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THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 20, 1873

THE ARCTIC EXPEDITION OF 1874

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.

LOCAL SCIENTIFIC SOCIETIES*
H.

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 added, in 1868 to admit intelligent working-men," though why this invidious distinction should be maintained in a body solely devoted to scientific research, we fail to see; surely Science at least is a common ground on which all classes can meet without a shadow of bitter class-feeling to mar the geniality of intercourse. The more that the higher tastes and recreations are common to all classes, the less room will there be for misunderstanding and bitterness. If a working-man can pay the subscription— and the field-dub subscription is usually small, and working-men's wages are now unusually high—by all means let them be received on a common footing with the other members. Many of our best field-clubs are composed almost entirely of working-men, and every encouragement should be given to this class to join such clubs, for, morally and intellectually, we think they will reap more benefit from such associations than any other class.

* 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.

The Berwickshire Club continues to be one of the most efficient and productive in the country, the fruits of its excursions being contained in six goodly volumes, containing many valuable papers on the natural history and archaeology of its large district, and extensive and carefully compiled lists of the existing and extinct fauna and flora. As the Berwickshire Club is the model after which, to some extent, all succeeding field-clubs have been formed, we shall here give from Sir Walter Elliot's address, its simple and inexpensive method of conducting its fielddays :—" Arrangements arc made with* the railway companies for the issue of tickets on favourable terms. The members assemble at breakfast at 9.30, after which the programme of the day is explained, and any objects of interest procured since the last meeting are exhibited and described. At 11 the party proceeds on foot or by conveyance to the points indicated, breaking into sections for botanical, geological, or antiquarian research, and either meeting again at some convenient spot, or returning independently to dinner at 4 o'clock. The members present rarely exceed from 30 to 50, often fewer. Of course the hive contains a considerable proportion of drones who rarely appear, ladies never. The distances are so great, the excursions so thoroughly directed to investigation, that few but those intent on work attend. After a frugal repast, the staple of which is a fine salmon invariably sent from Berwick, papers are read and discussed, and the members disperse according to the exigencies of their trains. The whole expenses of the day vary from four to five shillings per head."

In the decade between 1830 and 1840, other sixteen local societies were formed, many of which, though not professedly field-clubs, have done, through individual members, good field-club work, as is testified by their publtcations, and have otherwise done much to promote the cause of Science in the neighbourhood. It was during this period that the Cornwall Polytechnic Society (already mentioned), the Penzance Natural History and Antiquarian Society, the Royal Institution of South Wales, the Ludlow Natural History Society, and the West Riding Geological and Polytechnic Society, were formed, each of which, in its own particular fashion, does good service to Science, and helps to keep the lamp of culture burning in its neighbourhood.

No other regular field-club was instituted until nearly fifteen years after the foundation of the Berwickshire

Club, when a sort of offshoot of that Society was formed in 1846 in Newcastle-on-Tyne, under the title of the Tyneside Naturalists' Field Club, which, "guided by the experience of the parent club, at once assumed a perfect organisation." The constitution was, however, somewhat amplified, a proviso being put in the rules that should assuredly have a place in the rules of every similar society in the kingdom. Its last rule, we think, worthy of all commendation and universal imitation*; it is as follows :—

"That the Club shall endeavour to discourage the practice of removing rare plants from the localities of which they are characteristic, and of risking the extermination of rare birds and other animals by wanton persecution; that the members be requested to use their influence with landowners and others, for the protection of the characteristic birds of the country, and to dispel the prejudices which are leading to their destruction; and that consequently the rarer botanical specimens collected at the Field Meetings be chiefly such as can be gathered without disturbing the roots of the plants; and that notes on the habits of birds be accumulated instead of specimens, by which our closet collections would be enriched only at the expense of nature's great museum out of doors. That in like manner the club shall endeavour to cultivate a fuller knowledge of the local antiquities, historical, popular, and idiomatic, and to promote a taste for carefully preserving the monuments of the past from wanton injury."

