Imagens das páginas

associations of this kind! It is a right and a good character. The author has skilfully combined the thing not to allow these old-world beliefs concerning form of Kingsley's “Water-Babies” with Carroll's the ascribed virtues, &c., of plants to die out. Con- “ Alice in Wonderland," and has brought out a book sequently we warmly welcome the handsome volume which plainly shows how much he loves both before us, in which the myths, traditions, superstitions, children and flowers, or he could not intellectually and folk-lore of the vegetable kingdom are fully cater for them so attractively. worked out. The author is also the printer of the The Geology of Weymouth, by Robert Damon book-so that it is everything the book-lover can (London : Edward Stanford). This is a new and wish as regards type, woodcuts, paper, &c. More. enlarged edition of a very successful geological over, the fact lends additional point to the remarks handbook to a very attractive and highly fossiliferous already made concerning the contributions made by locality-a locality known to the author for many British industry to British science. Mr. Folkard has years. The volume is beautifully got up, and well the charm of an interesting and clear style, as was illustrated ; and no naturalist, certainly no geologist, unavoidable from the thorough manner in which he ought to be without it who wishes to enjoy the feast is interpenetrated with his subject. His book of fat things offered in our Southern English coasts. displays much learning and research, and it is both Natural History Sketches among the Carnivora, by pleasant to read, and useful to refer to.

Arthur Nicols, F.G.S. (London: L. Upcott Gill). Origin of Cultivated Plants, by Alphonse de The delightful freedom from any form of literary Candolle (London : Kegan Paul & Co.). This is stiffness which marks all this author's previous works another of the now famous “International Scientific

is evident in the present. It is a most attractive Series,” and it is also one of the most important,

volume, inside and out; and the subject, although both on account of the high scientific rank of its to some extent a hackneyed one, is redeemed by the author, and the importance and interest of the graceful style of the author. subject-matter. The latter is almost as much archæo The Speaking Parrots, by Dr. Karl Russ (London : logical and historical as it is botanical and horticul L. Upcott Gill). This is a nicely got up manual, tural ; for many of the most important of our food dealing with the habits, food, training, health, &c. of plants have their origin lost in the mists of anti- this class of birds. We are frequently asked to quity, just as the races of mankind are. Prof. de recommend a book of this kind, and we are thereCandolle only deals with the plants useful as food, fore glad to draw attention to it, and to speak of it he leaves out the medicinal kinds. With wondrous as one which seems to fulfil all the requirements of patience and learning, he has traced the history of “A Manual of Talking Birds.” some plants for thousands of years back, and shown The Universe of Suns, by R. A. Proctor (London: how their culture was carried on at different epochs. Chatto & Windus). It requires only the announceAt the same time he points out, that three out of four ment of a new book by Mr. Proctor, for it to be of the original homes of cultivated plants (as indicated read. The present volume consists of a series of by Linnæus) are wrong. Nevertheless, these have essays, chiefly relating to solar and planetary been continuously repeated by subsequent authors, astronomy, and embracing earthquakes and volcanic who will now have a better authority to appeal to. phenomena, and even social subjects, all discussed in

Leisure Time Studies, Chiefly Biological, by Andrew that terse and elegant English of which the author is Wilson, Ph.D. (London: Chatto & Windus). This so skilled a master. It is a most delightful book to is the third edition of a series of essays and lectures, read. whose literary success is proved by the fact, that their The Story of a Great Delusion, by William White republication is thus constantly called for. Dr. (London : E. W. Allen). A nicely printed, and Wilson has a very quiet but effective way of telling altogether attractively got up book. The literary what he has to say, which charms his readers into contents are about as hopeless a jumble as we ever following him from essay to essay. Some of these saw in print, and a believer in vaccination could not (as that on corals, for instance) are models of how desire to inflict a more refined act of cruelty upon an much information can be clearly and effectively anti-vaccinator than oblige him to read the present packed into so small a space. The last essay on volume right through. science and poetry rises to a lofty expression of Rabbits, by R. O. Edwards (London: W. Swan poetical feeling, and its perusal would be a complete Sonnenschein & Co.). A handy little manual on answer to those who imagine that science and poetry this perennial subject, as useful to the amateur as to are antagonistic to each other.

