Imagens das páginas

of Mathematics, and M. Henry, Professor of Chemistry at Louvain, in a letter to M. Quetelet, the secretary, protested against the expression being allowed to pass uncensured, as it was a violation of their religious convictions, and an infringement of the traditional law of the Academy, that nothing be said to hurt the religious convictions of any member. At the next meeting of the Academy, October II, M. Gilbert insisted on this note being read, but by the vote of the Academy the order of the day was at once proceeded with. Thereupon the two aggrieved professors felt called upon to resign their connection with the Academy. The real facts of the case are stated by MM. Gilbert and Henry in a long communication to the last number of the Revtu Scientifique, from which it appears that the reference to "the fable of Jonah" was not in the paper at all as originally read, but was added in a note to the paper when subsequently printed in the Bulletin of the Academy. No doubt the two professors have a greater grievance than the irate Bishop Dupanloup had in the admission to the French Academy of M. Littre; and no doubt it is well in all scientific discussions in a mixed society to steer clear of "the religious difficulty" entirely, but after all it must seem to an outsider as if all this pother about "the fable of Jonah" were a case of " much ado about nothing."

A MEETING of the local executive of the British Association was held on Monday, at Bradford, and the financial account, which was submitted, showed the total expenses of the late meeting in that town to amount to about 3,300/. The guarantee fund subscribed amounted to 5,200/.

At a recent meeting of the Manchester Scientific Students' Association at the Royal Institution, Mr. George C. Yates, F. S.A., exhibited a unique specimen of a Neolithic Flint Celt, or axe, which he had obtained at Holyhead a few weeks ago. The specimen, we believe, has been thoroughly authenticated, and Mr. Yates has consented to deposit it in the British Museum.

A Series of Birkbeck Scientific Lectures for the People was commenced last week at Leeds, by Mr. J. Norman Lockyer, F.R.S., to be continued by Dr. Carpenter, Mr. Miall, and Prof. Martin Duncan, till Christmas. We believe that the action of the Trustees in thus aiding the spread of scientific knowledge throughout the country will be attended with the best results.

On Tuesday last a deputation of the Harrow Vestry, representing the residents, tradesmen, and other classes of the parish, had a second interview with the Governors of Harrow School, for the purpose of lodging and explaining thirty-six objections in detail to the proposed statutes for the government of the school. One point most justly insisted on by the deputation is the fact that John Lyon, the founder of the school, intended it mainly for the benefit of the parishioners of Harrow, whereas the Governors, like the Governors of others of our public schools notoriously throw every possible difficulty in the way of children of common parishioners reaping the benefit of the fund generously left for their education. The Governors try to silence the complainants with a pittance of 250/. a year to found a subordinate school. We hope the Harrow Vestry will not cease to agitate the matter, until they obtain all that rightly belongs to them.

Wb have received a revised list of those who obtained Queen's Medals at the Science and Art Examinations, May 1S73.

A Correspondent at Cannes, France, informs us that on November 4, about 6 P.m., a beautiful and distinct, though faint, lunar rainbow was seen there, which lasted a quarter of an hour, an] then suddenly disappeared just as the first drops of rain were felt.

The forth:oi;iinj number of Petermann's Mitthcilungcn will

contain an article by Messrs. E. Behm and F. Hanemim ct the most recent discoveries in South-east Australia, accampuwj by a map in which these discoveries are embodied.

Messrs. W. And A. K. Johnston have published a very sand war-map of the Gold Coast of Ashxntee and neighbour; countries, with a sketch-map of Guinea and a small map of i: whole of Africa, all carefully disposed on one large sheet.

For several winters past courses of lecture*, intended maiii for the industrial classes, have been given on scientific subject in the Edinburgh Museum of Science and Art, by the professa1 of the University and other gentlemen eminent in their partalar departments. The charge for a course of six lectures, i' number given on each subject, is only sixpence, and wc bdet the results have been extremely satisfactory. The follo»~ia; the programme for the present winter :— "Chemistry of tk Common Metals," by Prof. A. Cram Brown, M. D. ; "Pbj< ology and Public Health," by Dr. John G. M'Kendni F.R.S.E. ; "Cosmical Astronomy," by Prof. Tait; "TheO boniferous Formation of Scotland," by Mr. James GoA* F.R.S.E. ; "Weather and Climate," by Mr. Alex. Budue, F.R.S.E.; "The History of Commerce," by Prof. W. E Hodgson, LL.D.

