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Hyperborean, Abaris, "the air-walker," to whom Pytha- enters in these chapters and the following one on the Art goras, the Miss Kilmansegg of antiquity, displayed his of Numbers, appears to deserve closer attention than it precious leg. In fact here, as elsewhere, Mr. Tylor has has yet received. Considering the important part which acted on the principle that the half is greater than the gesture plays in all the lower languages, it is a fair hypowhole. He selects enough for his purpose, and resolutely thetical inference that, as language gradually became more declines to overburden himself with superfluous testimony. and more developed, a number of words and phrases Forlunately there are two sides to the theory of survival. would creep into it, formed on the principle of translating If on the one hand we have survivals of the type of gesture into phonetics. Thus, for instance, the universal modern spiritualism, we have on the other survivals of gesture for “likeness” or“ sameness” is to hold out both ideas, which, first broached in a stage of civilisation when hands together. If, in several different languages, the words they are considered foolish or mischievous, become in a meaning “likeness” or “sameness” have an etymological higher stage the dominant influences which direct human connection with the word meaning "together," a strong opinion. To take a single case :- It is now near upon presumption would be raised that they were translated two centuries since Balthazar Bekker, a D.D. of Amster- from the gesture ; and if any large number of correspondam, corrupted, may be, by certain impious notions pro- dences of the same kind were detected, the presumption pounded by the arch-infidel Descartes, published his would be raised into a theoretical certainty. Whether “Monde Enchanté,” a crime for which he was at once such evidence exists of the translation of action into deprived of his benefice ; since, as a learned Englishman sound in general language, none could determine better remarked in reference to the case :
than Mr. Tylor himself, whose essay on the gesture-lanDæmonas ex mundo quisquis proscripserit audax,
guage in one of his earlier works, forms really almost a Esse brevi nullum dicet in orbe Deum.
complete handbook on the subject. That it does exist in If the English reader of to-day will take the trouble language, as applied to numbers, is clearly shown in his to read this work and it is worth the trouble-he chapter on the art of counting, where he traces the quinary, can scarcely fail to be struck with the remarkable decimal
, and vigesimal systems to their origin in the fact that survival of the ideas contained in it, expanded, cor
the average man possesses five fingers on each hand, and as rected, developed as they are in these chapters by Mr. many toes on each foot. He perhaps, however, has not Tylor. Not that Mr. Tylor has borrowed anything from sufficiently noticed the further strong probability that the Bekker, but simply that Bekker was the first, as Mr.
duodecimal system owes its origin to the circumstance Tylor is the last, to apply science systematically to the that, in addition to his fingers and toes, a man possesses phenomena of sorcery, witchcraft, and spiritualism of his two hands and two feet-a consideration not without its age. Survivals of this kind are indeed proofs as decisive bearing on the obscurity attending the numerals eleven of the vitality of civilisation as survivals of the other kind and twelve in certain languages. are of the vitality of barbarism. In the following chapters on Language, emotional and
4th edition. 4to. (Philadelphia, 1870.)
HIS work, by a veteran American conchologist, conof the most strict and sober argument, that the theory of
tains 184 pages, and is a memorial of his labour the origin of language, in natural and directly expressive and zeal during a period of more than forty years. The sounds, does account for a considerable fraction of the
Unionida are generally known as “fresh-water mussels." existing copia verborum, while it raises a presumption Their variability is notorious; for almost every river, lake, that, could we trace the history of words more fully, it and pond yields different forms, which some writers cali would account for far more.” Among other matters touched species and others call varieties. on in this inquiry, Mr. Tylor refers to the language
Non nostrum est tantas componere lites. employed in addressing beasts, particularly dogs and But while giving Dr. Lea ample discretion to make as horses. Some curious samples of dog-language are to be many species as he pleases, and full credit for his honest found in the Book of St. Alban's, and, indeed, in almost wish to keep down the number, it certainly strikes one as every old treatise on hunting. Sir Tristram, however, the somewhat singular that he admits only “ seven or eight hero of the Arthurian cycle, who is generally considered species of the family Unionida living in Europe," when the rédacteur en chef of this particular dialect, appears he enumerates 720 species as North American, of which to have thought plain Norman French best adapted to the latter number he has himself described no fewer than 582 ! intelligence of greyhounds, and is very sparing in his use According to Kreglinger's catalogue, which is the newest of mere“ brutish interjections.” Of horse-language one of on the land and fresh-water shells of Europe, fifteen the best examples is to be found in “The Enterlude of John species of this family inhabit Germany. We have but five, Bon and Mast Person,” a tract belonging to the middle of including one debateable species of Anodonta. The total the sixteenth century. This is how John Bon addresses number of living species recognised by Dr. Lea is 1,069,
besides 224 unknown to him or doubtful. To distinguish Ha, browne done! forth that horson crabbe !
