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PROCEEDINGS OF SOCIETIES.
the narrow part of the sea, composing wha THE Society met on November 6, 1817; is now called Bhering's Straits, were never but, in consequence of the death of the able to penetrate farther N. than about the Princess Charlotte of Wales, the meeting 70° of latitude. Beyond this, on the Amewas adjourned.
rican continent, we are completely without November 20.—Sir Everard Home read any information ; and on the Asiatic side, the Croonian Lecture, the subject of which we seem to have little certain knowledge, was the changes which the blood undergoes until we arrive at the River Kovyma, for in the act of coagulation. A considerable about 20° of longitude. We have some part of the paper consisted of an account of imperfect accounts of a large tract of land a number of minute microscopical obser- lying beyond what is now marked on the vations that had been made by Mr. Bauer, maps as the N. E. part of Asia, to which on the red particles of the blood.
the name of New Siberia has been given. November 27.-A paper by Mr Sep. This may either be an island detached from pings was read, on the increased strength either continent, or it may be a part of given to ships of war by the application of America, stretching over to the westward ; diagonal braces. It contained an account but respecting this country, if it actually of some very ample trials that had been exist, our information is very scanty. made of this method of constructing the On December 18, a paper by James framework of vessels, the result of which Smithson, Esq. was read, containing some was such as completely to justify the ex. remarks on vegetable colours. Among the pectations that had been raised, and to con- substances which he examined were litmus, firm the favourable reports that had been the colouring matter of the violet, of the made on the subject.
blue hyacinth, of the blue paper which is On Monday, December 1, the Society employed for wrapping up loaf sugar, of held its annual meeting, for the election of the mulberry, and the pigment called sapthe officers for the ensuing year. There green. Some of these are employed by Were elected,
chemists as delicate tests of acids and alkaPresident.Right Hon. Sir Jos. Banks, lies; and various experiments were related Bart. G.C. B. &c.
respecting their action on these bodies, and Secretaries.-William Thomas Brande, the manner in which they were respectively Esq. and Taylor Combe, Esq.
effected by them. Treasurer.-Samuel Lysons, Esq. On the same evening a paper by Dr
Since the last anniversary 21 members John Davy was read, giving an account of have died, one has withdrawn, and 25 ņew the mountain called Adam's Peak, in the members have been admitted. The pre- Island of Ceylon. This has been long celesent number of members is 652, of which brated as the resort of pilgrims from all 40 are foreign members.
parts of the country, in consequence of a : The Copley medal was adjudged to Cap- superstitious tradition that the Indian god tain Henry Kater, for his experiments on Boodha ascended into heaven from its sumthe length of the pendulum - vibrating se. mit, and left upon it the impression of his conds.
foot. The mountain is supposed by the On December 11, a paper by Captain author to be between 6000 and 7000 feet James Burney was read, on the geography high. It has a level area at its top, of of the north-eastern part of Asia, and par nearly a circular form. The summit is ticularly respecting the question whether surrounded by a grove of trees of the the continents of Asia and America are genus Rhododendron, but of a species which united. From the account of different tra- is said to grow in no other situation. The vellers and navigators, especially among the plants are accounted sacred, so that it was Russians, it would appear that there is still impossible to procure a specimen for ex. a considerable part of what is usually laid amination. down in the maps as forming the coast of January 8, 1818.A paper of Dr Brewthe northern ocean, which has never yet ster's was commenced, a On the Laws of been accurately traced. The maritime Polarization in regularly Crystallized Boboundary of the country of the Tchuktchi dies ;” and on the 15th, the reading of Dr has never been explored ; and, so far as can Brewster's paper was concluded. be learned from the inhabitants themselves, January 22.-A paper was read by Sir they are ignorant of the extent of their own Everard Home, Bart., containing addi. territory in the northern direction. Captain tional facts respecting the fossil remains of Bhering and Captain Cook, who succes- an animal, some account of which appear, sively made very important discoveries in od in the Philosophical Transactions for
WERNERIAN NATURAL HISTORY
1814, showing that the bones of the ster- rocks he found rolled masses of lava, blocks num resemble those of the ornithorhynchus of burned clay, and masses of red-coloured paradoxus.
baked clay Numerous pointed, angular The reading of a paper, by Captain rocks, probably belonging to the fiætz Henry Kater, was begun, containing an formation, were seen projecting through the account of his experiments for determining sand. These were basaltic-vesicular, and the length of the pendulum vibrating se- with numerous and beautiful imbedded conds in the latitude of London.
