpal bones. 

Secondary Quills, those situated upon the brachial bones. 

Tertiary Quills, those situated along the humeral bone. 

Quill Coverts, a row of feathers immediately covering the base of the quills. 
They approach in compactness and strength to the quills, and may, 
therefore, with propriety be distinguished from the other wing feathers. 

Primary, secondary and tertiary Quill Coverts, according to the rank of the 
quills over which they lie. 

Upper and Under Coverts, on the dorsal and sternal aspect of the wing. 

Scapulars, a bunch of long feathers, situated at the proximal extremity of 
the OS humeri on the back. 

Axillary feathers, a bunch of long straight feathers, situated at the proximal 
extremity of the humerus, under the wing. 

ON THE LEGS. 
TilAdl, feathers covering the tibia, or what in ordinary language is called the 

thigh. 
Tarsal, covering the tarsus. 
Digital, covering the toes. 

Caudal, on the Tail. 
Caudal feathers or rather Quills, feathers terminating the body behind. 
Caudal Quill Coverts, upper and lower, feathers covering the caudal quills at 
their base, above and beneath. 
OCTOBER DECEMBEH 1827. I 



( 130 ) 

A Tour to the South of France and the Pyrenees in the year 
1825. By G. A. Walker Arnott, Esq. F.R. S.E. F.L.S. 
M.W. S. &c. (Continued from former Volume, p. 356). 

JlXaving remained two days at Perpignan, to dry, pack up, 
and send off the plants we had by this time gathered (to the 
amount of 7600 specimens); we set off on the 10th June for 
Aries in Roussillon. 

As the distance of Aries from Perpignan is not very great, 
we arrived in sufficient time to make a short excursion to a hill a 
little to the south of the village. It was in this walk that we first 
began to meet witii Pyrenean plants, more strictly speaking, as 
those we had already seen are to be found all around the Medi- 
terranean. On this hill we found the Ramondm pyrenaica^ Pas- 
serina dioica, Antirrhinum asarinum, Teucrium pyrenaicum^ 
Achillea odorata, and Glohularia nana. This last is usually 
imited to G. cordifolia ; but if they be not distinct species, they 
are certainly most marked varieties. In all the herbaria I have 
examined, I have never seen one specimen of G. nana from 
Switzerland ; and, on the other hand, the G. cordifolia is so ex- 
tremely scarce in the Pyrenees, that I have only observed it in 
one spot, the Port de Benasque. I have also a specimen of the 
G. nana from the garden of Perpignan, much larger than the 
usual size of the wild plant ; but even cultivation does not shew 
the characters of the Swiss plant. Among the Acotyledones, 
we observed little worthy of notice. Aspidium Halleri and 
Hypnum riigolosum, W. M. may, however, be mentioned. 

On the 11th, having experienced wretched accommodation, 
we quitted Aries at an early hour. Approaching now the moun- 
tains, we found the roads no longer practicable for wheel-car- 
riages. We therefore resolved in future to travel almost entire- 
ly on foot, followed by mules, to carry the paper, plants, and 
provisions we found necessary to transport from station to sta- 
tion. Notwithstanding we had left Aries by five, the sun was 
already very hot, and annoyed us excessively, and that, joined 
to the number of good plants we gathered along the road, re- 
tarded us so much, that we did not arrive at Prats de Mollo 
to breakfast till one o'clock. In this course, we observed for 
the first time Prunella grandiflora, Silene nutans, Veronica 



Mr Arnott's Tou7' to the South of France. 131 

urtica/blia. Medicago suffruticosa * occurred in the bed of 
a torrent. But what principally delighted us, was Cardamine 
lati/blia, and a new species of Santolina {^S. pect'mata, Benth. 
Cat.). This is a remarkable species, closely allied to S\ cdpina 
and S. ej'iosperjua, and agreeing witlv^eni in having the leaves 
pinnatifid, but differing in being a shrub, and having the scales 
of the involucruni nervose and slightly pubescent. 

Prats de Mollo is a very pretty small town, situated in an 
agreeable and picturesque valley. 

With the exception of a short walk the evening of our arrival 
along the banks of the river that passes the town, in which we 
found Scropkular'ia Scopolii, Thalictrinn aquilegi/blium, Saooi- 
Jraga rotundrfblia, Cardamine lati/blia, Lamium stoloni/erum, 
Lap. (which is certainly the same with L. maculatum, Linn, and 
L. hirsutiim, Lam.), and Bunium pyrenaicurn^ Lap. (Myrrhis 
j)tjrenaicum, Spr. but not distinct even as a variety from the 
common M. Bunium, Spr.), we made no excursion but to the 
Tour de Mir, an old watch-tower on the summit of the hill to 
the south of the town. As Prats de Mollo is about 500 toises 
above the level of the sea, and the Tour de Mir is still more con- 
siderably elevated, I should not suppose it to be at a less elevation 
than 4000 feet, and of course we expected plants of a somewhat 
different description than we had as yet encountered. On our 
ascent, we deviated slightly from the road, to seek for the Se- 
dum divaricatum^ Lap. auA^Orobanche pru'mosa. The former 
was not yet in ffower ; but notwithstanding the long argument 
held forth by Lapeyrouse in the Supplement to the " Histoire 
abregee des Plantes des Pyrenees,'*' it was perfectly clear that 
De Candolle was right in saying that it was identical with 
S. saxatUe of other authors -f-. As to Orobanche pruinosa, this 
locality was interesting, as being the only one in France, and 
the only one known to Lapeyrouse when he described the spe- 
cies. The plant had^ however, been imported along with beans 
from Catalonia ; and it is not probable that the farmer here shall 

• The flowers of this are yellow, not blue, as Lape^'rouse says. Can his 
Jlf. tornata be the same plant ? 

-f Such I state as my own opinion, after a careful comparison of numerout 
specimens gathered principally in the Vallee d'Andorre, with the Swiss S. so*' 
atile. My friend Mr Benthani, however, considers the two as rery distinct, 

l2 



13* Mr Amotfs Tour to the South of France 

ever be rid of the nuisance, unless he takes the advice we gave 
him, that he should refrain from sowing beans in the neigh- 
bourhood for at least a season, and at the same time procure 
new seed from a distance. Soon after leaving the farm on which 
these plants are found, ^ met with Ramondia pyrenaica and 
Erinus alpinus. Hieracium auricula was also in the neigh- 
bourhood ; and on some rooks near the summit Globularia nana 
was abundantly in flower. But the most interesting plant we 
observed was Saxifraga media, Gouan {S. calyciflora. Lap.), 
which was abundant in the crevices of the walls of the tower ; 
and along with it also on the summit, are found Moehringia 
muscosa, Lonicera pyrenaica, Festucajlavescens, and Valeriana 
tripteris and montana. These two last are surely but one spe- 
cies ; they here were mixed together, with innumerable states 
between them. On our descent, we also observed several plants 
of interest, as Avena versicolor, DC. {Av. sempervirens ^ , Lap. 
and Vill. not Schrad.), Helleborus viridis, Arahis alpina, and 
Alchemilla hyhrida, Hoffm. or A. puhescens, Lap. Notwith- 
standing the elevation, it will be seen that the plants were not 
very alpine. 

During the few days we made Prats de MoUo our head-quar- 
ters, we experienced the utmost kindness and attention from M. Xa- 
tard,t/^^^^ dePaix of the canton. He has been long occupied with 
the botany of this department of the Eastern Pyrenees, and it was 
he who furnished Lapeyrouse with all the plants he has cited to 
grow about Collioure, Bagnols, and Prats de Mollo. He not 
only allowed us to examine his herbarium, in order to determine 
some of the plants that Lapeyrouse had in view, but procured 
us the guides whom he himself usually took, and who were con- 

" Av. sempervirens has, in some way, got strangely confounded with De- 
yexuna sedenensis, Clar. although in this last there is only one fertile floret ac- 
companied by a sterile one, or subulate pilose process, as is well represented 
in P. de Beauvois' figure, and which accords precisely with my specimen. 
Av. Icmgifolia^ Thore, has also been confounded with Av^ sempervirens^ but its 
glumes contain only two florets, and only one of them is provided with an 
awn or arista. I may here mention, that Deyeuxia sedenensis does not appear 
to me to differ from D. montana^ the figure of which last in Pallissot, is not 
correct. Several other species of what are put into the genus Calamagrostis^ 
have the twisted geniculate awn ; and the whole of that genus, having the 
inner valve of the corolla bicarinate, has been erroneously arranged by Kunth 
near Agrostis. 



and the Pyrenees^ in 1825. 133 

sequently acquainted with the localities, and even with the plants 
we were chiefly in quest of. One peasant we dispatched to the 
Hermitage of St Andiol, to procure us the Lithospermum oleafo- 
Uum, while another was sent off to the Bac del Fau, to gather the 
Anthyllis erinacea. Both these localities are at a considerable 
distance, and on the Spanish frontier. The first of these guides 
returned with a good cargo ; but the other informed us that the 
plant was not in flower, but that he had pulled off the seed^ and 
brought it. A moment's inspection of the contents of his box 
shewed that the plants had been in flower, for the fruit he had 
gathered was the inflated calyx. Our disappointment was no 
doubt great, but it was resolved to send off the man again the 
following morning, with one of our party, while the others should 
be employed in arranging and drying what plants we already 
had. This second attempt was successful, notwithstanding the 
badness of the day. The Anthyllis formed hemispherical masses 
on the ground, the spinous and rigid branches rendering it very 
difficult to be laid hold of, without the aid of a sharp hook at- 
tached to the extremity of a cane, and with which it might first 
be cut to pieces. The guide yesterday had destroyed the greater 
part of the flowers, so that Bentham, who volunteered this ex- 
cursion, only procured the young fruit. At the Bac del Fau, 
Mr Bentham met with nothing else of note, unless Campanula 
speciosa, Ramondia pyrenaica^ and Onosma echioides be men- 
tioned as such. The guide who went to St Andiol brought with 
him a specimen or two of our new Santolina. 

Prats de Mollo is one of the best points for a botanist's resi- 
dence in the Eastern Pyrenees. But in order to examine the 
warm valleys on the Spanish side of the mountains, one ought 
to be there a few days earlier than we w^ere ; while, again, to 
botanize on Costabonna, and the other elevated mountains in 
the neighbourhood, one must be at least a fortnight later. To 
make the excursion in search of the Anthyllis^ which ought not 
to be neglected, one ought, on account of the distance and fright- 
ful roads, to sleep at St Laurent de Cerda, or at Custoja, and 
devote to it at least three days ; nor would the excursion to St 
Andiol require less. 

On looking over M. Xatard's herbarium, principally named 
by Lapcy rouse, we observed many mistakes which that author 
has made in his " Histoire abregee." His 



184 Mr Arnotfs Tour to the South of' France 

Bromus glaucus is B. erecius. 

. geni/mlatus ... Festuca myurus. 

Hedysarum herhaceum . . . OTiobrychys supina. 

crista galli ... ~ caput galli. 

Ranunculus Xatardi ... R. trilobus. 

Stachys barhata ... S. heraclea. 

Centaurca coerulescens ... C. macxdosa. 

Galium suaveolens \ 

megalospermum V is G. villarsii, Req. 

* eameterhizon J 

V papillosttm ... G. Iceve. 

Phyteuma Scheuchzeri ... P. orbicularis. 

Poa serotina ... P. trivialis. 

Trifolium gemellum ... T. Bocconi. 

— — — — vesiculosum ... T. resupinatunu 

Xatardi , ... T. maritimum *. 

— — — — intermedium ... T. hybridum^ Savi:{:. 

On the 14th June, having packed up and sent by the more 
common and accessible road the greater part of our baggage, 
we left Prats de Mollo, accompanied by a mule, loaded with as 
much paper and provisions as might suffice for three days for the 
whole party, and a guide to conduct us across the Canigou to 
Prades. After experiencing some inconvenience from stormy 
weather, we at length reached the Hermitage of St Guilhem. 
The view from the top of the ridge was extremely fine, extending 
a great way down the valleys and the lower Pyrenees to the east, 
or rather, I may say, to the Alberes mountains. At the sum- 
mit of this ridge, too, the vegetation was changed in a great de- 
gree. We now observed truly alpine plants, among which were 
Polygonum alpinum, Thymus alpinus, Epilohmm alsincBfo- 
lium, and Jasione humilis. This last species, I may remark, 
has been confounded by some with J. perennis, but really ap- 
pears very distinct. J. perennis has, on the other hand, been 
united by some to J. montana, but that is an annual species. I 
do not know what Sir J. E. Smith's opinion is; but even in his 

• Mr Bentham remarks with justice, in his Catalogvxe, p. 125. that T. Xa- 
tardi var. a. in DC. Prod, is precisely the T. maritimum^ but that his var. /3, or 
T. bceticum, seems a distinct specie^ 

X The Tr. hyhridum, Savi and DC Prod, is not T. hybridum, Linn. To 
this last T, micMianum, Savi, is a synonym. For the plant in question, there- 
fore, the name given by Lapeyrouse, T. intermedium^ must be retained, and 
the T. intermedium^ Gu«sone and DC. Prod, must (if a legitimate species) be 
new jnaraed. 



and the Pyrenees , in 1825. 135 

late work, he has given no specific character to J. montaiia, 
thereby seeming to declare that there is but one species of the 
genus. 

We obtained shelter during the night in the hermitage. 
As the morning was very foggy, and the rain continued to fall 
in torrents, we did not dare to attempt the passage of the Cani- 
gou, but contented ourselves with gathering what we could in 
our vicinity ; and there were, indeed, some species that were 
prized very much. Convallaria verticillata, Orchis ustulata, 
Urtica hispida, Asphodelus albus, and Lilium pyrenaicum^ were 
all of them desirable. Scrophularia Scopolii and Quercus mi- 
crocarpa ? Lap. also occurred *, and likewise Apargia hispida. 
About mid-day, the mist cleared away, and the weather be^ 
gan to improve, so that we now resolved to cross the Canigou. 
On our ascent, we found a great many alpine plants : Gentiana 
acanlis vcrna. Primula integrifolia, Aretia carnea, and Ranun-. 
cuius pyrencEus^ covered all the wet banks, and Trifolium aU 
pestre all the dry. The plants we observed to extend to the 
greatest elevation, were Aretia carnea and Sempervivum monta- 
num^ not yet in flower ; the leaves of the latter were covered 
with Uredo sempervivi. 

• I may mention, thai, we also observed here, as well as on our ascent to 
the Treizabents, Veronica fnitimlosa^ var. Linn, and Sm. (a variety of V. scura- 
Hits, Lap. DC. Fl. Fr., and Hook. Fl. Scot., but not so according to Smith, 
nor, apparently, Brown). This, which appears to be the plant found on Ben 
Lawers in Scotland, and which, alone, of the allied species, we found (and that 
not merely in different places on the Canigou, but also in the Vallee d'Eynes, 
and on the ascent to the Port Negre in the Vallee d'Andorre,) in the Pyre- 
nees, is nearly intermediate between the true V. saxatilis and the cultivated 
V.frniiculosa, which last, alone, is that of De CandoUe, and agrees with Haller, 
Helv. t. 15. The only character, however, that I can see between V.fnUicu- 
losa andsaxatilis, is, that in the former the leaves are always somewhat lanceo- 
late (though often at the same time obtuse and entire), and in the latter they 
are nearly round or ovate. In V. fruticulosa, the peduncles are scarcely so 
long as the bracteas, while in the other, they are usually much longer, which 
gives the spike, or rather raceme, a lax appearance. I have only to add, that 
the cultivation of V. scuvatilis of Scotland for three or four years in my own 
garden at Arlary, has so much approached it to the Pyrenean plant, that, had 
I not, I think with considerable accuracy, ascertained on the subject the opi- 
nion of Sir J. E. Smith, I should have preferred uniting the latter to V. saxa- 
Hlis, if, indeed, V. saxatilis and frut'mdosa be really distinct si^ecies. From 

V. saxatilis, the V. nummularia^ Gouan ( V. irreffulans, Lap.), differs, by its 

narrow petals. 



136 Mr Arnott's Tour to the South of France. 

In addition to what I have mentioned as the more common, 
we found scattered the Iberis garrexiana (I cannot believe that 
this differs from Iberis sempervirens)^ Plantago sericea, W. et 
K. Cardamine resedifblia, Spergtda saginoides, Pyrethrmn al- 
pmum, and Primula viscosa^ all which we procured as we fol- 
lowed the mule along the footpath to the summit of that part of 
the mountain called the Treizabents. The scene at this point was 
grand. Our view extended far down into Spain, to Girona, Fi- 
gueras, and the Bay of Rosas. Looking back towards the her- 
mitage, we had at some distance on our left the true summit of 
the Canigou, about 300 feet still above us ; but as the snow 
seemed newly melted from off it, and no appearance of vegeta- 
tion, we felt no inclination to go out of our road, for the sole 
purpose of mounting to the top. On our right was another 
point of the mountain called the Sept Hommes. The highest 
part of the Canigou is said to be about 1450 toises, or 8700 
feet above the level of the sea : it is the most elevated mountain 
in tbe Pyrenees orientales, and is seen even from Montpellier. 

We now descended the north side, and, though we found 
again several of those we picked up in our ascent, yet, compa- 
ratively speaking, few specimens were in flower, owing to the 
large masses of snow that still lay unmelted. According to our 
guide''s account, there was even more snow now than had been 
a month before, owing to a second storm. Indeed, we saw 
proofs of it in the beautiful Senecio leucophi/Uus, which appa- 
rently had almost been in flower before the last storm came on, 
but that so buried it beneath the snow, and checked its progress, 
that, even at this advanced season, we could not procure one 
good specimen. As, however, we came down to the more shel- 
tered and warmer spots, we found abundance of other plants, 
among which were Sisymbrium pinnatifidum. Anemone alpina, 
var. sulphurea, Rhododendrum Jerrugineum^ Paronychia poly- 
gonifblia. Reseda sesamoides, besides the Azalea procumbens * 
in profusion. At length, after a fatiguing, if not a long walk, 
we arrived at Cady, a small summer cabin for the shepherds at 
the entrance of the wood, and at the base of the principal sum- 
mit of the Canigou. 

Having passed here a pretty good night, thanks to the fa- 

• I agree with Mr Don in thinking this to be the only legitimate speciet 
of Azalea, and that all the others form a section of Rhododendron, 



and the Pyrenees^ in 1825. 137 

tigucs of yesterday, to some armfuls of straw that the sliepherds 
had left Jast year behind them, and to the fires we kept up all 
night both outside and inside the hut, we commenced the la- 
bours of the 16th at break of day, by gathering specimens of 
Ranunculus montanus and Stellaria cerastoides that were grow- 
ing before our hovel, and at a short distance Genista purgans. 
As we alternately ascended and descended through the wood, 
we procured very few plants worth mentioning (among them, 
however, were Linaria alpina, Lonicera nigra, Ribes petraum, 
Saxifraga geranoides, and Jpargia alpina), but were well re- 
compensed by the delightful and varied views we had. The 
finest perhaps of all, was at the summit of the last slight 
eminence we mounted, before beginning our rapid descent to 
the country below. Behind us was the Canigou, with its bare 
rugged tops, and snow lying in the ravines : on the one side 
was the Pla Guilhem, and on the other a steep bank, with a 
torrent and cascade at the bottom, beyond which were a series 
of aiguilles, or needle-shaped ridges, boasting only of a few 
straggling trees of the Pinus uncinata (the common pine of this 
mountain) ; before us lay a long and winding descent towards 
Vernet. Before we arrived at Vernet, we saw on the left perched 
up on a ridge of the mountain the St Martin de Canigou, inha- 
bited by a hermit. The castellated appearance of the house, 
which is of a pure white colour, has a fine effect from the road, 
and on the whole renders it a much more desirable place of re- 
sidence than the hermitage of St Guilhem, at which we slept two 
nights ago. 

On our descent. We observed Sambucus racemosus, Potentilla 
rupestris, Viola bijlora (the scapes were uniformly 1 -flowered), 
Urtica hisp'ida, Festuca spadicea. Prunella grandiflora, and 
Draba nemoralis, and close to Vernet Sempervivum arachnoid 
deum. We reached Vernet about three o'clock, and, after the 
delay of an hour or two, in which time we procured with diffi- 
culty some refreshments, we pushed on, and, passing Ville- 
franche, arrived at Prades about eight o'clock in the evening. 
Villefranche is a remarkably strong place ; not only does the 
fort on an eminence command the town, but the only passable 
roads to Vernet and Mont Louis pass through it. The gates 
of the town are also shut every evening at nine. Between Ver- 



138 Mr Arnott's T(yiir to the South of' France 

net and Villefranche we found Quercus tauzin, Hypeccmm gran- 
diflorum, Benth. and Myosotis lappula^ and about Villefranche 
Galium maritimum ! Bupleurum fruticosum, Cnidium pyrence- 
um, Spr. and Galium Iceve. 

At Prades we made acquaintance with M. Coder, a zealous 
botanist, who, during our stay at this place, procured us every 
possible facility for the excursions and researches we had to 
make. Like M. Xatard of Prats de Mollo, he opened to us his 
collection of plants, particularly of the department we were in, 
and shewed us also several specimens that had served M. De 
Lapeyrouse wherewith to make several of his species. He ac- 
companied us also in a part of our excursions, and got us ex- 
cellent guides for the others. The most important we made 
were to the Trancade d'Ambouilla and the Font de Comps. 
The former is close to Villefranche, and, with the assistance of 
M. Coder, we procured a few good plants, though the greater 
part had long since done flowering : — Salsola prostrata^ Buffo- 
nia perennisy Galium glaucumy Lysimachia ephemerum^ Ge- 
nista hispanica^ Antirrhinum latifolium, all occurred here. 
Bupleurum petiolare. Lap. a mere variety of B. jfalcatum, was 
also met with. One specimen was got in an advanced state of 
Orobu^s Jiliformis *, Lam. and a few of Alyssum halimifolium. 
This plant, though De CandoUe quotes this exact locality for his 
A. macrocarpum^ is nevertheless the true A. halimifolium, Linn, 
at least it accords precisely with what is found under that name 
in the maritime Alps ; but A. pyrenaicum. Lap. is, on the other 
hand, a variety, if not identical with the true A, macrocarpum 
from the Cevennes, as De Candolle properly judged in the Sup- 
plement to the " Flore Fran^aise," but which, by some mistake, 
he has kept up as a good species in his " Systema. •[•" 

• Mr Bentham refers this to O. albus, but Seringe in DC. Prod, to O. ca^ 
nescens. My specimen is too far gone for me to determine to which it belongs. 
I may state here, that, in the three first varieties of O. canescens of Ser. the 
alae of the corollae are in part soldered to the carina, which is not the case with 
O. aJbus. The style in his var. y is nearly linear ; but in his var. /3, it is ex- 
tremely broad towards the apex. Perhaps this last is a distinct species, and 
to be referred to Lathyrus. 

+ At the Trancade d'Ambouilla, we also met with Hippocrepis comosa. 
I merely mention the circumstance here, in order to state what Mr Ben- 
tham and I only a?»certained lately, that Hippocrepis scorpioides, Req. in Benth. 
Cat. and in the former part of this journal, is identjical with //. glauca^ Ten. 



a7id ifie Pyrenees, in 1825. 139 

The excursion to the Font del Comps was made by two of 
the party only, the other remaining at Prades, to change the 
plants ; and indeed those who remained behind were the most 
fortunate. About mid-day, as had been the case every day for 
upwards of a week, a thunder-storm commenced, with so much 
rain, that those who collected the plants were obliged to take 
shelter in caverns the greater part of the time they were out on 
the mountain ; and it was with the utmost difficulty a very few 
specimens of Alyssum pyrenaicum, Lap., Lavandula pyrenai- 
cum, Senccio doronicum, Linum alpinum, Glohularia nudicaulis, 
Adonis Jlava, Passerina dioica, and Cyno^lossicni sylvaticum, 
were procured. The last plant alluded to, seems to be the true 
C. sylvaticum, Haencke (C. Hwnckii, R. & S.), in which the car- 
pels are rugose between the bristles. C. sylvaticum, Sm., on the 
other hand, is identical with C. montanum. Lam. (a name which 
must therefore be retained), and has the fruit even (Icevis) be- 
tween the bristles : with Lamarck's plant must also be ranged 
C. pellucidiim. Lap. Dracocephalum austriacum was sought 
for diligently, but without success. Saxifraga media and Ono- 
pordum pyr-enaicum were, however, observed. The mountain 
takes its name from a small spring, close to where the best plants 
were found, so very inconsiderable as scarcely to supply water 
enough for breakfast. 

While these expeditions were made by ourselves, we dispatch- 
ed a guide whom M. Codere was in the habit of employing in 
a similar way, to Serdynya, to bring us a panier full of Onopor- 
dum pyrenaicum : he returned with nothing else. This plant 
differs essentially from the O. acaulon, Linn., that having one 
large sessile flower in the centre of the leaves, whereas the Py- 
renean plant has at least ten or a dozen, also sessile, among the 
leaves. 

On the 21st, after some days residence at Prades, MM. Re- 
quien and Audibert, finding that they could not afford time suf- 
ficient to penetrate farther into the mountains, determined to re- 
turn home by Perpignan, whilst Mr Bentham and I should 
continue our course to Mont Louis. We accordingly set about 
making preparations, in order that we might separate the fol- 
lowing morning. 

( To be contintied,) 



( 140 ) 



Account of Harris, mie of the Districts qfihe Outer Hebrides . 
Communicated by the Author *. 

./xT a short distance from the mainland of Scotland, and along 
the western shores of its northern and middle divisions, lies scat- 
tered an interrupted series of islands of various sizes. These 
are denominated the Inner Hebrides. Beyond these, and sepa- 
rated from them by a channel, called the Minch, of variable 
breadth, from fifteen to forty miles, is extended a continuous 
range of islands, consisting of five principal masses, with a pro- 
digious multitude of small islets, from three or four miles dia- 
meter to a few yards. The direction of the range is north-east 
and south-west. From the Butt of the Lewis, the most northern 
point, to Berneray of Barray, otherwise called Barra Head, the 
most southern, the distance is about 130 miles. It is bound- 
ed on the east by the Minch, on the west by the Atlantic 
Ocean. The districts of this range are the following : — Lewis, 
Harris, North Uist, Benbecula, South Uist, and Barray. 
Lewis, the most northern, and Harris, form but one island. The 
others are distinct islands, although a passage at low water may 
be made from North Uist to Benbecula, and from the latter to 
South Uist, over the sands by which they are separated. 

The mainland of Harris is about twenty miles long, and 
is naturally divided into two districts. The northern, joining 
Lewis at a boundary of about eight miles, extended from the 
head of Loch Resort on the west coast, to the turn of Loch 
Seaforth on the east, and uniting with the southern at an isth- 
mus named Tarbert, about a quarter of a mile across, consists 
of a range of lofty, rugged, and sterile mountains, running from 
east to west, or nearly at right angles to the general direction of 
the island. One of these mountains, named Clisheim -|-, is the 

• Read before the Wernerian Natural History Society, December 1827. 

■J- Dr MaccuUoch, who gives this mountain the name of Clisseval, esti- 
mates its height at 2700 feet. He found that of Langa, in its neighbourhood, 
to be 2407, and, if this be correct, Clisheim, being apparently at least 800 feet 
higher, is probably nearer the above estimate than the Doctor's. 



Account of Harris. 141 

highest ground in the Outer Hebrides, and appears to be some^ 
what upwards of 3000 feet above the sea. This mountain 
range is crossed by several deep valleys, on the sides of which, 
and in other places, are some of the most magnificent rocks to be 
seen in Scotland. The pass of Miavag presents a terraced pre- 
cipice about 1000 feet high ; and in the Glen of Ulladil, there 
is a rock, of not much less elevation, at one place overhanging 
its base many yards. These mountains are in general bare and 
rocky. The soil is universally peat of different varieties, and 
the vegetation consists chiefly of heath, with carices, junci, 
scirpi, and an abundance of lichens. In the whole of this tract 
there is not a piece of good arable land of the extent of four 
acres. There are several lakes in the valleys, at various alti- 
tudes, and of various sizes, none exceeding two miles in length. 
The water of all these lakes is of a deep-brown colour, as is 
that of the numerous rills and brooks which descend from the 
mountains. There is at present no wood, although the roots 
and stumps of the common fir are seen in many places. At the 
eastern extremity of the range is the low, swampy, and heathy 
island of Scalpay, on the point of which, that projects farthest 
into the Minch, is built a lighthouse ; and at the western ex- 
tremity, the high and rocky island of Scarp, both separated by 
a very narrow channel. There are many other small islands, es- 
pecially on the eastern side, which it is not necessary to enume- 
rate. The shores are rocky, but in general low. Many of the 
harbours are excellent ; those of Scalpay, more generally known 
among mariners by the name of Glass, are well known, as well 
as East Loch Tarbert ; but there are others equally good to the 
west of Tarbert, and in fact round the whole district. This di- 
vision is in the country termed Na Beannibh, i. c. the moun- 
tains. It is also called the Forest, not probably so much on 
account of its having been formerly wooded, as because it was 
the resort of great numbers of red deer. 

The other, or southern division of the mainland of Harris, 
commences at the isthmus above mentioned, which in many 
maps is erroneously made the boundary between Harris and 
Lewis, and extends to the channel which separates Harris from 
North Uist. It is entirely mountainous, ])ut the mountains are 
not so high as those of the Forest, the most elevated, Konavnl, 



142 Account of Harris. 

Bencapval, and Ben Loskentir, not exceeding 2000 feet. The 
aspect of this region, as seen from the Minch, is singularly un- 
inviting, almost the whole surface appearing to consist of bare 
white rock. Indeed, a more perfect picture of sterility can 
scarcely be imagined. Viewed from the west, however, this dis- 
trict has a very different appearance, the shores being in general 
sandy, and the hills for the most part covered with a green ve- 
getation. Along the east coast, which is everywhere rocky and 
low, there are numerous inlets and creeks, here denominated 
bays, that word being supposed to correspond to the Gaelic 
baigh, which latter, however, appears to be nothing else than a 
corruption of the Danish voe. Many of these afford good har- 
bours. Many small islands lie along this coast. The southern 
shore partakes in a great measure of the nature of the eastern, 
being rocky and low, but toward the west side it exhibits a few 
sandy beaches, and ends in a tremendous precipice, with a high 
neck of land running out from it, in which there are two fine 
caves. On the west coast there are, besides several sandy 
beaches, two great sands or fords, as they are here called, name- 
ly, the sand of Northtown and that of Loskentir. They consist 
of nearly level expanses, each extending upwards of a mile from 
the sea. At their mouth there is a long bar formed by the surf 
and winds, broken only in one place, close to the adjacent 
rocky land, where a channel is formed, which admits the waters 
of the sea at each tide. These, at spring-tides, cover the whole 
sands. The rest of the coast is rocky, but low, excepting to- 
ward Tarbert, where there are tremendous cliffs. This division 
is intersected by two great valleys, one passing from the sand of 
Luskentor to the east coast, the other from the farm of Borg. 
The bottom of a great portion of the latter is occupied by a lake 
about three miles long, the largest in the district. There are 
thus formed three natural subdivisions ; that to the south of the 
lake mentioned consists of six mountains, including the peninsu- 
lar one of Ben Capval, which are separated by broadish valleys. 
The vegetation here is tolerable, excepting on Ronaval, which 
is rocky and bare, and exhibits on its eastern side a fine excava- 
tion, resembling the crater of a volcano. It is chiefly heathy, 
however, excepting along the west side, where the pasturage is 
rich and varied. The middle division, from Loch Langavat to 



Account of Harris. 143 

the northern valley, is marked by a ridge of very rugged moun- 
tmns, running in the general direction of the range, and situated 
nearer the western side. Along the west coast of this subdivi- 
sion, there is some good pasture, but on the eastern side, the 
only soil being peat, and even that existing only in patches 
among the rocks, the vegetation is extremely coarse and scanty. 
From one of the summits of the ridge mentioned, I have counted 
upwards of eighty small lakes on its eastern side. The northern 
subdivision consists of Ben Loskentir, which gradually lowers 
to the eastward. The lakes in the low grounds on its eastern 
part are also extremely numerous. The water of all these lakes 
is brown. There are no harbours on the west coast of this 
southern division of the mainland of Harris, and it is even very 
difficult for boats to land on the beaches, owing to the high surf. 
It possesses no sylvan vegetation, excepting a few bushes in ruts 
and on islets in the lakes. The principal island is Taransay, 
on the west coast, the greater part of which is rocky, although 
it contains good pasture. This division has no general name 
applied to it in the country, but its western part is called the 
Machar, i. e. the sandy district, and its eastern, Na Baigh, the 
Bays, or more correctly the Voes. 

The Mainland of Harris is separated from the large island of 
North Uist, by a channel about 8 miles broad, denominated 
the Sound of Harris, over which lie scattered a prodigious mul- 
titude of islands and rocks, interspersed with reefs, shoals and 
sand-banks. Of these islands only four are inhabited : Pabbay, 
Berneray, Kelligray and Ensay. Pabbay, the most western, is 
a high conical island, about 2 miles in diameter, rocky in its 
northern and western parts, sandy on the eastern, and pretty 
well covered with good soil on the southern, which is low. Ber- 
neray lies to the south of Pabbay, at the distance of about 3 
miles, and is situated close upon Uist, the intervening channel, 
about a mile over being named the Kyle or Strait of Uist. It 
is about 4 miles long, and from 2 to IJ broad. The western 
coast is sandy, and along it, as well as on the east coast of Pab- 
bay, the sand has committed friginful ravages. The rest of the 
island is in general fertile, and the pasture grounds are covered 
with a fine, short, green vegetation. To the east of Berneray 
lies the small island of Kelligray, which is low, sandy and fer- 

4 



144 Account of Harris. 

tile at its northern end, heathy and covered with peat at the 
southern. To the north of this island, and separated by a nar- 
row and most rapid and boisterous channel, is the island of En- 
say, which is perhaps the finest of its size in the Outer Hebrides, 
being covered with a beautiful vegetation, and for the greater 
part cultivated. To the eastward of these larger islands lie a 
multitude of smaller, which, extending from the mainland of 
Harris to the immediate vicinity of North Uist, present, from 
their number and diversified appearance as to size and form, one 
of the most singular scenes that occurs on any part of our coasts. 

Hydrography. — The ocean exhibits no other appearances 
than such as are common to the west coast of Scotland in gene- 
ral. From the prodigious swell that follows a western gale in 
winter, to the glassy smoothness of a summer sea, there are 
many varieties of surface operated, but these require no parti- 
cular notice. The bottom of the sea is generally sandy along 
the west coast, and in the sound ; in some parts sandy, in others 
muddy or gravelly on the eastern coast, with numerous sunk 
rocks, reefs, and shoals. The water is always clear, even after 
a storm. The bottom may be seen to a great depth, and where 
it is sandy, it is pleasant to look down and watch the motions of 
the great shoals of sandeels, cuddies (AmmodytesTobianus and the 
fry of Gadus carbonarius) and other fishes, or from an elevation 
near the beaches to observe the mergansers, shags, divers, and 
other aquatic birds pursuing them under the water, with almost 
incredible velocity, and using the same motions as if flying in the 
air, only that the feet as well as the wings are called into action. 
In the sound the currents are extremely rapid, and at spring- 
tides, when they have to contend with a contrary gale, rise into 
short and jumbling waves, highly dangerous to boats. A most 
violent agitation of this kind is also produced when a great 
swell rolls in from the west meeting the stream of ebb. I need 
scarcely mention that in the sound, the flood passes eastward 
into the Minch, and the ebb westward into the ocean. In au- 
tumn the sea swarms with Medusae of various species, some of 
enormous size. Some of these emit at night a beautiful pale 
light resembling an electrical flash, seeming to permeate, or be 
emitted by, their whole substance. The usual sparkling lumi- 

3 I 



Hydrography. 145 

ousness of the sea is also frequently very remarkable at that sea- 
son. 

Wrecks are not frequent on this most boisterous and rugged 
coast, because it is out of the line of navigation between North 
America and the west coast of Scotland, and the east coast, a- 
long which a considerable number of vessels may often be 
seen passing, is provided with abundance of good harbours. 
Logs of various kinds, chiefly fir, pine, and mahogany, arc, how- 
ever, frequently cast ashore on the west coast, with occasionally 
a hogshead of rum or sugar, as well as bales of cotton and bags 
of coffee. Several species of nuts from the West Indies are not 
unfrequently found along the shores, as well as a few foreign 
shells, such as Janthina fragilis and Spirula Peronii. Pumice and 
slags also occur in small quantities, and I have seen pieces of bitu- 
minous wood found on the shores, resembling the surterbrand of 
Iceland, which renders it probable that these substances may 
liave come from that island. 

Being on the subject of water, it may not be amiss to say a 
word respecting the lakes and brooks. Of the former, I need only 
add to what has already been said, that, in most cases, their bot- 
toms are gravelly, or consist of angular or rounded pebbles, 
intermixed with mud, and sometimes muddy, or of peat. The 
streams are in winter seen gushing from every hollow in the 
hills ; but in summer there are few that remain permanent, if the 
weather continue dry for many weeks, which, however, is sel- 
dom the case. There are no rivers of any great size : that which 
empties itself into Loch Resort, however, is at least equal to the 
Water of Lcith, and there are several others not much inferior. 
Springs are by no means rare, although all that I have seen are 
small. Many of them are chalybeate *. 

* In the island of Pabbay, there are at least ten springs, some of them 
pretty large. In the peninsula of Ben Capval, there are five. From Cosladir 
to Nisbost, along and close to the road, in a line of 6 miles, there are five 
good spruigs. In as far as I have been able to observe, the i*est of the coun- 
try is equally supplied with springs ; but Dr MacCulloch perhaps thought it 
necessary to suppose that spring water should not exist in the Outer Hebri- 
des, because the rock there benig every where the same '* eternal gneiss," 
the rain waters were luiable to penetrate it. This, to use^the Doctor's own 
OCTOBER — DECEMBER 1827. K 



146 Account of Harris. 

CUmatc.^^The climate of Harris may be said, in a general 
sense, to be extremely varied ; for a great part cold and boiste- 
rous, with a very large quantity of rain, and but little snow, 
considering its high latitude *. Spring commences about the 
20th of March, when the first shoots of grass make their ap- 
pearance, and the Draba verna begins to unfold its small white 
blossoms. It is not until the end of May that the pasture- 
grounds liave fairly exchanged the grey and sad livery of winter 
for the green and lively hue of summer. From the beginning 
of July to the end of August may be considered as the summer 
season, when the sandy pasture-grounds of the west coast and 
islands are decorated with the most diversified hues. The end 
of October terminates the autumnal season. The rest is winter. 
During the whole spring season easterly winds prevail ; at first 
interrupted by blasts from other quarters, accompanied with 
sleet or rain, but, as the season advances, becoming more steady, 

words, " offers a strong example of the necessity which the geologist is under 
of taking nothing on trust, and of concluding nothing from inductions, when 
the evidence of contact can be obtained." — Western Islands, vol. i. p. 143. 

• We have as yet no data for ascertaining the temperature of any portion 
of the Outer Hebrides. It would scarcely interfere with the labours of the 
clergy there, to pay some little attention to the natural phenomena around 
them, nor would they be acting more inconsistently with their character in 
marking the indications of a barometer or thermometer, than in attending 
to their cows, and superintending the cultivation of their farms. I am not 
certain that there ever was a thermometer in Harris, excepting an unfortu- 
nate one which I carried there in 1820, and which one of the fair natives 
broke to pieces, with the view of appropriating its envelope as a needle case, 
before I had made any other use of it than ascertaining the temperature of a 
few springs, which I found to be as follows : 



Springs. 


Dat 


e. 


Water. 


Air. 


Spring at North Town, 


June 2. 


2 P. M. 


51° 


52' 


Ditto, 


3. 


9 A. M. 


51 


47 


Ditto, 


Oct. 10. 


Noon. 


51 


48 


Mineral well at Big Borg, 


June 3. 


8 A. M. 


48i 


47 


Ditto, 


4. 


1 P. M. 


48^ 


. 


Ditto, 




Noon. 


48| 


CI 


Mineral spring at Drumnancaorach, 


3. 


Noon. 


48 


49 


Mineral spring, south side of Loch Langa- 










vat, 


3. 


1 p. M. 


49 


48 


Ditto, - - - 


7. 


1 P.M. 


46 


63 


Spring at Drumaphuinnd, 


6. 


3 P. M. 


49 


50 


Tobar-a-chUdich, Nisbost, 




Noon. 


49 


59 



Climaie. 147 

and accompanied with dry weather, occasioning much sand-drift. 
The first part of summer is sometimes fine, but not unfrequent- 
]y wet, with southerly and westerly >vinds. There is seldom 
any thunder at this season ; nor does the summer temperature 
scarcely ever rise so high as to be oppressive. Frequently the 
wet weather continues with intervals till September, from which 
period to the middle of October the weather is generally fine. 
As the winter advances the westerly gales become more boiste- 
rous and continued, and, in this season, there is frequently a 
good deal of thunder. One of the finest thunder blasts I ever 
met with occurred at Harris in December of 1820, at midnight, 
during a very hard gale of westerly winds. The lakes seldom 
freeze in winter ; and, although the hills are often tipped with 
snow, it is seldom that a general covering takes place. After 
continued westerly and northerly gales, enormous billows roll in 
from the Atlantic, dashing upon the rocky shores with astonish- 
ing violence ; I have seen the spray driven over rocks a hundred 
feet in height, to a great distance inland. Even in summer the 
spray is sometimes carried inland, so as to injure the vegetation ; 
and I have known a farmer, who had injudiciously planted his 
potatoes too near the shore, lose his whole crop, in one night, 
from such a cause. A winter in the Outer Hebrides is dreary 
in the extreme. Tempests and gloom alternate, with days of 
sunshine, and sometimes of calm, when the hollow roar of the 
breakers, occasionally interrupted by the shrill scream of the 
wandering sea-bird, inspires a melancholy, unfelt during the rage 
of the tempest. ^ There is not a grander spectacle than that 
which the great ocean presents at this season, boiling and foam- 
ing as far as the eye can reach, rolling its long and widely se- 
parated billows into the sounds, and breaking upon the head- 
lands with inconceivable fury, shaking the solid rocks to their 
foundations ; while, along the surface, sweeps the western blast, 
scattering the broken summits of the waves into spray, and athwart 
the threatening sky are driven, in confusion, enormous masses of 
black clouds, charged with electrical matter, and pouring forth 
nun, sleet and hail. So violent are the winter tempests, that the 
huts are frequently unthatched, sometimes unroofed ; boats have 
been raised into the air, and shivered to pieces, and cattle car- 
ried off their legs. In those sudden blasts, one has sometimes 

k2 



148 Acccmnt of Harris. 

to fall flat, on hearing it approach, and cling to the ground. 
But, if there be much gloom, there are also glimpses of sunshine. 
And he who, from the summit of CHsheim, can view the long 
range of islands laid out at his feet, sending up their thousand 
thin streams of white smoke from the kelp-kilns ; and, turning 
toward the east, behold the mountains of Skye, and, beyond 
them, of the mainland from Knoydart to Cape Wrath, like the 
unconquerable barrier of some enchanted land, with the smooth 
waters of the Minch flowing between ; or, directing his view to 
the west, see the magnificent ocean, glowing with the splendour 
of the setting sun, and the lofty isles of St Kilda rearing their 
giant heads afar, — can look and not be moved to extasy, is of a 
more leaden temperament than is commonly to be met with. In 
the short nights of summer, the sweet and melancholy song of 
the throstle has scarcely ceased on the hill-side, when the merry 
carrbl of the lark, couched among the soft herbage, commences, 
and the snipe and curlew sound their shrill notes. To enliven 
the long nights of winter, the northern heavens are sometimes 
illumined by the polar lights. At one time, a great arch, of a 
white and cloudy aspect, stretches from east to west ; at another, 
flashes of pale light emanate from the pole to vanish in the ze- 
nith, sometimes a thousand streamlets spread over the starry 
sky, ever changing with inconceivable rapidity ; armies, as it 
were, are seen encountering in the heavens ; and I have been 
gravely told by the natives, that, after such exhibitions, the moss 
on the moors has been seen tinged with red from the blood that 
has fallen during the conflict *. Again, how delightful a mid- 
night walk by moonlight on the lone sea-beach of some secluded 
isle, the glassy sea sending, from its surface, a long stream of 
dazzling light, no sound, save the small ripple of the wavelet, or 
the scream of a sea-mew watching the fry which swarms along 
the shores. Even in this desolate land there is beauty ; and even 
here might man be happy, did not selfishness mar the bounty of 
providence -f-. 

* Tufts of Sphagnum obtusifolium on the moors are frequently of a bright 
red colour, which the natives attribute to the cause mentioned. 

-|- The effects of mirage, as exhibited among the islands, are often extreme- 
ly striking ; but, as they are well known, it is unnecessary to describe them 
here. I shall only remark, that this phenomenon is best seen the nearer the 



Geology. 149 

Geology. — Gneiss is the predominating rock in Harris. All 
the inhabited islands consist of it. In the Forest there are nu- 
merous beds and irregular masses of hornblende rock, horn- 
blende mixed with black mica, and scaly mica. At Marig, on 
Loch Seaforth, there is a deposit of hypersthene rock, ofconsi- 
derable extent ; and in the island of Scalpay, close to the light- 
house, a bed of serpentine and potstone, with veins of green talc 
and 'flexible asbestus. The northern part of the second division 
is gneiss, the greater part of the middle portion granite, and the 
southern part chiefly gneiss, with masses of syenite and garnet 
rock. At the junction of the granite with the gneiss, along 
the north side of Loch Langavat, there commences between 
Finsbay and the eastern extremity of that lake, an irregu- 
lar bed of indurated talc, with talc slate and asbestous ac- 
tynolite. Close to the eastern extremity of the lake, it forms 
a considerable eminence named Scaire-ruadh, and, proceed- 
ing westwards, appears, at long intervals, in the form of great 
nodular masses, and terminates in the Dun of Borg, near 
the west coast. It contains immense quantities of acty no- 
lite of several varieties, hornblende, rigid asbestus, and dark- 
green mica. The varieties of the gneiss ai'e endless. The prin- 
cipal minerals which enter into its constitution are quartz, fel- 
spar, hornblende, mica, and garnet. The most beautiful kinds 
are those which contain garnets, of which fine examples are seen 
in the Glen of Rodill, in the Corry of Ronaval, at Big Scarista, 
and in Ben-Capval. In the northern part of the latter mountain, 
a variety of garnet, much resembling cinnamon-stone, forms a 
principal ingredient in the rock. The most remarkable geological 
appearances are those presented by the veins, which are of two 
kinds, greenstone and granite. Of the former, the finest is a great 
vein, running from Shelibost, near the sand of Loskentir, to the 

observer is to the level of the sea, and in calm weather with sunshine, when 
a sort of exhalation is expanded over the surface, in which rapid and minute 
motions are presented, very much resembling the appearance produced when 
.a quantity of alcohol is poured into water. The mirage is common on the 
sands of the west coast, where it always presents the appearance of water, 
ami, by distorting and amplifying the sand-banks, rocks, sea-birds, and other 
bodies, produces fairy landscapes, in which lakes, trees, ruins, and £mtastic 
dwellings, are mingled in strange disorder. 



150 Account of Harris. 

east coast. It is about thirty feet thick, and in general rises seve- 
ral feet above the surface, presenting the appearance of an cnox- 
mous wall, and in some places of the ruins of castles. Unlike 
most of the 'others, it is very large grained. Of the granite 
veins, the largest is that which runs across the face of Ben- 
Capval, over an extent of a mile and a-hal£ There are others 
of the same kind in Ronaval, in Taransay, and in many other 
places. The ingredients are ctf large size, and consist of red or 
white felspar, quartz of various colours, sometimes granular, 
and mica in large plates *. The simple minerals which I have 
observed in the country are the following. 

Quartz of various colours, grey, white, brown, milky, and pale -rose. Fel- 
spar, generally flesh-coloured in the granite veins, and whitish in the 
gneiss. Moonstone, in granite veins opposite the rock of Stromay. 
Mica, grey, brown, dark-green, black, in plates of upwards of nine in- 
ches, also scaly. Garnet, of numberless varieties, and of all sizes from 
four inches downwards. Cinnamonstone. Hornblende, in the gneiss, 
also as hornblende rock, and crystallised. Hypersthene, at Marig. 
Common and asbestous Actynolite. Flexible and rigid asbestus in im- 
mense quantities -j-. Talc, common green. Indurated Talc. Potstone. 
Limestone. Sahlite and Coccolite in the limestone at Rodill. Beryl^ 
white, opaque, in the granite vein of Ben-Capval. Zeolite, in the trap 
veins. Calcedony, in small specks in the trap. veins. Clay, of a light 
green colour, chiefly on the declivities, seldom of great depth, and com- 
monly mixed with fragments of gneiss. Porcelain earth, forming a de- 
posit under peat, as well as the bottom of a lake, between Ilodill and 
Finsbay, and which the inhabitants of the village of Ilodill, now depo- 
pulated, formerly used for white-washing their huts. Bog-iron-ore, 
dark -brown, compact, with vesicular cavities, in considerable abundance, 
in many parts of the Forest, and southern division. Titanitic iron-ore, in 
granite veins. Iron-pyrites. Zircon, discovered by Mr Nicol ; see for- 
mer Number of this Journal. 

Peat and sand form the principal ingredients of the soil of 
Harris. The upper parts of most of the mountains are covered 

• It is remarkable of these veins, that the trap ones generally present 
distinct lateral surfaces, while the granitic, in all cases that I have examined, 
pass by a rapid transition into the bounding gneiss rock. 

-)• Dr MacCuUoch mentions the occurrence of asbestos at Nishishee (Inis- 
rith, pronounced Inishshee), which he conjectures to have been derived from 
a bed of serpentine. At Inishshee I found neither asbestos nor serpentine ; 
but of the former I have seen enough in the country to load an Indiaman. It 
occurs in a large perfectly isolated mass in granite in the hills of Little Borg, 



Geology, 1 51 

with fragments of gneiss, and their lower parts with peat, upon 
a subsoil of clay or angular gravel. The valleys, where the 
rock does not occupy the surface, are covered with peat, com- 
monly thin ; but, in some places, where the surface is pretty 
level, from three to eight feet deep. There are no extensive 
tracts of flat peat. It is not necessary to describe the numerous 
varieties of this substance that occur in Harris ; and I shall on- 
ly mention that some of them are very little inferior to coal as 
fuel. In a few places, such as the Glen of llodill, part of the 
farm of Strond, and part of Ob, the soil is gravelly, with a mix- 
ture of vegetable mould and clay. The sand of the west coast 
consists entirely of comminuted shells. Fragments of mytih, 
myae, venuses, mactrae, and other common shells, are easily dis- 
tinguisliable in it ; and the shells of Patella vulgata and Cardium 
cdule occur even to a great distance from the shores, in a scarce- 
ly altered state. This calcareous or shelly sand varies conside- 
rably in fineness ; that near the sea is in general the coarsest. 
By the attrition which its particles undergo in blowy weather, 
it is sometimes, and especially in the spring season, reduced to 
a very fine powder ; and from the west side of the island of Ber- 
neray, and the east side of Pabbay, may often be seen carried 
out several miles to sea, in the form of a dense white mist. I 
have already mentioned the two large flats formed by this sand 
on the west coast. In other places it is heaped into banks, 
sometimes upwards of twenty feet in height ; and wherever it 
abounds, it is mixed by drifting with the peat or earthy soil im- 
mediately behind it, producing excellent pasture ground. 

Population, — According to the census of 1821, the population 
of Harris was 3909. As in most of the other Hebrides, it is 
entirely maritime, there being scarcely a hut in the country 500 
yards distant from the shore. The inhabitants exhibit conside- 

iu a small eminence on the farm of Middle Borg, in a vein near the houses at 
Big Borg, ill the Dun of Borg; and from thence to the east side of the coun. 
try, ill a dozen different localities, in tlie irregular deposit, of which Scaire- 
rUadh forms the most remarkable point. I mention these localities as being 
all in connection ; but it occurs moreover in many others. As to sei-pentine, 
I ha\re never seen any in Harris, excepting the bed in the island of Scalpay. 



15SI Account of Harris. 

table diversity in their appearance. In general they are of small 
stature ; those individuals who are considered by them as exceed- 
ing the ordinary size, dnd accordingly designated by the epithet 
Mor, or Big, seldom exceeding 5 feet 10 inches in height. 
Scarcely any attain the height of 6 feet ; and many of the males 
are not higher than 5 feet 3 or 4 inches. They are in general 
robust, seldom, however, in any degree corpulent, and as sel- 
dom exhibiting the attenuated and pithless frame so common in 
large, and especially in manufacturing towns. The women are 
proportionally shorter, and more robust, than the men. There 
is nothing very peculiar in the Harrisian physiognomy ; the 
cheek-bones are rather prominent, and the nose is invariably 
short ; the space between it and the chin being disproportionate- 
ly long. The complexion is of all tints. Many individuals are 
as dark as mulattoes, while others are nearly as fair as Danes. 
In so far as I have been able to observe, the dark race is supe- 
rior to the fair in stature and strength. 

It is scarcely possible to conceive a constitution more callous 
to all sorts of vicissitudes and hardships, than that of the He- 
bridians in general. A^native of Harris thinks nothing of labour- 
ing in a cold and boisterous spring-day with his spade, up to 
the ankles in water, and drenched with rain and sleet. Nor is 
there to be found a race more patient under privation. A small 
quantity of coarse oatmeal and cold water will suffice to support 
him under fatigues that would knock up a pampered English- 
man or Lowlander. In respect to intellect, they are acute, ac- 
curate observers of natural phenomena, quick of apprehension, 
and fluent in speech. In their moral character, they are at least 
much superior to the population of most of the lowland parishes. 
Murder and robbery are never heard of among them ; and if 
petty theft be sometimes practised, it is by no means com- 
mon. They are of an obliging disposition, hospitable in the 
highest degree, charitable to their poor. The spirit of inde- 
pendence, however, which characterizes the Englishman, is un- 
known among them, and, accordingly, their respect for their 
superiors degenerates into servility. They are, in general, not 
a little addicted to flattery and scandal. In their quarrels they 
are profuse in abusive epithets ; but it is seldom that they come 



Population, 15B 

to blows, even at their luncrals or other merry-makings. They 
are rather Uvely than grave, and express their feeUngs and emo- 
tions, whether of joy or of grief, in a more obvious manner than 
would seem becoming in other parts of the land. Although kind 
to passing strangers, they dislike those who settle among them. 

Secluded, as it were, from the world, and ignorant alike of 
the aiFairs of other nations and of their own interests and rela- 
tions, they have no participation in the political feelings which 
agitate the other parts of the empire. This seclusion and igno- 
rance may also account in some degree for their extreme attach- 
ment to their country. I have yet one concluding trait in their 
character to mention. Old age has been treated with sympathy 
and respect by nations even the most savage ; here it is rather 
an object of ridicule and contempt. It is melancholy to think 
of the last years of the poor peasant of the Hebrides, banished 
to a miserable hovel, excluded from the society even of his own 
children, — subjected to privation when nature can least bear it, 
— without the vigour of body or of mind, the buoyancy of spirit 
and the elevation of hope that supported him in the days of 
his youth, — without the complacency which respect and defer- 
ence are so adapted to excite, — and I am afraid, too often, with- 
out the friendly advice and benevolent care of him who ought 
to prepare his mind for the change which he is soon to make. 

Formerly the population consisted of two distinct classes, the 
tacksmen or great farmers, and the common people. The rela- 
tions of these classes to each other being generally known, it 
is unnecessary to say any thing on the subject. At present the 
class of tacksmen is much reduced, and the system of subsetting 
land has been done away with. The present race of upper far- 
mers, compared with the former, is degenerate, and there are 
few among them who can boast of those accomplishments which 
distinguished their ancestors. " It will perhaps,"''' says Dr Mac- 
leod in his rejx>rt (Stat. Rep. vol. x. p. 367), " excite the won- 
der of posterity to know, that the whole landed possession of 
Harris, was, down to the year 179 v, excepting four small-tenant 
farms holding immediately of the proprietor, in the hands of 
eight gentlemen farmers, on whom all the other inhabitants de- 
pend ; and that this distribution is so unequally proportioned, 

that two great farms comprehend more than one half of the es< 

1 



154 On the Discovery of Native Iron^ 

tate. The principal tacksmen,"" he continues, " live here like 
gentlemen ; they are, for the most part, men of liberal educa- 
tion, and polite breeding.*" As I have just observed, things are 
different now ; and of the resident tacksmen, there assuredly is 
not one possessed of a liberal education, whatever he may fancy 
himself to be as lo polite breeding. 

(To be continued.) 



On the Discovery of Native Irmi in Canaan, Connecticut, 
North America. 

We are informed by Mr William Burrali, in a letter, dated 
16tli August 1826, that his father was surveying a piece of land 
on the mountains, about three years since, and by accident noti- 
ced a black vein in a t[uartz rock ; he pounded upon it some time 
with a stone, and with considerable difficulty got out two small 
pieces, the largest of which is in our possession. He has never 
been at the place since ; and probably no other person has ever 
discovered it, or knows where it is. It is surrounded by woods 
one or two miles on every side, and is on the top of a mountain 
700 or 800 feet above the common average of the land in the 
town. Mr Burrali says, there is evidence in that quarter of 
masses of iron, or its ores, of considerable extent, as his compass 
was materially affected ; but the particular vein from which he 
obtained the pieces appeared to be of no great extent ; and the 
width of it is the same as that of the piece in our possession, 
which measures two inches wide, and two thick. It weighs 
eight ounces. 

The following notice of the same facts has been received from 
Mr C. A. Lee. 

" Native Iron on Canaan Mountain, a mile and a half from 
the South Meeting-house. — This is particularly interesting, as it 
is the first instance in which native iron, not metcoric_, has been 
found in America. It was discovered by Major Burrali of Ca- 
naan, while employed in surveying, several years ago. It formed 
a thin stratum or j)late, in a mass of mica-slate, which seemed 
to have been broken from an adjoining ledge. It presents the 



On the Discovery of Native Iron. 155 

usual characters of native iron, and is easily malleable. For 
some distance around the place where it was found, the needle 
will not traverse, and a great proportion of the tallest trees have 
been struck with lightning. Whether these phenomena are con- 
nected with the existence of a large mass of native iron, as yet 
undiscovered, I leave for others to determine ; the facts, how- 
ever, may be relied on.*" 

" Physical and Chemical Properties of the Native Iron of 
Canaan^ ascertained in the Laboratory of Yale College, by 
Mr C. U. Shepard, at the request of the editor. — In its first 
appearance to the eye, the native iron of Canaan resembles 
highly crystalline plumbago ; being every where invested with 
a thin coating of this mineral, which complet^y defends it from 
oxidation. Its structure is visibly crystalline, separating 
with considerable readiness into pyramidal masses, and more 
usually into oblique tetrahedra. This cleavage, however, never 
takes place without the intervention of thin scales of plumbago. 
It falls considerably short of meteoric iron in malleability, 
toughness, and flexibility ; as well as in the silvery whiteness of 
its lustre, which, in part, is no doubt due to the plumbago dif- 
fused through it. In hardness and magnetic properties it does 
not differ perceptibly from pure iron. Its specific gravity varies 
from 5.95 to 6.72. 

" Intermingled with it occasionally is native steel. One an- 
gular fragment, weighing about eight grains, was perfectly 
brittle, sufficiently hard to scratch glass, and possessed of the 
characteristic granular structure, and silvery white colour of 
steel. With the microscope no scales of plumbago were notice- 
able in it. Dissolved in dilute nitric acid, it afforded an evident 
quantity of black, carbonaceous matter, upon the surface of the 
solution. 

" A fragment of the native iron, weighirjg 100 grains, was 
dissolved in dilute nitro-muriatic acid. The plumbago attached 
to it being left behind, was separated, and found to weigh six 
grains. To the solution was added, in excess, perfectly caustic 
liquid ammonia, by means of which the iron was thrown down. 
The ammoniacal solution was then examined for lead, copper, 
or any other metal which might be present, by adding to it 



156 Oil the Discovery of Native Iron, 

hydrosulphuret of ammonia. No precipitate, nor change of co* 
lour, was produced, though suffered to" remain for several days ; 
which leads to the conclusion, that our mineral is unalloyed with 
any metal. In this respect, therefore, it differs from the native 
iron of Saxony, in which Klaproth found, lead 6.0, and copper 
1.50. The iron being washed and heated, weighed 127 grains; 
which being in the state of a peroxide, according to Mr Children, 
indicated 88.90 metallic iron, or, according to Klaproth, 92.21 
metallic iron. 

" To secure greater accuracy, the process was repeated with 
50 grains of the mineral, from which were separated 3.50 grains 
plumbago. The iron was precipitated as before ; and after being 
heated, weighed 63 grains, which, according to Children, indi- 
cated 44.10 metallic iron, or by Klaproth's rule 45.90." 

" Remarks by the Editor. — There can be no question that 
the native iron above described is a genuine production of the 
earth, and that it holds no connection with meteoric iron. The 
mass bears the marks of a true metallic vein ; it has smooth 
sides, and small specks of blue and white quartz are sticking in 
it. Nickel, constantly found in the meteoric irons, is absent from 
this specimen ; and if it. were a question whether native iron be 
a true production of mines, this discovery decides it."" — Silli- 
mati's Journal^ 1 827. 



General Observations in Natural History, made during a Jour- 
ney among the Blue Mountains in New South Wales. By 
M. R. P. Lesson. 

Xn this short itinerai'y, we only propose to give a summary 
account of the animal productions which are peculiar to the 
climate of New South Wales, a country so fertile in interesting 
species, and so rich in animals still little known. The short 
stay which we made at Port Jackson, does not permit us to en- 
ter into extensive details on this subject, and we can only add 
some gleanings to what has already been observed by preced- 
ing travellers. The English, who have established a splendid 
colony in this part of the globe, are excellently situated for 



Bhie Mountains in New South Wales. 157 

exploring the country with complete success, and leaving no- 
thing to be desired with respect to it by the naturalists of 
Europe. We do not find, however, that they have as yet taken 
due advantage of their excellent opportunities ; and if we ex- 
cept the works of Shaw * and Lewinf, both of considerable 
merit, no particular work has made known in detail the natural 
riches of a country still almost unknown, especially in its inte- 
rior. We have much to hope from Mr Macleay, who has re- 
ceived an appointment there J, and we have reason to regret the 
departure of the last governor, General Brisbane, who did all 
in his power to facilitate the pursuits of naturalists, and who 
treated us with a benevolence for wliich it affords us pleasure to 
testify our highest gratitude. The investigations, which have 
had for their object to elucidate the zoology of New Holland, 
are contained in our classical works and scientific collections ; 
and every body knows the important researches of Messrs Cu- 
vier, Geoffroy St Hilaire, De Blainville, Labillardiere, Peron, 
Lesueur, Quoy, and Gaimard, in France ; of Messrs Banks, 
White, Phillip, Latham, Knox, Home, Vigors, and Swainson, 
in England ; Blumenbach in Germany ; and Temminck in 
Holland. 

In this itinerary we shall follow the order of- our encamp- 
ments, and of our progress across the Blue Mountains. But 
before proceeding farther, we must make a remark or two re- 
garding the manner in which this barrier has been broken, a 
barrier rendered famous by what Peron has related of it, and by 
the attempts which several Englishmen made to surmount it, 
and especially the celebrated Bass. 

The year 1813 was very dry ; the springs disappeared, the 
grass was burnt up, and the cattle perished for want of food. 
Messrs Law son, Blaxland, and Went worth determined to at- 
tempt the passage of the Blue Mountains, in search of fresher 
pastures, in order to repair the disasters of the year. They 

• Shaw (George), Zoology of New Holland, Lond. 1794. 8vo. 

•f The Birds of New South Wales, by John Lewin, 4to. 26 plates. There 
is also a work by the same author on the Lepidoptera of New South Wales. 
1 vol. 4 to. 

X Named this year secretary-general of New South Wales, the most im- 
portant office next to that of governor. 



158 M. Lesson on the Natural Histoi^y of the 

crossed the Nepean at Emeu-ford, and ascended the first plain 
of the Blue Mountains with ease. They then got embarrassed 
among numerous detours, and were on the point of renouncing 
their project. But at length their obstinate perseverance was 
crowned with success, and after having descended York Moun- 
tain, they discovered a rich and fertile country, and returned to 
Fort- Jackson, to announce this important discovery. 

I have always been astonished at the difficulties which those who 
first attempted to cross these mountains have said they had under- 
gone ; for their height, at the highest summit, is not more than 
about 2500 feet, and the two ranges which they form are con- 
nected by undulations of no great importance, and could scarcely 
present any obstacle at York Mountain for descending into 
Clyde Valley. We must suppose that all those who tried the 
enterprise in the earlier times of the colony, had coasted the 
rugged and steep sides of the Prince Regenfs Glen, which is a 
deep valley, the vertical walls of which must naturally have pre- 
sented insurmountable obstacles, although at a short distance it 
was easy to pass over the sloping declivities which connect the 
various divisions of the first range of the Blue Mountains. 

Having provided ourselves with a cart and guides, M. Dur- 
ville and I set out on the 29th January 1824. I shall not de- 
scribe Sydney, Paramatta, or the farm of Emeu Plains, which 
is boimded by the Nepean, and now abundantly covered by the 
cereal productions of Europe. This rich and beautiful plain is 
situated at the foot of the Blue Mountains, twenty miles dis- 
tant from Sydney Cove. The rock is uniformly ferruginous sand- 
stone, excepting the Prospect Hill, where the curious phenome- 
non is observed of a high eminence, consisting entirely of dole- 
rite^ the foot of which is enveloped in sandstone, which is every- 
where uniformly of the same nature. In the fresh and running- 
waters of the Nepean, I found a very small Cyclas^ together 
with a species of Unio. A small Teal, allied to, or perhaps even 
identical with, the Soiicronette, lives in flocks upon this river, 
which is no longer inhabited by the Ornithorynchi, or at least in 
such small number, that it is very rare to have any in this loca- 
lity. ' To supply this want, however, the yellow-crested Cockatoos, 
(Psittacus cristatus of Latham), made the wood resound with 



Blue Mountains in Nezo South Wales. 159 

their cries, pcrcliecl on the trees, in the holes or chinks of which 
they nestle. 

In this place I had to regret my not being able to kill the 
singular bird, commonly named at Sydney the Coachman's 
Whip, because its cry, which I liave often heard, resembles 
exactly the smack of a whip. Is this bird a Philedon, and has 
it been described ? The purple Choucari, the SatiiuUrd (Gra- 
culus), equally prefers the high Casuarinae, which border tlie 
Nepean, at its exit from the Blue Mountains. 

On the 31st we began to ascend the first range. The road, 
as far as Spiifigwood, is a gentle acclivity, and the whole face 
of the mountains and the ravines, by which they are divided, 
is covered with forests of Eucali/pti and Casuarinae. The 
Mimosa taxifolia, a new species of Cunningham**s, was in flower, 
and exhaled the most agreeable odour among bushes of Lam- 
hertia speciosa and Protea. It is here that the Menura {Me- 
nura magnifica ; M, Novas Hollandiee of Latham), is chiefly 
found, the tail of which, remarkable for its great beauty, pre- 
sents, in the solitudes of Australia, an exact patterii of the har- 
monious lyre of the Greeks. This bird, to which the name of 
Wood Pheasant IS giYQw by theEnglishof Port Jackson, frequents 
the rocky and retired districts ; it comes forth in the evening 
and morning, and remains quiet during the day upon the tree, 
wliere it is perched. It is becoming every day rarer, and I 
only saw two skins that had been preserved by Mr Lawson, 
during the whole period of my stay in New South Wales. 

We arrived in the evening at the Swamp, an extensive marsli, 
where we put up our tent. We observed in this place a great 
number of crows (Corviis corane, Lin.), the species of which 
does not seem to differ in any respect from that of Europe : a 
small goatsucker, witli very prettily marked plumage (Capri. 
midguts NovcB Hollandiee), and the banded skink {Scincus nu 
gro-luteiis of Quoy and Gaimard*). The heat during the day 
was very great, and a thick fog spread itself over the moun- 
tains, on the approach of night, which was very cold. The 
change of temperaturejs extremely rapid in these countries. 

On the 1st of February we crossed the chain, which at its 
most elevated point is named King's Table Land. Its height is 
• The Lacerta pfatura of White is very rare here. 



160 M. Lesson on the Natural History of the 

2727 English feet *. The sandstone is nearly exposed in all 
parts ; the vegetation is patched, and consists of some species of 
CasuariruE and Eucalypti^ and it is here that the pretty Pater- 
sonia glahrata of Brown grows in the greatest abundance. 

Not far from King's Table we discovered a rich valley, inclo- 
sed by vertical walls, 676 English feet high, formed of regular 
strata of sandstone. It was the Prince Regenfs Glen. From 
the place, named Pitt's Amphitheatre, the view extends to a 
great distance over the various undulations of the chain of the 
Blue Mountains. Torrents of smoke rose from various parts 
of the woods, which, from the negligence of the savages, are very 
often set on fire. 

On our way to Blackheath, I found in the middle of the heath, 
in a state of complete torpor, the Blaeh and Yellow SJcinJc of 
Port Jackson, figured in the geological atlas of Messrs Quoy 
and Gaimard, in Freycinet's Yoyage. What is remarkable is, 
that I found another individual in the same state some days af- 
terwards ; and that those which the naturalists of the Uranie 
brought witn them, were collected under similar circumstances. 

York Mountain, or Cox's Pass, is elevated 3292 feet above 
the level of the sea; and the path which it was necessary 
to make upon the steep side of this mountain, to descend into 
the charming valley of Clyde, is so rough, that although it 
has been made to describe several turnir«js with great labour, it 
is still a difficult point, and is frequently the occasion of accidents ; 
and carriages somewhat heavily loaded can only be got up the 
a<:clivity by means of hard straining. At York Mountain, 
sixty-two miles distant from Sydney, the sandstone formation, 
which is often ferruginous, containing hydrate of iron, which 
gives it its colour, together with iron glance, disseminated in 
shining scales, entirely ceases, and then commences the pri- 
mitive formation, which extends to Bathurst, consisting of 
quartziferous, granitic and syenitic rocks, which extends to Ba- 
thurst. These rocks alternate in the bed of Fish River, with a 
blackish .quartziferous petrosiliceous porphyry. The tops of 
the mountains near Cone's River, are covered with -a common 
stratified pegmatite -f*. 

* According to Mr Oxley's map. 

+ All these specimens have been sent to the Museum, and examined br 
M. Cordier. 



Blue Mountains in New South Wales. 161 

It is in York Mountain that the Echidna Hystrix of Cu- 
vier chiefly lives, which the English rear in a state of domesti- 
city, for the purpose of selling thcni at a very high rate to col- 
lectors. This animal, which in appearance approaches the 
hedgehog, has accordingly obtained that name among the colo- 
nists of New South Wales. It burrows, and does not willingly 
come out in dry weather ; it is therefore difficult to procure it 
during several months of the year. According to the accounts of 
it which I have received from the convicts who inhabit York 
Mountain, it lives upon insects and legumes, and chiefly on 
ants, which it gathers with its tongue, after the manner of the 
ant-eaters. It emits a small grunting sound when disturbed, 
and its manners, in a state of hberty, are but little known. I 
could obtain no further intelligence respecting it from the inha- 
bitants of the country. An Echidna, which I had procured, 
and which my colleague, M. Garnot, endeavoured to carry to 
Europe, gave him an opportunity of publishing an interesting 
note regarding the manners of this animal in a state of capti- 
vity *. This place, like all the neighbourhood of Port Jackson, 
and especially the country about Botany Bay, is infested with 
the black snake, the most formidable reptile of this country, and 
that whose poison acts with most celerity. A great number of 
serious accidents are mentioned as having been caused by the 
bite of this Acanthophis, which is distinguished by the shining 
black of the upper part of its body, and the agreeable rose-co- 
lour of the under part. 

We crossed Cox's River, formed by the junction of two 
small brooks, upon fallen rocks of a very beautiful granite. This 
river flows from east to west. I procured here the large and 
small flying phalangers, (^Petaurista taquanoldcs and P. sciurea 
of Desmarest). At York''s Bridge we killed several species of 
philedons : they live in flocks in the large eucalyptuses. We 
procured an undescribed species, as well as the Spotted Phih- 
don (Certhia Nova-IIollandia, Lath.) the white fronted Phik- 
dmh the Speckled Philedony and the Black-cap. {Certhia atri- 
capilluy Lath.) 