varieties from species is one of the great difficulties which Ree, comomyne, garlde, with haight blake hab! perplex the naturalist ; but the rule which I have adopted Have agayne, bald-before, hayght ree who !
may serve the purpose to a considerable extent, viz., " that Cherly boy, cum of, that whomwarde we may goo!
all distinct groups of individuals living together and having One branch of inquiry into which Mr. Tylor partly a common feeding-ground, and which are not connected
his team :
or blended with each other by insensible gradations, are proach of the Versaillists, to burn or blow up the whole building, primâ facie entitled to the rank of species.” (British I am not a little surprised to find in NATURE of June 8, received Conchology, vol. i., Introduction, p. xix). Now we may servatory had suffered scarcely any injury up to the end of the
here this morning, a statement to the effect “that the Paris Obsee several species of Rissoa living under the same stone second siege. No delegate of the Commune had presented himbetween tide-marks, several species of Limnæa in the same self either to take possession of it or to blow it up.' stream or ditch, and more than one species of Helix feeding perhaps not without some intention of whitewashing the poor
I presume that you wrote in ignorance of the real facts, and together on the same leaf. In such cases there is no
Communists from the exaggerated denunciations which have been fusion or confusion of species ; each has its own definite poured on them since their fall; yet neither they nor you should limits, and retains its own peculiar characters. I say object to true accounts of what they actually did while in power nothing of genera and more comprehensive groups which appearing before the world without menace and without favour. form communities in a still more diversified fashion, but and still more its international organisation, seems to have sur
The mere showing of the Commune during this second siege, are equally free from intermixture.
prised most persons; yet the character of the association, and J. GWYN JEFFREYS
its imminence under the feet of all the Governments of Europe, was duly noted in the section on Metrological Legislation of
my report presented to the Board of Visitors of the Royal ObOUR BOOK SHELF
servatory, Edinburgh, in June 1870 ; the association, though
political, having obtained mention there on account of its having Echinides du Département de la Sarthe, considérés au point adopted the scientific metrical system of weights and measures,
de vue zoologique et stratigraphique. Par Cotteau et and professing to find it a most efficient agent for assisting in Triger. (Paris : Bailliére, 1855-1869. London : Wil- breaking down the barriers between nations, and rooting up liams and Norgate.)
traditional customs and beliefs. I must confess, however, that
I was not prepared for these revolutionaries taking up so very We fear that some time must elapse before science will early in their outward career, as this their first and just-concluded resume its place in unhappy France; but in the mean- essay in Paris, the chronological department of the metrical time its professors, who are innocent of the mischievous system, thereby repudiating, as the order found on General and insane acts which have caused so much ruin, demand Delescluze indubitably shows, both the Christian Era and the our heartfelt sympathy. M. Cotteau, of Auxerre, whose accustomed months, for decimal periods of days and the era of work we are about to notice, is well known to English the first French Revolution. In my book, “Our Inheritance in geologists, and is highly esteemed by them for his long the Great Pyramid,” published in 1864, I did indeed remind and conscientious labours in the field of Mesozoic
that that most revolutionary method in chronology was originally echinology. His coadjutor, M. Triger, died during the
a part of the metrical system, and though deposed under Napoleon
Bonaparte, might be expected to reappear when the present proprogress of the work. It consists of two royal octavo volumes, one containing an account of Echinoderms found boldness; but here is the accomplished fact upon us at this very
