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#Literary amb obilogopijical sittelligentre.
CALCUTTA Agricultural society. At a meeting which was held on the 19th of November, some very interesting communications were laid before the Society by the Secretary from Mr. Moorcroft. One of these, dated so far back as August 1822, describes an umbelliferous plant called prangos, and employed in the form of hay as a winter fodder for sheep and neat cattle. It is a native of Draz, from whence Mr. Moorcroft sent a large quantity of the seed, and several specimens of the dried herb, to the Government. The greater part of this highly interesting despatch has been forwarded to the Honourable Court of Directors for the Board of Agriculture of Britain; the rest has been distributed by the Superintendent of the Botanic Garden, with the view of affording every possible chance of success in rearing the plant. Unfortunately those which were sown at the Botanic Garden did not come up, nor is it likely that any part of the present des. patch will vegetate, as the seeds were more than a year old when they were received. The plant is described as being highly nutricious and fattening, and what would render it invaluable in England, it destroys the liver-fluke, which kills so many thousands of sheep annually. If it is considered that in addition to the above valuable properties the prangos yields a vast crop, endures through many years, and admits of being cultivated on land of the most poor and unpromising quality, the plant deserves to be ranked among the most important in rural economy that has ever been discovered. Dr. Wallich calls it laserpitium prangos. The other letter was dated from Kashmeer, the 8th of July last, and contains a number of extremely valuable and interesting observations on the fruits cultivated there, which consist principally of apples, pears, quinces, peaches, apricots, plums, cherries, mulberries, walnuts, pomegranates, and almonds, with their numerous varieties. With the view of introducing these riches into Hindoostan, Mr. Moorcroft recommends that a small nursery should be established in the Shalimar of Penjower, a garden which was established by a former Governor of the province of Kashmeer, and belongs now, with the adjoinng country, to Raja Puteeala, who, it uppears, derives no revenue from it, nor over visits it. The garden is about twentyhree days’ journey from Kashmeer, three rom Sabhatoo to the south, and about line from Delhi. The Society concurring in the outline f this plan, have resolved to make a Asiatic Journ.—No. 102.
representation on the subject to the Supreme Government. An interesting account is also given of the manner in which the surface of water is made available for the purposes of gardening in that fertile country, by detaching a part of the banks of lakes, and forming them into floating, flexible beds, sometimes of very considerable extent, on which cucumbers, melons, and water-melons of a superior size and flavour are had in greater quantities. These singularly constructed floats are sometimes surrounded with a floating hedge made of reeds, and they are towed from one place to another as it suits the convenience of the proprietor, whose chief risk appears to rest on the frequency with which these moveable gardens are stolen away, and the difficulty of recognizing property among so many others of precisely the same shape and size. A letter was also read from Mr. D. Scott, at Cooch Behar, describing a ve ingenious, cheap, and successful method, invented by him, of raising cauliflowers, peas, and potatoes, during the rainy season, and applicable, probably, to most of the other sorts of vegetables. The principal feature of his plan consists in protecting the roots of the plants from the pernicious effects of too much moisture. A letter was read from Lord Amherst, in reply to an address from the President, voted at the last meeting, signifying his Lordship's and Lady Amherst's compliance with the unanimous wishes of the Society, to become their patron and patroness, in succession to the Marquess and Marchioness of Hastings. His Lordship observed that he and Lady Amherst felt the warmest interest in the objects embraced by the Agricultural and Horticultural Society, and would be proud to find themselves associated with those patriotic individuals, whose pursuits are directed to the substantial and permanent improvement of the British territory in India. A communication from Mr. Chinnery announced that the portrait of their late patroness would be finished towards the close of the year. Dr. C. Abel, W. Petrie, Esq., and Baboo Prusunno Cumar Thakoor, were elected members of the Society.