On the third of February we reached Fish Biver, where we 
encamped with the intention of killing ornithorynchuses. The 

• See the Annales ties Sciences Naturelles, for December 1825. 
OCTOBER DECEMBER 1827. L 



162 M. Lesson on the Natural History of the 

long drought had very much diminished the depth of its waters. 
It was fordable in most places. The Omithori/nchi, which are 
called Water-Moles by the colonists, and Moujlengong by the 
natives, inhabit the banks of this river in considerable abun- 
dance, while they haye become very rare on those of the Ne- 
pean. They are still pretty numerous at the proper season in 
Campbell and Macquarrie Rivers, and at Newcastle. The 
specific name of paradoxus has been given to this singular ani- 
mal *, of which Shaw has made his genus Platypus, and Blu- 
menbach the genus Ornithm-ynchus. Its extraordinary forms 
seem to sanction this name. Dr Knox, when he announced 
to the Wernerian Society of Edinburgh, his beautiful disco- 
very of the crural gland, which communicates by a canal with 
the spur with which the hind feet are armed, was virulently 
attacked by a physician of Port Jackson, in the Sydney Ga- 
zette, The Australian doctor denied the existence of the 
gland and its duct, and supported his opinion by the con- 
sideration that there was no proof that a dangerous wound 
had ever been inflicted in the country. He asserted, that these 
spurs, of which the female individuals never have any, are in- 
tended for the purpose of assisting the males to lay hold of the 
females, and to keep them immoveable during the act of gene- 
ration. Subsequent observations have reduced these assertions 
to their true value. The colour of the fur of the ornithorynchus 
is ordinarily dark brown. Some varieties of age or sex that have 
been considered as species, are of a reddish colour. ' Mr Mur- 
doch, the superintendant of the farm of Emeu Plains, assured 
me that he had found ornithorynchus's eggs, and that they were 
of the size of those of a domestic fowl. 

After having waited for several hours in a state of perfect 
immobility, to see if any of these animals would make their ap- 
pearance, I left the banks of Fish River, and the small rocks on 
a level with the water, to which they resort on issuing from 
their holes. I was afterwards informed, that, at this season of 
the year (January and February), the ornithorynchus remains 
close in its burrow, and only appears at the time of the great 

• See Peron, "Voyage aux Terres Australes ; Desmarest's Mammiferes ; 
Vanderhoeven, Nov. Act. Acad. Caes. Leop. Cavol. t. xi. Knox, in the Me-. 
moirs of the Wernerian Society, and the Annales des Sciences Naturelles ; Sir 
Everard Home j BlainviUe, &c. &c. 



Blue Mountains in New South Wales. 163 

rains, which, by causing the waters of the rivers which it inha- 
bits to swell, drive it out, and force it to keep upon the surface 
of the water, and among the rushes, which edge the banks. Dr 
Jamieson, who lives'' at Regent Villa, and who is busy collect- 
ing the productions of New South Wales, lias in his possession 
a considerable number of ornithorynchuses preserved in spirits 
of wine. He had the politeness to promise my companion and 
myself some of them ; but he has without doubt been unable to 
fulfil his promise. It is difficult at present to procure this ani- 
mal ; and the skins which one gets in the country, from being ill 
prepared, and not covered with preservative substances, easily spoil. 
On the eucalyptuses of the neighbourhood of Fish River, I ob- 
served several large King's-Fishers (Dacelo fulvus)y which 
emitted a deafening noise, that was still more increased by the 
echoes. Their cry is sharp and prolonged ; and these birds are 
stupid and fearless. 

Although the edges of Fish River are pretty agreeable, they 
yet present that monotony which is universally characteristic of 
the vegetation of these countries. Besides, about a score of spe- 
cies of Eucalyptus, the appearance of which is very much alike, 
there are only to be seen, and with no variety. Mimosa, Metro- 
sideroses, Protea, Casuarina, and a very few European genera 
along the edge of the waters. Hence the forests of Austral- 
asia have a sad and lugubrious aspect. In crossing the Blue 
Mountains, one cannot fail to remark the uniformity which 
nature has given to the leaves. Their form, excepting perhaps 
that of some mimosae with bipinnated foliaceous expansions, is 
generally simple, and they are more or less dry, stiff and smooth. 
She would seem to have accommodated them to the dryness of 
the soil^ by giving them an oblique direction, for the purpose of 
presenting the greatest possible surface to the air, which must 
furnish their principal nutriment. New Holland alone presents 
the singular phenomenon of entire leaves or foliaceous petioles 
in trees which are every where else remarked for the extraor- 
dinary elegance of their divided foliage. Another remark, 
which is not new, it is true, is, that the Blue Mountains, as well 
as the whole surface of New Holland, are entirely destitute of ali- 
mentary fruits, excepting the Sorose, a bramble allied to Rubns 
Jrtiticosics, and a small berry, of which the Europeans make a 

l2 



166 M. Lesson on the Natural History of the 

lis of Shaw), entirely black, with a very flat shell, and a long 
neck, is also found in Macquarrie River. This species does 
not draw its head under the carapace, but lodges it upon one of 
the sides, between that part and the plastern, which thus afford 
it protection. The pretty Rainettc doree of Peron, a Physa 
(P. australis), and a Lymncea with a very brittle-shell, enriched 
our collections. 

On the banks of this river I observed a species of Lapwing 
which was extremely wild. It is called the Spur-winged Plover 
by the English, and is probably the Charadrlus pectoralis of 
Cuvier. The colonists know a reptile with a very slender body 
under the name of Thread-Snuke, the bite of which is followed 
by almost instant death ; and I have been assured that horses 
will not live beyond fifteen or twenty minutes after being bitten 
by it, I am not aware that this serpent is mentioned by any 
author, and it would be interesting to confirm its existence. 

We have not thought it necessary to give any particular ac- 
count of the general aspect of the country. Details of this na- 
ture would be out of place here ; and we prefer briefly mention- 
ing some of the geological objects which we had an opportu- 
nity of seeing during our short stay at Sydney. We shall, in the 
first place, make a few remarks on the race of the human species 
which inhabits this country. To judge by his external appearance 
and intellect, the native of New South Wales would seem to have 
been degraded from the true rank of man, and to approach the 
nature of the brute. Whatever may be the opinions of writers 
with regard to their history, and the numerous differences by 
which they have supposed them to be separated from other 
tribes of the black race, after having properly considered our 
data, and viewed them in every light, we here state the result of 
our reflections, without attaching any other importance to it. 

The Australian Negro race, which is peculiar to New South 
Wales, does not appear to us to differ in any thing essential 
from the Oceanic Negro race *, of which the Papous alone form 
another somewhat distinct branch. It presents the most perfect 
similarity of form and external characters to the inhabitants of 
New Britain, New Ireland, and very probably to those of New 

• The melanitic species, Homo melanianus of M. Bory de St Vincent, Art, 
Homme, in the Diet. Class, d'Hist. Nat. 



Blue Mountains in New South Wales. 165 

at Bathurst two days. Mr Morinet, who commanded there, 
received us witli urbanity, and afforded us all the assist- 
ance in his power. Bathurst Plain is watered by Macquarrie 
River, which is the same as Fish River. Its height above the 
level of the sea is 1970 English feet. It contains about 6000 
acres of good arable or meadow ground, which allows a large 
stock of cattle to be reared. It is here in particular that the 
Spanish breed of sheep has been propagated, which affords a 
beautiful wool, but which has never to this day been transported 
to England without being damaged. A hundred miles from 
Bathurst, in the interior, Wellington Valley has been cleared, 
and here a post of incorrigible convicts has been established. 
In the south-west, far beyond Mount Molle, common limestone 
has been discovered, a mineral substance of which New South 
Wales seems destitute, and of which the English are in the 
greatest need for the building of their houses, as the shores do 
not afford enough of shells for that purpose. This article was 
ardently sought for, and it was not without the greatest satis- 
faction that the cave was discovered which lies to the north of 
Bathurst, at the distance of sixteen miles, of which the roof is 
lined w ith thick stalactites of a calcareous alabaster, furnishing 
an excellent lime. Ten miles from this establishment, at Pine- 
ridge, there is a forest entirely composed of cedars, (CalUtris 
spiralis of Brown), the wood of which is excellent for building. 
Macquarrie River, which is neither deep nor broad, has its 
banks covered with European plants. There are found here po- 
tamogetons, aquatic Ranunculi, the Ly thrum Salicaria, the So- 
molus, the Verbena officinalis, the Polygonum aviculare, or a 
species closely allied to it, &c. I found fishes in this river 
which form two new genera ; the first species, named Gryptes 
Brishanii of the family of perches, and the second named Mac- 
quarria Australasice *. They attain a large size, and are much 
esteemed as food. The Gryptes is often three feet long, and 
nearly sixty pounds weight. An Emys (the Testudo longicoU 

■ So named by MM. Cuvier and Valenciennes, in the catalogue of the 
Collections which we brought to the IMuseuni. I have proposed the name 
of Gryptes Brishanii for the first, in honour of the Governor of New South 
Wales, who received us with the greatest kindness. 



t^ 



166 M. Lesson on the Natural History of the 

lis of Shaw), entirely black, with a very flat shell, and a long 
neck, is also found in Macquarrie River. This species does 
not draw its head under the carapace, but lodges it upon one of 
the sides, between that part and the plastern, which thus afford 
it protection. The pretty Rainette dorSe of Peron, a Physa 
(P. australis), and a LymncBa with a very brittle-shell, enriched 
our collections. 

On the banks of this river I observed a species of Lapwing 
which was extremely wild. It is called the Spur-winged Plover 
by the English, and is probably the Charadrlus pectoralis of 
Cuvier. The colonists know a reptile with a very slender body 
under the name of Thread-Snake, the bite of which is followed 
by almost instant death ; and I have been assured that horses 
will not live beyond fifteen or twenty minutes after being bitten 
by it. I am not aware that this serpent is mentioned by any 
author, and it would be interesting to confirm its existence. 

We have not thought it necessary to give any particular ac- 
count of the general aspect of the country. Details of this na- 
ture would be out of place here ; and we prefer briefly mention- 
ing some of the geological objects which we had an opportu- 
nity of seeing during our short stay at Sydney. We shall, in the 
first place, make a few remarks on the race of the human species 
which inhabits this country. To judge by his external appearance 
and intellect, the native of New South Wales would seem to have 
been degraded from the true rank of man, and to approach the 
nature of the brute. Whatever may be the opinions of writers 
with regard to their history, and the numerous differences by 
which they have supposed them to be separated from other 
tribes of the black race, after having properly considered our 
data, and viewed them in every light, we here state the result of 
our reflections, without attaching any other importance to it. 

The Australian Negro race, which is peculiar to New South 
Wales, does not appear to us to differ in any thing essential 
from the Oceanic Negro race *, of which the Papous alone form 
another somewhat distinct branch. It presents the most perfect 
similarity of form and external characters to the inhabitants of 
New Britain, New Ireland, and very probably to those of New 

• The melanitic species, Homo melanianus of M. Bory de St Vincent, Art. 
Homme, in the Diet. Class, d'Hist. Nat. 



Blue Mountains in New South Wales. 167 

Caledonia. Their hair is woolly, thick, and arranged in hanging 
locks; their size is variable, but in general moderate, their 
average height being five feet four inches. Their cheek-bones 
are prominent, the nose broad and flat, the mouth large,' the lips 
thick ; their extremities, although slender in the greater number 
of cases, are often regularly proportioned. Separated into scat- 
tered tribes, without mutual communication, and wandering 
about in search of a precarious subsistence, each tribe has creat- 
ed a language of its own, or has been influenced by its local po- 
sition in the developement of its industry, which is always very 
limited. The poverty of the soil, and the rigour of the climate, 
must have exerted an influence upon the race, and deteriorated 
it ; and it is from this source that the slight differences arise, 
which seem to separate it from the African negro race, with 
which, however, an attentive examination shews it to be identi- 
cal. One may conceive the influence which, in the course of time, 
a country must have, which produces no eatable fruit : the inha- 
bitants must, have betaken themselves to hunting and fishing, 
and become nomadic ; they would, therefore, have regarded as 
useless the formation of permanent villages, and must have con- 
fined themselves to temporary places of shelter. They would 
also have chosen the most indispensable and the most simple im- 
plements ; they would have constructed their canoes of enca- 
lyptus bark, tied at the two extremities,— or made use of logs, 
in the form of rafts, to go into the bays and creeks. The negro 
race, besides, no where shews itself remarkable for its intellect, 
and every thing announces it to be stationary in its ideas. It 
has characters which aie peculiar to itself, in whatever part its 
branches are met with. These characters are, the divergence 
of language of each particular tribe; their common taste for 
raising conical eminences upon the skin, which is found to pre- 
vail as well in Congo, Madagascar, and New Guinea, as in all 
the parts of New Holland, — and never in the yellow Oceanic 
race ; a peculiar and general custom of marking the face with 
red and white powders in broad streaks, or of covering the hair 
with ochre ; the iiabit of not concealing the organs of genera- 
tion * ; that of passing a stick through the septum of the nose ; 
&c. These essential characters are in opposition to those of the 

• In all those which have not had any long continued communication with 
Europeans. 



168 On the Natural History of the Blue Mountains. 

two races of the Oceanic Isles, which we designate by the names 
of the Oceanic and Mongolian branches. We shall unfold our 
ideas on this subject more particularly in a separate essay. In 
the mean time, it is probable that the negroes of New Holland 
have extended into the Australian Continent by New Guinea 
and the eastern islands, and that their migration has been made 
from the coast of Africa by the great island of Madagascar, 
which had itself, at a later period, received men of other races. 
Be this as it may, the number of inhabitants of the county of 
Cumberland is rapidly diminishing ; — and these stupid savages, 
insensible to all that has been tried for their improvement, have 
only derived from the Europeans vicious habits, which hasten 
their destruction, such as an inordinate taste for spirits. Syphilis 
and smallpox have also at length committed their ravages among 
them. If the number of native inhabitants is diminishing, that of 
the indigenous animals is also decreasing in a remarkable manner, 
and the period is not far distant when all the civilized parts will 
be destitute of kangaroos, ornithorynchuses, &c. Already the 
emeu (Casuarius aiistralis, Shaw) no longer inhabits the plain 
called by its name, and which it formerly filled. This enormous 
gallinaceous bird has fled beyond the Blue Mountains, or beyond 
the limits of cow pasture. The great kangaroo {Kangurus la- 
hiatus^ Geoffi'.) is now only seen in a state of domestication. I 
observed several of them feeding at large in the west park of 
Rose Hill, at Paramatta, raising themselves upon their hind 
feet, to observe what was going on around them, and flying ofl*, 
when disturbed, by long bounds, lighting, at the same time, up- 
on their short fore feet. This animal, the hard and coriaceous 
flesh of which is in little estimation, as it is only the hind quar- 
ters that are employed for making ordinary soups, is tamed with 
extreme facility. One was shewn me at Port Jackson, which 
had been brought up by a soldier of the garrison, and which 
punctually obeyed the orders of its master. It was a great 
adept at boxing. This kangaroo shewed a great degree of cou- 
rage, did not hesitate to attack a dog, and made use of its hind 
legs or tail for striking those whom it wished to fight, by throw- 
ing itself upon them with a sudden and very high bound. With 
its master it betook itself to sport, and played only with its two 
fore feet, without seeking to injure him. 



( 160 ) 

Analyses made in Colombo of Ceyl&nese Varieties of Ironstone 
and Limestone. By George Middleton, Esq. Apothecary 
to the Forces. (Communicated by Sir James M'G rigor.) 

1. Rcniform, or Kidney-shaped, Brown Clay Ironstone. — 
It occurs massive and globular: sometimes these are hollow, 
(a hollow globular ball, weighing upwards of 21 lb. is in the 
Museum at Colombo), surface sometimes marked with impres- 
sed forms. Fracture conchoidal ; lustre semi-metallic ; ad- 
heres slightly ttf the tongue ; streak pale-brown. Sp. gr. 
= 3.793, of a specimen from Matelle, and forwarded by Dr 
Knox for the museum ; 4.06 of a specimen from the eastern 
part of the island. The constituent parts, after two careful 
analyses, are as follows : — Silica, 10 ; alumina, 3 ; lime, 22.5 ; 
magnesia, 8.5 ; oxide of iron, 50 ; water, 4 ; loss, 2. = 100. 

2. Gramdar Foliated Limestone. — Is white and translucent. 
Sp. gr. n 2.853 ; constituent parts, lime, 50 ; carbonic acid, 
42; silica, 2; magnesia, 2; water, 2; loss, 2. =i 100. It is 
quarried at Kandy, and employed for building purposes. 

3. Common Compact Limestone. — Its colour Is greyish white. 
Sp. gr. = 2.578 to 2.6 ; constituent parts ; lime, 52 ; carbonic 
acid, 42; magnesia, 1.5 ; water, 2.5; Loss, 2. = 100. This 
limestone was brought from Poaeloor Cavern, near Jaffna, and 
was part of a collection of minerals sent by Governor Sir E. 
Barnes to the Museum at Colombo. 

We have much pleasure in communicating the preceding 
analyses to our readers, as they are probably among the first 
regular analyses of minerals hitherto made in India. We feel 
confident that Dr CoUier, President of the Colombo Museum, 
to whom Mr Middleton's communication was addressed, who is 
an intelhgent naturahst, and active medical officer, will continue 
to encourage the taste for natural history and chemical minera- 
logy in the East. 



( 170 ) 

Letter Ji'om Professor Leslie to the Editor on Mr Rltchie^s 
Experiments on Heaty and New Photometer. 

My Dear Sir, 

JlLaving long projected the publication of a complete Trea- 
tise on the Theory and Application of Heat, I have generally 
overlooked such statements as have gone forth tending to limit, 
modify, or contradict the principles I had already established, 
being convinced that the precise and decisive experiments which 
I shall produce, must dispel every shadow of doubt. My 
anxiety to advance nothing except what was ascertained by the 
most scrupulous accuracy, has hitherto retarded the appearance 
of that work ; but I purpose, without further delay, to perform 
the task thus imposed. 

In the mean time, I may stop to notice a circumstance which 
has been sedulously turned against the doctrines which I had 
propounded. If a red-hot ball be held behind a glass-screen, in 
front of a metallic reflector, a considerable impression of heat is 
concentrated at the focus ; from .which it has been hastily con- 
cluded, that the calorific rays emitted from the ball (I borrow 
the usual language, though it involves an assumption) pass 
freely through the glass. But the fact is readily explained, 
from the established principle, that the screen becoming much 
heated, soon acts upon the reflector by its own radiation. Mr 
Ritchie, Rector of the Academy at Tain, has, in a paper printed 
in the first part of the Philosophical Transactions for the present 
year, endeavoured to oppose this explication by some other ex- 
periments. Suspending the hot-ball behind a very thin disc of 
glass, he fotind a delicate thermometer placed before it to be 
sensibly affected, though he kept blowing against the disc with 
a bellows. Now, here lies the fallacy of the experiment ; for 
the current would certainly not make the screen colder than the 
air of the room, as Mr Ritchie supposes, but only prevent it 
from acquiring so high a temperature as in a still atmosphere. 
I have elsewhere shewn, that a wind of eight miles an hour only 
doubles the dissipation of heat from the surface of a body. The 
continual accumulation from the ball would therefore still enable 
the disc to radiate profusely. 



Letter from Professor Lcdie to the Editor, 171 

It would be unnecessary to follow the rest of the experiments 
brought forward by Mr Ritchie, which seem neither happily 
devised, nor capable of much accuracy. 

But a very simple and unexceptionable experiment will set 
the question at rest. I had a dift'erential thermometer, with pa- 
rallel branches, constructed of rather large dimensions, one of 
the balls blown as thin as possible, and the other extremely 
thick, perhaps the fifteenth part of an inch in thickness. Into the 
cavity of this ball, sulphuric acid, tinged with carmine, was in- 
troduced, sufficient to fill both branches; and the tubes being- 
united, and properly bent, the liquid was adjusted to stand 
about the middle of the stem, under the thin ball. On placing 
the instrument near a clear strong fire, the thin ball being more 
quickly affected, the liquid sank rapidly in the stem, but again 
rose gradually, and in the space of about ten minutes recovered 
its station. There it remained, but with a slight fluctuation, 
owing to some occasional variation in the strength of the fire, 
or to the fluctuation in the air of the room. On withdrawing 
this differential thermometer again, the liquid mounted swiftly 
into the thin ball, but again subsided gradually to its stationary 
point. 

Since both balls, then, were placed in exactly similar circum- 
stances, it follows, that they were equally affected by the afflux 
of heat, and that no portion of this heat had been transmitted 
through either of them. 

When this differential thermometer was employed as a pho- 
tometer, it indicated a different effect. Placed in the inside of 
a room, but close to a south window at noon, the liquor always 
mounted several degrees, a sensible portion of the light of the 
sun being absorbed by the thick ball, while it passed without 
interruption through the thin ball. 

I have only to add, that the instrument which Mr Ritchie 
proposes in the same volume, as a new and peculiarly delicate 
photometer, is only one of the vai'ious modifications of the diffe- 
rential thermometer, which in my earlier experiments I tried 
for measuring small quantities of light, but which I soon laid 
aside, on finding its performance to be quite irregular and un- 
certain. 



17^ Dr Graham's Descripti(m of New or Rare Plants. 

It is not difficult, indeed, to contrive that an instrument 
shall have a wide range ; but the obstruction to its motion is 
hence increased, and its power of action is yet proportionally di- 
minished. Accordingly, the simple barometer is esteemed now 
by far the most accurate ; while those barometers of a complex 
construction, but with large divisions, have deservedly fallen in- 
to disrepute. 



Queen Street, 
imh Dec. 1827 



:•} 



Description of several New or Rare Plants which havejlowered 
in the Royal Botajiic Garden, Edinburgh, during the last 
three months. Communicated by Dr Graham. 

10th December 1827. 
Buddleia madagascarensis. 

Lamarck, Encyclop. Method, vol. i. p. 513. — Tableau Encyc. et Method, 
vol. L p. 291. t. 69. fig. 3. 

B. madagascarensis ; ramis sub-tetragonis, tomentosis ; foliis integerrimis, 
ovato-lanceolatis, petiolatis, supra nudiusculis, venoso-rugosis, subtus 
albido.tomentosis ; paniculis terminalibus, pedicellis sub-trifloris. 

Description — Shrub erect, with long, slender, diffused branches; bark 
pale brown. Younger branches, petioles, back of the leaves, peduncles, 
pedicels, calyx, and even the outside of the corolla, though this in a 
smaller degree, covered with dense, white, soft tomentum, which often 
becomes partially brown. Leaves decussating, petioled, ovato-lanceolate 
or slightly cordate at the base, acuminate, soft, on the upper side dull 
sap-green, and sprinkled rather sparingly, especially on the young leaves, 
with white tomentum, slightly wrinkled, reticulated, middle rib and the 
veins prominent below, channelled above. Panicle handsome, (7 inches 
long from its first branch to the apex,) terminal, erect, bracteate, with 
two long opposite branches at the base, subdivided like the leading 
stalk. Pedicels like little corymbs, generally supporting three flowers, 
though often only one near the apex, and sometimes four below. Lower 
braciecB below the branches at the base of the panicle, resembling small 
leaves, the others subulate, one below each pedicel, and nearly as long as 
it, smaller upwards, similar ones at the sides of the lateral flowers. Ca- 
lyx small, (scarcely one-eighth of an inch long,) ovate, 4.toothed. Co- 
rolla^ tube (three-eighths of an inch long), cylindrical, white, slightly 
hairy within ; limb 4-cleft, perfectly naked above, segments nearly half 
the length of the limb, blunt, linear, spreading and yellow when first 
expanded, afterwards reflexed, revolute in their edges, and deep uniform 
orange colour, faintly and not agreeably perfumed. Anthers 4, sessile 
in the throat of the corolla, linear, pollen whitish. Gormen round, green- 
ish, and with the filiform, colourless style somewhat hairy^ stigma green, 
oblong, bilobular, subexserted. 

Our specimens of this very handsome species were several years ago sent 
to us, with a liberality by which I often profit, and which I am always 
happy to acknowledge, from the Royal Botanic Institution of Glasgow, 
and introduced into it, I believe, direct from India. The tomentum, 
by which it is so generally covered, is pure white, and could only have 



Dr Graham's Description of New or Rare Plants. 17S 

been described as rusty, from the characters formerly given having been 
taken from dried specimens. Even these, however, if they have been 
carefully prepared, remain white. To the same cause I wotlld attribute 
the sparing tomentum on the upper surface of the leaves having been 
overlooked, and the slight difference in the form of the limb of the co- 
rolla in Vahl's description (Symbol. Botan. Pars iii. p. 14.), and in La- 
marck's figure, from that which I have observed 

Cassia opaca. 

C opaca ; calycis foliolis obtusis, bracteolis solitariis infra pedicellos, an- 
theris biporosis, glabris ; foliis 5-C jugis, foliolis oblongo-ovatis, ciliatis, 
nitidis, glandula acuta, pedicellata, inter 1-3 paria inferiora ; stipulis 
ovatis, magnis, erectis, deciduis ; racemis axillaribus, pedicellis patenti- 
bus. 

Description" — Shrub^ erect. Branches scattered, and slightly flexuose, 
green, and somewhat pubescent when young ; hark on stem and older 
branches brown. Leaves scattered, spreading or divaricated, leafets in 
5 or 6 pairs, oblong-ovate, dark green above, pale below, slightly revo- 
lute and ciliated on the margin, every where else smooth and shining. 
Petiole swollen, but having no gland, at its base, a small pointed stipitate 
gland between one, two, or three of the lowest pairs of leafets. Stipula 
Targe, ovate, erect, and embracing the axil of the leaf, dciduous. -ffa- 
cemes axillary, collected towards the extremities of the shoots, erect, 
half the length of the leaves ; peduncle without flowers for a considerable 
distance above its origin, pubescent ; pedicels pubescent, long, straight, 
spreading nearly at right angles to the peduncle. Floivers looking down- 
wards, handsome, every part except the receptacle, anthers, and gennen, 
of orange-yellow colour ; receptacle yellowish-green, and large. Calyx 
segments smooth, blunt, of the same colour as the corolla, concave, two 
outer phylla smaller. Corolla ; petals clawed, three upper subrotund, 
notched, undulated, S-nerved, the lateral nerves branched from their 
base, and reticulated towards the edge of the petal, central petal the 
largest, two lower boat-shaped, blunt, without notch or undulations, veins 
indistinct. Stamens very unequal. Anthers large, dark brown, smooth, 
opening by two pores at the extremity. Pistil bent down ; germen green, 
curved upwards, compressed, many-seeded, having on its surface a few 
adpressed hairs. 

This is a very handsome species, the orange coloured flowers contrasting 
very prettily with the opaque deep green shining foliage. We received 
a plant from Raith this season, it having been raised by Mr Ferguson's 
gardener from South American seeds, communicated by Professor Leslie 
in 1825. 

Leonotis nepetifolia. 

L. nepetifolia ; " foliis cordatis, acutis, inciso-crenatis ; calycibus aristatis, 
octo dentatis, dente supremo maximo, caule herbaceo." Bot. Reg. f. 281. 

Description — Annual. Stems herbaceous, erect, green, simple, but with 
the rudiments of branches in the axils of the leaves, tetragonous, angles 
very obtuse, sides deeply channelled. Leaves bright green, petioled, de- 
cussating, spreading, cordate, slightly decurrent along the petioles, deeply 
serrato-crenate, reticulato-veined, soft, inodorous, covered with fine short 
and soft pubescence on both sides, veins and their reticulations prominent 
below, slightly channelled above ; petioles as long as the leaves, and spread- 
ing at right angles to the stem. Spike terminal. Flowers nearly sessile, 
in dense, nearly globular, distant whorls, the upper flowers in each ex- 
panding first. Bracteae numerous, sun-ounding the base of the whorl, 
and nearly hid by it, reflected, keeled, linear, mucronate. Calyx curved, 
subventricose and cucullatc, enlarging afler the corolla falls, 10-nerved, 
bilabiate ; the upper lip 3-nerved, tapering into one long, straight tooth ; 
the lower lip about half the length of the upper, S-nerved, and divided 
into three teeth, spreading nearly at right angles to the tube; throat 



174 Dr Graham's Description of New or Ra^-e Plants. 

with two teeth on each side nearly as long as those of the lower lip, at 
first spreading, but as the corolla fades, becoming erect, and finally, with 
the sides of the calyx, advancing so as to contract its throat; all the teeth 
terminated by hard bristles, whole calyx slightly pubescent on the outside. 
Corolla bilabiate ; lower lip short, 3-lobed, withering almost immediately 
after expansion ; upper lip elongated, equal in length to the tube, nearly 
straight, but slightly arched at its extremity, and 2-toothed, the whole 
of the corolla except the lower lip and base of the tube, which are smooth, 
thickly covered with red shaggy hairs, diminishing from the apex of the 
upper lip downwards. Stamens 4, didynamous, rather longer than the 
upper lip, and hanging loosely ; filaments arising from the throat of the 
corolla, subulate, nearly colourless, slightly pubescent; anthers crescent- 
shaped, pale yellow, attached by their backs to the filaments, smooth. 
' Germen elongated, and truncated ; style filiform, nearly as long as the 
stamens ; stigma cleft, one of the segments very small. 
The figure in the Botanical Register is very good, and the description gene- 
rally correct, though both were made from a dried specimen. There is 
a wide range over which it appears that this species is found native. It 
is certainly the same as the East Indian plant, as is remarked in the Bo- 
tanical Register. From the statement in the same work, there is rea- 
son to believe that it grows in the neighbourhood of the Congo. In the 
Herbarium of this University, there is an indigenous specimen from 
Dominica, communicated, along with a valuable collection, by my friend 
Staff-Surgeon Lyons ; and our plants in the Botanic Garden were raised 
from seeds, collected by Dr Gillies, in South America, and received 
through Patrick Neill, Esq. in May last. They have been kept in the 
stove. 

Loasa patula. 

Xf patula ; capsula contorta, quinque loculari ; calyce marcescente. 

Description — Root branching, fibrous. Sterna herbaceous, numerous, 
spreading wide, ascending, branched, 4-sided, pale, succulent, semipellu- 
cid, streaked with deep green. Leaves opposite, decussating, petioled, 
spreading, 3-lobed, the middle lobe by much the longest, lobes doubly in- 
cised, each with a strong branching middle rib ; petioles channelled, and 
stem clasping. Peduncles axillary, erect, tapering, round, longer than the 
leaves. Bractece^ 2 at the top of the peduncle, small, subulate. Flowers 
nodding. Cal^ of 5 subulate segments, marcescent. Corolla S-petaled ; 
petals white, spreading at right angles to the axis of the flower, cucul- 
late, compressed, clawed, with one, sometimes two teeth, on each edge, at 
the lower part of the limb, and one at the extremity. Stamens numerous, 
inserted into the receptacle, inclosed by the petals, till the pollen is 
ripe, when they become erect, and advance to the centre of the flower ; 
filaments reaching half-way up the hollow of the petals, filiform, colour- 
less, united into five bundles at the base ; anthers short, bilocular, burst- 
ing at the side, greenish-yellow; pollen white. Germen inferior, ob- 
ovate, twisted, green, quinquilocular, seeds numerous, and attached to 
the dissepiments ; style straight, cylindrical, pointed at its extremity, at 
first shorter than the nectaries, afterwards nearly twice as long; stigma 
very minute ; nectaries ten, slender, flattened, curved, half the length of 
the filaments, and included in pairs in five sheaths, which are erect in 
the centre of the flower around the style, opening longitudinally on 
their inner side, yellow, with two reddish-orange bands passing a- 
cross them near their apex, and two terminal oblong spots : the first 
band consists of short broad streaks, arranged side by side, and- longi- 
tudinally in reference to the sheath ; the second of a continuous, 
somewhat projecting edge. At the base of each sheath, and equal 
to more than half its length, there are three spreading yellow threads, 
and at the apex two smaller, and colourless ; the last at first erect, 
afterwards recurved. Whole plant, even to the corolla, covered 
with inverted stinging hairs, which arise from glands, and transmit 



Dr Graham's Descriptimi of New or Rare Plants. 175 

through them a transparent fluid secreted by these. This fluid is also 
seen with the microscope scattered over the plant in little receptacles 
under the cuticle. There are besides these hairs, others, smaller, barbed 
along their whole length, but not proceeding from obvious glands. Si- 
milar hairs are observed in greater numbers in L. nitula, and probably in 
other species. They are possibly merely abortive appearances of the 
more formidable pubescence. 
We received seeds of this plant, under the name of Blumenbachia insignis, 
from Dr Fischer of Gottingen, in February 1827, without any notice of 
its native country, which, however, without doubt is South America. The 
peculiarities of the germen and calyx which I have adojited as the spe- 
cific character, may be considered enoudi to constitute this a genus dis- 
tinct from Loasa ; but however true it is that natural genera are formed 
in innumerable instances on modifications of these parts, yet I conceive 
that this is an example, among many others, in which a good rule, if ap- 
plied indiscriminately, would disunite individuals among whom nature 
has estabUshed the closest aflinity. In the whole habit, appearance and 
stiTicture, with the exceptions above stated, this is a Loasa. 

Polemonium Richardsonii. 

P. Richardsonn ; cauli piloso^ angulato, erecto ; foliis pinnatis, multijugis, 
pinnis ovato-rotundatis, mucronulatis, subtus pubescentibus ; floribus 
corymbosis, nutantibus, corollse segmentis obtusis, crenulatis; radice 
subfusiforme, longissima. 

Description — Root perennial, very long, in the old plant 3 or 4 feet, 
yellow, about as thick as the finger, somewhat branched at the apex, 
descending deep into the sand, and tending to bind it together, very 
much resembling liquorice. Stem erect, herbaceous, green, purplish at 
the base, branched. Brandies axillary, chiefly from the lower part of 
the stem and the crown of the root, ascending, as well as the stem an- 
gular, and having a slightly prominent line along each flat side. Le&ves 
pinnate, with an odd leafet ; common footstalk channelled, from the 
leafets being narrowly decurrent, and forming a border on each side ; 
pinnae very numerous on tlie root-leaves (10 or 12 pairs), fewer on the 
stem-leaves, quite entire, a very few shewing a tendency to become 
lobcd, sessile, rotundato-ovate, mucronulate, oblique, pubescent below, 
naked above, somewhat fleshy, middle rib channelled, veins obscure ; 
root-leaves depressed, and spreading, star-like, on Uie ground, at least 
when the plant is young. Flowers in terminal corymbs, buds nodding, 
when fully expanded fronting outwards, large, pedicels round. Calyx' 
persisting, ovate, as well as the stem, branches, and pedicels, villous, 
and slightly viscid, 5-cleft ; segments ovate, pointed, spreading a little 
while the corolla is fully expanded. Corolla slightly marcescent, but 
soon after falling, perfume faint but disagreeable, salver-shaped ; tube 
nearly as long as the calyx, yellow and somewhat plaited in its upper 
half, colourless below ; limb of five broad, obovat^, spreading segments, 
minutely crenated, pale puqile marked with deeper veins, darker at its 
base, where on the outside it is very slightly pubescent. Stamens five, 
included ; filaments connivent, slender, flattened, awl-shaped, contracted 
at the base, inserted into the apices of small, connivent, hairy valves, 
which arise within the throat of the corolla, alternately with the seg- 
ments of the limb ; anthers sagittate, curved inwards, large, white ; joo/- 
len white. Gormen small, ovate i style filiform, equal in length to the fi- 
laments ; stigma in most of the flowers 4.cleft, revolute, pubescent. 

Seeds gathered by Dr Richardson in 1825, from plants growing in deep 
sandy soil on Great Bear Lake, in 66° North liatitude, and received 
from him in this country in 1826. The species flowered in a cold frame 
at the lloyal Botanic Garden, Edinburgh, in the beginning of October 
1827. 

I have a double reasan for dedicating this species to our excellent and in- 
defatigable countryman. It is the first which has flowered among the 



176 Dr Graham's Description ofNeiv or Rare Plants. 

plants raised from seeds received from him last year ; and while I was 
in the act of writing the description, I received information of his ha- 
ving arrived in Edinburgh from his last successful survey of the shores 
of the Arctic Sea. 

Salpiglossis atro-purpurea. 

S. atro-purpurea ,• foliis lanceolato-ellipticis, convexis, sinuatis, superiori- 

bus integerrimis, linearibus ; stylo edentulo. 
Description — Stem herbaceous, procumbent for a little way at the base, 
afterwards erect, 2 feet high, somewhat flexuose, branching. Branches 
ascending. Leaves scattered, varying considerably in shape, the larger 
(3-4 inches long, 1^-1 1 broad) lanceolato-elliptical, often nearly ellipti- 
cal or ovato-elliptical, flaccid, and folded back from the middle rib, si- 
nuated, the segments generally blunt and entire, sometimes sharp and 
occasionally toothed on their sides, decurrent along the petiole, which is 
nearly equal in length to the leaf; upper leaves lanceolato-linear and 
entire, and on the flowering branches passing into linear hractece. Flowers 
on loose terminal panicles^ Pedicels opposite to, or alternate with, the 
bractese, stout, slightly curved upwards, as well as the stem and branches, 
cylindrical. Calyx persisting, oblong-ovate, 5.cleft, segments acute, 
5-angled, angles deep green, the intervening spaces paler and rugose. 
Corolla large, inserted into the receptacle, veined, rich deep purple with- 
in, more lurid on the outside, funnel-shaped ; tube cylindrical, twice the 
length of the calyx ; throat much inflated, a little more on its lower side, 
and half as long again as the tube ; limb spreading, 5.cleft, segments ob- 
cordate, the largest above, the two smallest below ; stamens four didyna- 
mous, with the slender rudiment of a fifth between the two longer, in- 
serted into the orifice of. the tube of the corolla ; filaments slightly flat- 
tened, purple towards the anthers, paler below ; anthers very large, yel- 
low, ovate, bi-lobular, bifid at the base, the outer lobe always the largest ; 
pollen yellow. Germen conical, channelled on both sides, bilocular, green ; 
style single, terminal, slender below, transversely flattened and much ex- 
panded above, without lateral teeth, pale green, longer than the fila- 
ments, included; stigma truncated, cleft along its extremity, green. The 
stem, branches, leaves, pedicels, and calyx, are covered with a soft, glan- 
dular, glutinous pubescence, which appears more sparingly on the out- 
side of the corolla, and on the filaments. When fading, the upper part 
of the corolla is nearly deliquescent, the decay beginning in round trans- 
parent spots, the lower part is somewhat marcescent. 
It is impossible to suppose this the same species with the S. straminea of 
Hooker, Ex. Fl. t. 229. ; yet as the leaves probably vary, it may not be 
easy to find good specific characters. It seems a larger and more robust 
plant, the branches and pedicels being considerably stouter and more 
straight, and the stamens inserted higher in the tube. It first flowered 
in the greenhouse of Mr Neill, Canonmills, Edinburgh, from seeds sent, 
by Dr Gillies from hills fifty miles beyond Mendoza. Both the species 
have flowered freely in the stove of the Royal Botanic Garden, Edin^ 
burgh, in September and October, the seeds having been sent from the 
f Cordillera by Mr Cruckshanks in 182G. Both differ from the Salpiglossis 
figured by Ruiz and Pavon, Prodr. Fl. Peru v. et Chil. t. 19. in the seg- 
ments of the corolla being larger, more spreading, and obcordate rather 
than emarginate, and in the absence of teeth on the style* Our speci- 
mens of -S*. straminea have the tube of the corolla as long as in the S. atro- 
purpureay which is considerably longer than in Dr Hooker's figure; and 
in this respect both agree with the figure of Ruiz and Pavon. 

Verbena barbata. 

V. barbata ; caule sufTruticoso, erecto, tetragono, angulis barbatis ; foliis 
petiolatis, cordato-ovatis, acutis, crenato-serratis, utrinque pubescenti- 
bus ; spicis terminalibus, strictis, gracilibus. 



Celestial Phenomena from Jo/n. 1. to April 1. 1828. 177 

Description — Stem somewhat woody below, square, contracted at the 
origins of the leaves, streaked, rough, angles prominent, and covered with 
hard spreading hairs. Our plant is branched at the bottom ; but as the 
branches are herbaceous, and stand right up like as many stems, without 
being farther divided, it is possible that both the woody structure, and 
the branching, may have arisen from the leading shoot having been cut 
down. Leaves petioled, opposite, decussating, spreading, cordato-ovate, 
reticulato-veined, pubescent on both sides, rather unequally crenato- 
serrated. Spikes terminal, solitary, slender. Bractea subulate, longer 
than the little pedicel. Flowers small, solitary. Cali/x green, channel- 
led, more than twice the length of the braeteae, pubescent, hairs erect. 
Corolla pale pink, funnel-shaped, pubescent, hairs reflexed ; tube twice 
the length of the calyx ; limb erect. Anthers included ; filaments in* 
sccted into the tube of the corolla. Germen ovate; style filiform ; stigma 
hooked, exserted just before the bud fully expands, but afterwards in- 
cluded by the elongated corolla. 

This species has no beauty, nor does it possess any interest except that it 
is new. We received the plant from Mr Hogg at New York last spring, 
under no name, but with the information that it had been procured from. 
Mexico. 



Celestial Phenomena from January 1. to April 1. 1828, calcti- 
lated for the Meridian of Edinhnrgh^ Mean Time, By 
Mr George Innes, Aberdeen. 

The times are inserted according to the Civil reckoning, the day beginning at midnights 
— Th« Conjunctions of the Moon with the Stars are pven in Right Ascension. 







JANUARY. 






D. 


w- / // 




D. 


H« / // 




2. 


5 47 15 


O Full Moon. 


13. 


10 36 54 


d])vTTL 


2. 


18 36 :)7 


6 1)h 


16. 


2 27 22 


6^yn 


4. 


15 2 2 


% 3' 20" N. of ^ 


16. 


5 12 10 


6D^ ' 


4. 


17 57 53 


d D 1 a 225 


16. 


6 33 51 


b3'18"S.ofJn 


4. 


19 3 


6 I) 2a 225 


17. 


20 48 


New Moon. 


5. 


1(5 24 10 


6 Do^ 


17. 


3 53 28 


dDJS 


6. 


2 29 45 


dD'T^ 


17. 


12 16 52 


69^n 


8. 


59 12 


^0b 


18. 


6 44 17 


Im. I. sat. 1/ 


8. 


5 5 39 


dD"^ 


18. 


19 2 45 


d))? 


9. 


17 30 37 


d?^ VI 


19. 


7 - - 


d0¥ 


10. 


4 36 8 


Im. II. sat. y 


20. 


23 44 21 


enters 5» 


10. 


7 9 41 


( Last Quarter. 


22. 


11 41 51 


d })^ K 


10. 


11 17 37 


d \^n 


23. 


20 44 4 


]) First Quarter. 


11. 


4 50 51 


Im. I. sat. % 


24. 


5 47 18 


dy2«- 


11. 


11 11 


6 D^TIJ 


26. 


10 2 7 


d(?4?:-: 


11. 


22 53 6 


dD^ 


26. 


13 33 25 


d ])' « 


12. 


1 21 48 


d ])2« — 


27. 


3 6 7 


Im. I. sat. 1 


12. 


5 23 56 


dDc^ 


29. 


22 27 22 


6Dh 


12. 


18 36 24 


dD4C^ 


30. 


1 5 14 


66^^ 


12. 


19 30 9 


d9vn 









OCTOBER DECEMBER 18^7. 



1T8 Celestial Phenomena Jrom Jan. 1. to April 1. 18^8. 





FEBRUARY. 




MARCH. 


D. 


H. / .V 




D. 


^' / // 






2 10 


d D 1 « 2o 


1. 


14 59 25 


66* n. 




1 4 52 


O FuU Moon 


1. 


18 52 58 


O Full Moon. 




1 7 28 


d D 2a 25 


1. 




$ greatest elong. 




1 22 25 


6 ?^«5 


2. 


16 51 


6D-^ 




22 3 3 


6l)oSl 


3. 


8 39 18 


$29".5N.ofC K 


2. 


8 23 36 


6D ^ 


5. 


23 10 31 


6D^^ 


3. 


4 59 32 


Im. I. sat. yi 


6. 


1 30 9 


Im. I. sat. y. 


3. 


7 17 - 


Sup. d ? 


6. 


13 47 19 


d})2«:^ 


4. 


2 42 11 


Em. III. sat. y. 


6. 


16 58 51 


dDV 


4. 


5 19 55 


dd^ — 


7. 


58 44 


Im. II. sat. y 


4. 


10 44 28 


6D»Sl 


7. 


7 44 44 


6D^^^ 


5. 


12 35 


69f^ 


7. 


16 27 57 


6D^^ 


7. 


17 45 46 


61)^W 


9. 


2 13 50 


dDd 


8. 


8 20 50 


6])^'-^ 


9. 


5 15 54 


( Last Quarter. 


8. 


10 22 50 


dDV 


12. 


4 17 40 


d])¥ 


8. 


19 56 17 


( Last Quarter. 


12. 


5 14 30 


dD^n 


8. 


22 13 17 


c5d/3Tl^ 


13. 


3 23 43 


Im. I. sat. y. 


9. 


2 9 14 


d])4e:cc. 


14. 


3 31 48 


Im. II. sat. y 


9. 


10 45 33 


dD^:^ 


15. 


21 33 49 


New Moon. 


9. 


17 8 52 


6D6 


16. 


3 23 44 


dD$ 


9. 


18 55 29 


dDvTIi 


17. 


7 23 8 


6D*K 


11. 


4 3 45 


Im. II. sat. 1/ 


17. 


11 38 23 


■6D^K 


11. 


4 29 17 


Im. III. sat. V 


18. 


17 15 


Im. III. sat. y 


11. 


11 17 8 


ddvTTi 


18. 


2 26 1 


Em. III. sat. y 


12. 


1 21 16 


Im. I. sat. y 


18. 


6 15 - 


Sup. d $ 


13. 


17 19 4 


dD¥ 


20. 


14 42 16 


enters T 


13. 


20 22 


dDf^n 


21. 


2 4 48 


d Di^ « 


15. 


10 46 51 


New Moon. 


21. 


2 35 44 


d D2<r « 


16. 


4 35 23 


d])$ 


21. 


4 57 40 


6D^ ^ 


17. 


18 3 6 


6D9 


21. 


23 45 44 


Im. I. sat. y 


18. 


21 5 30 


dD^K 


23. 


9 55 56 


]) First Quarter. 


19. 


1 24 


dD?K 


24. 


8 50 


6D b 


19. 


3 14 44 


Im. I. sat. 11 


25. 


4 14 53 


Im. III. sat. y 


19. 


14 38 19 


enters K 


26. 


2 7 27 


$ near p T 


22. 


14 39 39 


]) First Quarter. 


26. 


14 24 47 


d }) 1«Q25 


22. 


17 38 15 


d D i«f « 


26. 


15 30 27 


d D 2« OS 


22. 


18 9 45 


d ])2«r « 


27. 


12 42 32 


dDo'si 


22. 


20 34 32 


6D^ ^ 


27. 


22 41 


dD^a 


26. 


10 26 


6Dh 


29. 


1 39 28 


Im. I. sat. y 


26. 


5 8 13 


Im. I. sat. 1/ 


29. 


U 5 24 


d?«^ T 


28. 


6 46 42 


d }) 1 a 2Z5 


30. 


22 15 


6Dv^ 


28. 


7 52 4 


d ]) 2« 2C 


31. 


10 22 37 


Full Moon. 


29. 


5 I 39 


61)0^ 









Celestial Phenomena front Jan. 1. to April 1. 1828. 179 
Times of the Planets passing the Meridian. 



JANUARY. 1 


D. 


Mercury. 


Venua. 


Mars. 


Jupiter. 


Saturn. 


Georgian. 


H. , 


H. , 


H. , 


H. , 


H. , 


H. , 


1 


10 44 


13 34 


7 44' 


7 51 


33 


13 17 


5 


10 52 


13 40 


7 37 


7 37 


15 


13 2 


10 


11 6 


13 45 


7 30 


7 20 


23 54 


12 44 


15 


11 20 


13 51 


7 22 


7 3 


23 33 


12 21 


20 


11 34 


13 55 


7 14 


6 45 


23 11 


12 3 


25 


11 50 


13 59 


7 6 


.6 27 


22 49 


11 43 


FEBRUARY. 




Mercury. 


Venus. 


Mars. 


Jupiter. 


Saturn. 


Georgian. 


D. 


11. , 


H. , 


H. ' 


H. , 


H. , 


H. ' 


1 


12 14 


14 5 


6 55 


C 3 


22 21 


11 23 


5 


12 22 


14 7 


6 49 


5 48 


22 5 


11 8 


10 


12 38 


14 10 


6 41 


5 30 


21 44 


10 49 


15 


12 54 


14 12 


6 33 


5 11 


21 23 


10 31 


20 


13 6 


14 15 


6 25 


4 52 


21 3 


10 12 


25 


13 IG 


14 17 


6 17 


4 33 


20 42 


9 54 


MARCH. 




Mercury. 


Venus. 


Mars. 


Jupiter. 


Saturn. 


Georgian. 


D. 


H. , 


H. , 


H. , 


11. , 


H. , 


H. , 


1 


13 17 


14 20 


6 10 


4 14 


20 22 


9 36 


6 


13 9 


14 21 


6 2 


3 58 


20 5 


9 20 


10 


12 50 


14 24 


5 54 


3 38 


19 45 


9 1 


15 


12 21 


14 26 


5 45 


3 17 


19 25 


8 44 


20 


11 45 


14 29 


5 37 


2 57 


19 6 


8 24 


25 


11 13 


14 32 


5 28 


2 35 


18 47 


8 5 



I observed the end of the Lunar Eclipse of the 3d November, at 18*'21M4* 
Mean Time, allowing for a small error of the clock. During the eclipse, the 
Moon's dark limb was so well defined, that it was difficult to determine ex- 
actly when the Earth's shadow left the Moon's north limb, as the penumbra 
continued for several minutes after the termination of the eclipse G. I. 



Proceedings of the Wernerian Natural History Society. 
Continued from p. 183. of the preceding Volume. 

1827, April 7. — Robert Jameson, Esq. President, in the 
chair.— Mr W. A. Cadell read a description of the Hindoo 
Smiths'* Bellows, with remarks on the occurrence of a similar 
bellows in Europe, as illustrative of the Indian origin of the 
Oypsies. — [This paper will be found in the preceding Volume 

M S 



180 Proceedings qftlie Werner ian Natural History Society. 

of this Journal, p. 84, et seq.] — Mr Robert Bald, mining engi- 
neer, read Observations on the Coal-field and accompanying 
Strata in the vicinity of Dalkeith in Mid-Lothian, and exhibited 
a section of that coal-field. — [This interesting communication is 
printed in the present Number, p. 115. to p. 122.] — The Rev. 
Dr David Scot of Corstorphine, then read an essay on the Se- 
mamith of Solomon, Prov. xxx. 25., commonly translated spider, 
but which he shewed to be a species of lizard. — [This paper is 
also- printed in the present Number, p. 30, et seq.'\ — At this meet- 
ing, Mr James Alexander Vintress exhibited a new Stereometer, 
or instrument for ascertaining the specific gravity of powders, in- 
vented by him. 

April 21. — The President in the Chair. — The Secretary 
read an account of interesting Works of Art lately discovered in 
the ruins of Selinus, by two English architects, Messrs Harris 
and Angel ; communicated by Dr Traill of Liverpool. — [This 
communication will be found in the preceding Volume of this 
Journal, p. 165, et seq.'\ — Likewise a notice by James Wilson, 
Esq. regarding a living specimen of the Puma, or American 
Lion, lately presented to Professor Jameson. The Rev. Dr 
Scot then read a memoir on the " Hyssop"" of the Sacred 
Writings. — Dr R. E. Grant exhibited several living speci- 
mens of the Virgularia juncea of Lamarck, from deep places 
in the Frith of Forth, and made some remarks on the struc- 
ture of this zoophyte. Professor Jameson then exhibited and 
described a specimen of the Ibis sacra of Africa, brought home 
by Major Denham ; the horns of a Wapiti Deer, brought 
from California by Captain Ferguson ; a Balsa, or boat or float, 
made of two bundles of straw or reeds, used in Peru for cross- 
ing rivers, or passing through the surf on the coast ; and a spe- 
cimen of the Peccari Hog, presented to the College Museum by 
Mr Shenley. 

May 19. — Rev. Dr Buunton, V. P. in the Chair — At this 
meeting the following communications were read. 1. An ac- 
count of experiments on the Magnetic Influences of the Heat 
produced by the solar rays, by Mark Watt, Esq. — [Preceding 
Volume of this Journal, p. 170. et seq.] 2. Notice of a remark- 
able marine animal, probably of the cetaceous tribe, observed in 
the Mozambique Channel, communicated by Dr Traill of Liver- 



Proceedings of the Wernerian Natural History Society. 181 

pool, with a drawing. 3. Notice regarding the native country 
of the Potato, Solarium tuberosum ; communicated by Aylmer 
Bourke Lambert, Esq. — [Printed in the preceding Volume of 
this Journal, p. 192.] 4. Account of the trachea of the Emu 
of New Holland, and of the laryngeal pouch of the Rein-deer, 
by Dr Traill. 5. Description of a remarkable Aurora borealis, 
seen at Edinburgh 16th January 1827, by Mr Blackadder. 
[Printed in the preceding Number, p. 342, &c.] 

The Rev. Dr Fleming of Flisk, being present, laid before 
the meeting some remarks on the genus Scissurella, with a de- 
scription of a recent British species found by him in Shetland. — 
A living specimen of the Lemur tardigradus, or Tailless Ma- 
cauco, brought from China by Mr Baird, was exhibited ; and 
some notes by that gentleman regarding its peculiarities, were 
read. — [See this Journal for April-June 1827, p. 195.] A 
living specimen of the Viverra Mungos, or Mongouste, from 
Madras, was also exhibited ; and some remarks, by Mr Alex- 
ander Adie Junior, on the habits of the animal since it came in- 
to his possession, were read. Lastly, Specimens of native alum 
from Chili, and of limestone, containing shells, from the Inca's 
Bridge, at a very great elevation, sent home by Dr Gillies of 
Mendoza, were laid before the meeting. 

Nov. 24. — The Society met for the election of Office-bearers 
for the year 1828, when the following gentlemen were unani- 
mously chosen. 

President. 
Robert Jameson, Esq. 
Vice-Presidents. 
David Falconer, Esq. Dr Hobert Knox. 

Major-General Straton. G. A. W. Arnott, Esq. 

Secretary^ Pat. Neill, Esq. LUtrarian^ James Wilson, Esq. 

Treasurer^ A. G. Ellis, Esq. Painter^ P. Syme, Esq. 

Council. 

John Stark, Esq. Henry Withani, Esq. 

Dr Andrew Coventry. Dr John Aitken. 

Dr R. E. Grant. Dr Walter Adam. 

Dr John Boggie. E. W. A. Drummond Hay, Esq. 

Major-General Steaton, V. P., in the chair. — The Rev. Dr 
Scot of Corstorphine read a communication, shewing, that the 
Nitre of the Sacred Scriptures is the same substance as the Na- 



ISSi Proceedmgs of the Wernerian Natural Historic Society. 

tron of the ancient Egyptians, or the Native Soda of modern 
chemistry. — Professor Jameson then read an account of a new 
magnetical instrument called the Solar Compass, invented by 
Mark Watt, Esq., and exhibited the instrument itself. — [This 
interesting paper is printed in the present Number of this Jour- 
nal, p. 16, et seq.y and a figure of the Solar Compass is given in 
Plate I.] 



SCIENTIFIC INTELLIGENCE. 

METEOROLOGY. 

i. Great Fall of Rain at Bombay. — In a letter from Mr 
^coiijun. of Bombay, he says, that, during the first twehe days 
of the rainy season, 32 inches of rain fell, and that then all the 
roads became like rivers. In England, the average fall for the 
whole year is 32 inches, — the quantity which fell at Bombay in 
the course of twelve days. 

HYDROGRAPHY. 

2. Colour of the Red Sea. — The colour of the Red Sea has 
given rise to various investigations. Dr Ehrenberg, who accom- 
panied Dr Hemprich, ascertained that it was caused by a spe- 
cies of Oscillatoria^ one of those small plants which are interme- 
diate between animals and plants. 

3. Melted Snow employed as Drink. — A fact related by Cap- 
tain Parry, proves that melted snow is not so unwholesome a 
drink as it has hitherto been supposed. He and his crew made 
use of it for three years without being affected with the glandu- 
lar swellings to which, according to the common opinion, they 
should have been exposed by employing this beverage. 

4. Notice regarding the Falls of Rewah, and a remarkable 
Conical Hill at Myhnr. — I left Benares with my regiment on 
the 5th of October, and arrived at Jubbulpoor on the 9th of 
November 1826. Our route lay through Mizapoor, Rewah, 
and Myhur. When at Rewah, I left the corps for two days, 
and, in company with some of our officers and their ladies, went 
to visit the stupendous falls of the Lounse, or Loonse, generally 
called the falls of Rewah. They are three in number, and the 



Scientific InteUigence.^^Hydrography. 183 

largest of them is allowed to be the grandest yet discovered, 
Niagara not excepted. You may hear the noise of the fall at 
the distance of many miles ; but the sight which is presented to 
you on your nearer approach is grander than I can possibly find 
words to express. The water dashes over a perpendicular rock 
173 feet high, in one unbroken stream ; and the vapour which 
rises from the bottom appears like an immense cloud of white 
smoke, and will wet one to the skin 500 yards off. The second 
fall is not quite so grand in respect to height, but I think more 
beautiful in appearaHce. In the very middle of it stands a rock, 
in the shape of a tall pillar, and so slight that you would expect 
to see it washed over by the stream which continually dashes 
around it. The top of it may be about seven or eight feet in 
diameter ; and on that pinnacle lives an old Fakeer, who has not 
been off it for the last thirty years. He is supplied with food 
by some of the neighbouring villagers, who regard him as con- 
stantly employed in contemplation of the deity. At Myhur we 
halted a day, which I spent in visiting the town, £md some adja- 
cent ruins, which are well worthy of note. About a quarter of 
a mile to the south-west of the town, there is a very curious hill, 
in the shape of a cone, very steep on all sides, and on the top of 
it is erected a small Hindoo temple, to which you ascend by 
a stair built in a straight line up one side of the hill, which 
is nearly perpendicular. It consists of 523 steps, each about 
14 inches high. On going up I had to rest very frequently ; 
and, on looking down, I sometimes felt myself so giddy, that 
had I not been supported by the bushes at each side, I dare say 
I should have rolled down to the bottom. This place was built 
long ago by one of the Myhur's Rajahs, and has always been 
looked upon by the Hindoos as a most holy spot. From thence 
to Jubbulpoor the country is almost all jungle, and the roads 
very bad ; and we were all highly pleased when we arrived at 
the end of our journey. — Letter from an Officer of the 5tk Ex- 
tra Regiment of Native Infantry^ to his Father. 

NATURAL PHILOSOPHY. 

5. Distances at which Sornids are heard. — I recollect of be- 
ing, many years ago, at the west end of Dunfermline, and hear- 
ing part of a sermon then dehvering at a tent at Cairneyhill. I 



184« Scientific Intelligence. — Natural Philosophy. 

did not miss a word, although the distance must be something 
about two miles. It was the late Dr Black of Dunfermline who 
preached, and who perhaps has seldom been surpassed for distinct 
speaking and a clear voice. The sound was sucli as I should 
have expected, in favourable circumstances, at a quarter of a 
mile. The wind, which was steady, but moderate, came in the 
direction of the sound. There are some miraculous stories of 
sermons being heard at many miles distance ; but I did not view 
it in that light. I was riding westward, and at length saw the 
Doctor finishing his sermon, otherwise I should have doubted 
whether he had been at such a distance. Whether the sound 
had run along the road, as in a tube, I cannot say. I recollect 
little of what sort of road it is ; part, I think, has pretty good 
dikes, which might guide and confine the sound, aided by the 
wind. Some gaping ploughmen may surely be heard calling to 
their horses more than two miles ; and, were fishwives in the 
open country, their eloquence would probably extend still far- 
ther. Unfortunately, most people, when they call loud, are not 
intelligible. In Scripture, there seem to be instances of persons 
being heard far speaking from mountain tops, but perhaps they 
used a trumpet. — H. M. 

6. Capillary Action. — From a series of interesting experi- 
Bients performed by Magnus, and recorded in Poggendorfs 
Journal, St. 5. 1827, it follows, that the rising of fluids through 
a bladder, as detailed in some well known experiments, is an ef- 
fect of capillary action, and that it can be explained, if we ad- 
mit that different fluids force their way through capillary open- 
ings more or less easily, according to their degree of tenuity. 

7. Farther Observations made on the Solar Compass. — 1. 
That the effect produced by the hairs or piles of velvet is much 
greater when the velvet is placed over the points of the needle, 
than when it is made to surround the circle of cork into which 
the needles are fixed. 2. That it seems a farther improvement 
to place south and north poles alternately outwards. 3. I have 
twice observed it move about 10° to the influence of the full 
moon, when the atmosphere was very clear. 4. That its sensi- 
bility seems greatly diminished by cold, and that when the ther- 
mometer stood at 30° in the shade, it did not move to the influ- 
ence of the sun at this season, above tlirce hours, from 11 a. m. 



Scientific Intelligence. — Chemistry, 185 

to ^ F. M. 5. That, at this season of the year (November), a 
circle of cork, with 20 or 30 needles fixed inside of the circle, 
having all their points nearly meeting at the centre, and sus- 
pended by any very tenuous filament, is more sensitive than 
Uiat form of the instrument which traverses on a pivot. — M. W. 

CHEMISTRY. 

8. Metal of Alumina. — M. Oersted is stated to have ob- 
tained the metal of alumina, by employing the chloride of that 
earth. Pure alumina is heated to redness, and then intimately 
mixed with powdered charcoal ; the mixture is introduced into a 
porcelain tube ; and, after heating to redness, dry chlorine gas is 
passed over it. The charcoal reduces the alumina, the metal 
combines with the chlorine, and oxide of carbon is also formed. 
The chloride of aUiminum is soft, crystalline, and evaporates at 
a little above the temperature of boiling water ; it readily at- 
tracts moisture from the air, and becomes hot when water is 
added to it. By mixing with an amalgam of potassium, con- 
taining much of the latter, and immediately heating the mixture, 
chloride of potassium is formed, and the metal of the alumina 
combines with the mercury. The amalgam quickly oxidises by 
exposure to the air. Being subjected to distillation, out of the 
contact of air, the mercury is volatilized, and a metallic button 
is left, which has the colour and splendour of tin. M. Oersted 
has ascertained many properties belonging to the new metal, and 
its amalgam, which he promises to pubUsh speedily. — Phil. Mag. 
Nov. 1827. 

MINERALOGY. 

9. Largest known masses of Native Platina. — Before Hum- 
boldt's return from America, small grains only of platina were 
known to naturalists. On his arrival in Prussia, he deposited in 
the Berlin Museum a native specimen of Peruvian platina, 
weighing 1083 grains. For twenty years, this remained the 
largest specimen in Europe. Since 1822, the Museum of Ma- 
drid has been enriched with anpther American mass of platina, 
weighing 11,641 grains. A few months ago, a still more re- 
markable mass was discovered in the Urals, weighing 10§J 
Russian pounds. It is deposited in the Museum of St Peters- 



1^ Scientific Intelligence. — Mineralogy. 

burg. The relative weights of the platina of Berlin, Madrid 
and Petersburg are as 1, 11, 75. 

10. On the Ostranite, a New Mineral Species ; by Aug. Breit- 
haupt. — This substance has only as yet been found in the crys- 
tallized state, and in the form of a right rhomboidal prism, slight- 
ly modified on the acute lateral edges, and deeply truncated on 
the angles of the bases. M. Breithaupt derives this form from 
a rhomboidal octahedron, in which the three axes are to each 
other as the numbers 1000, 2059, and 1854. The adjacent 
faces on the same pyramid form between them angles of 1j28° 
14', and 13S° 42'. Their inchnation upon the base is 71° 56'. 
The angles of the rhomboidal prism are 96° and 48°. There is a 
scarcely perceptible cleavage parallel to the small diagonal of the 
base. The lustre of the ostranite is vitreous; its colour is clove- 
brown. Its hardness is intermediate between that of orthoklase 
and quartz. It is very brittle ; its specific gravity varies between 
4.32 and 4.40. The crystals of this substance, which served as 
a basis to the preceding determination, were about an inch long; 
they formed part of the collection of the Chev. Heyer, of Dres- 
den. They came from Norway, whence they were brought by 
M. Nepperschmidt, of Hamburg. Nothing is known precisely 
with regard to their geognostical relations. Some trials of this 
substance have been made with the blowpipe. Treated alone, 
it does not melt, but its colour becomes paler. With borax it 
melts, but with difficulty, into a transparent glass ; it is insoluble 
in nitric acid. From these characters^ and the place which it 
occupies in the system, M. Breithaupt presumes that this sub- 
stance is a new metallic oxide. He gives it the name of ostranite^ 
derived from that of the goddess Ostra, in order that, should a 
new metallic base be discovered in this oxide, the name of Ostran 
may be given it, as has been done with regard to titanium and 
titanite, tantalum and tantalite, &c. 

11. On the Rose-coloured Pctrosilex of Sahlberg ; by M. Ber- 
thier. — M. Berthier proposes to submit to a chemical examina- 
tion the petrosilex of Sahlberg, in Sweden. This mineralogist 
observesy that the petrosilexes are erroneously considered as va- 
rieties of compact felspar. It -is one of those vague denomina- 
tions with which science is still disfigured, and which only serve 
to lead into error, or to deceive us with regard to what we are ig- 



scientific Intelligence. -^Geology. 187 

norant of. The petrosilex of Sahlberg, not only does not be- 
long to compact felspar, but constitutes a new species, composed 
of silica, alumina, soda, and magnesia. — Btdlet. Univ. Aout 
1827. 

GEOLOGY. 

is. Frmn what Countries Imve the Islands in the West In- 
dies derived their Plants ? — M. Moreau de Jonnes, who sup- 
poses that the deposits, whether calcareous or volcanic, of tlie 
Antilles, have been left dry by the sea at a later period than 
the great continents, had, in support of this opinion, to inquire 
into the origin of their vegetable population, and to endeavour 
to find out by what agents, and from what countries, each of 
their plants, was transported to them. For this purpose he 
prepared, during his residence at Martinique, mixtures of earth 
adapted for vegetation, and in which, he was well assured, there 
existed no germs of plants. He exposed them with the requi- 
site precautions, and separately, to the action of tempestuous 
rains, to that of different winds, of birds of passage, and of va- 
rious currents, and counted, as far as was possible, the number 
of species which each of these causes produced. He also en- 
deavoured to estimate how far man himself may contribute to 
this end, by transporting seeds or germs of plants in the water 
brought from other countries in ships for the use of their crews, 
among the matters used for packing foreign goods, among wood 
and fodder, as well as in ballast, and among the hair of animals. 
The most powerful and constant of the natural agents appears 
to him to be the great equatorial current of the Atlantic. He 
found that, in the space of two months, it brought seeds of 150 
different species ; but all seeds are not capable of being equally 
transported by all the agents, and to be able to arrive at a given 
distance in a condition to reproduce their species, they require 
to possess certain conditions of lightness, mobility, resistance to 
destruction, difficulty or facility of germination, and others of a 
like nature. Thus, among the 150 species of seeds brought by 
the current, there were only twenty-six that germinated. With 
regard to the action of man, M. de Jonnes thinks it much su- 
|)erior to that of natural agents, and im'agines that, in a few 



188 Scientific Intelligence, — Geology, 

centuries, it is capable of entirely changing the relations esta- 
blished by them in'a country immediately after its origin. — Hist. 
de TAcad. Roy, des Sc. t, vi. p. cxiii. 

13. Fossil Sheletatis of Guadaloupe, — Cuvier finds that the 
calcareous mass in which these human skeletons is imbedded, 
contains land-shells and sea^shells of the same species as those 
met with in the neighbouring sea and adjacent land ; that, there- 
fore, the mass is modern, and the product of some encrusting 
springs which run towards the place where the skeletons are 
met with. 

14. Organic Remains of the Alluvium and Diluvium of 
Sussex. — In the alluvial and diluvial deposits of Sussex, the 
remains of animals hitherto discovered are very few, compared 
with those found in other countries of England. Mr Mantell 
mentions but two kinds as having been noticed (Geology of 
Sussex, p. 284.), viz. the elephant and horse. A short time 
since some , labourers, who were employed in deepening the bed 
of the river Ouse, which flows through a chalk valley by Lewes, 
and empties itself into the sea at Newhaven, discovered, in a 
bed of sand beneath the blue alluvial clay that forms the 
marshy tract called Lewes Levels, the entire skeleton of a deer 
of a very large size. The horns were quite perfect, and mea- 
sure 3 feet in height, and 3 feet 2 inches at their greatest width. 
The antlers had seven points, and resembled in their form those 
figured by Cuvier of the Canadian deer. The greater part of 
the skeleton was destroyed by the carelessness of the workmen, 
and a few bones only preserved. Of these, the tibia measures 
14i inches in length, and the ulna 15 inches to the end of the 
olecranon. The ramus of the lower jaw (imperfect) 11 inches. 
These remains are in Mr MantelFs collection at Castle Place, 
Lewes. Still more recently, bones of the deer have been found 
in the diluvial gravel that forms the low line of cliffs to the 
west of Brighton, at Copperas Gap near South wick. These, 
like all the other bones that have been discovered in this bed, 
were broken, and promiscuously intermingled with the soil. 
Two teeth of a species of deer, and portions of several humeri, 
were identified. Part of the tusk of an elephant was also found 
with them, and pebbles of granite, in a state of decomposition. 
Teeth of the Asiatic elephant have been met with in the loam- 



Scientific Intelligence. — Geology. 189 

pits at Hove. The Reverend H. Hoper of Pontslade has these 
interesting remains in his possession. — Phil. Mag. Nov. 1827. 

15. HansteeiCs projected Journey to Siberia. — Our distin- 
guished correspondent Professor Hansteen of Christiania writes 
to us as follows : " I am still living in hopes that I shall be 
able to set out on my journey through Siberia to Ochotz in Fe- 
bruary or March 1828. Being myself not sufficiently expe- 
rienced in natural history, I shall be accompanied by a young 
mineralogist, Keilhau, of this place (Christiania) ; and Profes- 
sor Erman of Berlin has offered me the company of his son Dr 
Erman, and assures me that Baron von Humboldt and Baron 
von Buch are ready to furnish him with the necessary instruc- 
tions in geological and geognostical science.*" 

16. FartclCs Jourriey through Transylvania. — Partch of 
Vienna, an active and acute geologist, was sent by the Austrian 
government, in 1826, into Transylvania. He remained in that 
very interesting, but much neglected, part of Europe from 
April 1826 to February 1827. In defiance of all the difficul- 
ties opposed to him in his progress through a country without 
roads, covered with extensive forests, and affording only the 
most miserable accommodation to the traveller, he made a full 
survey of its mines and saline districts, and of the rock forma- 
tions over great, tracts. Boue gave him the use of the geological 
maps he constructed during his perilous expedition through that 
country. He is inclined to refer the saliferous sandstone of the 
middle districts to the tertiary class of rocks. Boue asks, in a 
communication to us, Is there not, in Transylvania, a sahferous 
deposite in the Carpathian sandstone, of the same age with the 
secondary salt formation, or of some of the gypsums of the Alps, 
and also a more recent deposite connected with that tertiary mo^ 
lasse which is of the same age with the salt in the blue marl of 
the Appcnines and of Sicily ? Boue is of opinion that nearly 
the whole of the molasse takes the place of the blue tertiary marl, 
which is higher or newer in the series than the Paris coarse ma- 
rine limestone : still the position of the lower Nagelfluhe along 
the Alps is dubious. 

17. Fossil Remains of Quadrupeds in the Tertiary Rocks of 
Vienna. — During the course of last summer, there was found 
in the tertiary sand (above the blue marl with shells), near to 



3.90 Scientific Intelligence. — Geology. 

the Botanic Garden at Vienna, fragments of the Mastodon an- 
g^ustidcns, and also of the Anthracotherium. M. Fitzinger has 
described and figured them in a pamphlet lately pubhshed. An 
imder jaw of the anthracotherium has been found in the lignite 
or brown coal of Schauerleithen, near Neustadt, in the vicinity 
of Vienna, which hgnite lies in the blue marl. It is also worthy 
of remark, that such bones are also found in the coarse shelly 
tertiary limestone, under the blue marl ; so that, judging from the 
bones alone, we would be disposed to consider both as belongs 
ing to the same formation, — an opinion which cannot be enter- 
tained. 

18. Von BucJCs Observations and Speculations in regard to 
the Alps. — Von Buch, during last summer, visited the Bavarian 
Alps and the Suabian Alps or Jura, and seems disposed to con- 
sider the alpine li^nestone ridge as recent, probably partly Ju- 
rassic and partly chalk. The same distinguished geologist read 
to the Academy of Munich a paper on the Hippurites found at 
Reichenhall ; and, in PoggendorfF's Annals for 1827, he has an 

, interesting memoir on the boulders of granite, &c. spread over 
the Jura and neighbouring countries, in which he maintains 
they have reached their present situations at the time of the 
rising from below of the primitive mountains, which he consi- 
ders newer than the tertiary. It is worthy of notice, that De 
Luc of Geneva published at the same time (May last) a simi- 
lar memoir in the Memoirs of the Soc. de Phys. de Geneva, 
vol. ii. 1827, in which he states, as his opinion, that the Alps 
were formed after the tertiary rocks, and that the boulders were 
dispersed by that great rising from below of the land. 

19. Boues Memoir on European Formations, and their 
probable Origin. — One of the most interesting memoirs lately 
published, is that whose title we have just given. It appeared 
in the Journal of Leonhard for July 1827. Unfortunately 
the promised map has not been published. 