moters of French metrology in this country had acquired more in the Jurassic and Cretaceous formations in the Depart. moment, and it would be well for all those metrical agitators ment of the Sarthe, the other having sixty-five well- who were so loud at the British Association last summer in executed plates of species, besides several charts to show Liverpool in their outcries to Government to make the metrical their geological and stratigraphical distribution. It system compulsory throughout this country, now to declare appears from the preface that this most creditable pro- honestly whether they are inwardly with the Communists in deduction of French palæontology was commenced in 1857, siring ultimately the abolition of the Christian era and the de. and finished in 1869. We therefore regret to observe struction of the week of seven days. C. PIAZZI SMYTH that M. Cotteau was not aware of Dr. Wright's admirable
15, Royal Terrace, Edinburgh, June 9 monograph on British fossil Echinodermata, which was published by our Palæontographical Society in 1856, and
Science Lectures for the People which goes over a great deal of the same ground as M. Cotteau. Had the latter author consulted it, he would It is all very well to say, Let our children be taught science probably have avoided some mistakes, e.g. in attributing in the schools; but that does not meet the need of a large the specific name of Pseudodiadema hemispharicum to section of the nation, the product of the schools of a former Desor instead of to Agassiz. A comparison of the figures generation, Many hard-worked men who had no scientific of this and other species given in both works is decidedly teaching whilst at school, have now acquired the wish to know favourable to the British artist (Mr. Bone) as regards Books are plentiful
, but it is very tiresome to wade through dry
more of nature's mysteries, but know not whither to turn for aid. accuracy and completeness, although MM. Levasseur and Humbert are deservedly eminent in their style of litho
pages, scientifically dried of their sap by the use of terms which
are not commonly understood-especially after the wearying graphy.
labours of the day. Experimental lectures, like those at the The Echinoderms found in the Jurassic and Cretaceous Royal Institution, but a little more specialised, are wanted for formations must have inhabited a soft bottom in seas of popular use ; the question is, How are we to get them? Are considerable depth, judging from the present habits of we to go to Government for aid, or shall we bestir ourselves and allied species; and their variability was not less in those voluntarily endow these lectures ? remote periods of the world's history than it was in the Surely Huxley or Tyndall would be quite as much sought after epochs which preceded and followed.
as Spurgeon if they came forward and announced a series of J. G. J. lectures, St. James's Hall would be as crowded as the Tabernacle
if they held a weekly lecture ; pew-rents would be as certain of
collection from scientific as from religious devotees. Those LETTERS TO THE EDITOR
busily engaged professors can indeed hardly be asked to under
take such a task as this ; but any competent man of science, able [The Editor does not hold himself responsible for opinions expressed
to explain the facts of science in popular language, might reckon by his Correspondents. No notice is taken of anonymous
on public support if he made such a venture as this. Let him, communications. ]
for example, give a series of twelve lectures on Biology, as it The Paris Observatory
affects our daily existence ; not wandering into the remote
regions of extraordinary phenomena, but simply expounding Having read only yesterday the agonising account written by ordinary life laws. Here would be a subject refreshingly new M. Marie-Davy and countersigned by M. Delaunay, descriptive and interesting to thousands of City-born and bred toilers. of the Communists having made the Paris Observatory one of The lectures, if on week days, must be after office hours— their chief strategical points, of the domes of the observatory from nine o'clock to ten, say; and in some hall easily accessible, having five hundred bullet-holes through them, and of the rabid as St. James's.
GEORGE FRASER attempts made by the citizens in arms, before retiring on the ap. 169, Camden Road, N.W.
The Eclipse Photographs
a stout iron ring round and above the rim of the cylindrical
vessel be heated. In this state of things the process of circulaIt would have given me much pleasure to have shown Mr.
tion, which actually took place in Dr. Carpenter's experiment, Winstanley the original negatives of the photographs of the late
would take place after such modified sort as the contour of the eclipse of the sun if he had called on me to see them, and by so
continent masses permitted. Now suppose that the cylindrical doing he would have avoided falling into the mistakes which his letter contains.
vessel is set in steady and somewhat slow rotation about its axis.