We have more than once recently in noticing the proceedings of some societies, and it has been animadverted on in other quarters, referred to the pernicious practice of encouraging, by the offer of prizes for rare specimens, especially of plants, the extermination of the rare flora peculiar to certain districts. One of the prime duties of every local club should be the preservation of such rare specimens, the fact of whose existence is often of great value from a scientific point of view, and the destruction of which, by transference to a herbarium, can serve no good purpose whatever. The Tyneside Club is divided into six sections, each charged with a special department for investigation :—1, Mammalia and Ornithology; 2, Amphibia, Ichthyology, Radiata; 3, Mollusca, Crustacea, Zoophytes; 4, Entomology; 5, Botany; 6, Geology. This club holds meetings during the winter in Newcastle. Up to 1864, it had published six volumes of very valuable Transactions. In that year an arrangement was come to whereby the members ("numbering 429), became associates of the Northumberland, Durham, and Newcastle Natural History Society, already referred to. Thenceforth, as we have already said, the proceedings of the two bodies have be en published conjointly under the title of "Natural History Transactions of Northumberland and Durham," of which three volumes have been published. "The work of the Club," Sir Walter Elliott says, "has been most conspicuous in zoology. It has the merit of publishing its lists and catalogues in a separate form for sale, so as to make them accessible to all inquirers."

We cannot mention in detail the foundation of the swarm of field-clubs which have come into existence in the various parts of the country since 1846; we can only allude very briefly to two of the most important, the Cotteswold and the Woolhope, the former an offshoot of the Berwickshire Club. The originators of the Cotteswold Field Club, which, like the Tyneside Club, was started in 1846, were Sir Thomas Tancred (who had been a member of the Berwickshre Club), Mr. T. B. Lloyd Baker (the well-known originator of the "Reformatory System "), Dr. Daubeny, of Oxford, Hugh Strickland, and some others, who met " at the Black Bull Inn, in Birdlip, a village on the summit of the Cotteswold range overlooking the vales of Gloucester and Worcester, about six miles south of Cheltenham, and seven south-west of Gloucester." There the club was inaugurated, Mr. Baker being elected the first president. "The labours of the club have been most conspicuous in geological investigation, for which the district offers such a rich field. Many of the members have, by their recorded observations, attained to high distinction. In the words of the president, 'It will suffice to mention the names of Daubeny, Strickland, Woodward, Maskelyne, Wright, Moore, Buckman, Jones, Lycett, Brodie, Symonds, Maw, and Etheridge, all members of the club, to recall at once names of writers well known in the scientific annals of the county, and of whom some have by their works obtained a more than European reputation.'"

The Woolhope Club, in Bedfordshire, whose publications are also well known as among the most valuable of those of provincial societies, was formed in 1851, and derived its name from the mass of Silurian rocks described by Sir Roderick Murchison as the "Woolhope Valley of Elevation." This club and the Cotteswold have occasional joint field days, and their example is followed by several other societies, and might, we think, with advantage be followed much more extensively than it is.

The Worcestershire Naturalists' Club originated in the same year as the Cotteswold, followed the year after by the Huddersfield Naturalists' Society, and in 1849 by the Yorkshire Naturalists' Club. Besides the four field-clubs mentioned, other six societies originated in this decade, most of them distinctly scientific, including the Torquay Natural History Society, the Bristol Microscopic Society, and the Isle of Wight Philosophical and Scientific Society.

In the decade between 1850 and i860, twenty-two local scientific societies were founded, of which six. teen are field-clubs, including such well-known names as the Woolhope, just mentioned, the London Geologists' Association, the Liverpool Naturalists' Field Society, the Bath Natural History and Antiquarian Field Club, and the Malvern Field Club.

{To be continued.)

HARTWIG'S "SEA AND ITS WONDERS"

The Sea and its living Wonders. A popular account of the Marvels of the Deep, and of the progress of Maritime Discovery from the earliest ages to the present time. By Dr. G. Hartwig. Fourth edition, enlarged and improved, with numerous woodcuts and eight chromoxylographic plates. (London : Longmans, 1873.)

