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“ That it be referred to a Committee to prepare a Memorial from this Society to the Court of Directors and Board of Control, stating that Government here have withdrawn the funds hitherto appropriated to the revival of Oriental literature in this country,—and respectfully impressing upon the authorities at home, the importance of having some public funds appropriated to this purpose, and requesting them to adopt such means as they think fit for providing a sufficient sum for this important object.”
The following Gentlemen were named as the Committee : Dr. MILL, Mr. MacNAGHTEN, Mr. Tunrorr, Mr. WM. GRANT, Mr. COLVIN, and Mr. Pnmsnr,
Read a letter from Professor H. H. WILSON, forwarding, on behalf of Counseller VoN HAMMER, a copy of his translation and text of the work entitled, “ Samachscharis Goldene Halsbander," or the Golden Collar of Samaschari, for presentation to the Society.
Read a letter from J. G. Mnncomuson, Esq. Secretary to the Medical Board at Madras, transmitting a copy of his publication, called “ Essay on the History and Treatment of Beriberi," for presentation to the Society.
Read a. letter from Colonel W. CASEMENT, Secretary to the Government of India, Military Department, forwarding on behalf of the Government of Fort. St. George, a second volume of Result of Astronomical Observations made at the Madras Observatory, by T. G. T Av1.on., Esq. H. C. Astro.. nomer, during the years 1832 and 1833.
Also a letter from Mr. Enwnnn WALPOLE, to the President, presenting for the Society's Library, a set of Reports and Plans of the Boundary Commissioners under the Reform Bill, from the library of his brother, the late Rrcnnnn WAIAPOLE, Esq. long a Member of the Society.
A copy of Select Specimens of the Theatre of the Hindus, translated from the Original Sanscrit, by Professor H. H. VV1r.so1v, Second Edition, presented to the Society by the Translator.
Meteorological Register for May, 1835, by the Surveyor General.
Lardner’s Cabinet Cyclopedia, England, vol. iv. was received from the Booksellers.
A Stuffed Alligator, measuring about 11 feet, and the head and horns of a Buifalo, were presented by Lieut. Ronnnr C. Nvrnann.
Specimens of Gold Dust from the Streams of the lower range ; also, three more ancient Coins from the ruins at Behat, were presented by Captain Cavrmsv.
A Portrait of the late R. Hons, Esq. was presented by his pupil Mr. A. Grmooav, to be added to the gallery of pictures lately deposited in the Society’s rooms by the sons of that eminent artist.
Mr. Gnnoorw also submitted a short eulogium on his deceased master.
Dr. J. McCr.r:r.L.\1vn presented a manuscript volume on the Geology, Natural History, and Climate of the province of Kemaon ; illustrated bya large geological map, and sections of the whole mountainous district, for most part filled in from his own surveys and examination.
[The manuscript was subsequently withdrawn by the author, for separate pub1ication.]
Observations on Organic Fossil appearances of a peculiar nature found in Kemaon, by the same author, were also submitted.
1. Proposal to publish, by Subscription, an Illustrated Work on the Zoology qfN1'pdl.
It is impossible to advert to the perishable, varying, and complex phenomena of animation, without a deep impression of the disadvantages under which zoological research, has heretofore been conducted, from an almost total disunion of opportunity, and of the skill to make a proper use of it. Mineralogy, and even Botany, may be easily and effectually prosecuted through the medium of materials collected in one country, and used in another and remote one ; because these materials are subject to no, or to small deterioration; because their bulk is limited, and their character fixed. Hence probably the rapid progress of these sciences, owing to the ample and effectual means of illustrating them which the learned of Europe have been able to draw from all quarters of the world. The case is very different in regard to Zoology. The transport to Europe of live animals, even birds, is diflicult and expensive : the observation of habits, manners, and economy can only be made on the spot, with the advantage (never possessed by travelling collectors) of much time and recurring opportunity: the characteristic form and corporeal habits of animals evanish from the dried specimen, which besides can tell little or nothing truly of those numerous changes to which the living individual is subject from age, from sex, and from season: lastly, it is not possible without abundance of fresh specimens, continuously supplied and used without delay, either to fix the real external character of species amid the changes just adverted to, or to ascertain, even summarily, their internal structure.