the professional rabbit-keeper, with full and minute Efie and Her Strange Acquaintances, by the Rev. details relating to everything which concerns the John Crofts, M.A. (Chester : Phillipson & Golder). well-being of these familiar pets. After reading this delightful child's book ourselves, List of British Vertebrate Animals, by Francis P. we subjected it to the criticism of a little book-worm Pascoe (London: Taylor & Francis). All British of ten years old, who has read it four times through ! | naturalists should procure this most useful and This will be considered as a fair test of its readable compact little manual. It will save much time, and

filled in fact with iron-pyrites, but many were very perfect. By searching under lumps of clay and boulders, I found many species, such as Ammonites varicosus, A. lautus, very plentiful ; Nucula ovata and N. pectinata, common, but only occasionally found perfect. Nucula vibrayana, not so common as the two other species. Belemnites minimus, B. ultimus and B. attenuatus, rather plentiful. These singular objects when water worn, are not unlike bits of slate-pencil, a comparison which I fear will shock a geologist.

In some places lately left bare by the tide, I


assist in securing greater accuracy. The newest views and changes in classification are included ; and, although the book is a small one, there is a good deal in it.

Nature's Hygiene, by C. T. Kingzett, F.C.S. (London: Baillière, Tindall, & Co.). Although this is the second edition of a book which we noticed favourably when it first came out, the author has improved it by partly rewriting some chapters, and adding others, as water supply, sewage, infectious diseases, &c. It is a good practical manual on all matters relating to health, and we are pleased to see the public taking so much greater interest in this subject as to require a second edition.

The Naturalist's World, edited by Percy Lund (London: W. Swan Sonnenschein). This is the first volume of a bright and attractive monthly magazine, published under the auspices of the Practical Naturalists' Society. It covers a good deal of ground, contains a variety of well-written articles, and shows plain proof of careful editorship.

We have also received a neatly got up volume, containing the Reports of the Meetings of the Scientific Association recently held in Montreal and Philadelphia, as given in the American weekly journal Science. It is a very handy volume, and contains the pith of the best papers and addresses, carefully edited.

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URING a recent visit to the Warren, near

Folkestone, Kent, in search of Lepidoptera,
the weather having become unfavourable, I was
obliged to turn my attention to some other branch of
Natural History, otherwise I should have to return
with empty boxes. On looking from the cliffs above
the Warren, I observed the dark line of gault near
the beach, and remembering having read that fossils
were to be obtained somewhere near this spot, I
thought I would become a geologist, for the first
On descending the cliffs, “which are here much

Fig. 27.- Aporrhais Parkinsonii. broken, and often very wet from the springs which trickle over the impervious clay to the beach,” I soon found hollows in the gault filled by a deposit conobserved remains of shells in various parts of the sisting of small fossils, pebbles and fragments of irongault, but, on attempting to dig them out, I found pyrites. I here found many small species, some of that it was almost impossible to obtain them in which I have not yet got named, Aporrhais Parkin. perfect condition ; however, I managed to get a few sonii and A. rostellaria, rather plentiful, but very specimens of such species as Inoceramus concentricus imperfect. Hamites tuberculatus, only broken parts of and 1. sulcatus, Ammonites interruptus and A. this species could be found, also portions of serpula auritus. These Ammonites were mostly broken in tubes, and encrinite stems. Corbula gaultina, two extricating them from the clay in which they were specimens only were found on this occasion, but, found.

being much pleased with my first attempt at collecting I then turned my attention to the beach, and fossils, I went again, and obtained many specimens found the fossils were much more plentiful there, but of Corbula gaultina and also Cardita tenuicosta, they were in most cases in the form of interior casts | Solarium ornatum, some nearly perfect. Acteon pulchella, Hemiaster minimus, Trochocyathus har. | their confession of faith should be a heartless beastveyana, a few specimens of each were found. Many torturing ogre, has during more than thirty years specimens of a cerithium [?] were found, but not perfect. been working most industriously, at considerable Natica gaultina, a few were obtained in a fair state expense of money and still greater cost of valuable of preservation. Hamites rotundus, only broken bits time, without any pay or prospect of pay, in devising of this species could be obtained. Rostellaria carinata, methods for rendering the customary slaughtering of a few good specimens were found. I also found a few animals absolutely painless. If these denouncers of specimens of Bellaropnina miniata : a species which vivisection are really sincere they will at once emuI understand is rather rare ; it is certainly rather late the truly humane efforts of Dr. Richardson, will difficult to find, on account of its small size and sacrifice their time, their labour, and their cash as he general resemblance to a rounded fragment of iron has done, by co-operating in a great national effort to stone. A shark's tooth was obtained fairly perfect, introduce the use of the “lethal chamber" in all our

