Page images

[We despair of being able to do justice to the beautiful drawings of these two zealous contributors, but we will do our best to give them early public_ation.]

Two bottles of Sea..water, one from the Red Sea, the other from the Arabian Sea, were presented by Lieut. A. Bvnncs, through Lieut. T. Fnasna, who on his own part offered for the Society’s Museum, a specimen of the genuine Papyrus of Egypt.

The remainder of the fossil bones from the bed of the J umna, presented by Sergeant E. DEAN, now Superintendent of the Delhi Canal, were laid on the table, with a descriptive catalogue from the donor.

A collection of Insects from Kemaon, presented by Dr. ll/ICCLELLAND, containing many duplicate specimens of the collection formerly procured by the Society from Sylhet, and a specimen of the silk of the Aranea

A collection of Snakes from Midnapore, presented by P. Cl-IIENE, Esq.
A specimen of Monoculus, from Burmah, presented by Col. Buimnv,

Resident at Ava.

Specimens of Silicious T ufa in spherical concretions, from the hot springs in Bhotan, were presented by Dr. MCCLELLAND, who furnished the following particulars of their formation.

“ They are produced from hot springs in Bhotan, brought to Almorah by the merchants of that country, and sold as Duck shot.

“ The substance melts before the blue flame of the blow-pipe, with the addition of borax, into a porcelaneous mass. Without borax, it is infusible, nor does it form lime.

“ From the above properties, these singular little spherical bodies appear to be silicious tufl’, similar to what is afforded by the boiling springs of Iceland.

“ Dr. BLACK, as well as KLAPROTH, who long ago examined the Iceland waters, and the small globules of tuif ejected from them, believed the silex to be held in solution by the immense heat to which it was exposed, assisted by the slightly alkaline character of the waters.

“ The Iceland waters are propelled with great violence from the earth, at a boiling temperature, to the height of several yards, and with the water the small globular bodies of silex.

“ The only other springs that emit siliceous tufl' (as far as I recollect) are those of Carlsbad in Bohemia, where the temperature of the water is (I think) 178° Fahr. I am not sure that the tufi is there afforded in isolated bodies, or rather in stalactitic, and coralloidal forms on the basins of the springs.

“ I was unable to learn the locality of the Bhutan springs, or their extent."

VlI. --Miscellaneous.

l.-—-Abandoned Oriental Works.

The unfinished publications of the Committee of Public Instruction, the printing of which was recently suspended by order of Government through fear of increasing their accumulation of waste-paper, have been liberally (we really consider the gift to be both liberal and valuable, notwithstanding the danger of being suspected of irony by some members of the Society), and unreservedly placed at the entire disposal of the Asiatic Society. A pledge has been offered that the Society shall incur no risk of loss from its engagement to complete them, although the printer's estimate amounts to upwards of twenty thousand rupees ; and although a writer in the Friend of India, to whose solidjndgment upon all that concerns the interests and opinions of the natives the greatest deference is due, discourages the hope of any patronage, or profit, from sale of the works, among the rich or the learned of the country. Nevertheless, it is to these, and to the friends of oriental literature among our own countrymen, that the Society can alone look for reimbursement. it must be borne in mind, that the Government having made a present of one half or more of these works, the price at which the Society will be able to sell them will be reduced in the same proportion, and that compared with the price of manuscripts, these rates will be exceedingly low. But if indeed the books are held to be worthless and unsaleable, then will the worst fears of Dr. MARSHMAN be realized. To meet this objection, and to satisfy the inquiries of those who might be alarmed at spending their money on waste-paper, the Prospectus published by the Society (and appended to our present number) has collected a few notices on the principal

works, from the pens of those to whose judgment all will be willing to succumb ; and among the patrons of Oriental literature in the older time, it is gratifying to behold the name of the first Governor General of India. We will not allow it to be imagined, however, that all encouragement has been abandoned in these latter days : it was in 1632-3, that the Tibetan Dictionary and Grammar were printed at a cost of Rs. 5,000 to Government. A proposition for the printing of a Cochin-Chinese Dictionary prepared by the Vicar Apostolic of that country is, we perceive by the proceedings of the Asiatic Society, about to be made. It remains to be seen whether the fatal edict, almost the last of the late administration, will interfere to prevent the patronage of this valuable addition to the languages of the east.