FRENch Asiatic society. At a meeting of the French Asiatic Society, held about the end of April, the President opened the proceedings by reading a letter from the Duke of Orleans, in which he expressed his regret at being unable to assist at this year's meeting, but assured the Society of his strenuous Wol. XVII. 4 P
support, and his best wishes for their success in propagating the knowledge of the Chinese, Hindoo, Sanscrit, and other Asiatic tongues in the colleges in France. The Secretary then proceeced to read a long report on the success of those engaged in the discovery of Asiatic manuscripts, and the progress made in perfecting types for printing those already received in Europe. He entered largely on the obstacles to be encountered in procuring copies, as the originals were generally deposited in the archives of the churches in Asia, and strictly guarded by the Bramins, whose prejudices it was difficult to vanquish. Many manuscripts have already been translated into Latin during the present year, among which is one by Monsieur Stanislaus Julien, who, in little more than a year, has made incredible progress in the knowledge of the Asiatic languages, and translated Mengtseu into Latin. The Secretary proceeded to compliment the British, whose researches had been very successful, and to acknowledge the favours ... the Society had received from the literati of Germany, and other countries, in aid of their laudable exertions in introducing into Europe the literature of those countries which gave birth to literature and the arts. MANUFA cru RE OF INDIGo in BEN GAL. The plant when cut is tied up in bundles of a given size, which is determined by a chain being passed round them. These are carefully placed in the steepingvat as soon after they are cut as possible, and pieces of wood being placed over them, to keep them down when the steeping shall have caused them to swell, the water is poured over them. When the water is equally covered with a scum or froth, it is considered time to pour it off, and this is done by pulling out a spiggot from the steeping vat, and allowing the water to run into another vat in front of and below the first. The water is then of a light green colour, and if covered in many places with a light copper-coloured scum, a good opinion is formed of the produce of the vat. This vat is about three or four feet deep, and from fifteen to thirty men, according to its size, jump into it, and with sticks, with which they are provided for the purpose, violently agitate the water. This process is called beating. After it has been continued for some time, the whole of the vats become covered with a light blue froth, standing sometimes for a foot or more above its surface. A few drops of oil precipitate all this, and the beating is continued until no more froth rises, and when the contents of the vat have assumed a black colour the operation is discontinued. The object of thus beating
the liquor is to facilitate and expedite the separation of the blue from the evanescent yellow colour, from the junction of which the light-green colour before alluded to is formed, and to determine the fecula, which afterwards is the indigo, to the bottom of the vat. After being allowed to steep for a sufficient time to precipitate the fectria, the water is carefully drawn off by removing one peg at a time from the front of the vat, and the indigo is left at the bottom. After this the last spiggot is taken out, and the indigo, still in a liquid state, is conveyed to another, called the settling vat. Here it is separated from the remainder of the water, and from hence it is afterwards conveyed to the boiler. After boiling for a sufficient time, it is allowed to pass from the boiler, through a piece of gauze, into a channel, which conveys it to the drying house. Here it is received in the state of a thick jelly upon pieces of cotton, through which any remaining water drains. After this has been sufficiently done, it is placed in frames to be pressed, and when the indigo becomes sufficiently pressed, it is taken from these and cut into the shape in which we see it. The cakes are then dried in the shade, which requires a considerable time, and are Noi. packed up in boxes of a specific weight.
An indigo concern of from 5 to 6,000 biggahs of land, will require from 2,500 to 3,000 people during the manufacturing season. The persons chiefly employed are natives of the hill districts, and appear to be a more active and industrious race of men than those of the plains, working more willingly, and free from many of the prejudices of the latter. They are of a low stature, with compressed seatures and flat noses. The price of labour is 34 rupees a month, and from this their frugal habits enable them to form a fund to take home with them.
cAPT. PARLEy’s RIFLE RockFTs.