20. Dr BouS on Secondary Rocks. — Dr Boue, during a vi- 
sit to Solothurn, saw, along with Professor Huggy, the shell 
limestone (muschel kalkstein) forming protuberances under the 
Jura limestone, and the rauchvvacke, or porous magnesian lime- 
stone, with cuneiform masses of gypsum. Above these he 
found the following arrangement : — lias and its marl ; the sand 



Scientific Intelligence. — Botany. 191 

of the inferior oolite ; then great masses of oolite and compact 
limestone ; a thick bed of contorted, unstratified, rather crystal- 
line, hmestone, without shells ; and above this, near to Solothum, 
an upper Jurassic deposite, with ammonites, encrinites, croco- 
diles, and tortoises. Dr Bou^ is of opinion that the Swiss Ju- 
ra does not contain any Jurassic deposites newer than the coral 
rag ; and further, that the equivalent for the coral rag is near- 
ly wanting in the German Jura. 

BOTANY. 

21. Signs of Increase, Maturity., and Decay in Trees; by 
M. Baudrillac. — The qualities of wood depend much on the 
state of the tree when cut down. It appears from the experi- 
ments of M. Hartig upon wood applied as fuel, that trees which 
have attained maturity without passing into decay, are the best 
for the production of heat. Thus the value of an elm of 100 
years is to that of one of 30 years, as 12 is to 9 ; that of an ash of 
100 years to one of 30 years, as 15 to 11. When the trees begin 
to decay, their value rapidly diminishes : thus, if an oak of 200 
years yields wood worth 15 francs per corde, a tree of the same 
kind passing to decay yields wood only worth 12 francs. When 
the wood is used for other purposes, the advantages conferred 
by a mature and healthy state are still more considerable. The 
common elm, growing in a forest, and in good earth, acquires 
its full increase in 150 years ; but it will live many ages, even 
500 or 600 years. Large forest elms are cut down with ad- 
vantage when of an age between 100 and 130 years, and then 
furnish a large quantity of building wood. The duration of the 
life of the elm depends much upon the soil ; in a dry soil it be- 
comes aged, as it were, in forty, fifty, or sixty years. Elms which 
have been lopped live for a shorter period than the others. 
Those which grow by the roadside, or in their plantations, may 
be cut when seventy or eiglity years of age. In general, the 
increase of hard woods, as the oak and elm, is small at first ; it 
successively augments until the twentieth or twenty-fifth year, 
is then uniform until the. age of sixty to eighty years, after 
which it sensibly diminishes. For these and other reasons, it 
is important that trees should be cut down when they are at 
their mature state, and not simply when they undergo no fur- 



192 Scientific Intelligence. — Botany. 

ther increase. When the period has arrived after which the 
increase of the tree would be less and less from year to year, 
then the tree should be felled, for no advantage accrues from 
its remaining longer in the ground. The indications of the 
mature state of a tree are by no means so evident as those of 
decay, but still certain signs of these states, as well as of the 
vigorous condition of the tree, may also be observed. 

I. Signs announcing the Vigour of a Tree.—^hQ branches, 
especially towards the top, are vigorous ; the annual shoots 
strong and long ; the leaves green, vigorous, and thick, princi- 
pally at the summit, and falling late in autumn ; the bark is 
clear, fine, united, and nearly of the same colour from the foot 
to the large branches. If at the bottom of the veins or divi- 
sions of the thick bark there appear smaller divisions which 
follow from below upwards, in the direction of the fibres, and 
live bark be observed at the bottom of these divisions, it is an 
indication that the tree is very vigorous, and rapidly increasing 
in size. If some of the lower branches, stifled by others, are 
yellow, languishing, and even dead, this is an accidental effect, 
and is no proof of the languor of the tree. Finally, It is a sign 
of vigour when branches are seen at the summit of the tree rising 
above, and being much longer than the others ; but it is to be 
observed, that all trees with round heads do not throw out 
branches with equal force. 

II. Signs which indicate that the Tree is mature. — General- 
ly the head of the tree is rounded ; the shoots diminish in length 
each year, and the furthest shoots add to the length of the 
branches only by the length of the bud ; the leaves are put 
forth only in spring, and become yellow in autumn before 
those of vigorous trees, and at this time the lower leaves are 
greener than the upper. The branches incline towards the ho- 
rizon, and form angles sometimes of sixty or seventy degrees. 
These apparent signs, and the thinness of the layer deposited 
by the sap, indicate that the tree makes but small additions to 
itself, and now it should be cut down. The nature of the 
earth should be examined, as well as the kind of tree, to enable 
a judgment whether the tree should be left to increase still fur- 
ther, or whether it will be more proper to fell it. An exact 
age cannot be assigned for each species ; but it has l?een ob- 

4 



Scientlflf: Intelligence. — Botany. 193 

served, that an elm, situated in an insulated plantation, may be 
felled with advantage when between seventy and eighty years of 
age. 

III. Signs of Decay in a Tree. — When a tree becomes 
crowned, i. e. when the upper branches die, it infallibly indi- 
' cates, especially for isolated trees, that the central wood is un- 
dergoing alteration, and the tree passing to decay. When the 
bark separates from the wood, or when it is divided by separa- 
tions which pass across it, the tree is in a considerable state of 
degradation. When the bark is loaded with moss, lichen, or 
fungi, or is marked with black or red spots, these signs of alte- 
ration in the bark justify suspicions of alterations in the wood 
within. When sap is seen to flow from clefts in the bark, it is 
a sign that the trees will soon die. As to wounds or gutterings, 
these defects may arise from local causes, and are not necessa- 
rily the result of old age. — Biblioth. Phys. Econom. 1826, 
p. 13. 

22. Botanical Excursion in Sutherlandshire. — In an excur- 
sion which Dr Graham took with part of his pupils into the 
North of Scotland, in August last, the following stations for rare 
Scotch plants were ascertained. 

Alisma ranunodoides^ ditch north end of Cromarty Frith. Radiola millegrana^ 
abundant on road sides near Tain. Senecio liv'tdus^ abundant along with S. 
sylvaticus^ on road sides near Lairg, Loch Shin. Senecio Jacobcea^ var. with- 
out ray, abundant on sand-hills behind the manse of Farr, as well as in the 
station at Strathy where it was observed by Dr Graham two years ago. 
Schosnus nigricans^ very abundant on sides of Loch Shin, and many other 
places in the west of Sutherlandshire. It is also extremely common in the 
Isle of Skye. Carex panciflora^ bogs, side of Loch Shin ; Ben More, Assynt ; 
and in several other stations in Sutherlandshire. Utrimlaria intermedia^ 
bog on Ben More, Assynt ; small loch two miles east of Farr church. Apar- 
gia alpina^ Ben More, Assynt ; as well as on Fonnivan, a mountain at the 
toj) of Ijoch Inchard, in the same station in which Dr Graham observed it 
two years ago. There is not a doubt that this is the plant known as A. al- 
pina on the Continent, as has been proved by comparing it with authenti- 
cated specimens from several stations on the Alps and Pyrenees ; but whe- 
ther it be really specifically distinct from A. auiumnalis^ is a different ques- 
tion. There seem to be intermediate varieties, and it is more than pro- 
bable that this genus, and Leontodon in particular, are subdivided by the 
Continental botanists beyond what is justifiable. In neither of the stations 
mentioned is the plant abundant. Poa aipitia, and Hieraciiim alpinum, Ben 
More, AsHynt ; neither of these plants were observed any where else in 
Sutherlandshire. Droscra longifolia^ bog north side of Ben JNIore, Assynt, 
far less common than D. anglica^ which is more abundant in the north and 
west of Scotland than D. rotundifoUa. Cerastium alpinum^ Ben More, Assynt ; 
and several other mountains in Sutherlandshire. Aira alpina, Ben More, 
Assynt ; and Fonnivan, near the top. Cherleria sedoides^ on all the moun- 
tains in Sutherlandshire, in the utmost profusion. Arbutus alpina, abun- 

OCTOBEE DECEMBER 1827. N 



194 Scientific Intelligence. — Zoology. 

dant in Sutherlandshire, generally on the tops of the low shoulders of the 
mountams. Vaccinmm uligifiosum, many of the mountains in Sutherland- 
shire. Epipactis latifolia^ on limestone rocks in Assynt, and at Keoldale, 
parish of Durness, on the north sea. In the last place very abundant, 
though no station so far north in Scotland is quoted. At this place Drt/as 
octopetala^ Thalictrum alpinum^ Primula scotica^ and Glauoe maritima^ growing 
in contact, form a group which can be seen no where else in Britain. Pyrm 
Aria, limestone rocks, Assynt ; Glencoe. Plialaris arundinacea, var. colorata. 
Island of Handa, oiF Scourie, west coast of Sutherlandshire. Arabis hispida^ 
in abundance on several of the mountains in Sutherland, always in per- 
fectly dry stations, and generally among broken quartz. On Benhope 
alone, in micaceous soil, and there only hairy ; every where else quite 
smooth, and on Ben Hope every specimen observed was hairy. Eleocharis 
multicaulis, pools between the head of Loch Inchard and Arcle, abundant. 
Scilla verna^ in profusion at Far-out-Head, and on a knoll behind the 
manse at Farr ; in both situations growing in dry peat-turf, mixed with 
sharp white sand. Primula scotica, profuse in many places along the north 
coast. Pyrethrum mariiimum, abundant on sea-cliffs at Far-out-Head, and 
behind the manse of Farr. Potentilla alpestris, Ben Hope. Astragalus ura- 
lensis, abundant on sand-hills behind the manse of Farr. Hieracium uni' 
bellatum, rocky knoll behind the manse of Farr. Asplenium marinum, sea- 
cliffs behmd the church of Farr. Juncus arcticus, cliffs behind the church 
of Farr, and in several places in the neighbourhood of Cape Wrath and 
Oldshore. Sagina maritima, ruined castle on the cliff behind the manse of 
Farr. 
It is not long since the Senecio tenuifolius was ascertained to be a Scotch plant, 
growing at Woodhall, near Airdrie ; Dr Graham has lately received speci- 
mens from Mr Baird, who has found it abundantly in the parishes of 
Lady Kirk and Swinton, particularly on the farm of Little Swinton. — K. G* 



ZOOLOGY. 

23. On the tendency of Matter to become Organized. — We 
noticed, on former occasions, M. Bory de St Vincent's obser- 
vations on those ambiguous beings, which, during a part of 
their hfe, are collected into filaments, whose colour and gene- 
ral aspect are those of vegetables, and which, at certain pe- 
riods, separate and assume the voluntary motion of animals. 
M. Gaillon, an enlightened observer, the author of an inte- 
resting memoir on the cause of the green colour in oysters, 
has discovered that it is produced by the Conferva comoides. 
He has seen the greenish corpuscules, which form its axis, be- 
come detached, advance with more or less rapidity, change place, 
and, in short, act in all respects like enchylides and cyclidia. 
Taking entire filaments, he forced these minute beings to sepa- 
rate before the time ; and, in this case also, they manifested the 
same voluntary movements. Their propensity to associate is so 
great, that, whenever the young can do so, they arrange them- 
selves, one after another, in a single line ; and, when in this po- 
sition, M. Gaillon thought he observed them to exude from 



Scientific hitelligence. — Zoology. 195 

llieir substance a mucosity, which forms itself into a membrane, 
and entirely envelopes them *. M. Bory de St Vincent has con- 
tinued to occupy himself with these microscopic transformations, 
having in view to penetrate to the first combinations of matter 
to which these corpuscules seem so near. Observing the appear- 
ances successively presented in water exposed to light, he thought 
he saw, for the first time, matter assume the aspect of a simple 
mucosity, without colour or form. If the water contains any 
animal substance, it produces a pellicle of this mucosity at its 
surface, then becomes turbid, and discloses an infinity of living 
atoms, if we may so call those monads, which, after being mag- 
nified a thousand times, are not so large as the point of a nee- 
dle, and which yet move in all directions, with prodigious velo- 
city. This is what M. Bory names matter in the living state. 
When the water is exposed to the air and light, there quickly 
forms what is named the green matter of Priestley, which many 
observers have supposed to be the first state of certain confervae, 
or plants of a like nature. M. Bory thinks that it is a combi- 
nation of a more general form, and only susceptible of entering 
into the composition of these plants, as well as of the animal- 
cules which issue from it, and which produce them. He names 
this combination matter in the vegetative state. It is by it that 
the infusory animals are rendered green. Those which colour 
oysters, according to M. Gaillon's observations, produce this ef- 
fect, as M. Bory says, only because they are themselves colour- 
ed by the green matter. It colours,* in the same manner, the 
water and the shells of these oysters ; and it would not be im- 
possible to find some tinged directly by this matter, without any 
animalcules having penetrated into them. It is so difficult to 
render observations of this kind complete, and one may always 
so easily suppose an anterior state, still more attenuated, and 
which may have escaped every microscope, or invisible germs, 
which the necessity of the concurrence of air prevents from se- 
parating, that many philosophers will probably refuse to admit 

• M. INIertens, a botanist of Bremen, has observed similar facts on the C(w- 
ferva mutabilis. On the 3d August, he says, it was in its vegetable state ; on 
the 6th it resolved itself into molecules possessed of mobility ; on the Cth some 
of these molecules united into simple articulations ; and, on the 11th, it was 
restored to its original form. 

N 2 



396 Scientific Intelligence. — Zoology- 

the consequences, which the author would draw from these facts, 
for attributing to matter a general disposition to become orga- 
nised, which would be independent of the ordinary mode of ge- 
neration. — Mem. de VJcad, Roy. des, Sc. t. vi. p. cxxi. 

24. On the Animalcules that colour Oysters Green. — M. Gail- 
Ion has sent new observations on the animalcules which colour 
oysters, and which, after M. Bory de St Vincent, he names Na- 
vicules vertes. He has remarked other species, which also pe- 
netrate into the substance of the oyster, and give it different co- 
lours, rendering it grey, brown, or yellowish. Among these are 
the Vibrio bipunctatus, and tripunctatus of Miiller. It is re- 
markable, that the green navicule does not exist in the waters 
of the sea, nor even in the fresh water of the neighbourhood of 
Dieppe. It only multiplies, in a certain degree, of saltness and 
stagnation of the water, such as is known to produce it in the 
pares, where the colouring in question is produced. M. Gaillon, 
however, has seen some that issued from a conferva of the genus 
Vaucheria found in fresh water about Evreux. 

25. Beaver. — The beaver of Europe M. Cuvier is now dis- 
posed to consider as specifically distinguished from that of Ca- 
nada, by the form of its head. Viewed in profile, instead of pre- 
senting a nearly uniform curve from the occipital bone to the 
end of the ossa narium, its outline is almost straight, being in- 
flected only towards its middle ; its sagittal and occipital project 
strongly, the zygomatic arch is broad, and much depressed, the 
whole cerebral portion is considerably elongated backwards, and 

' the nasal bones advance far beyond the orbitar process of the os 
frontis. These parts are obviously less developed in the Ame- 
rican beaver, which also appears to be one-sixth smaller at the 
same age than the living European one now in the Jardin du 
Roi. In their habits there appears to be less to distinguish 
them than has hitherto been supposed. The European species 
evinces the same aptitude and ability in constructing a habitation 
as are exhibited by the beaver of Canada, anecdotes in proof of 
which are given by M. F. Cuvier (Zoological Journal). On these 
observations by M. F. Cuvier, we would observe, that, on compar- 
ing the skull of a Canadian beaver with the very fine specimen 
which was dug up some years ago in Scotland, and which, in all 
probability, belonged to an individual of the European variety 



Scientific Intelligence. -^Zoohgy. 197 

or species of beaver, the differences pointed out by M. Cuvier 
can scarcely be said to exist. \st. The skull is considerably 
larger than the Canadian variety ; but this is not any specific 
difference. 94^ The 'profiles very nearly correspond. 3^/, The 
sagittal crest is strongest in the Canadian skull ; the occipital 
strongest in the Scottish, ^th. The nasal bones differ conside- 
rably, and the observation of M. Cuvier is quite correct in this 
respect. — R. Knox. 

26. On the Culture of Bees in Forests^ by M. Buttner. — 
It has been a custom in Livonia, from time immemorial, to make 
cavities in the trees of a forest, for the purpose of receiving and 
rearing the swarms of bees. Some of the proprietors have hun- 
dreds, and even thousands, of bee trees. Those which are cho- 
sen for this purpose are large oaks, firs, pines, alders, &c. It has 
been objected to this system, that it destroys the forests and di- 
minishes the quantity of building wood ; but M. Buttner ob- 
serves, that it is not necessary to choose the finest trunks, and 
that stunted trees are equally serviceable for this purpose, if they 
have sufficient size. He states also, that a bee tree is worth 
more than if sold for wood ; that the old hollow trees, which 
will serve for an age or two, spread seed around, and cause the 
production of young seedlings, which would be obtained with dif- 
ficulty, by destroying the old trunks. He adds, that the pure 
air of the higher regions agrees better with the bees than the air 
inclosed in hives, which receive the exhalations of the earth, and 
in which contagious diseases sometimes make great ravages. 
The proof he offers is, that, when garden bees swarm, they arc 
directed instinctively towards the woods, whilst the bees of the 
wood never swarm towards the gardens. — Bull. Univ. D. vii. 34. 

27. Peculiar Cases of the Use of Milk as Food. — The giraffe 
which was sent to the king of France by the Pacha of Egypt, 
was observed never to drink the smallest quantity of water, but 
only milk. This odd circumstance is explained by the person 
who describes its habits and manners, as resiilting from the cir- 
cumstance, that, being taken whilst young, it was, probably, 
supplied with milk, which, not having been discontinued, has 
occasioned this permanent inclination in the animal. It appears 
very probable, that animals which drink but little naturally, 
will not drink water, if a sufficient quantity of milk be supplied 



J 98 Scientific Intelligence. --^Zoologij. 

to them. Milk was offered to the young asses which had been 
separated from their dam for some time, and they drank it with 
pleasure. It was then offered to a young mule, and to a horse 
five years of age ; both drank of it. Being offered to a monkey, 
It seemed never to have taken enough. Pigs, dogs, cats, and 
rats, drink milk with avidity. " I will quote, on this occasion, 
a curious fact, but little known, that of a goat, which sucked 
itself, and which was, with difficulty, broken off* this bad habit." 
Now, as there are so many animals which are fond of milk, with- 
out having preserved the habit of drinking it, it will not seem 
surprising that the giraffe, a herbivorous animal, which has been 
continually supplied with this drink, should prefer it to all others. 
— Mem. du Museum, xiv. p. 74. 

28. On the predestination qftlie Sex; by M. Hufeland.— In a 
memoir printed in his Medical Journal, in 1819, M. Hufeland 
shewed that the numerical relation of the individuals of the two 
sexes in man (21 : 20) is the same over the whole surface of the 
globe ; that this relation does not depend either upon climate or 
planetary influences, or upon the generative act, but that the 
sexual difference already exists in the germ formed beforehand 
in the mother, and that the fecundating principle has only to 
give animation to it. To the recent inquiries made in France, 
by MM. Olivier, Prevost, Dumas, and Girou de Buzamique, 
and the conclusions which they have elicited, M. Hufeland op- 
poses several objections, viz. 1^^, The sexual union of a middle 
aged man with a younger woman, being, for very natural rea- 
sons, the most frequent of all, there ought to result a very great 
excess of male children, which, however, is by no means the case ; 
9dy In long wars, where the class of young men is nearly ex- 
hausted in a nation, a marked excess ought to manifest itself on 
the side of the female sex, which, however, is never observed; 
Sc?, The conjugal unions in which the parties are of equal age, 
ought to produce an equal number of male and female descen- 
dants, through the whole duration of life, which is not the case. 
^th. Experience shews conjugal unions of middle aged men with 
young women, by which, however, there have been only female 
children ; 5th, Even allowing all the combinations established up- 
on the influence of the relative age of the father and mother, 
they are not sufficient to explain the constant relation of 21 : SO 

2 



Scientific Intelligence. — Zoology, 199 

between the sexes. The same objections may also be made to 
the influence attributed to the relative power of the constitution 
of the male and female, which has been estimated for the pur- 
pose of levelling the exceptions. With regard to experiments 
upon animals, it is clear that they are inapplicable to man. The 
numerical relation between the two sexes does not depend upon 
accidental circumstances, but is founded upon a superior law of 
nature, constant in all climates, and at every period of time, and 
always the same in all its relations. 

29. Growth and Habits of a Young Rhinoceros. — The first 
dimensions taken of the animal were made at three days old, 
when it measured two feet in height, three feet four inches and 
three quarters in length, and four feet and seven-fourths of an 
inch in its greatest circumference. Since that, it has increased 
in the following proportions : From three days to one month it 
gained five inches in height, five inches and three quarters in 
length, and three inches and three quarters in. circumference ; 
while, from the age of one to fourteen months, it increased one 
foot seven inches in height, two feet in length, and two feet se- 
ven inches in circumference. From fourteen to nineteen months, 
four inches in height, one foot four inches and a half in length, 
and two feet four inches in circumference, — the rhinoceros be- 
ing, at the date of the last measurement, in December 1825, 
four feet four inches high, seven feet four inches and a half long, 
and nine feet five inches in circumference. The general aspect 
of the cub now resembles the mother, the heavy folds of the skin, 
which were wanting in July, being fully formed in December. 
The nasal horn, at the latter period, scarcely protruded two inches 
beyond the skin. The observations made by Mr Hodgson, sur- 
veyor-general of India, are of great value, in reference to all 
questions respecting the rate of developement and full growth of 
many of the larger animals, respecting which scarcely any au- 
thentic statements are to be found in authors, although they 
have exercised the genius of Buffon, and other philosophical 
writers. The diminished ratio of increase of height, remarkable 
in the later period of developement, as staled by Mr Hodgson, 
renders it probable that the animal will yet be a long time in ar- 
riving at its adult size, — a supposition which is also rendered 
probable by its seventeen months'* gestation, and the slow growth 



200 Scientific hitelligence, — Physiology, 

of its horn. Mr Hodgson, in pursuing his inquiries, has had 
reason to remark the amiableness of the young animaPs disposi- 
tion, both towards his keeper and strangers ; an instance, he ob- 
serves, of the power possessed by Asiatics, through their tran- 
quil famiharity of taming the most formidable quadrupeds. That 
the rhinoceros will submit to the domesticating influence of man, 
we have seen more than one instance ; nor would the tractability 
of this herbivorous animal seem in any way a matter of surprise, 
when we know that the fiercest of the carnivorous tribe have be- 
come the attached companions of their master, if the rhinoceros 
had not been held up by writers of every age and country as a 
standard of brutality and untameable fury. India exhibits nu- 
merous proofs of false conclusions by natural historians regard- 
ing the habits and temper of animals, and affords a field of in- 
teresting inquiry respecting their instinct, as contradistinguished 
to what might be called their educatable faculties. This sub- 
ject has hitherto, we believe, only been treated by the naturalists 
of Europe, who have relied, in many cases, upon very vague or 
insufficient narratives, but never by any person residing in the 
native country of the animals whose history has been recorded. 

30. Cuvier's Great Worli on the Natural History of Fishes . — 
This very important work, in which Cuvier and Valenciennes 
have been so long engaged, and which will contain descriptions 
of five thousand species of living and fossil fishes, is now in the 
press, and will soon appear. 

31. J Nezo Species of Pentacrinus discovered in the West 
Indies. — We are informed that a naturalist of St Vincent's, we 
presume Mr Lansdown Guilding, has found in the Caribean 
Sea, a new species of this tribe. This fact is the more interest- 
ing, when viewed in connection with the discovery of a British 
species, described by Mr Thomson in his memoir, noticed in 
the present number of this Journal. 

PHYSIOLOGY. 

32. Distribution of Nerves in Muscular Fibres. — In a me- 
moir on muscular action, MM. Dumas and Prevost have com- 
municated some very interesting microscopical observations on 
the distribution of the nerves in the muscular fibres, and on the 
forms which these latter assume during their contractions. They 



Scientific Intelligence. — Anatomy. 201 

placed a thin piece of muscle, retaining its nerves, under the mi- 
croscope, and made it contract b)? means of galvanism. The 
fibres contracted by bending in a zigzag manner, and the last 
nervous filaments were seen to proceed parallel to each other 
Irom the branch giving origin to them, to be inserted precisely 
at the points where the fibres form their angles. 

ANATOMY. 

33. Sabulous Formation in the Brain. — Dr Bergmann of 
Celle, in a memoir transmitted to the Royal Society of Gotten- 
gen, gives an account of twenty cases of earthy granulations oc- 
curring in the plexus choroides of the lateral ventricles of the 
brains of insane persons. These earthy granulations resemble 
those of the pineal gland. Mr Stromeyer examined both va- 
rieties, and found their constitution similar, and of the following 
nature : Phosphat of lime in large quantity, phosphat of mag- 
nesia in small proportion, traces of carbonate of lime, and an 
animal substance of an albuminous nature. — Bullet. Univ. c. x. 
p. 128. 

ARTS. 

34. Water Works of the Ancient Romans. — It is an errone- 
ous, but at the same time a prevailing opinion, that the ancient 
Romans were unacquainted with some of the simplest laws of 
the motion and pressure of water. This is, however, unfound- 
ed, as Pliny informs us, as a general principle, viz. that water, 
conducted in pipes or tubes, will always rise to the same height 
with the fountain from which it flows. The water was con- 
ducted by the Romans into their buildings, either by channels 
constructed of masonry, or by means of wooden pipes, or even 
of earthen ware ; and allowed a descent of one foot in sixty for 
the flow of water, which was admitted into a reservoir, divided 
into three equal compartments, after it had been brought within 
the walls of the city ; one to supply the pools and fountains, a 
second for the baths, and a third for the palaces and private 
houses. The pipes used by them were of lead, about ten feet 
long, seven inches and a half in the bore, and a quarter of an 
inch thick *. However, they were very averse to the use of 

• Specimens of Roman leaden pipes are preserved in the Museum of Na- 
tural Philosophy in the University. 



202 Scientific Intelligence.'-^ Arts. 

leaden pipes, knowing them to be of an unwholesome nature. 
They were made of thin plates of lead, bent in the form of a 
cyhnder, and soldered at the edges : casting, as practised at 
present, was unknown. The supply of water was regulated by 
the dimensions of the spouts ; these were of twenty-five descrip- 
tions. The standard spout seems to have been about nine-tenths 
of an inch in the bore, and its length about eight inches and 
seven-tenths ; and, if that was also the height of the column of 
water, 1970 cubic feet would be discharged in the space of 
twenty-four hours. 

35. Manner of Bronzing Statues, Medals, and Ornaments, 
made of Copper or Bronze. — The receipts for communicating 
to newly cast bronze a colour which gives it the appearance of 
old bronze, vary more or less. We shall here give the method 
employed by Jacob, one of the best artists of Paris. Take two 
gross of sal ammoniac, half a gross of salt of sorrel, which dis- 
solve in a demi-setier (400 grammes) of white vinegar : after 
cleaning the metal well, dip a pencil slightly in the solution, 
and rub it continually on the same place, until the colour is 
dry, and the tint has acquired the desired intensity. That 
the drying may take place more quickly, this operation is per- 
formed by exposing the object to the sun or in a stove. The 
bronze colour becomes deeper, in proportion to the length of 
time occupied in passing the^brush over the same place. — Journ. 
des Conaiss. Usuel. et Pratiq. n. 27. t. v. 1827. 

36. Loss of Gold and Silver in Gilding and Plating. — Fifty 
thousand pounds worth of gold and silver are said to be annu- 
ally employed at Birmingham in gilding and plating, and which 
is therefore for ever lost as bullion. 

37. Piney Tallow. — Piney tallow is a vegetable product, 
which resembles common tallow in many of its properties. It 
is obtained from the piney tree (Vaterica Indica), by boiling the 
fruit in water, when the tallow is soon found to rise to the top 
in a melted state, and, on cooling, forms a solid cake. The 
colour of the tallow is generally white, but sometimes yellow ; 
it is greasy to the touch, with some degree of waxyness ; it is al- 
most tasteless, and has an agreeable odour. It melts at a 
temperature of 97^° and consequently remains solid in the cli- 
mate of India. The piney tallow is used only for medicinal 
purposes at Mangalore, but the tree is common throughout the 



Scientific Intelligence. — Arts, ^' 203 

western coast of the peninsula of India, at least as far northward 
as the boundaries of the province of Canara ; and there would 
no doubt be sufficient to supply a considerable demand for this 
valuable product. The piney tallow has been made known in 
this country by Dr Babington, according to whose analysis 100 
parts contain carbon 77, hydrogen 12 J, oxygen lOf , = 100.— 
London Mechanic^'' Register. 

38. Indelible Writing Ink. — The following, recommended as 
a process for preparing indelible writing ink, or at least as a sort 
of approximation to it, is copied from the last number of the 
Royal Institution Journal. " Let a saturated solution of indi- 
go and madder in boiling water be made in such proportion as 
to give a purple tint ; add to it from one-sixth to one-eighth of 
its weight of sulphuric acid, according to the thickness and 
strength of the paper to be used. This makes an ink which 
flows pretty freely from the pen ; and when writing which has 
been executed with it is exposed to a considerable but gradual 
heat from the fire, it becomes completely black, the letters being 
burnt in and charred by the action of the sulphuric acid. If 
the acid has not been used in sufficient quantity to destroy the 
texture of the paper, and reduce it to the state of tinder, the 
colour may be discharged by the oxymuriatic and oxalic jicids 
and their compounds, thojigh not without great difficulty. 
When the full proportion of acid has been employed, a little 
crumphng and rubbing of the paper reduces the carbonaceous 
matter of the letters to powder, but by putting a black ground 
behind them they may be preserved ; and thus a species of in« 
delible writing ink is procured (for the letters are, in a manner, 
stamped out of the paper), which might be useful for some pur- 
poses, perhaps for the signature of bank notes." 

39. Lardner'^s Lectures on the Steam-Engine. — A short series 
of popular lectures on the steam-engine, by Dr Lardner, the 
Professor of Mechanical Philosophy in the London College, is 
announced for publication. The author professes to have treat- 
ed the subject in the most familiar style, and to have stripped 
it so far of mathematical reasoning and technical phraseology, 
as to render it at once intelligible and interesting to the general 
reader. 

40. Carter's Patent Cast-iron Roofing.— 'Carter's patent cast- 
iron roofing is represented by the patentee as well adapted for 



S04 Scientific hitelligence. — Arts. 

covering public buildings, private dwellings, and warehouses. 
The expence of this cast-iron roof, compared with one of lead, 
including deductions for the want of close boarding, which is 
indispensable for a lead covering, is quoted at not more than 
one-third of the expence of a leaden roof. At the Toll-end fur- 
naces in Staffordshire, the expence of these cast-iron plates is 
stated atL. 11, 10s. per ton, and the freight to London at L. 1, 
10s., and about one-third less to Bristol, Liverpool, and Hull. 
It is also said, that, owing to these plates being small, and loose- 
ly fitted together, they are less subject to fracture from changes 
of temperature than lead, which is frequently confined, and does 
not allow room for the contraction and expansion occasioned by 
changes of temperature. A slate roof is estimated by the pa- 
tentee to last about fifty years ; while, in that time, the iron 
would scarcely be deteriorated ; and in case, he adds, of destruc- 
tion of a building by fire, the old iron will be worth nearly half 
of its original cost. A square of 100 feet of these plates is es- 
timated to weigh 1000 lb., while the same one of copper roofing 
weighs, according to Tredgold, 100 lb. of lead, 800 lb. of large 
slates, 1120 lb. of ordinary slates, 900 lb. to 500 lb., and of 
pan tiles 1780 lb. to 650 lb. It is particularly suited, in point of 
taste, to the Grecian style of architecture, inasmuch as it re- 
quires to be laid at a less angle than is common with any other 
metallic covering. The effect also produced by the simple and 
regular form of the parts composing this covering, is said to be 
pleasing ; and the eye is relieved by the lights and shades which 
arise from the alternate projection, the apparent thickness, and 
from the gradation of the plates. The patentee recommends 
that the plates be three-sixteenths of an inch in thickness, and that 
they be cast in squares of two feet, with flanges of two inches in 
depth. The weight of these plates will be about 10 lb. per 
square foot ; and he conceives that this roof will require no fas- 
tening, but that their weight and particular construction will se- 
cure them against the effects of high winds. But should any 
one be doubtful of this, he proposes to cast a loop in the under 
side of each plate of the raised row of plates, by which they 
may be hooked or chained down to the rafters. It must be ob- 
vious that the raised rows would effectually secure the sunk 
ones in their places. This contrivance we consider as ingenious. 



Scientific Intelligence. ^^ Arts, 205 

and the application of the platus to be extremely simple ; but 
the roof should be more substantially fixed to the rafter than 
is proposed by the patentee. Upon making a model of these 
plates, there appears to be a Want of cover at every angular 
junction of four plates, by which an opening, whose area will 
depend upon the nicety with which the plates are fitted, is left 
at each end of the upper edge of the plates of the sunk row. 
At this junction, some additional cover seems necessary to en- 
sure a water-tight roof. Perhaps, for our climate, the flanges of 
these plates should be three or four, instead of two inches deep, 
as in coverings a drip of even three is found to be small enough. 
The price of old iron seems also to be overrated, at least it sel- 
dom, in Scotland, brings more than a one-fifth of its original 
value. With regard to the period assigned for the duration of 
slates, it may be mentioned, that, for good slates, even 100 
years would be considered as a safe calculation. Upon the 
whole, we are of opinion that it would be well to practise this 
mode of roofing upon sheds and other temporary erections, un- 
til experience shall have shewn it to be an efficient water-tight 
covering. 

STATISTICS AND GEOGRAPHY. 

41. Civilization of the Aborigines of Newfoundlands — Our ac- 
tive and enterprising friend Mr W. E. Cormack,whose interesting 
journey across Newfoundland appeared in a former Number of the 
Journal, is about to embark in another undertaking, which will, 
we hope, prove successful. He writes to us as follows: " Ex- 
ploits^ Neiofoundland^ October 27. 1827. — I have been looking 
forward to communicate with you on the condition of the Baeo- 
thicks or Red Indians, the aborigines of Newfoundland. I am 
here with three Indians, — a Micmack, a mountaineer, and a 
Bennakee (Canadian),— -equipped and ready to set off into tlie 
interior, in search of some of the Boeothicksy to endeavour to 
obtain a friendly interview with them, as a step to commence 
bringing about their civilization. I leave the sea-coast to-mor- 
row, and intend to devote a month in traversing those parts of 
the country where they are most likely to be met with. The 
season of the year will not admit my traversing every place 
where they may be found, but I expect to come up with some 
of their encampments within a month hence. Government made 



206 Scientific Intelligence. — New Pitblications* 

one vain attempt to reconcile this tribe to the approaches of civi- 
lization about sixteen years ago ; but to civilize a long persecuted 
tribe of savages requires repeated attempts of this kind. 

42. %^aptain Parry's reported Second Expedition to the North 
Pole. — Although it has been generally believed that Captain 
Parry was next season to resume his attempt in reaching the 
North Pole, we can assure our readers that no such plan ever 
was entertained by the Admiralty. The report may have ori- 
ginated in Captain Franklin's having expressed a wish to be al- 
lowed (by means of a ship sent by Bering''s Strait), to finish 
the very small portion of the north coast now remaining unex- 
amined ; and, at the same time, a similar patch on the Asiatic 
side, respecting which a doubt has hitherto existed. But we are 
informed there will certainly be nothing undertaken until Cap- 
tain Beechy's return with the Blossom. 



NEW PUBLICATIONS. 

1. Introduction to Comparative Anatomy. By Professor Ca- 
Bus of Dresden. Translated from the German by R. T. 
Gore, Esq. 2 vols. 8vo, with a Quarto Volume of Plates. 
Longman & Co. London, 1827. 

-^^ OT WITHSTANDING the number of contributors to compara- 
tive anatomy in this country, it is somewhat remarkable that 
the translations of Blumenbach, Cuvier, and Carus, are almost 
the only elementary works on this highly interesting and useful 
branch of science, which exist in the English language. Pro- 
fessor Carus, the author of the manual now before us, was for- 
merly teacher of tlie science at Leipsic ; he has travelled and 
examined animals, both in their recent state, and prepared in 
museums, particularly in the extensive museum of comparative 
anatomy under the care of Rudolphi at Berlin, and he is the 
author of various memoirs and treatises on this subject. The 
splendid illustrations of comparative anatomy, now publishing 
at Leipsic, in large folio fasciculi, is the production of Carus, 
and most of the plates of that work are drawn by him from na- 
ture ; but his reputation is chiefly founded on his recent im- 



Scientific Intelligence^^New Publications. 207 

portant discoveries of the circulation of the blood in different 
orders of insects. His present elementary work contains a com- 
prehensive sketch of the actual state of the science, and the ma- 
terials are arranged according to new and peculiar views. In 
place of commencing with the most complex animals, and exa- 
mining their structure in a descending series, as is usually done, 
he has traced the gradual and successive developement of the 
different organs of the body, from their first and simplest ap- 
pearance in the lower classes, to their most complex and perfect 
forms in the higher orders of animals. By keeping constantly 
in view the functions of animals, and the modifications which 
entire systems of organs present in the different classes, he has 
rendered this work a highly interesting and useful introduction 
to comparative physiology. The treatise commences with a me- 
thodical list of the principal works and memoirs which have 
appeared on this subject up to the present time ; and although 
the limits of this compilation have prevented the author from tra- 
cing the progress of discovery in any department of the science, 
the deficiency of his references is amply supplied by the nume- 
rous notes and extracts of his judicious and intelligent transla- 
tor. Mr Gore, who is likewise the translator of Blumenbach's 
Natural History, has added to his translation of Cams copious 
extracts from the works of Rudolphi, Meckel, Teidemann, 
Blumenbach, Reil, Weber, Spix, Camper, Soemmering, Geof- 
froy, Desmoulins, Cuvier, De Serres, Blainville, Home, and al- 
most every other continental or British authority, which render 
it greatly superior to the original as a work of reference. The 
accompanying plates contain 330 figures, which are executed on 
a small scale, to adapt them for more general circulation. Two 
hundred of these figures were drawn by Carus from nature ; 
the rest are selected from Trembley, Cavohni, Spix, Gaede, 
Teidemann, Cuvier, Swammerdam, Scarpa, Rudolphi, Rosen- 
thal, Herold, Treviranus, Geoffroy, Arsaky, Meyer, Mery, 
Emmert, Nitzsch, Blumenbach, Daubenton, Fisher, Albers, 
Kieser, Wolff, Hunter, Home, Macartney, and Carlisle. In 
the table of classification, and throughout the wqrk, Professor 
Carus has adopted a new arrangement of the animal kingdom, 
modified from the Rcgne Animal of Cuvier, by the author's 
own researches concerning the structure of insects. From the 



208 Scientific Intelligence — New Publications. 

discovery of the circulation in certain neuropterous, coleopterous, 
dipterous, and orthopterous insects, and from the extent of 
respiration in this class, he has placed them, along with the 
Crustacea and Vermes, at the head of invertebrate animals, as 
possessing a more complicated and perfect organization than the 
mollusca. By this arrangement it follows that the Planaria, 
the Thalassima, the Taenia, and even the Hydatis, are more 
perfect animals than the Sepia, the Loligo, and the Octopus. 
Although the existence of a circulation in insects does not war- 
rant conclusions so extraordinary, it is a highly interesting fact, 
and shews a further analogy between them and the Crustacea, 
in which it has been long known to exist. The first volume of 
the work is devoted to the consideration of the organs of ani- 
mal life, including the nervous system, and the organs of sense 
and motion, which are examined first in invertebrate animals, 
from zoophytes to insects, and then in the four classes which 
possess a skeleton with brain and spinal marrow. The second 
volume treats of the organs of organic (or vegetative) life, in- 
cluding those of digestion, respiration, secretion, circulation, and 
reproduction, which are examined in the same order, from the 
lowest animals upwards to the most perfect. This mode of 
considering animals in an ascending scale, appears the most na- 
tural, as it leads us from simple to more complex objects, it is 
the order of their creation, as pointed out by their fossil remains, 
by sacred testimony, and by all the phenomena of organized 
bodies, and it is the arrangement so admirabl}^ developed in the 
system of Lamarck. Notwithstanding occasional errors, insepa- 
rable from a work which embraces the structure of all existing 
animals, we consider this treatise of Professor Carus as a valu- 
able contribution to comparative anatomy, and the translation 
by Mr Gore, as an excellent outline of the present state of the 
science, calculated to serve as a work of reference, and to sup- 
ply a great desideratum in our language. 

2. Conversations on the Animal Economy. By a Physician ; 

in Two Volumes 8vo. liongman & Co. 1827. 

Mrs Marcet^s admirable Conversations on Chemistry, Na- 
tural Philosophy, and Political Economy, are well known, and 
much esteemed by the public. The present volumes are in imi- 



Scientific Intelligence. — New Publications, 209 

tation of that accomplished lady'*s writings. The author, in our 
opinion, has succeeded in producing for the instruction of the 
general reader, and even the learned, an accurate, interesting, 
and highly amusing account of the animal economy. 

3. Memoir on the Pentacrinus europceus ; a recent Species 
discovered in the Cave of' Cork, July 1. 1823 ; with Two il- 
lustrative Plates. By John V. Thompson, Esq. F. L. S., 
Surgeon to the Forces. King and Ridings, Cork ; and Treut- 
tel and Wurtz, London. 1827, 

Until the publication of this valuable memoir, naturalists 
were acquainted with only one living species of this very rare 
and curious tribe of invertebrate animals. The P. europaus^ 
described by Mr Thompson, is about three quarters of an inch 
in height, slender in proportion, and has been hitherto found 
attached to the various species of Sertularia and Flustra, 
which occur in the deeper parts of the harbour of Cork, viz. in 
from eight to ten fathoms. He is of opinion, and we think he is 
right, that the Pentacrinus is a stipitate Asterias, most nearly 
allied to the genus Comatida. The remarks in the memoir, in 
reference to the fossil animals of this group, are deserving the 
attention of the geologist; and the neatly executed accompanying 
plates add to the value of these and other observations of our 
author. We are happy to find Mr Thompson is about to pub- 
lish, in a series of numbers, accompanied with figures, a work, 
entitled, ^' Zoological Researches and Illustrations;" which, 
judging from the present memoir, promises to add much to our 
knowledge of the natural history of the tribes of animals to 
which Mr Thompson has devoted his attention. 

4. Anatomical Description of the Human Eye. By Alexander 
Watson, Fellow of the Royal College of Surgeons, &c. 
Illustrated by a Coloured Plate. Maclachlan and Stewart, 
Edinburgh. 1827. 

The description of the human eye in this memoir is accu- 
rately and neatly executed. The accompanying coloured plate 
contains a series of views, illustrative of the structure of the eye, 
drawn with great accuracy, and beautifully coloured. This 
little work will be useful to the student of anatomy and surgery; 

OCTOBER— DECEMBER 1827. O 



210 Scientific Intelligence. — New Publications. 

and we can safely recommend^it to the student of natural history, 
and also to those interested in natural philosophy. 

Forthcoming Transactions q/' Foreign Societies. 

The Helvetic Natural History Society, at their meeting in 
August last, decreed that their Memoirs should be printed. 
The first volume is at present in the press ; and, besides many 
interesting memoirs, contains an important paper by De Lusser 
of Altdorf, on the Suite of Formations extending from St Go- 
thard to the MoUasse. 

A second volume of the Nera Alpina, an interesting Swiss 
work, has just appeared : it contains many zoological and two 
mineralogical papers. 

De Caumont, Secretary to the Linnean Society of Calvados, 
announces a third volume of the Memoirs of the Linnean So- 
ciety of Calvados, with Geological Maps of that country, and 
Memoirs of Desnoyers, Marcel de Serres, and Prevost. He has 
taken charge of printing the Memoirs, and as he is rich and ac- 
tive, he cannot fail to be useful to the sciences. 

Ferussac intends still farther to enlarge the plan of his excel- 
lent Bulletin, so that it may flourish after his death. The acti- 
vity of this man is truly wonderful, when we recollect that he was 
shot through the chest during the Spanish war, and is labour- 
ing under the effects of that nearly fatal accident. 



List of Patents granted in England jrom Vtth August to 9>0th 

Noveinher 1827. 
1827, 
Aug. 17' To LE3IUEL Wellman Wright of Mansfield Street, Borough 
Road, Surrey, for improvements in the construction of Cranes. 
21. To Lemuel Wellman Wright of Mansfield Street, Borough 
Road, Surrey, for improvements in machinery for Cutting To- 
bacco. 
To Gabriel de Serras of Leicester Square, Stacey Wise, apd 
Charles Wise, of Maidstone, paper-makers, for certain improve- 
ments communicated from abroad, in Sizing, Glazing, or beauti- 
fying the materials employed in the manufacturing of paper, paste- 
boardj'i^Bristol-boards, &c. 



List of EngUsh Patents. 211 

Aug. 30. To John Hague of Cable Street, Wellclose Square, for a new me- 
thod of working Cranes or Tilt Hammers. 

To B. M. Combs of Birmingham, for certain improvements on, or 
additions to, a Pulley Machinery, and apparatus used for securing, 
fixing, and moving curtains, and roller and other blinds. 

To William Deltmee of Upper Mary-le-Bonne Street, Fitzroy 
Square, pianoforte-maker, for improvements on Pianofortes. 
Se])t. C. To William J. Ford of Mildenhall, fan-ier, Suffolk, for improve- 
ments in the make, use, and application of Bridle-bits. 

To George Clymer of Finsbury Street, for an improvement in 
Typographic Printing between plain or flat surfaces. 
Oct. 11. To Joseph Hall and Thomas Hall of Leeds, for an improve- 
ment in the making of Metallic Blocks for drawing off liquids. 

To Elias Carter of Exeter, for a new covering for the Roofs of 
Houses, &c. 

To Joshua Horton of West Bromwick, boiler-maker, for a new 
method of forming and making of Hollow Cylinders, Guns, Ord- 
nance, Retorts, and various other hollow and useful articles in 
Wrought-Iron, in Steel, or composed of both these metals. 

To Goldsworthy Gurney of Argyle Street, Hanover Square, 
surgeon, for improvements in Locomotive Engines, and other ap- 
paratus connected therewith. 

To James Stokes of Cornhill, London, for improvements in ma- 
king, boiling, burning, clarifying or preparing Raw or Muscovado 
bastard Sugar and Molasses. 

To John Wright of Prince's Street, Leicester Square, for im- 
provements in Window Sashes. 
Nov. 6. To James Smethuest of New Bond Street, for an improvement 
upon Lamps. 

To Frederick Foveaux Weiss of the Strand, surgeon*s-instru- 
ment-maker, for improvements in the construction of Spurs. 
8. To James White of Paradise Street, Lambeth, engineer, for a ma- 
chine or apparatus for filtering, which he denominates an Artifi- 
cial Spring. 
10. To John Platt of Salford, near Manchester, fustian-dresser, for 
certain improvements in machinery for Combing Wool, and other 
fibrous materials ; communicated from abroad. 

To Williaji Collier of Salford, fustian^shearer, for certain im- 
provements in the Power-Loom for weaving ; communicated from 
abroad. 
17. To John Walker of Weymouth Street, Mary.le-Bonne, Esquire, 
for an improved Castor for furniture. 

To Henry Pinkus of Philadelphia, for an improved method of Pu- 
rifying Carburetted Hydrogen Gas for the purpose of illumination. 
20. To Sa3iuel Sevill of Brownshill, in the parish of Bisley, Glou- 
cestershire, clothier, for his himprovements applicable to raising 
the Pile, and dressing Woollen and other Cloths. 



( ^12 ) 

List of Patents granted in Scotland from 3d October to 6th 
December 1827. 

1827, 

Oct. 3. To Peter Burt of Waterloo Place, in the parish of St Ann, Lime- 
house, in the county of Middlesex, mathematical instrument- 
maker, (in consequence of a communication made to him by a cer- 
tain foreigner residing abroad) for " an improvement on Steam- 
Engines." 
24. To Joshua Horton of West Bromwick, in the county of Stafford, 
boiler-maker, for " a new and improved method of forming and 
making of hollow Cylinders, Guns, Ordnance, Retorts, and various 
other hollow and useful articles in wrought-iron, in steel, or com- 
posed of both of these metals." 

Nov. 2. To Samuel Pratt of New Bond Street, in the parish of St George, 
Hanover Square, in the county of Middlesex, camp-equipage. ma- 
nufacturer, for " certain improvements in Bedsteads, Beds, 
Couches, and other articles of furniture, principally designed to 
be used on shipboard.'* 
To Thomas Breidenbach of Birmingham, in the county of War- 
wick, merchant, one of those designed Quakers, for " certain im- 
provements on Bedsteads, and in the making, manufacturing or 
forming articles to be applied to or used in various ways with bed- 
steads, from a material or materials hitherto unused for such pur- 
pose." 
22. To William Fawcett of Liverpool, in the county of Lancaster, 
engineer, and Matthew Clark of the island of Jamaica, en- 
gineer, for " an improved apparatus for the better manufacture 
of Sugar from the Canes." 

28. To Bennet Woodcroft of Manchester, in the county of Lancas- 

ter, manufacturer, for " certain processes and apparatus for print- 
ing and preparing for manufacture Yams of Linen, Cotton, Silk, 
Woollen, or any other fibrous materiaL" 

29. To Lemuel Wellmann Wright of Mansfield Street, Borough 

Road, in the county of Surrey, engineer, for " certain improve- 
ments in the combination and arrangement of Mechanical Powers, 
applicable to the purposes of driving machinery, and lifting and 
moving heavy bodies." 
29. To Lemuel Wellman Wright of Mansfield Street, Borough 
Road, in the county of Surrey, engineer, for " certain improve- 
ments in the combination and arrangement of machinery for ma- 
king Metal Screws." 
Dec. 6. To Joshua Jenour junior of Brighton Street, in the parish of St 
Pancras, in the county of Middlesex, gentleman, for " a Cartridge 
or Case, and Method of more advantageously inclosing therein, shot 
or other missiles, for the purpose of loading fire-arma and guns of 
different descriptions." 



THE 

EDINBURGH NEW 

PHILOSOPHICAL JOURNAL. 

I37L 
BwgraphicalMemoir of Peter Simon Pallas, Counsellor of ^jy^ 
State to^^Imperial Majesty of all the Russias,^ By Baron^A^^^ 
CuviER, Knight, Professor, &c. 

W HEN a man has devoted his whole life to science, when, 
being occupied solely in observing and writing, he has only in- 
termitted his researches during the time necessary for their pub- 
lication, — it might be expected that his career would not be 
marked by any remarkable incident, and that the analysis of his 
works would, in a manner, present the history of his life. But 
if, labouring only for those engaged in the same pursuits, he 
disdained to render his writings attractive to others ; if, with 
the view of presenting the greatest number of facts in the short- 
est space, he uniformly stated them in the simplest manner, and 
left to others the easy merit of deducing their results; this very 
analysis becomes a matter of extreme difficulty, and to give any 
distinct conception of his works, it would be necessary to tran- 
scribe them. 

Such was Pallas. Separated in his youth from his family 
and country, a third of his life was passed in the deserts, and 
the rest in his cabinet ; and in both situations he made a prodi- 
gious number of observations, and produced a multitude of me- 
moirs and volumes. The whole of his writings, though desti- 
tute of embellishment, are full of novelties and truths ; they 
have placed the name of their author in the first rank among 
naturalists, who are continually turning them over, and quoting 

JANUARY — MARCH 1828. P 



814 Biographical Memoir of Peter Simofx Pallas. 

them in every page ; they are received and consulted, with equal 
interest, by historians and geographers, by those wlio study the 
philosophy of languages, and the character of nations. But it 
is precisely this multiplicity and this diversity of his labours that 
obliges me, at present, to reduce his eulogiuni almost to a mere 
table of contents, which it would be impossible for me even to 
read in full, and for which I entreat, beforehand, the indulgence 
of my auditors. 

Peter Simon Pallas, Counsellor of State of the Emperor of 
Russia, Knight of the order of St Volodimir, member of the 
Academies of Science of Petersburg, London, Berlin, and Stock- 
holm, and Foreign Associate of the Institute of France, was 
born at Berlin on the 22d September 1741. His father was Si- 
mon Pallas, Professor of Surgery in the University of Berlin, 
and his mother, Susanne Leonard, who was of French extrac- 
tion, but born in the Colony of French Refugees established at 
Berlin. 

Being destined by his father for the medical profession, he 
was, at an early age, instructed in various languages, and made 
such rapid progress, as, in a short period, to be able to write, 
with nearly equal facility, in Latin, French, English and Ger- 
man. This faculty, which is more easily acquired in youth, will, 
without doubt, every day become more general, more especially 
as the sciences have ceased to possess a common language, and 
as there is not a single great empire in Europe in which several 
are not spoken. It cost so little trouble to the young Pallas, 
that he was always at the head of his companions in their other 
studies, and, not content with what his masters assigned him, he 
occupied his leisure hours in Natural History, and with so much 
success, that, at the age of fifteen, he sketched ingenious divi- 
sions of several classes of animals. 

After attending the lectures of Gleditsch, Meckel and RoloflP 
at Berlin, and of Rcederer and Vogel at Gottingen, he went to 
Leyden to finish his medical studies under Aibinus, Gaubius 
and Muschenbroeck. 

At this period, the possession of numerous colonies in both 
Indies, and the command of the commerce of the world, for two 
centuries, had accumulated in the Dutch collections the rarest 



Biographical Memoir of Peter Simon Pdilas. 215 

productions of nature ; and the taste for natural history, for 
which the mother of the last stadtholder was so much distin- 
guished, gave d new impulse to its study. 

With the decided predilection which Pallas brought with him 
into such a country, it was impossible that his ardour for that 
science should not be increased. A voyage to England still far- 
ther strengthened and increased it, and, having formed the reso- 
lution of making it henceforth the occupation of his life, he so- 
licited his father''s permission to settle at the Hague. 

It was there thdt he published, in 1766, Elenchus Zoopliyto^ 
rum, or table of zoophytes, the first of his great works. Five-and- 
twenty years before this time, corals had been generally considered 
as plants ; and the discovery which Peyssonnel made of their ani- 
mal nature appeared to Reaumur so paradoxical, that, in publicly 
mentioning it, he did not venture to name its author. But, shortly 
afterwards, the more astonishing discoveries of Trembley, regard- 
ing the divisibility of the polypus, and the detailed observations 
of Bernard de Jussieu and Ellis, on the corallines of our shores, 
dispelled every doubt on the subject. With the consent of all' 
naturalists, an entire order of organised beings passed from one 
kingdom to another : Linnaeus inscribed them among the ani- 
mals ; the young Pallas undertook to arrange them, and draw 
VLp their catalogue. The Dutch collections furnished him with 
a rich harvest of them, which he arranged with a rare degree of 
sagacity. The preciseness of his descriptions, and the care with 
which he referred the synonyms of other authors to his speciesf, 
were very remarkable in an author of only twenty-five years of 
age. His introduction was still more so. He rejected the old 
division of natural objects into three kingdoms, and shewed that 
plants have not marked classes like animals, insomuch that they 
are only, so to speak, one of the classes of the great organic 
kingdom, as quadrupeds, fishes, and insects seVerally are ; a 
truth with which our botanists seem scarcely impressed at the 
present day. In maintaining this approximation of the two 
kingdoms, he did not, however, also adopt the single scale of be- 
ings, which the genius of Bonnet had rendered so popular ; on 
the contrary, he presented the tree of organisation as producing 
a multitude of lateral branches, which it would be impossible to 
arrange in linear continuity, without doing violence to nature. 

p2 



216 Biographical Memoir of' Peter Simon Pallas. 

With regard to corals, in particular, he shewed the error of the 
definition which was then almost generally received, as if they 
were hives of polypi ; he demonstrated their trunk to be itself a 
living substance, a sort of animal tree with several branches and 
heads ; a compound animal, the stony part of which is only the 
common skeleton, which grows at the same time as the indivi- 
dual animals, but is not fabricated by them. Linnaeus was the 
first to support these bold ideas, which are now universally re- 
ceived *. 

The Miscellanea Zoologica, which Pallas published the same 
year as his Elenchus, added still more to his reputation. So 
young an author was seen with astonishment, uniting in himself 
all the merits of the great masters who then divided among them 
the empire of science ; boldly assuming as his models the great 
French naturalist and his fellow-labourer Daubenton ; taking 
upon himself their conjoined labour, and, without allowing him- 
self to be swayed by their authority, combining, with the pro- 
found sagacity of the one, and the patient accuracy of the other, 
those methodical and strict views condemned by both. 

But what would have excited still more astonishment, had 
the public mind at this period been capable of estimating it, was 
the sudden light which he threw upon the least known classes 
of the animal kingdom, those which were confounded under the 
common name of Worms. Not allowing himself to be imposed 
upon by the errors of Linnaeus, any more than by those of Buf- 
fon, he shewed that the presence or absence of a shell cannot 
afford the true basis of their distribution, but that the analogy 
of their structure ought to be first consulted ; that, in this re- 
spect, the ascidiae, and not the tethyses, as Linnaeus imagined, are 
the true analogies of the bivalves ; that the teredo, as Adanson 
had already shewn, ought also to be united with them ; that the 
univalves, on the contrary, are more allied to the slugs, the do- 
rises and scyllaeae ; lastly, that the aphroditae, of the anatomy of 
which he at the same time gave an excellent account, ought to 
be placed near the nereides, the serpulae, and other articulated 
vermes, whether these possessed shells or not. 

• The Elenchus Zoophytorum has been translated into Dutch by Boddart, 
and into German by Wilkens. Herbst has published the latter translation 
with additions and plates. Nuremberg, 1787? 4to. 



Biographical Memoir of Peter Simon Pallas, 9X1 

Assuredly the naturalist whose first glance was so penetrating, 

would have cleared up the chaos in which these invertebrate 

animals were enveloped, had he continued to pursue the inves- 

'■ ligation ; but unfortunately, he published his ideas before they 

were sufficiently matured. 

He did not separate the sepiae from the slugs so much as they 
should be separated ; he imagined the medusae to have an affi- 
nity to these two genera which they do not possess ; he admitted 
also an affinity, which does not exist, between the bivalves and 
the echinodermata ; and, lastly, he associated with these latter, 
on the one hand, the actiniae, which are zoophytes ; and, on the 
other, the sea-acorns or balani, which are much more closely al- 
lied to the bivalves. 

These errors, which a little more examination would have en- 
abled him to have avoided, contributed, perhaps, to reserve for 
other times a necessary revolution in the track to which he was ad- 
vancing, — so much are the conquests of mind, like other con- 
quests, subject to be arrested by the smallest accident. The most 
astonishing circumstance is, that he himself should have over- 
looked these beautiful perceptions. Having returned to Berlin in 
1767, he reprinted, with many additions, his Miscellanea, under 
the title of Spicilegia Zoologica, and omitted unquestionably 
the most valuable memoir of the first collection ; nor did he ever 
again turn his mind to the subject. 

These two works spread wide the reputation of Pallas, and 
various governments made proposals to him. Perhaps he would 
have preferred his own, had he received the least encouragement 
from it; but, as too often happens, it was in his own country 
that his value was least appreciated. When thus under the ne- 
cessity of quitting his native land, he did not hesitate what other 
to select. The country which presented a newer field to his re- 
searches was preferred, and he accepted a place which was of- 
fered him by Catherine II. in the Academy of Petersburg. 

The Russian Empire, in the ninth century, the period at 
which history begins to speak of it, already almost extended 
from the Baltic to the Euxine Sea. Its existence was first an- 
nounced to Europe by its bold enterprises against the Turkish 
Empire. Being soon converted to Christianity, its sovereigns 
allied themselves with the Kings of France, and entered into po- 



^18 Biographical Memoir of Peter Simon Pallas- 

litical relations with the other potentates. An imprudent divi- 
sion gave rise to discord in their states, their best provinces were 
conquered by the Poles, and they themselves became tributary 
to the Tartars for three centuries. They at length cast off this 
yoke, and became conquerors in their turn ; but, during their 
subjection, literature and civilization had reappeared in Europe, 
and Russia, at hey restoration to freedom, found herself a.X an 
immense distance behind the other christian states. The first 
English who landed there, in the sixteenth century, considered 
it almost as a new discovery. Peter the Great made astonishing 
efforts to introduce into it the customs and knowledge of Europe. 
After passing through all the ranks, to habituate his great no- 
bles to military subordination, after working as a carpenter, in 
order to form a marine, he wished to be admitted as a member 
of the Academy of Science of Paris, for the purpose of inspiring 
his people with a taste for instruction ; but, in the accomplish- 
ment of these objects, his success was not equal : The army was 
promptly subjected to the German mode of discipline ; the covirt 
quickly assumed the French manners ; while, to have an aca- 
demy, it was necessary to bring its members entirely from other 
countries, and to keep it up for a long time by recruits from 
them. 

Germany, where the numerous cities and universities pro- 
duced in some measure a superabundance of instruction, con- 
stantly supplied these deficiencies, and many of her most illus- 
trious literati found in Russia a fortune, and means of prosec^v- 
ting their favourite pursuits, which, perhaps, they could not 
have enjoyed in their own country. It was thus that Bernoulli, 
Bayer, Euler, Gmelin, Miiller, Amman, I.owitz, Duvernoy, 
gave to Europe that beautiful series of labours, under the titk 
of the Memoirs of the Academy of Petersburg ; it was thus that 
they laid open to us, in all its relations, the immense territory of 
Russia, and, it may be said, made it known to the Russian Go- 
vernment itself. 

In fact, no sooner had the Grand Dukes of Russia obtained 
possession of the throne and title of the Czars of Tartary, tibeir 
ancient sovereigns, than some enterprising adventurers pushed 
their way toward the East. The most prudent settled among 
the mountains rich in ores of every description, which form the 



Biographical Memoir of Peter Simon Pallas. 219 

true boundary of Europe and Asia ; while others attacked the 
only remaining princedom of any consequence that existed in 
these barbarous regions, and delivered up his states to their Czar. 
As soon as the Russians had gained a footing on the Irtisch and 
Oby, their inquiries after furs and mines drew them farther on ; 
by degrees they imposed some tributes upon the wandering 
tribes of those vast solitudes ; — and thus, in less than a century, 
established that strange empire which, in its extreme limits, 
touches America, Japan and China, and in which a few thou- 
sands of soldiers are sufficient to guard 1500 leagues of coun- 
try. 

But to enjoy in reality the possession of such a territory, it 
was necessary to become properly acquainted with its nature and 
resources, and, after having conquered it, it became expedient 
to commence its real discovery. 

To the genius of Peter the Great this task also was reserved. 
He was the first European monarch to whom the glory belongs 
of having conceived those purely scientific expeditions, on a 
great scale, in which men possessed of various kinds of know- 
ledge, and aiding each other in their labours, examine a coun- 
try in all its relations, expeditions of which antiquity presents 
some examples, but which France and England carried to their 
greatest perfection at the end of the last century, by limiting 
their objects solely to that of enlightening Europe, and present- 
ing to savage man some of the advantages of civilization. 

Hence, Messerchmidtof Dantzic traversed the whole of Sibe- 
ria, between the years 1720 and 1725; and brought back an 
immense collection of observations ; but the death of the Czar 
proved fatal to his prospects, his labours were neglected, and he 
died in misery. In 1738, the Empress Anne Iwanowna, niece 
of Peter the Great, who displayed on the throne a charactefT^- 
very different from that which those who caused her to mount 
it imagined her to possess, resumed the projects of her uncle. 

A more numerous commission, which lasted ten years, procu- 
red for natural history the excellent memoirs of Steller, and 
those of John George Gmelin, the head of a more numerous fa- 
mily, and not less celebrated in that science than the BernouUis 
were in mathematics. 

The troubles which followed the death of Anne, and the ne^ 



220 Biographical Memoir of Peter Simon Pallas. 

gleet and discouragement which foreigners met with in the 
reign of Elizabeth, occasioned these first attempts to be lost 
sight of; but Catherine 11, who had in view to make the path 
by which she came to the throne forgotten, amid the glory of 
every kind with which she invested herself, could not overlook 
so efficacious a means. Besides, her attention was roused to this 
object by a particular circumstance. 

At the time of the first transit of Venus, in 1 763, France had 
sent the Abbe Chappe d'Auteroche to Tobolsk, in order to 
make astronomical observations. On his return he published 
a narrative, the sarcastic tone of which so irritated the Em- 
press, that it is said she took the trouble of refuting it herself. 

She was therefore unwilling that foreigners should undertake 
the observation of the second transit, which was to take place in 
1769 > and, in selecting for this object astronomers from her 
own academy, she judged it necessary to send along with them 
naturalists capable of examining the country. 

Pallas had the good fortune to see himself appointed to take 
a part in this undertaking. Good fortune I call it, because 
he looked upon this appointment as such. A distant jour- 
ney cannot fail to be attractive to a young man, and more espe- 
cially to a young naturalist; and this desire of searching for 
new productions has probably deprived us of many discoveries 
of the mind. Pallas himself furnishes a proof of this ; for al- 
though endowed with an activity that knew no limits, and less 
exposed than any one to allow himself to be distracted from his 
meditations by fatigue, it cannot by any means be doubted 
that he would have rendered more benefit to science by his ge- 
nius than by his journeys. 

He displayed in a striking manner the union of these two qua- 
lities during the space of about a year that he remained at Peters- 
burg. In the midst of all the preparations for so great a journey, 
he digested several new writings *, and gave to the Academy his 
famous memoir on the bones of large quadrupeds that are found 
in such abundance in Siberia, in which he shews that there oc- 
cur in that country elephants, rhinoceroses, buffaloes, and many 
Other southern genera, and that their quantity is almost incalcu- 

• Printed at Berlin during his journey from 1769 to 1774. 



Biographical Memoir of' Peter Simon PaUas. 221 

lable * ; facts which first excited the attention of naturalists to 
these astonishing objects, and which laid the foundation of that 
beautiful superstructure which has since been reared. 

The expedition, however, after receiving its instructions from 
the Count Wladimir Orlof, president of the academy, set out in 
June 1768. It consisted of seven astronomers and geometri- 
cians, five. naturalists, and several students, who were to proceed 
in different directions over the immense territory which they 
were destined to traverse. 

Pallas, in particular, after traversing the plains of European 
Russia, and wintering, in 1769, at Simbirsk, on the Wolga, in 
the midst of the Tartar tribes, the ancient conquerors of the 
Russians, and now in a great measure agriculturists, stopped at 
Oremburg on the Jaik, the rendezvous of those still nomadic 
hordes, which wander in the salt deserts, to the north of the 
Caspian Sea, and of the caravans which carry on the trade be- 
tween India and Europe. 

Descending from the Jaik, he remained for some time at 
Gouriel on the Caspian, and observed with care the nature of 
that great lake, which, according to him, was formerly of much 
greater extent, and whose ancient banks are still to be recognis- 
ed at a great distance toward the north and north-west. 

The year 1770 was employed in visiting the two sides of the 
Uralian Mountains, and the numerous iron mines which are 
wrought in them. It is here that Russian adventurers have ac- 
quired, in a few generations, fortunes which have put them on 
a level with the greatest nobles of Europe. 

After visiting Tobolsk, the capital of Siberia, Pallas wintered 
at Tcheliabinsk, in the centre of the more important of these 
mines. 

From this place he proceeded in the spring of 1772, to ano- 
ther district, rich in mines, viz. the government of Koliwan, 
which is situated on the northern slope of the Altain Moun- 
tains, a great chain which extends from east to west, and which, 
by repelling the winds from the south, renders the climate of Si- 
beria much colder than might be expected from its latitude. In 
these mines many traces of old workings are found, which 

• Nov. Comm. Petrop. xili. 



222 Biographical Memoir of Peter Simon Pallas. 

Bailly attributes to the ancient northern tribes, in liis opinion 
the first inventors of the arts and sciences. Pallas proves, on 
the contrary, that these works were carried on by the ancestors 
of the Hungarians of the present day, who, it is known, derive 
their origin from a nation that arrived in these countries in the 
seventh or eighth century. This journey terminated at Krasno- 
yarsk on the Jenissei. 

The year after, our traveller, always proceeding eastward, 
crossed the great Baikal Lake, and passed through the moun- 
tainous country, known by the name of Daouria, which extends 
to the Chinese frontiers. It was only here that he began to ob- 
serve the productions of nature, to assume an appearance entire- 
ly different from those of Europe. The plants exhibit singular 
forms ; animals of genera unknown to us, clamber among the 
rocks, or sometimes straggle thither from the great deserts of cen- 
tral Asia. 

Pallas, after viewing a multitude of half savage tribes, at 
length came once more upon a civilized nation, the civilization 
ol which, however, in none of its forms resembles that of Europe. 
He could not help considering the Chinese as a race which has 
been separated from us, at least since the last catastrophe of the 
globe, and which has followed in its development an entirely 
isolated course. 

After retracing nearly his former steps, and passing the win- 
ter a second time at Krasnojarsk, our traveller returned in 
1,773, to the Jaik an^ the Caspian Sea, visited Astracan, and 
examined the Indians, the Buchanans, and the other inhabi- 
tants of the centre and south of Asia, who were mingled with 
the heterogeneous population of that city. He approached the 
Caucasian chain, the native country of the white race of men, as 
the mountains of Daouria appear to be of the yellow race, passed 
another winter at the foot of the branch of mountains which se- 
parates the Wolga from the Tanais, and at length returned to 
Petersburg, on the 30th July 1774. 

While thus pursuing the^principal route, he sent off in various 
directions pupils who were under his direction. 

Pallas employed the leisure of his winter quarters m drawing 
up his journal ; and , according to the plan prescribed by the 



Biographical Memoir of Peter Simon Pallas. 2S3 

Count OrlofF, he sent it every year to Petersburg, where its vo- 
lumes were successively published *. 

It may be conceived that, labouring in this hurried manner, 
and destitute, in these solitudes, of books, and of every means of 
comparison, he would necessarily be exposed to fall into some mis- 
takes, would bring forward things already known, as if they were 
new, and would repeat the same things several times. We must 
(lUow, too, that he might have given more animation to his narra- 
tive, and presented the interesting objects of which he treats in a 
more prominent manner. His long and dry enumeration of mines 
and forges, his repeated list of common plants which he gathered, 
or of ordinary birds which he saw passing, do not form agreeable 
reading. He does not transport his reader along with him ; he 
does not place, as it were, before his eyes, by the power of his 
style, as more happy travellers have done, the grand scenes of 
nature, or the singular manners which he witnessed ; but it will 
undoubtedly be allowed in excuse, that the circumstances under 
which he wrote, were not of the most inspiring description. 

Winter<j of six months' duration, passed in huts, far from apy 
thing connected with literature, with black bread and brandy 
for his only restoratives ; a degree of cold so intense as to cause 
mercury to freeze ; summers insupportable from their heat dur- 
ing the few weeks which they lasted ; the greatest part of the 
time of his journey employed in scaling rocks, fording marshes^ 
in making his way through woods by felling trees; those my*i 
riads of insects which fill the atmosphere of northern countries, 
covering him every moment with blood; tribes of men im- 
pressed with all the miseries of the country, disgustingly 
slovenly, often frightfully ugly, an4 always stupid in the highest 
degree ; the Europeans themselves brutalised by the climate and 
by indolence — all this might well have cooled the most hvely 
imagination. 

After a long voyage, the smallest spot of earth, the slightest 
appearance of verdure, seem a paradise to the navigator, and 
when it is on the Friendly Islands, or at Ouheite, that he land^ 

^ The first volume appeared in 1772, in quarto; the second in 1773, and 
the third in 1776, in German, with a great number of plates and maps. There 
is a French translation by M. Gauthier de la Peyronie, in four volumes, quarto, 
Paris 1777 ; and a second edition with notes by MM. Lamarck and Langles, 
Pans, second year of the EepubUc, eight Yolumes octavo, with an Atlas. 



224 Biographical Memoir of Peter Simon Pallas^ 

he becomes a poet in spite of himself. At Kamtschatka, is it not 
enough that one have barely the power to write ? 

Pallas, young and vigorous as he was, returned enfeebled by 
the sufferings consequent on so painful a journey. At the age 
of thirty-three, his hair was grey ; repeated d^^sentcries had di- 
minished his strength ; obstinate ophthalmia had threatened him 
with loss of sight. His companions were still more exhausted 
and reduced ; scarcely any[of them lived long enough to publish 
his narrative himself, and it was upon Pallas that the task of 
rendering this tribute to their memory also devolved. 

The great objects which he had seen, had impressed them- 
selves too forcibly upon his mind, to allow him to remain con- 
tented with the journal which he had hurriedly traced of them. 
He had profoundly observed the earth, the plants, the animals 
and the men ; his observations, cherished and combined by re- 
flection, became to him the subjects of so many works, in which 
he clearly displayed his power. He gave the history of some of 
the most celebrated animals of Siberia, the musk, the glutton, 
the sable, the white bear * ; and this history is so full and so 
well related, that it may be said there is not a quadruped, not 
even the most common, so well known to us as these. 

The glires alone furnished him with matter for an entire vo- 
lume, so numerous were the species which he had discover- 
ed. Their history and anatomy were treated with all the rich- 
ness of which BufFon and Daubenton alone had hitherto given 
an example ; and although, from modesty, he did not form new 
genera of them, his descriptions were so well executed, that any 
intelligent systematist could readily extract the generic characters. 
The class of quadrupeds also owes to him the accurate know- 
ledge of a species of solipede, intermediate between the ass and 
the horse, a sort of natural mule which is propagated in the de- 
serts of Tartary -[• ; that of a new species of wild cat from which 
he thinks our Angora cats are derived | ; it owes also to him 
more perfect ideas than had previously been formed regarding 
the wild ass of these deserts ||, regarding the small buffalo, whose 

• These last four numbers appeared from 1773 to 1780. M. Rudolph! 
mentions that he intended to print six more of them. 

t Equus hemionus, Nov. Com. Petrop. xix. p. 394. pi. 7» 

X Felis Manul, Ibid. 1781, Part i. 