NO other evidence is needed beyond the publication of the fourth edition of this work to prove the demand there is in Great Britain for this kind of literature, The reading public want to know what about the sea, and all that is in it; and, in their eagerness to know, they buy even such books as this. When will scientific men turn their attention towards teaching the public as far as it can

be taught, in a correct, yet popular manner, the rudiments of biological science? When they do the time for such books as the one we must now notice will have passed away, and the resources of the great publishing firm who issue it will be engaged on more truly solid and important work. As an indication of what we mean, let ui contrast the popular works of Hartwig or Figuier with Ouatrefages' "Souvenirs d'une Naturaliste," or Gosse's "Devonshire Rambles ;" or let the reader imagine wha: a delightful work the one before us would have been if written by, say Huxley, Allman, Giinther, or Wyville Thomson. But to return to this volume, which consists of three parts ; (1) the Physical Geography of the Sea; (2) the Inhabitants of the Sea; (3) the Progress of Maritime Discovery. The latter part commences with the maritime discoveries of the Phoenicians, and ends with a reference of sixteen lines in length to the numerous scientific voyages of circumnavigation of the present century.

Before proceeding to very briefly notice Parts I. and IL, we have to object most strongly to the woodcuts not being drawn to any scale; thus, on page 101 the Rorqual is figured as rather smaller than the Herring, while, on the same page, and just above these figures, will be found a Whale Louse, and a Lepas represented as bigger than either. Surely figures like these must terribly mislead the ordinary reader, who, though he may possibly have some notion of the size of a herring, cannot be supposed to be aware of the dimensions of the whale's parasites. Many of the woodcuts are very good, but several of them are bad, and the majority of them are not seen in this volume for the first time ; this we would not so much object to if the woodcuts were selected to illustrate the text, and not, as is too often the case in this work, the text written so as to make some forced allusion to the woodcuts.

Though the Dugong is illustrated by copying the woodcut from Tennent's work on Ceylon, yet scarcely a word is to be found about it in the chapter on the Cetacea. The Tailor birds' nest is figured on page 143, but no allusion whatever is made to it in the text. The great Auk is figured, and in the accompanying explanation is said to congregate in vast flocks on the rocky islets and headlands of the Northern Coasts. Surely a little careful supervision would have prevented such mistakes as these occurring. But leaving the subject of the woodcuts, we come to consider the letterpress; and here, too, not only a more careful supervision, but some more acquaintance with the subject would have been desirable. Why, among the Fishes, should the Anchovy have five lines devoted to it, when not one word is to be found about that equally important little fish, the Sardine? and surely half a page would not have been too much to devote to that interesting living wonder of the sea, the Whitebait It would be an easy, but withal a useless task to point out other errors of omission and commission among the other classes.

Among the Corals and Sponges the author had enough to guide him, for he has borrowed wholesale the really beautiful woodcuts illustrating Prof. Greene's Manuals; if he had borrowed equally largely from their text, he would have made this the most trustworthy portion of his book.

No notice is taken of such important new forms « Rhizocrinus, or Brissinga, nor do we find mention under the Sponges of such strikingly beautiful ones as belong to the genera Euplectella, Holtenia, &c, though, indeed, some allusion is made to these in the chapter on the geographical distribution of marine life. But perhaps we have said enough to show that while the subject of this work is a good one, it might easily have been treated by a writer more familiar with it in a better, a more original, and a more comprehensive manner. E. P. W.

OUR BOOK SHELF

The Theory of Evolution of Living Things. By Rev. G. Henslow. (Macmillan and Co.)

Scientific men cannot but feel how false is the stimulus given to that form of literature of which the above-named work is an example. If considerable pecuniary reward is offered for the production of treatises in favour of any theory, or of the mutual compatibility of any two or more different doctrines, the work will undoubtedly be produced, however inaccurate the theory, or however dissimilar the doctrines. That mistaken enthusiasm which led to the production of the Bridgwater Treatises and the establishment of the Actonian Prize, has resulted in the publication during the last year of two Actonian prize essays, the former of which, by Mr. B. T. Lowne, we noticed on a previous occasion, whilst the latter is the one under consideration. The present author's treatment of his subject is much that which would have been adopted by Paley if he had been living at the present day. Several previously accepted axioms are shown to be incompatible with the existing position of biological science, and their weakness is well brought forward. Other considerations of modern development are introduced, and it is in these that the difficulty of combining the two doctrines appears. For instance, the origin of moral evil is said to be "the conscious abuse of means, instead of using them solely for the ends for which they were designed." But on evolutionary principles, it can hardly be said that there are means for designed ends, because that peculiarity in an organ which is of service is the only one retained, insomuch that if the delicate sensitiveness of the conjunctiva of the eye were to prove of more value to the individual than its sight, the power of vision would most probably become lost at the expense of the developing tactile organ. "The continual effort of beings to arrive at mutual and beneficial adjustments" is said to be a great principle of nature ; does not the term " struggle for existence" imply something very different from this? Again, that "animals and plants do not live where circumstances may be best suited to them, but where they can, or where other animals and plants will respectively let them live," is quoted by the author as an instance of Nature falling short of that absolute degree of perfection which may be conceived as possible ; however, there cannot be many who think a locality a suitable residence, in which they are prevented from taking up their abode, or perhaps entering, by the animals and plants which inhabit it. In other places similar weaknesses may be found in the argument adopted. In one thing Mr. Henslow has done great good: he has shown that it is consistent with a full dogmatic belief, to hold opinions very different from those taught as natural theology some half century and more ago.