slaughter houses. There is no excuse for holding back, as the effectiveness of the method has been practically demonstrated and is practically carried out at the “Dogs' Home" at Battersea, where as many as a hundred at a time of dogs, that would otherwise be violently butchered, are gently made to sleep, not suffocated, but lulled by a device as painless as the cradle rocking of an infant. In this simple sleep they remain until the heart follows the example of the dormant brain, and beats no

more. All the practical details are described an: Fig. 28.- Ammonites lautus.

illustrated in the above named report ; and a society

is already formed for carrying them out on animals and also a number of small teeth, not yet named.

to be killed for food (The London Model Abattoir These are remarkably perfect. All the above smaller

Society of which Dr. Richardson is president); the species require much care to detect and separate

heaviest of the work is already done. I have a list them from the sand and stones. I observed that the

of the names of many that have spoken loudly as few persons who did collect the fossils appeared to

antivivisectionists, and shall look for those same look for the larger Ammonites only, taking very little

names among the leading supporters of this movenotice of the smaller species. I think the fact that I

ment. If they do not thus appear, I shall be driven to have obtained nearly thirty species in two or three

conclusions that need not here be specified and which visits to this locality, may be of interest to many.

will be shared by all who appreciate moral consis. My object in writing the above list, is to induce

tency. others to collect. I am indebted to Mr. Newton, of the

The Students of the University of Paris are Geological Museum, London, for his kind assistance forming an association which is to be worthily inin naming my specimens.

augurated by a public celebration in honour of the A. H. SHEPHERD.

oldest living philosopher, M. Chevreul, whose London.

hundredth birthday will presently be attained. In a paper which he read at the Academy of Sciences two years ago, he had occasion to say :-“Moreover,

gentlemen, the observation is not a new one to me. GOSSIP ON CURRENT TOPICS.

I had the honour to mention it here, at a meeting of

the Academy on May 10th, 1812." Here is a By W. Martieu WILLIAMS, F.R.A.S., F.C.S.

chemist about as old as chemistry (which can scarcely THE very active people who have lately been be said to have existed before the discovery of

1 denouncing physiological investigations made oxygen), and still alive, and intellectually vigorous. upon living animals, and misrepresenting 97 per cent. Fontenelle, who died in 1750, was nearly as old, and of them by applying the title of “vivisection"; and shortly before his death said to his inquiring friends, who evidently imagine that all perpetrators of physio “I have no suffering, but am feeling merely an inlogical research are mere sportsmen finding personal creased difficulty of living.” In another part of the enjoyment in the infliction of pain and death upon same number of “Nature," from which I quote this helpless animals, should read Dr. Richardson's lecture saying of Fontenelle, are the last words of John on “The Painless Extinction of Life in the Lower Lawrence Smith, the American chemist, geologist, Animals," delivered at the Society of Arts, and | and engineer ; they were “Life has been very sweet to published in the Journal of that Society for December me; it comforts me. How I pity those to whom 26th last. They will learn thereby that a very emi memory brings no pleasure.” Such expressions, nent physician and experimentalist, who according to such feelings in the evening of life are the logical results of earnest devotion to Science. The gloomy | The night previous a pretty severe shock of earth visions of a wicked, ill-fashioned world, and dread of quake occurred in Geneva and Lausanne, and a worse to come, which darken the later moments of a few hours after we had observed the moon on so many of those who have groped through life in the the 28th a very violent gale and snowstorm took midst of artificial darkness due to the blindness of | place.” It should be noted that this account states ignorance, is impossible to men who have earnestly that each of the observers saw the double moon explored the wondrous harmonies of Nature, and have through windows, and that the writer only saw one done so not merely for trading purposes, but with | moon “on going out." Herein lies the explanagenuine scientific enthusiasm. Neither the past nortion without invoking any of the “other causes” to the future can appear ill-shapen and miserable to them. which temporary double vision is usually attributed.


