Page images

An analysis of white silk gave identical products; and in amount differing only fractionally from the above ; except in the particular of the resinous colouring matter, which was indeed present, but in a very much smaller proportion. It is probable that the varieties of colour observable in cocoons, the yellow, the orange, the bufl’, the

white and the greenish hues, depend only upon the greater or lesl amount of this resin in the fibre.

[graphic][ocr errors]

2. Note on the Särnàth Building, by the Baron Huyel.

1. Note regarding the Bhilsa Monument. By Dr. Snnsnuav.

With respect to the Bhilsa monument, I see Mr. HonGsoN also agrees in thinking it similar to the Manikyâla tope, and which I have been at you so long about, and for which reason I sent you a selected drawing. With regard to apartments within, none exist. When Mr. Mannocx was Political Agent at Bhopal, he obtained leave from that Government to dig into it, and I visited it soon after, (in December, 1822,) when Captain JonNsoN, his Assistant, had completely opened it from the top to l think about 30 feet below the level, and to what he considered, the bottom of the foundations, and found the whole solid brick-work, without any appearance of recess or open space of any kind. FELL should have stated that the gate-ways are four, three of which are standing, the fourth having been thrown down by an earthquake, the whole of which is strewed on the ground, and that in no long time, another will follow : it would be well worth an amateur’s while to take copies of the compartments, the sculpture of which is like nothing you see in India. There is another style of sculpture that I have seen from Kallinjer and Adjeegurh down as far south as I have been—-some of them magnificent temples and ruins, always indecent, frequently highly obscene—sculpture that I have never remarked in any part of the provinces: to what era does it belong P

Je joins quelques mots à ma lettre pour vous faire quelques remarques sur le Saruath et le Atala Mosjid à Juunpur.

Le Sarnath, ce Dagoba (ou Dhagoba) des Buddhistes, ce qui par parenthese pent être l'origine du nom Pagoda par Panagram des syllables, est d’une forme ihusitée en Ceylon ou parmi quelques centaines qui j'y ai vu depuis les petits près de Colombo, jusqu'aux immenses d’Anaradjapura, toutes différentes l'une de l'autre, aucune n'a la forme du Sarnath. Tout ceux de Ceylon ont un second batiment sur le premier : mais celui-ci dans son dessein ne forme que l'accessoire,

* comme la lanterne à la coupole moderne, pendant que le Sarnath a dans son

dessein le batiment d'en haut pour objet principal; pour lequel la partie d'en bas n'est que le fondement, la. base: ces Dagobas sont toujours batis sur un quarré qui (chez les petits, et le Sarnath est de ce nombre) ne forme que partie d'un plus grand quarré, qui contient l'entrée et une Vihare: ces deux quarrés sont visibles dans les debris du Saruath.

La relique sur la quelle l'édifice est batie se trouve toujours au niveau du premier quarré: mais pas toujours au milieu. L’Atala Mosjid à Juanpur cet decidemant un ancien Agar, je crôis que e’est le nom, ou maison d'école Buddhu : une de ce genre se trouve à Bijapur, et plusieurs en Ceylon, dont la plus grande et celle mentionnée par TURNER dans son Epitome, nommé dans les auciennes cartes de Ceylon, 1000 colonnes. Celle de Juanpur contient 1060 colonnes ou plutôt pilastres détachés, (colonnes quarrées est une fausse dénomination :) J ’ai cherché mais en vain de trouver une inscription sur ces colonnes àJuanpur, mais je suis sure qu'une personne avec plus de tems que j'avois moimème finirait par en

trouver une. Dans tous les autres édifices a Juanpur se trouvent des fragmens de monumens Buddhistes. Quel était l’ancien nom de cette ville?

3. Note on the occurrence of the Bauddha Formula.

Turning by accident to the copy of the inscription on an image of Buddha, found along with two urns in the excavations at Sarnath, made in the year 1798, and described by J. Duncan in the 2nd volume of the Asiatic Researches, I was much pleased to discover the identical sentence “ ye dharmma hétu prabhaoa, dfc.” about which so much discussion has lately taken place, occupying the two bottom lines of the page. They are disguised by several very gross errors of the copyist, and it is therefore not surprising that no attempt should have been made by WILFORD, who alludes several times in his essay to the other part of the inscription, or by other Sanscrit scholars, to read it; the lines are thus given :

[ocr errors]

By comparing this with the version given in page 137, its real accordance will be at once perceived through the disguise of numerous blunders.—-J. P.