It is clear that on the currents flowing from the pole and poleAt the time when the last photograph was taken the sky was
wards, effects will be produced which precisely resemble those perfectly clear, and unless Mr. Winstanley is in possession of ex- due to our earth's rotation. If I am right in regarding these clusive information he has no right to assume that the American
effects as the true cause of the direction in which the equatorial photograph was not taken under equally favourable conditions.
currents, the Gulf Stream, and in fact all the currents in open Some of ‘iny photographs (which Mr. Winstanley cannot have
ocean are observed to flow, abundant evidence to that effect will seen) were taken through the edges of a cloud, the whole of which
be obtained. If no such evidence be obtained, the westwardly could be covered by the hand when held with the arm extended ; and there was a perfectly cloudless sky near the sun excepting
direction of the equatorial currents must, I imagine, be ascribed towards the east.
to the trade winds, as Franklin and Sir J. Herschel have main.
tained. The imperfection in my No. 5 picture, which Mr. Winstanley's experienced eye detects, arose from the shaking of the telescope,
In the summer of 1868 I suggested to Prof. Pepper that such caused by the high wind blowing at the time. Probably a single judge) that it would, would form an interesting and instructive
a contrivance as the above, if it worked as I judged (and still gust during the eight seconds while the plate was exposed caused addition to the models exhibited at the Polytechnic Institution. the mischief, and this defect would never have been seen but for
Dr. Carpenter has already proved that the vertical circulation the extremely actinic power of the red prominences which leave
takes place in an experiment of this sort. If the eastwardly and their impression on the sensitive plate instantaneously. The moon's limb is perfectly sharp, excepting where the red promi- illustration of oceanic circulation would be singularly complete.
westwardly circulation takes place as I expect, the experimental nences appear.
The circulation in the southern hemisphere could be illustrated Let it be clearly understood that this “indifferent definition"
in like manner. refers to the moon's limb only; the details of the corona
I may note here that the vast distance separating the polar do not appear to have suffered ; after the gusts of wind the telescope has returned to its proper position, and Mr. Win
from the equatorial regions must not be overlooked in theories stanley must know from experience that the image of an object respecting oceanic circulation. The influence of arctic cold may giving off feeble light would not be materially injured by a slight
be paramount in very high latitudes; but equatorial evaporation
must, it should seem, be the prime moving cause in tropical and blow given to a firmly mounted camera.
RICHARD A. PROCTOR Mr. Winstanley says that “the identity of the coronal rifts in
Brighton, June 6 the Cadiz and Syracuse photographs is not satisfactorily conclu. sive." Assertion is not proof. In NATURE of March 9 I gave evidence which appeared to me to be conclusive (I need not
Day Auroras here refer to the opinions of others who are equally satisfied), and up to the present time no counter-evidence has been pro
I HAVE read attentively the numerous letters which have apduced.
peared in your columns on this subject; but so far as I can discern It is not for me to defend the American photograph. In due
it seems not to have occurred to any of your correspondents that time we shall know all about how that was produced.
the auroral force, whatever it may be, assects every kind of cloud But has
as well as the cirrus. Mr. Winstanley failed to notice that the light on the moon's disc
On June 15, 1870, at 9 A. M., I witnessed does not extend all round and all over it as it would do if caused
here as complete a display of auroral motions in the cirrus cloud by our atmosphere? It is chiefly on the east and west sides.
as ever I beheld in a midnight sky; and from that date I disWe may expect the explanation of this defect when we hear how
missed in my own mind all doubt as to the identity of auroral it happens that the corona in this photograph is cut off instead of
force, whether seen by day affecting the cirrus cloud or appearing extending as in all the other photographs.
as streams and rays of light at night. On Thursday and Friday I fail altogether to see the connection between the solar corona
last I witnessed a configuration of cirro-stratus cloud, evidently and a lunar halo—the phenomena bear no resemblance to each
the result of magnetic polarisation, which I have no hesitation in other. The solar corona comes close up to the perfectly black
characterising as auroral. There were on Thursday two poles, disc of the moon. I never saw a lunar halo close up to the
both in the line of the magnetic meridian ; but on Friday moon's limb. When seen through a mist or in a “sky burdened
night, at nine o'clock, only one pole in the direction
of the true meridian. The phenomenon with innumerable clouds," there can be no doubt that the lunar
which I surface is obscured by the moisture in our atmosphere.