grains and crystals of olivine and augite. Along with these was a rock which appeared to be very nearly allied to the celc
brated mill-stope of Andernach. After The first meeting of the Wernerian Na. leaving the sea shore, Captain Scoresby tural History Society for this session took met with no other rocks but such as bore place in the College Museum on November undoubted marks of recent volcanic action, 15, 1817. It was moved by Professor viz. cinders, earthy slag, burned clay, scoJameson, and unanimously agreed to, that, riæ, vesicular lava, &c. He ascended to in consequence of the melancholy event of the summit of a volcanic mountain which the death of the Princess Charlotte of Wales, was elevated 1500 feet above the sea, where the Society should immediately adjourn, he beheld a beautifui crater, forming a without proceeding to business.
basin of 500 or 600 feet in depth, and 600 The Wernerian Natural History Society or 700 yards in diameter. The bottom of met again on the 6th of December, when the crater was filled with alluvial matter, to the following office-bearers were chosen : such a height that it presented a natural flat
President. Robert Jameson, Esq. F.R.S. of an elliptical form, measuring 400 feet by
Vice-Presidents.-Colonel Imrie, F.R.S. 240. From this eminence the country in John Campbell, Esq. F.R.S.; Lord Gray, all directions appeared bleak and rugged in F.R.S. ; Sir Patrick Walker, F.L.S. the extreme; and the rocks, and hills, and Secretary.-P. Neill, Esq. F.R.S.
mountains, every where presented to the eye Treasurer.-W. Ellis, Esq.
such appearances as seemed to indicate the Librarian and Keeper of the Muscum. action of volcanic fire. The plants are very James Wilson, Esq.
few in number : he determined the rumex Painter.-P. Syme, Esq.
digynus, saxifraga tricuspidata, arenaria peCouncil.-Dr Macknight, F.R.S; G. S. ploides ? silene acaulis, and draba birta : Montcath, Esq.F.R.S.; Dr Wright, F.R.S.; all the others were unfortunately lost. Near Dr Yule, F.R.S. ; D. Bridges, Esq. ; Dr the sea shore he observed burrows of blue D. Ritchie, F.R.S. ; Dr Falconer, F.L.S.; foxes, feet-marks of bears, and of another T. Sivwright, F.R.S.
animal, which he conjectured to be the reinProfessor Jameson at this meeting read a deer. But few birds were seen, such as ful. communication from William Scoresby, jun. mars, divers, puffins, and terns. M.W.S. &c. entitled, “ Narrative of an Excursion upon the Island of Jan Mayen,
ROYAL SOCIETY OF EDINBURGH. containing some Account of its Appearance and Productions." This remote and deso. Nov. 17, 1817.- The Royal Society hav. late spot, situated in lat. 70° 49' to lat. ing resumed their meetings after the sum71° 8* 20" N. and long. 7° 23' 48" to mer vacation, the first part of a paper by 8° 44' W. was visited by Captain Scoresby, Dr Ure of Glasgow was read, containing jun. on August 4, 1817. On approaching it, Experiments and Observations on Muriatic the first object which strikes the attention Acid Gas. is the mountain Beerenberg, which rears At the same meeting, a paper by Dr its icy summit to the height of 6840 feet Fergusson, inspector of hospitals, was read above the level of the sea. At this time all on the Mud Volcanoes of the Island of Tri. the high lands were covered with snow and nidad. ice; and the low lands, in those deep cavi- In the beginning of the year 1816, this ties where large beds of snow had been col- gentleman was employed, along with the lected, still retained part of their winter co- deputy quartermaster general of the covering, down to the very margin of the sea. lonies, and an officer of rank in the engiBetween capes north-east and south-east, neer department, to make a survey of the Captain Scoresby observed three remarkable military stations in the West Indies, duricebergs, having a perpendicular height of ing which their attention was attracted to 1284 feet, and presenting a striking resem- this extraordinary phenomenon in a disblance to frozen cascades. The beach trict of country that had always been conwhere Captain Scoresby landed was covered sidered, according to their information, as to a great depth with a sand having the ap- strictly alluvial. It appeared to them to pearance of coarse gunpowder, and which be so highly illustrative of the minor inci. was a mixture of iron-sand, olivine, and pient degrees of volcanic agency in the foraugite. Here and there he met with pieces mation of argillaceous hills, that they of drift wood. As he advanced towards the thought it would be right to mention it in
their report, and Dr Fergusson was de- two classes, positive and negative, and inputed to draw up the statement.