II In the new Nordische Beytrmge, v. ii. p. 82. pi. 1, and in the Act. Pe- 
trop. I. 



Biographical Memoir of Peter Simon Pallas. 225 

tail, furnished with long hairs like that of the iiorse, supplied 
those marks of military dignity which the Turks have borrowed 
from the Tartars, their ancestors *, and regarding the small yel- 
lowish foxes of the deserts of the north of India, which some 
have imagined to be the pretended auriferous ants of Herodotus-f. 

It is much to bo regretted that Buffon took no notice of these 
valuable accounts of quadrupeds; their unaltered translation 
would have formed a beautiful ornament to a work which Pal- 
las took as his model, and to which he certainly is not inferior 
in the parts which he has treated. 

It is impossible for us to enter into a detail of all the birds, 
reptiles, fishes, moUusca, worms and zoophytes, of which he was 
the first who published descriptions. The mere enumeration 
of the numerous memoirs which he printed among those of the 
academies of which he was a member, would much exceed the 
limits that are prescribed to me. He was not even frightened 
at the immense project of a general history of the animals and 
plants of the Russian Empire, and had even put it in execution to 
a great extent, although such an undertaking must have presented 
more difficulties to him than any other. 

In fact, it was, so to speak, when on his journey that he be- 
came a botanist ; for^ until then, the history of animals was the 
study that he preferred. The descriptions of plants, also, wliich 
accompany his journal, have incurred some censures ; but he 
had scarcely arrived, when he engaged with ardour in this pur- 
suit. The Empress, whose taste the Flora Rossica flattered by 
its magnificence, ordered to be transmitted to the author the 
herbaria collected before his time by the travellers that had been 
sent out by the government, and took upon herself the expence 
of the engraving and printing. He himself had made considerable 
collections of plants, and the work promised to extend, in a re- 
markable manner, our knowledge of the vegetable kingdom ; 
but no more than two volumes of this work were published J, 
which principally contain the trees and shrubs. There are only 
a few plates of the third, because in Russia, as elsewhere, the 

• Bos grunniens. Act. Petrop. I. Part. ii. p. 332. 
•f- Canis Corsac, Neue Nordische Beytrage, i. p. 29. 

+ Flora Rossica, seu Stirpium Imperii Rossici, per Europam et Asiam indi- 
genaruni, Descriptiones et Icones. Folio. Petersburg, 1784 and 1788» « 



226 Biographical Memoir of Peter Simon Pallas, 

smallest change in the administration stops the most important 
publications, when they have no immediate connection with the 
interests of the government at the time. Pallas afterwards gave 
to the world a part of his botanical discoveries in works that 
were less magnificent, but which he was able to publish without 
foreign aid. 

Of these his history of the Astragali was the first *. He 
then gave a history of the Halophytes, or those maritime plants 
of the family of the Salicorniag, so abundant in the steppes, or 
plains of sand impregnated with salt, which cover the southern 
parts of Russia -f*. The Absinthiae and Artemisia? which are 
not less abundant on these steppes, and which had already 
been remarked there by the "ancients, were to form a sequel to 
the Halophytes ; but the misfortunes occasioned by the war in 
Germany stopped it at the 59th plate. 

The interruption of his great Flora of Russia did not pre- 
vent him from undertaking a work, equally general, on the ani- 
mals of that empire, a country which produces almost all those 
of Europe, the greater part of those of Asia, and which, more- 
over, possesses a great number peculiar to itself. A volume of 
this work was printed in Petersburg, but it has not been pub- 
lished |. Pallas laboured at it until his last moments, and has 
lefl the whole manuscript relating to the vertebrate animals. M. 
Rudolphi, who knew him, asserts^ and it will easily be believed, 
that it contains several new species, and many interesting ob- 
servations. 

He had commenced a distinct work on the Insects of Russia, 
of which only two numbers have appeared §. 

It is seldom that men so laborious, occupied with conducting 
at once so many undertakings, have their j udgment sufficiently 
exercised to conceive those fundamental ideas which are calcula- 
ted to produce revolutions in science ; but Pallas forms an excep- 
tion to this rule. We have seen how near he was to effecting a 

• Species Astragalorum Descriptae et Iconibus coloratis instructse. FoL 
Leips. 1800. 

+ Illustrationes Plantarum imperfecte vel nondum cognitarum. Fol. 
Leips. 1803. 

X Fauna Asiatica-Bossiea, Petrop. 1811 and 1812. 

§ Icones Insectorum praesertim Russiae Sibiriseque peculiarium ; Erlang, 
1781 and 1782. 4to. 



Biographical Memoir of Peter Simon Pallas. 227 

change in the asjxitt of zoology ; and in that of the theory of the 
earth he effected a real change. An attentive consideration of the 
two great mountain chains of Siberia enabled him to discover the 
great law which has since been found to hold good universally, 
of the succession of the three primitive orders of mountains, the 
granitic in the middle, schistose on their sides, and limestone 
mountains outermost. It may be said, that this great fact, dis- 
tinctly expressed in 1777, in a memoir * read to the Academy 
in the presence of Gustavus III. of Sweden, was the origin of 
the present system of geology : Saussure, Dcluc and Werner, 
set out from it to arrive at the true knowledge of the structure 
of the earth, so different from the fanciful ideas of preceding 
writers. 

Pallas, besides, rendered a very great service to geology by his 
second Memoir on the Fossil Bones of Siberia -f, in which he 
brings together all that he had observed concerning them during 
his journey, and especially relates the fact, then almost incredi- 
ble, of a rhinoceros having been found entire in the frozen 
earth, with its skin and flesh. The elephant discovered on the 
sea-shore in a mass of ice, and in such good preservation that 
the dogs eat its flesh, has confirmed this important observation, 
and given the final blow to Buffon''s theory regarding the gra- 
dual cooling of the polar regions. 

Pallas was not so happy in his hypothesis of an eruption of 
waters coming from the south-east, which might have transport- 
ed and buried in the north the animals of India. It is now 
clearly demonstrated, that the fossil animals are very different 
from those of India. ^-^^^^ 

The great mass of iron which he observed near the Jenissei^ 
was also an entirely new phenomenon in mineralogy J. This 
mass lay isolated on the surface of the ground, on the summit 
of a mountain, far from any vestige of a volcano or of mining 
operations. It weighed 1600 pounds. The metal, which wa& 
perfectly malleable when cold, was vesicular, and contained vi- 
treous matters §. The Tartars said it fell from heaven, and re- 

• Observations on the Formation of Mountains ; Act Petrop. 1778. Pars 
I. &c.; and separately in 12mo. Petersburg, without date, reprinted at Paris 
in 1770 and 1782. 

t Nov. Comm. Petr. xviL % Act Petrop. Pars I. 

§ Thia vitreous matter is olivine.— Ed. 



228 BiograpJiical Memoir of Peter Simon Pallas. 

garded it as sacred. It also contributed to make known M. 
Chladni's conjectures respecting the truth of the faUing of 
stones from the atmosphere ; a conjecture now as plainly eon- 
firmed by the observations of a few years, as the most ancientlv - 
announced truths could be. ^(tC^/^^ ^^ /i/^ o^,J\^iC^ fl^ *^ 

Pallas's memoir on the degeneration of animals * also presents ^"^ 
many ideas, which, if not demonstrated, are at least original. 
The unvarying character which horses, oxen, camels, and other 
domestic animals, which liave few allied species, or whose hy- 
brids are sterile, present, compared with the infinite variety of 
races of dogs, goats and sheep, whose genera consist of numer- 
ous species which produce with one another hybrids capable of 
propagating, leads him to suppose that the three last species of 
animals are in a manner factitious, being produced by the diver- 
sified alliances of natural species. He thinks, for example, that 
the shepherd's dog, and the wolf-dog, owe their origin to the 
jackal, the animal which appears to him, as well as to Gulden- 
stedt, the most closely allied to the dog, such as we now see him ; 
the mastiff seems to him, on the contrary, to come from a mix- 
ture with the hyena ; the small dogs with sharp muzzles, from 
the fox. 

But the writings we have hitherto noticed are only important 
to the naturalist : his history of the Mongol nations ought to 
prove interesting to every man of education -|-, for it is perhaps 
the most classical piece of composition that exists in any lan- 
guage on the subject of the origin of nations. 

The name of Mongols might be extended to all those tribes 
of the northern and eastern parts of Asia, whose oblique eyes, 
yellow tint, black and lank hair, spare beard, and prominent 
cheeks, render them so hideous in our eyes, and of which a tribe 
devastated Europe, under Attila, in the fifth century. It be- 
longs, however, in a more peculiar sense, to another tribe, 
which, under Gengis Khan, in the eleventh century, laid the 
bases of the most formidable dominion which has yet existed 
upon the earth. China, India, Persia, and all Tartary, were 
successively subjected by them ; they rendered Russia tribu- 

• Acta Petrop. 1780, pars ii. p. 62. 

t Collection of Historical Documents regarding the Mongol Tribes ; in 
German, % vols. 4to, with many plates. Petersb. 1776 and 1801. 
2 



Biographical Memoir of Peter Simon Pallas, 2J29 

tary, and made irruptions into Poland and Hungary. But after 
a few centuries, fortune became adverse to them. Driven 
out of China and Persia, destroyed in India, subjected to the 
Russians in the western parts of their ancient conquests, and to 
the Chinese in their original country, they have only pre- 
served independent establishments in some districts to the 
west of the Caspian Sea. Having returned to the pastoral life, 
most of them wander, like their ancestors, in the vast deserts of 
central Asia, waiting until the discord or decay of the neigh- 
bouring empires permits some enterprising adventurer to collect 
them for new conquests. This is what Russia and China seek 
to prevent, by dividing them, reducing their number, and 
sometimes transplanting them, when they mutiny, to enormous 
distances. And yet, in this state of subjection, these unfortunate 
beings preserve the pride of rank and nobility ; they have long 
genealogies ; their chiefs cabal against one another, and intrigue 
at the court of their sovereigns for augmentations of authority. 
The Grand Lama, who governs the consciences of all these tribes 
by a hierarchy almost as absolute as that of the Romish church, 
gives a sacred character to this authority by his patents, which 
thus become in his hands a means of intrigue and of disturb- 
ances. These continual agitations cannot be better represented 
than by the recital of an event which Pallas relates in detail, 
and which may even afford us an idea of those famous migra- 
tions of tribes which form so remarkable an epoch in the history 
of Europe. 

An entire tribe, which, after the conquest of the last Emperor 
of China, Kien-Long, had taken refuge in the Russian territory, 
and which had settled, in 1 758, in the deserts of the country of 
Astracan, having somehow become discontented, and being more- 
over excited by the intrigues of their principal Lama, resolved, 
twelve years after^ to return to the countries subjected by the 
Chinese. The preparations necessaiy for their journey were 
continued during several months, without any one divulging the 
secret. At length, on a fixed day, in the beginning of 1771, 
the whole nation, men, women, and children, to the number of 
more than 60,000 families, emigrated in three divisions, carry- 
ing away their tents, their flocks, and their baggage, and taking 

JANUABY — MAECH 1828. Q 



1230 Biographical Memoir of Peter Simon Pallas. 

with them whatever they met with on their route, whether men 
or treasure. In this manner, they travelled upwards of 500 
leagues, without being arrested either by the troops that were 
sent after them, or by the rivers, the attacks of the tribes which 
they met with, or the mortality of their people and animals. 
Nothing like this had occurred since the flight of the Children 
of Israel from Egypt. 

Pallas not only treats of the origin and physical characters of 
these tribes, their manners and government, but also devotes a 
great part of his work to the exposition of their religion, — a re- 
ligion of a singular nature, which had been banished from Indos- 
tan by the Bramins, in the first century of our era, and which, 
at the present day, being the predominant religion in China, Ja- 
pan, the half of Tartary, Ceylon, and the whole of the penin- 
sula beyond the Ganges, almost equals, in point of extent of 
territory, Christianity and Mahomedanism. The metaphysical 
doctrines on which it is founded, its dogmas, its moral maxims, its 
canonic right, its ceremonies, and even the vesture of its clergy, 
have so great a resemblance to Christianity, as to have astonished, 
and sometimes deceived, our missionaries ; but, at the best, it 
would merely be a Christianity altered by the most monstrous 
adulteration. The supreme chief is not only the vicegerent of 
God, he is God himself, who is successively incarnated in all the 
individuals raised to this dignity. Some of the inferior chiefs al- 
so partake of divinity. The Chinese monarch acknowledges this 
claim to it ; but, to prevent their abusing it, he has taken care 
to make himself master of their sacred cities, and their spiritual 
authority is only exercised under his influence. In this religion, 
as in many others, a schism has taken place, and, for about two 
centuries back, there have been two independent Grand Lamas. 
As in some other religions also, these two chiefs long denounced 
each other; but the singular circumstance, and one which they 
alone have exhibited, is, that they have become reconciled to 
each other; that they mutually recognise each other as gods, and 
that their partisans live peaceably together throughout all Tar- 
tary. 

The schism originated in a reigning Lama pretending to 
admit women to the honours of the priesthood. The rigid fol- 
lowers of the ancient customs would not pardon him for such 



Biographical Memoir of Peter Simon Pallas. 231 

a scheme, and the consequence was, that he lost two-thirds of 
his empire. 

Pallas does not leave us ignorant of any of the mysteries or 
rites of this religion. In general, he displays as much capacity 
for detailing the customs and opinions of nations, as he proved 
himself qualified, in his first works, to describe the productions 
of nature. It is difficult to comprehend why this work has not 
lx?en translated, while so many insignificant journeys are daily 
issuing from the press. 

An essential part of the history of nations, that which leads 
us farther back than all written documents, is the knowledge of 
their languages. It is by this, and not by any traditions, that 
we may be enabled most successfully to judge of their descent, 
and to trace their genealogy ; and there is no government in 
existence better calculated to favour this important study than 
the Russian, the subjects of which speak more than sixty dif- 
ferent languages. The Empress Catherine II. formed the inge- 
nious idea of getting comparative vocabularies drawn up of all 
the tribes subjected to her sceptre * ; she herself laboured at it 
for some time, and directed Pallas, who of all her literati had 
seen most tribes, and learned most languages, to collect the 
Asiatic vocabularies, restricting him, however, to the list of 
words which she had drawn up. It will not afford matter of 
surprise, that a woman and a sovereign should not have selected 
these words so usefully, and with such profound views, as a pro- 
fessed etymologist would have done ; and it is difficult to ima- 
gine how those whom she appointed her fellow labourers in this 
work, had not ventured to represent to her the defects of her 
plan. Besides, it will be perceived that a mere vocabulary 
could not afford an idea of the mechanism and spirit of lan- 
guages ; but still it was a valuable work, and one that has been 
highly useful to othei* literati in their researches. 

The Empress bestowed on Pallas many other marks of her 
confidence. He was an active member of the Commission appoint- 
ed in 1777, with the view of making a new Topography of the 
Empire ; he was named Historiographer of the Admiralty, a si- 
tuation which obliged him to give his opinion on scientific ques- 

• Linguarum totius orbis vocabularia comparativa, Augustissimse cum 
collecta. 2 vols. 4to. Petersb. 1786 and 1789. 

a2 



2S2 Biographical Memoir qf Peter Sirnon PaIIa». 

tions relative to the navy ; the Grand Duke Alexander, after- 
wards Emperor, and his brother Constantine, received instruc- 
tions from him in natural history and physics. 
. Employed in so honourable a manner by the Government, 
decorated with titles proportionate to his employments, applaud- 
ed by the learned world, Pallas enjoyed at Petersburg all the 
consideration that could be allied with his quality of foreigner 
and his state as a mere literary character ; but it appears that 
the habit of travelling, like that of the savage life, renders an 
abode in cities difficult to be endured. 

Equally fatigued with his sedentary life, and with the crowd 
of people of the world and of foreigners, for whom the house 
of so celebrated a man was a natural rendezvous, he seized with 
avidity the opportunity which the invasion of the Crimea af- 
forded him of visiting new countries, and employed the years 
1793 and 1794 in traversing, at his own expence, the southern 
provinces of the Russian empire *. 

He revisited Astracan, and traversed the frontiers of Circas- 
sia, a mountainous country, which produces the most beautiful 
of all the races of the human species, and the singular manners 
of whose inhabitants may have given rise to the fable of the 
Amazons ; the married men can only see their wives in secret, 
and by introducing themselves under night through their win- 
dows. This country is besides singularly remarkable for the 
multitude of tribes, differing from each other in their forms and 
languages, that inhabit its defiles, forming the remains of the 
tribes which passed through it at the time of the great migra- 
tion of the nations. The Huns, the Alans, the Uzes, the Ava- 
res, the Bulgarians, the Coumanes, and Petchenegres, and those 
other barbarians, whose names were almost as frightful as their 
cruelty, have left colonies amidst the rocks of the Caucasus, and 
there Man may be gathered as it were by specimens. 

But Pallas did not chuse to risk himself among tribes, which, 
although interesting in a high degree, are yet very dangerous. 

* We have the account of this Journey also in German and French, 
2 vols. 4to. Leips. 1799 and 1801, with many beautiful coloured plates, and 
there has lately appeared a new French translation, with notes, by MM. de 
la Boulaye and Tounelier. Paris 1811. 

3 



Biographical Memoir of Peter Simon Pallas. 233 

He afterwards proceeded to the Crimea, the ancient Tauris, a 
singular peninsula, flat, and arid on the side by which it is con- 
nected with the continent, and raised on the opposite side into 
mountains which inclose beautiful and fertile valleys. For- 
merly civilized by Grecian colonies, occupied during the middle 
ages by the Genoese, afterwards inhabited by the Tartars, who 
at length acquired tolerably peaceable manners, it has of late 
fallen into the hands of the Russians. It is well known with 
what preparation Potemkin led the Empress into this new con- 
quest, and by what prodigies of expence and despotism this fa- 
vourite gave for a few days to deserts the appearance of fertile 
and flourishing countries. It may be said that Pallas partici- 
pated in the illusion of his sovereign, or perhaps the contrast 
between the pleasant valleys of the coast, opening to the south, 
enjoying a view of the sea, and planted with vines and roses, 
and the melancholy plains of the north of Russia, struck him 
too forcibly. He drew an enchanting picture of the Tauris*, 
and, as a proof that he was sincere in his praises, hastened to ob- 
tain for himself a retreat in it. 

Repose, which he had so long shunned, had now become 
necessary to him. In his last journey, wishing to examine 
the banks of a river, the surface of which was frozen, the ice 
broke under him, and he sunk in the water to the middle. Re- 
mote from all assistance, and during a very intense cold, he was 
obliged to travel for several leagues, without a change of dress. 
This accident occasioned pains, which he hoped would be alle- 
viated in a milder climate than that of Petersburg ; but his 
change of residence, far from producing this effect, only added 
to his physical sufierings evils more insupportable, chagrins and 
cares of all kinds. 

The empress, informed of the desire which Pallas shewed of 
living in the Tauris, very handsomely presented him with two 
villages, situated in the richest district of the peninsula, and a 
large house in the city of Achmetchet, named by the Russians 
Sympheropol, which was then the chief place of the country, 
and with a considerable sum of money for his establishment. 

• Tableau Physique et Topographique de la Tauride (Nov. Act^ Petrop. 
torn. X.), re-printed at Paris in the year vii. (1800.) 



^4 Biographical Memoir of Peter Sivwn Pallas. 

Pallas betook himself thither in the end of 1795 ; but this 
climate^ which had appeared to him so fine during a short resi- 
dence, proved, after more experience of it, inconstant and moist. 
The beautiful valleys were rendered pestilential in autumn by 
marshes ; the winter was very severe ; the inconveniences of both 
the north and of the south were felt in it. Besides, property 
bestowed somewhat loosely, because it was thought entirely de- 
pendent upon the old demesne of the Khans of the Crimea, be- 
came in part liable to be disputed, and involved the new pos- 
sessor in endless processes. Lastly, and worst of all, Pallas 
had not sufficiently considered what a void he would experience, 
when, being removed from all the learned world, he would find 
it impossible to communicate his ideas. He was quickly unde- 
ceived, and expressed his chagrin with bitterness in the preface 
to the second volume of his second journey. 

He passed, however, nearly fifteen years in the Crimea, oc- 
cupied with the continuation of his great works, and with the 
exercise toward strangers of the ancient hospitality of the coun- 
try ; labouring especially at a project of the highest importance 
to Russia, that of improving the culture of the vine, of which 
he had made great plantations in the valley of Soudac, the an- 
cient Saldaca of the Genoese. He judged the country so much 
the better adapted for this purpose, that he thought he had 
found the vine in a wild state in it, although what he saw was per- 
haps nothing else than the remains of the ancient vineyards of 
the Greeks. But no occupation could reconcile him to so melan- 
choly a life ; and the marks of esteem which he received from 
Europe, only served to increase his regret at having left it, and 
made him the more sensible of what he had lost by doing so. 
At length, resolved to tear himself from his situation, he sold his 
lands at a very low price, badci adieu for ever to Russia, and re- 
turned, after an absence of forty years, to close his life in his 
native city. 

To a man wlio had lived fifteen years in Little Tartary, this 
was like coming back from the other world. Some old friends 
whom he found seemed to him to recal his youth ; he resumed 
his former warmth and eloquence when he was informed of the 
new advances of science, the rumours of which had but imper- 



Biographical Memoir of Peter Simon Pallas. 235 

fectly made its way to his retirement. His depressed spirits 
seemed entirely to revive' with these sudden enjoyments. 

The young naturalists, formed by his works, brought up in 
the admiration of his genius, but to whom he had been but an 
invisible oracle, listened to him as to a superior being come to 
judge them ; for his long absence had multiplied the time, and 
put as it were several generations between them and him. They 
assert, that, in the frank and prompt approbation which lie 
gave to the new discoveries, there was in fact to be recognised 
in this good old man, a mind superior to the prejudices natural 
to his age. He treated his new disciples as a father, and not 
with the dogmatism and superciliousness of an old master. It 
is a beautiful trait in his character, that he was little disposed to 
criticise, and willingly gave to his contemporaries the praises 
which they deserved, — an effort fully as meritorious as that of 
giving them to his pupils. He is also perhaps the least criti- 
cised by others of any distinguished writer of the eighteenth cen- 
tury. He has sometimes been reproached with somewhat of 
keenness and severity, for bringing together, for engrossing, as it 
were, by every possible means, the observations or the objects of 
study collected by others, — a quality calculated to displease those 
whose particular labours might be lost in the mass of glory, which 
legitimately belongs to the man who has conceived a great plan, 
but without which a multitude of facts, useful only from their 
association, would have been lost to science. Nor did he ever 
make use of the observations of others, without explicitly ren- . 
dering justice to their authors. 

Having thus returned to the country which had given him 
birth, and to friends who appreciated his merits ; having again 
drawn near to an elder brother, toward whom so long a separa- 
tion had only caused his natural attachment to become stronger; 
attended by his only daughter, who cherished him with the 
greatest tenderness, Pallas still had the prospect of some happy 
years. He read with interest the new works on Natural His- 
tory ; he proposed to visit the cities of France and Italy that 
were richest in instructive collections, to form acquaintance with 
the distinguished men which they possessed, and thus to collect 
new materials for a concluding work. But the germs of dis- 
eases which he had contracted on his journeys, and during his 



236 Biographical Memoir of Peter Pinion PallaS. 

residence in the Crimea, developed themselves sooner than had 
been anticipated. His old dysenteries returned to such a de- 
gree, as to make him easily foresee that he could have no longer 
any resource, and, without tormenting himself with useless re- 
medies, he employed his last days in making the necessary ar- 
rangements for ensuring the continuation qf the works which he 
left incomplete, and for disposing usefully of what there remained 
with him of objects and observations to be published. 

He died on the 8th September 1811, aged seventy years, 
within a few days. 

He was twice married, and left a daughter, whom he had by 
his first wife, and who is now widow of the Baron Wimpfen, 
Lieutenant-General in the service of Russia, who died at Lune- 
ville, in consequence of wounds received at the battle of Aus- 
terlitz. 

From the distance at which Pallas always lived from us, it 
would be difficult to collect enough, respecting his character, to 
describe it with certainty. It may be seen, by what he has pro- 
duced, to what degree he united sagacity with the ardour for 
labour. The peace in which he lived with his rivals indicates 
mildness of disposition, for it is difficult to attribute it to mere 
prudence ; and ahhough nothing so much disposes one to exer- 
cise benevolence as his experiencing it himself, yet there is more 
in his never having attacked any person, than merely that no 
one ever attacked him. Those who knew him, moreover, boast 
of the equanimity of his temper and his cheerfulness ; he loved 
pleasure, it is said, but only as relaxation, and without thinking 
it worthy of disturbing his repose. In a word, he appears al- 
ways to have lived as a man of science should, occupied solely 
in seeking after truth, and leaving the rest to the chances of this 
world. The more experience one has, the more will he be sen- 
sible that such a mode of life is, on this earth, the surest me^ans 
of neither endangering his well-being nor his conscience* >c 



Y' 






( 237 ) 

Observations on the Large Brown Hornet of New South Wales, 
with reference to Instinct. By the Rev. John M*Garvie, 
A.M. In a Letter to James Dunlop, Esq. Paramatta*. 

JL/URING occasional hours of relaxation from more import- 
ant engagemeilts, I have amused myself of late in studying the 
habits and history of the large brown and black hornets of this 
country, which I know you have also done wUh much success. 
But as my views on the subject do not entirely coincide with 
yours, I cannot permit this, perhaps the last opportunity for 
many months, to escape without making a few remarks upon it, 
especially as the excellent microscope I received from you (a 
present of inestimable value in this country), will enable me to 
prosecute the subject with more precision than I have yet been 
able to accomplish. 

There are few subjects that have occasioned more discussion to 
the naturalist and the moralist than instinct. The one, desirous 
of resting his knowledge on a few mechanical principles, is unwil- 
ling to admit instinct as a direct operating agent in animals, and 
particularly in insects, if any cause can be discovered that will 
account, even imperfectly, for their operations. The moralist, 
on the other hand, assigns to instinct every thing that indicates 
an ultimate design, though it cannot be a question with any 
man, that the same veneration for the Author of Nature would 
be excited, were every act of instinct reduced to the commonest 
laws of matter and motion. For He who implanted instinct, on 
the common view of the matter, must have implanted also the 
power of acting in conformity to known laws ; and these actions, 
of coui-se, become infallible proofs, that the laws which -these 
individuals follow in their operation, existed before the indivi- 
duals themselves ; giving thus a proof, if any were wanting, 
that both were created by the same beneficent hand. Instinct, 
therefore, we conceive, should always be considered as assisted 
or modelled by organic structure. 

Of all the works of instinct, none have excited more sur- 
prise than those exhibited by Bees, Hornets, and other creatures 
of the same kind, which form their hexagonal cells with such 
• Read before the Wernerlan Natural History Society 12th January 1828. 



288 Rev. J. Macgarvie on the Brown Hornet of 

regularity and skill, that the most expert artizan might in vain 
attempt to imitate or surpass them. Why is it they have cho- 
sen this best of all forms " stipare roscida mella,^ by which every 
atom of their labour becomes of use ? Why do they never de- 
viate from this rule ? Why have they never advanced in im- 
provement since the first of the race completed his primitive 
cell ? This, of itself, in place of leading us to assign the ef- 
fect to instinct, should lead us to ascribe it to the structure of 
the race, impelled by some principle beyond the reach of inves- 
tigation. 

Instinct implies a power of action for producing some effect, 
by mechanical means, without the agency of intelligence. To 
this view of instinct we are not disposed to object, if men do not 
stop at proximate causes ; for, whilst bodily conformation and 
structure may serve to attain certain ends, the principle from 
which these flow may still be denominated Instinct. 

The hornets of which we speak, are of several kinds. There 
is a small black species which forms a quadrangular cell, about 
a quarter of an inch in the side, and from which a number of 
young ones, to the amount of ten or twelve, may sometimes be 
taken, of a dry, hard, brittle structure and glossy aspect, with- 
out wings, and the head very indistinctly formed. This nest 
is often attached to the leaf of a wattle, or gum-tree, in which 
case it is often hid by the leaves. It is firmly attached to the 
leaf by a thin gluten. 

There is another very beautiful small nest, whose inmates we 
have not ascertained, but the form of which is more regular and 
surprising than that of the bee itself. It is six-sided, and the 
edges of the angles are formed into a rounded ridge. 

The nest of the large black and brown hornet is extremely 
curious. It is fastened to the branch of a tree, sometimes a 
peach-tree, and sometimes to the twigs of a low shrub, close to 
the ground, and hid by high grass, being attached by a small 
button-shaped protuberance of dry, tough, gummy matter, which 
is impervious to rain or moisture, and which is, when taken off, 
in scales similar to the scales of a fish, but of a very different 
structure. They work downwards for about an inch, and then- 
commence their cells, attaching the button of each cell to the 
stalk attached to the tree. They have sagacity enough to know 



New South Wales. 239 

that, as the weight below increases, the stalk and button must 
also be increased above, which they may be seen augmenting 
with great perseverance. They then increase the number of the 
cells, making them nearly equal in length, which is generally one 
inch and a half or two inches. The surface next the tree, that 
is, the bottom of the cells (for the open end is always downmost, 
and they build downwards), is covered carefully over with a 
gummy substance of a silky aspect, but dry and brittle. The 
bottoms of the cells externally are distinct and circular. The 
button and stalk are of a pyramidal figure, very broad near the 
base, and contracting as they approach the upper end next the 
tree. 

At the bottom of each cell, and covered with a thin substance, 
like tissue-paper, is a dark brown substance, composed of parti* 
cles of wood comminuted, and similar to saw-dust. It certainly 
is not the young animal, but it may be stored up as food for it 
in its earliest stages of existence. Each cell is cemented to those 
next it by a hard glutinous matter, which may be obtained i|^ 
considerable quantities near the bottom of the cells, as they are 
all tapering below, and wide above, and the interstices are filled 
with this substance, by which they are joined to one another, 
and to the covering that spreads out from the stalk, by which it 
is fastened to the tree. The nests themselves are rounded be- 
low, and circular horizontally. The cells are not always exactly 
hexagonal ; they are, however, placed in very distinct rows, but 
they are neither so elegantly formed as the cells of bees, nor dp 
they contain any liquid, nor is any use made of their contents. 
The cells are about two-fifths of an inch diameter, of different 
lengths, and the breadth of the whole nest is seldom more than 
that of the crown of a hat. 

The insects connected with one nest are not numerous, 
sometimes amounting to twelve or twenty, sometimes to a few 
more. When the cells arc formed, they seem to take great plea- 
sure in going over them in succession, pushing their heads into 
the cells, and adding small portions to them by means of their 
long tongues, palpi, and forceps. They hatch their young in 
these ; and, when the young animal is in the cell, they close the 
mouth of it with the fine tissue-paper like substance, of which 
the sides of the cells arc composed. ,, ^ 



240 Rev. J. Macgarvie on the Brown Hornet of 

The stings of these insects are extremely painful, causing a 
fulness and deadness of the place affected, that is almost intoler- 
able. Their sight is sharp and quick. They fly directly to 
the face. One man was stung, not long ago, in the centre of 
the eye. They attack the cattle in the field, which are terrified 
for them, except the pig, which is blessed with a happy insensi- 
bility to all their attacks, as he merely shakes his sides and his 
tail, and continues to eat peaches as before. 

This insect has a beautiful appearance in the living state, 
having a number of yellowish-brown segments, on a black 
ground, around his body ; his legs and wings being of the same 
colour ; a fine yellowish colour presents itself on each shoulder, 
at the root of the wings, and there is a yellow stripe on the 
forehead. The rest of the body is a beautiful velvet-black, and 
the tips of the wings are tinged with a light purple colour. It 
has six legs, the two first of which it uses with great dexterity as 
hands. They may be seen frequently rubbing them, and thrust- 
ing their foot into their mouth, to besmear it with an unctuous 
substance, which may enable it to seize a firmer hold of its ob- 
ject. 

It is from the structure of the fore-legs, which are admirably 
adapted for the purpose, that, in my opinion, the hexagonal 
cells derive their character of regularity. When the sun is hot, 
you may see the insect traversing round his cell, seizing the edge 
of it in his mouth, and adding a small piece to the sides. When 
he has done this, he sets his body close to a side, and clasping the 
cell firmly in his fore-arms, he continues rubbing it upwards 
and downwards for a considerable time ; and as one cell is al- 
ways a little higher than the one next it, he proceeds thus from 
side to side, and gives a six-sided form simply by rubbing and 
working upon the soft materials with his arms. A very little 
attention will shew, too, that he can give it no other form than 
this or the circle. For his arms are so constructed, that if he 
acts uniformly upon any of these sides or angles, as we have 
repeatedly seen him do, he must form a hexagonal figure, if the 
materials are pliant. 

The arms are first composed of a joint near the body, ex- 
tending a little outward, and moveable in every direction. To 
this is attached the arm, which is smooth, and somewhat power- 




New South Wales. 241 

fill. Next this is the fore-arm, and next it are the feet, which 
have three hooks, a small one on each side, and a larger in front 
Between each of these is a powerful joint, 
and they are confined to a large angle, as 
they cannot be extended into a straight 
line. When the animal, therefore, has 
made the sides of his cell in a circular shape 
by the gluten from his mouth, and a quan- 
tity of pipe-clay, which he frequently em- 
ploys in the building of it, he applies his 
body to it, and, placing the fore-arms 
around it, at an angle most convenient for 
itself, he continues to rub up and down till 
the shape has been given to the cell. The first angle is formed 
by the body and the arm ; the second by the arm and fore-arm, 
and the third on each side by the angles formed by the fore-arm, 
and the feet or claws*. 

In proof of this, it may be remarked, that the bottom of the 
cells is round, and the hexagonal form does not commence till 
the cell has attained a sufficient height to admit of the applica- 
tion of the animaPs body and legs to the outside of the cell, after 
which, to the top of the cell, the hexagonal form is remarkably 
distinct. Besides, to leave no doubt about the matter, we have 
measured the legs of a full grown hornet, and then applied them 
to the sides of the cells, and out of 160 cells in one nest, found 
only half a dozen near the outside that did not correspond 
exactly with the length of the arm or fore-arm, and these were 
probably injured or dried up. 

In this respect, therefore, I think, that instinct may be pushed 
one step farther back from the demesnes of philosophy, since 
this very complicated and regular exhibition of animal sagacity 
may be accounted for from the organic structure and formation 
of the animal. The wonder still remains, why it should have 
been constituted with such powers. But this wonder is in common 
with that of every thing around us ; and is continually excited in 
examining the wonders of the lower creation, especially in ento- 
mology, which, in this country, above all others, would require 
• The figure is considerably larger than nature. 



242 Rev. J. Macgarvie on the Brown Hornet 

the united energies of a score of naturalists for many years. Its 
treasures are inexhaustible, and are almost entirely unknown. 

When, upon this subject, allow me to allude to a circumstance 
connected with the beautiful Atropus Belladonna. This butter- 
fly, in the state of a grub, as it is here called, forms a pyra- 
midal and sometimes a circular nest of small twigs, which it may 
be seen occasionally dragging up a tree, by short and easy 
stages. This is the case with the same insect when very small ; 
but in both stages, it may be seen moving about its head before 
it commences its journey, and stopping at regular intervals as if 
to reconnoitre. One unacquainted with its natural history, might 
suppose it was apprehensive of danger. But the fact is, that 
when it moves its head from side to side, it is spinning for itself 
a thread, which it fixes to the tree, and, when it is strong enough, 
it stretches out its fore claws, seizes hold of the thread, and 
raises itself upward, on the principle of the common rope-ladder. 
When you examine its path attentively, you see these steps 
placed at the most regular distances, as regular as if made by 
the hand of art, and intertwined in such a way, that if one 
should break, the next will keep the animal up This is cer- 
tainly instinct in one sense, but is common mechanics in another. 
For the animal seizes hold of the thread by the second pair of 
feet, stretches his head upwards, and makes the distance between 
the two steps of the ladder precisely that of the distance between 
his mouth and his second pair of arms, which is exactly one-fifth 
of an inch in a common sized animal. We have watched him 
ascending a smooth surface by this means, when it would have 
been thought impossible to raise a large circular cylindrical nest 
with so much dispatch on such a surface. Such paths you 
have probably yourself seen long ago. 

Ascribing effects to instinct, therefore, is a great source of 
error in natural history, and should not be resorted to, except in 
those cases in which no rational account can be given of the effect 
^e contemplate ; for if men were to stop short at second causes, 
every effect in nature might be denominated instinctive. The 
best possible means have been always adopted to produce the 
best possible ends. It is the business of philosophy to discover 
the latter, and trace them by that means to the grand intelli- 
gent source whence they originated. I am, &c. 



( 243 ) 

Analysis of the GU-i-toorsch, or Sour Clay, used in acidulating^ 
Sherbet, in Persia, By Edwaed Tuener, M. D. F. R. S. E. 
Professor of Chemistry in the University of London. Com- 
municated by the Author. 

V-lUR intelligent young friend, and former pupil, Lieute- 
nant Alexander, in his lately published Travels from India 
to England, a work highly creditable to him as a writer and 
observer, says, " The road to Dalkec is exceedingly stony; 
and, at eight miles from it, is a capital sporting tract, with a 
date jungle and swamp on the left. We were here assailed by an 
insufferable sulphureous effluvium, shortly after we crossed, from 
several naphtha and sulphureous streams, which issued from the 
hills, round the bases of which the road winds. At the fountain 
head the water is lukewarm. The streams have, on their mar- 
gin, a whitish-grey earth, which is of an acid and saltish taste ; 
it is termed Gil-i-toorscJt, or Sour Clay. The taste is probably 
occasioned by a mixture of alum and sal ammoniac. It is used 
in acidulating sherbet. I brought away a small quantity of this 
substance for my esteemed preceptor Professor Jameson *.''' 

Some time ago, the specimen of gil-i-toorsch was sent to me 
by Lieutenant Alexander. I requested my friend Dr Turner to 
analyze it, and the following is the Doctor''s report : — " The gil-i- 
toorsh consists partly of a coarse earthy powder, and partly of ir- 
regular grains, of about the size of a pea. The interior of the lat- 
ter is of a white colour, as described by Mr Alexander, but the 
surface of the particles is brown. This colour is owing to iron ; 
for the earth has been kept in a vessel of tinned iron, which is 
strongly corroded. The earth is slightly moist, and has a sour 
and inky taste. With distilled water, it yields a solution con- 
taining a considerable quantity of free sulphuric acid and suL 
phate of iron. With nitrate of silver, it gives scarcely a trace of 
muriatic acid, and it is almost equally free from alumina. It 
does not, therefore, contain either sal ammoniac or alum. By 
the action of pure potash, a trace of ammonia was detected. The 
earthy matter contains some silica ; but its chief constituent, es- 
pecially of the larger grains, is sulphate of lime, some of which 

• Travels from India to England, comprehending a visit to the Birman 
empire, by James E. Alexander, Lieutenant in his Majesty's 13th Light Dra- 
goons. 4to. Parry & Allen, London 1827. 



244 Mr Ramage on the Excavations made at Pompeii 

is distinctly crystalline. It emits a faint but distinct odour of 
sulphur, when moderately heated. Considering the use to which 
the gil-i-toorsch is applied, I presume all the iron found in the 
specimen sent to me, must be derived from the box which con- 
tained it. I therefore infer, that it consisted originally of sul- 
phate of lime, with a little siliceous matter, acidulated by free 
sulphuric acid. This acid can scarcely have originated in the de- 
composition of metallic sulphurets, but must, I apprehend, have 
been derived from the combustion of sulphur. The sulphureous 
vapour noticed in the vicinity of the earth, confirms this opi- 
nion." 



Account of Excavations made at Pompeii from December 1826 
to August 1827. By T. C, Ramage, Esq. Communicated 
by the Author. 

-I T was in the autumn of 1825 that I first paid a visit to Pom- 
peii, and the impression it then made on my mind was by no 
means equal to what I had expected. I returned, however, se- 
veral times, and found that every examination only increased 
my desire to investigate it more minutely. You are aware that 
Pompeii is about fourteen miles from Naples, and five from the 
crater of Vesuvius. Through it ran the Via Consularis, a branch 
of the Via Appia, which, striking off from Capua, passed through 
Naples and Pompeii to Solerno. On entering the suburbs you 
set your foot on this ancient road, which, like all the other Ro- 
man ways, is composed of large unhewn blocks of stone. In 
Pompeii the pavement has been composed of lava, and shews 
that Vesuvius must have been a volcanic mountain in some early 
period of the world, though history has left us no account of it. 
Alighting at the barrier, where a guard is placed, you enter its 
suburbs, which have been called Augustus Fehx, and appear to 
have been founded by the colonies of Sylla and Augustus, 
whose names have been discovered on many of the monuments. 
One single villa has been completely excavated, and many 
others no doubt surround it, which will hereafter be exposed to 
view. The first coup d'^oeil is remarkably striking, and well 
fitted to make an impression on the mind ; you see at once the 
whole length of the street, which is lined on both sides by 



frmi December 1826 to August 1827. 245 

tombs, some entire, and some in ruins. They are chaste in de- 
coration, classical in design, and prove that they must have been 
erected before the taste of the Romans had become corrupted 
by the love of magnificence and grandeur, which they carried 
even to the grave. There rest whole families in eternal repose, 
as if they were still enjoying themselves around their Penates, 
and solemnising some of those annual ceremonies in which all 
took a part. The mother is there stretched at the side of the 
father, and the children, according to their several ages, in re- 
gular order beside the mother. 

Some of the tombs are most magnificent, and have been erect- 
ed by a grateful country to citizens whose merits had entitled 
them to such a distinction ; they are adorned with the palm and 
the laurel, and present the elegant forms of the lectisternium and 
bisellium. These nol>le monuments may be considered as al- 
tars erected by the Genius of Arts to the honour of Mystery 
and Death. 

It was here that the inhabitants enjoyed themselves at even 
under the shade of the cypress, which waved its mournful head 
over the tombs of their ancestors ; it was here that they caught 
those genial breezes, which were so grateful after the heats of 
the day. What a strange contrast must their games, diver- 
sions, and tumultuous joy, have formed to the calm and silence 
which reigned in the graves where slept those who had once 
been as gay and as merry as themselves ! 

But as you have most probably seen a detailed account of the 
discoveries made previous to December 1826, I proceed now 
to give a short view of the progress that has been lately made 
in disinterring the ancient city of Pompeii from December 1826 
to August 1827. 

At present there is every appearance that we have at last ad- 
vanced to a part of the town occupied by the more opulent 
class of citizens, and we are in hope of making some valuable 
acquisitions to our stock of antiquities. The streets have be- 
come more spacious, and the houses begin to have an air of splen- 
dour and neatness, far exceeding that of the houses situated 
along the sea coast. Indeed, as we know that the shops and 
taverns must have been in the vicinity of the Forum and public 

JANUARY MARCH 1828. H 



1146 Mr Ramage on the Excavations made at Pompeii 

buildings, and as these are almost the only edifices that have 
been as yet uncovered, we may conclude that the private villas 
are still concealed from our view. The articles that have been 
found in these houses are generally superior, both in richness of 
material and beauty of workmanship, to any that the Royal 
Museum has yet acquired, and display in a very remarkable 
manner the labour and ingenuity bestowed by the Romans even 
on their commonest utensils. 

The excavations have taken place principally in two direc- 
tions, — in that street which is called the Street of the Arch, and 
towards the angle of the Forum, opposite the Basilica. In the 
winding lane which leads to the portico of the theatre, there 
have been several small houses excavated, exhibiting a consi- 
derable degree of ingenuity in the just arrangement, and agree- 
able union of all parts of the edifice, and a most extraordinary 
economy in the employment of ground. It may indeed be af- 
firmed of them, what Pomponius Atticus said of some old houses 
he possessed in Rome, that there had been more ingenuity than 
money expended in their erection. One cannot help admiring 
the solidity with which many parts have been built, and the 
beauty of the opiis reticulatum, which is equal even to the ce- 
lebrated specimens of this sort of work in the gardens of Sallust 
at Rome. Here also, were found several Ionic chapters, of a 
style purely Grecian, which you know is a very unusual occur- 
rence in Pompeii. Their volute resembles the calyx of a flower, 
attached to its stem, which, turning downwards at the point, 
where the junction of the volute takes place, winds round the 
higher part of the shaft of the pillar, — an elegant device, quite 
new to us. 

In the street of the Arch, the houses are larger and more 
splendid. One of them has its front decorated with representa- 
tions of baskets, carved in a greyish coloured volcanic tufa, 
called by the Italians Tufo of Nocera, from the quarries being 
discovered in the vicinity of that town. These baskets, exhi- 
biting great accuracy of outline, are still in some parts covered 
with the stucco, which had been applied to them to furnish 
moulds for others intended to imitate the tufa. The cornice, 
formed of the same material, is lying on the ground, and fur- 
nishes a beautiful specimen of elegance in architectural disposi- 



from December 1826 to August 1827. 247 

tion. On entering this house, we look across the atrium ^nd 
the summer parlour. At the bottom of the peristylium, there 
is a fountain encrusted with shells and glass mosaic, similar to 
the one excavated some time ago. Near the outer door there 
is a small staircase, leading to the upper storey, or rather to the 
roof, as its diminutive size prevents us from supposing the ar- 
chitect could intend it for any nobler purpose. The atrium is 
Tuscan, painted grotesquely with little flying figures on a red 
ground : among them the most remarkable are the figure of a 
winged female, with a garland of flowers in one hand, and a 
young boy in her arms ; a little figure of a female in flowing 
drapery, with a palm branch in her hand ; and a harp-player 
seated at her instrument. In the summer parlour, enriched by 
a beautiful mosaic pavement, the walls are ornamented with a 
variety of fruit and richly plumed birds. The portico, fur- 
nished with only two rows of pillars, has on the opposite walls 
a representation of the same number of columns, corresponding 
with the real ones, and between them there are landscapes 
sketched with great spirit, and of a much larger size than any 
hitherto discovered. These are chiefly views taken on the sea- 
coast. On the left appears a large harbour, with several vessels 
at anchor : there is a building erected on a small island, united 
to the adjoining land by a singular bridge, which is approached 
by means of a stair, removeable like a draw-bridge. In front 
is seen a two-oared bark, with sails exactly similar to those used 
at present in the Bay of Naples. At the side of this there is a 
building constructed on some rocks in the middle of the water, 
with a fisherman seated, and in the act of drawing his net. 
Among many other sketches there is one of a man on horseback, 
followed by a large dog, and wearing a hat which bears a con- 
siderable resemblance to those pointed ones which the peasants 
of Campania have at present. In the centre of the colonnade 
opposite the door, there is a fountain, in the form of a small al- 
tar, with its niche and top richly decorated with mosaic and 
shells. In the middle of the semicircular basin of this fountain, 
there was found, on a round pedestal, a little winged boy of 
bronze, with one hand raised, and embracing with the other a 
goose, which was in the act of flapping with its wings, and ejecU 
ing a stream of water into the basin. Towards the centre of 

e2 



248 Mr Ramage on the Excavations made at Pompeii, 

the niche there is in the wall a scenic mask, from the mouth of 
which flowed another jet of water ; and on the edge of the ba- 
sin there was found another statue of bronze, three palms high, 
representing a fisherman seated with a small basket of fish in 
one hand, and extending the other, in the act of raising the net. 
From a rock completely encrusted with shells, on which the 
fisherman is seated, another jet of water has evidently been 
thrown. The features of this little figure are strongly marked, 
and full of expression. Besides a Caryatides of marble, there 
was found another figure of the same material, representing a 
young fisherman asleep, and covered with a sailor''s mantle, such 
as is generally worn by the fishermen of the present day. The 
remains of the leaden pipes, with their stop-cocks, are plainly 
seen. In this house there was also discovered a beautiful marble 
table, of Greek workmanship. 

Many rich candelabra, bracelets, rings, ear-rings, and medals 
have been the reward of these excavations. But the most cu- 
rious discovery of all is that of two glass vases, one of which 
contained olives, with the oil in which they had been placed 
eighteen centuries before ; and the other nothing but pure oil. 
It may not be uninteresting to give the chemical analysis of 
these substances by Professor Covelli of Naples. 

Analysis hy Professor Covelli. 

The olives were found in a quadrangular glass vase, with a 
large mouth. The oily substance was inclosed in a cylindrical 
glass vase, with a narrow neck, and a small handle. 

Examination of the Olives. — The upper half of the vase con- 
taining the olives, was full of volcanic ashes and pebbles ; the 
olives, mixed with a kind of buttery substance, occupied the 
lower half. They have the form and size of that variety com- 
monly called Spanish Olives ; some of them have even still their 
pedunculus or flower-stalk. The kernels are less oblong than 
those of the Neapolitan species, and also more swollen ; the lon- 
gitudinal streaks are more strongly marked. Their colour is 
black, but mixed with small particles of a greenish matter, 
which, with the aid of a powerful lens, it was discovered were 
those lichens produced on organic substances in a state of putre- 
faction ; but these little plants were not observable at the mo- 



from December 1826 to Av^st 1827. 249 

ment of their discovery, and have no doubt arisen from the ac- 
tion of the air, which in a few hours had produced such an al- 
teration in their superficies, as had not been accomplished by 
the influence of so many centuries. This is a proof that these 
olives, gathered eighteen centuries before by the subjects of Ti- 
tus, are as fresh and sweet as those produced by Francis I. 
Indeed, these ancient olives are still soft and pulpy ; they have 
a strong rancid smell, a greasy taste, and leave upon the tongue 
an astringent and sharp sensation. They are so light, that they 
swim upon water ; the pericardium or seed-vessel shews still its 
organic texture, though the parenchyma is in that state of alte- 
ration which the maceration of a few months usually produces. 
The kernels are still hard, and so much so that a knife can 
scarcely penetrate them. The oily part of the parenchyma, 
though in very small quantities, when analysed carefully in the 
usual method, has been found to be changed entirely into oleic 
and margaric acids, which are the fundamental principles of the 
fixed oils, acidified by oxygen, and form the basis of our soaps. 
These changes happen generally in oils exposed for some time 
to the air. This proves that the action of eighteen centuries, 
which has left untouched the fundamental principles of the oil, 
has effected no greater change than what is produced by a few 
months. 

The kind of oily substance in which the olives are enveloped, 
is of a brownish-yellow colour, soft like butter, has a strong 
rancid smell, soils paper like fixed oils and greasy substances, 
is melted by a moderate heat (60° or 70° cent.) warmed on a 
leaf of platina ; it burns with a beautiful white flame, without 
leaving any thing but small white flaky ashes, so light that the 
smallest puff disperses them. With the alkalies it forms soap ; 
distilled in close vessels, it gives out carburetted hydrogen gas, 
acetic acid, carbonic acid, carbonic acid gas, and a residue of 
carbon. This buttery substance, tried by CheuvreuPs method, 
is found to be composed of oleic acid in large quantities, a small 
portion of margaric acid, and a substance analogous to the sweet 
principle of fixed oils, but which differs in many respects, and 
\ihich may be a new production ; and, lastly, an earthy sub- 
stance, in very small quantities, arising from the volcanic ashes 
which filled the upper half of the vase. 



250 Mr Ramage on ike Excavations made at Pmnpeii. 

Examination of the Buttery Substance found in the narroxo- 
necked Fa^^.— This substance is much softer than the prece- 
ding : it has a yellowish-green colour, has a strong rancid smell, 
and exhibits in the mass a number of brown globules, similar to 
the spawn of fish, but which cannot be made out even by a power- 
ful lens. This substance resembles that found with the olives : 
it is composed of the same principles, though it may contain a 
larger quantity of oleic acid, and of that unknown substance 
analogous to the sweet principle of fixed oils. It appears, in- 
deed, to have been nothing else but the oil of olives, containing 
some vegetable salt. 



Sketch of the Natural History of the Salmo Salar, or Com- 
mon Salmon. 1. Of the Process of Spawning, and sub- 
sequent evolution of the ova ; 2. Of the growth and move- 
merits of the Young Brood, to and from the sea during the 
first year of life ; and, 3. Of the migrations of the Salmon 
betwixt the River and the Sea. By Daniel Ellis, Esq. 
F.R.S.E., &c.* 

!^INCE the year 1824, a Committee of the House of Com- 
mons has been employed, during several sessions, in making in- 
quiries into the present state of the salmon fisheries through the 
United Kingdom. The Committee, in a great degree, origina- 
ted from numerous petitions presented to the House from Scot- 
land. To gain the necessary information, they, in the first place, 
prepared and distributed certain queries regai;ding the present 
state of the fisheries in the several rivers, estuaries, and adjacent 
seas ; the laws, usages, or regulations acted on, or applicable to 
these fisheries ; the extent to which the law is or can be enforced, 
and the customs and practices which oppose or counteract it ; 
the modes of salmon-fishing now in use ; and the actual day on 
which it commences and ceases in each fishery ; at what periods 
of the year it ought to commence and cease, so as to obtain the 
greatest supply of good salmon, and preserve most effectually 
the breed ; whether these periods should be the same for all 

• Drawn up from the evidence contained in two Reports of a " Select Com- 
mittee of the House of Commons, on the Salmon Fisheries of the United King- 
dom." Ordered by the House to be printed in 1824 and 1825. 



Mr D. Ellis on the Natural Historic of the Salmon, 251 

rivers, estuaries, &c. or should vary in different i-ivers; and, 
lastly, what regulations can best provide for the safety of the 
parent fish during the breeding season ; protect the spawn after 
its deposition ; and finally secure the descent of the young fry 
down the rivers to the sea. 

The answers returned to these queries enabled the Committee 
to summon before them persons from all parts of the kingdom, 
the best qualified to give the desired information ; and the evi- 
dence collected is contained in the above mentioned ReportsL 
This evidence goes to prove, that the productiveness of the sal- 
mon fisheries has decreased, and is decreasing, in almost all the 
rivers in the United Kingdom ; but that this decrease arises^ not 
so much from any changes in the habits of the fish, or in the 
condition and circumstances of our rivers, as from the operation 
of injudicious laws in relation both to the times and modes of 
fishing ; from the prevalence of most destructive practices, and 
incredible abuses in almost all our rivers ; and from the indul- 
gence of a too greedy spirit of gain, which, instead of waiting 
for the natural production of the golden egg, cuts up at once 
the animal that can only daily produce it. The facts brought 
out in these Reports, respecting the natural history of the sal- 
mon, particularly as regards the propagation of the race, their 
rate of growth, and their several migrations between the rivers 
and the sea, are far more complete than any we before possessed ; 
and, as they are not only curious in themselves, but of the ut- 
most importance in any legislative measures that may be adopt- 
ed for the future regulation of the salmon fisheries, I have 
thought that the collection and arrangement of them would 
form no unsuitable article for the Philosophical Journal, and per- 
haps prove acceptable to many of your general readers 

Naturalists enumerate several species of the genus Salmo, of 
which a distinguished zoologist, Dr Fleming, mentions seven as 
met with in the estuary of the Tay *. These are, 

1. Salmo salar, or Common Salmon. 

2. Salmo hucho, or Bull Trout. 

3. Salmo eriox, the Gray or Shewn. 

4. Salmo trutta, or Sea Trout. 

5. Salmo albus, the Whiteling or Finnock. 

6. Salmo fario, or River Trout. 

7. Salmo eperlanus, the Spirlin or Smelts 

• Report II. p. 63. 



252 Mr D. Ellis an tJie Natural Histcyry of the Salmon. 

On the present occasion, it is proposed to speak only of the 
first species, viz. the Salino salar, or common salmon ; and this 
we shall do, by treating, \sty Of the process of spawning, and 
subsequent evolution of the ova ; 2J, Of the growth and move- 
ments of the young brood to and from the sea, during the first 
year of life ; and, 3tZ, Of the migrations of the salmon betwixt 
the river and the sea. 

Of the process of Spazoning, and subsequent evolution of the 

Ova. 

The salmon is a very prolific animal. Both the male and fe- 
male frequently propagate their kind during the first year of 
their age ; while the older fishes, which inhabit alternately the 
seas and lower parts of rivers during the winter and spring 
months, ascend to the higher parts of rivers in autumn to exer- 
cise the same function. Early in spring the milt, or repro- 
ductive organ, appears to be forming in the male and the roe in 
the female salmon, but both are then small in size ; they in- 
crease in each sex through the summer months, and towards 
autumn the male and female become respectively full of milt 
and roe. In proportion as these bodies advance to ripeness, the 
salmon fall off* in condition. Before the spawn is of great size, 
the belly of the fish, says Dr Fleming, is loaded with fat ; but 
when the milt and roe have become ripe, that fat has disappear- 
ed from the belly, and it is little else but skin. This change 
furnishes a test by which we may know whether a kippered 
salmon had been in good or bad condition at the time it was so 
prepared ; for the thinner the edges of the belly may be, the 
presumption is, that the nearer was the fish to a spawning state*. 

In a general way, the evidence obtained from all parts of the 
United Kingdom goes to prove that, towards the months of 
August, September, and October, the reproductive organs, both 
in the male and female salmon, have, more or less, completely 
reached maturity, at which period the roe in the female is found, 
on the average, to contain from 17,000 to 20,000 ova or eggs. 
When arrived at this state, the instinct of propagation impels 
them eagerly to seek rivers, and to ascend nearly to their sources, 
jn order to find a place suitable for the deposition of their spawn. 
• Report II. p. 72. 



Mr D. Ellis on the Natural History oftlie Salman. 253 

They no longer, as in the winter and spring months, roam over 
the coasts and shores, and return backwards and forwards with 
the flowing and ebbing of the tide, but pursue the most direct 
route by the mid-channel up the river, and make the greatest 
efforts to overcome every obstacle, either natural or artificial, 
that may impede or obstruct their course. " I have often seen 
them leap a fall, near my residence," says Sir G. S. Mackenzie, 
" of about 30 feet high, but they seldom spring out of the water , 
more than 8 or 10 feet. I have seen them leap over a dry 
rock of considerable height, and drop into the water behind it. 
After having entered a river, the object of salmon appears to be 
to push as far up towards the source as possible, in order that 
they may deposit their spawn in the small streams that form 
their sources ; and which, on account of their being near the 
springs which supply them, are neither so apt to run dry as the 
river lower down, where the effect of evaporation is greater, 
nor to be so affected by frost as to stop the water from running. 
The water is alw^s steadier in its temperature near the sources, 
varying little throughout the whole year; and these small 
streams are fitted peculiarly for vivifying the spawn, as they 
form a constant succession of rills, by which the water is kept 
fully saturated with air *."" It is not always, however, that the 
spawning fish are able to reach these sources, but are obliged to 
deposit their spawn in the shallow fords in the beds of rivers, 
and sometimes in the streamlets of mill-dams. 

The process of spawning itself has been observed with much 
accuracy by Mr Halliday in the river Annan in Scotland, and 
by Mr Little in the Bann in Ireland. It is principally accom- 
plished in the months of November^ December, and January. 
According to Mr Halliday, when the parent fishes have reach- 
ed the spawning ground, they proceed to the shallow water, 
generally in the morning, or at twilight in the evening, where 
they play round the ground two of them together. After a 
time they begin to make a furrow by working up the gravel with 
their noses rather against the stream, as a salmon cannot work 
with his head down the stream, for the water going then into 
his gills the wrong way, drowns him. When the furrow is made, 
the male and female retire to a little distance, one to the one 

• Report I. Apt)endix, p. 17. 



25|f Mr D. Eliis ofi the Natural History of the Salmon, 

side and the other to the other side of tlie furrow : They then 
throw themselves on their sides, again come together, and, rub- 
bing against each other, both shed their spawn into the furrow 
at the same time. This process is not completed at once : It re- 
quires from 8 to \9> days for them to lay all their spawn, and 
when they have done they betake themselves to the pools to recruit 
themselves. He has seen three pairs on a spawning bed at one 
time, and stood «nd looked at them while making the furrow 
and laying the spawn *. 

The account given of the same process by Mr Little, agrees 
with that just stated. He observes that the spawning commen- 
ces in November in most rivers, and is continued through De- 
cember and January ; that, when a pair of salmon are about 
to spawn, they make a furrow in the shallow part or current of 
the water into which the spawn is deposited, so that they work 
- against the stream, increasing the number of furrows, until they 
have formed a bed of perhaps 12 feet by 8 or 10 ; the bed be- 
ing at first very little, but enlarging every d^y. He observed 
the salmon to go leisurely down the side of the bed, and, turn- 
ing round at the place where they had thrown up the gravel, 
come back to that point next the stream ; they then threw them- 
selves on their sides in the manner previously described, depo- 
siting their spawn in the furrow as they moved upward, and, at 
the same time, covering it over with the gravel as they went 
along. In this manner they continued working for several days 
till they completed their bed; and if it so happened that they 
were frightened, they would swim away, and in a little time re- 
turn to it again ; or, in some instances, would desert it alto- 
gether, and begin at another place -f. Dr Fleming has never 
himself seen the process of spawning so completely as to be able 
to describe it minutely ; but he is satisfied that the description 
given by Messrs Little and Halliday is accurate. Notwith- 
standing the number of eggs to be deposited, they must, he 
adds, be excluded one by one, which accounts for the long con- 
tinuance of the process ; and if, during the act of spawning, the 
male fish be destroyed, the female leaves the bed, and in the 
deep pools endeavours to find another male |. 

• Report I. p 61-2. f Ibid. I. p. 108. 

t Ibid II. p. 66. 



Mr D. Ellis a)i the Natural Histoid of the Salmon. ^siT 

In the statement of Mr Little, both the male and female fish 
are said to assist in forming the bed ; and Mr Halliday has 
often taken these fish, on their return to the sea, with the skin 
rubbed off below the jaws, of the size of a half-crown piece, 
occasioned by rubbing up the gravel and making furrows for 
the spawn *. At this particular period, the head of the male 
has been said to be furnished with a long hard bill on his under 
jaw, and which again decreases as the spawning season passes 
off. This bill or hook has been deemed by some an extra- 
ordinary provision of nature, to enable the male more effectually 
to aid in preparing the furrow destined to receive the spawn. But 
Dr Fleming says it is the under jaw itself of the male that is 
thus turned up ; that it appears to be a distinguishing mark of 
sex, and not produced by any mechanical means -f*. 

The spawn is, as we have said, deposited in furrows formed 
in the gravel, and is afterwards covered over with loose gravel, 
so as to resemble, says Mr Little, an onion bed in a garden. 
In this state the ova remain for weeks, or sometimes much 
longer, apparently inert, like seeds buried in the soil. The pe- 
riod at which the young fry begin to rise, depends much on the 
season of the year. They remain in the bed, says Mr Little, 
till some natural warmth comes into the river in the spring of 
the year. In an early spring the fry come forth early, and 
later when the spring is late. Generally they begin to rise from 
the bed about the beginning of March, and their first movement 
is usually completed by the middle of April. Mr Little has 
never himself seen the first appearance of the beds after evolu- 
tion has commenced, and previously to the fry quitting them ; 
but persons employed by him to protect the beds in the upper 
branches of the rivers, describe the young animals as rising from 
the beds like a crop of oats or thick braird of grain, rushing up 
in very great numbers. The tail first rises up, and the young 
animals often leave the bed with a portion of the investing mem- 
brane of the ovum about their heads J . Mr Halliday states also, 
that the fry generally come first into hfe from about the 10th of 
March to the 10th of April. They do not all, however, come 
into life exactly at one time, but nearly so, amd some appear to 

• Report I. p. 62. + Ibid II. p. 67- 

$ Ibid p. 100. S 



256 Mr D. Ellis on the Natural Historic of the Salmcyn. 

be much larger than others. He, too, has seen them, when dis- 
engaged from the spawning beds, with a portion of the skin of 
the ovum sticking to their nose like a scale *. 

During the winter 1824, Mr Hogarth jun. observed fre- 
quently the spawning beds in the River Don, and had the 
spawn taken from them occasionally to examine the state it was 
in, and found it advancing gradually. The first particular 
change observed in the roe, was the appearance of two black 
specks. In this state, a portion of it was taken up and put into 
phial bottles ; and, by supplying these with frequent changes of 
fresh water, many of the ova came into life. The young ani- 
mals lived in the bottles, and appeared very vigorous for about 
three weeks, the water being frequently changed. After this, 
they became restless and uneasy, would not eat, and died 
when they had attained the length of an inch. He procured 
an artist to make sketches of the appearances exhibited by the 
ovum in the successive stages of its evolution, as represented 
in Plate III. When a portion of the roe was put into salt 
water, none of the ova ever came into life ; and when a young 
fish, that had been hatched in fresh water, was put into salt wa- 
ter, it shewed symptoms of uneasiness, and died in a few hours. 
Whence it is inferred, that the spawn of salmon, if deposited in 
the sea, would not be evolved ; neither would the young fish, 
in the earliest periods of its life, be able to exist there, -f* 

Sect. II. Of the Descent of the Fry to the Sea, and of their 
subsequent growth and movements. 

Having thus described the process of spawning, and traced 
the series of changes exhibited in the evolution of the ovum, we 
have next to follow the progressive movements of the young fry 
from the place of their birth in the river, to their arrival in the 
ocean. When their evolution is completed, and they have dis- 
engaged themselves from the spawning beds, they keep at first 
in the eddy pools till they gain strength, and then prepare to 
go down the river, keeping, says Mr Little, near to its sides, 
and proceeding on their way till they meet with the salt water, 

• Report I. p. 62. | Report II. p. 92. 



Mr D. Ellis an the Natural History of the Salmon. 257 

when they disappear. * Whether the river be early or late, 
the descent of the fry is made much about the same time in all. 
It begins in the month of March, continues through April and 
part of May, and sometimes even to June, -f Mr Halliday also 
describes the fry as making towards the edges of the river soon 
after their birth, and keeping in the easy fresh water about its 
sides : afterwards, as they become stronger, they go more to- 
wards the mid-stream ; and, when the water is swelled by a lit- 
tle rain, they move gradually down the river. On meeting the 
tide, they remain for two or three days in that part where the 
water becomes a little brackish from the mixture of salt water, 
till their constitutions become inured to the change, when they 
go off to sea all at once, sinking down in the bed or channel in 
the middle J. From the end of March till the middle of May, 
he has seen them thus descending ; and, in particularly dry 
seasons, when no floods occur, they sometimes could not get 
down for want of water until the month of June §. 

That the young fry descend rivers at the times and in the 
manner above stated, is proved by the evidence of various wit- 
nesses, and more especially by Messrs Shepherd and Sime. To 
ascertain the precise course of their descent, both in rivers 
and in their estuaries, Messrs Shepherd and Sime were many 
years ago specially appointed, under legal authority, to exa- 
mine the river and estuary of the Tay, by going up the said 
estuary and river in the month of April, when the fry were de- 
scending, till they should find the fry, and see them distinctly 
making their way downwards. They accordingly proceeded up 
both sides of the Frith, from one end to the other, but could 
there meet with no salmon fry between high and low water 
mark. A little above a place called Carpow-bank, however, 
where the frith appears to begin, they met with the fry at the 
sides of the river, where they disappeared in the deep water, 
and where, with a small net, they caught many of them in the 
very middle of the channel. Above this point, and all the way 
upward to Perth, the fry were visible to the eye along the sides 

• Report I. p. 109. f Ibid. p. 62. 

t Ibid. p. 116. i Ibid. p. 63. 



^58 Mr D. Eliis on the Natural History, qftlie Salvi&ri. 

of the river. * The reason why the fry thus descend by the 
margin in rivers, and by the mid-channel in estuaries, is appa- 
rently, says Dr Fleming, because the margin of the river is the 
easy water, and consequently best suited to their young and 
weak state : but when they reach the estuary or tideway, 
then the margin of the water being there most disturbed, the 
fry avoid it, and betake themselves to the deepest part of the 
channel, disappearing aUke from observation and capture, and 
so go out to sea. Hence they are never seen in the pools on 
the banks of the estuary, nor caught in any of the nets used 
there in taking the small fish -f*. 

The young fry, at this period of their growth, are called 
sometimes Smolts or Samlets. They are of very different 
size and weight, according to their age, varying from half an 
ounce to two or more ounces. As they are never seen or taken by 
salmon fishers after they enter the sea, it is probable, says Dr Fle- 
ming, that they go into deep water at a distance from the shore. 

After remaining some weeks in the sea, the samlet returns to 
the coasts and rivers, and is sometimes seen as early as May in 
some rivers, being then about a pound or a pound and a half ia 
weight ; in Scotland it is then termed a Grilse. The grilses 
seldom, says Mr Little, appear till nearly the middle of June, 
and weigh then from two to two and a half or three pounds, in» 
creasing in size half a pound a week. By the end of the fishing 
season, they weigh from seven to nine pounds j . In the river 
Severn, they are said to return from the sea towards the end of 
June or beginning of July, weighing then from two and a half 
to three pounds, rarely four pounds ; but by the end of August, 
says Mr Ellis, they have grown so large as to weigh from four 
to eight pounds §. At this stage of growth they are called 
Botchers ; of these, some of the larger ones go up the river to 
spawn ; others are considered to return to the sea, and come up 
again the next spring of the year |1 ; they then weigh from ten 
to fifteen pounds, when they take the name of Gillings. 

Many experienced fishers, examined by the Committee, con- 
sider the grilse as a fish altogether of a different species from the 
salmon, while others regard it as the samlet in its progress to 

• Report I. p. 93. + Ibid. p. 11 1, 1 12. % Ibid. 

§ Ibid. II. Appen. p. 13. U Ibid. 



Mr D. Ellis oii the Natural History of the Sahtion. 259 

form the salmon. At the commencement of the grilse season, 
only small ones are taken, which increase gradually to the 
weight of seven or ciglit pounds. Now, were the grilse a dis- 
tinct species, we might, says Dr Fleming, expect to meet with 
some of them the following year as old fish, weighing nine 
or ten pounds, whereas, we get them only of small size, from 
one and a half to two or more pounds *. To ascertain the fact 
by experiment, Mr G. Hogarth jun, in the month of May 1824, 
when the samlets were going down the river Don, caused a num- 
ber of them to be taken ^nd marked by cutting off the mort or 
dead fin. In the course of the month of July, several grilses 
were taken without that fin; whence he inferred, that they were 
some of the fishes he had previously marked. Not only 
did samlets thus become grilses in a few weeks, but, in the 
following year (1825), he got three salmon, marked in the 
same way, which he also considered to be some of those indi- 
viduals he had marked originally as samlets. Farther, in 
the month of September in the year 1824, he caught ten or 
twelve grilses, which were put into a salt water pond. Owing 
to some very high tides that season, some of these fish made 
their escape, but there were three still alive in May of the 
following year. These he had taken out and examined in the 
presence of many competent judges, who all were decidedly of 
opinion that they were real salmon, t These experiments con- 
firm the statements already made, proving not only the growth 
of the smolt or samlet into the giilse or botcher, but also that of 
the grilse into the gilHng or salmon of one year'^s growth. 

With respect to the subsequent growth of the salmon, it is con- 
sidered that, in the river Severn, the young sahnon, which, in the 
spring of the year, weighs from ten to fifteen pounds, has increas- 
ed, in the following months of December and January, to eighteen 
and twenty-five pounds, and in another year would attain the 
weight of thirty-five or forty pounds, which is as large as they 
are now ever taken in that river. It is not doubted, however, 
that if they escaped the nets of the fishers, they would grow to 
a still greater size, a salmon having heretofore been taken which 
weighed fifty-two pounds when out of season ; and which would 
doubtless have been of greater weight had he been taken while 
in the condition of a clean fish. In the river Lee in Ireland, 
• Report II. p. 92. f Report II. Appen. p. 13. 



260 Mr D. Ellis on the Natural History of the Salmon. 

Mr G. Shepherd also states, that the grilses, or peels, as they are 
there called, which retreat to the sea, weighing from eight to ten 
pounds, make their reappearance in the river during the follow- 
ing autumn, weighing from twenty-four to thirty, or even thirty- 
four pounds *. 

Were we entitled from these facts and statements to estimate 
the rate of growth of the salmon from birth to the maturest state 
in which it comes to o^ tables^ we might perhaps say, that, in 
the first five months of its eifsl^ce, that is^ from April to Au- 
gust, both inclusive, it reaches, in favourable circumstances, to 
about eight pounds in weight, or grows at the average rate 
of about one pound nine and a-half ounces per month : that, 
from September following to March, seven months, it acquires 
seven pounds additional weight, or one pound per month : that, 
from April following to December, or nine months, it gains ten 
pounds additional weight, which is at the average rate of about 
one pound one and three-fourth ounces per month : and, lastly, 
that, through the next twelve months, it gains ten pounds more, 
or weighs thirty-five pounds, which is somewhat more than thir- 
teen one-fourth ounces per month. According to this calculation, 
the rate of growth is greatest in the first period, diminishes as the 
age increases, and is about one-half ere the salmon has attained to 
the third year of his age ; and by dividing the total weights by 
the total months, it will be found that the salmon acquires a 
weight of about thirty-five pounds in thirty-three months, 
which, on an average of the whole period, is nearly at the rate 
of one pound one ounce per month. We give this only as an 
approximation to the truth ; for the data assumed, both as to 
the periods of time taken, and the actual weights of the salmon 
at those periods, may not be the most correcti; and, regarded as an 
inference generally applicable, much variation in the result may 
exist in reference to salmon taken in different rivers, and even in 
the same rivers, under circumstances that vary the period of their 
birth, or their facilities in getting to the sea, where alone they 
seem able to procure a due supply of food. Experiments, like 
those described by Mr Hogarth in the preceding paragraph, if 
sufficiently extended and varied, and madd with all the requisite 
accuracy as to dates and weights, and with due care to identify 
and distinguish the individual fishes ex^perimented upon, would 

• Report H. p. 148. 