True it is, that from the external conformation of the hard and imperishable parts of dried animal specimens, that of the internal and untransportable parts may be inferred: true it is, that from the unknown genus or family, the unknown figure may be conjectured. But who that has been never so little imbued with the Baconian principles of investigation will be content to substitute analogical induction for plain fact, when the latter is accessible ? and who that has turned his attention never so slightly to works of natural history, is unaware that this inductive process has resulted too often in monstrous disfiguration of the forms of animals, and in serious errors relative to their internal structure, habits, and economy? The scientific men of Europe have made the best use possible of their miserably defective materials : but they are precisely the persons who deplore the defect of those materials, and its necessary consequences, viz. the multiplication of imaginary species, and the continuance of a wretched system of arrangement, calling every year more imperatively for revision, and yet incapable of being remoulded, without a knowledge of the internal, as well as external, structure, the habits, and economy, as well as true forms, of the actual species, in their mature and perfect development.
A gentleman who has been, for some years past, fixed in a favorable situation for observing nature, with more leisure than usually falls to the lot of _tlie servants of Government in India, has amused himself by the formation of a. large stock of drawings and notes, calculated to illustrate the Zoology of the district in which he resides : and he proposes by placing these drawings and notes in the hands of some true minister and interpreter of nature at home; and by establishing a system of reference between such an one and himself, to complete his observations, during the next two or three years, under the guidance and counsel of ripe science. The object of this gentleman is not to exhibit himself as a Zoologist, which he is not ; but to aid Zoology, by marrying opportunity to sIn‘ll—-a project which he has means of accomplishing to an extent not hitherto attained, nor likely to be attempted by others, with his advantages for its successful attainment. It is not pretended, that the gentleman in question has means or ability to supply the European master of the subject, with a tithe of the information, thelwant and necessity for which have been above adverted to. But it is aflirmed, that the author of this paper (the more immediate purpose of which will be presently explained) has such power and will to do away with the divorce of opportunity from the ability to make the best use of it, as are not likely soon to recur; such power and will, as cannot fail to be highly eflicient, is put in action in the manner he proposes, in partially removing the obstacles heretofore resulting from that divorce. The series of drawings is now nearly complete, and embraces several hundreds of subjects, each of which has been compared with several fresh specimens, in order to fix the perfect aspect of maturity in the species with such variations, caused by feminity or nonage, as it seemed desirable to delineate. The notes include many particulars of internal structure, habits, and economy, of every subject pourtrayed by the pencil ; and it is believed, with reason, that if these materials were put into the hands of an experienced Zoologist in Europe, under whose suggestions their differences might be remedied by further observation and dissection, the result of such a conjoint plan must be to pour a flood of light upon the zoological treasures of one of the most fertile regions of India.
Some inquiries have already been made touching the feasibility of such conjoint labours ; and the answers, from the highest quarters, encourage the notion of it, except only in the article of expense, in reference to the drawings; the publication of which, without the aid of subscription, it is apprehended might mar an otherwise most hopeful plan.
Hinc illae lachrymae 1 Hence this proposal, which is intended to solicit the aid of such gentlemen in and out of the service, as are disposed to favour the project by subscription to the work.
Specimens of the drawings may be seen, at the Asiatic Society’s rooms.
The amount of subscription will be fixed so soon as there appears to be a prospect of realizing the object of it: and to ascertain that point, all those who are inclined to patronise the work are requested to send their names to the Secretary of that Society.
2. Proposed Meteorological Combination in Southern Africa.
We are indebted to Sir Joan HERSCHEL, for a copy of the printed instructions for registering meteorological observations at various stations in Africa, and in the South Seas, drawn up by a Committee of the South African Philosophical
This eminent philosopher has, we doubt not, been the prime mover of -this important plan for obtaining a connected view of the winds and weather in the
hitherto unexplored region of the southern hemisphere. It is what we have been attempting to do for India, and not without success, although we have hitherto avoided publishing the many registers with which we have been favored, until they could be put together in a convenient form for comparison and analysis. There will be a double advantage in having a counter-series south of the line, for Sir J OHN had already announced to us the discovery, on comparison of the tables given in our JOURNAL, with a series of 57 months kept by the Post Master at the Cape, that the annual fluctuation in the Barometric tide there, having regard to the difference of latitude, is precisely complementary to ours : that it amounts to 0.29 inch, on an average of the whole period ; the maximum taking place about the 21st July, and the minimum about the 19th January : “ thus in the latter month when the Barometer in Calcutta stands 0.25 inch higher than the mean, and that at the Cape, 0.15 lower—a propellant force equal to the weight of a column of mercury, 0.4 inch, urges steadily and constantly the air towards the south, and vice
- versfi; nor can its influence be confined to small tracts, but from its very magni
tude and nature, it must communicate motion to immense masses of air.” When a master hand approaches the ordinary, yet complicated subject of winds and weather, general results of great practical utility and importance are sure of development. Their appearance in the field should not however discourage other labourers, but rather stimulate their investigations: each separate branch of inquiry is in this science so laborious, as more than to occupy one head. The influence of the sun, of the moon, of oceanic coasts, of mountain ranges, are all separate questions of great intricacy.