The same journal has the following details concerning & Italian Association of Men of Science :—Inaugurated in 1S37 bj the Grand Duke of Tuscany (twenty-five years before Fcxoo had followed the parent movement in England), it fell under & ban of Pope and Bourbon alike, who saw in it the foster-mows of revolution. In spite of police restrictions and other proolsct the dislike with which it was viewed, its meetings gained n attractiveness every year till, in 1846, favoured by the erfl liberalism of Pio Nono and Charles Albert's ill-will to AortW it celebrated the centenary of Balilla's throwing olT the Gernui yoke in the Ligurian capital. Thanks to Piedmont, it oatuW the reaction of 1848; and in 1859-60 it shared in the nationil jubilee it had assisted in consummating. Rome, proclaim*0 u the capital in 1861, was to be the scene of its reunion in l*0-' but the Vatican, countenanced by Austria and France, frastral" the attempt. The storming of the Porta Pia in 1870 render possible the long-cherished design, and, under the appropri-K presidency of the venerable Count Mamiani, formerly P"TM Minister of Pio Nono during his short constitutional reifi, i'""" on the 20th ult in the capital. One hundred and fifty was tin muster of members—not a numerous one, but counting the m0sl distinguished statesmen and savans in the kingdom. Donatio*" but lately fallen a victim to cholera, but his science was adc quately representel by the Padre Secchi, who still cV">P ^ the Society of Je;us.

We have received from Mr. D. Mackintosh a reprint of »li article from the Quarterly Journal of the Geological Society, "0n the more remarkable Boulders of the North-west of ling'**' and the Welsh Borders."

The additions to the Zoological Society's collection d""^ the past week include a Crab-eating Opossum (Didelphys ('*' crrvora) from the West Indies, presented by Mr. G. II- H»r tayne ; a Common Parodoxure (Paradoxurus typus) from India, presented by Mr. C. Maurer ; an Indian Jackal (Canis anrM from Penang, presented by Mr. F. H. Fredericks; three Kobbt'n Island Snakes (Coroneila phocarum) presented by Rev. G. H. & Fisk; a Little Grebe (Podiceps minor), British, presented 1'/ Mr. H. P. llensman; a Black Wallaby (Halmaturus Vdakift) fromN. S. Wales, purchased; a Gazelle (Gazella doras) from Egypt, deposited ; an Axis Deer (Cervut axis) and a Molucca Deer (C. moltucensis), born in the Gardens.


A PAPER on this subject has recently been communicated to *^^ the Lyceum of Natural History, New York, by Mr. Thomas Bland.

The northern end of the Bahama group lies opposite southern Florida, and from this point the islands stretch off in a double series nearly parallel to the trend of Cuba and San Domingo, and terminate, properly, in the Turk's Island Bank, on which are the last and most easterly of the chain, which extends about 600 miles, from within 70 miles of the coast of Florida to within loo miles of that of San Domingo.

Several banks are distinguishable, and the islands are generally on the windward sides of these, never exceeding 200ft. in height, and being almost universally environed with reefs or shelves of rock, which extend often to a considerable distance and usually terminate abruptly.

The geological formation appears to resemble that of Bermuda; their form and surface condition being largely due to prevailing winds and currents, but also owing much, probably, to the configuration of the land on which the coral reefs were built up.

Lieutenant Nelson speaks of the Bahamas as the Gulf Stream Delta; thrown down where the stream receives a check from the Atlantic on emerging from the Gulf of Mexico.

In a communication to Nature, vol. vi. p. 262, Mr. Jones furnished evidence of the subsidence of the Bermudas. In excavations made for the great dock e.g., there was found, at 46 ft. below low-water mark, a layer of red earth, containing remains of cedar trees, and resting on a bed of compact calcareous sand1 tone.

Mr. Wand examines the evidence afforded (as to subsidence), by the distribution of land shells on the Bahama Islands. The total number of species known is about So.