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

[The Editor does not hold himself responsible for opinions expressed by his correspondents. A'o notice is taken of anonymous communications. ]

Transfer of the South Kensington Museum I Am glad to sec that an effective opposition is likely to be mule to the ill-advised proposal of the Government to place the

South Kensington Collections under the control of the fifty irresponsible Trustees of the British Museum.

In common with many other naturalists I had always hoped that the national collections of natural history, when removed to the new buildings in South Kensington, would be freed from the rule of the Trustees and placed under a responsible director. The memorial of which I enclose a copy, and the republication of which would, I think, be opportune at the present juncture, will serve to show that I am by no means alone in believing that such a change would be beneficial to Science.

It would seem, however, that the Government, so far from acceding to our views, have resolved to proceed in exactly the contrary direction, and to increase the power of the Trustees. I can only hope that we may succeed in preventing them from carrying this retrograde measure into effect

P. L Sclater

44, Elvaston Place Queen's Gate, Nov. 17

"Copy of a Memorial presented to the Ri^ht Hon. the Chancellor

of the Exchequer

"To the Rt. Hon. the Chancellor of the Exchequer

"Sir,—It having been stated that the scientific men of the metropolis are, as a body, entirely opposed to the removal of the natural history collections from their present situation in the British Museum, we, the undersigned Fellows of the Royal, Linnean, Geological, and Zoological Societies of London, beg leave to offer to you the following expression of our opinion upon the subject.

"We are of opinion that it is of fundamental importance to the progress of the natural sciences in this country, that the administration of the national natural history collections should be separated from that of the library and art collections, and placed under one officer, who should be immediately responsible to one of the Queen's Ministers.

"We regard the exact locality of the National Museum of Natural History as a question of comparatively minor importance, provided that it be conveniently accessible and within the metropolitan district.

George Bentiiam, F.R.S.
William B. Carpenter, M.D., F.R.S.
W. S. Dallas, F.L.S.
Charles Darwin, F.R.S.

F. Ducane Godman, F.L.S.
J. H. Gurney, F.Z.S.

Edward Hamilton, M.D., F.LS.
Joseph D. Hooker, M.D., F.R.S.
Thomas H. Huxley, F.R.S.
John Kirk, F.LS.
Lilford, F.L.S.
Alfred Newton, F.L S,
W. Kitchen Parker, F.R.S.
Andrew Ramsay, F.R.S.
Arthur Russell, M.P.
Osbert Salvin, F.L.S.
P. L. Sclater, F.R.S.

G. SCLATER-BOOTH, M.P.

S. James A. Salter, F.K.S.
W. H. Simpson, F.Z.S.
J. Emmerson Tennent, F.R.S.
Thomas Thomson, M.D., F.R.S.
H. B. Tristram, F.LS.
Walden, F.LS.
Alfred R. Wallace, FJZ.S.
"London, May 14, 1866"

Deep-sea Soundings and Deep-sea Thermometers

Will you allow me to reply to a letter from Messrs. Negrettt and Zambra that appeared in vol. viii. p. 529, in relerence to my Caselia-Millcr Deep Sea Thermometer, in which they accuse me and the late respected Dr. Miller of " plagiarism."

I presume, by this remark, that they intend to convey the idea of their own introduction having been imitated, because they state also that " their thermometer is identical in every respect except in size." Without venturing to trespass upon your valuable space by now going into more detail to prove the con*

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