The principal dificulty is to provide, that observers shall all note down on the same days and hours: we observe sun- rise,noon, sun-set, and midnight, recommended at the Cape, also 8 A. M., 2 P. M., and 8 P. M. Now the knowledge of the hours of maximum and minimum has made us prefer 10 A. M. and 4 P. 1vi., 10 P. M. and 4 A. M. ; butin our own and the Surveyor General’s series, we have enough points to fill up the whole daily curve of temperature and pressure for Calcutta. With regard to this essential point, we have been requested to call the attention of our meteorologists in India, Ceylon, the Straits, and China, to the following determination of the Cape Committee, to devote four days of the year to horary observations.
“ With a view, however, to the better determining the laws of the diurnal changes taking place in the atmosphere, and to the obtaining a knowledge of the correspondence of its movements and affections over great regions of the earth's surface, or even over the whole globe, the Committee have resolved to recommend, that four days in each year should henceforward be especially set apart by meteorologists in every part of the world, and devoted to a most scrupulous and accurate registry of the state of the Barometer and Thermometer ; the direction and force of the wind ; the quantity, character, and distribution of clouds ; and every other particular of weather, throughout the whole twenty-four hours of those days, and the adjoining six hours of the days preceding and following‘.
* This is necessary by reason of the want of coincidence of the day in different parts of the globe, arising from diiference of longitude. In order to obtain a complete correspondence of observation for 24 successive hours over the whole globe, it must be taken into account that opposite longitudes differ 12 hours in their reckoning of time. By the arrangement in the text, the whole of the astronamical day (from noon to noon) is embraced in each series, and no observer is required to watch two nights in succession.
The days they have been induced to fix on and recommend for these observations are, the 21st ofMarch, the 21st June, the 21st September, and the 21st December, being those of or immediately adjoining to those of the equinoxes and solstices, in which the solar influence is either stationary or in a state of most rapid variation. But should any one of those 21st day: fall on Sunday, then it will be understood, that the observations are to be deferred till the new! day, the 22nd. The observation at each station should commence at 6 o’clock A. M. of the appointed days, and terminate at 6 o’clock P. M. of the days following, according to the usual reckoning of time at the place. During this interval, the Barometer and Thermometer should be read off and registered hourly, or at all events, at intervals not more than two hours asunder ; and the precise hour and minute of each reading should be especially noted.
For obvious reasons, however, the commencement of every hour should, if practicable, be chosen; and every such series of observations should be accompanied by a notice of the means used to obtain the time, and when practicable, by some Observation of an astronomical nature, by which the time can be independently ascertained within a minute or two*. As there is scarcely any class of observations by which meteorology can be more extensively and essentially promoted, it is hoped that not only at every station of importance in this colony, but over the whole world, and on board ships in every part of the ocean, individuals will be found to co-operate in this inquiry. Every communication of such observations, addressed by channels as secure and as little expensive as possible to the Secretary of this Institution, will he considered as highly valuable."
3.—-Statistics and Geology of Kemaon.
We perceive by our advertisement page, that Dr. J. MCCLELLAND is about to publish, by subscription, his Observations on the Statistics of Kernaon ; embracing an accountof the Rocks, Minerals, and Mines, Organic Fossils,Waters, Population, Wild Animals, Birds,aud Insects of the province. Together with Observations on the Goitre, on Earthquakes, and Climatology. The whole including a Geological Map and Section of the district, with various other drawings, coloured.
Mr. McCLeu..».Nn is appointed to join Dr. WALLICH in his approaching trip to explore the Tea Districts eastward of Assam. The expedition has also the advantage of an able second Botanist in Dr. Gmrrxrus, Mad. Med. Est., and as it will meet Captain J nuxms in the valley, its geological strength will have nothing to desire. But we confess we think an Astronomer, or at least a Surveyor acquainted with Astronomy should be added, to make the scientific corps perfectto note the position of the new points they will visit, and to sketch some of its glorious features. When the British Government sends a party to set up Steam Boats on the Euphrates, every adjunct of science,language, and art is superadded : why should the Government of British India be less eflicient in their preparations for so interesting and profitable a voyage of discovery?
‘* For example, the first appearances and last disappearances of the sun's upper and lower border, above and below the sea horizon, if at sea or on the coa.st,—0r,
on land, the exact length of the shadow of a vertical object of determinate length on an horizontal level, at a precise moment of time (not too near noon), &c.