Judging from both operculates and inoperculates, the landshell fauna of the Bahamas is essentially West Indian, and that of the Great Bank (especially), closely allied to the Cuban fauna. Mr. Bland gives a list of inopercnlate species common to the Bahamas, the adjacent continent, Bermuda, and certain of the West Indian Islands; which shows in a marked manner the alliance referred to.

The banks and islands of the Bahama chain diminish in size to the south-east, indicating greater subsidence in that direction. Similarly, the submerged Virgin Island bank, Sombrero and the Anguilla bank, terminate the parallel West Indies chain eastward from Cuba ; and in Anguilla have been found remains of large extinct mammalia which must have inhabited at one time a much more extensive area.

The author criticises Dr. Cleve's geological grouping of the slands north of Guadeloupe (in two groups, one comprising Bahamas, of post-pliocene date, another of the tertiary Eocene, Miocene, and Pliocene), and points out that the land shell fauna of Saba, St. Eustatius, St. Kitts and Nevis, of Redonda and Montserrat, and of Barbadoes and Antigua, is, in common with most of the islands to the south, to and inclusive of Trinidad, distinct from the fauna of the islands between and inclusive of the Bahamas and Cuba, and the Anguilla bank, on which are Anguilla, St. Martin and St. Bartholomew. This well-defined line of separation must be considered in connection with the past and present geological history of the islands.

Dana traces parallel bands of greater or less subsidence in the Pacific Ocean, and analogous conditions in the Atlantic; the subsidence was probably, he says, "much greater between Florida and Cuba than in the Peninsula of Florida itself, and greater along the Carribbean Sea parallel with Cuba, as well as along the Bahama reefs than in Cuba." Recent soundings, cited by Mr. Bland, confirm this view.

SCIENTIFIC SERIALS Ottan Highways, November.—In an article on " The Results of the Arctic Campaign, 1S73," it is shown that the right direction for Arctic Exploration has been unmistakeably indicated, further proofs have been afforded of the practicability of attaining an advanced position by following that direction, and additional evidence has been accumulated against the route advocated by "unpractisel theorists." These conclusions are rightly drawn from the eminently successful results obtained from the Polaris expedition and from Captain Markham's fruitful cruise in the Antic, as contrasted with the comparatively unsuccessful attempts made in the Spitsbergen direction by the Swedish Expe

dition and that of Mr. Leigh Smith. "The learned societies will be able to make their appeal to the Government with even stronger and more cogent arguments than were at their disposal in the end of last year; while in the present Prime Minister and Chancellor of the Exchequer they have an old and staunch supporter of Arctic expeditions, and one who has studied their history and appreciated their uses." There is a carefully constructed map illustrative of Captain Markham's voyage in the Arctic. Other articles are, "On the Distribution of Coal in China," by Baron von Richthofen; "South American Progress" (Argentine Republic), by F. J. Rickard; "Highways and Byeways ol Naval History," the first of a series of articles by Mr. R. Lendall.

Gazctta Chimica Italians, Fascicolo V. and VI.—The number commences with a paper on Santonin„by S. Cannizzaro and F. Sestini. Santoninic acid is described ; it is derived from santonin by the addition of one molecule of water to one of santonin. The addition is effected by acting on santonin by means of a warm aqueous alkaline solution. The formula of the acid is CuR^O,. = C15Hl803 + H20. The properties of the acids and its salts are described, and the action of nascent hydrogen on santonin is then considered.—New researches on benzylated phenol, by E. Paterno and M. Fileti.—On the chemical analysis of some wines grown in the Veronese province, by Prof. G. Dal Sie. The wines in question seem to be somewhat strong, the percentage (volume) of alcohol ranging from 9/4 to l6'4. Very voluminous tables of analyses are given.—A paper on the dry distillation of calcic formate, by A. Liebenand E. Paterno concludes the original portion of the number, which concludes with 155 pages of abstracts from foreign journals.