refer is of very frequent occurrence, especially before A. BROTHERS
track of fine warm weather ; and without at present offering a theory on the subject of auroras, I venture to class polarisations
of clouds, whether cirrus or not, as arising from the same cause Ocean Currents
as luminous aurora. The transverse or dia magnetic lines are Having had occasion in the spring of 1868 to consider the generally as well marked in cloud auroras, and it is an interesting
task to watch the transformation of cirrus cloud from the meri. subject of Ocean Currents as discussed by Captain Maury and Sir John Herschel, I was led to certain views respecting the origin dional to the equatorial direction. I have also noted that when of the oceanic circulation, which are briefly touched upon in a
these auroral lines converge towards the magnetic pole, a steady paper which appeared in the Student for July, 1868. At that
barometer and fine weather ensue ; but that when the transverse
or equatorial lines predominate and continue long visible, rain time an experimental test of my theory (or rather of that portion of the theory I advocated, which was, as I judged, novel) occurred
soon follows. These transverse lines of cloud are always lower and seem to be dia-magnetic.
D. LOW to me. The experiment might, I conceive, be very readily tried.
Burntisland, May 22 It somewhat resembled that by which Dr. Carpenter illustrated lately at the Royal Institution his views respecting the influences of evaporation and polar cold; but as I wished specially to show PERHAPS you will allow me to add my mite to the dishow the westwardly equatorial current came about, the experi- cussion which has been going on in your pages on the question of ment was somewhat more complex. Let the circumserence of a the visibility of the aurora in daylight. large and shallow cylindrical basin represent the equator and the On the 3rd of September in last year, when at Nairn in the central part the north polar regions. Within this cylinder let north of Scotland, I witnessed an aurora, such as I never heard solid matter be so placed as to represent the northern halves of or read of, or saw before ; and strangely enough it was not the continent, in such sort that the resulting configuration would noticed, as far as I am aware, in any of the newspapers. I had correspond to that of a map of the northern hemisphere (say on gone down to the beach at about 10 15 P.m., and immediately the equidistant projection). Let sea-water be poured in to repre. noticed what appeared at first to be a kind of haze over the whole sent the northern portions of the terrestrial oceans. Now to re- sky, which slightly dimmed the light of the stars. present the Arctic ice-fields, let lumps of ice be placed at the For a few minutes I thought no more about it, but, happening centre of the cylindrical vessel (they should be circled round by to turn my eyes towards the zenith, there was a sight I never a wire-guard); and to represent the effects of equatorial heat, let shall forget. A number of sheets of whitish light were con.
stantly darting with a flickering motion from the surrounding haze wind happens to change to the south at the time of the flow of of similar light, and meeting in the zenith ; the length of their the tide that great inundations occur in the Delta. course was as much as 150 to 18°; they appeared to proceed On the coast of the United States, however, there is apparently indiscriminately from all points in azimuth.
an intimate relation between low pressures and high tides. In I immediately became aware that the whole sky, down to the general, so long as the barometer remains low, easterly winds are very horizon, was illumined by a white, colourless aurora ; but I blowing on coast and heaping up the waters in every bay. was so fascinated by the incessant play of the streamers over. During the second stage of the storms the winds generally blow head, that for some time I could notice nothing else. At last violently from the west or north-west, often at a right angle to I turned away in order to observe accurately the full extent of the whole coast. These high westerly gales cause very low tides the aurora in all directions. I found that it reached quite down along the United States when the barometer is rapidly rising. to the horizon all round, except in one place, viz., in the S.S.E., But low tides are not experienced with high pressures if the air and at that point there was a symmetrical arc (of a great circle, is calm. as far as I could judge) the summit of which was about 7° or 8° High tides only occur on the coast of Europe after westerly above the horizon. This arc was perfectly well defined ; within winds have been blowing for some days in the Atlantic. It is a it was blue sky, and above and around, over the whole heavens, well-recognised fact among the fishermen on the east coast of Scot. nothing but the auroral light, except in the gaps between the land that high tides are due to this cause. I think Hugh Miller darting streamers in the zenith. I carefully took the bearings of was right in maintaining that the friction of the south-west winds this remarkable arc, and found by means of a compass the next on the wide surface of the Atlantic must be quite as powersul in day, that it was bisected by the magnetic meridian. The phe- maintaining the flow of the stream through the Florida Channel nomena underwent no diminution during the time (an hour and a as the action of the Trade winds in forcing the tropical waters hall) I was watching The sky appeared to be quite free from into the Gulf of Mexico. cloud.