Mr D. Ellis o7i the Natural History of the Salmon. 261 

be the best adapted for ascertaining the proportionate rate of 
growth in these animals. 

Unfortunately, however, in the present practice of salmon 
fishing, experiments of this kind can hardly be continued for a 
sufficient length of time to obtain the required results. Many 
of the witnesses state, that the skill and perseverance of the 
fishers are now so great, that, under the stimulus which ready 
markets and high prices afford, very few of the clean salmon, 
which once pass up our rivers, are again permitted to return to 
the sea ; and, consequently, few salmon are now taken of more 
than one year's growth. In all the fisheries, north of the Tay, 
with which Mr Hogarth is acquainted, the proportion of grilses 
to salmon has, for many years past, been gradually increasing; 
so that, though the total weight of fish taken may not have di- 
minished, the quantity of salmon has, and this deficiency has 
been compensated for only by the increased weight of grilses. 
The cause of this decrease in the proportion of salmon is owing, 
continues Mr Hogarth, to the too assiduous and close manner 
of fishing, by which both the number and size of salmon have 
diminished. I am quite satisfied, he adds, that all our rivers 
are overfished, even those as to which the total weight of fish 
has increased *. The great proportion of grilses to salmon in 
some of the Irish rivers, is remarked by Mr Halliday -f* ; and 
Mr Little states, that, though the total weight of fish in the 
river Foyle, in Ireland, has much increased, yet it is mostly 
made up of grilse, it being seldom that any large salmon is 
taken in it. In the Shannon, the fish are a great deal larger, 
few of them being under twenty, and many thirty-five or forty 
pounds, and upwards J. 

After the process of spawning is completed in the river, the 
parent fish, says Mr Halliday, retire to the adjoining pools to 
recruit. In two or three weeks from that time, the male begins 
to seek his way down the river; the female remains longer 
about the spawning ground, sometimes until April or May. 
The fishes which have thus spawned are denominated keUs. 
These kelts, or spent-fish, come down the river, says Dr Fle- 

• Report II. p. 104, >09. t Report I. p. 64. 

X Report I. p. 112. 

JANUAEY MARCH 1828# 8 



263 Mr D. Ellis m the Natural History/ of the Sdlmmi, 

niing, during the spring months, from February to May inclu- 
sive; so that two or three months may intervene between the 
deposition of the spawn and the descent of the parent fish, vary- 
ing, probably, according to the degree of strength in the fish to 
undertake such migration, and the condition of the river in re- 
gard to the quantity of water. In their progress to the sea, 
when they reach the estuary, they pursue a course precisely si- 
milar to the fry, not roaming about the banks like clean fish, 
but keeping in the mid-channel. They are at this time compara- 
tively weak ; and, in thus betaking themselves to the deepest 
parts of the channel, they are better enabled to resist the de- 
ranging motion of the flood-tide, and to take advantage of the 
ebb-tide in accelerating their migration to the sea ♦. 

It would seem, from a fact mentioned by Mr Little, that 
some of the kelts, which may have gone down in the spring 
months to the sea, return again in autumn, in breeding condi- 
tion. He states, that the person, from whom he purchased the 
fisheries at Dumfries, told him, that he one year marked a great 
number of kelt-salmon going down to the sea, and they returned 
to him again that season, in full condition, going up the river to 
breed *. This rapid recovery of the kelt-salmon, after it reaches 
the sea, and speedy redevelopement of its reproductive organs, is 
not more remarkable than the early growth of these animals, 
and the developement of those organs in them, during the first 
months of their existence ; by which they are enabled, as is tes- 
tified by many witnesses, either to pair together, or with older 
fishes, and so to propagate their kind. 

These facts, concerning the propagation of the salmon, and 
the movements and growth of the young fry, are not only in- 
teresting in themselves, but derive additional importance from 
the generality of their occurrence, and their applicability to all 
the rivers in the United Kingdom, with such modifications only, 
as local circumstances and conditions may occasionally introduce. 
Nature has ordained that, in these, as in other animals living in 
their pristine state, there shall be one season of the year in which 
the organs of reproduction are fully developed : a second, in 
which the sexual function shall be discharged : and a third, in 
which the young progeny shall spring into life, and go through 
• Report II. p. 6& f Report I. Appendix, p. 13. 



Mr D. Ellis on the Natural History of the Salmon, ^()5 

their destined changes. These peri(x3s may be varied, to a cer- 
tain extent, by accidental circumstances, or the purposes of na- 
ture be in some instances entirely frustrated ; but such acci- 
dental occurrences only partially disturb, but do not counteract, 
the operation of general laws. In certain seasons, for example, 
a deficiency of water in any particular river may, in the first 
instance, prevent the parent fishes from ascending to deposit 
their spawn, when, by nature, they are prepared to do so ; and 
the proper season for spawning may thus be delayed, or some- 
times entirely lost. In other instances, obstacles, either natural 
or artificial, may oppose the ascent to the spawning grounds ; 
and the female be constrained, as she sometimes is, to discharge 
the ova in the deep water of rivers, or in the sea, where they are 
wholly lost. Even when she gains the upper parts of rivers, 
some time may elapse before she finds a suitable place to depo- 
sit the spawn, or a male to impregnate the ova : or the bed, in 
which the impregnated ova may have been duly deposited, may 
not retain a suitable quantity of water : or the water itself may 
become contaminated, and not furnished with air fitted to carry 
on the evolution of the o\a : or, though the water and air be 
duly supplied, a difference of temperature, arising from season, 
from elevation above the sea, or from the prevalence of winds, 
may check the progress of developement, and proportionably re- 
tard, in particular rivers and situations, the appearance of the 
young fry, or even prevent it altogether. Even when the evo- 
lution of the ova may have been accomplished in due time and 
manner, the want of water in rivers, during very dry seasons, 
may retard their descent to the sea until a later period than 
usual, or sometimes altogether prevent it. 

Making, however, all due allowance for these varying cir- 
cumstances and their corresponding results, there seem to be 
some rivers in which the breeding period of the salmon is uni- 
formly earlier than in others. Thus, says Mr Little, the rivers 
Annan, Esk and Nith, do not afford salmon in perfection until 
a full month after the Dee, which is adjacent to them ; and the 
salmon caught in the Dee are in bad condition nearly a month 
sooner than in the other rivers ; they are full bellied, and in 
worse condition. So, likewise, the salmon taken in the river 
Shannon in Ireland, are in greatest perfection in February, 

s2 



264 Mr D. Ellis on the Natural History of the Salmon. 

March and April ; and the fishing there is nearly over by the 
middle of May *. A similar remark is applicable to the Lee, 
and other rivers in Ireland ; to the Eden, Severn, and some 
others in England ; and to the Ness and Thurso in Scotland. 
This may probably arise from these rivers possessing a higher 
mean temperature at the season alluded to, the direct operation 
of heat, in accelerating the developement of the reproductive or- 
gans being not less marked and striking in the animal, than it is 
in the vegetable kingdom. 

Section 3. — Of the Migrations of the Salmon betwixt the 
Rivers and the Sea. 

We have seen, that the brood of the salmon, after a short re- 
sidence in the sea, return to rivers greatly increased in size. 
Many practical fishers, those especially connected with river 
fisheries, contend, that not only the young brood, but the older 
salmon, always make efforts to revisit their native rivers. That 
many do so is proved by the facts already stated, of salmon, 
which, having been marked on going down to the sea, have been 
afterwards retaken in the same river, and identified : But it is 
equally certain, that numbers of fish, thus previously marked, 
have never been retaken in their native rivers, but sometimes in 
another that adjoins it ; and when we consider, says Dr Flem- 
ing, the numerous foes which unceasingly persecute the salmon 
during its abode in the sea, which must necessarily mix the fa- 
milies or tribes belonging to different estuaries and rivers, it 
seems difficult to conceive, how, after such intermixture, the 
breeds of different rivers could again separate and collect into 
their original groups -(•. The assertion made by several expe- 
rienced witnesses, that they can discriminate the salmon of dif- 
ferent rivers by original peculiarities of form, may be met by 
that of others, equally experienced, Mr Halliday for example, 
who denies that any such distinction is practicable. That sal- 
mon, however, do frequently differ considerably in point of form 
from one another I have repeatedly witnessed, says Dr Flem- 
ing, by looking at the fish taken at the same place by the same 
net, and collected together in a boat ; but these variations are 
not greater than in other species of animals, subject to variations 
• Keport I. p. 114. T Report II. p. 70. 



Mr D. Ellis on tJie Natwal History qftlie Salmon. 9i&5 

in the place of their residence, and in the quantities and quali. 
ties of their food *. 

The migration of the salmon from the sea to the river, and 
back again from the river to the sea, would seem, in certain ri- 
vers, to take place at short intervals, through every period of 
the year. During all the spring and summer months, says Mr 
Little, salmon continue to visit the rivers from the sea. When 
they thus enter the river early, they would soon go back if they 
were not killed. After being some little time in the river, they 
would naturally return to the sea as soon as there was a little 
flood. He has known them taken in the river Annan when 
thus going down again to the sea •(• ; — a fact confirmed by Mr 
Halliday, in the most distinct terms. He fished the river An- 
nan for several years ; and states, tliat there is one pool in par- 
ticular in that river, which he had often fished, quite clean before 
rain came on ; yet, whenever the rain did come, he continued 
fishing till the water rose so high as to stop the operation ; and 
all the time he caught salmon coming down the river, some of 
them much exhausted, and quite changed in colour, as if they 
had been hung in a smoky chimney, and others very red in the 
skin. He has taken more than a hundred fish, in one night, in 
that pool, after the rain had commenced, although it had been 
fished clean immediately before J. 

But, though the disposition in salmon to enter rivers, at short 
intervals, may be universally the same under similar circum- 
stances ; yet the fact, that they are found in different rivers, at 
different times, seems to point to some diff*erences in the circum- 
stances and conditions of those rivers, which counteract these 
natural dispositions. Thus, in the rivers Ness and T'hurso in 
Scotland ; in the Severn, the Eden, and others in England ; and 
in the Shannon and Lee in Ireland, the months of December, 
January, and particularly February, are declared, by various 
witnesses, to be the best times in which salmon are taken in 
those rivers, both in regard to the quantity and quality of the 
fish ; and some of these rivers begin to fall off" after this period, 
and, towards April and May, yield few or no fish. Other rivers 
again, as the Tay and the Tweed, do not yield fish so soon as 
the former, but continue to afford them, in a marketable condi- 

• Report II. p. 70. f Report I. p. 10& 

X Ibid. p. 61. 



^66 Mr D. Ellis on the Natural History of the Salmon, 

tion, till September ; and others are said not to repay the ex- 
pence of fishing them till March, or even April, and to yield 
the best fish in May and June. 

This difference of time, in the appearance of the salmon in 
different rivers, cannot be ascribed to any difference in geogra- 
phical position, as far as regards these islands ; for the Ness, 
which is one of the earliest rivers in Britain, is situate in the 
highest latitude. It must therefore be sought for in some local 
circumstances and conditions, which more or less adapt particu- 
lar rivers to the taste and habits of the fish. Now, the Ness, 
we are told, flows out of a lake of great depth, which never 
freezes. In the year T807, Mr Alexander Fraser states, that, 
at Inverness, the temperature, for ten days, was from 23° to 30°, 
or more, below the freezing point ; yet this intense cold made 
no impression either on the river or the lake ; and clean fish, he 
adds, pass up the Ness every month in the year, except May 
and June *. It is probable, therefore, that the comparatively 
high temperature of the Ness, during the winter months, in- 
duces salmon to enter it at a time when they are repelled from 
other rivers, which, either from their shallowness, or from re- 
ceiving large quantities of water produced by the melting of 
snow, are reduced to a temperature unsuited to the economy 
and habits of the fish. It is well known, says Sir G. Macken- 
zie, that, while snow is melting on the mountains, few fish go 
up rivers. Whether it be its coldness, or any other cause, that 
makes them dislike snow water, I cannot tell ; but the fact has 
been noticed, and is consistent with my own observation -j-. 

As these fishes seem thus to decline entering rivers when 
much reduced in temperature, so, at other seasons, they seem 
equally to avoid them when their temperature is too high. 
During the summer season, the water, in many rivers, becomes 
so small, and gets so hot, that the salmon will not enter them, 
but linger upon the coasts, and about the mouth of the river. 
In one very dry and warm season, when stake-nets were in use 
in the estuary of the Tay, the salmon, says Mr Halliday, did 
not even approach the highest stake-net during the neap-tides ; 
but, when the spring-tides became high, the fish then came up 
to those nets, and were taken ; when, again, these latter tides 
fell off, the nets on the lower parts of the frith caught a great 
• Report II. p. 43. f Report I. Appendix, p. 17- 



Mr D. Ellis on tite Natural Hutory of the Salmon. 267 

deal more fish, which did not then float up so high as the upper 
nets *. Many otlier witnesses give a similar testimony, as to 
the refusal of salmon to enter rivers when much heated. The 
temperature of the sea is probably that best suited to the econo- 
my of these animals ; and those rivers, therefore, which come 
nearest to that temperature, will probably be preferred by them ; 
and as the ordinary heat of fishes is very near to that of the 
medium in which they live, a temperature, either much above 
or below that of the sea, is, in all likelihood, unsuited to their 
nature. 

If, however, freshes and floods occur in any particular river 
during the hot season, salmon then move up them, even many 
'months before the spawning season. Some of these may re- 
main in the upper parts of rivers, if they find water sufficient 
to harbour and protect them, until that season arrives; but 
others, as we have seen, avail themselves of subsequent floods to 
revisit the sea, in which alone they may be said to thrive. It is 
not, however, the freshes and floods in all rivers that induce 
salmon to enter them ; for sometimes the water brought down 
certain rivers, is impregnated with matter disagreeable to the 
fish. The rivers Ness, Ewes, Shin, and Thurso, says Mr 
Stevenson, supply the earliest fish in Scotland : the Tweed and 
Tay also supply early fish, but not so early as the former rivers. 
Now, the four first rivers are discharged from the largest lakes 
in Scotland, and in these lakes the water is purified before it is 
sent down the rivers, in the winter and spring months. So like- 
wise the Tweed and Tay nm principally through clayey soils, 
and their waters, in spring floods, are not impregnated with 
matter disagreeable to the fish. But rivers which run through 
a mossy district, and discharge their waters into the sea, with- 
out previous purification in large reservoirs or lakes, as the 
Findhorn, Conon, Beauly, Spey, and many others, — such rivers, 
when swollen by the melting snows in the spring months, are 
turbid and disagreeable to the salmon until about the month of 
April, when they begin to discharge light spring rains, sweet, 
and comparatively free from the impurities of an earlier period. 
It is then only, he adds, that these latter rivers begin to yield 
fish, that is, not till the lake-rivers are beginning to fail ; indeed, 
> • Beport I. p. 72. 



268 Mr D. Ellis ofi the Natural History of the Salmon. 

when the seasons of some of them have been terminated. From 
observations and facts which have come within his own know- 
ledge, the witness is convinced, that, if an account of the quan- 
tities of fish taken at the various fisheries in Scotland, and the 
exact periods at which they are taken, were obtained, it would 
be found that all the rivers discharged from lakes, produce 
fish at an early period of the year; whilst those discharged 
from a mossy country, do not produce fish until they commence 
to send down the sweet spring rains. When, therefore, it is 
supposed that salmon is in season at different periods of the 
year, in different rivers, the supposition is so far correct : it does 
not, however, depend upon the state in which the fish is at that 
period, but on the state the river is in. Salmon are extremely 
nice, and only go into fresh water when it is exactly to their 
taste ; and when the river is in a state to induce fish to enter 
it, they are gotten of much finer quality than at a period 
when they do not enter so readily *. In accordance with these 
views, another respectable evidence, Mr Moir, states, that sal- 
mon will not enter foul water if they can avoid it ; in proof of 
which, a case exactly in point, says he, occurs in this neighbour- 
hood. The bay of N.igg is perhaps the most productive sea- 
fishery on this coast (Aberdeen), yet, when the river Dee is dis- 
coloured by peat-bog water, that water is carried into the bay 
of Nigg by the flowing of the tide : at such times not a single 
salmon will enter it, and the fishing is frequently interrupted 
for several days together from this cause -I*. 

In the migrations of salmon from the sea to the river in the 
winter and spring months, their course through the estuary 
seems altogether different from that which they pursue in au- 
tumn. In the latter period, impelled by the instinct of propa- 
gation, they pursue their route in the most direct way through 
the mid-channel, rushing up with the greatest eagerness, where 
there is water sufficient to convey them, and braving all obstacles 
to their ascent : in the former, they roam over the banks of the 
estuary and of the mouths of rivers, borne up with the flowing 
tide as far as it will carry them, and often returning again to 
the sea with the ebb tide. It is indeed only when thus roaming- 
over the banks that salmon are taken in the estuaries, where 

* Report II. p. 12X-2. + Report II. Appendix, p. 173. 



. Mr D. Ellis cm thi Natural History of the Salmon. 269 

stake-nets are employed, these nets being made to extend upon 
the coasts between high and low water-mark. That salmon 
move upwards and downwards with the tide, is testified by many 
witnesses, who have seen and intercepted them in their down- 
ward course : and, by the fact, that stake-nets are commonly 
provided with ebb as well as with flood courts, on purpose to 
meet this disposition in the salmon, and do actually catch some- 
times as many fish in their downward as in their upward course. 
Hence, too, it is, that when, in autumn, salmon become full of 
spawn, and desert the coasts, betaking themselves more to the 
mid-channel, in order to ascend rivers, few are taken in stake- 
nets ; and, for the same reason, as the kelts or spawned fish 
descend, like the fry in the mid-channel, they are rarely, if ever, 
intercepted by the stake-nets. 

But why, it may be asked, do salmon thus visit the coasts of 
the sea and of the estuaries of rivers, linger upon them, and 
seem indifferent about entering rivers, unless they are, in all re- 
spects, suited to their taste ? To this they are apparently im- 
pelled by the strength of the appetite, which, next to that of 
propagation, exerts the greatest force over the movements of 
animals, viz. that of hunger. On the banks of estuaries, sal- 
mon, says Mr Halliday, find a great deal of food ; he has taken 
a great many salmon in the frith and estuaries with worms pass- 
ing through them; such worms as are to be seen on those banks*. 
During the fishing season of 1823, Mr Moir received all the 
salmon caught in the stake-nets set between the rivers Don and 
Ythan ; also the whole of the fish taken in the bay of Nigg ; 
those taken, likewise, at the bridge of Dee, and at nine other 
small fisheries in that river. As all these fish were cut up for 
the purpose of being preserved in a fresh state, he had an op- 
portunity of examining their stomachs. In the stomachs of 
those taken in the upper river fisheries, he could never detect 
any kind of food ; whereas, those taken in the sea were fre- 
quently gorged wi»h food, which was principally sand-eels 
(Ammodytes tobianus of Lin.) : The different appearance of the 
fishes corresponded with that of their stomachs, those taken 
from the river being softer and inferior to those got from the 
sea Whence he concludes, that salmon frequent the flat sands 
B>eipori I. p. 61. 



JW> Mr D. Ellis on the Natural History of the Salmon. 

between the Don and Ythan, for the purpose of feeding ; and, 
for the same reason, he adds, they frequent the coasts at Mussel- 
burgh and Aberlady, which abound with sand-eels, and are suc- 
cessful stations for the stake-net, though the one place is thirty, 
and the other forty, miles from a spawning river *. 

That salmon do obtain the chief part of their food during 
their residence in salt water, seems certain from the fact, attest- 
ed by various persons, that they are in greatest perfection when 
taken out of the sea, or very shortly thereafter ; and that they 
fall off in condition in proportion to their abode in rivers. Sal- 
mon taken in the sea, says Mr Halliday, are by far the richest 
and best ; they are both weightier and fatter, and in firmer con- 
dition. If detained in fresh water at any season, they become 
unsound, and if this happen during the warm weather of sum- 
mer, they are soon rendered unfit for food -f*. The largest fish 
are usually got at sea-fisheries, says Mr Stevenson, and the 
nearer they are got to the salt water the finer is their quality ; 
so much so, that any one versed in the state of salmon, would 
at once be able to pick out, from 500 head of fish, those that 
had been more than two or three days in the river J. As it 
thus appears that the stomach of the salmon is filled with food, 
and his condition the most perfect, while roaming over the coasts 
of the sea and the banks of estuaries ; and that he is found with 
an empty stomach, and in very inferior condition, after a short 
residence in fresh water, we readily see not only why he visits 
the coasts of the sea, but lingers upon them ; why, if he is in- 
duced to move upwards with the tide, he again returns with it ; 
and why, when he may have pushed up rivers during floods, 
he soon tries again to revisit the sea, where alone he is enabled 
to find proper and sufficient food to satisfy his hunger, and ade- 
quately support his growth. 

From the facts thus stated respecting the migrations of the 
salmon, at different periods of its life, it would seem that it can 
begin to live only in fresh water, and that, in the earliest period 
of its existence, salt water is fatal to it ; that, at a period some- 
what later, it descends rivers on its way to the sea, where it in- 
creases rapidly in size, and in two or three months returns again 
to the river. 

• Report II, p. 171. t Kejjon I. ^0. + Report II. p. 122. 



Mr D. Ellis on the Natural History of the Scdiiwn. 271 

During the summer months, salmon from the sea proceed 
sometimes high up those rivers, which are furnished with a due 
supply of water, either permanently, or during occasional floods ; 
and in subsequent floods they try again to return to the sea : at 
this time of the year, however, their migrations into rivers are 
often limited to the point to which the tide flows^ and they re- 
turn again to the estuary and sea with the ebb-tide. 

In autumn, again, the male and female salmon ascend to the 
shallow fords and sources of rivers to breed, remaining there 
during the winter months, the male, howevel*, returning early 
in the following year, and the female not till March or April. 

Beside the breeding-fish, which descend in the winter and 
early spring months, clean salmon from the sea are constantly 
ascending and descending those rivers, which, by the quantity^ 
quality, and temperature of their water, are fitted to receive 
them. 

With respect to the causes which influence these alternate 
migrations of salmon, it would appear that they move towards 
the sea chiefly in search of the food found on its coasts, and 
on those of estuaries ; whilst the chief impulse that urges their 
movement up rivers, is the propagation of their kind, whe|;e 
alone the spawning process can be duly exercised. As to the 
cause of their seeking fresh water, when not urged by that im- 
pulse, we can ofler no other reason than that of a sort of instinct^ 
which incites them to remove occasionally into fresh water, 
in which alone they were at first able to exist; whilst the 
appetite for food calls them again back to the sea. Perhaps, if 
the water of rivers were always in sufficient quantity, and per- 
fectly suited to the taste and economy of salmon, they would 
be moving backwards and forwards from the sea to the river, 
and from the river to the sea, at intervals more or less great ; 
and, therefore, the different jxjriods in which they appear in 
different rivers, is owing to the different circumstances and con- 
ditions in which those rivers may be, rather than to any na- 
tural difference in the economy or habits of the fish. How far 
they move into the deep sea is not known, but that they roam 
over the coasts, at great distances from the mouths of rivers, is 
certain from the fact of their being captured in such situations. 

3 



272 Mr D. Ellis on the Natural History of the Salmon. 

Description of Plate III. exhibiting the Evolution of the Ova 

of Salmon. 

Fig. 1. The ovum of the natural size, after the embryo has become 
quick in it : at this stage, the body of the embryo has a 
pinkish tinge, and the eyes are disproportionably large. 

Fig. 2. The shell just burst, and the head of the embryo protruding. 

Fig. 3. State of the subject eight hours after it had burst the shell, at 
which time the pulsations of the heart are very visible. 

Fig. 4. The shell just thrown oflf, with the tail drooping : before the 
shell bursts, the tail envelopes the yolk or bladder, which is 
seen attached to the body of the fish. The shell itself is 
transparent, and about one-third part of it is fractured by 
the fish in extricating itself. 

Fig. 5. The tail of the young fish has now become straight ; the mouth 
is distinct, and the lower jaw and pectoral fins, which are 
quite transparent, are in motion, and keep time with the 
heart, which beats from 60 to 65 times in a minute : At 
first, the body of the fish is colourless, with slight marks of 
articulation of the bones, or of stripes on the skin ; the bag 
attached to the fish is transparent, and is filled with a light 
# amber-coloured albuminous fluid, with some drops of a clear 

rose-coloured oil in it. 

Fig. 6. Represents fig. 3. magnified. The bag beneath the belly is ex- 
tremely soft and yielding, and the shell is still seen bind- 
ing the young animal. 

Fig. 7. Represents fig. 5. magnified. The heart is placed before the 
pectoral fins, and under the throat, and is connected with a 
large bloodvessel that runs along the front and bottom of 
the bag, as is more clearly seen in fig. 8. The bag, which 
was at first round, becomes, in a day or two after the fish 
leaves the shell, more and more elongated ; with a micro- 
scope, the circulation may be seen. The blood flows from 
under the body of the fish, through vessels which ramify 
upon the sides of the bag, and from these it is collected, 
and continued into the large vessel before mentioned, which 
is connected with the heart : from the heart the blood is 
again thrown, with regular pulsations, into the vessels of 
the head and throat, where it is seen to assume a darker hue, 
as well as to the other parts of the body : air, it is said, or 
some transpaient fluid, is seen to circulate, in equal quan- 



PLATE m. 



Edin rn£w rfui . jffur. roi.iv:^^/2. 




Ilj.2. 




6: 




Fu^:^. 




^vefutun c^tA^ Ov»ff^lAe StUmo StilarofChmfnan, Sabnat, 



PuHished by A.Bfaek r.diti:ii2S. 



Mr D. Ellis cm the Natural History of the Salmon. j?73 

tity with the Wood. The rays of the gills ai*e distinctly 
seen, and the body of the young animal begins to assume a 
brownish colour. 
Kg. 8. A sketch of fig. 5. magnified, to shew more distinctly the cir- 
culation of the blood. 
We have no doubt of the general accuracy of these representations of 
the changes exhibited in the evolution of the ovum of the salmon. But the 
reader will bear in mind that they are not made by an anatomist, and cannot 
therefore be expected to present that minuteness of observation, and extent 
of description, into which one familiar with such subjects would have entered. 



On the Temperature of the Interior of' the Earth. By M. L. 
CoRDiER, Member of the Royal Academy of Sciences, and 
Professor of Geology in the Garden of Plants*. 

X HE supposition of a central fire is extremely ancient. It is 
perhaps coeval with the first dawnings of civilization, and has 
furnished a basis to some of the fables in which the infancy of 
the human race has been cradled, traces of it being found in the 
mythology of almost all nations. It originated from the very 
imperfect observation of certain natural phenomena, too obvious 
to have at any time escaped the notice of the vulgar. Confound- 
ed for ages amidst vague and conjectural notions, which con- 
stituted nearly all the physics of the ancients and of the middle 
ages, this hypothesis only began to assume some consistency, af- 
ter the discovery of the laws of the planetary system. Descartes, 
Halley, Leibnitz, Mairan,'Buffon especially, and several other phi- 
losophers of modern times, adopted it, resting chiefly upon consi- 
derations deduced from the figure of the earth, from certain 
astronomical phenomena, from the mobility of the subterranean 
principle which produces magnetic action, from the comparison 
of the temperatures of the surface with those observed at small 
depths, and from various experiments on the cooling of incan- 
descent bodies. 

The inferences derived from these sources not constituting a 
body of demonstration sufficiently direct to carry conviction with 
it, many learned men who were contemporary with those men- 
tioned, remained undecided, while others supported the old opi- 
nion, which attributed to the earth no other heat than what it 

• Read to the Academy of Sciences 4th June 1827. 



274 M. L. Cordier, on the Temperature of 

may receive from the solar rays. The latter opinion at length 
became the prevailing one. It owed its success in a great mea- 
sure to the influence of the celebrated geological system pro- 
duced about the middle of the last century, of which Pallas, 
Saussure and Werner were the principal promoters, and which 
for a long time met with no opposition. This system supposes 
that the original fluidity of the globe took place through the 
medium of water, that the whole mass was consolidated, stratum 
after stratum, from the centre to the circumference, by aqueous 
crystallization ; and that the volcanic phenomena are mere local 
effects. 

The opinion on this subject has undergone a great change 
within these few years. This change, which has been extremely 
slow in its progress, so great were existing prejudices, commen- 
ced at the end of the last century. It is to be chiefly attributed 
to the following circumstances : Important discoveries have been 
made in geology ; the relative position of the materials compos- 
ing the oldest formations of the crust of the globe, has been found 
to be different from what had been formerly asserted ; it has 
been proved that the volcanic agents reside under the primitive 
rocks ; the true nature of lavas, and their identity in all parts of 
the earth, have been discovered ; the analogy of a multitude of 
strata of all ages to lavas has been demonstrated ; the facility 
with which all these originally fluid and incandescent matters 
have crystallized by mere cooling, has been proved and under- 
stood ; and the theory of aqueous crystallizations has become 
perplexed. On the other hand, accurate and numerous facts 
relating to the motion of radiant heat, and of the heat which is 
propagated in bodies from one molecule to another, have been 
made known by satisfactory experiments. These facts have been 
connected by mathematical theories of the most general nature. 
Ingenious observations have placed beyond doubt the continual 
radiation of the superficial heac of the earth into celestial space. 
The ideas which have been long entertained in regard to the 
inconsiderable depths to which the horary, daily, monthly and 
annual variations of temperature reach in the soil or strata of 
diff*erent countries, and the level at which a fixed temperature 
commences, have been carefully verified. Lastly, new experi-. 
ments have been undertaken regarding the temperature of deep 
places accessible to us, and that of the waters coming from them. 



the Intenor of the Earth. 275 

The results have Ijcen compared witli one anotlier, and with the 
mean temperatures of the surface, and the important conchision 
has been drawn, that, proceeding from the level at which the 
fixed temperature commences in the soil of each country, the 
heat increases rapidly as the depth advances, and this in a quan- 
tity which has been valued at 1° centig. for every thirty or forty 
metres *. 

These remarkable facts, considered partially by some, and 
grouped in various ways by others, have carried with them all 
who had a predilection for the hypothesis of central heat. The 
common conclusion is, that the earth possesses in its interior a 
temperature, incomparably more elevated than the compound 
temperature which is observed at the surface ; and even accord- 
ing to some, that beyond a certain depth, there probably exist 
an incandescence and a fluidity, whose origin has been coeval 
with the commencement of things. 

La Grange and Dolomieu were the first who revived the 
hypothesis of central heat. Hutton and his able commentator 
riayfaii', must also be mentioned, notwithstanding the obscurity 
in which they involved their opinion, and the errors into which 
they fell when employing this principle in the support of geolo- 
gy. More lately, this great question has been investigated by 
the illustrious geometrician whose loss the sciences have to de- 
plore, M. de La Place, and before him, by Mr. Fourier, who 
was naturally led into the subject by his memorable researches 
regarding the general theory of heat. Other autliorities would 
not be wanting, were it possible to make mention here of the 
many learned men, especially in England, who, during the last 
twenty years, have successively adopted the same opinion. 

Thus the hypothesis of subterranean heat now presents itself, 
supported by a mass of authorities and facts which no longer 
permits us to view it as a creature of the imagination. In the 
state in which the subject now stands, this hypothesis seems 
to merit the particular attention of the learned world. If the 
proofs adduced in its favour are insufficient, recourse must be 
had to new observations ; if they suffice, we must hasten to a- 
dopt the principle, determine its characters, deveiope its conse* 
quences, and if it be possible elicit its applications. 

• Metre is 3 feet and 3.371 inches English, «r 39.371 inches. 



276 M. L. Cordicr on the Temperature of 

If we examine the data of this great problem, it is easy to 
see that only one of them might lead to uncertain results. This 
datum, which is at the same time the most direct and the most 
decisive, is that which is grounded on the experiments from 
which it has been inferred that the temperature of the earth 
augments progressively from the surface toward the centre. It 
may be asked, if these experiments are accurate, if they have 
been suitably discussed, if they are sufficient, and if the infe- 
rences that have been drawn from them leave nothing to be de- 
sired ? 

I have thought that it would be useful to settle these doubts, 
and this for the interest of science in general, more than for that 
of an opinion which I have myself cherished for a very long time, 
and to which I have already paid the tribute ol' my researches 
in other points of view. Such is therefore the principal object 
of the memoir, which I have now the honour of communicating 
to the Society. 

M. Cordier then proceeds to a very interesting examination of 
the various experiments on subterranean temperature, hitherto 
published, in which he discusses all that is known in regard, 1^^, 
To the temperature of the water, whether running or standing, 
met with in mines ; 9.dly^ To the temperature of the air in the 
shafts, galleries, and levels of mines ; and, Sdly^ To the tempe- 
rature of the air in caves, as in those for instance under the Ob- 
servatory at Paris. From these details he draws the following 
conclusions : — 1. If we except a certain number of observations, 
as not sufficiently satisfactory, all the others announce, in a more 
or less positive manner, that there exists a remarkable increase 
of temperature, proceeding from the surface of the earth towards 
the interior. 2. The results obtained at the Observatory at 
Paris, are the only ones from which a numerical expression of 
the law, which this increase follows, may be deduced with cer- 
tainty. This expression carries to twenty-eight metres, the 
depth which corresponds to the increase of 1° of subterranean 
heat. It results from this, that, at the depth of 2,503 metres 
under Paris, we would reach a temperature of 212° of Fahren- 
heit's scale. 3. A small number only of the other results fur- 
nish numerical expressions, sufficiently near the law in question 
to be admitted. These expressions vary from 57 to 13 metres. 



the Interior of the Earth. 277 • 

for 1* of increase ; their mean announces in general a more ra- 
pid increase than that hitherto admitted. 4. Lastly,' in group- 
ing by countries all the admissible results, I am led to a new 
and important idea, which is, that the differences between the 
results collected in the same place, do not depend solely upon 
the imperfect nature of the experiments, but also upon a certain 
irregularity in the distribution of the subterranean heat in dif- 
ferent countries. 

In the second part of the memoir, M. Cordier gives a detailed 
account of his own experiments on subterranean temperature, 
made in coal-mines in France. These were conducted with 
great care, and are apparently the most accurate hitherto made. 
From these experiments, and those enumerated in the first part 
of the memoir, he draws the following conclusions : — 

1. Our experiments fully confirm the existence of a subterra- 
nean heat, which is peculiar to the terrestrial globe, does not de- 
pend on the solar rays, and increases rapidly with the depthi^ 
2. The increase of the subterranean heat does not follow the 
same law over the whole earth ; it may be twice or three times 
as much in one country as in another. 3. These differences are 
not in constant relation, either with the latitudes or longitudes. 
4. Lastly, The increase is certainly more rapid than has been 
supposed ; it may go so high as a degree for every 15 or even 
13 metres, in certain countries : provisorily the mean term can- 
not be fixed at less than 25 metres. These important con- 
clusions, M. Cordier remarks, fix the bases, at the same time 
modifying them considerably, according to which the mathe- 
matical theory of the dispersion of heat, in bodies of large di- 
mensions, may be applied to the earth. They are in hai*mony 
with the inferences derived from phenomena, of so very dii*- 
ferent a nature, which have long afforded evidence of the inter- 
nal incandescence of the earth. Brought into mutual connec- 
tion, these different elements give rise to new combinations, and 
to remarkable applications. In our opinion, there may be eli- 
cited from them numerous inductions, calculated to throw light 
on the most obscure, and, at the same time, the most essential 
parts of geology. The following are the principal of these in- 
ductions : 

JANUARY — MARCH 1828. T 



278 M. L. Cordier on the Temperature of 

1. All the phenomena observed, being in accordance with the 
mathematical theory of heat, announce that the interior of the 
earth is furnished with a very elevated temperature, which is 
peculiar to it, and which has belonged to it since the origin of 
things ; and, on the other hand, the volume of the earth's mass 
being infinitely greater than that of the mass of waters (about 
ten thousand times greater)^ it is very probable that the fluid- 
ity which the globe incontestibly possessed, before assuming its 
spheroidal form, was owing to heat. 

2. This heat was excessive, for that which may at present 
exist at the centre of the earth, supposing a continued increase 
of 1 degree for every 25 metres of depth, would exceed 3500'' 
of Wedgwood's pyrometer (upwards of 250,000° centigr.) 

3. It must be admitted that the temperature of 100° of Wedg- 
wood's pyrometer, — a temperature capable of melting all the 
lavas, and a great part of the other known rocks, exists at a 
depth which is very small, compared with the diameter of the 
earth ; and, for example, from my experiments, that this depth 
is less than 6B leagues, of 5000 metres, at Carmeaux, 30 leagues 
at Littry, and 23 leagues at Decise, numbers which correspond 
to 5^, /^, and /j of the mean radius of the earth. 

4. There is, therefore, every reason to believe, that the inter- 
nal mass of the globe is still possessed of its original fluidity, 
and that the earth is a cooled star, which has been extinguished 
only at its surface, as Descartes and Leibnitz thought. 

5. If there be considered, on the one hand, the extent which 
Dolomieu's observations on the seats of volcanic foci *, and 
our own experiments on the composition of lavas, have given to 
volcanic phenomena -f, and, on the other, the great fusibility of 
the matters which all the volcanoes of the globe at present throw 
up, or even of those which they ejected long ago ; it must be 
inferred that the internal fluidity commences, at least in many 
points, at a depth much less than that at which the temperature 
of 100 degrees of Wedgwood's pyrometer. 

• Dolomieu, Rapport sur ses Voyages in 1797- Journal des Mines, t. vii, 
p. 385. 

t Recherches sur Differens Produits Volcaniques. Journal des Mines, 
t. xxi, p. 249. and t. xxiii. p. 55. — Memoire sur la Composition des Laves de 
tous les Ages. Jouni. de Phys. t. Ixxxiii. p. 135. 



the Interior of tJie Earth. 279 

6. The crust of the earth, not including the superficial and 
incomplete pellicle, which is named secondary, being formed 
by refrigeration, it follows that consolidation has taken place 
from without inwards, and consequently that the layers of the 
original rocks nearest the surface are the oldest. In other terms, 
the primordial formations are so much the more recent, the 
deeper the level at which they occur, which is just the reverse of 
what has hitherto been admitted in geology. 

7. M. Fourier, on considering the distribution of subterranean 
heat at the depths which are accessible, the temperature of the 
poles, and the existence of radiation toward the celestial spaces, 
has demonstrated that the earth continues to cool *. This cool- 
ing is insensible at the surface only, because the loss of heat there 
is continually compensated by the effect of a propagation, which 
uniformly proceeds from without inwards, a compensation which 
is nearly perfect, which continually approaches the state of equi- 
librium, and which experiment and theory perfectly explain. 
The loss of heat has therefore no influence but at great depths, 
whence there results, that the crust of the globe daily continues 
to increase internally by new solid layers. Thus, the formation, 
of the primordial strata has not yet ceased ; nor will it cease- 
until after an immense period of time, that is to say, when the 
cooling shall have attained its limit. 

8. If the crust of the earth has been formed in the manner 
in which we suppose ii, the primordial strata with which we 
are.acquainted ought to be disposed nearly in the order of their 
fusibility ; I say nearly, for some influence must be attributed to 
the rapid action with which the cooling must have been carried 
on at the commencement of things, and that of chemical affini- 
ties operating upon such large masses. Now, the magnesian, 
calcareous and quartzose strata, are in fact the nearest to the sur- 
face. 

9. According to what has been stated above, the mean thick- 
ness of the crust of the earth probably does not exceed twenty 
leagues of 5000 metres each. I would even say, that, according to 

• General Remarks on the Temperatures of the Globe and Planetary Spa- 
ces, by M. Foiyier ; Annales de Chimie et de Physique, t. xxvii. 1824, 
p. 136.; and Resumi theorique des Proprietes de la Chaleur rayonnante, by 
the same, same volume, p. 275. ;«:-' y . i .Ci 

T 2 



^0 M. L. Cordier oji the Temperature of 

several geological data, not yet interpreted, and of which I 
shall speak on another occasion, it is probable that the thickness 
is still smaller. Keeping to the above result, this mean thick- 
ness would not be equivalent to the sixty-third part of the mean 
radius of the earth. It would only be the four hundredth part 
of the developed length of a meridian. 

10. The thickness of the crust of the earth is probably very 
unequal. This great inequality appears to us to be announced 
by the inequality of the increase of the subterranean tempera- 
ture in different countries. The different conducting powers of 
the strata cannot of themselves account for the phenomenon. 
Many geological data lead us equally to presume, that the thick- 
ness of the earth''s crust is very variable. 

11. The heat which the soil of each place continually disen- 
gages, being the fundamental element of the climate which is 
established there, and, according to our ideas, the quantities of 
this disengaged heat not occurring in a constant relation in diffe- 
rent countries, it is now understood why countries, situated in the 
same latitude, have, other circumstances being the same, diffe- 
rent climates, and how Mairan, Lambert, Mayer, and other 
philosophers, have erred in attempting to represent by formulae 
the gradation, supposed by them to be regular, which the mean 
superficial temperature follows from the equator to the poles. 
There is thus also a new cause added to those which occasion 
the singular inflexions which the isothermal lines present. 

12. Whatever be the nature of the astronomical forces or 
events which have formerly disturbed the stability of the conti- 
nents, and occasioned the general state of dislocation and over- 
turning which the structure of the earth''s crust exhibits, it is 
easy to conceive that all the parts of this crust floating, if we 
may so express ourselves, around a perfectly fluid sphere, and 
being moreover infinitely subdivided, in consequence of stratifi- 
cation, and especially from the innumerable contractions which 
refrigeration has produced in each stratum, may have been dis- 
located and overturned in the manner in which we see them. 
These effects are incapable of being explained by the generally 
received opinion, that the superficial strata were the last conso- 
lidated, and that the globe is solid to the centre. 

IS. In considering the probable fluidity of the central mass^ 



the Interior of the Earth, 281 

the phenomena of earthquakes, the thinness of the consolidated 
crust, and especially the innumerable solutions of continuity, 
by which it is broken up, and which result from stratification, 
the contraction arising from progressive cooling, or from the 
overturnings that have taken place, we long ago conceived it 
probable that this crust possesses a certain flexibility. We de- 
veloped the elements of this singular property in a memoir 
read to the academy in 1816, and which had the disadvantage 
of being presented at a period when people*'s minds were not 
sufficiently prepared for attending to researches of this nature. 
Now, this property is at the present moment more probable than 
ever. It is further conceived, from the fluidity which is to be at- 
tributed to the central matters that serve as a support to the 
crust, that the flexibility in question may be j)ut into action with- 
out its being possible for us to perceive it. In fact, to produce 
a change of figure in the spheroid capable of raising the equator 
a metre, by proportionally shortening the earth's axis, it would be 
sufficient, in as far as concerns the plane of the equator, that 
each of the innumerable solutions of continuity which intersect 
the consolidated crust, and which I shall suppose to be five me- 
tres from each other at an average, should be subjected to a se- 
paration equal to the 1276th part of a millimetre, a quantity 
which is excessively small. 

1 4. The probable flexibility of the earth's crust is supported by 
two principal causes, the one general and constant, the other local 
and transitory. The latter cause, during the last thirty years, has 
not spared any country. Sometimes it has shaken, almost at the 
same time, the twentieth part of the surface of our continents, or it 
has made the soil undulate in directions equal to the sixtieth or 
seventieth portion of a meridian ; I speak of eartliquakes. Since 
the commencement of authentic history, there have been rec- 
koned upwards of six hundred, whose violence or extent have 
rendered them memorable. The second cause depends upon 
the circumstance, that the permanent diminution of the earth's 
heat no longer produces any sensible contraction in the subterra- 
nean regions in the vicinity of the surface, while it continues its 
effects in the deeper parts, whether for augmenting the separa- 
tion of the masses which have experienced the first effects of 



282 M. L. Cordier on the Temperature of 

contraction, or for occasioning new solutions of continuity in 
these masses. Let it be added, that the slow formation of new 
solid strata in the interior, must be conformable to the general 
rule, in virtue of which substances in the fluid state experience 
a great diminution of volume in passing to the solid state. 

15. The least flexible regions of the earth'^s crust are neces- 
sarily those near the surface, for the transverse solutions of con- 
tinuity which they contain, have long since attained and lost their 
maximum of separation. It is evident that the central forces 
tend to bring nearer to each other the elementary masses of the 
superficial regions, in proportion as the cooling contracts more 
and more the volume of all the internal parts of the globe. 
This approximation would act in a uniform manner, if the strata 
of the consolidated crust were concentric, and if all the transverse 
solutions of continuity were directed in planes perpendicular to 
the surface ; but this is not the case. The shattered state of the 
primordial crust is such, that, considering it in the great scale, lean 
only define it as a heap of fragments pressed against each other, 
and of which the strata are always very much inchned or vertical. 
Since the establishment of this state, the obliquity of an innumera- 
ble quantity of solutions of continuity, of which some have an im- 
mense extent, forms an obstacle to the establishment in all points 
of an approximation of the elementary masses that might be uni- 
form and proportionate to the central contractions. Changes of level 
of no great extent, but which may have affected great continen- 
tal surfaces, have been substituted for this approximation. Many 
geological facts agree with this hypothesis. It is to be presum- 
ed that this efi^ect still subsists at the present day, although in 
an imperceptible manner. If the secular raising of the basin of 
the Baltic is constant, it may be accounted for in this manner. 
The above hypothesis will also explain the change in the level 
of the Mediterranean, which we observed with Dolomieu on the 
shores of Egypt *. There is reason to think, according to our 
opinion, that at present this part of the African continent is un- 
dergoing a progressive lowering, which may amount to two or 
three centimetres in a century. 

16. M. de Laplace, estimating the astronomical observations 

• See my description of the ruins of San (the Tanis of the ancients), in 
the great work on Egypt. 



the Interior ofilie Earth. 

made in the time of Hipparchus to be sufficiently accurate to af- 
ford evidence that the duration of the day has not diminished 
3 Jg of a centesimal second for twenty centuries, thought that 
the contraction which is actually produced by the secular cool- 
ing of the globe, is not sufficiently great to increase the velocity 
of rotation in a sensible degree. This opinion gives us a useful 
limit of the actual effect of the g-eneral refrigeration. 

17. But if the effects of contraction since the commence- 
ment of the cooling are considered, one cannot help admitting 
that it has exercised a certain influence in the above point of 
view. On the one hand, the duration of the day has succes- 
sively diminished a small quantity ; and, on the other, the figure 
of the earth must have undergone a slight alteration, in conse- 
quence of the acceleration of the velocity of rotation, provided 
the flexibility of the consolidated crust has been sufficient to per- 
mit the change of figure, which we admit as being the case. 
Thus at present the day is a little shorter, and the spheroid a 
little flatter toward the poles, than at the commencement of 
things. If these data are correct, it is evident that the two ef- 
fects continue. All that is to be done is to find a better means 
than that mentioned above for appreciating the feeble intensity ; 
which is not impossible, as we shall presently see. 

18. Another consequence, not less probable, and not less cu- 
rious, to which we are led by the hypothesis of central incan- 
descence and fluidity, is the following. However little the crust 
of the earth may be influenced by the flexibility which, accord- 
ing to our ideas, must be attributed to it, it follows that the 
phenomenon of the tides is exercised, without its having been 
hitherto suspected, upon the terrestrial mass itself. This effect, 
which, besides, must be excessively feeble, will not excite asto- 
nishment, when we reflect that it certainly existed at the com- 
mencement of things, that is to say, when the surface of the 
globe possessed the perfect fluidity which is admitted in all the 
theories. It is easy to demonstrate that the greatest of these 
ancient land-tides could not have been less than from four to 
five metres. 

19. As the secular refrigeration of the earth is continually in- 
creasing the thickness of its crust, it may be asked if the incan« 
descent matter which is subjected to this action, passes entire- 



284 M. L. Cordier ow the Temperature of 

\y into the solid state ; or if it is decomposed, so as to furnish 
solid parts and gaseous parts. There is nothing improbable in 
the latter idea ; in fact, the consolidation of lavas daily presents 
a very striking example of the production of gas by refrigera- 
tion. If we admit this supposition, we can account for the ori- 
gin of the first matter of earthquakes in a very natural manner. 
An excessive temperature keeps this first matter in the gaseous 
state, notwithstanding the enormous pressure which it experien- 
ces at these great depths. The capricious nature of the pheno- 
mena of earthquakes would also be accounted for by the ex- 
treme inequality of the internal surface of the crust of the 
earth. 

20. The preceding data lead to an entirely new explanation 
of volcanic phenomena ; an explanation which will perhaps ap- 
pear more satisfactory, at least to the very small number of per- 
sons who have a just and complete idea of the elements of the 
question, than any that has hitherto been proposed. These 
phenomena appear to us a simple and natural result of the in- 
ternal refrigeration of the globe, a purely thermometrical effect. 
The internal fluid mass is submitted to an increasing pressure, 
which is occasioned by two forces whose power is immense, al- 
though their effects may be slow and not very perceptible. On 
the one hand, the solid crust contracts more and more in pro- 
portion as its temperature diminishes, and this contraction is ne- 
cessarily greater than that which the central mass experiences in 
the same time ; on the other hand, this same envelope, in con- 
sequence of the insensible acceleration of the rotatory motion, 
loses its internal capacity in proportion as it recedes more from 
the spherical form. The internal fluid matters are forced out- 
wards, under the form of lavas, by those habitual vents which 
are named volcanoes, and with the circumstances which the pre- 
vious accumulation of gaseous matters, which are naturally pro- 
duced in the interior, give to eruptions. This hypothesis needs 
not excite astonishment, for I can demonstrate its probability by 
a very simple calculation. 

In 1803 I cubed in TenerifFe, as nearly as it was possible, 
the matters ejected by the eruptions of 1705 and 1798. I per- 
formed the same operation with regard to the products of two 
eruptions still more perfectly isolated, which exist in the extinct 



the Interior qftJie Earth. 285 

volcanoes of the interior of France, viz. (in 1806) those of the 
volcano of Murol in Auvergne, and (in 1809) those of the vol- 
cano of Cherchemiis, near Issarles at Mezin. I found the vo- 
lume of the matters of each eruption much inferior to that of a 
cubic kilometre *. From these data, and others of a similar kind, 
which I have collected in various parts, I consider myself war- 
ranted to assume the volume of a cubic kilometre, as the ex- 
treme term of the product of eruptions considered in a general 
sense. Now, such a mass is almost nothing compared with tho 
bulk of the globe. Spread over its surface, it would form a 
layer not more than one five-hundredth part of a millimetre in 
thickness -f-. In exact terms, if we suppose the crust of the earth 
to have a mean thickness of twenty leagues of 5000 metres, a con- 
traction capable of shortening the mean radius of the central 
mass Txgjth of a millimetre, would be sufficient to produce the 
matter of an eruption. 

Proceeding on these data, if we suppose that contraction alone 
produces the phenomenon, and that over the whole earth there 
take place five eruptions annually, we find that the difference 
between the contraction of the consolidated crust and that of the 
internal mass^ only shortens the radius of that mass one millime- 
tre in a century. If there be only two eruptions yearly, it takes 
two centuries and a-half to produce the same shortening. We 
see, that, in all cases, an excessively small action is sufficient to 
produce the phenomena. 

It will be remarked, that this action, if it be real, is necessa- 
rily in connection with the total contraction which the globe ex- 
periences from the effect of secular cooling. It furnishes a 
basis for calculating the very slight influence which this total 
contraction exercises in accelerating the velocity of rotation. 

Nothing less than the enormous power, which I have pointed 
out, could suffice to raise the lavas. In the particular case in 
which they would come exactly from a depth of twenty leagues 
it is easy to prove, from their mean specific gravity, that they 
would be pressed by a force equivalent to that of about 28,000 
atmospheres. It is, besides, well known, that they flow almost 
always after the eruption of the gaseous matters, which may very 
easily be conceived, according to my theory. 

• The Kilometre is 39371,00000 cubic English inches. 
t The Millimetre is .03937 English cubic inches. 



286 M. L. Cordicr on the Temperature of 

This is not the place for developing the purely ihermometri- 
cal hypothesis which I propose for explaining volcanic pheno- 
mena, and shewing with what success it may be applied to all 
the details of these phenomena. I shall content myself with re- 
marking, that it accounts for the identity of circumstances by 
which the manifestation of volcanic action, in all parts of the 
world, is characterised, for the prodigious reduction which the 
number of volcanoes has undergone since the commencement of 
things, for the diminution that has been effected in the quantity 
of matters ejected at each eruption, for the nearly similar com- 
position of the products of each geological epoch, and for the 
small differences that exist between the lavas which belong to 
different epochs. Lastly, in this hypothesis, the most usual di- 
rections of earthquakes announce the thinnest zones of the earth's 
crust ; and the volcanic centres, as well ancient as modern, con- 
stitute, at the same time, the points at which this crust has the 
least thickness, and presents the smallest resistance. 

In the above I have not calculated upon the gaseous matters 
which each eruption produces, because, supposing them reduced 
to the state of liquidity which they originally had in the mixture 
from which they have been disengaged, their volume would be 
very inconsiderable, and because the mean of one cubic kilo- 
metre, which I have adopted, is much above the real mean. 

21. The greater part of the substances contained in mineral 
and thermal waters being analogous to those which are exhaled by 
craters during and after eruptions, and by currents of lava when 
they crystallize, as well as by solfaterras, it must be supposed 
that they come from a common reservoir. Their emission occa- 
sions continual losses to the internal gaseous charge. These 
losses, which, however, are incessantly repaired by new subter- 
raneous products, take place in virtue of an expansive power, 
which is immense, and through a succession of extremely narrow 
' fissures. The water is furnished by the superficial causes which 
feed common springs. The alteration of certain parts of the 
canals, especially near the surface, may sometimes occasion 
the substitution of certain principles by others. In this systeitt 
of explanation, it is easy to conceive the permanence of the 
springs, their nearly invariable temperature, and the singular 
nature of their principles. Several phenomena appear to me to 



W * the Interior of the Earth. H J887 

prove that they were much more numerous at periods antece- 
dent to the present geological epoch. This circumstance is ex- 
plained by the greater thinness of the earth's crust at that time, 
and the more rapid progress of refrigeration. 

22. If we judge by the appearance of lava, the fluidity of 
the incandescent matter which constitutes the interior of the 
earth is very great, and its density in the regions, situated at a 
distance from the centre, (for example, at a distance equal to 
Jgth of the radius,) is much inferior to the mean density of the 
whole globe. These two data are not in opposition to the in- 
fluence which must be accorded to the enormous and increasing 
pressure which is due to the action of the central forces. It is 
to be observed, in the first place, that fluids can be very little 
compressed, that their compressibility in this case must have a 
limit, and that its effects may be balanced by excessive heat. 
Moreover, the present lavas have, after their consoh'dation, a 
mean specific weight, greater than that of the primordial rocks 
taken together ; from which it may be concluded, independently 
of every other consideration, that the density of the central mat- 
ters depends much more upon their nature than upon pressure ; 
they have been originally placed in the order of their specific 
gravities. The existence of gold and platina proves that sub- 
stances having, from their nature, an extreme density, may oc- 
cur at the centre of the earth. 

23. The preceding statement shews, that there is some proba- 
bility in the hypothesis of Halley, who attributed the magnetic 
actions to the existence of a mass composed in a great measure 
of metallic iron, of irregular form, and possessing a particular 
revolving motion, situated at the centre of the earth. Two 
kinds of phenomena, of which Halley had no knowletlge, add to 
this probability. On the one hand, the rotation of the ring of 
Saturn round that planet may be brought forwai'd as furnishing 
a sort of analogy ; and, on the other, the nature of the stones 
that have fallen from the sky, and the existence of meteoric iron, 
prove that iron in the metallic state, and alloyed with nickel, 
may enter abundantly into the composition of the planetary 
masses. 

24. If Halley's hypothesis be admissible, it furnishes the li- 
mit of the internal temperature of the earth. This limit is 



M. L. Cordier on the Temperature oj 

that of the resistance which forged iron, subjected to an enor- 
mous pressure, is capable of opposing to fusion. We might be 
inclined to reduce the temperature, on considering that Newton''s 
experiments, confirmed by those of Mr Barlow, have proved that 
iron, raised to a white heat, loses its magnetic virtue. But, on 
the other hand, it must not be lost sight of, that an excessive 
pressure of the metal should probably protract in a great degree 
the term at which the magnetic virtue is thus destroyed. 

25. Lastly, According to the same hypothesis, there would 
be reason for making inquiries respecting various extremely 
slight, secular, and not hitherto perceived, effects, which the 
different positions, and the irregular form of an internal solid 
mass, possessed of a peculiar motion, and composed in part of 
metallic iron, might occasion. Thus, for example, we might 
be led to doubt the perfect and absolute invariability which has 
hitherto been attributed to the direction of the plummet in each 
place ; and this doubt would apply to countries distant from 
the zones without decHnation, and from the magnetic equator. 

Such are the principal inferences at which we arrive, on intro- 
ducing the hypothesis of central heat and fluidity, amidst the most 
important questions of geology. It would be easy to extend these 
inferences, and, for example, to explain, in an equally satisfactory 
manner, the formation of the unstratified primordial rocks, that of 
the transition rocks, of veins, and of the gypseous, sulphureous, 
saline, calcareous and magnesian strata of the secondary series. 
The fecundity of applications is remarkable, and adds to the pro- 
bability of the principle. The case is different with the Neptunian 
system, which so long prevailed, and which represents the globe 
as a cold inert mass, solid to the centre, and formed from with- 
in outwards by aqueous depositions. This system has proved 
a sterile one, and none of its applications are now able to stand a 
serious examination. It reduces itself to narrow limits, to the 
explanations of those superficial strata, formed of consolidated 
sedimentary matters, of agglomerated debris and organic re- 
mains, which constitute almost the whole of the excessively 
thin envelope, named secondary. Had not the authority of 
the naturalists who brought this system into credit, given a 
bias in its favour, it is evident that, at its commencement, it 
would have been made to undergo a very simple trial, from 



the Interior of the Earth. 2fl9 

which it could not have escaped, namely, the comparison of the 
masses of water and of earthy and metallic matters, m hich en- 
ter into th^ composition of the globe. It is easy to shew that 
the weight of the mass of water does not exceed the fifty-thou- 
sandth part of the weight of the whole globe. Now, with what- 
ever solvent this mass has been quickened, it is inadmissible 
that one kilogramme of water could ever have dissolved 50,000 
kilogrammes of earthy and metallic matters. 

We may be permitted again to remark, that it is not the spi- 
rit of system by which we are now led to the idea of central fire ; 
it is in spite of such a spirit, and in opposition to many prejudices. 
This return to a former opinion is occasioned by an accurate and 
profound examination of phenomena of very different orders. 
It cannot be believed that by mere chance natural philosophy, 
astronomy, and geology have arrived at the same point, after fol- 
lowing such different paths. We may therefore affirm, without 
fear of being considered hasty, that the hypothesis which is 
equally a desideratum in all these sciences, seems already to pre- 
sent the characters of a real and fundamental principle; and every 
thing seems to predict, that it will have as powerful an influence 
upon the progress of the theory of the earth, as that which the 
great principle of gravitation has exercised upon the theory of 
the motion of the celestial bodies. 

From the present state of this discussion, it would seem that 
the Academy ought no longer to remain neutral on so important 
a question. Perhaps it may now be time to carry into effect 
a measure proposed at the sitting of the 28th November 
1825, on the recommendation of M. de La Place *. Perhaps, 
also, it would be proper to direct the attention of scientific men, 
in general, to the subject, by offering prizes for the successful 
discussion of some of the elements of this great question. 

The determination of the figure of the earth has occupied the 
Academy for upwards of a century ; the investigation of the prin- 

• The measure in question was the naming a commission of six members 
(MM.;de la Place, Arago, Poisson, Thenard, Gay Lussac, and Dulong), who 
were directed to make out a programme of experiments to be performed, that 
the Academy might be enabled to determine, by correct experiments, \sty The 
state of the earth's magnetism ; 2rf/y, The pressure and composition of the at- 
mosphere ; 3rf/y, The heat of the globe at different depths. 



290 The Lord President on the Natural History of 

ciple which presides over the structure of the globe, and which 
regulates all the phenomena depending upon it, is not less wor- 
thy of its efforts, or beneath the talents and resources which it 
has at its command. The object is certainly one of the most 
elevated to which the human mind can aspire : its attainment 
would, moreover, be of the highest importance to the whole phi- 
losophy of science. If it is averred that the earth is not an in- 
ert mass, as it has been so long supposed ; if the appearance of 
inertia is only owing to the slowness of the phenomena, and their 
feeble intensity : if all is in motion and in labour in the interior, 
as all is in motion and in labour on the outside of the globe, we 
arrive at a result of the highest importance, since it seems appli- 
cable to all the celestial bodies; and there is thus obtained a 
most powerful proof of the existence of the great principle of 
universal instability, which was long ago announced or foreseen 
by Newton and other philosphers ; a principle superior to the 
great rules which we are accustomed to regard as exclusively 
constituting the laws of nature, by the aid of which we see be- 
yond the longest and apparently most perfect periodicities of our 
solar system, which appears to govern the universe even in its 
minutest parts, which continually modifies all things, alters and 
displaces them insensibly and irrevocably, and leads them through 
the immensity of ages, to new ends which human intellect can- 
not assuredly penetrate, but of which it may at least boast of ha- 
ving foreseen the necessity. 



Memorandum from the Right Honourable the Lord President, 
containing somejacts relating to the Natural History of the 
Swallow and the Partridge, 

To Professor Jameson. 

x\.B0DT eighteen or twenty years ago. The Lord President, 

then Lord Justice- Clerk, left his house at Granton, on the 17th 

of April, to go on the West Circuit. 

There had been a fall of snow the night before, the l6th, 

and it lay on the ground two or three inches deep. He 

breakfasted with Solicitor Blair at Aventon, near Linlithgow, 

where the snow was still deeper, and the frost keen. He stop- 

3 



the SwdUow and the Partridge. 291 

ped to bait his liorses at the village of Larbert, the snow still 
lying there. While his horses were feeding, he walked along 
the lane towards Carron, where the works were in full activity, 
six or seven furnaces being then in constant employment. As 
he approached the works, the effects of the heated air from the 
furnaces became very apparent ; and when he came to the great 
Mill Pond, he found the snow entirely gone ; the air swarming 
with gnats and other insects, and numbers of swallows skim- 
ming over the mill-pond. On remarking this to one of the 
workmen whom he met, the man answered, " Oh aye, sir, we 
seldom miss the swallows here."" 

For some years after he settled at Granton, swallows con- 
stantly built in the corners of his windows, which, of course, 
they dirtied and obscured. This was a great obstruction to 
the view of the Forth. At last, it occurred that they might be 
prevented from building, by rubbing the corners of the windows 
with oil or soft soap. This was accordingly done early in the 
next season. The swallows began to build as usual ; but as 
fast as they attempted to attach their materials to the stone, 
they slipped off. They renewed their attempts for some days ; 
and then gave the matter up ; and, what is very remarkable, 
although the oiling has never been renewed, and the effects of 
it must have long ago ceased, not a single swallow has ever at- 
tempted, since that time, to build on the windows here, not even 
in those which had not been oiled. Nay, they do not even 
build in the mock windows ; though one constantly builds in 
the coal cellar, to which it can only get by diving under an open 
doorway, and where the servants are breaking coals every hour 
of the day. 

At Tyninghame, the seat of the Earl of Haddington, the kit- 
chen is in a building separated from the main house by an open 
court, but connected with it by a covered passage, supported 
by posts, and open to the south. In the corner of the passage, 
close to the kitchen door, a bracket is placed for holding a 
lamp, which is taken down to be trimmed every day, and light- 
ed every evening. On that bracket a swallow, and it is believed 
the same swallow, built her nest for three or four years, quite 
regardless of the removal or light of the lamp, and the constant 
passing and repassing of the servants. 



292 M. Cuvier on the Domestication of 

On the opposite side of the same open court, the great Iwuse- 
bell is hung, under a wooden cover, fastened to the north wall 
of the house. It is a large bell, and is rung several times a-day, 
to call the servants to their meals. Under the wooden cover of 
this bell, the same swallow, it is believed, which had formerly 
built on the bracket for the lamp, built a nest for several years, 
and never was in the least disturbed by the ringing of the bell, 
or the rattling of the rope. 

I may take this opportunity of mentioning a very curious fact 
relating to the partridge, which also occurred at Tyninghame. 
Lord Haddington has a breed of wild turkeys, which never en- 
ter the poultry house or yard, but roost in the trees, and live 
chiefly on beech-mast, and any thing else they can pick up, 
though they are tame enough to come about the house to be 
fed, in the time of frost and snow. About eight or ten years 
ago, a cock partridge, full grown, suddenly joined himself to the 
flock of these turkeys, and remained constantly with them during 
the whole summer, autumn, and winter ; at night he slept un- 
der the trees in which they roosted ; in the day he fed with 
them, and was not in the least frightened or disturbed by peo- 
ple walking among them. He took great liberties with the old 
turkey cock ; when he saw him going to pick up a worm or any 
seed, he used to run under him, between his legs, and snatch it 
out of his mouth, and the old gentleman never resented such in- 
dignities. Early in spring he left them, as it was supposed, to 
find himself a mate, at the pairing season. But, in the begin- 
ning of autumn, he rejoined his old friends, and continued with 
them as formerly, until the next pairing lime, when he again 
disappeared, and returned no more, so that he was probably 
killed. 



Essay on the Domestication of Mammiferous Animals, with 
some introductory considerations on the various states in 
which we may study their actions. By M. Frederick Cu- 
vier. (Continued from p. 60.) 

XjET us inquire, therefore, now that we know the animals 
which are associated with us, what is the disposition common to 



Mammifcrmis Animah. S93 

some and foreign to others, which might be regarded as essen- 
tial to domesticity ; for, witliout a particular disposition which 
would second our efforts, and prevent our empire over animals 
from being merely accidental and transitory, it is imjwssible to 
conceive how we should have succeeded in domesticating ani- 
mals, had all of them resembled the wolf, the fox, and the 
hyena, which constantly seek seclusion, and even flee the pre- 
sence of other individuals of their own species* Perhaps, by 
means of perseverance and labour, we might be able to form 
among these animals races familiarized in a certain degree to 
man, so as to become habituated to his neighbourhood, and 
even to prefer it, from the advantages which they would derive 
from it, as has been done in the case of the cat, which lives 
among us ; but between this and domestication there is a wide 
difference. Besides, to attain an object it is necessary to knoW 
it, and how could the first men, who associated themselves with 
animals, have known this object ? And had they conceived it 
hypothetically, would not their patience have been exhausted in 
vain efforts, from the innumerable attempts they would have 
had to make, and the great number of generations on which 
they would have to act, in order, after all, to arrive only at im- 
perfect results. Thus, the more we examine the question, the 
more evident does it become, that a high degree of intellect) 
great mildness of character, the fear of chastisement or the ac- 
knowledgment of benefits, are insufficient of themselves to ren- 
der an animal susceptible of domestication ; ^nd that a particu- 
lar disposition is indispensable to make animals submit and at- 
tach themselves to the human species, and to render its protec- 
tion necessary to them. 

This disposition can only be the social instinct carried to a 
very high degree, and accompanied with qualities calculated to 
aid its influence and developement ; for all the social animals are 
not susceptible of domestication. But all our domestic animals 
which are known in their natural state, whose species still re- 
mmn in part wild, or of which some of the races have acciden- 
tally returned to their original condition, form more or less nu- 
merous herds ; while no solitary species, however easy it may 
be to tame it, has afforded domestic races. In fact, it is suffi- 
cient to examine this disposition, to see that domesticity is but a 

JANUARY— MARCH 1828. U 



f^ M. Cuyier on the Domesticatum of 

mere modification of it. To establish this truth, I shall not re- 
peat what I have already stated respecting sociability in the me- 
moir which I published on that subject ; I shall merely consider 
the domestic animals, with regard to man, as compared with 
what the social animals are with regard to one another. 

When, by our benefits, we have attached to us individuals 
of a social species, we have developed to our own advantage, we 
have directed toward ourselves, the propensity which impelled 
them to draw rear to their fellows. The habit of living near us 
has become in them a want so much the more powerful, that it 
is founded in nature ; and the sheep which we have reared is 
led to follow us as it would be led to follow the flock among 
which it was brought forth ; but our superior intellect soon de- 
stroys all equality between animals and us ; and it is our will 
which governs theirs, as the stallion, which, from its superiority, 
has become the chief of the herd which it leads, draws after it 
all the individuals of which this herd is composed. There^is 
no resistance, so long as each individual can act conformably to 
the wants by which it is excited ; it commences whenever this 
situation is changed. It is for this reason that the obedience of 
animals to us is not more absolute than to their natural chiefs ; 
and if our authority is greater than theirs, it is because our 
means of enticement are also greater, and because we have been 
able to restrain, in a great degree, the inclinations which, in 
the natural state, would have excited the will of the animals 
which we have associated with us. The individuals which have 
passed from hand to hand, which have had several masters, and 
in which, from this circumstance, most of the natural disposi- 
tions are weakened, if not effaced, appear to shew the same do- 
cility toward every person ; they are subjected to the whole hu- 
man species. This state of things cannot exist with regard to 
animals that are not domesticated ; but the analogy recurs, 
when we consider the> individuals, whether isolated or in herds, 
which have never had but one master ; it is he alone whom 
they acknowledge as their chief, he only whom they obey ; every 
other person would be unknown, and would even be treated as 
an enemy by the species which do not belong to races over 
which domestication has exerted its whole influence, that is to 
say, as an individual would be treated when he presented him- 



Mammif'erous Animdh. 295 

self for t!ic first time in a wild herd. The elepliant only allows 
himself to be led by the cornac whom he has adopted ; the dog 
itself, reared in solitude with its master, manifests a hostile 
disposition toward all others ; and every body knows how dan- 
gerous it is to be in the midst of a herd of cows, in pasturagv.^s 
that are little frequented, when they have not at their head the 
keeper who takes care of them. 

Every thing, therefore, tends to convince us, that formerly 
men were only, with regard to the domestic animals, what those, 
who arc particularly charged with the care of them still are, 
namely, members of the society which these animals form among 
themselves ; and that they are only distinguished in the general 
mass by the authority which they have been enabled to assume 
from their superiority of intellect. 

Thus, every social animal, which recognises man as a member 
and as the chief of its herd, is a domestic animal. It might even 
be said, that, from the moment when such an animal admits man 
as a member of its society, it is domesticated ; as man could not 
enter into such a society without becoming the chief of it. 

Should we now apply these principles to the wild animals, 
which are of a nature that renders them capable of subjection, 
we should see that there are still several which might become 
doniesticated, were it necessary to increase the number of those 
which we already possess. 

Although the apes and monkeys have the qualities of most 
importance ibr domestic animals, the social instinct and intellect, 
yet the violence and irritability of their character render them 
absolutely incapable of all subjection, and consequently excludes 
them from the number of animals which we are capable of asso- 
ciating with us. The American quadrumana, the makis, and 
the insectivora, are equally excluded ; for, were they social and 
susceptible of domestication, their weakness would render them 
useless. 

The seals, perhaps, more than any other carnivorous animals, 
together with the various species of the dog tribe, would be the 
best adapted to attach themselves to us^ and serve us ; and it is 
astonishing that the fishing tribes of our species have not trained 
them for fishing, as the hunting tribes have trained the dog to 
the chase. 

u 2 



296 M. Cuvier 07i the Domestication of 

I shall not detain the reader with the didelphides, the glifes 
and the edentata ; the weakness of their body, and their limited 
intellect, prevent them from being employed by us for any use- 
ful purpose. But almost all the pachydermata, which are not 
yet domesticated, might be so ; and it is especially to be regret- 
ted that the tapir is still in a wild state. Much superior to the 
boar in size and docility, it would afford domestic races not less 
valuable than those of the hog, and whose qualities would cer- - 
tainly be different, for the nature of the tapir, notwithstanding 
some points of resemblance^ is very different from that of the 
boar. Yet the tapir, which has but feeble means of defence, is 
destroyed in America, where it is much sought after on account 
of the excellence of its flesh. Now, however Httle addition may 
continue to be made to the population of South America, the 
species peculiar to that country will gradually disappear from the 
face of the earth, :-r 

All the species of solipeda are as capable of being domesti- 
cated as the horse or the ass ; and the education of the zebra, 
the quagga, the dauw *, and the hemionus, would prove useful 
to society, and lucrative to those who might undertake it. 

Almost all the ruminantia live in herds, and most of the spe- 
cies of this numerous family are of a nature that qualifies them 
for domestication. There is one, in particular, and perhaps 
even two, that are already half domesticated, and which it is 
matter of regret that we do not see among the number of our 
domestic animals, for they would have two very valuable quali- 
ties, — they would answer as beasts of burden, and would fur- 
nish fleeces of excellent quality. The animals of which I speak 
are the Alpaca and the vicugna. They are double the size of 
our largest breeds of sheep ; the qualities of their fur are very 
different from those of wool, properly so called, and might be 
manufactured into cloths, which would partake of these quali- 
ties, and thus give rise to a new branch of industry -|*. ) 

* The Equus montanus of Burchell. 