Annalen der Clumie und Pharmacu; Band 168, Heft 2 and 3, August 30.—The number commences with two papers from Prof. Beilstein's laboratory. The first by W. Ilemelian is on a new method of preparing the sulpho acids; the method in question is a modification of that of Strecker. Dr. E. Wroblevsky communicates a paper on certain haloid derivatives of toluol; he describes a number of the meta-brom-toluol compounds, and also deals with the para-brom-toluols and the tri-brom-toluols. — The other papers are: On selenic acid and its salts, by Dr. v. Gerichten. He finds that the seleniates are all isomorphous with the corresponding sulphates, and the double salts also agree with the double sulphates.—On the action of tri-sulpho-carbonate and sulpho-carbaminate of ammonium on aldehyde and acetone, by E. Mulder. A number of the compounds resulting from these reactions are described.—On a new mode of forming orthotoluilic acid, by R. Fittig and William Ramsay. On metatoluic acid, by C. Boettinger and.W. Ramsay.—On ethyl and di-ethyl-allyamine, by A. Rinne. Ethyl-allylamine is isomeric with methyl crotonylamine, the two bodies having the formula;—

( C3H5 ( C H7

N{C,H5and N X CH, respectively.

(H (h

The authorjdescribes several of the salts of the former. Di-ethyl

I C*H= , , , ,

allylamine N < CSH5 is produced by the action of ethyl iodide

I C2H5 on allylamine. The author describes it and its hydrochlorate and platino-chloride.—Researches on the isomers of cresol with regard to their occurrence in coal tar, by M. S. Southworth. — Researches on sorbic acid by E. Kachel and R. Fittig.—The number concludes with a very lengthy paper on the actions occurring in the inner non-luminous flame of the Bunsen burner, by R. Blochmann. The author has collected and examined the gases from various parts of the flame, and the memoir is illustrated with two plates showing the apparatus used, and the flames given by the burner under various treatments, and a diagram showing the percentages of C02 and ILO, given by flames when burning, at various heights above the burner up to 120 millimetres.


London Zoological Society, Nov. 4.—Prof. Newton, F. R.S., vicepresident, in the chair. The Secretary read a report on the additions that had been made to the Society's menagerie during the months of June, July, August, and September. Mr. G. Dawson Rowley exhibited a singular malformed variety of the Domestic Duck, and the Secretary a collection of fishes (containing six examples of Ceratodus forsteri) made by Mr. Ramsay, in Queensland.—A communication was read from Mr. J. B. Perrin, containing an account of the Myology of the Hoatczin (Opisthocomus cristatus). — A communication was read from Capt. R. Beavan, Bengal Staff Corps, containing a list of fishes met with in the River Nerbudda, in India.—A second communication from Capt. Beavan contained some remarks on certain difficulties involved in the acceptance of the Darwinian theory of evolution.—A communication was read from Mr. Montague R. Butler, containing descriptions of several new species of Diurnal Lepidoptera.—A communication was read from Mr. R. Swinhoe, H. B. M. Consul at Chefoo, on the Song-Jay of Northern China, with further notes on Chinese ornithology.—Mr. P. L.Sclater, F. R.S., exhibited and pointed out the characters of fourteen new species of birds collected by Signor Luigi Maria D'Albertis during his recent expedition into the interior of New Guinea.—A communication was read from Prof. J. V. Barboza du Bocage, on the Ground Hornbill of Southern Africa—Buceros carutuulatus cafer of Schlegel. —A second communication from Prof. Barboza du Bocage contained a note on the habitat of Euprepes coctei, Dum. et Bibr.—A communication was read from SurgeonMajor Francis Day, containing descriptions of new or little known Indian fishes.—Mr. R. B. Sharpe, read a paper describing the contents of a collection of birds recently received from Mombas in Eastern Africa.—A second paper by Mr. R.

B. Sharpe contained a list of a collection of birds from the River Congo.—Mr. G. B. Sowerby, jun., communicated the descriptions of eleven new species of shells.—A communication was read from Dr. J. E. Gray, F. R.S., on the skulls and alveolar surfaces of Land Tortoises, Tt-studina/a.

Linnean Society, Nov. 6.—Mr. G. Bentham, president, in the chair.—Before the commencement of proceedings, this being the first occasion of the meeting of the society in its new rooms in Burlington House, the president gave an address on the present relation of Government towards the learned societies, which will be found elsewhere.—A resolution was then proposed by Dr. Hooker, seconded by Mr. Gwyn Jeffreys, and carried unanimously, recognising the obligations of the Linnean Society towards the Government for the handsome accommodation now for the first time provided independently for it.—On Hydnora americana, by Dr. J. D. Hooker. In his monograph of the Rafflesiacea; in De Candolle's "Prodromus," Dr. Hooker had thrown some doubt on the correctness of De Bary's description Hydnora, and on the close affinity which he traced between it and Prosobanche. Further investigation has, however, amply confirmed the accuracy of De Bary's description. A very great difficulty is presented, from the point of view of the theory of evolution, in the occurrence of two species of this genus, one in South Africa and one in South America, so closely resembling one another in every point of their structure, and both root-parasites, that it is impossible to look upon them otherwise than as very nearly related. The only possible connection between them would appear to be through Cytinus, another nearly allied genus of root-parasites, species of which are natives both of South Africa and of South and North America.