Owing to the great rapidity with which barometric disturbances I have often witnessed fine displays of aurora ; one in the are propagated in our temperate latitudes, it is difficult to conwinter of (I think) 1848, in this county, the colours and streamers ceive how barometric pressure of itself can have an appreciable of which were magnificent, far finer than those I saw on the 24th | influence on the currents of the ocean. The rate of their propaand 25th of last October at Edinburgh ; but I never before obogation in winter is from thirty to sixty miles an hour. In the served the stars to be so much dimmed as they were at Nairn in fourth number of the “ Board of Trade Weather Report" an September, notwithstanding the light on that occasion was colour- instance is given, in which the rate is affirmed to be upwards of less. On other occasions, I have always thought the stars quite seventy miles an hour. The velocity in this case, however, as I unaffected by the auroral light, both to the naked eye and in the may try to show on another occasion, is estimated about ten telescope, but on this they were obviously dimmed as by a haze. miles an hour too high. But let us suppose that no winds
My impression is, that no aurora that I ever saw could be accompanied these rapidly propagated depressions and elevations visible in daylight, with the exception perhaps of this last, and of the barometer. A difference of an inch of pressure existing the only portion of this that could possibly be seen in daylight between places on the ocean two or three hundred miles apart was the well-defined arc low down in the S.S.E. I think it is would create only a very slow moving current, even though the just possible that in a clear and cloudless sky such an arc as this diminished area of pressure were stationary. But these low might be visible.
HENRY COOPER KEY pressures pass so rapidly onwards that the vis inertia of the Stretton Rectory, Hereford, June 6
waters of the ocean would hardly be overcome before they were again subjected to the opposite influence of an increase of pressure.
The effect of barometric pressure on the level of inland seas,
like the Baltic and Mediterranean, must be still less than in the Red and Blue
Winds are often localised, but great depressions of I was much interested by the letter of Mr. T. Ward (NATURE,
the barometer extend over immense areas ; in most cases far yol. iv. p. 68) describing the appearance of a blue colour when larger than the area of the Baltic. Any higher level from this looking at white chalk marks on a black board while the sun cause would be brought about by the flow of the waters from was shining in the eyes, as I have frequently noticed a precisely either end, as the pressure might be assumed to be the same on complementary phenomenon.
both sides of that narrow sea. The mere effect of changes of While walking along the chalky roads of East Kent in bright barometric pressure, it will be admitted, would be quite inappresunshine, and reading under an umbrella, I have frequently ciable in any inland lake in Britain. But any one who is in the noticed that the letters appear of a deep blood-red colour; the practice of fishing in the smallest of our lakes may always observe black colour of the type reappearing immediately on passing that there is an under current or “ drag” created when the wind over the shadow of a tree on the ground, or on allowing the blows strongly towards the shore, in consequence of the accumulasun to shine directly on the book. This was so striking when tion there of its waters. The Niagara is sometimes suddenly raised first seen that I had to convince myself that the page was not
two feet by strong west winds blowing over lake Erie. It is long printed in red ink. This is obviously the exact converse of the
since M. Volney, as regards the Mediterranean, stated that east observation of Mr. Ward, who saw a blue colour from white
winds caused a rise or flood of from two to three feet in the marks on a black surface, while I saw a red colour from black
harbour of Marseilles, and that westerly winds produced opposite marks on a white surface. A short time since I observed a pre
effects. It was by a caresul deduction of effects produced on a cisely similar colour when looking down on the platform of a rail
small scale that this acute observer was enabled to give a conway station with the setting sun shining on the eyes, the cracks
sistent outline of the causes which produced the ocean currents between the boards also appearing red. HERBERT M'LEOD in general. The currents of the ocean may be regarded as
coinciding very closely with the average force and direction of the winds over its surface. Since, however, Humboldt assures
us that the surface water of the Gulf Stream in the Florida Straits Influence of Barometric Pressure on Ocean Currents is sometimes reversed by the force of the winter "northers,” A Low barometric pressure and an increased height of the ocean
it does seem vain to attempt to trace permanent surface currents was, I believe, first assumed to stand in the relation of cause and
in any part of the North Atlantic, vexed as its surface is by winds
so inconstant in their force and direction. effect by Mr. Piddington. The abnormally high tidal waves that sometimes rushed up the Hooghly during Calcutta hurri.