■f The difference of climate has been stated as an insurmountable obstacle 
to the naturalization of the animals of warm countries in our northern re- 
gions. This error would have been avoided, had the resources of nature and 
the extent of our means of acting upon animals been better known. By a si- 
milar error, the same difficulty has been opposed to the introduction of the 



Mammi/erous Animals. 297 

I shall now bring my observations upon domestication to a 
ccfticlusion. My object has been to shew its true character, as 
well as the relations of the domestic animals tb man. It rests 
upon the propensity which animals have to live together in 
herds, and to attach themselves to one another. We obtain it 
only by enticement, and principally by augmenting their wants 
and satisfying them. But we could only produce domestic in- 
dividuals and not races, without the concurrence of one of the 
most general laws of life, the transmission of the organic or in- 
tellectual modifications by generation. Here one of the most 
astonishing phenomena of nature manifests itself to us, the trans- 
formation of a fortuitous modification into a durable form, of a 
fugitive want into a fundamental propensity, of an accidental 
habit into an instinct. This subject is assuredly worthy of ex- 
citing the attention of the most accurate observers, and of occu- 
pying the meditations of the most profound thinkers. 

This essay is undoubtedly far from containing all the de- 
velopements of which domestication is susceptible ; for, to treat 
of this subject fully, nothing less would be requisite than to con- 
vert into a science one of the most important branches of hu- 
man industry, the treatment of animals, or, in other words, to 
submit to laws founded in Nature — the blind practices and em- 
pirical rules according to which people are generally directed at 
the present day. But my researches will not be without use if 
they shew the principles according to which we may conduct 
ourselves, in order to act effectually upon the natural disposition 
of animals, the methods which should be followed for improv- 
ing them, and all that might be expected in this department 
from an enlightened and persevering direction of the means 
placed within our power. — Memoires du Museum d'^Histoire 
Naturelle. 

alpaca and vicugna into Europe, animals which live only in very temperate 
regions ; but it would not even be applicable to the tapir, although a native 
of the warmest countries. 



( 298 ) 

On the History and Constitution (if Benefit or Fricndlij 
Societies. By Mr W. Fraseu, Edinburgh. Continued 
from p. 91. 

J-T was formerly remarked, that, in order to place Friendly 
Societies upon equitable and permanent principles, it is indispen- 
sably requisite that all their calculations for contributions and 
benefits should be founded upon such rates of sickness and 
mortality as are most likely to occur among their members, and 
also upon the rate of interest which will most probably be ob- 
tained for their money. The last of these subjects only now 
remains to be noticed, the two former having been already fully 
discussed. 

Rate of Interest 

By the statute 59th Geo. III. c. 128, Friendly Societies in England, whose 
rates of contribution have been certified by two actuaries to be adequate to 
-the allowances, and whose rules have been approved of by the Quarter Ses- 
sions of the Peace, are allowed to pay in their money to the Bank of Eng- 
land, in sums not under L. 50 at a time, to the account of the Commissioners 
for the reduction of the National Debt, and to draw interest on all such sums 
at the rate of threepence per cent, per day, or somewhat more than 4| per 
cent, per annum. They are likewise authorised to lodge any sum or sums 
below li. 50 in the Savings Banks, and to receive interest on these at the rate 
of 4 per cent, per annum. By these privileges, societies in England can al» 
ways calculate ujion receiving 4 per cent, interest at least, besides the advan- 
tage of having the whole or any part of their capital always at command, 
without the risk of loss. 

The above statute, however, only applies to England ; and, consequently, 
the Friendly Societies of Scotland are obliged to have recourse to other modes 
of investment. This being the case, the rate of interest to be assumed be- 
comes with them a question of some difficulty ; and the only guide which can 
with propriety be taken, seems to be therate of interest hitherto derived from 
the Public Funds ; for, although societies in Scotland have usually disposed of 
such portions of their capital as were not immediately required, in house pro- 
perty and other similar purchases, which produced a higher nominal rate of in- 
terest than could have been obtained for money on loan ; yet it has generally 
been found, after deducting occasional losses, and the heavy expences neces- 
sarily attending such investments, that the ultimate produce has not been so 
much as if the capital had been lent on heritable securities at a constant rate 
of 4^ or 6 per cent, interest. 

With the view of obtaining some approximation to the average rate of inte- 
rest in this country, Mr Babbage examined a period of ninety-two years of 



Mr W. Fraser mt Benefit or Friendly ^Societies. 299 

peace and. war, from 1731 to 1822, and, by extracting from the tables collect- 
ed and published by M. Caesar Moreau, the highest and lowest price of the 
Three Per-cents each year, he found that the average annual price was 73.1 
during 48 years of war, 80.14 during 44 years of peace, and 79.33 during 92 
years of war and peace. According to these rates, he states the averages to 
be 4. 1 per cent, during war, 3.48 per cent, during peace, and 3.78 per cent, 
during war and peace ; or a little more than an average rate of 3| per cent, 
during the whole period of 92 years *. But Mr Finlaison, actuary to the 
National Debt Office, states, from the opportunities he has had, in his official 
situation, of observing the prices at which the Commissioners have purchased 
stock, that, upon a medium of the last forty years, the rate of interest realised 
from the investment of money in the Three Per-cents, the highest of all funds, 
has been precisely the same as if it had been invested at one uniform and 
constant rate of 44 per centum ; and that this observation holds equally true 
for the period of the last twenty years. Mr Finlaison therefore infers, that, 
for a long time to come, the interest of money in this country may be calcu- 
lated at 4 per cent f . 

From the^e circumstances, then, we would venture to conclude that Friend- 
ly Societies in Scotland may safely calculate upon 4 per cent, interest ; for, 
although some small sums must always be reserved to meet current demands, 
and be consequently unproductive of interest ; yet, on the other hand, it is to 
be remembered that they have no bad debts, that a very high rate of interest 
in the shape of fines is charged for all sums in arrear, and that it is general- 
ly practicable to make some better investments than even in the Three Per- 
cents. 

Contributions and Benefits. 

At the commencement of every Friendly Society, there must be necessarily 
fixed some standard rates of contributions and benefits, a minimum and maxi- 
mum age at which entrants shall be admitted, and the periods when the be- 
nefits shall commence, diminish, and cease. It does not follow, however, 
that one uniform rate of payments and allowances must be adopted for all the 
members by each society, as has hitherto been the almost universal practice ; 
but only that some certain rate of contribution and allowance be properly 
adapted to each other, so that other higher or lower rates may be therefrom 
deduced. In every rightly conducted society, therefore, a member should be 
allowed to take one or more of the benefits, and such allowance from each as 
he may find suited to his own circumstances. 

The benefits of Friendly Societies, it was formerly mentioned, usually con- 
sist of weekly allowances during sickness and infirmity, of sums payable at death, 
and, in some cases, of annuities to widows. The amount of allowance in sick- 
ness is generally regulated by its intensity or duration, — bedfast, walking and 
permanent sickness forming one class of payments, while sickness of the first, 
second, third, and fourth quarters, or periods of three months, and superannua- 
tion (I. e. sickness or infirmity of unlimited continuance), form another,— the 

* A Comparative View of the various Institutions for the Assurance of Lives, by C. Babbage, 
Esq. London, 1826. 

t Report of the Sdect Committee of the House of Commons respecting Friendly Societie* in 
1825, p. 48. 



800 Mr W. Fraser on the History and Constitutwhi (if 

rate of allowance in both diminishing progressively at each step of the scale/ 
It will therefore be obvious, that the expenditure for sickness must dejjend up- 
on the quantum which may occur, and the sum stipulate<l to be paid weekly 
during each of these periods ; and hence it is necessary to take an average of 
the whole, in order to ascertain the requisite contributions for societies adopt- 
ing either of these scales of payments. 

When Dr Price made his calculations for Friendly Societies, he divided 
the allowance during sickness into " Bedlying Pay'* and " Walking Pay ;" 
but it does not appear what proportion he conceived they would bear to each 
other. Assuming, however, as before stated, that, in societies consisting of per- 
sons under 32 years of age, a forty-eighth part of them would be always in a 
state of incapacity for labour by illness and accidents ; that from the age of 32 
to 42 this proportion would increase one-fourth ; from 43 to 51 one-half; from 
52 to 58 three-fourths ; and from 59 to 64 double — he calculated the following 
Table of rates of Contributions and Allowances. 



" TABLE shewing' (lie Weekly Allowances^ during Incapacities of Labour, produced 
by Sickness or Accidents, and the corresponding Weekly Contributions necessary 
to entitle Persons to those Allowances. 



Class. 



3 

*s 

o ^ 



I. 

II. 

III. 

IV. 

V. 

VI. 

VII. 

VIII. 

IX. 

X. 

XI. 



Ages of Contributors at 
Admission. 



e£J 






d. 
1 

n 

2 
3 

H 

4 

4| 

5 

54 

6 



c o 



f^ eo 



CO 






g« 

23 



8 
9 
10 

11 

1 



Class. 



I. 

II. 

III. 

IV. 

V. 

VI. 

VII. 

VIII. 

IX. 

X. 

XI. 



pq 



£ s. 
4 
6 
8 
10 
12 
14 
16 

18 

1 
I 2 
1 4 



^ 
P^ 



s. 

2 

3 

4 

5 

6 

7 

8 

9 

10 

11 

12 



" iV. B. The ages in this and the following tables are the ages at admission, and 
the contributions at admission are reckoned to continue invariable till they 
cease at sixty-five *." 
It is here to be remarked, that the contributions and benefits for sickness are 
both intended to stop at the age of 65 ; and that the " following tables " allud- 
ed to in the note, refer to annuities or superannuation allowances, which were 
to supersede those for sickness, at the age of 65. The proportions which the 
allowances bore to each other, were, 12s. per week bed-lying pay (i. e. when 
disabled) ; 68. per week walking pay (or when not totally disabled) ; 6s. per 
week after 65, whether ill or well ; and this latter sum doubled at 70,— a mem- 
ber being considered to be then totally unfit for labour. The contributions. 
* Price on Reversionary Paymeuts> 7th e$Ut. vol ii. p. 477^ 



'\o iwiVMNtv; ^^'«^< or Frietully Societies. I N 7 ip\ SOI 

for aunuities wore combined with those for sick allowances, and calculated 
to commence at 21 years of age ; and the contributions for both sickness and 
annuities, were entirely to cease at fi5, when the 8ui)erannuation allowance 
became payable. By this plan, however, of combining the payments for sick- 
ness and annuities, many societies, and even some actuaries, were led into er- 
ror, it having been supposed that the contributions in the above table were 
suitable for sickness during the whole period of life, instead of only to the age 
of 65 •. But the general failure of Friendly Societies cannot be wholly attri- 
buted to this mistake, by far the greater number of them having adopted no 
calculation whatever. 

'.The Committee of the Highland Society of Scotland having taken as a 
standard the average of the whole sickness in each decade reported to them 
by Friendly Societies, resolved, for suflicient reasons stated by Mr Oliphant 
in his Report, Is/, To commence their computations at the 21st year of age) 
2</, To present a view, in the simplest form, of the course of a society's af- 
fairs, supposing that 1005 members would enter in the 21st year of their age, 
that all would continue till death, and that no new members would be admit- 
ted ; 3(/, To assume that the various contributions should be payable whether 
in sickness or in health ; ith^ To institute computations for annuities or super- 
annuation allowances to such members as should survive their 70th year of 
age ; Sth^ To found the calculations upon a medium rate of mortality derived 
from the Northampton, Carlisle, and Swedish Tables ; and, 6th, To consider 4 
per cent, as the rate of interest which would be received for the society's, 
stock. 

The society was supposed to embrace /oMr schemes. 1st, For Weekly sick al- 
lowances, both the contributions and benefits commencing at the 21st, and ter- 
minating at the 70th year of age ; 2rf, Life annuities, the contributions com- 
mencing at the 21st, and terminating at the 70th year of age ; but the annui- 
ties only commencing at the 70th year, and then continuing during life ; 3d, 
A sum payable at death, the contributions for which, commencing at the 21st, 
and terminating at the 70th year of age, should a member live so long ; and, 
ith. Annuities to widows, the contributions commencing at the 21st, and ter- 
minating at the 70th year of age. All, or only some of these schemes, how- 
ever, and one or more contributions for the whole, could be adopted or consoli- 
dated, as a society might judge proper. Both contributions and allowances 
were considered to be payable in the middle of the year, as the payments to 
societies are usually made monthly or quarterly, and the disbursements weekly 
through the whole year. 

In order that all the members of any actual society may be placed on a just 
and equal footing, it is shewn to be necessary " either, 1st, That all shall enter 
at the same age; or, 2d, That the difference of age shall be compensated in 
one way or other: And there are three ways in which later entrance may be 
compensated, 1st, By the party paying an equalising fine at entry ; or, 2d, By 
paying a higher rate of annual contribution, according to his age ; or, 3d, By 

receiving a lower rate of allowance -j-." Thus, should an annual contribution 

* Errors of Actuaries, by an Actuary. Colchester, 8vo. Is. 

\ Highland Society's Report, p. 81. ConstaWc & Co. Edinburgh, 1824, Gt. 



302 Mr W. Fraser on the History and Constitution of 

of L. 1, from an entrant at 21 years of age, be calculated to afford a weekly 
sick allowance of I^. 1, or any other benefit, it may easily be ascertained what 
will be required from entrants at any later age, for the same, or higher or 
lower rates of allowance. 

Full allowances were calculated to be paid in sickness during the whole 
period between 21 and 70 years of age ; but, should societies wish to know the 
effects of varying the allowances, according to the intensity or duration of 
sickness, it was stated, that, although the returns to the Highland Society did 
not give the different kinds of sickness with sufficient precision to afford cor- 
rect data for shewing those effects, yet that an approximation had been drawn 
from those returns, which might be adopted for ascertaining the average of the 
whole, until a better standard could be obtained. Thus, as formerly remarked, 
of 10 weeks of sickness among persons of all ages under 70, 2 might be assumed 
as bedfast, 5 walking, and 3 permanent, — in all 10 weeks ; or, if the allow- 
ances were to be regulated by the duration of sickness, 2\ weeks would be of 
the first quarter, 3 weeks of the second and third, and 4i weeks of unlimited 
duration, — in all 10 weeks. If, then, such rates were agreed to be adopted by 
any society, and if the allowance for 

Bedfast sickness were 5s. "| f 2 multiplied by 5s. would equal lOa. 

Walking ditto, . 3s. >■ then -j 5 . . 3s. . .15s. 

Permanent ditto. Is. 8d. J Jl3 . . Is. 8d. . . 5s. 

10 30s. 

And which 30s. being divided by 10, would give 3s. for the uniform rate of 
allowance. 

Again, if the allowance were, for 

Sickness of the 1st quarter, Qs.\ ^ | 2| multiplied by 6s. would equal 15s. 
Ditto 2d & 3d do. 3s. V ^ -J 3 . . 38. . . 9s. 

Do. of unlimited duration, ls.)*^JU| . . Is. . . 4s. 6d. 

10 28s. 6d. 

And which 28s. 6d. being divided by 10s. would give 2s. lOd. for the uniform 
rate of allowance *. 

Hence by the above method, it is easy for any new society to ascertain 
pretty accurately the average rate, of payment, and the corresponding contri- 
bution, until its own experience afford more correct data. 

These preliminary points being fixed, various tables were prepared by 
Mr John Lyon — which were subsequently revised and approved of by 
several eminent calculators — for the use of Friendly Societies, with ex- 
planatory remarks as to their construction, uses, and application. In these 
tables is shewn the condition of the supposed society in every stage during 
its progress, and means are thereby afforded of instituting comparisons with 
the successive steps in the past or future progress of actual societies, as they 
advance from the lowest state of burden, with increasing capital, to the high- 
est state of burden, when the capital ceases to accumulate, begins to decline, 
and is finally exhausted. From those tables the following one has been de- 
duced. 

♦ Highland Soc. Rep. pp. 108, 196. 



Beuf'fit or Friendly Societies. 



SOS 



TABLE sjicwing tJie Single and Annual Contributions (the latter payable quarterly) 
for assuring Ten Shillings * per week during Sickness till 70 years of Age ; Ten 
Pounds per annum for life after 70 ; and Ten Pounds at Death. 





Assiinmce of Weekly 


Assurance of an Annuity 


Assurance of £ 10 


on 




1 


Age. 


Pay 


in Sickness. 




of A* 10 after 70- 






Deatli. 








TOTAI^ 1 


Single 


Annual 


Single 


Annual 


Single 


Annual 


Singl 


e 


Annual 




Contrib. 


Contritu 


Contrib. 


Contrib. 


Contrib. 


Contrib. 


Contrib. 


Contrib. 




L. 8. 


D. 


L, 8. 


D. 


L. S. 


D. 


L. 8. 


D. 


L. s. 


D. 


L. 


8. 


D. 


L. 8. 


D 


L. S. D. 


21 


9 1 


2 


10 





3 2 


54 


3 


5| 


3 


54 





3 


Of 


15 4 


1 


16 9| 


22 


9 4 


u 


10 


2| 


3 5 


74 


3 


74 


3 I 


44 





3 


5 


15 11 


u 


17 34 


23 


9 7 


24 


10 


6 


3 8 


Hi 


3 


10 


3 2 


H 





3 


6 


15 18 


6 


17 10 


24 


9 10 


5 


10 


n 


3 12 


54 


4 


1 


3 3 


4| 





3 


7 


16 6 


3 


18 54 


25 


9 13 


10 


11 


04 


3 16 


14 


4 


4 


3 4 


54 





3 


8 


16 14 


4^ 


19 04 


26 


9 17 


44 


11 


H 


4 





4 


7 


3 5 


64 





3 


9 


17 2 


11 


19 84 


27 


10 1 


03 


11 


8 


4 4 


Oi 


4 


104 


3 6 


8 





3 


10 


17 11 


94 


1 44 


28 


10 4 


10| 


12 


04 


4 8 


^ 


5 


2 


3 8 


1| 





3 


114 


18 1 


54 


1 1 If 


29 


10 8 


104 


12 


H 


4 12 


11 


5 


6 


3 9 


0| 







1 


18 10 


104 


1 1 114 


30 


10 13 


04 


12 


9 


4 17 


84 


5 


10 


3 10 


4 







24 


19 1 


04 


1 2 94 


31 


10 17 


34 


13 


2 


5 2 


8| 


6 


24 


3 11 


7i 







4 


19 11 


7i 


1 3 8| 


32 


11 1 


8 


13 


n 


5 8 


04 


6 


7 


3 13 


04 







54 


20 2 


8^ 


1 4 7i 


33 


11 6 


54 


14 


04 


5 13 


n 


7 


04 


3 14 


31 







7 


20 14 


6 


1 5 8 


34 


11 11 


^\ 


14 


64 


5 19 


9| 


7 


6 


3 15 


iJt 







9 


21 6 


10| 


1 6 94 


35 


11 16 


^\ 


15 


0| 


6 6 


24 


8 





3 16 







11 


21 19 


n 


I 7 llf 


36 


12 1 


11 


15 


A 


6 12 


114 


8 


6 


3 18 


44 





5 


1 


22 13 


3 


1 9 24 


37 


12 7 


54 


16 


A 


7 


04 


9 


2 


3 19 10 





5 


3 


23 7 


3f 


1 10 74 


38 


12 13 


n 


16 


n 


7 7 


7| 


9 


94 


4 1 


44 





5 


5 


24 2 


24 


1 2 04 


39 


12 19 


41 


17 


6 


7 15 


10 


10 


6 


4 3 


Of 





5 


7 


24 18 


34 


1 13 7 


40 


13 5 


n 


18 


24 


8 1 


04 


11 


3 


4 4 


64 





5 


94 


25 11 


4| 


1 15 3 


41 


13 12 


4| 


18 


iii 

94 


8 13 


84 


12 


1 


4 6 


li 





6 





26 12 


24 


1 17 Of 


42 


13 19 


2 


19 


9 3 


5 


13 





4 7 


8| 





6 


24 


27 10 


31 


1 19 


43 


14 6 


Oi 


1 


8 


9 13 


9 


14 





4 9 


4| 





6 


54 


28 9 


2 


2 1 14 


44 


14 12 


114 


1 1 


7 


10 4 


84 


15 


1 


4 11 


14 





6 


84 


29 8 


94 


2 3 44 


45 


14 19 


94 


1 2 


n 


10 16 


H 


16 


34 


4 12 


lU 





7 





30 9 


1 


2 5 104 


46 


15 6 


104 


1 3 


7 


11 9 


04 


17 


74 


4 14 


8 





7 


34 


31 10 


7 


2 8 54 


47 


15 13 


84 


1 4 


8 


12 2 


64 


19 


1 


4 16 


54 





7 


7 


32 12 


84 


2 11 4 


48 


16 


24 


1 5 


94 


12 16 


11 


1 


84 


4 18 


4 





7 


11 


33 15 


54 


2 14 5 


49 


16 6 


44 


1 7 





13 12 


24 


1 2 


64 


5 


3 





8 


34 


34 18 


10 


2 17 9| 


50 


16 12 


1 


1 8 


3 


14 8 


7 


1 4 


64 


5 2 


3i 





8 


84 


36 2 


1143 1 6 1 



The payments required for annuities to widows have been here omitted, because 
the tables for that scheme were calculated upon the supposition, that, in practice, 
all the contributions for the different benefits would be conjoined, and, therefore, 
that although a member should become a widower, he would still be under the 
necessity of making full payment to all the schemes. It is but natural to suppose, 
however, that few would continue to contribute to a fund from which they could 
never derive any benefit, and, by abandoning the society, would render all the cal- 
culations for the scheme useless. The payments for such benefits, therefore, should 
be entirely distiiict from all other contributions, and calculated to cease at the 
death of the wife, as well as at the death of the husband ;— but, It is presumed, 
that very few of the working classes will be found to insure for this benefit, the 
same amount of contribution being required for a widow's annuity of L. 10 per 
itnnum as for L. 100 at the death of her husband ; besides, that the former benefit 
is uncertain, while the latter is certain, and also of more advantage to the widow. 

* It was found, that au annual contribution of lOs. would afford a weekly sick allowances of lOs. 3id. 
from 21 to 70 years of age, but it was reconuncnded, that 10s. only should be the stipulated allowance. 



304 Mr W. Fraser on the History and Constitution of 

By the above table, then, an entrant at the age of 29, for a weekly sick al- 
lowance of 1 Os. from ihat age till completing his 70th year, will require to 
pay either an annual contribution of 12s. 4 id. during the same period, if he live 
so long, or a single payment of L. 10 : 8 : 10^ at entry, to supersede all future 
contributions ; — for an annuity of L. 10 during life after 70, either an annual 
contribution of 5s. 6d. till 70, or a single payment of L. 4 : 12 : 11 ; and for L. 10 
at death, either an annual contribution of 4s. Id. till 70, or a single payment 
of L. 3 : 9 : Of. Thus all the contributions are to cease at 70, and each member 
is supposed to become free (i. e. entitled to benefit, in the event of sickness or 
death) immediately upon entry ; but numerous rules and problems are given in 
the Report, by which societies may determine — the rates of contributions or al- 
lowances, should members not become free until after a certain number of years 
— the effects of varying the rates of allowances according to the intensity or 
duration of sickness — the mode of ascertaining the stock which any society 
ought to be possessed of, in order to fulfil all its engagements, — and, in short, 
every requisite information is afforded for the proper management of Friendly 
Societies. For all these details, however, we must refer to the Report it- 
self. 



The tables which may next be considered, are those constructed by the 
Reverend John Thomas Becher, of Southwell in Nottinghamshire. This 
gentleman has, of late years, devoted much time and attention to the im- 
provement of Friendly Societies, and was the founder of the Southwell So- 
ciety in 1823. In his calculations, he adopted, as formerly remarked, rather 
a higher rate of sickness than that which had been assumed by Dr Price — 
the Northampton rate of mortality — 4 per cent, interest on payments for allow- 
ances during sickness and old age— and 3 per cent, on those for allowances at 
death. The contributions in his tables were therefore higher than in those 
of the Highland Society. The following statement by Mr Becher will shew 
the difference between the two, upon the annual contributions payable by 
twenty-five persons, from the 21st to the 45th years of age. 



Ages from 21 to 45 Years, 
both inclusive. 



Allowance of 
10s. Weekly 
Bed-lying Pay 
and 6s. Walk- 
Pay in 
Sickness. 



'1 



Anniial 
Contribution. 



Annuity 

of 5s. Weekly 

after 70. 



Annual 
Contribution. 



Assurance 

of L. 10 on 

Death. 



Annual 
Contribution. 



TotaL 



Annual 
Contribution. 



Southwell Tables, 
Scotch Tables, . 



19 



13 9 114 



^e s. d. 

17 15 3 
13 34 



£, s. d. 
9 

5 19 104 



£ s. d. 
46 4 

32 10 14 



Excess of Southwell Tables, 



5 18 94 



4 14 114 



3 14 



13 13 104 



Note by Mr Becher. " The Scotch Tables give the Annual Contributions for a permanent 

Allowance in Sickness, without reference to Bed-lying Pay, or Walking Pay, which must be ad- 
justed according to circumstances. Therefore I have here taken the contributions according to the 
Scotch Tables, for ^s. 6d. weekly permanent pay in sickness, of every denommation ; assuming for 
our present purpose, that this equals a weekly allowance of 10s. Bed-lying pay, and 5s. Walking 
pay, being the medium between these two last mentioned allowances; or, in other words, that the 
periods of sickness entitling a membn to Bed-lying pay and to Walking pay, correspond with each 



Benefit or Friendly Socklks. 



S&5 



other. This hypothesis atlvances the annual payments of the Scotch Tables for sickness higher 
than they ought to stand, and consequently raises the amount nearer to the Southwell Tables." • 

It thus appears that the difference in the annual contribution is no leas 
than 42 per cent. The tables of the Southwell Society, too, are only gra- 
duated quinquennially, while those of the Highland Society are graduated 
annually ; that is, by the quinquennial scale, one person entering at 30 years 
of age, and another at 34, would both pay the same sum for the same benefit ; 
while, by the annual scale, the payments are either increased, or the allowan- 
ces diminished, for each year an entrant is older than the minimum age for 
entry. In this respect, therefore, the Southwell tables are certainly defec- 
tive. One of the peculiarities of Mr Becher's system, however, and worthy of 
being imitated by such societies as combine all their payments, is, that " the 
tables of calculations are so framed, that whoever makes an assurance in sickness 
(which terminates at 65) must, at the same time, assure an annuity after 05, 
and a payment on death, which combination has been devised, with an inten.. 
tion of preventing imposition or inequality. Thus, were a sickly person to 
effect an assurance, what was gained in sickness would be lost in the annuity. 
On the other hand, should the healthy members receive but a small portion 
of the pay in sickness, there is a greater probability of their living to enjoy 
the annuities. By a similar arrangement, the annuities and the assurances 
on death reciprocally co-operate. If the member dies prematurely, the con- 
tributions on account of the annuity become available towards discharging the 
payment on death ; but if the life be prolonged, the assurances on death, after 
a certain period, may be regarded as applicable towards the annuity. So that, 
by introducing a system of balanced interests, it seems scarcely possible to de- 
fraud the institution, or to preclude the attainment of its benevolent objects "f." 

Since the institution of the society at Southwell, several other societies 
have been formed in the neighbouring counties, upon a very extensive scale, 
and all of whom have adopted the Southwell tables. Mr Becher was 
very minutely examined by the Committee of the House of Commons in 
1 825, with regard to the calculations of these tables, and the data on which 
they were founded. Several objections were stated to them by some of the 
other gentlemen examined, particularly as to the rate of mortality and intew 
rest Mr Becher had assumed ; in which objections the Committee ultimately 
concurred, but approved of the rate of sickness. He was again examined in 
1827, and his evidence, together with the opinion of the Committee, respect- 
ing the rate of mortality, will be found in the former number of this 
Journal Mr Becher subsequently communicated a set of tables to the Com- 
mittee, which he had furnished to a society in Dorsetshire, and from which 
the following table is extracted. 

With reference to this table, Mr Becher remarks, that the contributions 
are to be invariable, and payable once in every calendar month, till the age of 
65, when the contributions for the whole benefits, as well as the allowances 
during sickness, are to cease. The table is founded upon the same principles 
as the Southwell tables, except that in this table an annual graduation of ages, 
and interest at the rate of 3^ per cent, have been adopted. Although the 
Northampton rate of mortality has still been taken, it is said that the adop- 
tion of 3^ per cent, interest, raises the contributions for sickness and annui- 

* Obsarvations on the Report of the Sdect Committee of th« House of Comnoons on the hvm 

of Friendly Societies in 1825. Newark 1826. 4s. „ . . , .-,-,.- , ll .. -^-}-, - , '- [ 

t Parliamentary Report in 1825, p. 176. 



306 Mr W. Fraser on the History and Constitutkm of 

ties in old age as high as if the pre'miums had been computed by the Carlisle 
tables, or those constructed upon the experience of the Equitable Society of 
London, at the rate of 4| per cent, interest. It may here be remarked, how- 
ever, that the single payments required from entrants to the sickness fund, 
seem to have been calculated upon some principle very different from that 
adopted by the Highland Society. By their table, p. 305 of this Journal, 
these payments progressively increase with the advance of age, whereas by 
Mr Becher's table they periodically decrease. Thus, according to him, the 
single payment from an entrant at 21 years of age is £ 1 : 17 : 3, and at 24 
only £1:16:1; at 30, £ 2 : 8 : 5, and at 39 only £2:1:5; at 40, £ 2 : C : 9, 
and at 49 only £ 1 : 15 : 7, or Is. 8d. below the sum payable at the age of 21. 
From Mr Becher's abilities as a calculator, there can be little doubt of the total 
results of his tables being found correct by such societies as combine all their 
schemes ; but it is obvious that this scale of single payments for benefit during 
sickness could never be acted upon by societies who should keep all their pay- 
ments and benefits separate— a system which it is most desirable to introduce. 

TABLE shewing the Single and the Monthly Contributions for assuring Two 
Shillings per Week during Sickness Bed-lying Pay^ and One Shilling per Week 
Walking Pay : a Weekly Allowartce of One Shilling after the Age of 65, and 
Two Pounds on Death. 





Assurance of Weekly 


Assurance of Is. 


Assurance of L. 2 










] 


Pay in Sickness. 


Weekly Pay after 65. 


on Death 




Total. 




Age last 
Firth- 




























"""*" 


























^^ 




Day. 




Single 


Monthly 


Single 


Monthly 


Single 


Monthly 


Single 


Monthly 




Contrib. 


Contrib. 


Contrib. 


Contrib. 


Contrib. . 


Contrib. 


Contrib. 


Contrib. 




£ 


s. 


d. 


s. d. 


£ s. 


d. 


s. 


d. 


£ s. 


d. 


S, 


d. 


£ s. 


d. 


S. 


d. 


21 


1 


17 


3 


2\ 


1 11 


10 





2 


15 


10 





1 


4 4 


11 





H 


22 


1 


16 


10 


2i 


1 13 


6 





2 


16 








1 


4 6 


4 





5| 


23 


1 


16 


6 


2\ 


1 15 


1 





H 


16 


3 





1 


4 7 


10 





5i 


24 


1 


16 


1 


2i 


1 16 10 





H 


16 


5 





H 


4 9 


4 





5| 


25 


2 


3 


8 


2| 


1 18 


9 





n 


16 


7 





u 


4 19 








H 


26 


2 


3 


2 


2| 


2 


8 





2a 


16 


10 





n 


5 


8 





6| 


27 


2 


2 


7 


2| 


2 2 


9 





2| 


17 








H 


5 2 


4 





6| 


28 


2 


2 


1 


2a 


2 5 








3 


17 


3 





H 


5 4 


4 





7 


29 


2 


1 


6 


2| 


2 7 


3 





H 


17 


5 





H 


5 6 


2 





n 


30 


2 


8 


5 


34 


2 9 


9 





3i 


17 


8 





H 


5 15 


10 





8 


31 


2 


7 


9 


3i 


2 12 


6 





3| 


17 


11 





n 


5 18 


2 





8i 


32 


2 


7 





34 


2 15 


2 





4 


18 


1 





H 


6 


3 





H 


33 


2 


6 


4 


3| 


2 18 


1 





4i 


18 


4 





i| 


6 2 


9 





9 


34 


2 


5 


7 


3i 


3 1 


2 





4i 


18 


7 





H 


6 5 


4 





9* 


35 


2 


4 


9 


H 


3 4 


6 





^ 


18 


10 





H 


6 8 


1 





94 


36 


2 


4 





3| 


3 8 








H 


19 


1 





n 


6 11 


I 


10 1 


37 


2 


2 


2 


3i 


3 11 


9 





54 


19 


4 





n 


6 13 


3 





104 


38 


2 


2 


4 


34 


3 15 


8 





6 


19 


7 





2 


6 17 


7 





Hi 


39 


2 


1 


5 


3i 


3 19 


11 





H 


19 


10 





2 


7 1 


2 





111 


40 


2 


6 


9 


3| 


4 4 


5 





7 


1 








2 


7 11 


2 




Oi 


41 
42 


2 
2 


5 

4 


8 
6 


3| 

3a 


4 9 


3 
5 






n 

8i 


1 
1 


1 

8 






2 

2 


7 15 
7 19 




7 




2 


4 14 


43 


2 


3 


4 


3| 


5 








9 


1 


11 





2 


8 4 


3 




H 


44 


2 


2 


2 


3| 


5 5 


11 





9| 


1 1 


3 





2 


8 9 


4 




sk 


45 


2 


1 





31 


5 12 


3 





m 


1 1 


6 





^ 


8 14 


9 




H 


46 


1 


19 


9 


3| 


5 19 


1 





111 


1 1 


10 





H 


9 


8 




6| 


47 


1 


18 


4 


3| 


6 6 


5 


1 


0| 


1 2 


2 





H 


9 6 


11 




6| 


48 


1 


17 





3| 


6 14 


3 


1 


n 


I 2 


5 





l\ 


9 13 


8 




H 


49 


1 


15 


7 


3f 


7 2 


9 


1 


4 


1 2 


9 





10 1 


1 




10 



Benefit or Friendly Societies. S07 

The sums in this table, as well as those in the one deduced from the 
tables of the Highland Society, are necessary for defraying the benefits, 
without allowing any thing for management. The Committee of the latter 
body, however, recomragnded that a sum equal to 10 or 12 per cent, on the 
contributions should be levied, in one way or other, for this purpose ; and Mr 
Becher states, that, in those societies in which he has been engaged, each mem- 
ber must be one year in the society before being entitled to benefit, which is 
equal to about C^ per cent, on the annual contributions; — that the difference 
between the excess of interest received from government above that calcu- 
lated in his tables, is equal to a profit of rather more than 1 per cent. ; — that 
the difference between paying the contribution monthly, and paying it at the 
conclusion of the year, is equal to about 2| percent; — that in converting deci- 
mals or other fractions into money a considerable surplus arises, by always 
making the even sums in favour of the society ; — and, that fines and forfei- 
tures are considerable sources of emolument. It is therefore assumed, that 
12^ per cent, computed upon the annual income of such institutions, or 2s. 6d. , 
in the pound, may be applied by societies, placed in such circumstances, to- 
wards defraying the expences of management, and medical attendance ; and 
that should the management exceed that amount, such excess must be de- 
frayed either by voluntary donations or subscriptions, or by calling upon each 
member for an additional contribution •. The Committee of 1825, however, 
consider it as " of some importance, that the addition made for management 
should not be, as in some instances it is, a per-centage upon the contribution, 
inasmuch as the expence of management bears a proportion rather to the 
number of the members than to the amount of their payments "{*•" 

The only other table of Authority for the use of Friendly Societies, is one 
constructed by Messrs Finlaison and Davies, actuaries. These gentlemen 
were required, by the Committee of the House of Commons in 1827, to con- 
struct tables, " shewing the single and monthly payments to be made by males 
and females respectively, of every age, from 18 to 50, to insure a weekly pay- 
ment in sickness of 10s. bed-lying pay, and 5s. walking pay ; and to insure 
also a superannuation allowance of 5s. weekly to commence at 70, at which 
age the sickness allowance was to cease, as well as the monthly payments of 
members on account thereof; — also another table, shewing the single and 
monthly payments to be made till death, by males and females respectively of 
every age from 18 to 50, to insure a sum of L. 10 on death." This desire 
. was accordingly complied with, except in so far as regarded a separate table 
for sums payable at death, the actuaries having conceived it to be more expe- 
dient that all the three benefits should be combined. 

With reference to the data on which their calculations were founded, those 
gentlemen remark, that the rate of sickness which they had adopted was a 
medium of that resulting from the returns made to the Highland Society of 
Scotland by Friendly Societies, and of that from the Returns made to the 
A(\jutant General's Office as experienced by the whole Army quartei*ed in 
England during the years 1823-4. Such a mean exhibits lyVs weeks under 
the age of 60 ; 2 /jV weeks from 60 to 60 ; and 7iV5 weeks from 60 to 70. 

It will here be observed, that the annual sickness at all ages between 20 and 
50 is considered to be at the same rate,— Mr Finlaison being of opinion, that 
* Report of 1827, p. 21. and 121. t Report of 1826, p. 15. 



308 Mr W. Fraser on i^ie History and Constitution of 

whether one uniform rate of sickness under 50 be assumed, or a graduated 
rate, increasing according to age, the result, from the nature of the calcula- 
tion, will not materially differ, as far as practical purposes are concerned. 
This rate of sickness under 50 is the same as that assumed for the construc- 
tion of the Southwell tables; and which rate, as formerly remarked, is double 
the average of the sickness for those ages reported to the Highland Society. 

The actuaries, although perfectly aware of the difference between the 
mortality of males and that of females, nevertheless determined, for several 
reasons, to adopt the average mortality of the two sexes, — Mr Davies taking 
the Carlisle observations, and Mr Finlaison the mean of what he had ob- 
served to prevail among the separate sexes of the government annuitants^. 
They conceived that no practical danger would result from this course of pro- 
ceeding, as the rates would be sufficient for any society composed of equal 
numbers of each sex ; and rather more than sufficient in ordinary cases, as 
in general the males greatly predominate in Friendly Societies. 

The rate of interest calculated upon is not stated, but it is presumed, 
from a former communication by Mr Finlaison *, to be 3 per cent. In that 
communication he stated, that, as Friendly Societies are subject to loss by im- 
position and other disadvantages, it was but proper to secure three chances 
in their favour. These were, 1st, To assume that money can only be improved 
at the rate of 3 per cent, per annum, such interest being payable half yearly ; 
2d, That the decrement of life among Friendly Societies should be taken at 
the same rate as that which prevails among the Government annuitants, who 
are aU in the higher or better ranks of life ; and, 3d, That, in calculation, 
no abatement ought to be made for a reduced allowance, called Walking Pay, 
during convalescence, or any protracted chronic illness. The savings arising 
from such sources, Mr Finlaison conceived should be considered as a reserv- 
ed profit, to stand against imposition, or to counteract any unforeseen disas- 
ter ; and in this opinion Mr Davies concurs. .. 

Proceeding, then, upon the above data, these gentlemen made their caJU 
culations separately ; and, upon the results being compared, they were found 
so nearly to agree, as that if an entrant, at any age between 19 and 41, were 
charged by Mr Finlaison's tables, according to his age at the last birth- 
day, and by Mr Davies's tables, according to his age at next birth-day, the 
rate would be within one farthing of the same sum. A mean was therefore 
taken of their separate calculations, and the following Rules and Tables are 
the result. 

" RULES and TABLES recommended hy Messrs Finlaison and Davies, for 
adoption hy Friendly Societies in general. 

" The Select Committee of the Honourable House of Commons, on Friend- 
ly Societies, having required us, the undersigned Actuaries, to consult to- 
gether, and jointly to recommend such a scale of rates as might be sufficient, 
in practice, to warrant the benefits undermentioned ; we have accordingly, 
for the reasons set forth in the annexed paper, concurred in recommending 
the rates comprehended in the following brief rules, which, with ordinary 
precautions to prevent abuse, will, in cur judgment, be found adequate to in- 
sure the objects in view. 

" 1. Any Society, formed for the mutual relief of its members, inNgickness 
* Report in 1825, p. 137- 



Benefit or Friendly Societies, 



309 



nnd old age, may consist of persons of either sex ; the females to be admitted 
on precisely the same terms as the males — 2. Its objects should be limited 
to Three benefits ; viz. A Weekly allowance of Ten shillings in sickness, 
ceasing at the age of 70 ; a Weekly allowance of Five shillings, commencing 
at the age of 70, and continuing for life afterwards ; and a sum of £ 10 for 
Burial money, payable whenever a member shall decease. — 3. No one shall 
be received a member who is more than 50 years old, or who is in any degree 
unhealthy at the time when proposed for admission. — 4. No payment shall Be 
required from any member after the age of 70 ; but up to that age, every 
contributicm is payable, whether the party be in sickness or in health.— <5. Who- 
ever is admitted at 31 years of age, shall afterwards pay a monthly contribu- 
tion of three shillings and three halfpence.— 6. Any one admitted younger 
than 31, shall pay three farthings less every month, for each year of age short 
of 31 — 7. Any one admitted older than 31, shall pay seven farthings more 
every month, for each year of age above 31, and under 41. — 8. Whoever is 
admitted at 50 years of age, shall pay seven shillings and nine-pence every 
month — 9. But whoever is admitted between 40 and 50, shall pay four-pence 
less every month, for each year of age short of 50. — 10. None of those contri- 
butions shall ever be applied to any purpose, but to the three objects above 
stated : And the expence of management, and all other charges whatsoever, 
shall be defrayed from the subscriptions of honorary members, if any ; from 
admission-fees and fines, or by means of separate assessments expressly made 
for the occasion." The following Practical Table is then given : 

" TABLE of the Single and Monthly Payments^ for insuring in Sickness a Week- 
ly Allowance of Ten Shillings Bed -lying Pay, and Five Shillings Walking Pay, 
ceasing at the Age of ^0 : An Allowance for Life of Five Shillings Weekly, 
after the Age of 70, and a Sum of £10 payable at Death. — The Monthly 
Payment to cease at the Age of ^0. 



Age at last 

Birthday 

before 

Admission. 


Single 


Monthly 


Age at last 

Birthday 

before 

Admission. 


Single 


Monthly 


Payment. 


Payment. 


Payment. 


Payment. 




£ s. d. 


£ s. d. 




£ s. d. 


£ s. d. 


18 


24 18 8 


2 34 


34 


33 8 54 


3 6i 


19 


25 5 74 


2 4 


35 


34 4 4 


3 8 


20 


25 13 


2 44 


36 


35 1 14 


3 9| 
3 114 
4 If 
4 4 
4 6 


21 
22 
23 
24 


26 10 
26 3 114 

26 17 64 

27 6 7 


2 5i 
2 6 
2 64 
2 7i 


37 
38 
39 
40 


35 19 1 

36 18 5 

37 18 104 
39 4 


25 


27 16 04 


2 8 


41 


40 3 5 


4 8| 


26 


28 5 114 


2 9 


42 


41 8 64 


4 114 


27 


28 16 34 


2 9| 


43 


42 14 74 


5 24 


28 


29 7 4 


2 11 


44 


44 12 4 


5 6 


29 


29 19 


2 11| 


45 


45 11 6 


5 94 


30 


30 11 4 


3 14 


46 


47 2 24 


6 1} 


31 
32 
33 


31 4 6 

31 18 54 

32 13 2 


3 2i 
3 3} 
3 5 


47 
48 
49 
50 


48 14 44 
50 8 54 
52 4 11 
54 3 34 


6 6 
6 111 
7 4| 

7 n 



" We recommend the above, as 
JANUARY— MARCH 1828. 



Practical Table, which may be 
X 



SIO Mr W. Fraser on the History and Constitution of 

used by Friendly Societies. If any other amount of benefit than those to 
which it refers, should be desired, the single or monthly payments are to be 
increased or diminished accordingly ; but the several sorts of benefits are al- 
ways to bear the same proportion one to the other, which they bear in this 
Table. 

(Signed) '* John Finlaison, Actuary of the National Debt. 

" Griffith Davies, Guardian Assurance Office.^ 

Such, then, is a brief detail of the principal rates of contributions which 
have been proposed for allowances to the members of Friendly Societies, 
during sickness, old age, and at death. Regarding the Tables in the Re- 
port of the Highland Society, the Parliamentary Committee of 1827 have 
given no opinion ; but it is to be presumed that they concur with the Com- 
mittee of 1825, in considering that the rates of sickness and mortality adopt- 
ed in the construction of those tables would be unsafe to calculate upon for 
societies in England. The Committee, however, conceive, that either the 
tables of Mr Becher, or that of Messrs Finlaison and Davies, may be safely 
adopted by such societies, their remarks upon both being as follows : — 

" On the whole, then, your Committee are of opinion, that the Dorsetshire 
tables, or Mr Becher*s new tables, having the annual graduation, may safely 
be adopted ; provided, 1st, That a separate provision be made for the expences of 
management, by fines, admission fees, voluntary contributions, or otherwise. 
2dly, That the proportion of females do not greatly exceed one-third of the 
whole number of members. 3dly, That the assurance for a superannuation 
allowance be always connected with a life assurance requiring a monthly pay- 
ment of half its amount. 4thly, That the present rate of interest allowed on 
debentures be continued. 

" Your Committee are decidedly of opinion, that the societies should be 
formed upon the largest scale possible. It is very difficult to fix a number of 
members below which no society ought to exist ; but if they were required to 
give an opinion upon this point, they would say that it would be imprudent 
to establish a society with fewer than two hundred members. 

" It will be particularly desirable for the smaller societies, indeed it might 
be expedient for all new societies, to make seventy the age of superannua- 
tion ; up to that age, many men are very capable of maintaining themselves 
by work. The payment necessary for such an allowance commencing at the 
age of 70, is little more than two-thirds of that which is required, if the al- 
lowance commences at 66. But, on the other hand, the sickness payment 
must be somewhat increased, if it is to provide for sickness occurring be- 
tween C5 and 70. And if the superannuation be made perfectly safe, there 
will be no necessity to have recourse to a life assurance for supplying its de- 
ficiency. It is assuredly much better, that the contribution for each con- 
tingency should be sufficient in itself; and though your Committee agree 
with that of 1825, in deeming it highly important, with the view of avoid- 
ing pauperism, that a superannuation allowance should always be provided, 
they do not think it absolutely necessary that a sum should be assured on 
death. 



Benefit or Friendly Societies, Sll 

" The actuaries, however, Mr Finlaison and Mr Griffith Davies, whom 
they desire<l to prepare tables upon these principles, have found it more expe- 
dient to combine the three contingencies ; and your Committee recommend, 
with much confidence, the Rules and Tables of Payments which these gen- 
tlemen have prepared, with a view to their adoption by new societies.** • 

There are few other observations in this Report requiring here to be no- 
ticed. It is suggested that the provision in the act of 1819, requiring the 
tables of every society who may wish to enjoy the benefit of that act to be cer- 
tified by two actuaries as correct, should be repealed ;— that, for insuring ac- 
curacy, a direct reference of the rules of societies requiring sanction should 
be made to the National Debt Office through the Clerks of the Peace ; — that 
returns of the states of societies* affiiirs should be rendered as often as the 
magistrates in Quarter Sessions may require, or, at any rate, once in 
five years ; — and that the penalty in these, and all other cases of default, 
should be the deprivation of the benefit of A}^ per cent, interest for their mo- 
ney. It is likewise suggested that the interference of two justices in petty 
sessions might properly be applied not only to the case of an unauthorised di- 
vision or misappropriation of the funds, but to all other proceedings leadinf^ 
less directly to a misappropriation of the funds, particularly the admission of 
members beyond the age authorised by the rules, and thereby endangering 
the stability of the society. Lastly, the Committee concur in most of the 
other suggestions contained in the Report of 1825, and recommend to the 
House their being formed into an act, which shall likewise consolidate all the 
former enactments with regard to such societies as have been enrolled subse- 
quently to the act of 1819. 

To the foregoing summary a very few additional observations 
will at present suffice. 

By the late investigations, the utility and principles of Friend- 
ly Societies have been fully developed, and means have been 
pointed out, by which their schemes may be as permanently and 
beneficially conducted as those of any of the higher classes of 
mutual assurance associations. Although some difference of opi- 
nion still exists as to the rates of sickness and mortality which 
should be adopted for the calculations of such societies, yet the 
data and tables that have been already procured may be safely 
taken as standaixls, until, from farther experience, more satis- 
factory guides can be obtained. As the tables of contributions, 
however, materially differ from each other, it may become s 
question which of them is best adapted for the practical pur- 
poses of societies ; but it will be obvious that this must greatly 
depend upon the circumstances in which the members of any 
particular society may be placed,— whether situated in the coun- 
try Qx in towns, in high or low situations ; and whether engaged 

* Report iu ia07» P> l^ 

%2 



312 Mr W. Fraser on the History and Constitution of 

in healthy or unhealthy, dangerous or not dangerous, employ- 
ments. Any society or societies keeping these circumstances irt 
view, and also considering the vast importance of at first secur- 
ing the permanency of their schemes, may easily judge of the 
rates most suitable to themselves. But, even with the most cor- 
rect calculation of which the subject will admit, differences be- 
tween the actual and estimated expenditure will frequently oc- 
cur, arising either 'from the members being too few in number 
to afford a fair average of sickness and mortality, or from epi- 
demics, and other similar causes. "It is therefore desirable, 
that societies should be made fully aware, that, while correct 
calculation may do much in placing their schemes on a more 
secure footing than hitherto, still there are contingencies a- 
gainst which calculations made beforehand cannot guard, which 
can only be obviated by attention on their own part to the pra- 
gress of the societies'* affairs, and by accommodating their ar- 
rangements to their circumstances a& occasion may require */' 
For this purpose, a correct record must always be kept of the 
society's transactions, particularly the ages of the members, and 
the sickness and mortality which occur at the different ages. 
These being known, the affairs of any society may be periodi- 
cally balanced, the amount of the past and future contributions 
compared with the value of the future allowances, and the abi- 
lity or inability of the society to fulfil its engagements correctly 
ascertained. 

By the statute 49th Geo. Ill, c. 12, it is enacted, that where 
the rules of any society provide for all disputes between the in- 
dividual members and the society being decided by arbitration, 
the opinion or order of such arbiters shall be final and binding 
on all concerned, without the power of appeal to any court what- 
ever ; and it is very properly recommended by the Committee 
of the Highland Society, that it should be an indispensable rule 
in every Friendly Society, that all disputes between the society 
and any of its members shall be referred to arbitration. The 
great utihty of such a law must be evident to every one in the 
least .acquainted with these institutions, not only on account of 
a great expence being thus saved both to societies and indivi- 
duals, but also on account of such questions being generally more 
maturely considered by arbiters, than by the inferior judica^- 

• Highland Society's Report, p. 281. 



Benefit or Friendly Societies. 313 

tories to which they are limited,— a striking illustration of 
which shall be given in our next Number. It is not, there- 
lore, without regret that we see it recommended by the Com- 
mittee of 1825 that the law of arbitration should be repealed. 
If this suggestion be adopted, Friendly Societies will be deprived 
of one of their greatest safeguards, and be subjected to the irre- 
vocable decisions of the Petty Sessions of the Peace, which are 
frequently composed of persons but very imperfectly acquainted 
with the principles of the contract of mutual assurance govern- 
ing such institutions, and but too apt to pay little or no atten- 
tion to the regulations which they themselves have sanctioned, 
and on which alone they ought to found their decisions. 

It has been already remarked, that the statute by which 
Friendly Societies in England are allowed 4J per cent, from 
Government for their money, does not extend to Scotland. If 
this important benefit is still to be granted by the statute 
of which notice has been already given by Mr Courtenay 
in the present session of Parliament, it is trusted that the 
Friendly Societies of Scotland will not be again excluded. If 
they are willing to comply with all the conditions required from 
those in England, it is but fair that they should be likewise 
entitled to the same privileges. Both kingdoms are under the 
same government — both are under the same system of taxation ; 
therefore, " where all contribute alike, all should receive alike ; 
and it is only where double benefits are wanted, that they should 
be refused, or paid for accordingly." 

Friendly Societies are exempted by statute from all stamp- 
duty upon bonds granted by their treasurers; and it is pre- 
sumed, that it was only from their payments being hitherto so 
small as not to require stamps, that they were not exempted 
from all stamp-duty whatever. As these societies, however, will 
be now upon a more extensive scale, and be managed upon the 
same principles with the higher assurance companies, it is to be 
feared that receipt, policy and other stamp duties will become a 
very heavy burden, and one which they will be ill able to bear. Ft 
is therefore also hoped, that this subject will not be overlooked 
by the legislature in the enactment of any new law for the be^ 
nefit and encouragement of these laudable and highly use^:iii- 

sUtutions. .,.)/ .,,i^^^^>f; ^.Ir^ic^i j^f^^I " 

(To be continued,) 



( 314 ) 

A SJiort Sketch of the Geology ofNithsdak, chiefly in an Eco- 
nomical point of Vieiv, and contrasted with that of the Neigli- 
bouring Valleys. By James Stuart Menteatii, Esq. Young- 
er of Closeburn, Member of the Wernerian Natural History 
Society. * 

1. General account. — 2. Basin of New Cumnock. — 3. Basin of Sanquhar. 
— 4. Basin of Closeburn.— 5. Basin of Dumfries. — 6. Upper and Low- 
er Basin of Annandale. — 7- Upper and Lower Basin of Eskdale — 
8. Annandale and Eskdale contrasted with Nithsdale — 9. Basin of 
the Dee contrasted with Nithsdale. 

1. jL he county of Dumfries is traversed from N. to S. by three 
rivers, viz. the Nith, Annan, and Esk. These rivers, in their 
course from the mountains to the Sol way Firth, pass through a 
country in which not only the mountains, hills, and valleys, but 
also the rocks and soils, exhibit much to interest the geologist 
and agriculturist. The general features of the county have 
been already detailed by Professor Jameson in the " Mineralo- 
gy of Dumfriesshire.'''' We propose, therefore, in the follow- 
ing remarks, to confine our attention principally to the districts 
traversed by the river Nith. 

The Nith, probably the most beautiful river in the county, 
rises in Ayrshire, and flows through the basin of Cumnock, 
in that county, into Dumfriesshire. In its progress through 
this county, it flows through other three basins, viz. those of 
Sanquhar, Closeburn, and Dumfries, before it reaches the Sol- 
way Firth. 

Having described the Nith as rising in the hills of Ayrshire, 
and flowing through the valley of New Cumnock before it en- 
ters Dumfriesshire, it may be proper first to consider the basin of 
New Cumnock. 

9>. Basin of New Cumnock. — It is bounded on the west, north, 
and east, by greywacke, forming rather low hills, which are 
far from pleaang in their appearance. It is separated from 
the basin of Sanquhar by a ridge of greywacke, nearly three 
miles broad. The length of the basin is about ten miles, and 
the breadth ^ve miles. The coal formation fills all the central 
parts of this basin, and even spreads itself on the east over the 

• Read before the Werneriau Natural History Society, 9th February 1828. 

2 



Mr Menteath 07i the Geology of Nilltsdale. 315 

sides of the greywacke hills. Coal is worked in several places. 
It occurs near the surface, in thick seams, from nine feet to. 
twelve, but as yet no accurate borings have been made to ascer- 
tain the number of beds of it which this basin contains. The 
best sort is found at the great elevation of upwards of 1000 
feet above the sea, at Mansfield, on the north side of Corson- 
scon Hill. The coal of Mansfield is a cubical and splinty coal, 
raised in very large square pieces. There are three principal 
beds, of nine, eleven, and twelve feet in thickness. Not far from 
the pits where the coal is now raised, there occurs a curious coal 
deposit, which appears to be a small isolated basin. This bed, 
which is believed to be the three above mentioned beds united 
into one, is no less than thirty feet thick, and is immediately 
under a peat-moss, which does not exceed twenty feet in thick- 
ness, and is in a complete state of decomposition. 

Imbedded in the seam of coal of twelve feet in thickness, we 
meet with a bed of cannel-coal sixteen inches thick ; and lately 
another bed of the same coal, twenty-t^v^ inches in thickness, has 
been found in an isolated situation. Both these are very free 
of sulphur. To the westward, nearly between the sources of 
the Afton and Nith, a bed of cannel coal, three feet thick, is 
met with, but being sulphurous, is not adapted for the prepara- 
tion of gas. On the estate of Mansfield, there is a bed of glance 
coal or anthracite {blind coal) four feet thick. 

The coal is associated with slate-clay, bituminous shale, and 
sandstone. The sandstone is of a yellow colour, but soft, and 
therefore of inferior quality. 

The carboniferous or mountain limestone which underlies the 
coal of the New Cumnock basin, is found in great quantities, 
and may be s^d to fringe the coal of this basin. There are se- 
veral liraeworks in it, where it is burned and prepared for mar- 
ket. On the side of Consonscon Hill, which is greywacke, and 
at a considerable elevation, the limestone, which is of an excel- 
lent quality, crops out. It is burned, and supplies a great range 
of country, not only in this basin, but that of Sanquhar. 

On the banks of the Afton, one of the tributaries of the Nith, 
before it leaves the New Cumnock Basin, galena or lead glance 
occurs in transition rocks, and has been wrought for a consider- 
able time, but to no great extent. 



316 Mr M cnteath on the Geology?/ of Nithsdale. 

The soil of New Cumnock Basin is clayey, stifl' and tena- 
cious, such as is generally found covering the coal formation. 
The herbage, though abundant, is coarse. It is, however, well 
adapted for the food of the dairy cow ; and, accordingly, the 
farmers of this basin have availed themselves of this natural ad- 
vantage of their situation, and employed the lime which is found 
every where at hand in ameliorating the soil, and improving the 
pasture. Much has been ploughed far up the hills, and artifi- 
cial grasses introduced ; and, following up this system, they have, 
by great care and expense, collected a breed of the Cunynghame 
or Dunlop cow, a small short horned animal, unequalled, per- 
Jiaps, by the breed of any other district of Ayrshire. They make 
great quantities of butter and cheese, which is exported to all 
parts of the kingdom. 

The Basin of New Cumnock, though described as one of 
the series of basins in the course of the Nith, cannot correctly 
be viewed as a separate coal formation, but as forming a part of 
that of the great basin of the Ayr, which extends from Muir- 
kirk, (where great quantities of argillaceous carbonate of iron 
are found, raised, and smelted), all the way to the sea, including 
the greatest part of the county of Ayr, which great coal-field 
is separated from that of the Clyde and Forth by a narrow 
ridge pf the Strathavon and Loudon Hills. 

It may not he uninteresting to state, that, not far from the 
borders of the New Cumnock Basin, near Old Cumnock, gra- 
phite is found in considerable quantity in the coal formation *, 
and it might probably be found in this basin also. 

Notwithstanding the great abundance of coal in the New Cum- 
nock Basin, the demand for it has been inconsiderable, owing to 
its being thinly inhabited, and opening on the north and south into 
a coal country. In one instance, however, the case has been 
different. A coal occurs near the source of the Nith at Auld- 
know, considered excellently adapted for the working of iron. 
With this view, therefore, it is carried in considerable quantity 
over a great part of the counties of Ayr, Dumfries and Kirkcud- 
bright, often to a distance of fifty or sixty miles, thus forming the 

• A Geognostical description of the Cumnock Graphite will be found in 
Professor Jameson's Mineralogical Description of Dumfriesshire, pp. 158-162. 



Mr Mentcath on the Geohgy of Nitlisdale. 317 

chief export from this basin. But, as the road communicating 
with Dinnfriesshire to the eastward of Consonscon Hill is repair- 
ed, and having a considerable descent all the way to Kirkcon- 
nel, it is probable that the Mansfield coal situated in this basin 
will be consumed in Nithsdale. This coal is very carbonaceous 
and highly bituminous, with little or no pyrites. Its unsulphu- 
rous nature renders it a most valuable article to the gas-maker, 
maltster, lime-coke burner, smelter of ores, and to all who in- 
dispensably require purity of fuel in their operations. It is at 
present employed to prepare the gas for lighting the streets of 
Dumfries, though at a distance of more than thirty miles; and 
its coke is carried as far as Ayr. 

3. Basin of Sanquhar. — The riverNith, after leaving the Basin 
of New Cumnock, crosses a grcywacke ridge through rather a 
narrow ravine, and enters the Basin of Sanquhar. In this ridge 
amygdaloid occurs. The hills which surround this basin are of 
greywacke. They are loftier, and of more pleasing form than 
those of New Cumnock. The Killa, the Youchan, the Crawick, 
and the vMcnock, have their sources among them, and in their 
course, before falling into the Nith, afford sweet pastoral 
scenery. 

The secondary rocks in the Sanquhar Basin are the coaljbr^ 
mation, and secondare/ trap. The coal Jbrmation occurs only on 
the bottom of the basin. It stretches along both sides of the Nith 
for about seven or eight miles, but scarcely exceeds two miles and 
a-half in width. Its position is very irregular. The strata are 
frequently broken, thrown down, and, as the collier expresses 
it, are full of troubles. They are crossed by two dikes or veins 
of secondary trap or greenstone^ which, in their course, alter 
the position of the strata. Near to these dikes the coal is char- 
red, and of inferior quality.* The coal of this basin has a splin- 
ty character, is generally sulphureous, and leaves a great quan- 
tity of slaty ash after combustion. Of the twelve beds, -f- ascer- 

• Professor Jameson remarks, that a little above Crawick Biitlge, there is 
a bed, about four feet thick, of columnar glance-coai or graphite : it is traversed 
by a vein of greenstone.— Mtn^o/o^ of Dumfriesshire^ p. 89. 

t According to the survey made by Mr Maclaren. 



S18 Mr Menteath on the Geology of Nith&dale. 

tained by borings in different parts of the basin, the thinnest is 
only a few inches, and the thickest does not exceed five feet. 

At the north-west corner of this basin, a kind of coal is found, 
which is considered of a superior quaUty, and is chiefly em- 
ployed by blacksmiths. A small deposite of limestone, with coal, 
occurs near the Menock, and appears separated from the coal- 
field of Sanquhar by a ridge of greywacke. It is of such an 
impure quality as to forbid its use in agriculture. The ochry 
sandstone of the coal-field occurs on both sides of the Nith. 
That which is on the east side of the river is of a bad quality, 
hardly turning wet ; but that which is found on the west side, 
as near the mouth of the Youchan, of a yellow-whitish colour, is 
an excellent building material. 

Some traces of iron-ore are observed near Crawick Bridge, 
but as yet this ore has not been turned to account. 

The soil of the valley of Sanquhar is clayey, partaking of all 
the properties of that which usually lies upon the coal formation. 
It is stiff, tenacious, and impervious to water, requiring much 
drainage, and much liming, to loosen its texture, and fit it for 
the growth of good herbage. It is, however, distant from lime, 
a circumstance which has hitherto retarded its improvement. 
There is little or no wood in this valley, which makes the cli- 
mate bleak and the scenery uninteresting. 

The Sanquhar coal formation, though of no great extent, has 
long supplied a considerable range of country, as it has afforded 
a principal part of the fuel of Dumfries and the neighbour- 
hood *. But, it is probable that in future the extension of market 
of the Sanquhar coal will not be increased, the Ayrshire coal 
being now accessible, and the lower part of Nithsdale deriving a 

• That this coal-field, though of but very limited extent, is fitted to sup- 
l).y the district in which it is placed for a very long period, a short calcula- 
tion will be sufficient to show. 

It has been stated, that the coal-field of Sanquhar is about 8 miles long, 
and scarcely 2\ in breadth. This will give in all about 20 square miles, or 
13,000 square acres. Now, the seams of coal, which are twelve in number, 
as has been ascertained by accurate borings, amount in all to only 18 feet in 
thickness. But of these several are only a few inches thick ; and the four 
workable seems scarcely amount to more than 15 feet or five yards. Taking, 
then, the workable coal at this thickness, or nearly so, it will give us in each 
acre 24,200 cubic yards of coal, or in all 314,600,000 cubic yards. But each 
cubic yard of coal, as I have been informed by an experienced engineer, Mr 



Mr Menteath on the Geology of Nithsdale. 31 9 

considerable supply from England, since the navigation of the 
Nith has been improved. 

Lying to the eastward of the valley of Sanquhar, in the grey 
wacke mountains, are the great lead- mines of Wanlockhead and 
Leadhills. The former are in Dumfriesshire, and the property 
of the Duke of Buccleuch ; the latter, belonging to the Earl 
of Hopetoun, are in Clydesdale. The principal ore at both 
places is galena or lead-glance, which is found in great quanti- 
ties. Specimens of many of the more beautiful and rarer of the 
spars of lead are met with ; * and, of late years, mineralogists- 
have described new species of lead spars as natives of these 
mines. Silver is contained in the lead, and about 7 or 9 oun- 
ces of it can be extracted from the ton. In 1809, the pro- 
duce of the mines of Leadhills was 25,000 bars,^-of Wan- 
lockhead, 15,000 bars, each weighing 9 stones avoirdupois, and 
the price being L. 32 the ton, the gross produce exceeded 
L. 80,000 in that year. Since that period, I believe the an- 
nual returns have been far below those of the year 1809- They 
must, however, since they were opened, have yielded millions 
of revenue. 

Gold is found in the sand of the streams in the vicinity of 
these mines. By washing the sand, the miner in his leisure 
hours collects a small quantity of this precious metal. It is said 

Bald, may be considered as about 18 cwt., and, therefore, in each acre there 
will be about 22,000 tons of coal. But, deducting even Jth for pillars left in 
working the coal, which is the utmost ever lost, we shall have of coal for use 
16,600 tons in each acre. 

Now, it has been ascertained from accounts of the sales, that not more than 
13,000 tons are annually required for the whole district. One square acre 
would therefore supply this demand for one year and a quarter ; and, conse- 
quently, the 20 square miles, or 1 3,000 square acres, willbe sufficient for upwards 
of 16,000 years. But, deducting 1000 acres for that which has been already 
wrought, and for whinstone-dikes, and such like in this field, we shall have 
12,000 acres still to break, which, according to the highest rate of demand 
that has hitherto taken place, will supply this district for 15,000 years, a pe- 
riod much more than twice as long as that since man has yet existed. 

But, if we take into account the coal of the New Cumnock Basin, which, 
though not hitherto accurately ascertained, seems to be much more extensive 
than that of the Sanquhar, the treasure of fuel which this district of Niths- 
dale possesses, appears almost unlimited, according to the present rate of de- 
mand. 

• A fine collection of these has been made by the company at Wanlockhead, 
and may be seen on application to the overseers. 



3S0 Mr Menteath on the Geology of NUhsdale. 

that, in the reign of James V., as much as amounted to the sum 
of L. 100,000 was obtained in one year. 

It is very interesting to observe, that this spot, not more than 
two miles each way, in the county of Dumfries, where a hut 
would perhaps scarcely have been seen but for the mineral 
treasures there deposited, has for more than a century support- 
ed an industrious and comfortable population. The miners at 
Leadhills have a library of 1200 volumes. At Wanlockhead is 
another of 700 volumes.* 

The intelligence of the miner is well exemplified by the skill 
with which he cultivates his small plot of ground. Elevated 
as is his residence, by industriously raising the Alopecurus pra- 
tensis, or the Meadow foxtail, he has early in the spring green 
food to give his cow before the lowland farmer. 

The rocks which separate the Sanquhar and Closeburn basins 
assume more the appearance of grey wacke slate than in most 
other parts of the range. The stratification is in many places 
nearly vertical, and runs from NE. to SW. The stratification 
is very loose, having the seams filled with a red ochrey earth, 
which is found principally in this quarter. At Burnmouth, a 
place about the middle of this ridge, which separates the basins 
of Sanquhar and Closeburn, it has the appearance of indifferent 
slate ; and at Arkland, in the parish of Tynron, a few miles to 
the west, slates for roofing have been raised. Thus there seems 
a slaty structure to extend from Glenochar, a slate quarry in 
Lanarkshire, across the whole of Dumfriesshire in this direction. 

4. Basin of Closeburn. — The river Nith, after a tumultu- 
ous course of more than five miles through a rocky chan- 
nel, exhibiting scenery of the most romantic kind, and beau- 
tifully adorned with a great variety of natural wood, enters the 
basin of Closeburn, which is completely encircled by grey- 
wacke hills, tliat exhibit a pleasing outline. Of these the Low- 
ders are the most striking. They rise to a considerable eleva- 
tion;> with a smooth grassy slope to the west; and, by means of a 
road now opened through them into Lanarkshire, afford one of 

•jThese volumes, in the wild regions of the Leadhills, we believe, are more 
thoroughly read, and more anxiously sought after, by the poor miners, than 
are the numerous and splendid volumes in many of the libraries in the low 
country : hence these people are comparatively well informed. 



Mr Mentcath ofi the Geology (>f Nithsdale. 321 

the most picturesque passes in the south of Scotland. This 
is denominated the Pass of Dalveen. By much ingenuity 
and labour, a beautifully winding road has been cut out 
along the sides of the mountains ; and from the great height 
to which it gradually conducts, the traveller, with no little tre- 
pidation, looks down on a small stream or burn, winding like 
a silver thread, about 300 feet beneath him. 

Nowhere, perhaps, in Great Britain is a scene more pleas- 
ing, more placid, more interesting, presented, than in this 
long, narrow, mountain pass. The sides of its hills, without 
any clothing of wood, are smooth, covered with a short velvet 
turf, fresh and green during the greater part of the year, af- 
fording abundance of food to the flocks which graze their decli- 
vities. In the bottom of the valley, between these agreeably 
shelving hills, is the Carron Water, here but a small rivulet, 
pure and hmpid, and, like the many other burns of Scotland, 
characterizes and enlivens this romantic dell. 

Few more delightful scenes are offered to the lover of land- 
scape, than he will enjoy in lingering in this beautiful pass of 
Dalveen, in a calm summer''s evening, when the lights and long 
shadows of a setting sun fall on its mountain sides, enlivened by 
numerous variously grouped flocks. 

To the southward of Dalveen, in the same range of hills, the 
Lowders, is another pass, called the Walpath, communicating 
with England and the northern parts of Scotland, through 
which the Romans carried their road, and of which traces still re- 
main. This road, scarcely at present more than a tract, passes 
close to the village of Durisdeer, in the church of which the 
traveller will be interested by some fine sculpture in the tomb 
of the Queensbery family. It is, however, far inferior in wild 
picturesque scenery to that of Dalveen ; and, offering many ob- 
stacles to the modern road-engineer, was deemed by him unfit 
for opening a communication through the Lowders into Lanark- 
shire. Dalveen Pass was therefore preferred ; and happy it is 
for the traveller that utility and sweet pastoral scenery could 
be united. 

There is more wood in this basin than in the two we have just 
described ; the banks of the Carron, the Cample, the Scar, and 
the Shinnel, tributaries of the Nith before it quits the valley 
of Closeburn^ being all beautifully fringed with natural wood. 



8!^ Mr Menteath on the Geologij of Nithsdale. 

The bottom of the valley of Closeburn is covered with second- 
ary rocks. These are sandstone and limestone. The most 
abundant rock is sandstone. Of it there are three varieties, the 
red, white, and grey. The red appears to be the new red sand- 
stone, and is by far the most abundant. It varies much in its 
texture, being sometimes bard, but oftener soft and friable. It 
lies over all the other strata of the basin, but is almost 
entirely confined to the east side of the Nith, as scarce- 
ly any of it is seen on the west. One of the best examples of 
the appearance of its varied structure, and the irregularity of its 
dip, may be seen at the Gateley Bridge Quarry on the Cample, 
where this red sandstone exhibits its beds lying in all manner of 
directions, horizontal, upright, and variously inclined. In this 
quarry roofing-flags are raised, which are carried to a great dis- 
tance, and even exported to England. Being pervious to water, 
they are unfit for roofing until they have been brushed over 
with coal-tar, when they become an excellent substitute for slate. 
Not only flags for roofs, but also lintels of doors, windows, &c. are 
here prepared, and supply the whole neighbourhood. At Crigup 
Linn the new red sandstone covers the other strata of the basin, 
' which are to be seen rising from underneath it. The red sandstone, 
easily worn away by the running water, is at the Crigup Linn, 
by the continual chaffing of the Crigup, scooped into a very 
deep ravine, its sides presenting rocks of every picturesque form, 
and overhung by rich foliage. It was to this romantic dell that 
the unjustly persecuted Covenanters fled for shelter in their des- 
perate fortunes. And the pen of the inimitable Sir Waiter 
Scott has lately given this linn a classic interest, by having, in his 
tale of Mortality, made the Crigup Linn the retreat of the da- 
ring Balfour of Burleigh. 

The red sandstone of this valley is, in general, a good build- 
ing stone. The most esteemed is that raised at the Gateley 
Bridge quarry, where it is hard, tough, and very durable, re- 
sisting, in those houses built of it, the action of the weather, 
and indicating no appearance of waste or decay. Other but 
less frequent varieties of this sandstone, are soft, and decay on 
exposure to the weather. Of this a striking proof may be ad- 
duced in the case of Drumlanrig Castle, which was built at the 
.same time with Heriot's I^ospital, by the same architect Sir 



Mr Menteath on the Geology of Nithsdale. 323 

Inigo Jones, but is in a decayed state compared with that 
building. 