Chemical Society, Nov. 6.—Dr. Odling, F.R.S., president, in the chair.—The president delivered a short address, to which we refer elsewhere, congratulating the Fellows on taking possession of their new rooms in Burlington House. A paper was then read by Mr. David Howard on the optical properties of some modifications of the cinchona alkaloids, being an elaborate investigation of the variations in the rotatory powers of this class of bodies when examined by the polarimeter. The other communications were—a preliminary notice on the oils of wormwood and citronclla, by Dr.

C. R. A. Wright; on the estimation of nitrates in potable wa'crs, by Mr. W. F. Donkin; and a note on the action of iodine trichloride upon carbon disulphide, by Mr. J. B. Hannay.

Royal Microscopical Society, Nov. 5.—Chas. Brooke, F.R.S., president, in the chair. A paper by the Rev. W. H. Dallinger was read, describing some further researches made by himself and Dr. Drysdale on the development of certain monads, in the course of which they had been able to trace the life-history of a species, although in their earliest stages these organisms were so minute as to require an objective of J'-j in. for their observation. A number of beautifully executed drawings accompanied the paper.—Mr. Alfred Sanders read a paper on the art of photographing microscopic objects, in which he described a simple and successful process of manipulation, and showed how the most satisfactory results might be obtained without the

aid of expensive and complicated apparatus.—A paper wuu read by Mr. S. J. Mclntire, entitled "Some Notes oa Acar& lus," in which he minutely described a species found pmit.; upon Obisium, and which he believed to be identical rr, Hypopus, described by Dujardin. Specimens both matf' and alive were exhibited under the Society's microsoxc! Some photograplis of Navieuta iyra and jtmphifltum pa-\,— taken by Dr. J. J. Woodward, were also exhibited.

Paris Academy of Sciences, November 3--—M. de Quatrefifi president, in the chair.—The following papers were rcid An analysis and criticism of an *' Essay on the Constitution a Origin of the Solar System, by M. Koche," by M. Faye,—': the mutual action of voltaic currents by M. Bertrani - On E; verification of Baume's hydrometer, by MM. lierthelot, G»u» and d'Almeida.—On certain calorimetric value? and pmbtz. by M. lierthelot.—Observations of the solar proraberaawsfc ing the last six solar rotations (April 23 to October 2, l87j)»^ some consequences aflecting the theory of the spots, by FiA. Secchi. In this paper Secchi continued bis observations,^ tions of which appeared in the first half of the year. The «tt» again asserted that the spots are the product of eruptions, xni *■ served that some metals were more opaque than other*, *».' sodium eruption gave a very black spot. He admitted, ho«P» that some spots existed without eruptions.—Researches as £ thermic effects accompanying the compression of liquids, :■ MM. Favre and Laurent.—MM. Morin and Phillips prestn:?: report on M. GraefTs paper on the rfcitrw of rivers and theeSaS'