4. Extracts from a Journal of a Residence, and during several Journeys, in the Province qfBehar, in the years 1831 to 1834. Ry Mr. J. STEPHENSON.

Lunar Iris.

I had the pleasure of observing this beautiful phenomenon two miles to the east of Singhea in Tirhut, at 5 A. M. on the 4th of August, 1831. It appeared in the eastern part of the sky, the moon being in her last quarter, and only a few degrees about the western horizon. The prismatic colours were distinctly developed, and the arch perfect, though not so intense as those generally seen in the solar iris. The radius of the arch appeared also less than the one formed by the sun. It remained distinctly visible for the space of 15 minutes; after which it gradually lost its radiancy, and disappeared. The morning was cloudy, with light showers of rain, and the temperature 85° of Fahrenheit.

I have reason to observe that this phenomenon is not of frequent occurrence ; for this is only the second one I have seen during my life-time.

Frost Rind, January 16th, 1832.

The native thatched huts in the village of Singhea in Tirhut were this morning covered white with a frost rind, although the thermometer did not indicate a lower temperature than 46° of Fahrenheit, with light airs of wind from the

Beautiful Meteor observed near Singhea, Tirhut, April llth, 1832.

At four hours 45 minutes A. M., and at day-break, observed a meteor in the form of a globular ball of fire, which passed through the air, from west to east, in a horizontal direction, and with a motion moderately rapid. Its size appeared to be about a foot in diameter, having a fiery train of the most splendid brilliancy, apparently many yards long. It illuminated the country as far as the eye could reach, and remained visible for five seconds, after which it exploded like a rocket throwing ofl' numerous corruscations of intense light; but without any report or noise of any kind. Its apparent elevation inconsiderable.

Another beautiful Meteor observed at the same village on the 20th of May, 1832.

At 6 hours 40 minutes P. M. a large pear-shaped meteor was observed shooting very rapid in a horizontal position, and in a direction from N. to S. Nothing could exceed the brilliant mixture of green, tinged with blue colours, exhibited during its rapid progress. It left a luminous train of great length behind, and remained visible about three seconds, then disappeared in the southern horizon, without exhibiting any signs of exploding.

Remarkable Phenomenon seen opposite Singhea, in Tirhut, July 15th, 1833.

This evening, during a thin shower of rain, I observed On the opposite side of the great river Gandak, at the distance of two miles, the phenomenon called by the natives “Rrtja Harchand Ira Pura." An aerial city appeared, with its

palaces, temples, houses, spires, columns, &c. forming altogether a very beautiful spectral appearance, which remained visible for the space of 10 minutes ; after which, it began to alter its appearance, becoming faint and dilapidated, till it gradually disappeared altogether with the passing shower. This phenomenon I do not remember to have ever before seen. It seems to differ from what is called the Fata Morgana in Italy, and I think, partakes more of the nature of what is called the French Mirage, for I observed no reflection on the intervening water; but it was considerably elevated above the west bank of the river, directly above a grove of mango trees, which were not seen during the shower of rain, and I suppose caused this very singular appearance by the refraction, or reflection of the atmospheric air, of different densities, surrounding the grove.

Parhelia or Mack Suns, 19th May, 1834.

About 5 hours 30 minutes P. M., I observed the most singular and beautiful phenomenon I ever beheld. A dense black cloud, (cumulus,) of a large size, formed itself to the west of Singhea. The sun had just retired behind it, when suddenly there appeared on the upper edge of the cloud four parbelia, or mock suns, exhibiting the most brilliant colours of green, blue, and scarlet, intermingled, which neither pen nor pencil could describe. The upper part of the cloud was fringed with radii, or small innumerable black rays, shooting upwards with a slow but perceptible motion.

To heighten the already beautiful eifect, in a few minutes the sun burst through an aperture in the middle of the cloud, with a splendour past description. This phenomenon remained visible for the space of ten minutes, when it gradually disappeared, and heavy lightning succeeded, flashing its way towards the

Sand Columns.

During my travels in Behar, I had frequent occasion to notice this phenomenon on the desert sand-banks of the Ganges. The first I ever saw was between Rajmahal and Sicligully, on the 23rd of November, 1830. Several sand columns formed from twenty to sixty feet high, having a whirling motion similar to a water spout at sea. They passed at about half a mile distance, and remained visible for five minutes.

Feb. 10th, 1833. Observed several sand columns on the large island between Bar and Mowah. The whirling motion was very perceptible, and they rose in a perpendicular column to more than 100 feet. They only remained whole a few minutes, when they gave way at the base, and dispersed in a cloud of sand.