Pilmuir, Leven, Fifeshire
R. RUSSELL canes were ascribed to the low pressures which accompanied them. There is no doubt that unequal pressure is a true cause of currents in the ocean.
St. Mary's Loch, Selkirkshire But I think it, as well as difference in specific gravity, may be regarded as infinitesimal in amount, com- To the student of Nature it may seem easy to decide whether pared to the influence of the winds.
the water of any given lake is good for domestic uses. But as The high tidal waves at the mouth of Hooghly are not ex. regards St. Mary's Loch, where the question has to be settled perienced during the first stage of the hurricane, or so long as by dint of a squabble in the Auld Reekie municipality, with all the wind blows from a northerly quarter. The waters in the Bay its complementary dust, smut, and heat, the true aspects of of Bengal are then propelled towards the south. It is only after Nature are liable to misrepresentation. the wind changes to the south and the barometer is rising that Although not resident in Edinburgh, nor subject to its prethe waters are driven against its northern shores. It is when the judices and ratings, your correspondent has taken considera ble
interest in the subject as discussed both locally and in Parliament.
THE STRASBOURG MUSEUM Last week he visited St. Mary's Loch, and took pains to compare it with its very various reputation." He was prepared to Bad it an oozy swamp, fed by a moorland drainage or pags and A BRIEF notice of this Museum may not at this time
be devoid of interest. It occupies ten large rooms peat . A true poet is credited with seeing clearer and telling better devoted to Comparative Anatomy, and eight to the Zoo
in the Academy House of Strasbourg: Two rooms are than other people can, and in this case the credit is fairly earned by Sir Walter Scott, poet laureate of Scottish scenery. In the logical, Geological, and Mineralogical collections. One "Lay of the Last Minstrel" we read of "Fair St. Mary's silver large hall is exclusively devoted to a collection of species Wave." In “Marmion,"
indigenous to Alsace, and here its Aora and fauna, both Nor sen nor sedge
fossil and recent, will be found well represented. The Pollute the pure lake's crystal eage.
large hall of Mammals contains about 2,000 specimens Abrupt and sheer the mountains sink At once upon the level brink,
belonging to between 600 and 700 species, among which And just a line of pebbly sand
may be noticed a fine series of Felidæ, including two speciMarks where the water meets the land.
mens of the rare Felis pardina of Portugal. Among the In plain prose your correspondent saw as follows :-St. Mary's Ruminants are a grand specimen of the Ovis nivicola of Loch, a practically inexhaustible natural reservoir ; in a district Kamtschatka ; four specimens of Tragelaphus from the pastoral, not moorland. The surface of surrounding hills and mountains of Constantine, a large series in all stages of Hats, formed of loose rock, shingle , or gravel, with sprinkling of growth of the
Antilope rupicapra from Switzerland, the light earth, the very type of natural draining to prevent or exter. minate bog, morass, and swamp. Not a trace of peat, except Carpathians, and the Pyrenees; Capra semlaica of the peat-reek odour from Tibbie Shiell's chimneys. Tibbie burns Nilgherries; six specimens of C. ægagrus from Kurdistan, peats got from exceptional points high among the hills. The of which two are magnificent adult males and the others various feeders of the loch run in pure as water can be. That females and young ; C. walee from Abyssinia, male and the loch, bedded in a shingly, gravelly flat, and surrounded with female ; nine specimens of C. hispanica from the Sierra bare, smooth, lawn-like hill-slopes, should appear to contain | Nevada ; seventeen of C. ibex, representing it in all its ages brown-tinted water, arises from three concurrent causes. First, and in all states of wool'; not to mention excellent specithe extreme purity of the water ; second, the tawny brown hue of mens of C. pyrenaica, C. caucasica, C. altaica, and C. aquatic growths, enveloping the shingle under water, by trans- sinaica; indeed, it may be doubted if there is in any mission; third, the pipe.clay whiteness of the dry shingle on
Museum a more complete collection of this interesting the beach, by contrast. From the first-stated cause the water varies in apparent tint according to the bottom hues. Aside group of the Antelopes the Museum also possesses å from chemical analyses, the relative physical features at once de grand series, and the attention in this corner of the hall cide St. Mary's Loch to excel the famous Loch Katrine as a
will be at once attracted by the case of Reindeer, containwater source.