a multiple system of reservoirs Memoir on experimental ten!1

logy, by M. C. Dareste.—On a map of the world on a piooas. projection, Sx., by M. B. de Chancourtois.—The foDorit! papers were presented to the Academy :—Observations on *. I Dubois' paper on the influence of refraction at the momes! * contact of Venus with the Sun's limb, by M. Oudemans.—0" new volatile saccharine matter extracted from MadX'1^' rubber, by M. Aime Girard.—On the cooling effect! products by the joint actions of capillarity and evaporation: Evnpctf*-'of carbonic disulphide on porous paper, by M. C. Dechannc.Origin and formation of the dental follicule in the mammifc-. by M M. Magitot Tand Legros.—On capillary embolism ■i"1'"" morrhagicinfarctus, byM.BouchuL—ObservationsonM.Mk"'11 note on choleraic dejections as agents in the propagation ofi^ disease, by M. II. Blanc—On the different practical problcf of aerial navigation, by M. W. de Fonviellc—On the formatw of swellings on the rootlets of the vine, by M. Max. Corna.' Observations on M. Gucrin Mencvillc's suggestion that the fir loxera is a result of the vine disease. — Note on the best dimensions for electro-magnets, by M. Th. du MonceL—On a VTM?* for the preparation of active amylic alcohol, by M. J. A f-'" —On the influence which certain gases exercise on the Pre5ff vation of eggs, and on the influence of certain substances in"" preservation of eggs, by Mr. C. Calvert.—On the tael&raorpw® and physiological changeability of certain microphytes under tat influence of media and on the relation of these phenomena to tt initial cause of fermentation, &c, by M. J. Duval— On the *"*' of the respiratoryapparatus after the openingof the thoracic ci«ty. by MM. Carlet and Strauss.—On the different properties suj11 structures of the red and white muscle in rabbits and in rap, "1 M. Ranvier.—On scurvy and its treatment, by M. Champou"1011' —On telluric intoxication, by M. L. Colin.—On the calcanN*1 spar of the green marles of Chenneviere, by M. Stan. Mealier


On The Medical Curriculum • *'

The Southern Uplands Of Scotland • f:

Local Scientific Societies * ' 2

Thorpe's "Quantitative Analysis" •'

Letters To The Kditok :—

The Management of the British Museum.—Prof. W. Stanu*

Jevons. F.R.S ;• *

On the Equilibrium of Temperature of a Gaseous Column subject

to Gravity.—G Hansrmann • ,

Periodicity of Rainfall.—G. J. Svmons :"

The Common Frog, IV. By Sr. George Mivakt. F.R.S. ("'''** ,

Illustrations) !!

Inauguration Of The Linnean Society's New Rooms : Oiem"0

Address By The President"

Inauguration Of The Chemical Society's New Rooms \

Notes 3J

Physical Geography And Terrestrial Mollusca Of The Bahama _

Islands &

Scientific Serials #

Societies And Academies » M



TH E prospect of the Government being convinced of the propriety of despatching an Arctic Expedition, really seems to be brightening. We expressed some apprehension, when the Royal Geographical Society addressed the late Chancellor of the Exchequer on the subject last year, that sufficient pains were not taken to have all branches of Science represented in the Deputation, and that, consequently, the importance of the results of Arctic Research had not been completely explained. There is no cause for any such doubt on the present occasion. The matter has been most carefully and maturely considered by a joint committee appointed by the Councils of the Royal and the Royal Geographical Societies, and consisting of representatives of various departments of Science as well as of the most eminent Arctic authorities. A memorandum has been drawn up, and submitted to the Council of the Royal Society, in which the scientific results to be obtained from the examination of the unknown area round the North Pole are set forth; the ~ different sections having been prepared by men who are in the first rank as authorities in their particular departments of study—namely,geography, hydrography, geodesy, physics, meteorology, geology, botany, zoology, and anthropology. The memorandum also includes a carefully prepared statement, drawn up by distinguished Arctic authorities of the practical aspects of the question, the composition of such an expedition, the precautions that should be taken, and the best route.

The Royal Society is a body which, from its high position and from its strong sense of responsibility, never takes action without very careful and mature previous consideration. When this body once adopts a course on any question, the public can always feel satisfied that it has first received the closest attention, in all its bearings, from men of the highest attainments. The memorandum of the Committee has been before the Council, and we are able to announce that the value of the scientific results to be derived from Arctic exploration has been recognised, and that the Royal Society is prepared to represent to the Government the desirability of undertaking the discovery of the unknown region.

With the object of inducing the Government to undertake a North Polar Expedition, the Council of the Royal Society has appointed a deputation to represent their views, consisting of Dr. Hooker, the President-elect, Prof. Huxley, Prof. Allman, Mr. Prestwich, Mr. Busk, Mr. Sclater, and General Strachey.

The British Association has also appointed a Committee with the same object.

The Royal Geographical Society will be represented by its President, Sir Bartle Frere, Sir Henry Rawlinson, the veteran Arctic explorer, Sir George Back, and Admirals Collinson, Ommanney, and Sherard Osborn.