clude all those whose primitive form is the This gentleman found, that the eruptions hexahedral prism, the rhomboid with an of these semi-volcanoes, two in number, obtuse summit, and the octahedron, in which are situated on a narrow topgue of which the pyramids have a square base. land, which points directly into one of the III. On crystals with two axes of double mouths of the Oronoko on the Main, a refraction and polarisation. These crys. bout 12 or 15 miles off, at the southern tals, which amount to about eighty, inextremity of Trinidad, and not far from clude all those whose primitive form is not the celebrated Pitch Lake, are at all times the hexahedral prism, the obtuse rhomboid, quite cold. That the matter ordinarily the octohedron with a square base, the throwu out consisted of argillaceous earth cube, the regular octohedron, and the mixed with salt water, about as salt as the rhomboidal octohedron. water in the neighbouring Gulf of Paris ; IV. On the resolution and combination but though cold at all times, that pyritic of polarising forces, and the reduction of all fragments were occasionally ejected along crystals to crystals with two or more axes. with the argillaceous earth. They also ob. V. On crystals with three equal and rectserved, that several mounts in the vicinity angular axes. These crystals amount to possessed the same character in all respects twenty, and consist of those whose primi. as the semi-volcanoes then in activity, have tive form is the cube, the regular octoheing all the marks, except the actual erup dron, and the rhomboidal dodecahedron. tion, of having been raised through a simi. Ví. On the artificial imitation of all the lar process to their existing altitude, of a- classes of doubly refracting crystals. bout a hundred feet; and that the trees VII. On the laws of double refraction, around them were of the kind that are u for crystals with any number of axes. sually found near lagoons and salt marshes. December 15.-A paper was read, which The nature of the duties on which they had been announced at the first meeting, were employed did not permit their ats by Dr Murray, containing Experiments on tempting any analysis of the air, water, or Muriatic Acid. earths, furnished by the eruptions.
Jan. 5. The continuation of Dr MurNovember 24.-A general meeting of the ray's paper on Muriatic Acid Gas was Society having been held for the election of read. In the preceding part of it, it had office-bearers, the following gentlemen appeared, that from the action of metals on Fere chosen :
muriatic acid gas, water is deposited. President.-Sir James Hall, Bart.
It was shown that the water obtained in Vice-Presidents.-Right Hon. Lord Gray the experiments could not be derived from and Lord Glenlee.
hygrometric vapour ; that it could not be Secretary.-Professor Playfair.
accounted for from the supposition of a Treasurer.-Mr Bonar.
portion of water being combined with the Keeper of the Museum. Thomas Allan, acid in the gas beyond that which is strict.
ly essential to its constitution, and that it President of the Physical Class.--Sir could not be ascribed to any lower degree George Mackenzie, Bart.
of oxidation of the metal being established. Secretary..Dr Hope.
Dr Murray considered the result of these Counsellors of the Physical Class.Lord experiments as establishing, in addition to Webb Seymour, Mr Leslie, Colonel Imrie, what he had before brought forward, the Mr Jameson, Dr Brewster, and Mr James fallacy of the opinion in which chlorine Jardine.
is regarded as a simple substance, which, President of the Literary Class.--Hen. with hydrogen, forms muriatic acid. The ry Mackenzie, Esq.
opposite opinion, that it is a compound of Secretary.- Thoinas Thomson, Esq. muriatic acid with oxygen, and that mu
Counsellors of the Literary Class.--Mr riatic gas is a compound of muriatic acid Pillans, Dr Macknight, Mr Dunbar, the and water, might be held to be established, Rev. Mr Alison, Lord Reston, and Rev. and it undoubtedly may be maintained. Dr Jamieson.