Not far from the Gateley Bridge, red sandstone quarry, a 
mile up the Cample, basalt occurs in pentagonal columns. It 
appears to form a narrow ridge or dike, traceable from Mor- 
ton-Mains Hill on the north-east of this spot, and it seems to 
take the direction of the Linburn Hill on the southeast*. 

The white and grey sandstones, under the red sandstone, are 
not found in any considerable quantity. The white, which oc- 
curs very seldom, is hard and compact in its texture, and well fit- 
ted to resist the effects of the weather. Of the grey more is 
found, and it partakes much of the characters and qualities of 
the white. 

The limestone is found only at the south end of the basin of 
Closeburn on both sides of the Nith, as at Closeburn and Bar- 
jarg, but at the latter in much less quantity 

{To be conduced in our next Number.) 

A Proposition for carrying on a Course of Experiments, with 
a view to constructing, as a National Instrument, a large 
Refracting Telescope, with a fluid concave Lens, instead of 
the usual Lens of Flint Glass. Addressed to his Royal High. 
ness the Lord High Admiral, and the Right Honourable and 
Honourable Members of the Board of Longitude. By Petee 
Barlow, F.R.S. Mem. Imp. Ac. Petrop., S^c. S^e, 

[This Memoir has been presented to the Board of Longitude ; and we 
are gratified to add that the members have ordered the experiments to 
be pursued. Mr Barlow is accordingly, as another step, attempting aa 
eight inch aperture, of ten feet in length, but with a focal power of 
about sixteen feet.] 

In a memoir I had the honour to present to the Royal Society 
in the early part of the year 1827, which was published in the 

* In this valley there are no fixed rocks of granite, and indeed none nearer 
than perhaps thirty miles. It is very curious, however, that there are round- 
ed blocks of it found in many places on the siuface, some of them exceedinf^ 
a ton in weight. The same occurs in other districts, where the distance from 
the granite formation is still greater, aa in Cheshire. The existence of these 
masses in such situations, has never yet perhaps been satisfactorily accounted 
for. Two explanations have been offered ; according to the one, they are of 
lacustrine origin-.while the other connects them with the Mosaic deluge. 



324 Professor Barlow on the Cmistruction of 

last Part of the Philosophical Transactions, I have given an ac- 
count of a series of experiments I made, assisted by the practi- 
cal skill of Messrs W. and T. Gilbert, instrument makers to the 
Honourable East India Company, on the construction of refract- 
ing telescopes; in which memoir I have also described a new in- 
strument for simplifying the determination of the dispersive 
power of glass, and I am in hopes that I have so far succeeded 
in removing from the several formulae those terms which involve 
quantities too refined to be followed out in practice, that no dif- 
ficulty of calculation can be said to remain in the construction of 
this instrument : nor is there any practical one which the inge- 
nuity of our opticians would not overcome, provided glass could 
be obtained of sufficient size and purity. But here, unfortu- 
nately, an impediment interposes; and therefore, with a view to 
avoid an obstacle we have not at present been able to overcome, 
I turned my attention to the adoption of some fluid to supply 
the place of the flint lens. The construction of flint object 
glasses, retaining, however, the flint lens, had been formerly at- 
tempted by Dr Blair with considerable success, but which, for 
some reason, was not afterwards pursued *. I was not at first 
fully aware of the fluid employed by this ingenious philosopher, 
and moreover it was at least possible that some other might be 
found equally well, if not better, suited to the purpose. I there- 
fore determined to begin de novo, and ascertain with my new in- 
strument, which was easily made applicable to the purpose, the re- 
fractive index and the dispersive power of every fluid which ap- 
peared to possess properties likely to answer my intended pur- 
pose. I had proceeded some way in this inquiry, with several 
oils, acids. Sec, when I made trial of the sulphuret of carbon, 
and here I found at once a fluid which appeared to possess 
every requisite I could desire. Its index being nearly the same 
as that of the best flint glass, with a dispersive power more than 
double, perfectly colourless, beautifully transparent, and, although 
very expansible, possessing the same, or very nearly indeed •(-, 

• It appears from an article published since this was written, that Mr Blair, 
the son of Dr Blair, is at piesent engaged in pursuing his father's views. 

•|- I have never found any appreciable numerical difference in the refrac- 
tive index of this fluid between the temperatures of 31* and 84\the fluid being 
hermetically sealed. 



a Large Refracting Telescope. 325 

the same optical properties under all temperatures to which it 
is likely to be exposed in astronomical observations, except per- 
haps direct observations on the solar disc, which will probably 
be found inadmissible. I felt so confident, from the result ob- 
tained with the dispersive instrument, of the applicability of this 
splendid fluid to the purposes I had in view, that after some 
trials as to the best method of inclosing it, and of applying the 
correcting lens, I attempted at once a telescope of six inches 
aperture and of seven feet length; but some unforeseen difficulty 
having interposed, after several unsuccessful trials, I laid it by, 
and undertook one of three inches aperture. I was here more 
fortunate, having, with this instrument in its first rude experi- 
mental form, without any adaptation or selection of glasses, se- 
parated a great number of double stars of that class which Sir 
William Herschell has pointed out as tests of a good three and 
a half inch refractor ; I can see with it the small star in Polaris 
with a power of 46, and with the higher powers several stars 
which are considered to require a good telescope, as, for example, 
70, p Ophiuchi, 39 Bootis, the quadruple star i Lyrae, ^ Aquarii, 
« HercuUs, ^c Encouraged by my success on this instrument, 
I again attempted the six inch object glass, with a different man- 
ner of adjusting and securing the lenses; and the result of my 
endeavours I lay with confidence before the Board of Longi- 
tude, feeling convinced that every proper allowance will be made 
for the imperfections of a first attempt, at a novel construction, 
on a considerable scale, and which professes only to prove the ap- 
plicability of the principle, and not the completion of the expe- 
riment. With this instrument the small star in Polaris is so 
distinct and brilliant with a power of 1 43, that its transit might 
be taken with the utmost certainty. But as this and the former 
instruments are both before the Board of Longitude, and have 
been examined by some of its members, I would much rather 
they would report their opinion of the performance of them, 
and more particularly of the promise they hold out; than to give 
my own. I shall therefore proceed at once to describe the prin- 
ciple of the proposed construction, which possesses some novel- 
ty, and offers some advantage not to be obtained with any glass 
ever made, or likely to be made ; although I am quite ready to 
admit, that if glass could be obtained of sufficient purity and 
size, the permanent nature of that material would, probably, 

JANUARY — MAECH 1828. Y 



326 Mr Barlow on the Comtniction of 

give it a preference before any other in the construction of re- 
fracting telescopes. My object is (as I wish distinctly to be un- 
derstood) not to supplant the use of flint glass in the construc- 
tion of this instrument, but to supply its place by a valuable 
substitute in cases where the former cannot be obtained suffi- 
ciently large, or where it can only be obtained at an ex pence 
which must always limit the possession of a good astronomical 
telescope to persons of fortune and to public institutions. 

Principle of Construction. 

In the usual construction of achromatic telescopes, the two 
or three lenses composing the object-glass are brought into im- 
mediate contact, and in the fluid telescope proposed by Dr 
Blair, the construction was the same, the fluid having been in- 
closed in the object glass itself. Nor could any change in this 
arrangement in either case be introduced with advantage ; be- 
cause the dispersive ratio between the glasses in the former in- 
stance, and between the glass and fluid in the latter, is too close 
to admit of bringing the concave correcting medium far enough 
back to be of any sensible advantage. The case, however, is 
very different with the sulphuret of carbon. The dispersive ra- 
tio here varies (according to the glass employed) between the 
limits -298 and -334; which circumstance has enabled me to 
place the fluid correcting lens at a distance from the plate lens 
equal to half its focal length ; and I might carry it still farther 
back, and yet possess sufficient dispersive power to render the 
object glass achromatic. Moreover, by this means the fluid 
lens, which is the most difficult part of the construction, is re- 
duced to one-half, or to less than one-half of the size of the plate 
lens; consequently, to construct a telescope of ten or twelve 
inches aperture involves no greater difficulty in the manipulation, 
than in making a telescope of the usual description of five or six 
inches aperture, except in the simple plate lens itself; and, 
what will be thought perhaps of greater importance, a telescope 
of this kind of ten or twelve feet length, will be equivalent in its 
focal power to one of sixteen or twenty feet. We may, therefore, 
by this means, shorten the tube several feet, and yet possess a 
focal power more considerable than could be conveniently given 
to it on the usual principle of construction. This will be better 
understood from the annexed diagram. 



a Large Re/racHng Telescope, 



wn 



In this figure A B C D represent the tube of 
the 6 inch telescope, C D the plate object glass, 
V the first focus of rays, d e the fluid concave lens, 
distant from the former 24 inches. The focal 
length M F being 48 inches, and, consequently, 
as 48 : 6 : : 24 : 3 inches, the diameter of the fluid 
lens. The resulting compound focus is ^'H,-^ 
inches ; it is obvious, therefore, that the rays df^ 
efy arrive at the focus under the same convergency, 
and with the same light as if they proceeded from 
a lens of 6 inches diameter, placed at a distance 
beyond the object glass C D, (as C ly), deter- 
mined by producing these rays till they meet the 
sides of the tube produced in C ly, viz. at Q^.5 
inches beyond the fluid lens. Hence, it is obvious, 
the rays will converge as they would do from an 
object glass, C D', of the usual kind, with a focus 
of 10 feet 5 inches. We have thus, therefore, 
shortened the tube 38*5 inches, or have at least 
the advantage of a focus 38*5 inches longer than our 
tube ; and the same principle may be carried much 
farther, so as to reduce the usual length of refract- 
ing telescopes nearly one-half, without increasing 
the aberration in the first glass beyond the least 
that can possibly belong to a telescope of the usual 
kind of the whole length. It should, moreover, be 
observed, that the adjustment for focus may be 
made either in the usual way, or by a slight 
movement of the fluid lens, as in the Gregorian 
reflectors, by means of the small speculum. In the 
latter case, the eye-piece is fixed, which may pro- 
bably be convenient for astronomical purposes, in 
consequence of the great delicacy of the adjustment. 

Thus far every thing is in favour of the pro- 
posed construction ; but some doubtful points 
may probably present themselves, viz. Is not the 
opening of the lenses to so great a distance calcu- 
lated to produce an irrationality in the two spectra ; 

<j2 



o«^~ Jfl 



328 Mr Barlow on the Cmistrnction of 

or, is there not in the beginning such an irrationality ? Se- 
condly, May there not be a great loss of light by reflection at 
the second lens, considering the density of the rays at the place 
of incidence ? The best reply to these questions is a reference to 
the two telescopes already constructed, which exhibit no remark- 
able defect of either kind*, at least that I am aware of; on the 
contrary, with regard to the latter, the quantity of light is rather 
in excess than in defect, compared with the usual construction. 
Other queries relative to the ultimate success of this proposition 
may also reasonably be anticipated ; as, for example, can the 
fluid be permanently secured ? and, if so, Will it preserve its 
transparency, and other optical properties ? Will it not act upon 
and destroy the surface of the glass, &c. ? To these and similar 
queries I reply, that, with any particular fluid which has not 
been submitted to these trials, experience is the only test we can 
have. Our spirit levels, spirit thermometers, &c. show that 
some fluids at least may be preserved for many years, without 
experiencing any change, and without producing any in the ap- 
pearance of the glass tubes containing them. I beg, however, 
to add, that, should any of these happen except the last, nothing 
can be more simple than to supply the means of replacing the 
fluid at any time, and by any person, without disturbing the ad- 
justment of the telescope ; and the same means may be resorted 
to (if they should be found necessary in constructing a very large 
instrument), to prevent the external pressure of the atmosphere 
distorting the figure of the glasses containing the fluid. Such 
experiments as these, however, and the construction of an achro- 
matic fluid refracting telescope, with a proper stand, on the 
scale which I feel every confidence in being able ultimately 
to accomplish, viz. one of at least 12 or 14 inches aperture, 
involve expences which can only be conveniently borne by men 
of fortune and public institutions, I have therefore done my- 
self the honour to submit my proposition, with the results al- 
ready obtained, to the Board of Longitude ; and if these Jlrst 
results, although not every thing that could be wished, should 
still be such as to prove the practicability of the Proposition, and 

* Mr Barlow has since presented a Memoir to the Rojal Society, illus- 
trating, on theoretical principles, the tendency of this construction to destroy 
the secondary spectrum, an imperfection inseparable from the usual form of 
refracting telescoped. 



a Large Refracting Telescope. 329 

to justify farther attempts, I have no doubt the Board will, as 
far as is consistent with its constitution, forward the prosecution 
of the experiments, and ultimately the construction of an achro- 
matic telescope, which shall exceed in aperture and power any 
instruments of the kind hitherto attempted. It is hardly neces- 
sary for me to add, that in such case it will give me great satis- 
faction to undertake the direction of these operations, with the 
aid of Messrs W. and T. Gilbert, to whose liberal and scientific 
views, as well as to their practical skill and ingenuity, I have 
been much indebted for having thus far proved the practicabi- 
lity of my proposition. 

Peter Barlow. 



Royal Military Academy 
I3th October 1827- 



•} 



On the Principal Causes of the Difference of Temperature on 
the Globe. By Baron Alexander Von Humboldt. * 

L HE distribution of heat over the globe, has for many years 
formed one of the principal objects of my researches. This sub- 
ject is intimately connected with the local differences of the pro- 
ductions of nature, with the agriculture and the commercial in- 
tercourse of nations, and even, in several respects, with their mo- 
ral and political situation. The time is past when we were satis- 
fied with some undefined views on the difference of geographical 
and physical climates, and when all the modifications of tempera- 
ture were ascribed either to the shelter afforded by ridges of 
mountains, or to the various elevations of the surface of the 
earth. We have seen, that the remarkable differences of 
climates which we perceive in large tracts of country, under the 
same latitude, and on the same level above the surface of the 
sea, do not arise from the trifling influence of individual locali- 
ties, but that they are subject to general laws, determined by the 
form of the continents in general, by their outlines, by the state 
of their surface, but particularly by their respective positions, 
and the proportion of their size, to the neighbouring seas. The 

* Extract from a public Lecture delivered in the Koyal Academy at Berlin, 
on the 3d of July 182?, 

2 



S30 M. Humboldt oji the Difference (>fthe 

relative position of the transparent and opaque, of the fluid or 
solid parts of the earth, modifies the absorption of the solar rays 
falling under the same angles, and at the same time the produc- 
tion of heat. These circumstances, the winter cover of ice and 
snow, which is peculiar to the continents, and to a very small 
part only of the seas ; the slowness with which large masses of wa- 
ter are heated and cooled ; the radiation from smooth or rough 
surfaces, towards a cloudless sky ; the regular currents of the 
ocean and of the atmosphere, by which water and air from dif- 
ferent latitudes and different depths and heights are mixed ; all 
concur to produce the peculiarities of climate. It may therefore 
be said, that every place has a double climate, one depending on 
general and remote causes, on the general position and shape of 
the continents, and another determined by the peculiar relations 
of its locality. 

Since the problem of the geographical distribution of heat has 
been considered upon general principles, meteorological ob- 
servations have been conducted in a more efficient manner. 
A smaller number of them now lead to certain results ; and 
ibe discoveries made within the last twenty years, in the most 
remote parts of the globe, have gradually enlarged the point 
of view. Physical and geological inquiries have now become 
equally important objects of all extensive voyages and tra- 
vels. To begin with the extreme north, I shall here, in the 
first place, mention a man, whom the dangerous and trouble- 
some occupations of whale-fishing, which were the object of his 
voyage, have not prevented from carrying on the most refined 
meteorological and zoological observations. Captain Scoresby 
has, for the first time, determined the mean atmospheric tem- 
perature of the Polar Seas, which he has taken between the 
volcanic Island of Jan Mayen, and that part of East Greenland 
discovered by himself. In endeavouring to discover a north- 
west passage, the English government has succeeded in affording 
to geography, to climatology, and to the theory of magnetism, 
services which were originally promised to the commercial inte- 
rest of nations. Parry, Sabine, and Franklin have, for several 
years, been employed in investigating the temperature of the at- 
mosphere, and of the sea, in the polar regions ; they have pene- 
rated to Port Bowen and Melville's Island, consequently nearly to 



Temperature of the Globe. 381 

75° N. Lat. ; and they have, in this arduous task, displayed a 
perseverance, of whicli we find hardly a parallel instance in the 
history of human exertions and struggles against the elements. 
Captain Wcddell has recently destroyed the ancient prejudice, 
sanctioned by Cook''s illustrious name, that the South Pole is, on 
account of a more extended mass of ice, less accessible than the 
NcM'th Pole. The discovery of a new archipelago to the SSE. 
of Terra del Fuego, has led to an expedition in which Captain 
Weddell found a sea completely free from ice, under the 74° 
Lat. (far beyond two solitary islands discovered by the Russian 
Captain Billinghausen.) 

In turning to the temperate zone, we find a great many points 
where the average temperature, which hitherto was considered to 
be invariable, has been measured. Various astronomers in New 
Holland, and on the foot of the Indian Himalaya, Catholic and 
Protestant missionaries at Macao, in Van Diemen's Land, and in 
the Sandwich Islands, have furnished us with new facts towards 
comparing the northern and southern, the eastern and western 
hemispheres, in the torrid and temperate zones, consequently 
those parts of the glofbe which are most abundant in water, as 
well as those which are most abundant in land. In the same 
manner, the proportion of heat under the line, and in both the 
tropics, has been determined. These points, as ascertained in 
numbers, are particularly important as fixed points, because they 
may, like the zone of the warmest sea- water, (between 84° and 
87° Fah. ; 23° and 24° 5' B,), in future ages serve to determine 
the much disputed variability of the temperature of our planet. 

It is necessary to mention here, that we have been long in 
want of climatological determinations in the most southern parts 
of the temperate zones, between the 28° and 30° lat. This part 
of the world forms as it were an intermediate link between the 
climate of Palms, and that region in which, according to the 
tradition of the east, mankind, along the Mediterranean, in 
Asia Minor, and Persia, first awoke to intellectual develope- 
raent, to mild manners, and to taste in the cultivation of the 
JHTts. The observations of Niebuhr, Nouet, and Coutel in 
Egypt, those of my unfortunate friend Ritchie in the Oasis of 
Murzuk, could, on account of local circumstances, only lead to 



332 M. Humboldt on the Difference of the 

erroneous results. The large and classical work on the Canary 
Islands, for which we are indebted to Mr Leopold Von Buch, 
has now also filled up this blank, in the same way as his travels 
in Lapland and to the most northern promontory of Europe, 
first furnished us with a clear illustration of the causes which, 
in the Scandinavian peninsula, beyond the polar circle, diminish 
the severity of the winter cold, and preserve to the springs the 
temperature which they had received from deeply seated strata, 
and which occasion, under the influence of a continental climate 
and that of the coast, an unequal elevation of the snow line, and 
of the upper limit at which different species of trees grow. 

If we follow the current of the sea, which traverses the 
great valley of the Atlantic Ocean, from east to west, we find 
almost unexpectedly rich sources of instruction in the New 
World, from Russian America, and the settlements of the 
Canadian hunters, to the River La Plata, and the most southern 
parts of Chili. It is no longer foreign naturalists who commu- 
nicate to us the notices they have been able to collect during a 
short residence in plains, rich in wood and grass, and on the 
ice-covered ridges of the Cordillera ; we have no longer need to 
judge of the mean temperature of the whole year by that of 
single months or weeks ; here we obtain every where solid and 
complete information from the inhabitants themselves. 

The executive power of the United States of North America 
has ordered meteorological observations for five years to be made 
three times a day, at seventeen different points, occupied by mi- 
litary garrisons, between the 28° and 47° lat.^ between the Mis- 
souri and the AUeghanys, the lake Michigan, and the coast of Pen- 
sacola ; and from these observations, the average temperature of 
days, months, and of the whole year, is drawn. These obser- 
vations calculated by Mr Lovell, surgeon-general of the army, 
have been published at the expense of the American govern- 
ment, and have been distributed to all scientific institutions in 
Europe. If this excellent example was followed in the eastern 
part of our continent, and if, by the command and at the ex- 
pence of a powerful monarch, similai* comparative theometricai 
observations were carried on in well selected points in the ex- 
tensive district situated between the Vistula and the Lena, the 



Temperature of the Globe. 8jJ3 

whole science of climate would in a few years appear in a new 
and much improved form. 

The zeal by which the United States of North America are 
animated, has arisen equally strong in the lately emancipated 
Spanish America. Journals, printed 9,000 feet above the level 
of the sea,^ give daily the height of the thermometer, barometer, 
and hygrometer, taken with very exact instruments, made at 
Paris and London, in the enormous extent from the 28° N. to 
tlve 40° S. lat. Thus the political revolution of these countries 
has not only improved their own condition and the industry of 
Europe, but it will also, when the population increases, and 
scientific knowledge spreads, over so many mountains and ele- 
vated plains, lead to a better knowledge of the higher regions of 
the atmosphere. In those countries, whole provinces rise like 
islands in an ocean of air, to the height of Etna, or the Peak 
of Teneriffe : in the old continent, where the travelling natu- 
ralist erects his tent near the line of permanent snow, populous 
towns are found in America. 

In modern times Africa, which the ancients represented upon 
coins and monuments as the kingdom of palms, has been found 
rather deficient in this tribe of trees ; and, in the same manner, 
later travellers have modified in a singular manner the be- 
lief in the constant uniform tropical heat of the African de- 
serts. In the Oasis of Murzuk in Fezzan, Ritchie and Lyon 
found, during several summer months, the thermometer in the 
shade, at from 5 to 6 feet above the ground, to indicate 86° to 91° 
Fahr. ( 24° to 26° R.), at 5 o'clock in the morning, and from 
1 18° to 129° Fahr. (38° to 43° R.) at noon, a temperature which 
probably arose from the radiation produced by the sand floating 
in the air ; and, in the same place, Dr Oudney died of cold in 
the end of December. This spot is situated in the centre of Af- 
rica, on the frontiers of Bornou, under the 13th degree of lat, and, 
according to barometrical measurement is not 1200 feet above the 
level of the sea. It is said that the water in the leather bottles, 
which Oudney's caravan carried along with them, was frozen this 
same night. But Major Denham, Clapperton's companion, 
whom I desired, after his return from the lake Tchad, to give me 
some oral explanation, told me, that, in the morning, some hours 



334 M. Humboldt on the difference of the 

after Dr Oudney'*s death, the temperature of the air was not be- 
low 49° Fahr. (7i° R.). In South America, at a less distance 
from the equator, near Bogota and Quito, I saw the water free 
from ice, at the height of 8500 and 9000 feet, notwithstanding 
the strong effect of the radiation of high plains in producing cold. 
In the manuscripts of young Beaufort, who died lately in 
Upper Senegal, a victim to scientific zeal, I find that under 
the 16th degree of latitude, the thermometer marked in the 
shade on the same day 113° Fahr. (36° R.) at noon, and 59° 
Fahr. (12° R.) early in the morning. The temperature of 
the air in the plains of America never sinks so low in the same 
northern latitude. In laying before the Academy last year, 
a detailed account of the excellent labours of Ehrenberg and 
Hemperich, I have already mentioned the cold to which these 
learned travellers were exposed, when in the Desert of Dongola 
under the 19th degree of latitude. North winds penetrated into 
this southern tropical country, and, in December, the thermo- 
meter sunk to 38° Fahr. (2° 5^ R.) above the freezing point, con- 
sequently 12° of R. lower than it had ever been observed, under 
the same latitude, in the West Indies, according to the accounts 
carefully collected by myself. It is astonishing to find Africa 
in its deserts colder than America, with all its rich vegetation, 
and this not on the margin of the tropics, but at the very centre 
of them. The true causes of this singular cooling process 
have not yet been sufficiently explained. Perhaps it is the ra- 
diation of heat from the soil through the dry air towards a cloud- 
less sky, or a sudden expansion produced by the pouring of 
humid strata into this dry air, and the descent of the upper 
parts of the atmosphere. 

It is generally known that more than two-thirds of our planet 
are covered by a body of water, which, by its contact with the at- 
mosphere, exercises the most powerful influence upon the climate 
of the continents. The rays from the sun produce heat according 
to different laws, as they fall either upon the water or upon the 
solid surface of the earth. The mobility of the particles of 
which we imagine fluid bodies to be composed, produces cur- 
rents and an unequal distribution of temperature ; cooled and con- 
densed by radiation, the particles of water sink to the bottom. 
By ascending in balloons, climbing upon insulated peaks of 



Temperature of the Globe. 335 

mountains, by thermoscopic apparatus sunk into the sea, it has 
been possible to determine the velocity of the cooling process 
which takes place at different seasons, from below upwards, in the 
atmosphere, and from above downwards, in the occean, and in 
fresh water lakes. The animals, therefore, which dwell in both 
these elements, find on each point of the globe, in the aenfomi 
and liquid elements, the most heterogeneous climates, placed in 
strata one above another. In the depth of the sea, under the Line, 
and in alpine lakes of the temperate zone, there is always a fixed 
degree of cold, viz. that degree at which the water attains the 
greatest density. The experiments of Ellis, Forster and Saus- 
sure, have been repeated under all zones and in all depths ; but 
what we know of the lowest temperature of the air, and of sea- 
water, as well as of the greatest effect of the radiation of heat be- 
tween the tropics, serves 'as an infallible proof that the cold 
which there exists near the bottom of the sea, is produced by a 
current which, in the depths of the ocean, passes from the poles 
towards the equator, and cools the inferior strata of water in the 
southern ocean, like the current of air in the upper atmosphere, 
which moves from the equator to the poles, to temper the cold 
of the winter in the northern regions. 

The immortal Benjamin Franklin first taught us that sand- 
banks are sooner recognised by the thermometer than by the 
sounding line. They are islands of the submarine land, which 
the elastic subterranean potvers had not been able to elevate 
above the surface of the water. On the declivity of the shoals, 
the inferior and colder strata ascending by impulse, are mixed 
with the upper and warmer ones ; and thus the sudden cold of 
the sea-water shews to the navigator that danger is near. The 
shallows, by their temperature, act on the air above thefin, in 
which they produce fogs and groups of clouds, which are per- 
ceived at a great distance. 

Before more extensive investigations had been made on the 
distribution of heat over the globe, it was believed that the cli- 
mate of two places could be determined by the extremes of the 
temperature in summer and winter. This view of things has 
still been preserved in popular opinion, whilst naturalists have 
long ago renounced it as erroneous ; for, although undoubtedly 
the extremes of single days and nights are in a certmn proper- 



336 M. Humboldt m the Difference of the 

tion to the mean temperature of the year, yet the distribution of 
heat in the different seasons is strikingly different, although 
the mean annual temperature be one and the same, — a circum- 
stance which has a very great influence on the growth of plants 
and on the health of man. I have endeavoured to determine 
the law of this distribution, according to different situations 
and heights. But comparative results in numbers ought to con- 
tain the mean temperature of every month, derived from the 
two extremes of every day, supposing an arithmetical series to 
be formed. This method was first adopted by Reaumur in 
1735 : he compared the produce of two harvests, not (like Her- 
schel) with the numbers and size of the spots in the sun, but 
with the quantity of heat which the corn received in the time of 
vegetation. Many labours have of late been directed towards as- 
certaining the hour, the mean temperature of which expresses 
also that of the whole year. I here only mention the observa- 
tions carried on in Scotland at Leith Fort. The night watch 
of a military post has been employed for establishing observa- 
tions of the thermometer during two years, from hour to hour ; 
and from the mass of these observations, which ought to be re- 
peated in other latitudes, it has been calculated, that, in the la- 
titude of Edinburgh, a single daily observation at 9 o'clock 13 
minutes in the morning, and in the evening at 8 o'clock 29 mi- 
nutes, would be sufficient to fix the average heat of the year *. 
Of the months, it is April and October which give this important 
result (a fact, first discovered by Leopold and Von Buch, which 
is connected with remarkable modifications of the upper currents 
of the atmosphere), except when, as in the island of Grand Ca- 
nary, local causes carry the maximum of heat to a later period, 
and place it in October. 

If I frequently allude to the great increase of meteorological 
observations within the last twenty years, I by no means wish 
to express an opinion that the perfection of climatology is parti- 
cularly founded on such an increase. Here, as in all collec- 
tions of knowledge derived from experiments, which are too 
soon denominated sciences, every thing depends on " an accu- 

• A result, which does not differ from the true by one-half degree of 
Reaumur's thermometer, is also obtained by the mean of two hours of 
the same denomination. — Results of the Thermometrical Observations made at 
Leith Fort every hour of the day and night during the years 1824 and 1825, p. 19. 



Temperature of the Globe. 337 

rate conception of nature," and a just view of the conse- 
quences to be drawn from well-arranged facts. If we attempt to 
conceive the problem of the distribution of temperature in its 
most general sense, we may imagine the planetary heat either (as 
in the present oxydised, hardened surface of the earth) to be a 
consequence of the position in relation to a central body, which 
excites heat ; or (as in the first state of the condensation of matter 
dissolved in the form of vapour) the consequence of internal 
processes of oxidation, precipitation, change of capacity, or elec- 
tro-magnetic currents. Many geognostical phenomena, which 
I have mentioned in another paper, seem to indicate such a de- 
velopement of internal heat, produced by our planet itself. More- 
over, the doubts raised against the peculiar heat in mines in 
both parts of the world, have been entirely removed by recent 
experiments of an ingenious astronomer M. Arago, on water 
rising up through deep borings in what are called Artesian Wells. 
The greater the depth from which the water ascends, the warmer 
it has been found. In this case, there can be no suspicion of 
strata of air sinking down and being condensed, and consequent- 
ly disengaging heat ; nor can the neighbourhood of men, or of the 
lanterns of miners, exercise an influence in this case. The waters 
carry along with them the heal which they have acquired by a 
long continued contact with rocky masses at different depths. 

These important observations shew how, independently of the 
obliquity of the ecliptic in the earhest, and, as it were, youthful 
state of our planet; the tropical temperature and tropical vege- 
tation could arise under every zone, and continue, till, by the 
radiation of heat from the hardened surface of the earth, and by 
the gradual filling up of the veins with heterogeneous minerals 
a state was formed, in which (as Fourier has shewn in a pro- 
found mathematical work) the heat of the surface, and of the 
atmosphere, depends merely upon the position of the planet to- 
wards a central body, the sun. We gladly resign to other na- 
tural philosophers the task to decide, how deep below the oxi- 
dised and hardened surface of the earth the melted fluid masses 
lie, which are poured out through the apertures of volcanoes, 
which periodically agitate the continents and the bottom of the 
ocean, and force hot mineral springs upwards through clefts in 
granite and porphyry. The depth of our mines is too inconsi- 



338 M. Humboldt on the Difference of the 

derable to enable Us, from the unequal increase of temperature 
which has been hitherto observed in them, to give the satisfac- 
tory numerical solution of a problem which occupies the cu^ 
riosity of men who live, as it were, upon a vault of rocks. Suf- 
fice it here to point out how the recent views of geologists have 
revived the old mythus of Pyroplegeton and of Hephastos. 

When a planet is everywhere surrounded by aerial strata, 
and when the oxidised surface of the, earth, with its clefts 
almost everywhere closed or filled up, by a long radiation 
of heat, has arrived at a state of equilibrium between receiving 
and losing, in such a manner that its external temperature and 
the difference of climates arise solely from its position towards 
the sun, towards a larger central body which is perpetually ge- 
nerating light, then the problem of the temperature of any place 
in its most general form, may be considered as dependent solely 
upon the manner in which the influence of the meridian height 
of the sun manifests itself. This height determines, at the same 
time, the magnitude of the semidiurnal circles, the density of 
the aerial strata, through which the rays of the sun pass, before 
they arrive at the horizon ; it also determines the quantity of the 
absorbed or calorific rays (a quantity which rapidly increases 
with the size of the angle of incidence) ; and, lastly, the number 
of the rays of the sun, which^ mathematically considered, a given 
horizon receives. The production of heat, as far as a greater or 
less is concerned, can accordingly be considered as proceeding 
from the illuminated surface of the earth. The absorption 
which the rays of the sun undergo in their passage through the 
atmosphere, or (to express it in another manner) the production 
of heat by the diminution of light is extremely small ; but never- 
theless is perceptible on the ocean, where, at a great distance 
from the coast, and even whfen the water was colder than the 
atmosphere, I observed the temperature of the latter increasing at 
noon with the height of the sun *. 

Recent researches + have shewn, that, in both continents, 

• Mr Arago has first called my attention to this remarkable effect of the 
absorption of light in the atmosphere—Con. des Terns pour 1828, p. 225. 

f Essai Politique sur I'lsle de Cuba, 1826, t. ii. p. 79-92. where I think 
I have obviated the doubts raised by Mr Atkinson.— Mem. of the Astron. 
Spc vol. ii. p. 137, 137- 



Temperature of the Globe. 3S0 

under the equator, where the mean temperature rises to 82" 
Fahr. (22°.2 R.) it is not much warmer than it is in 10^ 
north and south latitude. According to the Commentary of 
Geminus on the Astronomical Poem of Aratus *, some Greek 
philosophers believed the temperature of the tropics even to sur- 
pass that of the equator. M. Arago haS;, in a very ingenious 
manner, demonstrated, by numerous optical experiments, that, 
from the vertical incidence to a zenith distance of 20°, the quan- 
tity of the reflected light (and the lesser heating of the illumi- 
nated body depends on this quantity), remains almost the 
same. In comparing the mean annual temperatures with one 
another, I find, that, in the western part of the old continent, the 
temperatures diminish from the south towards the north in the 
following proportion -f* : 

From 20° to 30° north Latitude. 3°.2 Reaum. 

30 40 3.6 « 

40 50 5 .7 

50 60 4.4 

In both the continents, the region where the diminution of heat 
is most rapid, is to be found between 40° and 45° latitude. In 
this result, the observation agrees in a remarkable manner with 
the theory ; for the variation of the square of the cosines which 
expresses the law of the mean temperature, is largest at 45° lati- 
tude. This circumstance, as I have shown in another place, has 
exercised a very beneficial influence on the state of civilisation 
of those nations who live in the mild countries, under this, the 
medium parallel of latitude. There the district where the vine 
grows, borders upon that of the olive and orange tree. No- 
where else upon earth (in proceeding from the north to the 
south) does the heat increase more rapidly with the geographi- 
cal latitude ; nowhere else do the various vegetable productions, 
used in gardening and in agriculture, succeed each other more 

• Esig. in Aratum eays. 13. Strabo, Geogr. lib. ii. p. 97* 
+ In the eastern parts of the new continent, the diminutions of the mean 
temperature are as follows : 

Trom 20" to 30° Latitude, 5° Reaum. 
30 40 5.7 

40 50 72 

50 60 5.8 



340 M. Humboldt (ni the Difference of the 

rapidly. This variety animates industry and the commercial 
intercourse of nations. 

We may here state that partial, daily, and monthly changes 
of temperature are, on account of the motion of the atmosphere, 
produced by the transportation of colder or \^armer strata, by 
greater or less electric tension, by the formation of clouds or the 
diffusion of vapours ; in short, by an almost infinite number of va- 
riable causes, acting at a greater or smaller distance. The study 
of meteorology has, unfortunately, begun in a zone where the 
causes are most comphcated, and the number and intensity of the 
disturbing powers greatest. If ever civilization, as may now be 
expected, shall establish one of its principal seats in the tropics, it 
is to be presumed that these phenomena, which are so simple 
there, will be more easily ascertained than in our climates, where 
the play of many conflicting causes has so long concealed them 
from our view. From that which is simple it is easy to proceed to 
what is complicated, and we may imagine a scientific meteorolo- 
gy as returning from the tropics to the north. In the climate 
of palms, a feeble east wind always brings strata of air along 
with it, having generally the same temperature. The barometer 
shows, like the progress of the needle, the hour of the day. 
Earthquakes, tempests, and thunder-storms do not disturb the 
small but periodical tides of the atmosphere. The changed decli- 
nation of the sun, together with the upper currents of the air, 
from the equator towards the pole, modified by this declina- 
tion, determine the beginning of the rainy season and the elec- 
tric explosions, which both begin at regular periods. The tra- 
veller may know his way almost as well by the direction of the 
clouds as by the compass ; and, in the dry season, the appear- 
ance of a cloud on the deep blue sky would, in many districts of 
the tropics, astonish the natives as much as the fall of an aero- 
lite or of the red polar snow would do us ; or as the crash of 
thunder in Peru ; or, in the tropical plains, a hail storm. This 
simplicity and regularity in the meteorological phenomena allow 
us to expect an easier and more favourable insight into the re- 
lation of their causes. 

As long as the observations on the magnetic inclination, de- 
clination and intensity of forces, remained dispersed in the re- 
ports of travellers, and had not been united by magnetical lines. 



Temperature of the Globe. 341 

the doctrine of the distribution of magnetism on the earth could 
not be expected to make any important progress. Supported by 
analogy, it has been attempted to simplify by a careful employ, 
ment of well ascertained facts, the complicated doctrine of the 
distribution of heat. Places having an equal mean temperature 
of the year, of summer, or of winter, have been connected with 
one another by curves. This was the origin of the system of 
isothermal lines*, of which I published a full account in the 
year 1817. They descend towards the equator, because in 
Eastern Asia and the eastern parts of North America we find, 
on an equal level above the sea, and in a more southern lati- 
tude, the same temperature which we meet with in the centre 
of Europe, in a more northern latitude. The remarkable cir- 
cumstance, that the highest civilization of the species to which 
we belong has developed itself, almost under the same latitudes 
in the temperate zone upon two opposite coasts, the eastern 
coast of the new and the western of the old continent, must 
early call our attention to the difference of heat under the same 
latitudes. The question arose by how many thermometrical de- 
grees the old world was warmer than the new, and it is not 
long since it was known, that the isothermal lines from the la- 
titude of Florida to that of Labrador, do not run parallel, and 
that the eastern and western coasts of North America are al- 
most as different from one another as those of Western Eu- 
rope and of Eastern Asia. The shape and grouping of 
the continents, ^nd their relation to the neighbouring, seas, 
are the principal causes which determine the inflection of the 
isothermal lines, or the direction of equally warm zones, into 
which we may conceive the whole globe to be divided. The 
predominance of west winds in the temperate and cold re- 
gions determines the difference of climates on the eastern and 
western coasts of one and the same conUnent. The western 
winds, which are considered as reactions of the tropical trade- 
winds reach an eastern coast, after having traversed in winter 
a continent covered with snow and ice ; to the western coasts, 
on the contrary (in Europe as well as in New California and 

* De la Distribution de la Chaleur sur le Globe.— Mem. de U Soci^t^ 
d'Arcueil, t. iiL » 

JANUARY — MARCH 1828. » 



842 M. Humboldt on tlte Difference oftlie 

Nootka), western winds carry strata of air, which even in 
the severest winter have been heated by contact with the vast 
surface of the ocean. Led by these ideas, I have considered it 
of importance to obtain a knowledge of the lowest temperature 
to which the Atlantic sinks, out of the Gulf Stream, between 
40° and 50° north latitude (consequently in the latitudes 
of Spain, France and Germany), I have found that, in the 
month of January, in 40° latitude, the water of the sea does not 
sink below 56° Fahr. (10<^.7 R.) and in 45° latitude not below 
54° Fahr. (9°.8 R.) The much esteemed geographer of India, 
Major Rennel, who for thirty years has been employed in study- 
ing the direction of the currents of the Atlantic, and who, during 
my last visit to England, communicated to me a part of his ma- 
nuscript materials, has, in 50° latitude, consequently in the zone 
of the north of Germany, observed in winter a temperature of 
the sea-water, to which the atmosphere does not reach in the 
month of January, even in the mild climate of Marseilles. If 
the relative extent of Asia and North America, of the Pacific 
and the Northern Atlantic, was different from what it is, the 
whole system of winds in the northern hemisphere, would, by 
the unequal heating of the solid, as well as of the fluid, parts 
of the surface of the earth, be changed in their direction as well 
as in their intensity. 

Europe is indebted for its milder climate to its position on the 
globe (the position in which it stands in regard to the neighbour- 
ing seas) and to its peculiar form. Europe is the western part 
of the old continent ; and consequently the great Atlantic Ocean, 
which already in itself has the power of diminishing the cold, and 
which is besides partly warmed by the Gulf Stream, lies to the 
west of it. That part of the world which of all others enjoys 
the greatest share of a tropical climate, the sandy Africa, is so 
situate that Europe is heated by the strata of air, which, as- 
cending from Africa, move from the Equator towards the North 
Pole. Had the Mediterranean not existed, the influence of Af- 
rica on the temperature and the geographical distribution of 
plants and animals in Europe, would have been still more consi- 
derable. The third principal cause of the milder climate of Eu- 
rope is, that this part of the world does not approach the North 



Temperature of the Globe. 343 

Pole nearly as much as America and Asia do ; and that, on the 
contrary, it lies opposite the greatest extent of sea- water, free from 
ice, which is known in the whole polar zone. The coldest points 
of the earth, which have lately l)een improperly called Poles of 
Cold, do not coincide with the magnetic poles, as Dr Brewster has 
endeavoured to prove in the English version of my paper on the 
Isothermal Lines. According to Captain Sabine's researches, 
the minimum of the annual mean temperature on the surface of 
the earth, is to the NW. of Melville's Island, in the meridian of 
Behring's Straits, probably in 8^ to 83° north Lat. The sum- 
mer boundary of the ice, which, between Spitzl)ergen and East 
Greenland, recedes to 80° and 81° north Lat., is in about 75° 
N. Lat., every where between Nova Zembla, the Bone Islands of 
New Sil)eria and Icey Cape, the most western cape of America. 
Even the winter boundary of ice, the line on which the ice ap- 
proaches the nearest to our continent, scarcely surrounds Bear 
Island. From the North Cape, which is heated by a south- 
western current of the sea, the navigation to the most southern 
promontory of Spitzbergen is never interrupted, not even in the 
most severe winters. The polar ice diminishes in quantity 
wherever it finds an opening to flow out, as in Baffin's Bay, and 
between Iceland and Spitzbergen. The situation of the Atlan- 
tic Ocean exerts a most beneficial influence on the existence of 
that sea-water, free from ice, in the meridian of East Green- 
land and Spitzbergen, which has so important an influence upon 
the climate of the north of Europe. 

On the other hand, the icebergs, which are driven from Baf- 
fin's Bay and Barrow's Straits to the south, accumulate in that 
large mediterranean sea, which geographers designate by the 
name of Hudson's Bay. This accumulation of ice increases the 
cold of the neighlK)uring continent so much, that, as reported 
by Captain Franklin in his latest MS., in York Factory, and 
at the mouth of Hayes River, which lie in the same latitudes 
as the north of Prussia and Courland, in digging wells, ice is 
found everywhere at the depth of four feet. The most northern 
and mc^t southern boundaries of the fixed polar ice, that is, the 
summer and winter boundaries, on the situation of which the 
temperature of the northern continents depends, seem to have 
changed but little, as far as historical records go ; which fact 

z2 



344 M. Humboldt 07i the Difference of the 

Jias been recently confirmed by careful inquiries. The in- 
jurious influence which small isolated masses of ice, driven 
sometimes by currents into the neighbourhood of the Azores, 
exercise, as it is said, upon the continent of Europe, is one of 
those tales, first derived from philosophers, and received by the 
vulgar, after the former have long ceased to believe in them. 

In the same latitudes, where, in the north of Europe, agri- 
culture and gardening are carried on, we find in North 
America and North Asia only marshes and tracts of land co- 
vered with mosses : in the interior of Asia, on the other hand, 
the powerful radiation of heat, between the almost parallel 
chains of the Himalaya, the Zungling' and the Himmelsgehirge^ 
(a country on which Klaproth's geographical researches have 
thrown great light), exercises the most beneficial influence on 
the Asiatic population. The line of permanent snow, on the 
northern declivity of the Himalaya, lies 4000 feet higher than 
on the southern ; and the physical explanation which I have 
given of this singular phenomenon *, has, according to a report 
of Mr Colebrooke, been confirmed by recent measurements and 
observations in the East Indies. Millions of men of Thibetian 
origin, of a gloomy religious cast of mind, occupy populous 
towns, in a country where fields and towns would, during the 
whole year, be buried in deep snow, if this high table-land was 
less extensive and less continuous. 

As the currents of the atmosphere are modified in many dif- 
ferent manners, by changes in the declination of the sun, and 
by the direction of the chains of mountains on the declivities of 
which they descend, the currents, also, of the Hquid ocean 
carry the warmer waters of the lower degrees of latitude into 
the temperate zone. I need not here mention how the waters 
of the Atlantic, always moved in the same direction by the 
trade-winds, are carried against the dike formed by the isthmus 
of Nicaragua, then turn to the north, make the round of the 
Gulf of Mexico, flow out through the Channel of the Bahamas, 
proceed as a current of warm water to the north-east towards 
the banks of Newfoundland, then to the south-east, towards the 
'group of the Azores ; and, when favoured by the north-west 

• Annales de Chimie et de Physique, torn. iii. p. 297 > torn. ix. p. 310 ; torn, 
xiv. p. 5. 



Temperature of the Globe. 845 

wind, carry along with them the fruits of palm trees from the An- 
tilles; casks of French wines from wrecked ships; nay, even living 
Esquimaux in their leather boats from East Greenland, which, 
they cast on the coasts of Ireland, of the Hebrides, or of Nor- 
way. A travelled astronomer, Captain Sabine, who, after re- 
turning from the Polar llcgions, performed experiments with 
the pendulum in the Gulf of Guinea, on the African Island of 
St Thomas, informed me, how casks of palm oil, which had 
been lost by shipwreck at Cape Lopez, a little south of the 
Equator, were carried onwards, first by the equatorial current, 
and then by the Gulf Stream, crossing the Atlantic twice, from 
east to west, and from west to cast, between 3° and 50^ N. Lat., 
safely arrived on the coasts of Scotland. The well preserved 
mark of the African proprietors left no doubt as to the direc- 
tion the casks had taken. In the same manner, as in this case, 
the equatorial waters in the Atlantic are carried north by the 
Gulf Stream, I have, in the Pacific, in its southern hemisphere, 
observed a current (along the coasts of Chili and Peru), which 
carries colder water from Ivgher latitudes to the Tropics. In 
this current I saw the thermometer, in the port of Truxillo, in 
the month of September, fall to 61° Fahr. (1J^°.8 R.) and in the 
port of Callao, near Lima, at the end of November, to GCT 
Fahr. (12°.4 R.) A distinguished young officer of the Danish 
navy. Baron Dirckinck von Holmfeldt, has, at my request, at 
different seasons of the year 1825, observed this singular phe- 
nomenon, to which for so long a time no attention had been 
paid. Making use of thermometers, carefully compared by Mr 
Gay Lussac and myself, he again found the water of the sea, in 
the port of Callao, in August 60i ° Fahr. (12°.6 It ) and in March 
674° Fahr. (15°.7 R.) Whilst, out of the curren^ at the pro- 
montory oi Parina, the calm sea, as usually in those latitudes, 
showed the great heat of 794° to 8r.5 (21° to 22° R.) We 
cannot, in this place, explain how this stream of colder water, 
which increases the difficulty of the southern navigauon from 
Guayaquil to Peru, and from Peru-to Chili, is for some months 
modified in its temperature by the Garua, i. e. the vapours wliich 
constantly veil the sun ; and how it renders the climate of the 
plains of Peru cooler. 

As all human attempts to arrive at a scientific view of the 



346 Mr Ncill on the Habits of a 

phenomena of nature can have for their final object only a clear 
conception of our own nature, thus the investigation, with the 
principal topics of which we have now been occupied, at last leads 
us to consider, how the differences of climate manifest themselves 
in the character, in the civilization, and, perhaps, even in the 
development of the language of different tribes of the human 
race. This is the point where the important doctrine of the dis- 
tribution of heat over the globe comes to be connected with the 
history of mankind, and beyond which it ceases to be an ob- 
ject of purely physical inquiry. 



Some Account of the Habits of a Specimen of Siren lacertina, 

which has been Jcept alive at Canonmills, near Edinburgh, 

for more than two years past. By Patrick Neill, A. M., 

F. R. S. E. and Sec. W. S * Communicated by the Author. 

XT is more than half a century since Dr Alexander Garden 
of Charleston, South Carolina, sent to the distinguished Mr John 
Ellis of London, specimens of a reptile found in marshes in his 
neighbourhood, remarkable for possessing both external gills and 
internal lungs, and for having fore-feet but no hind-feet. Dr Gar- 
den stated, that he had seen specimens of very different sizes, all 
possessing the gills, and having only fore feet ; and that there 
did not exist in South Carolina any lizard, of which this animal 
could be regarded as the larva. Mr Ellis, in his excellent ac- 
count of the reptile in the Philosophical Transactions, vol. Ivi., 
accordingly describes and figures a young one, 9 inches long, 
and one full grown, or 2 J feet long ; yet both possess the gills, 
and both have two feet only ; the feet have four toes, and each 
toe is furnished with a claw ; and he mentions that the animal 
emits a " croaking noise or sound," while the |X)ssessing of any 
kind of voice is not charactenstic of a larva. These facts, and 
the examination of a dead specimen, transmittt^d by Mr Ellis 
to the illustrious Swedish naturalist Linnaus, were enough to 
satisfy him that it was not a larva, but a perfect animal of the 
most truly amphibious character; and he therefore created for 
it a new order, Meantes, among his Amphibia. Several distin- 
* Read before the Werner iaii Natural History Society, 12th January 1828, 



living Specimeii of Siren laceriina. 547 

fished naturalists, however, have disputed the opinions of Gar* 
den, Ellis, and Linnaeus ; particularly Camper, Pallas, Schnei- 
der, and De Lacepede. All of these have held, that the siren 
is not a perfect animal, but merely the larva of some Proteus or 
Laccrta, which, as it should approach maturity, would throw 
off the branchia?, and perhaps also develope hind-feet. De La- 
cepede was the most positive in this opinion ; but he was soon 
met by another French naturalist, of greater acumen and of 
still higher name. 

In a memoir read to the Institute of France in 1807, Bai'on 
G. Cuvier concluded, from a minute anatomical examination, 
that the siren was the type of a distinct genus, the osseous struc- 
ture of which differed essentially from that of the salamander or 
of the proteus ; the skeleton proving that the animal was not 
destined ever to develope hind-feet, while there appeared no 
provision for the throwing off of the branchial. Cuvier con- 
firmed, in short, the opinion which Linnaius had formed from 
studying its external characters and from Dr Garden'^s account 
of the habits of the animal 

The controversy has been continued with zeal and spirit. 
The distinguished Italian naturalists Configliachi and Rusconi, 
from considering the analogy between the Siren and the larva; 
of other Batrachia, have disputetl the conclusions of Cuvier, 
and still regard it as an imperfect animal. Among other arguv/ 
ments, they adduce the following, which shall be quoted in their 
own words : " Before this canal (the nostril) is so formed (as to 
open into the mouth), such larvae are unable to respire atmos- 
pheric air, and if taken out of the water they soon die ; and, 
therefore, guided by analogy, we incline to beUeve that to the 
siren the same thing ought to happen ♦." (i 

That excellent zoologist our countryman Dr Fleming of Flisk 

• See account of Configliachi and Rusconi's Memoir, b^ Daniel Ellis, 
Esq., in the Edinburgh Philosophical Journal, vol. v. p. 106. et seq. The oii. 
ginal passage runs thus : ^^ Sin tanto f he queslo canale non tn ^ formato** (in 
such a manner that its posterior extremity may open into the mouth), '• Ic 
larve delle salamandrc non possono respirare Taria atmosfcrica in mode ni 
uno, e (luindi sc vengono tratte all' asciutto, si muojono ; per lo chc aol, gui- 
tlati scmprc ilalla analogia, incUniamo a credere che alia strena, le cul narici 
" ne pcnetrent point dans la bouche," debba pure accadere lo stcsso."— ZW 
Pi'oko aiiguino di Laurmi't MoiHigrdJia ; Favin, \ni{), p. 104. 



348 Mr Neill m the Habits of a 

(whose fame will be greatly raised by his recent work on 
" British Animals"'') adopts the reasoning of the Italian natura- 
lists, and vindicates their conclusions, in his " Philosophy of 
Zoology,'' vol. ii. p. 297. 

It is remarkable that some parts of the natural history of the 
siren should still be very imperfectly known, not only to eminent 
European naturalists, but even to acute observers residing in 
the United States. We have seen that Configliachi and Rus- 
coni are of opinion that the siren, if taken out of the water, 
would soon die; and we may add, that the author of the article 
Herpetology in the Edinburgh Encyclopaedia observes, that the 
Siren lacertina '' appears to reside entirely m the water. It 
was supposed by Linnaeus, from the form of its feet, that it can 
also move with tolerable ease upon the land ; but we believe it 
has never yet been seen in that situation." 

In a paper on the genera of batrachian animals, by Mr 
Barnes, secretary of the New York Lyceum (published in Silli- 
man's American Journal, October 1826), we have the most re- 
cent notice regarding the siren. After describing the animal, 
he mentions some facts illustrative of its habits, and alludes to 
some of the opinions entertained concerning it. We are told, 
that " a specimen in Scudder's Museum (New York) has al- 
ready lived several years in a glass jar of clear water ;" and 
others an equal length of time " in a tub containing mud 
brought from their native marshes in Carolina." These, " when 
taken from the mud, immediately struggle to return, and seem 
contented only when they are in their natural element. When 
they are concealed in their retreat, the place of the head and 
gills is readily known by the rising of small air-bubbles from 
their spiracles ; — a fact which may lead to the determination of 
the function of these doubtful organs." " Several authors 
affirm that sirens thrown on the ground break into several 
pieces." While Mr Barnes hesitates to believe this, he adds, 
^' But the want, or the high value of specimens among us *, 

• The siren, though not uncommon in the days of Garden, seems now to 
have become a rare animal even in South Carolina. M. Bosc, in the New 
Pictionary of Natural History (xxxi. p. 317), mentions that, during a resi- 
dence of a year and a-half near Charleston, he was not able to find one living 
specimen, although he was desirous of studying tlie habits? of so curious an 
onim^. 



living Specimen of Siren lacertina. 840 

will probably prevent this fact from being proved or disproved r, 
by actual experiment.'" Lastly, it is said, " It does not appear, 
by the most careful observations of modern naturalists, that 
the animal has a vox cantUlans, and the idea which produced 
the generic name is therefore imaginary." 

In the early part of the summer of 1825, Dr Farmer of, 
Charleston, South Carolina, sent to Dr Monro, Professor of 
Anatomy and Surgery in the University of Edinburgh, a li- 
ving specimen of the animal. It was nearly a foot and a half, 
long, and was four inches in girth where thickest. It came in a 
small barrel, which was half filled with mud and water, and per- 
forated above. On its arrival in this country it seemed in a slug^ 
gish state ; and it was not observed to eat any thing whatever for . 
many weeks. Dr Monro being desirous that the animal should, 
if possible, be preserved alive, and its habits noted, confided 
the charge of it to me ; and I certainly feel much indebted to 
the Doctor for placing so rare and curious an animal in my 
hands. Although, during the two years and a-half it has been 
in my possession, no perceptible change has taken place in the 
form or size of the fimbriated branchiae, and although I cannot 
boast of having made any new or very striking observations, 
yet perhaps I am able to add a little to our stock of knowletlge 
regarding this singular animal, and to confirm some and refute 
others of the opinions above related. 

Immediately on receiving the specimen, a large wooden box 
was prepared, with an inclined plane at one end of the interior, so 
that the animal might, when it chose, raise itself out of the wa- 
ter more or less, and repose in that situation. At first we 
placed a quantity of sand in the bottom of the box, in the 
expectation that the siren would burrow in it ; but we after- 
wards found that tufts of mosses (hypnum or sphagnum) were 
better suited to the taste and habits of the animal, as it evident- 
ly delighted to hide itself under the moss, to lie upon it, and to 
root amongst it. 

Soon after it came into my possession I found that, in a warm 
day, it would eat one or two small eardi-worms, when placed 
close by its head, so that the struggles of the worm, in drowning, 
should attract its attention (for its eyesight does not seem acute); 
but that it would take ho more food till after the lapse of per- 



350 Mr Neill on the Habits of'a 

haps a week or ten days. At this time it swallowed its food 
very slowly and gradually, sometimes allowing one-half of the 
worm to continue wriggling about its nose for some minutes, 
while the other half was in its mouth and gullet. On one occa- 
sion, some small bansticklcs were put into the box alive : after 
a day or two, th^ largest of these was found floating dead, with 
a considerable piece apparently bitten from its side, the wound 
being nearly equal to the width of the siren's jaws. Although 
the siren was not actually observed to attack the banstickle, 
there can be htde doubt that he had seized it, and taken the 
piece from its side ; more especially since Dr Garden mentions 
that, on one occasion, a siren was " caught by a hook baited with 
a small fish." The smaller bansticklcs were never more seen ; 
and two or three of the larvae of the Lacerta aquatica, which 
were placed in the box soon afterwards, likewise disappeared. 

For the first year and a half, the box was kept in a green- 
house, adapted for keeping Cape of Good Hope and New 
Holland plants, or where it is merely desired to exclude the frost 
of our winter. In this situation, the siren declined eating from 
a1>out the middle of October till the beginning of May ; and for 
the six intervening cold months he remained exceedingly slug- 
gish, seldom changing his place, except when roughly touched. 

It may liere be remarked, that the tail seems to be the most 
sensitive part of this animal. I have often gently stroked the 
back, near the head, with my fingers, without disturbing him in 
the least ; but the moment the tail was touched, some air-bubbles 
were thrown up, and he moved slowly away. 

In April 18^7, the box was placed in a hot-house, intended for 
the culture of tropical plants, where the temperature is kept up 
so as to range from iiO" to 80° F., and may be stated as general- 
ly about 65". Here the animal became more lively. He soon 
began to croak like a frog, uttering a single cry at a time, and 
without any change of note. He continued thus to call for 
some weeks ; and, considering the time of the year, it seems pro- 
bable that this was the call of love. During this summer he ate 
two, three, or even four, small earth-worms at a meal, devour- 
ing them much more quickly than formerly. It was now ob- 
served, that after the siren got his eye on the worm, he approach- 
ed very cautiously, remained motionless for a moment, as if 



living Specimen of Siren lacertina. ^W 

watching, and then made a sudden dart upon the prey. Still, 
however, he did not care for food oftener than once in a week 
or ten days. When touched, he now changed his place with a 
jerking motion, causing the water to spurt. '"^ 

Although I certainly would not have made the experiment 
of the fragility of the siren, by throwing it on the ground'? 
and although I would have hesitated to keep the animal out 
of the water for several hours, while I knew that respectabl6 
naturalists doubted if it would live more than a few minuted 
out of that element, yet it so happened, that the animal, on one 
occasion, made, of his own accord, an experiment (if it may 
be so called) illustrative of both points. This was on the 18th 
of May 182G (for the fact was recorded in my adversaria at the 
time), soon after he had begun to be active and to take food foi' 
the season. The water-box itself was ten inches deep : it was 
placed on a plant-trellis or shelf, close by the lower end of the 
sloping roof-sash of the greenhouse, and thus stood nearly three 
feet from the ground. At tlmt period the box happened to leak; 
and the gardener therefore filled it up with water between se- 
ven and eight o^clock in the evening, at which time the siren was 
seen safely lodged in the box. The door of the greenhouse was 
locked, as usual, over night, and before it was opened in the 
morning, the siren, to the great surprise of the gardener, was 
found lying on a foot-path which passes round the exterior of 
the greenhouse. I was speedily apprised of the circumstance; 
and, on examining the spot, we could most distinctly trace, by 
a shining glaze derived from his skin, the passage of the animal^ 
through an edging of hcalli (Erica herbaceaj, and across a nar- 
row flower-border, to a hole which he had scoojxjd out under the 
brick-wall of the greenhouse, in escaping from within. The 
foundation of this wall, it may be remarked, had intentionally 
been made shallow or near to the surface, for the pur}K>sc of per- 
mitting the roots of some shrubs, planted in the conservatory 
style within, to }K»netrate to the exterior border. 

We jwssess no data for fixing witli certainty tlie nunil>er of 
liours during which the animal had been out of the water. The' 
box, as alreatiy mentioncil, being leaky, was filled near to the 
brim iK^tween 7 and 8 in the evening : it Hcems likely that this 
filling up had disturbed the animal, and that it had been ena- 
bled partly to crawl and partly to glide over the margin, while 



d&% Mr Neill m the Habits of a 

the water yet stood high, or early in the night ; for the water 
had subsided five or six inches before morning. The escape of 
so much water, had formed, of the soil below, a kind of sludge, 
probably somewhat analogous in character to the " stiff clay"" 
of its native swamps, in which it is said sometimes to burrow ; 
•and this must have greatly facilitated the first under-ground 
operations of the siren. Still, however, as the excavation made 
was not less than eight inches in depth, and nearly three feet 
in length, for the ascending aperture on the outside sloped at 
an angle of about 30°, it seems reasonable to conclude that the 
siren must have been several hours hard at work in forming so 
extensive a tunnel for itself. In farther proof of its exertions, 
it may be observed, that a considerable part of the dark-coloured 
epidermis, or covering of minute indistinct scales, was worn off 
its snout, and the skin of the upper part of the back was, in 
different places, ruffled. — In passing, it may be noticed, that 
these facts indicate that its progress had depended more on 
rooting with the nose and shoving with the shoulders, than on 
digging or scraping with the feet and toes, the claws or nails of 
which are indeed rather of a delicate texture. 

Mr Barnes was evidently right, therefore, in considering the 
fragility of the siren as " improbable ;"" for, far from being 
broken in pieces, by its fall of more than three feet and a-half 
from the upper margin of the box, it is abundantly evident that 
the animal had suffered nothing from this fall, else it would not 
immediately afterwards have made such progress in mining. 
In justice to Dr Garden, however, who was evidently an accu- 
rate observer, it should be mentioned, that he does not allege 
that the siren, if merely " thrown on the ground," will break in 
pieces ; but only states that, on one occasion, a specimen did so 
when " dashed Jbrdhly against the ground,'** by his servant, 
with the view of killing it. 

The morning was very cold, and the mercury in a register- 
thermometer, kept in the greenhouse, had been as low as 33° 
Fahr. at one period of the preceding night. The animal was 
observed about 7 a. m. lying doubled, or with the body bent 
round, but not coiled, on the foot-path. He was exceedingly 
benumbed, being just able to shew signs of life when lifted by 
the gardener. Considering the evidence of long-continued ac- 
tive exertions during the night, it seems reasonable to ascribe 



living Specimen of Siren lacertina. 353 

his almost torpid state when found, to the freezing cold which he 
had encountered when he had made his way fairly to the outside. 
When first restored to the watery element, the animal breathed 
hard, rushing to the surface, and opening his mouth with a 
wide gape to inhale air. He soon after sunk down, and let se- 
veral strings of air-bubbles escape. The branchiae were doubt- 
less to a certain degree dried, and thus obstructed ; and it evi- 
dently took some time before they could freely perform their 
accustomed office. When, however, I again examined the ani- 
mal, several hours afterwards, he seemed perfectly contented 
to remain wholly under the water ; and, on being touched, ap- 
peared as lively and as well as ever. The decorticated portions 
of the back and snout shewed us the colour of the true skin 
below, which was of a pale leaden hue. 

In the course of changing the water and moss, we have oc- 
casionally placed the siren on the floor of the hot-house, or on 
the dry ground. He certainly did not on these occasions seem 
adept at progressive motion: but, on the contrar)*^, tumbled 
about rather awkwardly. From the exertions he made, how- 
ever, we were inclined to think, that among wet grass he might 
probably get on pretty well ; for he exhibited no indications of 
pain or uneasiness, but merely a desire to escape or get under 
cover. 

We have often remarked this fact, that, if the animal be 
left in undisturbed tranquillity, he will lie at the bottom of 
the deepest part of the box, where the water is generally six 
inches deep, for hours together, without coming to the sur- 
face, and without discharging air-bubbles; but on these oc- 
casions, on looking attentively into the water, as I have done 
for twenty minutes at a time, a slight current may be observed 
to be excited behind the gills, about twice in a minute. The 
current is sometimes so gentle, that it is only to be observed by 
noticing the motion of minute particles of decayed moss which 
come within its influence. The moment his tail is touched, the 
animal exerts himself; air-bubbles escape, and he soon after 
comes to the surface to take in air by the mouth. When the 
box is to be cleaned out, which is done about once a fortnight, 
the siren is placed in an oval jar among water ; here he moves 
about with rapidity, and very frequently projects his nose and 
mouth above the surface, evidently to inhale air. 



354 Mr Neill on the Habits of a 

The animal has, since it came into my possession, decidedly 
increased in volume, particularly in thickness or plumpness ; but 
I am not, as already noticed, aware of the least change having 
taken place in the appearance of the fimbriated branchia?, where 
a change should first be looked for were the animal a larva. 

The scars of the injuries which he received in his subterra- 
nean excursion of May 1826, remained visible for a year after 
the occurrence ; but they have now (January 18^8) completely 
disappeared, and the whole body is covered with a dark glossy 
epidermis, consisting of very minute scales, and marked with 
small dots of white. 

j^^The results of the observations now made seem to be : — That, 
as Dr Monro'*s specimen of the Siren lacertina did not " soon 
die when out of the water," — did 7iot^ like the Italian pro- 
teus, " die as fishes do,"" when removed from that element,'-^biit, 
on the contrary, lived many hours out of the water, respiring 
atmospheric air by means of its lungs ; and as it has often been 
observed to remain for hours under the water without coming 
to the surface to breathe. Baron Cuvier is right in regarding 
the siren as a perfect animal, of a truly amphibious character, 
destined to breathe through life either by means of external 
branchiae or of internal pulmonary apparatus, according to the 
situation it may for the time occupy in its native marshes :— 
That Mr Barnes was right in doubting the story of its being 
a fragile animal ;- — That it has a voice like the croaking of a 
frog, but not a vojc cantillans^ if this last imply any thing 
musical ; but here it should be remarked, that Mr John Ellis 
accurately characterizes it as a " croaking noise or sound i"— 
That, as it attacked a large banstickle, and probably devoured 
some small ones as well as larvae of Lacerta aquatica, it may, 
in its native lakes and swamps, attack small fishes, or even small 
serpents, as mentioned by some naturalists : — That Configliachi 
and llusconi have been misled by trusting to " analogy," and, 
by an error of Dr Pockels, who mistook the Amphiuma means^ 
which he saw in the Hunterian collection at London, for a per- 
fectly developed siren. These naturalists expressly admit, that 
they had not themselves enjoyed an opjxjrtunity of dissecting a 
siren {p. 90- Note) ; and it is also evident from dther parts of 
their monograph, that they had never seen a living specimen- 



living Specimen of Siren lacertina. 355 

P. S. Since Uiis paper was read to the Wcmerian Society, I 
have seen, in Silliman's American Journal of Science, Septem- 
ber 1827, p. 70. an additional notice regarding the siren by Mr 
Barnes ; in which he says, " Captain Le Conte has dissected a 
large siren alive^ and has actually seen the expansion and con- 
traction of the lungs in the act of respiration, just as in the frogs 
and tortoises. They are true lungs^ and not merely air sacks, 
and their connection with the heart and the arteries was distinct- 
ly observed.*" 



A Tour to tlie Smith of France and the Pyrenees in the year 
1825. By G. A. Walker ARNoTT,Esq. F.R.S.E. F.L.S. 
M. W. S. &c. (Continued from last Number, p. 139.) 

\JN the 21st June, having, with much regret, seen our two 
friends MM. Requicn and Audibert set off in the diligence for 
Perpignan, we ourselves also left I*rades, and ascended the Couf- 
flent towards Mont Louis, On our route we again passed the 
Traucadc d'Ambouilla, and though we did not find it conve- 
nient to leave the road, we nevertheless observed there Tortula 
cfUoronotos, probably the identical station from whence Bridel 
procured his specimens when he first dcscrilxxl the species; and 
though small specimens have since been found in TencrifTe, and 
published by Dr Hooker as Tortula vicmbranifolia^ and though, 
as I think I have already mentioned, I have found it not un- 
common in the olive district of the south of France *, this loca- 
lity was yet very interesting. In its neighbourhootl also, we 
saw Buffania perennis, Galium glaucuniy and Jlyssum halimi- 
fbliuju, all of which, however, we had observed on other |)arts 
of the Traucatle a few days before. Passing through Ville- 
franche, wc saw in profusion Sarcocapnos cnncaphylhy on ele- 
gant plant, closely allied to Fnmaria : this occurs both on llie 
church walls and on the wall of the town, outside of the south 
gate. We now crossed the Teta, and proceeded up the western 



• It has also been found in Switzerland, and is the T. mmm fU^ var. 
noia-, ot* somQ of the Swiss collectors ; and it even exiuLs in Beauvois* hortiii- 
rium from the neighbouriioiKl t)!' Paris, under the name of Torhtia canestmt, 
P.B. 



..t 



356 Mr Arnott's Toiir to the South of France, 

bank, without observing any thing worthy of notice, till we ap- 
proached the village of Serdynia. On the mountain close to 
this is found the Onopordum pyrenaicum ; and, soon after quit- 
ting the village, we met with the curious Achillcea chamcemeli- 
Jbliay Pourr. growing on the bank on the right. This species 
Lapeyrouse has unfortunately described three times in his Flora 
of the Pyrenees : it is his A, chamtEmelifolia, A. capiUata, and A. 
falcata. This latter state of it has the segments of the leaves 
more or less curved backwards, and has been sometimes given 
to botanists by Lapeyrouse himself with the name of A. recur- 
vifolia attached. From Serdynia to Olette, where we break- 
fasted, we did not observe any other plant that interested us. 

I have already alluded to the tremendous storms that had 
occurred every day for some time past. Although the morn- 
ings were unclouded, and the sun shone forth in full power, the 
sky began to darken about two oVlock, and thunder, lightning, 
and rain raged with the utmost fury for about two or three 
hours, after which we usually had delightful evenings. Accus- 
tomed to judge of the violence of the storms according to the 
extent of our exposure to them, we, having been the greater 
part of the day in the house, had allowed that of yesterday to 
pass almost unheeded. To-day, however, about Olette we were 
led to understand that its violence had been much greater, and 
of longer duration, than those of any of the previous days.~ The 
effects indeed were tremendous. Huge masses of stone had 
been brought down from the hills by the torrents of rain, and 
now lay scattered along the road : the upper soil of the vine- 
yards had been completely washed away, while the vines them- 
selves lay scattered in every direction. The peasantry already 
saw the hopes of a harvest blasted. 

Leaving Olette. the road again crosses the Teta, and the ascent 
becomes very steep, until we arrive at the Graux d'Olette, a ro- 
mantic spot, where we found Buffonia perennis, and the narrow- 
leaved variety of Centraullius ruber (C. angustifoUus of au- 
thors). From this the river begins to present several small but 
beautiful cascades, and although the road descends a little at 
the Graux, it soon again begins to ascend rapidly. Passing the 
village of Thues, we saw Ligusticiim (Cnidium Spr). pyrenai- 
cum abundant ; and towards Fontledrouse and Cassagne we 



'and the p7/rmees, in ^ 8^5. 867 

observed in the meadows a rough-scaped Armeria, that we had 
previously observed at Bellegarde and La Jonquiere : it is pro- 
bably A. plaiitaginea, if indeed the whole genus Armeria he 
not reducible to one species. 

Although the morning had hitherto been fine, the clouds and 
mist now began to gather on the hills, and indicated an ap- 
proaching storm. This induced us to neglect botany, and hur- 
ry onwards. About a mile from Mont Louis we again crossed 
the Teta. At this point there were close to us some consider- 
able water-falls ; but the noise of the water was not sufficient to 
conceal that of the thunder, which at the instant burst upon us 
in awful grandeur. For a few seconds we attempted to pro- 
cure shelter under a projecting rock, but immediately deemed 
it more prudent, being thoroughly wet, to proceed. Whilst 
there, two bolts must have burst within a few yards of us, so 
instantaneous were the flash and the peal. We arrived, how- 
ever, safely at Mont Louis, or rather at the cabanasse or vil- 
lage close to the fortress, where indeed we were to procure ac- 
commodation, being more convenient for us than the fort, on 
account of their shutting the gates, and pulling up the draw- 
bridge, at night. Our horses had arrived a short time before 
us, without much damage done to either our paper or plants, 
a circumstance which now interested us more than ourselves. 

To-day in our ascent we saw abundance of Sempervivum 
arachnoideum in flower : S. montanum also occurred : Sedum 
brevissimum, DC. was observed, but in small quantities. Be- 
tween the Graux d'Olette and Thues, we found Cistus lauri- 
filius in profusion on both sides of the road, and it is not im- 
probable that the few plants of this species we formerly found 
at Perpignan, may have been carried down there from this sta- 
tion by the stream. Medicago suffruticosa has been every 
where abundant since we entered the mountainous district. I 
liave already stated, that our new species M. leicarpa resembles' 
this closely, but differs by the glabrous fruit. I may remark 
here in addition, that M. leiocarpa always grows on the chalky 
or limestone range, while the other species, M. stiffruticosOy is 
found only on the schistose and older formations. We have 
occasionally observed a few plants of the latter, it is true, down 

JA-NUARY MARCH 1828. A a 



358 Mr Arnott's Tour to the South of Frcmce, 

in the plains, but always in the beds of mountain rivulets, 
indicating that these were stragglers, and had been carried 
down by torrents. 