The Dundee Chamber of Commerce is also deeply impressed with the practical importance of discovery in the unknown area, and has drawn up a memorial to be presented to the Prime Minister, through the member, Sir John Ogilvy. Dundee is not only the principal Vol, I.x.—no. 212

whaling port of Great Britain, but is also the centre of a great and thriving industry, namely, the manufacture of jute, the growth of which employs millions of ryots in Bengal. Now, in the process of preparing the jute fibre, the use of animal oil is essential, so that the business of chasing whales and narwhals in the Arctic seas is of the utmost importance to the cultivators of the Gangetic delta. One industry supports the other, and India, as well as Great Britain, has an interest in Arctic discovery. The Chamber of Commerce, considering the vast interests at stake, holds it to be most important that the unknown polar region should be explored, in order that a more complete knowledge may be acquired of the haunts migrations, numbers, and habits of the various oilyielding animals. The Chamber also feels the advantages derived from Arctic expeditions by the best among the experienced mates and harpooners who obtain employment, and indirectly by the whole seafaring population of the west coast of Scotland. Nor are the bold seamen and enterprising manufacturers of the northern ports, any more than the naval officers and men of science, indifferent to the old renown of their country, and to the immense advantages which are derived from voyages of discovery.

The events of the last year have strengthened the arguments in favour of an Arctic Expedition. We believe that the despatch of a naval officer to Baffin's Bay last spring was due to the forethought of Admiral Sherard Osborn. The choice was undoubtedly a fortunate one, for Captain Markham entered heart and soul into the spirit of the service on which he was employed. He studied the new system of ice navigation, and of handling powerful steamers in the ice with minute attention. He had the rescued crew of the Polaris on board for several months, and learned from Dr. Bessels and Mr. Chester all the particulars of their extraordinarily successful voyage. Nothing escaped him, and on his return he submitted a full and most valuable report. Thus the fact that a ship can pass up Smith Sound to 820 16' N. without check of any description, unknown before, is now established, as well as the constant movement and drift of the ice in the strait leading to the unknown region. The revolution in ice navigation, caused by the use of powerful steamers, is also more fully understood and appreciated through the report of Captain Markham.

The deputation which is about to seek an interview with Mr. Gladstone and Mr. Goschen, is thus strengthened with fresh arguments and with a more exact and complete statement of the objects of Arctic research. It will represent interests which cannot be neglected, and bodies whose individual opinions must needs carry great weight. There will be the Royal Society, the recognised adviser of the Government on all matters relating to Science; the Royal Geographical Society, the British Association, and the Dundee Chamber of Commerce representing the interests of a great industry and of the sea-faring population of Scotland. The navy will also be fully represented, and the leading Arctic authorities will be present, acting in perfect unanimity as regards the route to be taken and the work to be done.

We believe that such a deputation must have considerable influence on the decision of the Government, and that there is every prospect of sanction being given to the fitting out of a naval Arctic expedition in 1874. Mr. Goschen is, we have reason to think, now conversant with the subject, and, as the Minister whose duty it "is to advance and foster the interests of the British navy, it is imposible that he can fail to see the advantages of Arctic service. He is supported, at the Admiralty, by Sir Alexander Milne, who has ever been friendly to such enterprises, and sensible of the excellent school for nnval men afforded by voyages of discovery; and by Admiral Richards, the hydrographer, whose sound judgment and great Arctic experience render his advice most valuable.

The Prime Minister, with whom the decision will rest, is a statesman who well knows the general, as well as the scientific uses of Arctic enterprise. He formed one of that Ministry which despatched the last scientific expedition to the Arctic Regions; and, as a member of the Select Committee of the House of Commons on Sir John Ross's case, he signed a report expressing his approval of Arctic voyages in the strongest terms—" A public service is rendered to a maritime country, especially in times of peace, by deeds of daring, enterprise, and patient endurance of hardship, which excite the public sympathy and enlist the general feeling in favour of maritime adventure." Such were, and we trust still are, the views of Mr. Gladstone with reference to the general uses of Arctic voyages of discovery. When to these general impressions are added a knowledge of the important scientific and practical results to be attained, the assurance that there is no undue risk, that the cost will be comparatively slight, and the good both to the navy and to mercantile interests incalculable, we cannot bring ourselves to believe that the decision of Mr. Gladstone will not be favourable to a renewal of Arctic research.