To those interested or curious in the important matter of yesterday's (Dec. 13) exhibition at Dum-Dum, where the first practical experiment of Capt. Parlby's rifle rocket was undertaken by express desire of authority, the result must be The display took place in presence of General Hardwick, Commandant of the Bengal Artillery, who is now on the eve of embarking for Europe, of Colonel Casement, and many civilians and officers, who could not fail to experience a pleasing and proud satisfaction at the complete success of an experiment of which the ingenious and scientific individual has himself just cause for exultation, and his masters good reason to be gratified. The short notice, only a few days since, on which Capt. Parlby had to prepare, speaks much of the activity and ready
resources of the department, which is directed under his sole management, The range of the rockets from their respective distances of 600, 800, 1,000, and 1,760 yards, was in general most beautiful; and, in the ultimate result, establishes unquestionably the superiority of Capt. Parlby's rifle rocket. A very small portion of them exploded, from causes attributable, we understand, to the great haste in which at so short a notice they were necessarily prepared. A few were fired from a tube placed at a no less distance from the target than one mile ! one of which, at this amazing distance, penetrated the target; two others, ranged in fine parallel lines, even over the target, one of these to the distance of 2,300, and the other 2,400 yards. To the professional man it were needless to offer remarks on the consequences deducible from this successful experimental result in the department of projectiles. The state and service at large can be no less inteterested on a practical question of this kind, extending, as it does, its importance to the science in general, and our regret is proportionably awakened at knowing that the experiment, submitted so long back to our late Noble Commander-in-Chief as 1815, and before the Congreve rocket had reached India, should not earlier have been put to the test. It is to be hoped, that some individual of office, or of the ordnance branch, will publish, for their brother officers, a correct table of yesterday's rocket practice, and that hereafter a comparative trial may be exhibited on the same ground with the Congreve and Capt. Parlby's rifle rocket. —[Cat. John Bull.
The following is an accurate account of the range, &c., of the rocket fired by me on the 1st of December, before Major Wood, Capt. Oliver, and Capt. Nichelson, &c. Length of the tube through which the rocket was fired, 16 feet.—Elevation 18 degrees. – Range to the 1st graze where the rocket lodged, 1,473 yards, 2 feet.— Penetration into the ground exactly five feet. The size of the rocket is that which according to Pyrotechnical rules is denominated a 1% pounder, a leaden ball of the diameter of the mould being that weight; but a rocket of this size when filled with composition and complete with its head, stick, &c., weighs about 5 pounds 8 ounces. From the penetration of the rocket into the ground at the distance of 1,473 yards from the place from which it was fired, it may be presumed that had the rocket been thrown at a higher elevation, the range would have been extended
IMPROVEMENT IN the DAwk. Whilst the anxiety of the public, both in England and in India, has been directed to plans for facilitating the intercourse between the two countries through the medium of steam vessels, we are gratified to learn that the attention of the Bombay Government has been engaged in an object no less important, but more easy of attainment, namely, the improvement of the internal intercourse of India. A plan, we understand, is now under experiment for mounting the Dawk, in the line of communication with Calcutta, to be conveyed at the rate of eight miles an hour on the average. We are not aware of the existence of any difficulty to the success of the measure, and to its prosecution even during the Monsoon ; and entertain no doubt that when the riders shall have been trained to their duty, and the machine brought to its regular operation, that between many of the stages, if not the whole, the Dawk may be conveyed at the rate of at least ten miles an hour, which, taking the distance to be run at 1,300 miles, give only six days as the period within which the correspondence can be carried on between the two Presi. dencies; a facility of intercourse involv. ing advantages of no ordinary consideration, equally of a political and commercial nature—[Bom. Gaz., Nov. 19.
Deschiftion or Wellington WALlry in NEW South WALEs. Wellington Valley is situate in lat. 82° 32'45" south, and long. 149° 29' east. It is bounded on the north by the Macquarie river, on the south by the Narugal Hills, on the west by the Glen Finlas range, and on the east by ranges of low and fertile hills. Its extreme length, by computation, is about twenty-five miles; and its extreme breadth about three. Bell's river, a stream of considerable magnitude, meanders through its centre, dividing it into a series of unconnected plains beautifully distributed on both sides of the river, each containing on an average upwards of 1,000 acres of the richest land imaginable.