But he has presented a different view of December 1.-A paper, by Dr Brewster, the subject, as being more conformable to was read on the Laws of Double Refraction the present state of chemical theory, into and Polarisation.
which our limits do not permit us to This paper was divided into seven sec- enter. tions, of which only the two first were At the same meeting, Dr Brewster comread.
municated a very interesting paper, corI. On the crystals which produce double sisting of extracts of letters from Mr Boog refraction, a property which the author has to his father, the Rev. Dr Boog, of Paisobserved in 160 crystals.
ley, giving an account of the recent discc. II. On crystals with one apparent axis veries respecting the sphinx, and the prinof double refraction. These crystals, which cipal pyramid of Egypt, which have been amount to twenty-two, were divided into made by Captain C. and Mr Salt. By
very laborious excavations, which were made in vain by the French savans, these The first meeting for business took place gentlemen have discovered, that the sphinx on November 21, 1817. is cut out of the solid rock on which it A letter from R. Anstice, Esq. accompawas supposed merely to rest. They found nying a specimen of arragonite from the that the short descending passage at the Quantock Hills, was read. entrance to the pyramid, which afterwards The Quantock Hills consist chiefly of ascends to the two chambers, was continued greywacke, but are penetrated by a bed of in a straight line through the base of the mountain limestone running through a pyramid, into the rock upon which the py- great part of their length. In a quarry near ramid stands. This new passage, after the village of Merridge, about six miles joining what was formerly called the well, from Bridgewater, is a fissure in this limeis continued forward in a horizontal line, stone rock, which has been for some time and terminates in a well ten feet deep, ex- famous for its calcareous stalactites. Reactly beneath the apex of the pyramid, cently this fissure has been cleared to a and at the depth of 100 feet below its base. greater extent than before ; and Mr AnsCaptain C. has likewise discovered an apart- tice visited the spot in the month of August ment immediately above the King's cham- last, when he found that, after proceeding ber, and exactly of the same size and the along it for about 40 yards, the
passage sud same fine workmanship, but only four feet denly became contracted. in height.
The narrow part being enlarged at his Jan. 19.—The second part of Dr Ure's desire, it was found to lead into a cavern paper on Muriatic Acid Gas was read. In about twenty yards in length, from six to this part the author showed that the azote ten yards in breadth, and from three to six of the ammonia has no concern in the pro. feet in height along the middle. About duction of the water ; for the whole azote, one-third of its surface was covered with competent to the weight of salt employed, stalactites of arragonite (flos ferri) of great is recoverable in a gaseous form. It is beauty. This cavern is situated in the then experimentally demonstrated, that greywacke ; and Mr Anstice remarks, that the sal-ammoniac, resulting from the the arborescences of arragonite occur only union of the two dry constituent gases, in that rock, while those which are found yields water in similar circumstances. No adhering to the limestone are common calwater could be obtained, however, by heat- careous stalactite. ing dry sal-ammoniac alone, or in contact A letter was read from Mr Winch, mnenwith charcoal, or even by passing its va- tioning the discovery of a tree about 28 or pour through ignited quartz powder. Hence 30 feet long, with its branches, in a bed of Dr Ure infers, that the traces of moisture, fire-stone (one of the coal sandstones) at formerly observed by Dr Murray, on ex- High Heworth, near Newcastle. Of this posing sal-ammoniac to heat, must have organic remain the trunk and larger branches been the hygrometric water of the imper. are silicious ; while the bark, the small fectly dried salt.
branches, and leaves, are converted into At the same meeting, a paper by Dr coal: and Mr Winch remarks, that the Brewster was read, on a singular affection small veins of coal, called by the miners of the eye in the healthy state, in conse- coal-pipes, owe their origin universally to quence of which it loses the power of see- small branches of trees. Mr W. states it ing objects within the sphere of distinct as a remarkable and interesting fact, that, vision. When the eye is steadily fixed while the trunks of trees found in the upon any object, this object will never Whitby alum shale are mineralized by calcease to become visible; but, if the eye is careous spar, clay ironstone, and irón pysteadily directed to another object in its vi- rites, and their bark is converted into jet ; cinity while it sees the first object indirect. those buried in the Newcastle sandstones ly, this first object will, after a certain time, are always mineralized by silex, and their entirely disappear, whether it is seen with bark changed into common coal. one or both eyes, whatever be its former co- A paper by Dr Berger was read, containlour, or its position with respect to the axis ing a theoretical explanation of the curvaof vision. When the object is such as to türe of the beds of limestone which form produce its accidental colour before it va- the Jura mountains. nishes, the accidental colour disappears, December 5.---The reading of a paper by also, along with the object. The preced Mr W. Phillips, entitled, - Remarks on ing experiments have no connection what the Chalk Hills in the Neighbourhood of ever with those of Mariotte, Picard, and Dover, and on the green Sand and blue Le Cat, relative to the entrance of the op- Marl overlying it near Folkstone," was tic nerve. In the course of this investiga begun. tion, Dr Brewster was led to a new theory December 19.-— The reading of Mr Phil of accidental colours, which will be read at lips's paper was continueda 年 q future meeting.
