« ПредыдущаяПродолжить »
may lead at all events to more or less reasonable guesses. Through the kindness of Mr. Rathbone, the smaller specimen, and the equally interesting broken one, have been placed in the Liverpool Museum."
Mr WALTHEW exhibited a copy of the Carnival edition of the New Orleans "Times-Democrat" (16th January last), with a pictorial supplement, illustrating the procession got up by the "Knights of Momus," of that city, descriptive of the great Hindoo Epic of the "Ramayana." New Orleans was originally settled by the French, who carried thither certain of their customs, and, amongst these, the celebration of the Carnival. This, in course of years, degenerated into a saturnalia of coarse buffoonery; but, about twenty-five years ago, a society of young men inaugurated an improvement in the custom, and the wild processions of the Carnival have gradually been displaced by magnificent and instructive pageants, somewhat similar to those we read of as promoted by municipalities in the middle ages. Of late years a different theme has been chosen upon each occasion, such as Scott's romance of the "Talisman;" "The products of Louisiana;" "The Realms of Fancy;" "A Vision of Fair Women," &c. This year, according to this illustrated sheet, the great Hindoo epic of the "Ramayana" has been presented in a series of magnificent processional tableaux, which, in their designs, combine the characteristic profusion of ornamentation belonging to Hindoo art with a weird and beautiful phantasy in the spirit of the poem itself. The procession consisted of a series of platform vehicles, each drawn by horses, commencing with "The Temple of India," and followed by "The Inspiration of Valniki" (the poet who composed these epics, which were ancient traditions when Alexander watered his horses in the Indus). After these came a series of majestic compositions, illustrating the life and adventures of the demi-god Rama and
his wife Sitka. This ancient myth, which may probably signify the struggle between good and evil, or summer and winter, is one of the great classics of Hindooism, and permeates the ideas and modes of expression of the literati of India to the present day.
Dr. NEVINS read a paper on "The Revision of the New Testament."*
ELEVENTH ORDINARY MEETING.
ROYAL INSTITUTION, March 20th, 1882.
EDWARD. DAVIES, F.C.S., F.I.C., PRESIDENT, in the Chair.
Mr. Jas. Gill was elected an Ordinary Member.
Dr. POLLARD read a paper on "The Justifiability of Scientific Experiments on Living Animals." t
TWELFTH ORDINARY MEETING.
Professor J. CAMPBELL BROWN, D.Sc., etc., VICE-
Mr. E. R. RUSSELL read a short paper, entitled Fresh Light on Romeo and Juliet.'"t
Mr. GEO. HENRY MORTON read a paper on "The Primary Colours," illustrated with experiments." §
THIRTEENTH ORDINARY MEETING.
ROYAL INSTITUTION, April 17th, 1882.
EDWARD DAVIES, F.C.S., F.I.C., PRESIDENT, in the Chair.
Mr. W. W. Tapscott was elected an Ordinary Member; Capt. Lecky, R.N.R., F.R.A.S., was elected an Associate.
See page 257. † See page 219. + See page 179. § See page 249.
Professor Herdman read a paper on "Individual Variation among Ascidians." *
The Rev. H. H. HIGGINS contributed a short paper on "The Individuality of Antimers."
The following communication was then read :
ON A TYPICAL COLLECTION OF SPONGES, AND ON THE "ARGO" SPONGES, IN THE LIVERPOOL FREE MUSEUM.
BY THOMAS HIGGIN, F.L.S.
It will be in the recollection of the Members of this Society that Mr. H. J. Carter, F.R.S., of Budleigh-Salterton, visited the Liverpool Museum in October last, for the purpose of looking over the collection of Sponges, and of explaining the system on which he had arranged the British Museum collection. His time, whilst in Liverpool, was almost wholly devoted to the object of his visit, and the trays which are exhibited this evening are the outcome of it.
They have been arranged to show typical examples of the Orders, Families, and Groups, into which the whole Class of Sponges has been divided, and will be useful to the collector and student, by showing at a glance the why and the wherefore of the divisions, the differences as regards outward appearance, and the microscopic characters of skeleton and spicules, which have influenced the arrangement.
Mr. Carter has made a special study of Sponges for more than forty years. When in Bombay, in 1847, being convinced of the animality of Sponges, he determined to make it a subject which must have a place in lectures on Comparative Anatomy, and has lived to see his wish accomplished. In 1857, whilst still at Bombay, he published, in the Annals and Magazine of Natural History, a paper "On the Ultimate See page 313.
Structure of the Fresh-Water Sponges," which has proved to be his most valuable contribution to the knowledge of the Class, and he had the gratification of seeing his work thus alluded to by the late Prof. H. James-Clark at a meeting of the Boston Natural History Society, in 1868. (Ann. and Mag. of Nat. Hist., 1868, vol. i., p. 134) :—“ Of late years, Carter has made some special investigations in reference to this subject (Spongia ciliata as Infusoria flagellata), and, in fact, he has been the first to present anything like decisive proofs of the animality of Sponges."
Again, in 1872, the following appears in the Proceedings of the Royal Society, in the President's address.* Addressing Professor Stokes, the Chairman said, "In the absence of Mr. Carter, I have much pleasure in delivering to you, for transmission to him, the medal awarded to him by the Council of the Royal Society, in acknowledgment of his longcontinued and valuable services to Physiology, and more particularly of his creating an almost new science as regards the Spongiada."
Mr. Carter's attention was probably first drawn to this subject during his studies under the late Prof. R. E. Grant, who, in 1826, published in the Edin. New Philos. Journal, a very full account of the development of the embryo of Halichondria panicea, a common marine species; and subsequently, through his staff appointment at Bombay, which gave him leisure to study the subject that he particularly desired to investigate.
On his return from India, the late Dr. J. E. Gray induced him to undertake the examination of the chaotic collection of sponges in the British Museum, for it had been found impossible to make any practical use of the classification which had been proposed by Dr. Bowerbank. For this purpose the entire collection was sent to him to Budleigh* Sir George Biddell Airy, K.C.B., President, in the Chair.
Salterton, where it remained for a year or two, during which time Mr. Carter examined, figured, numbered and described, in note books opened for the purpose, every single specimen, and then proceeded to arrange them in groups according to the different features presented by outward form, skeletal structure, spiculation, &c. After Dr. Bowerbank's death the British Museum purchased his collection, and Mr. Carter in the same way went through these specimens.
Mr. Carter having had such unusual opportunities for the study of the Class, and being so eminently able to make the best of them, it was thought most desirable that the sponges in the Liverpool Museum should be classified according to the system adopted for the national collection; and therefore Mr. Carter was asked to visit Liverpool, in order that examples of the various groups should be selected by him. This was done during his visit in October last, and the Museum now possesses a collection of examples typical of the different orders, families, and groups, selected by himself.
The small examples contained in the glass-topped boxes have been cut or selected from the large and whole specimens selected by Mr. Carter; and in some cases where specimens were not found in the local collection, examples have been provided by Mr. Carter from his own cabinet.
Our warmest thanks are due to Mr. Carter for the readiness with which he responded to the request that he would visit Liverpool, and for the great interest and extreme kindness he has shown in making his visit as valuable as possible. I have thought that this short account of the origin of the trays placed before you this evening would be necessary to enable you to appreciate the value of them. In arranging them I have had the cordial co-operation of our friend Mr. Moore and his assistants, but must mention the name of Mr. John Chard in particular, who has done the lettering of the trays in a way that must give general satisfaction.