[ocr errors]

The Geographical Society of Paris have paid a handsome compliment to our travellers, Lieutenant A. Bvnnus, and Lieutenant A. CONOLLY, in testimony of the value set upon the published results of their adventurous labours. On the latter they have conferred a copper prize-medal, and to the former, one of silver.

The avidity with which interesting works on the newly explored regions of central Asia are received at home. may be judged from the fact, that Lieutenant BURNES’ work passed through three English editions in ayear, besides a translation into French and German.

3 .— Ceylonese History.

The Honorable GEORGE Tunxoua of Ceylon, well known for his attainments in the Paili and Singalese literature, is now publishing a translation of the Mahavanse or History of the Rojas of Ceylon, from the landing of Vijuya on the island in the 9th century before Christ. We refer to the proceedings of the Asiatic Society of the 5th August for some particulars of this costly undertaking, to which we trust due encouragement will be given.

4.-—-Valuable Tibetan Works.

We are happy to announce that Mr. Honoson, resident in Nipal, has at length been able to procure a complete copy of the Siungyur collection, of which only a few extracts were hitherto in possession of the learned, although a catalogue of the contents of the whole collection has been drawn up by Mr. CSOMA, and published (in analysis) in the Journal Asiatic Society. Mr. llonuson proposes, with his usual munificence, to present this copy to the Calcutta Asiatic Society, while he destines another complete copy of the printed Kahgyur for the Royal Asiatic Society of London.

Of the Sanscrit originals of these precious stores of Bauddha learning, Mr. Honcson is endeavouring to obtain copies from Digarchi and Lhassa ; they are not to be had at Kathmandu. Our countrymen may feel happy that good chance has placed a man of Mr. HonosoN’s zeal in the residency of Nipal, in lieu of one of the new school. But for him the 300 volumes of Indian literature, preserved beyond the snows in a foreign dress, might still have been unknown, or, if known, despised and unrecovered.

[ocr errors]

A splendid Botanical Book, with coloured copper-plates, including microscopic dissections of new plants, discovered by the Rev. B. Scrnno in the Nilgherries, (Nilgiris), and sent home to Germany, has been commenced to be published by a talented Professor of Botany in the University of Jena. The work will be worthy of the Science. The 1st No. is expected to reach India within afew weeks, and every quarter of the year, one decade will appear. The sale of the work, if promoted by the friends of the science in India, will greatly aid Mr. Scmuln in his zealous Botanical researches, and doubtless lead to fresh discoveries.

6.-—-Force of the Unicorn Fish.

“ The ship Royal Saxon, of about 500 tons, is now in dock, undergoing the necessary refit after the dreadful hurricane she experienced in the Bay (of Bengal). So furious was the tempest, that when it somewhat cleared up, in addition to loss of main and mizen masts, the bowsprit was found broken off just outside the head of the stem, which was unknown to any body aboard, untilso discovered. The diameter is 23 inches! On looking at the bottom, the snout or horn of an Unicorn Fish was pointed out by one of the native work-people, projecting beyond the surface of the plank about six inches ; since which, a piece of the plank, with the horn, has been cut out, which shews the fish struck the bottom in a diagonal direction, pierced the copper, felt, and bottom plank of 35, in. thick, as well as the timber, one inch. The commander has this curiosity now on board.

I think a notice of this may prove interesting to some of the readers of your Journal.—J. M. s. '

[A similar fact was noticed, and the perforated piece of wood presented to the

Society, and noticed in the Proceedings of the 26th December, 1833.~—En.]


Meteorological Reisler, kept at the Assay Oflice, Calcutta, for the Month of July, 1835. 1

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

The index of the hair hygrometer was found to have accidentally become attached between 91° and 92°; proper standing: 8 degrees must be added to the indications of the last month. The rain guage is read offalways in the morning,

eding day.

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