On the 23d, being rainy and disagreeable weather, our excur- 
sion was short, confining ourselves to the immediate vicinity of 
the cabanasse. In meadows, however, close to the road that leads 
to Mont Louis, we met with Dimithus atroruhens, Pedicularis 
verticillata, and Trifolium spadiceicm, all abundant, and in an 
excellent state for preservation. Near them also was Vicia ono- 
hrycJioides. Descending the road we had come by yesterday for 
a little way, we then crossed a small stream on the right, and 
found on a bank beautiful specimens of Didymodon glaucescens. 
Genista * sagittalis and purgansy and Drdba nemoralis. There 

• I take this opportunity of stating, that Cytisus heterophyllus^ Lap., is, I 
think, identical with Genista prostrata, Lam. and DC. Prod. This plant must 
not, however, be confounded, as has been done by WiUdenow, and even by 
De CandoUe in the Flore Francaise, with G. decumbens, W. M. De Candolle, 
in the Supplement to the Flore Francaise, himself desires this synonym to 
be excluded ; and though he does not cite Willdenow's plant under G, pros- 
irata in the Prodromus, 2. p. 152, he leaves it as undetermined, or, in other 
words, he omits all notice of it. Willdenow, in his description (vol. iii. p. 941), 
points out how his plant dilFers from G. procumbens, W. K. ; aiwl I think there 
are few who have seen Lamark's G. prostrata, that will not immediately re- 
cognise it and G. procumbens, W. K., and DC. Prod, to be one and the same. 
The G. procumbens of Schleicher is also G. prostrata ; but G. decnmbens of the 
same is G. pilosa, Linn. As to G. decttmbens, W., or Spartium decumbens^ Ait., 
it may be distinguished by verbatim the same character that Sprengel applies 
to G. prostrata (v. iii. p. 220.) : he adduces, however, G. deeumbens. W. as a sy- 
nonym, and his description was probably drawn up with a view to that plant. 
It will also be easily perceived that SprengePs Cytism procumbens (iii. p. 224.) 
is the true G. prostrata. 

I shall here also notice another mistake that has crept into, the Prodromus 
in the allied genus Cytisus. C. capitatus is inserted in the Flore Francaise ; 
but in the Supplement, De Candolle points out the error, and states that it 
is C. supinus that has been taken for it ; yet it is to the C. supinus he alludes 
in the Prodromus, when he says that it grows in the east of Burgundy, and 
that its " Flores interdum autumno laterales evadunt." As to the C supintts 
in the Prodromus, he has both kept it as a good species, and at the same time 
reduced it to C bijlorus. Lastly, his character of C. supinus, in the Supple- 
ment to the Flore Francaise, p. 549, " la levre superieure a 3 dents, Finfe- 
rieure a 2 parties,'* is extremely incorrect. C. hirsutus, Schleicher, is C. sm- 
pinrn. C. supinus., Lapeyr. on the other hand, is the true C. capitatus ; but 
what his C. capitatus is I am not sure ; probably a mixture of C. capitatus and 
C supim(s. 



and the Pyrenees^ in 1825. 359 

was here a thicket of Lonkcra Xylostenm, and some pretty spe- 
cies of the genus Rosa^ but of which at present we did not ga- 
ther any. Thlaspi alpestre. Asperugo proaimbensy and Apar- 
gta pt/renaica, we observed, but sparingly. There were also 
here some alpine mosses, as the piliferous variety of Trichosto- 
mum patens<i Grimmia ovata *, particularly that state called 
Dicrmium ovale^ Orthotrichum rupincola^ TorUda mucronifb- 
lia, and Encalypta ciliata. 

" 23d June. — The two principal excursions to be made around 
Mont Louis are to the Vallee d''Eyne, and to the mountain of 
Cambredazes. The unpleasant weather we experienced yesterday 
had induced us to postpone our visit to the first of these ; but 
this morning the sun shone forth so clearly, and the sky was so 
pure, that we almost regretted the relinquishing a plan we had 
formed even before our departure from Prades ; the specimens, 
however, we had procured during these two last days would be 
all the better, and certainly nothing the worse, of this delay. 
We now also, that the hazy weather had left us, began to see 
somewhat about us. The cabanasse is situated in a large tract 
of alpine meadows. On the north is a low hill, with the fort of 
Mont Louis on its summit, and to the south the mountain of 
Cambredazes, celebrated in the Flora of the Pyrenees. This 
does not appear of great height ; but that may be partly owing 
to our \ye\ng at present at a considerable elevation, most proba- 
bly much more than 4000 feet above the sea : indeed, the plants 
we had observed, particularly the appearance of the Rhododen- 
drum ferrugineum and Juncxis trifidtis (which were found to- 
day north of the fort), the coldness of the springs (about 4s5*' 
Fahr. or scarcely 6° Reaum.) indicate at least that altitude, as 
well as does the sharpness of the air, which, when we were not 
exposed to the sun, we felt to be tolerably chill. To the west 
of us is French Cerdagne, arid indeed not a mik; from the ca- 
banasse, the mulcts flow into Spain, 

" The 24th we undertook the botanical examination of tlie 
Vallee d'Eyne, accompanied by a mule loaded with as much 
provisions as we thought might suffice for three days, with our 
cloaks, and with two or three reams of paper. The first day 

• T do not here allude to T.funale^ Schw., a very different plant, between 
which and Grimmia sjnralis I can find no difference. 

Aa2 



360 Mr Arnott's Tour to the South of France, 

was passed in botanising among the banks and rocks that are 
chiefly to the right of the stream that traverses this rich valley, 
and in crossing the Col or Cueillade de Norin which terminates 
it. Descending then the Cueillade towards Catalonia, we ar- 
rived in the evening at the hermitage of Nouri, but, unfortu- 
nately for us, a day too early. The Curate of Querals, who 
passes always the summer in this vast building, was not to ar- 
rive till the next day ; the few beds that were there were locked 
up, and we found merely four shepherds, whose united stock of 
furniture consisted of two coarse blankets or rugs, one kettle, 
one porringer, and two wooden spoons. Finding we were to 
receive no benefit from these our companions, wrapping our 
cloaks around us, we stretched ourselves out as well as we could 
on some long, narrow, and sufficiently hard wooden benches 
around a large fire, which we found it necessary to keep blazing 
the whole night *, to prevent our suffering from the piercing 
I cold, for we could scarcely be less, whatever more, than 2000 
feet above the level of Mont Louis. 

'^ Notwithstanding our precautions and the fatigues of yes- 
terday? having slept little, we amused ourselves in the morning, 
until day-light, in observing the culinary proceedings of the poor 
shepherds, and in listening to the anecdotes they told us of the 
visit that Mina paid to this place during the last war. It ap- 
peared that this general, repulsed and surrounded on all sides 
by different bodies of the French soldiery, passed here three 
days, while the snow lay deep on the ground, in making useless 
attempts to regain the plains below, witliout encountering his 
enemies. Having at length consumed all the provisions, seeing 
his followers fainting with cold and fatigue, and after having 
burned the doors, window-shutters, tables, chairs, and, in short, 
every thing that was combustible, in order to warm themselves, 
he formed the scheme of causing his band to separate, and ap- 
pointed Seo d'Urgel as a rendezvous. He himself with one 
party made an attempt to pass by the walls of the town of Puy- 
cerda, where the Baron d'Eroles then was with the Spanish 

• Throughout the interior of Catalonia, the fire is on the ground, and the 
chimney las was formerly to be seen in every farm-house in Scotland, though 
now of less frequent occurrence), broad at the base, and contracted at the top, 
arises perpendicularly above the fire. 



and the Pyrenees, in 1825. 361 

royalists, and from whence he made no movement to arrest Mina, 
as is supposed, through jealousy of the French. Such at least 
is the account that the inhabitants give (and perhaps think it 
the most plausible) when a stranger asks them what has be- 
come of the forty beds and of the furniture, of which this im- 
mense pile of building used formerly to boast. 

*' On the 25th, we descended slowly along the wild and pic- 
turesque valley of Querals, and soon encountered the first part 
of the retinue of the Senor Rector^ composed of a man armed 
with a gun, and three others with pick-axes, to repair the path 
where the winter storms had rendered it impassable for mules. 
So soon as they perceived us at a distance they made a halt, 
gazing on us open-mouthed, and whilst we passed them, they 
could scarcely reply to the customary salutation of " Dios guar- 
da'^ that we made them. In the evening, indeed, they acknow- 
ledged, that^ seeing us both dressed in grey from top to toe, armed 
with our boxes and cartons, holding an open knife in one hand, 
and a stick shod also with a knife in the other, they took us for 
some new kind of banditti, and were so completely terrified, that, 
as the valiant fellow with the musket declared, if he had had 
the power, he would have thrown away his piece, and taken to 
his heels. 

" About a mile lower down, we met the rector himself, with 
the greater part of his suite, composed of eight or ten men, three 
young and handsome maid-servants, and seven or eight mules, 
loaded with provisions and kitchen utensils. The curate, far 
from corresponding to what one expected from such a retinue, 
was dirty and disgusting in the extreme, and, hke many of his 
brethren in that country, his ignorance, his want of religion, 
and his licentiousness, were but feebly concealed by a few su- 
perstitious rites. 

" Returning in the evening to Nouri, having spread out our 
plants, we petitioned for a bed for that night ; and perceiv- 
ing that our provisions were nearly exhausted, we asked the 
curate if he would provide us with supper ; but aware that, in 
Roussillon, the curates are accustomed to welcome a traveller 
to their table in those districts where there is no inn, it was not 
without some fear of offence that we hinted that we should pay 
for what we should have. But he was not so easily affrontal, 

3 



9QS Mr Arnott's Tmir to the South of France, ^c. 

" S'death, I suppose so," shouted he in his abominable Ca- 
talonian tongue, and next morning he presented us with the fol- 
lowing account : — One pound and a half of (black) bread, one 
piecete* ; half a pound of rostesf, one piecete ; sopas\ for three 
(of course for the liquid alone, as we had a separate charge for 
the bread), one piecete ; three bottles of rancio § (for our sup- 
per and next day's travelling), each one piecete : total, six pie- 
cetes. " And then," added he, " as I do not charge you for the 
bed, you can give something to the servants." No innkeeper 
could have made up a more exorbitant account, for all we had 
got was not worth more than one shilling ; but it was of no use 
to remonstrate, his only answer to our objections being, that 
withal we were very fortunate in procuring any kind of supper 
in so wild a country. 

^' The 26th, having again crossed the Cueillade de Nouri, and 
redescended the Vallee d'Eynes (instead of returning by the Val- 
lee de Lhou, which we intended to have done had the weather 
been fine), we arrived late in the afternoon at the cabanasse 
loaded with plants. This excursion was the richest in our 
whole tour, as much in the number of specimens as in the va- 
riety of species. During the three days we gathered 5500 spe- 
cimens. We were, no doubt, in the most favourable season ; 
and this excursion being only the second we had yet made, 
strictly called Pyrenean, it was to be expected that we should 
find many species scattered throughout the chain ; but there 
were also many very rare species.'^ — Benth. 
( To he continued.) 

* The piecete is precisely a shilling sterling 

-f* Rostes: ham usually very dry, and extremely salt, fried in olive-oil, 
which, both in lioussillon and Catalonia, is almost always rancid. 

X Sopas a Vaigo, literally water-soup. In a pot containing about four bottles 
of water, a head of garlic is boiled, with about two ounces of fat of bacon and a 
little salt. This liquor is poured on slices of black bread. The happy pea- 
santry prefer the addition of a few spoonfuls of rancid oil, and this constitutes 
their sopas a roillL 

* Rancio., wine at first black and thick, made in the maritime districts of 
Roussillon and Catalonia. At the end of ten or twelve years in the plain, or 
of two or three in the mountains, it becomes clear, loses much of its colour, 
and acquires a peculiar flavour, which is called ranee. It is then an ex- 
cellent wine, and of great value ; but the honest curate of Nouri pocketed at 
least 150 per cent, on what he provided us with. 



( 363 ) 

Narrative of' an Attempt to reach the North Pole, in Boats yU- 
ted Jar the purpose, and attaclied to His Mc0esty's ship Hecla, 
in the year 1827, under tlie command of Captain W, E. 
Parry, R. iST., F. R, S. L., S^c. 4to. Murray 1828. 

J\. COPY of Captain Parry's Narrative having just reached us, 
we hasten to lay before our readers a few of the many interest- 
ing details it contains. This remarkable enterprise was under- 
taken under the auspices of the Lords of the Admiralty, at the 
suggestion of Captain Parry, and the recommendation of the 
Royal Society of London. Its professed object was to attempt 
reaching the North Pole, by means of travelling with sledge- 
boats over the ice, or through any space of open water that 
might occur. So early as the year 1815, the celebrated navi- 
gator William Scoresby jun. in a highly interesting memoir, 
read before the Wernerian Society, and published in the second 
volume of their memoirs, proposed a plan for travelling over the 
ice to the North Pole. Afterwards, a similar project was sug- 
gested by Captain Franklin ; and this finally led to the proposal 
of Captain Parry, which met with the approbation and support 
of Government. 

The Hecla, already famous in the annals of Arctic enterprise, 
which had so often braved the storms and ices of the north, 
was again commissioned. A crew and officers familiar with the 
Arctic Seas were selected, and every arrangement made to se- 
cure their health and comfort. The Chief of the Admiralty, 
Lord Melville, having visited the Hecla, and expressed his ap- 
probation of the equipment, orders for saihng were issued. On 
the 4th of April 1827 the expedition left the shores of Eng- 
land, bearing with it the wishes and hopes of Britain, and 
indeed of the civilized world, for its safety and success. 

After an agreeable voyage, they reached the interesting station 
of Hammerfest, at the northern extremity of Norway, on the 19th 
of April. Here they remained until the 29th, on which day they 
set sail for Spitzbergen. After encountering much op)X)sition 
from the ice and the weather, Captain Parry succeeded, but not 
until the 20th of June, in securing the Hecla, in a harbour in 
Spitzbergen, which he named Hecla Cove. On the 21st of June 



364 Narrative of Captain Parry^s Attempt 

he left the ship, with two boats, which he named the Enterprize 
and Endeavour, Mr Beverly being attached to Captain Parry's, 
and Lieutenant Ross, accompanied by Mr Bird, to the other. 
" Besides these,*" says Captain Parry," I took Lieutenant Crozier, 
for the purpose of carrying some of our weight as far as Walden 
Island, and also a third store of provisions, to be deposited on 
Low Island, as an intermediate station between Walden Island 
and the ship. As it was still necessary not to delay our return 
l)eyond the end of August, the time originally intended, I took 
with me only 71 days' provisions, which, including the boats, 
and every other article, made up a weight of 200 lb. per man ; 
and, as it appeared highly improbable^ from what we had seen 
of the very rugged nature of the ice we should first have to en- 
counter, that either the rein-deer, or the snow-shoes, or the 
wheels, would l>e of any service for some time to come, I gave 
up the idea of taking them. Having received the usual saluta- 
tion of three cheers from those we left behind, we paddled 
through a quantity of loose ice at the entrance of the bay, and 
we steered, in a perfectly open sea, and with calm and beautiful 
weather, for Low Island, which we reached at half past two in the 
morning of the 22d June. Having deposited the pi-ovisions, we 
set off for Walden Island, which was soon reached, and another 
deposit of provisions made.'' Lieutenant Crozier now parted from 
them, and the boats pursued their course north waids. The 
following is Captain Parry's account of their mode of travelling*: 

"• Our plan of travelling," he says, speaking of the journey over the ice af- 
ter leaving the Hecla, " being nearly the same throughout this excursion, af- 
ter we first entered upon the ice, I may at once give some account of our 
usual mode of proceeding. It was my intention to travel wholly at night, and 
to rest by day, there being, of course, constant daylight in these regions du- 
ring the summer season. The advantages of this plan, which was occasional- 
ly deranged by circumstances, consisted, first, in our avoiding the intense and 
oppressive glare from the snow during the time of the sun's gi-eatest altitude, 
so as to prevent, in some degree, the painful inflammation in the eyes called 
* snow-blindness,' which is common in all snowy countries. We also thus 
enjoyed greater warmth during the hours of rest, and had a better chance of 
drying our clothes ; besides which, no small advantage was derived from the 
snow being harder at night for travelling. The only disadvantage of this plan 
was, that the fogs were somewhat more frequent and more thick by night 
than by day, though, even in this respect, there was less ditference than might 
have been supposed ; the temperature during the twenty ^four hours under- 
* Narrative, p. 55. 



to reach the North Pole in 1827. 365 

j^oing but little variation. This travelling by night, and sleeping by day, so 
completely inrerted the natural order of things, that it was difficult to per- 
suade ourselves of the reality. Even the officers and myself, who were all 
furnished with pocket chronometers, could not always bear in mind at what 
part of the twenty-four hours we had arrived ; and there were several of the 
men who declared, and I believe truly, that they never knew night from day 
during the whole excursion. When we rose in the evening, we commenced 
our day by prayers, after which, we took off our fur sleeping-dresses, and 
put on those for travelling ; the former being made of camblet, lined with ra- 
coon-skin, and the latter of strong blue box-cloth. We made a point of al- 
ways putting on the same stockings and boots for travelling in, whether they 
had dried during the day or not ; and I believe it was only in five or six in- 
stances, at the most, that they werfe not either still wet or hard-frozen. This, 
indeed, was of no consequence, beyond the discomfort of first putting them 
on in this state, as they were sure to be thoroughly wet in a quarter of an 
hour after commencing our journey ; while, on the other hand, it was of vital 
importance to keep dry things for sleeping in. Being ' rigged * for travelling, 
we breakfasted upon warm cocoa and biscuit, and after stowing the things in 
the boats and on sledges, so as to secure them as much as possible from wet, 
we set off on our day's journey, and usually travelled from five to five and a 
half hours, then stopped an hour to dine, and again travelled four, five, or 
even six hours, according to circumstances. After this we halted for the 
night, as we called it, though it was usually early in the morning, selecting 
the largest surface of ice we happened to be near for hauling the boats on, in 
order to avoid the danger of its breaking up, by coming in contact with other 
masses, and also to prevent drift as much as possible. The boats were placed 
close alongside each other, with their sterns to the wind, the snow or wet 
cleared out of them, and the sails, supported by the bamboo masts and three 
paddles, placed over them as awnings, an entrance being left at the bow. 
Every man then immediately put on dry stockings and fur boots, after which 
we set about the necessary repairs of boats, sledges, or clothes ; and, after ser- 
ving the provisions for the succeeding day, we went to supper. Most of the 
officers and men then smoked their pipes, which served to dry the boats and 
awnings very much, and usually raised the temperature of our lodgings 10 or 
15 degrees. This part of the twenty -four hours was often a time, and the on- 
ly one, of real enjoyment to us ; the men told their stories, and * fought all 
their battles o'er again,' and the labours of the day, unsuccessful as they too 
often were, were forgotten. A regular watch was set during our resting-time, 
to look out for bears, or for the ice breaking up around us, us well as lo attend ^ 
to the drying of the clothes, each man alternately taking his duty for one ' 
hour. We then concluded our day with prayers, and having put on our fur 
dresses, lay down to sleep, with a degree of comfort which perhaps few per- 
sons would imagine possible under such circumstances ; our chief inconve- 
nience being, that we were somewhat pinched for room, and therefore obliged 
to stow rather closer than was quite agreeable. The temjKjrature, while we 
slept, was usually from 36° to 45°, according to the state of the external at- 
mosphere ; but on one or two occasions, in cabn and warm weather, it rose as 
high as 60* to 66% obliging us to throw oft* a jiart of our fur dress. After we 



366 Narrative of Captain Parry's Attempt 

had slept seven hours, the man appointed to boil the cocoa roused us, when it 
was ready, by the sound of a bugle ; when we commenced our day in the 
manner before described. Our allowance of provisions for each man per day 
was as follows : — 

Biscuit - - - 10 ounces. 

Pemmican - - 9 do. 

Sweetened Cocoa Powder - 1 do. to make one pint. 

Hum ... 1 gill. 

Tobacco - - - 3 ounces per week. 

Our ftiel consisted entirely of spirits of wine, of which two pints formed our 
daily allowance, cocoa being cooked in an iron boiler over a shallow iron lamp 
with seven wicks,— a simple apparatus, which answered our purpose remark- 
ably well. We usually found one pint of the spirits of wine sufficient for 
preparing our breakfast ; that is, for heating twenty-eight pints of water, 
though it always commenced from the temperature of 32°. If the weather 
was calm and fair, this quantity of fuel brought it to the boiling point in about 
an hour and a quarter ; but more generally the wicks began to go out before 
it had reached 200'. This, however, made a very comfortable meal to persons 
situated as we were. Such, with very little variation, was our regular rou- 
tine during the whole of this excursion." 

The quantity of rain which fell was truly extraordinary. 
Captain Parry remarks, on the 26th June, that they had al- 
ready experienced, in the course of this summer, more rain than 
during the whole seven previous summers taken together^ 
though passed in latitudes from 7° to 15° lower than this. 

The expedition, in its progress northwards, experienced per- 
petual difficulties and delays from the broken state of the ice, 
and from its nowhere occurring in fields. The following observa- 
tions convey a striking picture of the nature of their travel- 
ling * : — 

" As soon as we landed on a floe-piece, Lieutenant Ross and myself gene- 
rally went on a-head, while the boats were unloading and hauling up, in order 
to select the easiest road for them. The sledges then followed in our track 
Messrs Beverly and Bird accompanying them, by which the snow was much 
trodden down, and the road thus improved for the boats. As soon as we ar- 
rived at the other end of the floe, or came to any difficult place, we mounted 
one of the highest hummocks of ice near at hand, (many of which were from 
fifteen to five and twenty feet above the sea) in order to obtain a better view 
around us ; and nothing could well exceed the dreariness which such a view 
presented. The eye wearied itself in vain to find an object but ice and sky 
to rest upon ; and even the latter was often hidden from our view by the 
dense and dismal fogs which so generally prevailed. For want of variety, the 
most trifling circumstance engaged a more than ordinary share of our atten- 
* Narrative, p. 67. 



io reach the North Pole in 18S7. 367 

tion ; a passing gull, or a mass of ice of unusual form, became objects which 
our situation and circumstances magnified into ridiculous importance ; 
and we have since often smiled to remember the eager interest with which we 
regarded many insignificant occurrences. It may well be imagined, then, 
how cheering it was to turn from this scene of inanimate desolation, to our 
two little boats in the distance, to see the moving figures of our men winding 
with their sledges among the hummocks, and to hear once more the sound of 
human voices breaking the stillness of this icy wilderness. In some ca8e^ 
Lieutenant Ross and myself took separate routes to try the ground, which 
kept us almost continually floundering among deep snow and water. The 
sledges having then been brought up as far as we had explored, we all went 
back for the boats ; each boat's crew, when the road was tolerable, dragging 
their own, and the officers labouring equally hard with the men. It was thus 
we proceeded for nine miles out of every ten that we travelled over ice : for 
it was very rarely indeed that we met with a surface sufficiently level and 
hard to drag all our loads at one journey ; and in a great many instances, 
during the first fortnight, we had to make three journeys with the boats and 
baggage ; that is, to traverse the same road five times over. 

We halted at eleven' p. m. on the 1st, having traversed from ten to eleven 
miles, and made good, by our account, seven and a half in a N. by W. direc- 
tion. We again set forward at ten a.m. on the 2d, the weather being calm, 
and the sun oppressively warm, though with a thick fog. The temperature 
in the shade was 35° at noon, and only 47° in the sun ; but this, together with 
the glare from the snow, produced so painful a sensation in most of our eyes, 
as to make it necessary to halt at one p. m. to avoid being blinded. We there- 
fore took advantage of this warm weather to let the men wash themselves^ 
and mend and dry their clothes, and then set out again at half-past three. 
The snow was, however, so soft as to take us up to our knees at almost every 
other step, and frequently still deeper ; so that we Were sometimes five minutes 
together in moving a single empty boat, with all our united strength. It 
being impossible to proceed under these circumstances, I determined, by de- 
grees, to fall into our night travelling again, from which we had of late insen- 
sibly deviated. We therefore halted at half-past five, the M'eather being now 
very clear and warm, and many of the people's eyes beginning to tail. We 
did not set out again until after midnight, with the intention of giving the 
snow time to harden after so warm a day ; but we found it still so soft 
as to make the travelling very fatiguing. Our way lay at first across a 
number of small loose pieces, most of which were from five to twenty yards 
apart, or just sufficiently separated to give us all the labour of launching and 
hauling up the boats, without the advantage of making any progress by wa- 
ter ; while we crossed, in other instances, from mass to mass, by laying the 
boats over as bridges, by which the men and the baggage passetl. By these 
means, we at length reached a floe, about a mile in length, in a northern di- 
rection ; but it would be difficult to convey an adetpiate idea of the labour 
requiretl to traverse it. The average depth of snow upon the level ]iarts was 
about five inches, under which lay water four or five inches deep ; but the 
moment we approached a hummock, the diepth to which we sank increased to 
three feet or more, rendering it difficult at times to obtain sufficient footing 



368 Narrative of Captain Parry's Attempt 

for one leg to enable us to extricate the other. . The pools of fresh water had 
now also become very large, some of them being a quarter of a mile in length, 
and their depth above our knees. Through these we were prevented taking 
the sledges, for fear of wetting all our provisions ; but we preferred transport- 
ing the boats across them, notwithstanding the severe cold of the snow-water, 
the bottom being harder for the " runners" to slide upon. On this kind of 
road we were, in one instance, above two hours in proceeding a distance of 
one hundred yards." 

In defiance of these overpowering difBculties, they continued 
to struggle towards the north, but with little success. Their 
progress was very slow ; the quantity of rain which fell astonish- 
ed every one ; and the high state of the thermometer was equal- 
ly a subject of wonder. But a principal obstacle to their pro- 
gress northward, and one which at length forced Captain Parry 
to return, was the set of the arctic water towards the south. It 
moved at the rate of 4 miles per day ; and, when assisted by a 
northerly wind, which unfortunately set in, forced the floating 
ice on which they dragged their boats, nearly as fast south as 
they dragged them north. On the 10th of July, they met with 
fresh-water lakes on the ice, as mentioned in the following ex- 
tract from the narrative. 

" Soon after midnight, the rain being succeeded by one of the thickest fogs 
I ever saw, we again proceeded, groping our way almost yard by yard from 
one small piece of ice to another, and were very fortunate in halting upon 
some with level surfaces, and also a few tolerable sized holes of water. At 
half-past two we reached a floe, which at first appeared a level and large one, 
but on landing we were much mortified to find it so covered ivith immense 
• pondsy or rather small lakes of fresh water, that, to accomplish two miles in a 
north direction, we were under the necessity of walking three or four, the 
water being too deep for wading, and from 200 yards to one-third of a mile 
in length. Towards the northern margin, we came among large hununocks, 
liaving very deep snow about them, so that this floe, which had appeared so 
promising, proved very laborious travelling, obliging us, in some pans, to 
make three journeys with our loads ; that is, to traverse the same road five 
times over*." 

On the 12th July, they reached north Lat. 82° 14' 28/^ The 
day was remarkably clear and fine, and the thermometer from 
35° to 36° F. 

" Setting out again (says the narrator) we crossed a small lane of water 
to another floe, but this was so intersected with ponds, and by streams run- 
ning into the sea, that we had to make a very circuitous route, some of the 
ponds being half a mile in length. If any thing could have compensated for 
the delay thus occasioned us, it would have been the beautiful blue colour 
* Narrative, p. 76. 



to reach the North Pole in 1827. 

j)eculiar to these superglacial lakes, which is certainly one of the most pleasing 
tints in nature. Notwithstanding the immense quantity of water still upon 
the ice, and which always afForded us a pure and abundant supply of this in- 
dispensable article, we now observed a mark around the banks of the jwnd, 
shewing that the water was less deep in them by several inches than it had 
been somewhat earlier in the summer ; and, indeed, from about this time, 
some small diminution of its quantity began to be perceptible to ourselves.*'* 

On the 14th and 15th July, the rain was excessive, at times 
pouring down in torrents, and this, too, in the arctic ocean, l>e- 
yond north Lat. 82° 14'. On Monday 16th July, in north 
Lat. 8T m 44", east Long. 20° 32^ 13'^ the thermometer in 
the shade was 37f°, in the sun 47°; a blackened bulb raised it to 
51^°; and the same thermometer when held against the black 
painted sides of the boat rose to 58J°. They saw a mallemuck 
and a Ross gull, and a couple of jiies were found upon the ice. 
At seven o^clock on the evening of the same day, it was so warm 
in the sun, though the temperature in the shade was only 35% that 
tlie tar was running out of the seams of the boats ; and a blacken- 
ed bulb, when held against the paint-work, raised the thermo- 
meter to 72°. The temperature of the sea was 34°. July 
17., in north Lat. 82° 32' 10'^, Captain Parry remarks, " prov- 
ed one of the warmest and most pleasant days to the feelings, 
that we had during the whole time we were upon the ice ; the 
thermometer in the shade being from 36° to 40° for several 
hours, and in the sun from 42° to 51 °.'' On the 19th July, 
towards midnight, they had smart showers of rain, with dry 
clear intervals between them, just as on an April day in Eng- 
land. This kind of weather, which continued for several hours, 
liarassed the men very much. On the morning of the 20th 
July, it is remarked, " we halted at 7 a. m., having by our 
reckoning accomplished 6J miles in a N. N. W. direction, the 
distance traversed being JO^ miles. It may, therefore, be ima- 
gined how great was our mortification in finding that our lati- 
tude, by observation at noon, was only 82° 36' 52", being less 
than five miles to the northward of our place at noon on the 
17th, since which time we had certainly travelled twelve in 
that direction."'' 

On the 23d July, their latitude was not more than 82° 43^ 32" 
north, notwithstanding the distance which they had travelled over 
the ice On the afternoon of this day, a beautiful natural phe- 

• Narrative, p. 9X. 



370 Narrative of Captain Parry's Attempt 

nomenon was observed. A broad white fog-bow first appeared op- 
posite the sun, as was very commonly the case ; presently it be- 
came strongly tinged with the prismatic colours, and soon after- 
wards no less than five other complete arches were formed within 
the main bow, the interior ones being gradually narrower than 
those without, but the whole of them beautifully coloured. The 
larger bow, and the one next within it, had the red on the outer 
or upper side of the circle, the others on the inner side. Lieu- 
tenant Ross measured the altitude of the outer arch, which was 
J20° 45' in the centre, its extent at the horizon 7^1° ; the altitude 
of the sun, which was bright at the time, being 20° 40'. The 
fog was quite wet, while the smaller bows were visible, which 
was only twenty minutes; though the large one remained, as 
usual, for hours together. On the 25th July, it is remarked, 
^' so small was the ice now around us, that we were obliged to 
halt for the night at J2 a. m., being upon the only piece in sight 
in any direction, on which we could trust the boats while we 
rested.'' Such was the ice in the latitude of 82J°. 

The drift to the southward being much increased by a north- 
erly wind, and little or no progress being made, Captain Parry, 
on the 26th July, determined on abandoning this most hope- 
less undertaking. 

" It had for some time past been too evident that the nature of the ice 
with which we had to contend was such, and its drift to the southward, espe- 
cially with a northerly wind, so great, as to put beyond our reach any thing 
but a very moderate share of success in travelling to the northward. Still,, 
however, we had been anxious to reach the highest latitude which our means 
would allow ; and, with this view, although our whole object had long be- 
come unattainable, we pushed on to the northward for thirty-five days, or 
until half our resources were expended, and the middle of our season arrived. 
For the last few days, the eighty-third parallel was the limit to which we 
had ventured to extend our hopes ; but even this expectation had become 
considerably weakened since the setting in of the last northerly wind, which 
continued to drive us to the southward, during the necessary hours of rest, 
nearly as much as we could gain by eleven or twelve hours of daily labour. 
Had our success been at all proportionate to our exertions, it was my full in- 
tention to have proceeded a few days beyond the middle of the period for 
which we were provided, trusting to the resources we expected to find at 
Table Island. But this was so far from being the case, that I could not but 
consider it as incurring useless fatigue to the officers and men, and unneces- 
sary wear and tear for the boats, to persevere any longer in the attempt. I 
determined, therefore, on givipg the people one entire day's rest, which they 
very much needed, and time to wash and mend their clothes, while the offi- 



to reach the North Pole in 1827. 371 

cers were occupied in making ail the observations which might be interesting 
in this latitude ; and then to set out on our return on the following day. 
Having communicated my intentions to the people, who were all much di«. 
ap])ointed in finding how little their labours had effected, we set about our 
respective occupations, and were much favoured by a renuu'kably fine day. 

" The dip of the magnetic needle was here 82" 21' 6", and the variation 
18" 10' westerly, our latitude being 82" W %V\ and our longitude 19" 25' 
east of Greenwich. The highest latxtnde we reached was probably at seven 
A. M. on the 23d, wheit,.^ after the midnight observation^ we travelled^ by our 
account^ something more tfuin a mile and a half, which would carry ua a little 
beyond 82" 45'. Some observations for the magnetic intensity were obtained 
at this station. We here found no bottom with 500 fathoms of line; the 
specific gravity of some water brought up from that depth was 1.0340, being 
at the temperature of 37% when weighed. A Six's thermometer attached to 
the lead failed to indicate the temperature below, owing to the mercury rising 
past the index. The sea-water from the surface was, as usual, near the ice, 
in the summer time, so nearly fresh as to require only three grains to be 
added to the hydrometer; and at six fathoms below the surface, it was 
1 0225, at temperature 37". At the extreme point of our journey, our dis- 
tance from the Hecla was on'y 172 miles in a S. 8" \V. direction. To accom- 
plish this distance we had traversed, by our reckoning, 292 miles, of which 
about 100 were performed by water, previously to our entering the ice. As 
we travelled by far the greater part of our distance on the ice three, and not 
unfrequently five times over, we may safely multiply the length of the road 
by 24 ; so that our whole distance, on a very moderate calculation, amounted 
to 580 geographical, or 668 statute, miles, being nearly sufficient to have 
reached the Pole in a direct line. Up to this period we had been particularly 
fortunate in the preservation of our health ; neither sickness nor casualties 
having occurred among us, with the exception of the trifling accidents already 
mentioned, a few bowel complaints, which were soon removed by care, and 
some rather troublesome cases of chilblains^ arising from our constant exjK)- 
sure to wet and cold. 

" Our day of rest proved one of the warmest, and most pleasant to the 
feelings, we had yet had upon the ice, though the thermometer was only from 
31" to 36° in the shade, and 37* in the sun, with occasional fog; but to per- 
sons living constantly in the open air, calm and tolerably dry weather affords 
absolute enjoyment, especially by contrast vith what we had lately experi- 
enced. Our ensigns and pendants were displayed during the day ; and sin- 
cerely as we regretted not having been able to hoist the British flag in the 
highest latitude to which we had aspired, we shall perhaps be excused in ha- 
ving felt some little pride in being the bearers of it to a parallel considerably 
beyond that mentioned in any other well authenticated record •." 

The journey back to Spitzbergen, although more expeditious 
than that towards the Pole, was attended with great fatigue and 
much danger. On the 2d of August the travellers met with 
red s^iowy of which the following account is given : 

• Nwtatlve, p. 108-10?. 



572 Narrative of Captain Parry's Attempt 

"■ In the course of this day's journey we met with a quantity of snow ting- 
ed, to the depth of several inches, with some red colouring matter, of which a 
.portion was preserved in a bottle for future examination. This circumstance 
recalled to our recollection our having frequently before, in the course of this 
journey, remarked, that the loaded sledges, in passing over hard snow, left 
upon it a light rose coloured tint, which, at the time, we attributed to the 
colouring matter being pressed out of the birch of which they were made. To- 
day, however, we observed, that the runners of the boats, and even our own 
foot-steps, exhibited the same appearance ; and, on watching it more narrowly 
afterwards, we found the same effect to be produced, in a greater or less de- 
gree, by heavy pressure, on almost all the ice over which we passed, though 
a magnifjnng glass could detect nothing to give it this tinge. The colour of 
the red snow which we bottled, and which oftly occurred on two or three 
spots, appeared somewhat different from this, being rather of a salmon, than 
of a rose, colour, but both were so striking, as to be subject of common re- 
mark •." 

On Sunday, the 5th August, in Latitude 81° 54/ 47^ the 
air, in the shade, at noon was 35", and in the sun 42°. This 
day they rowed across a lake of fresh water on the ice. It 
was a quarter of a mile long, and varied in depth from two to 
four feet, which, together with an island situated in the middle 
of it, the rugged ice, by which it was bounded, and the beauti- 
ful blue of the water, gave it a singular and picturesque ap- 
pearance. On the 11th of August they observed such indica- 
tions of an open sea as could not be mistaken, much of the ice 
being " washed" as by a heavy sea, with small rounded fragments 
thrown on the surface, and a good deal of dirty ice occurring. 

*' We also," Captain PaiTy remarks, " met with several pieces of drift 
Avood and birch bark, the first time since we had entered the ice ; and the sea 
was crowded with shrimps and other sea insects, principally the Clio boreaUs 
and Argonauta arciica, on which numerous birds were feeding. After pass- 
ing through a good deal of loose ice, it became gradually more and more 
open, till at length, about a quarter before eleven a. m., we heard the first 
sound of the swell under the hollow margin of the ice, and, in a quarter of an " 
hour, had reached the open sea, which was dashing with heavy surges against 
the outer masses. We hauled the boats upon one of these to eat our last meal 
upon the ice, and to complete the necessary supply of water for our little 
voyage to Table Island, from which we were now distant fifty miles, our la- 
titude being 81° 34', and longitude 18i° E. A light air springing up from the 
north-west, we again launched the boats, and, at eight a. m. finally quitted 
the ice, after having taken up our abode upon it for forty-eight days |.'* 

On the 12th August they reached the island, or rather rock, 
to the northward of Table Island, where their provisions had 

* Narrative, p. 109. f Narrative, p. lia 



to reach the North Pole in 1827. 378 

been deposited ; " and," says Captain Parry, " I cannot de- 
scribe the comfort we experienced in once more feeling a dry 
and solid footing."*^ Having got the stores into the boats, an 
attempt was made to land on Table Island, but without suc- 
cess; — they then bore away for Walden Island. The islet 
which lies off Little Table Island, and which is interesting, as 
being the most northern land known upon the globe. Captain 
Parry named Ross'*s Islet, in honour of Lieutenant Ross, a 
young officer, distinguished for his great activity, zeal, and in- 
telligence. In a few hours they reached Walden Island, and 
made good a landing. 

" Every thing," says the narrative, " belonging to us was now completely 
drenched by the spray and snow ; we had been fifty-six hours without rest, 
and forty-eight hours at work in the boats, so that by the time they were un- 
loaded, we had barely strength left to haul them up upon the rock. We no- 
ticed, on this occasion, that the men had that wildness in their looks which 
usually accompanies excessive fatigue, and, though just as willing as ever to 
obey orders, they seemed at times not to comprehend them. However, by 
dint of great exertion, we managed to get the boats above the surf; after 
which, a hot supper, a blazing fire of drift wood, and a few hours* quiet rest, 
quite restored us." 

The next morning a party, under Lieutenant Ross, was sent 
to the north-east part of the islet, to launch the spare boat left 
there by Captain Parry's orders, and to bring round the provi- 
sions deposited there. Every thing was found undisturbed. 
At 10 A. M., on the 14th August, they left Walden Island in 
three boats, and next morning landed on Low Island. On the 
16tb the expedition set off for the Hecla, but were forced back 
to Low Island, and could not finally escape from it until the 
21st. 

" Havmg now, by means of drift wood, converted our paddles into oan^ 
and being occasionally favoured by a light breeze, with a perfectly open sea, 
we made tolerable progress, and, at half-past 4 p. m., when within three or 
four miles of Hecla Cove, had the gratification of seeing a boat under sail, 
coming out to meet us. Mr Weir soon joined us in one of the cutters ; and, 
after having ^ood accounts of the safety of the ship, and of the wel&re of all 
on board, together with a variety of details, to us of no small interest, we ar- 
rived on board at 7 p. m., after an absence of sixty-one days, being received 
with that warm and cordial welcome which can alone be felt, and not describ- 
ed. The distance traversed during this excursion was 569 geographical miles, 
but allowing for the number of times we had to return for our baggage du- 
ring the greater part of the journey over the ice, we estimated oiur actual 

JANtJARY — MARCH 1828. sb 



S74 Narrative of Captain Parry's Attempt 

trAvdling at 9<?8 geographical miles, or 1127 statute miles. Considering our 
constant exposure to wet, cold and fatigue, our stockings having generally 
been drenched in snow water twelve hours out of every twenty-four, I had 
great reason to be thankful for the excellent health in which, upon the 
whole, we reached the ship." 

During the absence of Captain Parry, the officers of the 
Hecla were actively employed in making observations on the 
natural history of Spitzbergen, and experiments on magnetism. 
But for these we cannot afford room at present. The following 
observations on the climate of Spitzbergen, are novel and inte- 
resting : *' The officers who remained on board the Hecla du- 
ring the summer, described the weather as the most beautiful, 
and the climate altogether the most agreeable, they had ever ex- 
perienced in the polar regions. Indeed, the Meteorological 
Journal shews a temperature both of the air and of the sea- 
water, to which we had before been altogether strangers within 
the Arctic Circle, and which goes far towards shewing that the 
climate of Spitzbergen is a remarkably temperate one for its 
latitude *. It must, however, be observed, that this remark is 
principally applicable to the weather experienced near tfw land, 
that at sea being rendered of a totally different character by 
the almost constant presence of fogs ; so that some of our most 
gloomy days upon the ice were the finest in Hecla cove, where, 
however, a good deal of rain fell in the course of the summer."^ 
The Hecla left Spitzbergen on the S8th of August, but did not 
arrive in the Thames until the 16th of October. 

The following judicious remarks on the nature and practica- 
bility of the enterprize in which he had been engaged, which 
close the narrative, we give in the celebrated navigator's own 
words. 

'* On the tutture and practkahility of the attempt to reach the North Po/^.— That 
the object is of still more difficult attainment than was before supposed, even 
by those persons who were the best qualified to judge of it, will, I believe, ap- 
pear evident from a perusal of the foregoing pages ; nor can I, after much 
consideration, and some experience of the various difficulties which belong to 
it, recommend any material improvement in the plan lately adopted. Among 
the various schemes suggested for this purpose, it has been proposed to set 
out from Spitzbergen, and to make a rapid journey to the northward, with 

* Mr Crowe of Hammerfest, who lately passed a winter on the south-western coast of Spitz- 
bergen, in about Lat. 78*. informed me he had rain at Christmas ; a phenomenon which indeed 
would have astoni^ed us at any of our former wintering-stations In a much lower latitude. Per- 
haps the circumstance of the reindeer whitering at Spitzbergen, may abo be considered a proof of 
acomparatlvely temperate climate. 



to reach the North Pde in 1827. 375 

sledgvs dr sletlge-boats, drawn wholly by dogs or reindeer; but, bovrever 
feasible tkia plan luay at first sif^ht appear, I cannot nay that our late expcK 
rience of th« nature of the ice which they would probably have to encouator, 
baa been at all iiivourable to it. It would, of course, be a matter of exteoBe 
onjirwlenoe to set out on this enterprise without the means of croaaiBg,— not 
merely narrow pooli and " lane8,**-«but more extensive s]wces of open water, 
auch aa we meet with between the margin of the ice and the Spitzbergen 
ahorea i and I do not conceive that any boat sufficiently large to be efficient 
and safe ibr this purpose, could possibly be managed upon the ice, were the 
power employod to give it motion dependent on dogs or rein*deer. On tlie 
contrary, it was a frequent subject of remark among the officerst, that reason 
waa a qualification scarcely less indispensable, than strength and activity, in 
travelling over such a road ; daily instances occurring of our having to poaa 
over difficult places, which no other animal than man could have been easily 
prevailed upon to attempt. Indeed, the constant necessity of launching and 
hauling up the boats (which operations we had frequently to perform eight or 
ten, and on one occasion, seventeen times in the same day) would alone ren- 
der it inexpedient, in my opinion, to depend chiefly upon other animals ; for 
it would certainly require more time and labour to get them into and out of 
the boata, than their services in the intervals, or their flesh ultimately used 
aa food, would be worth ; especially when it is considered how large a weight 
of provender must be carried for their own subsistence. 

" In case of employing reindeer, which, from their strength, dpcility, ai|d 
hardy habits, api)ear the best suited to this kind <rf' travelling, there woul4 be 
an evident advantage in setting out much earlier in the year than we did ; 
perhaps about tlie end of April, when the ice is less broken up, and the snow 
much harder up<m its surface, than at a more advanced part of the season. 
But this, it must be recollected, would involve the necessity of passing the 
previous winter on the northern coast of Spitebergen, which, even under la- 
vourable circumstances, would probably tend to weaken in some degree the 
energies of the men ; while, on the other hand, it would be next to imjwsfflble 
to procure there a supply o*" provender for a nimiber of tame reindeer, suffi- 
cient even to keep them alive, much less in tolerable condition, during a whole 
winter. In addition to this, it may be observe<l, that any party setting out 
earlier must be provided with a much greater weight of warm clothing, in 
wder to guard against the severity of the cold, and also with an Inereased 
proportion of fuel for procuring water by the melting of the snow, th«re being 
BO fresh water upon the iee, in these latitudes, before the month of June. 

" In the kind of provisions proper to be employed in such enterprijses,— . 
a rtry important consideration, where almost the whole difficulty may be said 
to reaolve itself into a question of weight, — I am not aware that any improve- 
ment could he made upon that with which we were fWnished ; for I know of 
none which appears to contain so much nutriment in so small a weight an4 
conpasa. It may be useful, however, to remark, as the reauH of absolute ex- 
perience, that our daily allowance of provisions, altheugfa previmialT tried for 
some dajrs on board the ship, and then considered to be enough, prt»ve<l by n* 
means sufficieot to support the strcogtb of men Uvisg ooBstaaUy in the open 
air, exposed to wet and cold for at least twelve hour* a^av, aeldoon eojijiag 

Bb2 



376 Narrative of Captain Parry's Attempt 

the luxury of a warm meal, and having to perform the kind of labour to which 
our people were subject. I have therefore remarked, that, previously to our 
return to the ship, our strength was considerably impaired ; and, indeed, 
there is reason to believe, that, very soon after entering upon the ice, the 
physical energies of the men were gradually diminishing, although, for the 
first few weeks, they did not appear to labour under any specific complaint. 
This diminution of strength, which we considered to be principally owing to 
the want of sufficient sustenance, became apparent, even after a fortnight, in 
the lifting of the bread-bags and other heavy weights ; and I have no doubt 
that, in spite of every care on the part of the officers, as well as Mr Bever- 
ly's skilful and humane attention to their ailments, some of the men, who had 
begun to fail before we quitted the ice, would, in a week or two longer, have 
suffered very severely, and become a serious incumbrance, instead of an as- 
sistance, to our party. As far as we were able to judge, without further trial, 
Mr Beverly and myself were of opinion^ that^ in order to maintain the strength 
of men thus employed, for several weeks together, an addition would be re- 
quisite, of at least one-third more to the provisions which we daily issued. 
I need scarcely remark how much this would increase the difficulty of equip- 
ping such an expedition. 

" I cannot dismiss the subject of this enterprise, without attempting to ex- 
plain, as far as I am able, how it may have happened that the ice over which 
we passed was found to answer so little to the description of that observed 
by the respectable authorities quoted in a former part of this volume. It 
frequently occurred to us, in the course of our daily journeys, that this may, 
in some degree, have arisen from our navigators having generally viewed the 
ice from a considerable height. The only clear and commanding view on 
board a ship is that from the crow's-nest ; and Bhipps's most important re- 
marks concerning the nature of the ice to the north of Spitzbergen, were 
made from a station several hundred feet above the sea ; and, as it is well 
known how much the most experienced eye may thus be deceived, it is pos- 
sible enough that the irregularities which cost us so much time and labour, 
may, when viewed in this manner, have entirely escaped notice, and the 
whole surface have appeared one smooth and level plain. 

"It is, moreover, possible that the broken state in which we unexpectedly 
found the ice may have arisen, at least in |>art, from an unusually wet season, 
preceded, perhaps, by a winter of less than ordinary severity. Of the latter 
we have no means, of judging, there being na record, that 1 am aware of, of 
the temperature of that or any other winter passed in the higher latitudes j 
but, on comparing our meteorological register with some others, kept during 
the corresponding season, and about the same latitude*, it does appear, that, 
though no material difference is observable in the mean temperature of 
the atmosphere, the quantity of rain which we experienced is considerably 
greater than usual ; and it is well known how very rapidly ice is dissolved by 
a fall of rain. At all events, from whatever cause it may have arisen, it is cer- 
tain, that, about the meridian on which we proceeded northward in the boats, 
the sea was in a totally different state from what Phipps experienced, as may 

* Particularly that of Mr Scoresby during the month of July, from. 1812 to 1818 inclxisive, and 
Captain Franklin's, for July and August 1818. 



to reach tlie North Pole in 1827. ST7 

be seen from comparing our accounts, his ship being closely beset, near the 
Seven Islands, for several days about the beginning of August; whereas the 
Hecla, in the beginning of June, sailed about in the same neighbourhood 
without obstruction, and, before the close of July, not a piece of ice could be 
seen from Little Table Island. 

" I may add, in conclusion, that, before the middle of August, when we left 
the ice in our boats, a ship might have sailed to the latitude of 82^, almost 
without touching a piece of ice ; and it was the general opinion among us, that, 
by the end of that month, it would probably have been no very difficult mat- 
ter to reach the parallel of 83*, about the meridian of the Seven Islands. 

An appendix of eighty pages accompanies the narrative, con- 
taining, 1. Meteorological journals ; 2. Notice respecting chrono- 
meters ; 3. Observations on the dip of the magnetic needle ; 4. 
Observations on the variation of the magnetic needle made on 
shore, or on the ice, 1827 ; 5. Observations on the diurnal varia- 
tion of the horizontal magnetic needle at Spitzbergen 1827 ; 6. 
Observations on the diurnal changes of intensity in the horizon- 
tal magnetic needle at Spitzbergen 1827; 7. Temperature and 
specific gravity of sea water below the surface, 1827. To these 
follow observations on zoology by Captain Ross, on the plants 
collected during the expedition by Dr Hooker, and on the rocks 
and minerals by Professor Jameson. 

Having already greatly exceeded our limits, we must delay 
giving an account of the more scientific department of the work 
until a future opportunity. The plan of reaching the North 
Pole being for the present abandoned, we hope that Govern- 
ment will not allow the experience and skill acquired by Cap- 
tain Parry and his officers in the Arctic Regions to be lost It is 
therefore the duty, as it is, we trust, the intention of the Admi- 
ralty, speedily to call them again to similar enterprizes. The 
examination of the east coast of West or Old Greenland, of 
Spitzbergen, and the sea and fishing-ground to the eastward of 
that interesting island, are objects worthy the attention of the 
nation, and the accomplishment of which would shed a lustre on 
the name and elevated rank of the Lord High Admiral of 
England. 



878 Prof. Carat's Ohsef\aiions on Uie Dhsectin/r and 



t> 



Ohservadions on the Dissecting and Preparing' of the Bodies of' 
Animals. By Professor Caiius *. 

A HOUGH die art of adatoniisittg the bodies of animals is essen- 
tially the same as that practised upon the body of man, and 
though want of space precludes me from treating the subject 
minutely, I conceive that a few remarks may not be altogether 
imacceptable to those who feel desirous of pursuing such studies 
for themselves. 

The first thing that I have to obsef ve is, tliat all dissections 
of small and soft objects, e. ^. worms, zoophytes, insects, mol- 
lusca, and embryos, where it is desirable to obtain even tolerably 
accurate results, should be performed under water^ by which 
the parts are kept floating and separated from each other, and, 
consequently, present themselves more distinctly. A very sim- 
ple contrivance for investigations of this kind may be prepared 
in die following manner : — A mass of tough wax (not too soft) 
is to be laid upon one, or more, porcelain saucers or capsules ci 
different sizes, which are then to be put in a warm place until 
the wax melts so as to cover the surface evenly to the depth of 
a half or one-third of an inch. If the object to be examined be 
laid upoii this surface, it may be fixed by needles in any po- 
sition diat is wished, and, when covered with clear water, de- 
tneloped and dissected by means of suitable instruments. Of 
them, the best are very delicate forceps ; pointed, well made, 
fiharp-cutting sctssars ; and «mali knives like cataract-needles, 
some round, others with cutting edges, and fixed in slender 
wooden handles. For separating parts I have also employed 
«mall horn probes and fine brushes ; whilst, for examining them, 
a good magnifying glass is frequently indispensable. If it is 
'wished to preserve a preparation thus made, wax, coloured at 
pleasure as for the purpose of injections, is to be formed into 
little tablets about one-fourth of an inch thick : OQe of these is 
then to be placed upon the saucer or capsule containing the pre- 
paration ; the latter may then be transferred to it, arranged suit- 
ably upon it, fixed there by means of short needles, and both 

• From Introduction to Comparative Anatomj by Professor Carus, trans- 
lated by Gore, vol. ii. p. 389. 



Preparing of the Bodies ofAnimaU, 379 

together then placed in alcohol. Nor must I forget to mention, 
that the examination of very delicate organizations may fre- 
quently be conducted with greater facility and accuracy, if the 
objoct be previously allowed to remain some time in ftpirit«, ajM) 
thereby to become harder and contracted. This applies parti* 
cularly to the dissection of nervous organs, and to the examioa* 
tion of very small embryos, of moUusca, and wonns. 

Tliere are various modes of destroying worms, insects, raoU 
hisca, &c. for the purpose of dissecting, without injiuring their 
organization : MoUusca, snails, for instance, as Swammerdam 
has remarked, are to be allowed to die in water, because by that 
means tlieu* body swells, and all the parts become more dis» 
tinctly visible ; they may afterwards be kept in spirit (though 
not too long) for dissection. Worms, the larger zoophytes, 
(for the smaller must be examined whilst alive), caterpillars, &a 
and also the smaller amphibia and fishes, are best destroyed by 
means of spirit : Insacts, on the contrary, by being dipped nu 
pidly in boiling water, or in oil of turpentine. 

As regards the dissection of larger animals, we may here use 
with advantage knives of a large size, and insteajd of forceps, 
suitable hodis with handles. 

In animals of considerable size we can generally make artlfi- 
ci^ skeletons only, after the bones have been sufficiently clean- 
ed by boiling or maceration. In smaller animals, on the ooa> 
trary, such as birds, amphibia, and fishes, of which last it is 
very difficult to make good skeletons, the object will be best ac- 
complished by at once making the bones as clean as possible, 
without injuring the capsular ligaments, soaking the preparation 
in water that is incessantly changed, and, lastly, bleaching it for 
some time in tlie sun. 

Lastly, we may mention injections as affording a very essen- 
tial assistance in zootomical investigations for physiological pur- 
poses : in small animals, and in the more minute parts, these 
must consist of compositions with wax, very fluid and coloured; 
but above all of mercury. The latter, however, is not suitable 
for very soft bodies, e. g. medusae, &c. in which cases we may 
employ injections of coloured milk, and similar substances. 



V- ( 380 ) 

On the Irritability of the Sensitive Plant. By M. Dutbochet. 

i-VA- DuTRocHET has collected, into a single volume, the long 
and important researches which he has made upon the moving 
powers which act in organised bodies. His experiments on the 
sensitive plant occupy an essential part of this work. A new 
procedure, which he has employed in vegetable anatomy, has led 
him to results which would tend to invalidate a celebrated the- 
ory. He asserts, that all the elementary organs of plants, that 
is to say, the cellules and tubes, of which their body is composed, 
have an independent existence, and form circumscribed organs ; 
so that these organs would only have, to each other, relations of 
vicinage, and would not form, by their assemblage, a really con- 
tinuous tissue. He affirms that there are neither pores nor fis- 
sures visible to the microscope in the cellular tissue, any more 
than in the fibres of vegetables. There are only seen on the 
walls of these organs, small semitransparent globular bodies, and 
linear bodies, which become opaque from the action of acids, and 
are rendered transparent by that of alkalies. M. Dutrochet con- 
siders these small bodies as the elements of a diffused nervous 
system. To the analogies of intimate structure and chemical 
nature, which he brings forward to support this opinion, the au- 
thor adds physiological considerations, taken from experiments, 
which are peculiar to himself, and which, in his opinion, prove 
that the motions of vegetables are spontaneous ; in other words, 
that they depend upon an internal principle, which immediately 
receives the influence of external agents. Refusing to admit 
sensibility in vegetables, M. Dutrochet substitutes for this term 
that of nervimotility. 

With regard to the organ of motion in the leaves of the sen- 
sitive plant, M. Dutrochet has proved, by decisive experiments, 
that it consists in a bulging of the parenchyma, or of the cortical 
medulla, which is situated at the base of the petiole, and at the 
base of each of the leaflets of 'which the leaf is composed. He 
has discovered, that this organ, to which he has given the name 
of bourrelet, is composed of globular cellules, disposed in longitu- 
dinal series, and filled with a coagulable fluid. It is not by 
means of joints that the sensitive plant, any more than the other 
irritable vegetables, moves its mobile parts ; but by means of a 



M. Dutrochet on the Irritabiltty of the Sensitive Plant. 381 

curvature impressed on these parts in the place where the organ 
of motion occurs. Thus, in the sensitive plant, it is the bourre- 
lets alone, that, by curving, produce the folding of the leaves. 
M. Dutrochet has found, that this curvature is the result of a 
vital elastic power, which even manifests itself in the thin slices 
that are taken from these bourrelets. He has given the name of 
incurvatioft to this phenomenon. Thus the vegetable irritabi- 
lity consists only in an elastic incurvation, which i^ sometimes 
Jixed and sometimes oscillator^/. For example, this elastic in- 
curvation is JiiVed in the tendrils of vegetables, in the valves of 
the ovarium of the balsamine, &c. ; it is osciUaiory in the vege- 
tables that are named irritable, — vegetables which present, in 
their mobile parts, a state of alternating incurvation and straight- 
ening. 

It has long been known that the sensitive plant presents a 
phenomenon of sympathic transmission. If one of the leaflets 
of this plant be slightly burnt with a burning glass, all the leaf- 
lets belonging to the same stalk will fold themselves one after 
another. This motion deserves to be carefully examined ; and, 
in order to determine the part of the stalk by which the trans- 
mission in question is operated, M. Dutrochet made several very 
delicate experiments, from which there results, that it is neither 
produced by the pith nor the bark, but that it takes place ex- 
clusively by means of the woody part of the central system. 
Inquiring afterwards what, in this woody part, are the special 
organs of the transmission in question, he arrives at the conclu- 
sion of its being effected through the medium of the sap con- 
tained in the tubes, which he names corpuscidiferous. He has 
found, that the maximum of velocity of this motion of transmis- 
sion is fifteen millimetres per second in the petioles of the leaves, 
and only three millimetres per second in the body of the stalk. 
The state of the temperature does not appear to have any in- 
fluence upon its velocity. 

Light exercises a very remarkable influence upon the irrita- 
bility of the sensitive plant, the observation of which equally 
belongs to M. Dutrochet. If a sensitive plant be placed in 
complete darkness, by covering it with an opaque vessel, it 
will entirely lose its irritability, and that in a variable time, ac- 
cording to a certain state of depression or elevation of the sur- 



382 M. Diitroehet en Ike Irritability of' the Sensitive Plant. 

iXHindiog temperature. Thus, at a temperature of from 20 to 
^ degrees of Reauoiur, it requires only four days of darkness 
to destroy completely the irritability of a sensitive plant ; while 
fifteen days of darkness are required to produce the same effect 
when the surrounding temperature is within the limits of 10 and 
15 degrees ; so that, on only taking the degrees of temperature 
in which tlie sensitive plant can Hve, it may be established that 
the extinction of the irritability of that plant in darkness is ope- 
rated in &. period, the duration of which is in the inverse ratio of 
the elevation of the temperature. 

M. Dutrochet has observed, that the sensitive plant, deprived 
of its irritability by means of darkness, recovers it by exposure 
to light ; and that this restoring of the conditions of irritabihty 
is more rapidly effected, by exposing the plant to the direct 
ligfat of the sun, than by exposing it merely to the light of day, 
such as it exists in the shade. From these observations, M. 
Dutrochet considers light as the external agent from the in- 
fluence of which vegetables draw the renewal of the conditions 
of their irritability, or, more generally, of their motility^ — con- 
ditions which are subject to deperdition in the natural state, and 
which thus require to be continuaJly repaired. 



Description of an Improved Air-Pump. By Mr John Dunn, 
Optician, Edinburgh *. With a Plate. 

JLn the course of my business, having often heard it regretted 
that the cost of apparatus prevented many gentlemen from en- 
gaging in philosophical pursuits, I have made it my study to 
simplify the construction of those which I have been employed 
to make, wlierever this could be done without impairing the 
accuracy of their performance. 

One of my first efforts was directed to that most valuable in- 
strument the air-pump, which I shall endeavour to shew I have 
improved &o very materially, as to be able to furnish one capa- 
ble of effecting as complete an exhaustion as the most perfect 
form of the instrument hitberto devised, and, at the same time, 
nearly as simple and as cheap as its most imperfect form. 1 

" Read befpre the Society for the Encouragement of the Useful Arts, 
19th December 1827- 



PLATE IV. 



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Mr Dunn's Description of an Improved Air-Puvip. SSd 

mentioned my views on the aul^ect to severtl gentlemen quaii- 
Ged to judge of their correctness^ and soon had an opportu« 
iiity of putting them to the test of experiment I received an 
order to make one for Mr Lees, lecturer on mechanical )>liik>so- 
phy in the School of Arts here, on condition that he was to be 
permitted to return it, if, on trial, it was not found capable of 
executing all tluit I had taught him to expect. This pump, 
through the kindness of Mr Lees, in whose poesesskm it has 
been for the last eighteen months, was exhibited to the Society 
iivc the Improvement of the Useful Arts, on 19th December 
18^*. 

That the peculiarities of the construction of my pump may 
be more readily perceived, I shall first shortly describe the com- 
mon construction, and then its most perfect form, as improved 
by Cuthl>ertson. 

The common air-pump consists of two barrels A A', Fig. 1., 
Plate IV, in which the pistons PP' are fitted and moved by 
the racks RR^ and pinion O, the pistons being thus raised and 
depressed alternately by turning the \vinch W. In the bottans 
of tlie barrels there are openings, communicating with the re- 
ceiver or bell-glass ; over these openings valves of waxed silk or 
bladder are so placed as to admit of the passage of the air from 
the receiver through them, but to oppose its passage from the 
barrels to the receiver. It is obvious, that, on dravnng up 
cither of the pistons, a vacuum will be formed under it till the 
air from the receiver, by its elastic force, opening the valve V 
or V, distributes itself equally betwixt the barrel and receiver. 
Now, as the pistons are funushed with valves PP' of the same 
kind) and opening in the same direction as VV, on pushing 
either piston down, the air in the under part of the barrel lietng 
prevented by the valve at the bottxKU from returning to the re- 
ceiver, will open tlie piston- valve and esca]x; into the apartment, 
with the air of which the piston-i-alve oomnmnicates ; and these 
effects will fellow the raising and depressing of the pistons, at 
long as the air in the receiver has sufficient elasticity to open 

• 'Oie hi5trnment had been previously submitted to the examination of 
Dr Turner, one of the Secretaries of the Society «f Arts, wtw reported that 
be bsiA miuutely eKaoumxl it, and was perfectly astisfied with its perfonnaaoe. 
On his representation to the Council of the London University, I have since 
received an order to make xme fbr the chemical class of that institution. 



384 Mr Dunn'*s Descriptimi of an Improved Air-Pump. 

the valves VV^ When it can no longer effect this, the exhaus- 
tion must cease, and,, consequently, a near approximation to a 
vacuum cannot be obtained by means of this construction. 

The best method hitherto proposed for effecting a more per- 
fect exhaustion, is that of Cuthbertson, which proceeds upon 
the principle of opening the valves independently of the elasti- 
city of the air ; and, accordingly, he substitutes in the place of 
the bladder-valves VV, Fig. 1., the metallic ones VV Fig. 2. *, 
having the wires WW^ attached to them, which slip stiffly in 
stuffing-boxes in the piston-rods. On raising either piston, the 
valve V or V is opened by the friction of its wire in the stuffing- 
box, and is shut by its depression ; in the former case leaving a 
free communication betwixt the part of the barrel under the pis- 
ton, and in the latter case cutting it off. In the pistons he also 
places metallic valves PP', to be opened by the descent of the 
piston-rod, and to be shut by its ascent, the valves in the pistons 
thus opening and continuing open, while those at the bottom of 
the barrels are shut, and vice versa. Now, as the piston-valves 
are opening while those at the bottom of the barrels are shut- 
ting, Cuthbertson found it necessary (though this is not required 
in the common pump) to exclude the external air from the 
barrels. 

For this purpose he put air-tight covers CC over the barrels, 
and made the piston-rods move in the air-tight stuffing boxes 
BB', and placed metallic valves MM' in the covers for the egress 
of the air, to be opened either by its elasticity or by the pistons 
striking against the projecting points pp of these valves. 
. It is also necessary to prevent the return of the air into the 
pump during the shutting of these valves, which is done by ha- 
ving them immersed in oil. 

This construction is certainly, in theory, as near perfection as 
we are likely to reach by any form of pump, but it is as certainly 
very complex, and, consequently, very expensive, and liable to 
go out of repair, — an objection of which those who have been 
engaged in making these pumps best know the force. 

Believing the only useful part of Cuthbertson's invention to be 
the contrivance for opening the valves at the bottoms of the bar- 
rels mechanically, I was of opinion a pump would perform near- 
" In figures 2d and 3d only one of the barrels are represented. 



Mr Dunn's Description of an Improved Air- Pump. 385 

ly, or altogether as well, divested of all the other peculiarities of 
his instrument, and possessing the decided advantages of be- 
ing cheaper and much more easily kept in order. 

Fig. 3. is a section of the barrels of my pump, in which I em- 
ploy metallic valves vi/ ni the bottom of the barrels, and waxed 
silk ones S S' in the pistons, laying aside Cuthbertson's metal- 
lie valves in the pistons, removing all his apparatus from the 
top of the barrels, and leaving tlie pistons eacposed to the atmo^ 
sphere, as I consider all those contrivances to be unnecessary, aU 
though it has been uniformly held essential to a good air-pump, 
since the time of Smeaton's invention, that the pressure of the 
atmosphere should be taken off the piston-valves ; and my rea- 
son for doing so is, that the air will be always so compressed in 
the barrels, by the descent of the pistons, as of itself to have 
sufficient elastic force to open the silk valves in the pistons, the 
capacity of the barrels being each several thousand times greater 
than the space betwixt the two valves, when the piston is at the 
bottom. In fact, by making the under side of the piston and 
the bottom of the barrel fit each other, which, with the assist- 
ance of the oil employed in the barrels may be done perfectly, 
there will be no space left but the small hole in the piston to its 
valve. 

For illustration, let us suppose the stroke to be 12 inches, 
and the diameter of the barrels 2 J inches, or 25 tenths (as is 
the case in Mr Lees' one)^ the diameter of the hole e one-tenth 
of an inch, and its length 1 inch, their circles being to each 
other as the squares of their diameters, we have 1 x 1 = 1 for 
the capacity of the hole, and 25 x 25 x 12 = 7500 for the ca- 
pacity of the baiTels ; and consequently air, which, in the recei- 
ver was 7000 times rarer than the atmosphere, would have suf- 
ficient elastic force to open the valve in the piston ; but as this 
is a degree of rarefaction far beyond what has ever been attained, 
or even expected, it follows that any greater nicety of construc- 
tion here is unnecessary. 

The above plan may, however, be objected to, on account of 
its still leaving smnething to depend on the elastic force of the 
air which, should any one consider desirable to be removed, can 
be so done by adapting metallic valves I I^ with projecting 
points p' p\ to strike against the bottom of the barrels, having 
the spaces CK T^, O I, filled with oil, to exclude the external air 



SS6 Mr Dunnes Deffcripttmi of an Improved Air^Pump. 

durmg' their sliutting ; but even this small addition I consider 
wholly unnecessary. 

Fig. 4. is a perspective view of the one I made for Mr I.ees, 
which is the best method of fitting them up; but the principle is 
alike applicable to table air-pumps. 



Remarks upon the Wasting Effects of the Sea on the shore of 
Cheshire^ between the rivers Mersey and Dee *. By Robert 
Stevenson, Esq. Civil-Engineer, F. R. S. E., M. W. S., &c. 
Communicated by the Author. 

kJN a former occasion, I had the honour to make a few obseri ' 
vations, which appeared in the 2d volume of the Society's Me- 
moirs, regarding the encroachment of the sea upon the land ge- 
nerally. The present notice refers cmly to that portion of the 
coast which lies between the rivers Mersey and Dee, extending 
to about seven miles. To this quarter my attention, with that 
of Mr Nimmo, Civil Engineer, had been professionally directed 
in the course of last month. In our perambulatory survey we 
were accompanied by Sir John Tobin, and William Laird, Esq. 
of Liverpool, along the Cheshire shore, and its connecting sand 
banks, between Wallasea Pool, in the Mersey, and Dalpool, in 
the river Dee. Within these estuaries, the sliores may be de- 
scribed as abrupt, consisting of red clay and marl, containing 
many land or boulder stones, of the cubic contents of several 
tons, and very many of much smaller size, diminishing to 
coarse gravel. But the foreland, or northern shore, between 
these rivers, 'which I am now to notice, is chiefly low ground, 
and, to a great extent, is under the level of the highest tides. 
The beach, or ebb, extends from 300 to 400 yards seaward^ 
and, toward low-water-mark, exposes a section of red clay; * 
but, toward high water, it consists of bluish coloured marl, 
with peat or moss overlaid by sand. This beach, at about 
half-tide level, presents a curious and highly interesting spec- 
tacle of the remains of a submarine forest. The numerous 
roots of trees, which have not been washed away by the sea, or 
carried off by the neighbouring inhabitants for firewood, are in 
a very decayed state. The trees seem to have been cut off 
• Read before the Wernerian Society, 8th March 1828. 



Mr Stevenson on the Coast ofChtsltv'e, 387 

about two feet from the ground after the usual practice in fell- 
ing timber, and the roots are seen ramifying from their respec- 
live stdmps, in all directions, and dipping towards tlie clay sub- 
soil. They seem to have varied in size from 18 inches to per- 
haps 30 inches in diameter, and, when cut with a knife, appear 
to be oak. Several of the boles or trunks have also been left 
upon the ground, and being partly immersed in the sand and 
clay, are now in such a decomposed state, that, when dug 
into with a common spade, great numbers of the shelUfish called 
Pholas Candida, measuring about three-fourths of an inch in 
length, and two inches in breadth, were found apparently in 
a healthy state. These proofs of the former state of this ebb 
or shore, now upwards of 20 feet under full tide, having been 
once^^dry land to a considerable extent beyond the region of 
these large forest trees, were rendered still more evident by the 
occurrence of large masses of greenstone, which, at a former pe- 
riod, had been imbedded in the firm ground here, and especially 
on the shore within the river Dee. It may farther deserve no- 
tice, that the inhabitants of this district have a traditional rhyme, 
expressive of the former wooded state of this coast, where not a 
tree is now to be seen, viz. " From Halbre Isle to Birkenhead 
a squirrel may hop from tree to tree ;'' , that is from the Dee to 
the Mersey, now presenting a submarine forest. 

As these evidences of great changes upon tlie state and for- 
mer appearances of the land were highly interesting to the par- 
ty, and intimately connected with the professional inquiries of 
myself and colleague, it seemed desirable to get them, if possible, 
corroborated by oral testimony. Sir John Tobin accordingly, 
very obligingly, took measures for examining the oldest people 
in the neighbourhood, as to their recollection of the former state 
of these shores. In particular, Thomas Barclay, aged 93 " all 
but two months," by profession a mason and measurer of coun* 
try work ; Henry Youd, labourer, aged 86 ; and John Crook- 
san, labourer, aged 80, were examined. Barclay stated, that 
he had been employed at the erection of the Leasowe land- 
ward Lighthouse in the year 1764 ; that there were then two 
lighthouses near the shore, for a leading direction to shipping 
tlirough the proper channel to Liverpool ; and that the Seaward 
Light became uninhabitable, from its bemg surrounded by the 
sea. A new light was then built upon Bidstone Hill ; and the 



S88 Mr Stevenson on the Wastiiig Effects of the Sea 

present Leasowe Lighthouse, formerly the landward light, which 
he had assisted in building, became the sea-light. He could not 
condescend upon the distance between the two original lights, 
but was certain that it must have been several hundred yards; 
that he knows that, in the course of thirty years, the shore of 
the Leasowe lost, hy measurement^ eleven Cheshire roods, or 88 
yards; and verily believes, that, since he knew this shore, it has 
lost upwards of half-a-mile of firm ground. To the correctness 
of these statements, the other two aged men gave ample testi- 
mony ; Henry Youd having also worked at the Lighthouse. 

As to the present state of things, the party alluded to were 
eye witnesses of the tides, on the IBth, 17th and 18th of Feb- 
ruary 1828, having exhibited a very alarming example of the 
encroachments of the sea upon the Leasowe shore. At high- 
water it came over the bank, and ran in a stream of about half- 
a-mile in breadth, surrounded the lig