The grasses and herbage are most luxu
riant; and the banks of the river are, in many places, covered with an impenetrable brush of herbaceous plants. Twelve miles south of the confluence of Bell's River and the Macquarie, the valley gradually contracts, and the range on each side assumes a more elevated form, although not less fertile; and the plains retain their character throughout. The timber trees are principally blue-gum, casuarina (what the settlers call the oak tree), and that known by the colonists under the name of the apple tree; all of them exceeding any thing seen on the east coast. On the Glen Finlas Range are abundance of cypress of very considerable dimensions, which have a most picturesque appearance, and resemble at a distance the Scotch pine. The rivers abound in excellent fish, many of which have been known to weigh upwards of 40lbs. ; fresh-water turtle has been caught weighing 15lbs. Wild fowl (amongst which may be enumerated emus, pelicans, swans, ducks, teal, quail, &c. &c.) are in the greatest abundance; kangaroos are numerous. The geology of this tract is very interesting; on the south bank of the Macquarie, three miles S.E. of Mr. Oxley's encampment, are beds of green stone, containing very fine agates; the hills bounding the valley on the east are composed of mountain limestone of the best quality. The Glen Finlas range is principally formed of breecia, susceptible of a very excellent polish; slate has been observed in abundance a few miles lower down. Jasper and porphyry have been seen in large beds on the neighbouring ranges; and granite abounds on the ranges south-east of the valley. Glen Finlas presents a description of scenery distinct from any thing in the hitherto colonized districts of Australia; the appearance of the dark-green cypress, and precipitous rock, added to the peaked forms of the mountains, is truly grand; and the opening of the glen into the valley is magnificent. The contrast between the two views is indescribable. On the
Abstract from the Journal of the Ship James Scott, John Mackenzie, Esq., Commander, during a passage from Acapulco towards Calcutta, 1823. On the 18th May, passed two ships standing to the south-eastward. On the 3d June, at 1 40 P.M. shewed our colours to a brig to windward, and was answered by Spanish, she firing a gun at the same time. At 330 P.M. made the Island Guam, bearing W. by N. & N. distance about eight leagues; 7 30 A.Mr. rounded the southermost extremity of the island at the distance of about two miles, to give the shoal, which lays off, a good birth, then hauled round into Umatta Bay, and a boat from the port came alongside : not being able to procure any necessaries without, we remained until the following day : we left that port at noon, and continued our voyage. On the 6th June, in latitude 10°22' N. and longitude 139° 48' E. On the 7th June, at two P.M. made the land, bearing about S.W. by S. at the distance of seven leagues, “having run seven miles S.W. from the situation given on the 6th June.” At 6 P.M. extreme of land from S.S.E. to S.W. appearing like several groups of trees, and extending about seven leagues in a N.W. and S.E. direction. I lay the south-western, in lat. 10° 01' N., and long. per means of Chronometer and Lunar observations 139° 35' E. : the wind veering to the E.N.E. we determined to go to the eastward of the isles; during the night steered S.E. and run upon that course twenty-one miles; judging ourselves sufficiently to the eastward, at 4 A.M. altered the course to south, and run 3.K. 4 F. At daylight, 5 A.M. a small island right a-head, tacked ship, variable light airs and fine weather; several proas came alongside; the natives were well featured, and seemed particularly inoffensive: we gave in exchange for their manufactured scarfs, &c., small pieces of iron hoop. This day at moon, our lat. was 9° 57° N. and long. 139° 39' 30" E.; the southernmost island W. & S. three leagues, the nearest one W. N. four miles; this I place in lat. 9° 58' N., and long., by means of several observations, in 139° 55' E. of Greenwich; at the same time four more in sight to the northward, extending nearly N. and S. A breeze springing up, the proas began to leave us, the last one that left the ship left one of the natives on board, who was busy down below eating with the Sookanees; immediately we got him to understand his boat was gone, he put the remains of his victuals on his head