ALTOGETHER, so far as we have been able to ascertain^ the number of existing local societies % which have for their main, or only as a part of their object the culture of Science, that were established in the years between 1781 and 1830, are only 22. We shall see that the increase since 1830 has been enormous, though the large majority of those established during the last forty-three years are of a much more simple kind, so far as organisation is concerned, than those established during the former period, have to a great extent a different object in view or rather accomplish the intellectual improvement of the members after a different fashion, and are, we think, thoroughly characteristic of the scientifically inquisitive and increasingly intelligent period during which they have been established. Not many "Literary and Philosophical Societies" have been established during the latter period, most of them being professedly devoted to study and research in Science, especially in natural history, in all or one of its branches, and a large majority of them being Field Clubs, as those associations are called, the whole or part of whose programme is to investigate the natural history (including botany, zoology, and geology) of particular districts, in combination sometimes with

their archaeology. Indeed the last forty years might well be designated the era of field clubs.

We have already mentioned the Northumberland, Dorham, and Newcastle Natural History Society, established in 1829, which, although it has done some excellent fieldclub work, was not professedly established for this pu pose. There can be no doubt that the first genuine fieM club was the Berwickshire Naturalists' Club, founded September 21, 1831, though Sir Walter Elliot traces tit true origin of field-clubs to an association of student-, formed in 1823 at the University of Edinburgh, under the name of the Plinian Society, for the advancement of the "study of natural history, antiquities, and the physical sciences in general." They met weekly in the evening during the session, from November to July, for reading papers and discussions ; and also, as the season advanced, made occasional excursions into the neighbouring countrr. The chief promoters of the scheme were three brother named Baird, from Berwickshire; but John, the eldest must be considered the founder. He drew up an elaborate code of laws in eighteen chapters, and, as the first president, made a statement of the proposed plan and objeca of the society at their inaugural meeting on the 14th January 1823. Among the original members occur the names of James Hardie, J. Grant Malcolmsofl ;'borh Indian geologists), and Dr. John Coldstream ; and, at a later period, those of Charles Darwin * (of Shrewsbury, 1826), John Hutton Balfour (1827), and Hugh Falconer (1S28), with others who have since become distinguished in the scientific and literary world. The latest notice of the society is the session of 1829-30, up to which rime the Bairds, although they had left the University, appear as occasional contributors.

Nodoubt this Edinburgh Associationhadconsiderableifr fluence in originating the Berwickshire Club, for two of the Bairds became parish ministers in Berwickshire, and it «j they, along with their brother, the late Dr. William Baird, of the British Museum, Dr. Johnstone, Dr. Embleton, and four or five others, who met at Coldingham on the date above given, and drew up the plan of the Berwickshire Naturalists' Club, "a term," Sir W. Elliot remarks, "now first extended to a scientific body." Its object was declared to be the " investigation of the natural history of Berwickshire and its vicinage f in reality its field extends over the whole of Berwickshire, Roxburghshire, and the northeast part of Northumberland, to the limits of the Tyneside Club's district. The rules of the club, as all rules should be, are short, providing that the club should hold no property, require no admission fee, and should meet five times in the year at a place and hour to be communicated to each member by the secretary. Thus the Berwickshire Club is a field-club pure and simple, having, unlike many other similar clubs, no winter meetings for the reading of papers, whatever papers are read being read after dinner on the days when excursions are made. At the first anniversary it numbered 27 members, and in 1870, when Sir Walter Elliot gave his address, there were 249 members on the roll, including a few ladies, and " two corresponding members, the last description having been

* Continued from vol. viii. p 534.

t We regret to say that none of the Edinburgh Societies have seen meet to forward us information.

t We do not include in this article the great London Societies, as the Royal, the Linnean. the Astronomical, &c

* The first paper contributed by him, entitled "On tti Ova of mr Fjitstra," in which he announces that he has discovered organs of motion. and. secondly, that the small black body hitherto mistaken for the rogru! o* Fucks Urpu is in reality the ovum of PtmttUtlla mvr'cmi*. eimlatsto early habits of minute investigation.

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