ing eight perfect specimens, representing the wild race of The Edinburgh people are about to celebrate the centenary of Norway, the domesticated animal of Lapland, and the Sir Walter Scott. "His evidence, before cited, and the occasion, varieties from Siberia, Greenland, and Labrador. There may serve to excuse the spontaneous testimony of
are also beautifully stuffed specimens of the European and A STUDENT OF NATURE American Bison, and among the Cervidæ we noticed a
most interesting little variety from Corsica of Cervus
elaphas. Sun Spots and Earth Temperatures
Among the Rodents the Collection of Hares and I NOTICED lately the deduction by Mr. Stone of a connection
Rabbits from all parts of the world is very fine. The between Wolf's solar spot periods and the earth temperatures at
Collection of Madagascar Lemurs is nearly complete. the Cape of Good Hope : and now Professor Smyth, at Edin.
There are also fine specimens of Colobus ursinus and C. burgh, recalls to our attention the fact that his own investigations vallerosus from the Gaboon, and a skeleton of the female had, a year ago, led him to a similar conclusion.
Gorilla ; one of the largest specimens known of the Will you pernit me to call attention to a further discussion of Walrus, and an immense series of Phocidæ from the this subject
, as contained in a short article, published in Silli- North Seas. We have omitted to mention two nice speciman's - American Journal of Science.” The compilations were mens of Chlamydophorus truncatus. mostly made in February, 1869, and afford interesting confirma- The Bird Galleries are very extensive, and contain uption of the results, which I suppose to have been deduced by wards of 5,000 species and nearly 14,000 birds, The Messrs. Smyth and Stone.
Collection of Vultures is very rich ; Gypætus barbatus Director Cincinnatti Observatory,
from Switzerland, Pyrenees, Sierra Nevada, the Atlas, Washington, May 6 Meteorologist to the Signal Office
and Abyssinia ; Aquila pelagica from Kamtschatka. Of Strix there are about 200 specimens and 60 species. The
Birds of Paradise are represented by perfectly fresh Bessemer Bombs
specimens of Semiophora Wallacei, Paradisea alba, Cras
pedophora magnifica, male and female, Astrapia nigra, Allow me through the medium of your columns to call the male and female; good specimens of both species of attention of scientific men to the significant inference which, it Cephaloptera; Turacus giganteus; Anas Stelleri, male and appears to me, is to be drawn from the formation of “bombs” female ; Alca impennis, a very old specimen. Passing in the Bessemer process, incidentally described by Mr. Williams by the grand series of Pelicans, of Grouse we record magin a recent number of NATURE.*
nificent specimens of Oreophátis derlyanus, Lophalector These “bombs” are minute hollow spherules; the smaller are
Macartneyi, male and female, Balæniceps rex, &c. for the most part perforated. These minute hollow spherules are formed of liquid incandescent matter, the smaller showing
The Reptiles and Fishes occupy two large halls. the true form-perforated spheres.
The Entomological Collection is very fine; a portion of The point to which I wish to direct the attention of Mr.
it is exposed to the public in one of the halls ; but the Williams and other scientific men is this : - May we not have greater part is kept in the Cabinet Room. Nothing can here an experiment which supplements those ingenious ones of surpass the beauty and freshness of the collection of M. Plateau on revolving liquid spheres ? Mr. Williams will Alsace Insecta. The collection of Coleoptera numbers perhaps kindly examine some of the most perfect of these bombs, about 8,000 species. and let us know whether he sees trace of revolution in their forma- The Paläontological Collection is arranged according to tion. I believe he will find such evidence, and that the revolu- the geological formations ; and one must remark a magtion is about the perforation.
nificent example of Teleosaurus Chapmani, 12 ft. long; a Brighton
grand mass of Pentacrinus fascicularis, 5 ft. by 3, and • See NATURE, vol. iii. p. 410.
containing 15 individuals established on a mass of oysters.