and swam to the boat, although there were sharks about the ship. On the 8th June, at 40 P.M. observed the bottom under the ship, sounded immediately after, and had sixteen fathoms; the nearest island of the group bearing N.W. distance two leagues, kept running S. by W. H. W. distance four miles and a half in irregular soundings from five to seventeen fathoms, then deepened our water, no bottom at thirty fathoms. At 2 15 P.M. the shoal which we passed over, from the mast head appeared to have a ridge to the eastward of us, apparently very shallow, and extending about two miles in a S.S.W. direction. At 6 P.M. an island N.; W. six leagues, and another W.N.W. same distance. On the 18th June, at 9 A.M. the man at the mast head discovered a shoal and two rocks level with the water's edge; in small sails and hauled ship to the wind, current running so strong to the westward, was set through between the two rocks without sustaining any damage; the situation of which I place in lat. 48° N., and long. 1300 33° E. of Greenwich; an island at the time in sight from the top-sail yard, bearing about S.S.E. A. E. distance six leagues, which I supposed to be the N.W. Isle of Youl's group; we then proceeded through the Giloo, and Pitt's Passage. Hobart Town, Nov. 22, 1822. — “ A ship in rounding the South Cape with the intention of entering d’Entrecasteaux's Channel, ought not to bring the South Cape to the southward of west, until Cape Bruney bears N. by E. in order to avoid two islands, and an extensive reef which lay off the S.E. part of the entrance into the channel. When the ship Actaeon struck, the South Friar, off Tasman's Head, bore E. by N. A. N., and Partridge Island N. by E. H. E. distant off the S. E. point seven or eight miles. “The Actaeon struck, on the night of the 28th October, on the outer part of the above-mentioned dangerous reef, over which she beat with the loss of her rudder, and was wrecked on the northernmost island. This island is about two miles long, and half a mile broad, divided in the middle by a narrow neck which is overflowed at low water, and separated from the southernmost island by a channel two miles broad, in which the soundings are from three to eight fathoms, with many shoal patches interspersed. From this latter island, which is about three quarters of a mile long, the reef runs off to the distance of at least six miles, the bearings of its extremities, from ths island being S. by W. and E.S.E. “ As these islands have not hitherto borne any name, I have called them after the ship, the Actaeon Islands.
“There is a passage between these islands and the main; but as it is intricate, it ought not to be attemped except in cases of emergency. “John MAckey, “Commander of the late ship Actaeon.”
Penang, Oct. 26, 1823–" Speck Shoal has lately been examined by the Prince of Wales, Lieut. Collinson, and found to lay five miles S. E. from the southern Calantigas, and three miles N.W. from Passage Island. It is a small rock, about the size of a long boat, nearly a wash with the water's edge, and a small shoal of two fathoms round it about 100 yards each way.
“ Horsburgh's account of it is a little out.”
Mr. H. Campbell, LL.D. F.A.S., who offered his services some years ago to the African Company, has determined to proceed to explore Africa at his own expense, the melancholy deaths of Messrs. Bowdich and Belzoni having left the field of enterprise open in that quarter of the globe. Mr. Campbell has already been several miles up the rivers of Cameroons and Old Calabar, two of the supposed mouths of the Niger : he has also been up the Congo. He is an officer of the navy, and topographer and editor of the Poems of Ossian, and author of several respectable works.
BARon whaNGEL's Expedition TowARDs The North poli.e. This expediton, which is equally interesting on account of its object and of the immense difficulties attending the execution of it, is now happily terminated in a manner which does the highest honour to the officers who conducted it. The travellers were expected in the month of April, this year, at St. Petersburg, after having passed four years in the most desolate and inhospitable tracts of Northeastern Siberia and on the ice of the Polar Ocean, and manifested a degree of perseverance and fortitude which perhaps cannot be paralleled except in Parry's voyage. Nay, judging from the few details hitherto known of this expedition, it may be af. firmed that the Russian travellers had to suffer much more from cold and privations of all kinds, than Parry and his companions; for the latter could always find shelter in their well-built, warm ships, where they had an ample store of the best and choicest provisions; whereas the former, in their excursions on the icy sea, which sometimes lasted for several weeks together, had, during the whole time, no shelter, no protection whatever against the severe cold, and were able to take with them of the wretched provisions (dried