Feb. 25th, 1833. On the sands formed by the confluence of the river Soane with the Ganges, we observed two large sand columns, which reared their heads to a great height in the atmosphere, with an obvious whirling motion. The apparent diameter of each seemed to be twelve feet. They remained perfect for the space of several minutes, and then gradually dispersed, forming a cloud of sand, which remained visible for a considerable time, till wafted away to the east, by a slight breeze of wind from the west, which just ruflled the surface of the Gran es.

Tllese sand columns have not passed unnoticed by the natives, who call them Bundoah. I was told by a respectable native that instances have been known of people being caught in the whirl, and either killed, or severely hurt by their force. I have to notice that on every instance that 1 have observed this phenomenon, the sky was clear, and not a cloud to be seen.

Bnucs was one of the first to describe these columns in his travels to discover the source of the Nile. That celebrated traveller describes them as tremendous, overwhelming, and destroying whole caravans of men and cattle.

In Bus.NE5’ travels, I find mention made ofthem under the name ofwhirlwinds : “ In this neighbourhood (meaning the desert), and more particularly while on the banks of the river, we witnessed a constant succession of whirlwinds, that raised the dust to a great height, and moved over the plain like water-spouts at sea. In India, these phenomena are familiarly known by the name of devil: ,where they sometimes unroof a house; but I had not seen them in that country either of such size or frequency as now prevailed in the Turkmfin desert. They appeared to rise from gusts of wind, for the air itself was not disturbed, but by the usual north wind that blows steadily in this desert."

I dare not venture an opinion with reference to the cause of this phenomenon ; but in all probability it is the same that creates water-spouts at sea. However, when a suflicient number of well-described facts are made known, some future Sir Isaac Nawrox may collect and form a theory from them upon a firm basis, and if this notice contribute but an iota towards it, I am well rewarded.

Mirage seen on the 15th Dec. 1832, near Jamlaha in Tirhut.

A little to the east of Barbalta Ghdt, on the Byah Nullah, is a wide extended plain, without trees or jungle of any kind; nothing of vegetation is to be seen, except a stunted species of grass, which serves to feed numerous herds of cattle, that seem to thrive on this sterile waste : patches of saline matter are here and there to be seen white with efilorescence. On the above day, I travelled across this plain, and at 3 P. M., observed the phenomenon of Mirage. Every object in sight was rendered five or six times its ordinary size. The men and cattle appeared gigantic spectres, stalking about in the distance; nfew of them appeared as if walking on stilts,-while some of the bufl‘aloes' heads seemed larger than their bodies. A few were elevated to such a height, that their legs appeared like the trunks of palm trees. These distortions continued to change as the objects moved about, to such a degree, that the men and cattle changed their shapes every moment like shadowy spectres. A transparent bluish kind of vapour could now and then be seen when stooping down, and looking towards the horizon, and having an undulatory motion, which, I have no doubt, caused this phenomenon. It is, however, not common, for my servants, when asked about it, looked grave,andtheir countenances expressed more of fearthan curiosity; while at the same time, they did not like to talk or say any thing on the subject. They, however, stated, that it was something not good, and that " many people would die after seeing it." I could not even prevail on them to stay to witness its disappearance.

This plain is bounded on the east by a swampy j'hil of considerable extent. Could the blue vapour which I distinctly saw, be what is generally called Malaria! If so, I have certainly seen it, though “ in a questionable shape," contrary to the opinions of many who deem it impalpable and invisible ; at first I attri. buted the fears of my servants to superstition, but I have subsequently thought that they have reason to fear it, especially if the appearance was really caused by Malaria, which is probable ; for a great mortality of the people in the neighbouring villages took place in a few days after I had returned from my journey.

The Mirage representing water I have so often observed, that I thought it too common to notice.

5. Range of the Barometer and Thermometer at Port Louis in the Mauritius in

1828, by LISLET Gaorraov, 001-. Ray. Ac. Sc. qflhe French Institute, for the 2nd Vol. Roy. As. Soc. Trans.

[graphic][graphic][graphic][ocr errors][graphic][ocr errors][ocr errors][graphic][graphic]
[ocr errors]

In adding this to the number of Meteorological abstracts published in our

J0_\1rIw.ll, we have corrected several obvious mistakes in the decimals of the origins .

[ocr errors][ocr errors][graphic][graphic][graphic][graphic][graphic][graphic][graphic][graphic][graphic][ocr errors][graphic][graphic][ocr errors]
« PreviousContinue »