The influence of coloured light on plants, concern. The moon, or any other luminous object viewed ing which such contradictory conclusions have been obliquely through a pane of glass, is always visually formed, has been further studied by Hellriegel. In doubled. The light passing obliquely through the his later researches he arranged the plants so that side of the glass next to the luminous object is they should have the benefit of free air during fine reflected when it reaches the inner surface next to weather, and be removed to shelter in bad weather, the observer, and then is re-reflected by the opposite instead of keeping them continuously in a glass inner surface, and thrown towards him. This second house. Better general results were thus obtained. reflected image appears near to the directly transBarley plants were grown under blue cobalt glass | mitted image, but is not coincident with it, the and yellow carbon glass. Less ash and more | distance between varying with the thickness of the organic matter were produced under the blue than glass. When the object is large, it only appears under the yellow. Those under the blue glass grew to have blurred outlines, when small the true double well, while those under the yellow seemed to be character of the image is evident. Double stars may retarded, and when shaded were long in the inter-s thus be discovered without any telescopic aid. nodes, and the leaves were thin and delicate. The After all the protection and subsidies and bounties general conclusions derived from these and other that have been bestowed on that very political experiments are, that leaves are not very sensitive agricultural product, beet sugar, it is now in danger to moderate changes in the composition of the light of being outrivalled by Sorghum sugar. German and to which they are exposed, and consequently that the French chemists are working out the scientific modifications of light produced by the ordinary glass of elements of the problem. In Biedermann's Centralgreenhouses can have but little effect, so little that blatt, V. Pfuel describes his experiments on its cultithere is no practical necessity for specially selecting | vation, finds that when the seed ripens there is 15 the glass used for this purpose.

per cent. of sacchrose present; before that time, only The persistence of an old fallacy has been from one to three per cent. After the autumn cutting curiously shown by a paragraph which has lately the plants throw up a good fodder for sheep. N. "gone the round” of the daily papers. After | Minangoin, in the same journal, says that Sorghum describing the bursting of water mains in Buchanan may be cultivated in France at less cost than beet, Street and Paisley Road, Glasgow, and the stoppage that its yield of molasses is less, but good brandy is of the music in the churches having hydraulic organs, obtainable from it, and the residue makes good we are told that “sudden thaw after the severe fodder. Beet and Sorghum are evidently running a frost caused the bursts."

close race, with the advantage of the start and Another popular fallacy, not quite so elementary, consequent experience and skill, on the side of the is continually breaking out among newspaper corre beet. But this may not be maintained. spondents. The following, written from Vevey, Two elaborate, and from a purely chemical point appeared in “Nature," December rith. “ On the of view, able papers are contributed to Dingler's night of November 28th, at about six in the evening, Polytechnisches Journal by E. Valenta, on the action I went to the window to look at the moon, and saw, of glacial acetic acid on different oils. One of the as it were, a second moon, behind the other. The results of these researches, which the author claims, effect was so like what one sometimes experiences is the detection of the adulteration of mineral oils from suddenly going out of a light room, or other with resin oils, the resin oils being soluble in acetic causes (my own italics) that, at the time, I fancied it acid, the mineral oils almost insoluble. The idea of was only a defect in my sight. On going into my such adulteration is rather amusing now that these son's room an hour afterwards, he said, “If something mineral lubricating oils are so much cheaper than the has not gone wrong with my eyes there are two imaginary adulterant. I find by the price current in moons to-night. On this I went out again, but only last month's “Oil Trade Review,” that the heavy saw one moon 'as usual. Later in the evening, a mineral lubricating oils go as low as £5 per ton, i.e. young girl who had been meeting a friend at the about fivepence per gallon; the light mineral oils Montreux train, said her friend had said the moon range from 6 d. to 11 d. per gallon, while light resin looked queer all the while she was in the train. I oil is 245. 6d. per cwt, or 2 s. per gallon. This is something like the supposed adulteration of tea with | males took their places and stood guard over their iron filings, which was so gravely and repeatedly charmed circles, like the Roman soldiers of old went asserted to be a widespread commercial villany, until on doing their duty, and ready to die rather than be (in 1873) I showed that in China iron filings would driven from their posts. My friend expressed much cost more than tea leaves, and that the adulteration, surprise to find all those having the prettiest colour to if practised on this side, to the asserted extent would be the worst tempered. “Yes," I said, “ that is true, demand four or five million pounds of selected fine but let us look at their motive. You see those little iron filings per annum, sufficient demand to produce raised mounds, with a round hole in the centre ; they an extensive and very visible traffic to London, which are nests, and the coloured stickleback you see close by is the tea port of Britain. The fact is, that iron are the males guarding their precious homes. The filings are practically unsaleable from absence of males have the places to select, the nests to build demand. Firework makers use a few steel filings. and to keep in order, the females coming when all