LITERARY AND SCIENTIFIC INTELLIGENCE.
GOVERNMENT, with a laudable desire cording to his outlines, cannot fail of beto promote the interests of science, is equip- ing, to a large portion of society, of conping four vessels, for the purpose of explor. siderable interest and attraction. ing the Greenland seas, which, according Mr Eastlake, whose historical portrait of to the reports of persons employed in the Bonaparte on board the Bellerophon obfishery, were never known to be so free tained him deserved celebrity, is at Rome, from ice as in the last season. Two of these and employed by the Duchess of Devonvessels, under the command of Captain Bu- shire in illustrations of Horace. chan, late of the Pike sloop of war, just re- From the experiments and observations turned from Newfoundland, will endeavour upon the state of the air in the fever hosto penetrate to the north pole, while the pitals at Cork, at a time when they were other two, under Captain Ross, will pro- crowded with patients labouring under feceed up Davis's Straits, the extent or ter- brile contagion, by Edward Davy, Esq. it mination of which is still utterly unknown. seems determined that contagious matter The ships are to be ready for sca by the be- cannot be detected by our present means of ginning of March.
analyzing gases,- all his experiments seemDr Thomson, the founder of the Annals ing to lead to the conclusion, that there is of Philosophy, having been appointed to no material difference in the [known) chethe clemical chair of the University of mical constitution of the air in the crowded Glasgow, and being in consequence oblig- fever-wards of the city of Cork, and the ed to fix his future residence in that city, atmosphere in places that are very genehas engaged! Mr Arthur Aikin and Dr rally supposed more salubrious. But we Bostock to superintend the publication of will hope that this important inquiry will his periodical work.
not stop here: that contagion is an active Since the establishment of the Royal and deseterious principle, we all know; and Dispensary for the Diseases of the Ear, in we trust that future chemical researches Carlisle Street, Soho, upwards of 340 pa- will render this hydra more obedient to our tients have been admitted ; a great number wills. of whom have been cured or relieved, and, Canova's colossal statue of Bonaparte, among others, a boy, seven years of age, which was presented to the Duke of Welhom deaf and dumb, has been restored to lington by the King of France, is arrived in hearing and speech. At a late meeting of England, and is placed in Apsley-house-the Governors, a vote of thanks was un- the duke's London residence. animously voted to Dr John Sims, con- A set of casts from the Elgin marbles are sulting physician, and to Mr J. H. Curtis, to be immediately prepared for the Impesurgeon to the institution.
rial Academy of Arts at Petersburgh, unIt appears, from a list of each class in der the direction and superintendence of serted in the seventh and last number of the Mr Haydon, to whoin M. Olenin, the preAnnals of the Fine Arts, that modern pa- sident,'has written in the most flattering tronage has created in England not less terms for that purpose. than nine hundred and thirty-one profes- Dr Mitchill announces the discovery of sional artists, of various descriptions, re- the remains of a mammoth in the town of sident in and near the metropolis. Of Goshen, Orange County, within sixty miles whom there are-532 painters_45 sculp- of New York, in a meadow belonging to a tors--149 architects-93 engravers in line Mr Yelverton. The soil is a black vegeta-33 in mixed styles-19 in mezzotinto-- ble mould, of an inflammable nature. It 33 in aquatinta_22 on wood. And what abounds with pine-knots and trunks, and deserves to be specially noticed among the was about thirty years ago covered with a painters, there are no less than forty-three grove of white pine-trees. The length of ladies!
the tooth was six inches, the breadth three As American literature and the produce and a half inches; the circumference of tions of native American genius are daily the lower jaw, including the tooth it conbecoming of increased interest in Great Bri- tains, twenty-six inches; the length of the tain and Ireland, it may be satisfactory to jaw, thirty-five inches. state, that the Philadelphia Port-Folio (generally regarded as the best monthly iniscellany in the United States) is now regu- Some months since, the minister of the larly imported into London, and may be interior being informed that the Royal Lihad in succession on the first day of any month, with other Magazines and Journals.
Mr Coleridge intends to give a course of . See notice of the Mammoth in this Literary Lectures, which, it filled up ac. Number, p. 139.