is right, to deposit their spawn, and, unless the nests were closely guarded by the males, not only against the attack of other fishes, but even against the

parents themselves, as the ova or spawn is always a OBJECTS OF INTEREST IN OUR PIT

precious meal to fishes, they would soon be destroyed.” DISTRICT.

Their colour I have found to be mostly due to their STRANGER travelling through our district valour in fighting, the bolder they are the more fierce a would meet with no rugged scenery, or they look, and the more courage they show in headlong waterfall. For a radius of a few miles, he defending their nests the more colour they get. I would find he was entirely free from any mountain, have frequently seen females go from nest to nest, and a level piece of country would stretch before depositing ova without being molested. Yet, at the him. Looking eastward, he would have a clear sea same time, I have seen them chased away, when I view of the sea only a few miles distant. Turning much fancied they had not any ova to deposit. The in any other direction, he would see numerous small nests I could see were repeatedly visited by the plantations mixed with farm houses, and a few | males. Ist. To see the nests are kept in order, and villages teeming with a busy population. If he were to make fast any loose material by a gummy substance fond of botany, he would find some very interesting which they have the power of discharging. 2nd. The plants. If an ornithologist, he would see some fine eggs of the female have to be fertilised by the males; rookeries, as well as flocks of starlings. The latter without this the fecundity of the eggs would not take used to be a migratory bird, but has now, for several place. Now these eggs, and those of snails, frogs, &c., years, remained all the winter through. Often have I that I have examined, are the same shape as the eggs stood in the summer evenings watching their of birds, when viewed under the microscope. As I movements. Magpies he would not see, as they was in want of a nest for my home aquarium, my have for more than twenty years entirely deserted our friend insisted on taking one home. He stretched district. The conduct of our youngsters, I fancy, will himself across the stream with his head close to the have been the cause of their desertion. The ornitho. nest which he wanted, and which was only a few inches logist would only on very rare occasions meet with any under the water. As be listened very attentively, he blackcaps, as they are with us fast dying out. Two fancied he heard something moving. Presently the species of wagtail stay with us long after the whole brood of young ones came away, and so migratory birds have left us. A lover of entomology fascinated were we with the sight before us, that a would meet with the two garden white, red, few seconds passed away before we could speak to admiral, small tortoiseshell, orange tip, meadow each other again. He took off his round felt hat, brown, painted lady, the small copper, and occa

and indented the crown so as to hold about a pint of sionally the peacock. The small streams are well water. Into this miniature vessel he placed the stocked with small fishes. I give an extract I once whole shoal of young. This mass of life, so newly sent to a Newcastle paper on our stickleback. One ushered into existence, was to us the most interesting fine summer evening, the sky very clear, the air of all sights we had before witnessed. I have found quiet, the scenery calm and peaceful, and all nature these last few years, that that pretty little fish the appearing at rest, I took a stroll by the side of a minnow fails to keep its own in the struggle for gentle stream. In my company was a gentleman existence, in some of our very small streams. Where who was very anxious to be shown some nests of it used to be plentiful, it has now entirely died out. stickleback, as he had never before seen anything They fail to stand the repeated attacks of the of the kind. As we wandered along, shoals of pugnacious sticklebacks. The traveller in our stickleback darted rapidly past us, for, with their country would pass acres of land, scarcely fit to graze keen sense of sight, they soon recognised us on the ) a single animal. On his route he would notice a banks as strangers. We sat down on the bank, and the peculiar looking hill, or heap, varying in different fish soon returned, and began their usual pranks. The shades of colour, mingled with patches of the

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