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a map of small scale, to decide what details must be re- curriculum. The tendency has been, by the specialized tained because they are essential to a grasp of its broad character of the primary examinations in late years, to general structure, and what may be safely eliminated sever in some degree the knowledge obtained in the without impairing the comprehensive view. In the earlier part of a student's career from the practical map now before us this end has been compassed with application of the same at the bedside. So much is consummate skill. It bristles with detail, but there is no- this the case, that it has been deemed advisable in some where crowding ; the colours are well contrasted, and so quarters to introduce new courses of lectures, their aim transparent that they do not hide the topography, which being to indicate with precision to students those facts in is full and clearly printed.

anatomy and physiology which have a distinct clinical The richness in detail of the strip of country between value. One of the chief merits of Dr. Wethered's book Cape Wrath and Loch Torridon marks one scene of the is that he has therein demonstrated the important rerecent work of the Geological Survey. Then follows a lationship between histology and morbid anatomy, and broad band of “gneissose and schistose rocks not yet has shown that any attempt at acquiring a knowledge of differentiated.” A portion of this ground is occupied by the latter is dependent upon a practical and searching the crushed and mangled-out complex of the “Moine training in the former. scbists,” but a large part is yet imperfectly explored. To Moreover, the book is worthy of more detailed criti the south-east of the Great Glen we enter again on ground cism. Necessarily in a first edition there are some points which has been largely worked out by the Geological omitted. In speaking of the microscope the author offers Survey. We have here a group of various sedimentary a cursory remark on the fine adjustment; no mention is deposits in a more or less altered condition, containing | made of the best pattern, and there are many of an sheets of basic igneous rocks. The geological age of this inferior and useless description foisted on students ; nor series is not known, and they are provisionally classed as are there any directions for the precise use of this porDalradian.

tion of the microscope. In the chapter on “ Hardening The presentation of the results of the work of the Geo- and Decalcifying Tissues," on p. 35, are found some welllogical Survey in the north-west and central Highlands meant platitudes on the necessity of immediately labelare the two most conspicuous novelties in the map ; but | ling specimens ; but at the same time the use of lactic during its use other corrections and additions, too small acid as a decalcifying agent is omitted. We have sucto catch the eye on a general view, become noticeable. ceeded in completely softening small pieces of bone in 4-7 In the explanatory notes we have a concise summary of days, and teeth may be cut with the freezing microtome the geology of Scotland, and feel that our thanks are due | in from two to three weeks. to the author for having put so much into so small a' With certain statements of the author we venture to space without in any way sacrificing descriptive clearness. | disagree. In speaking of the celloidin method he When the time comes for a new version of the map, may

advises that the specimen be placed in equal parts of the same hand be with us to draw it up.

ether and alcohol previously to being placed in celloidin. A. H. GREEN. A mixture of four parts of ether and one part of absolute

alcohol ensures more rapid and complete penetration of

the embedding material. Also in using paraffin for this MEDICAL MICROSCOPY.

purpose we have found by extensive practice that secMedical Microscopy. A Guide to the Use of the Micro

tions containing a large amount of fibrous tissue are scope in Medical Practice. By Frank J. Wethered.

useless after being in the paraffin bath for three to five M.D.(Lond), &c.

hours, even at a temperature of 48° C. ; twenty to thirty With Illustrations. Pp. 412.

minutes is ample, provided that the material is properly (London: H. K. Lewis, 1892.)

dehydrated. The chapter on staining is succinct and THIS volume, one of Lewis's practical series, bears comprehensive, and we note the usual and indeed only

1 an ambitious title, and must necessarily traverse a rational classification of stains, as nuclear, general, and wide and intricate field of medical work. Its appearance selective. Hæmatoxylin still holds the first place, and is justified by the distinct need existing at the present Delafield's, or as it is miscalled, Grenacher's, is undoubttime for a manual dealing with the various microscopical | edly the best formula. It is here stated that if the sections methods so essential to diagnostic accuracy and rational be overstained, and washing in acid-alcohol be necessary, treatment.

the colour is not permanent. Our experience is that if The subject-matter is arranged in twenty-four chapters ; | after the acid they be washed thoroughly well with “tap and as an indication of the scope of the book, we instance water," a very clear nuclear stain results which remains some of the headings. The earlier ones treat of the unchanged for years. Gram's method of staining for microscope and its accessories, the methods of hardening, micro-organisms, with Weigert's modification, is clearly decalcifying, embedding, section cutting, staining, and detailed. But here we fail to observe any mention of the injection of tissues. Then follow others on the examina- | brilliant results obtained by the Ehrlich-Biondi method. tion of tissues, urinary deposits, blood, expectoration, The employment of rubin for actinomycosis may with and the detection of micro-organisms, and cutaneous confidence be recommended, and the same remark applies parasites; while the latter chapters deal with the ex- to the use of saffranin in bringing out clearly the nuclear amination of food, water, and with bacteriological figures in karyokinesis. The chapter on mounting is methods. In fact, the book is almost an epitome of the somewhat tedious and the use of origanum oil in clearcourse pursued by a student earnestly working with the ing celloidin-specimens is not advocated, although it has microscope from the commencement to the end of his found general acceptance in Continental laboratories. Weigert's method of preparing and staining nerve-tissue is probably due to the fact that but few persons possess ti is given, but with one important detail left out, viz., that requisite knowledge to treat the subject in a thorough on removing the specimen from Müller's fluid or chromic satisfactory manner in all its bearings, such as th acid solution it should have a brown, and not a green origin and production of the numerous products, wheth colour. The preparation of individual tissues and organs animal or vegetable, and the chemical aspect of eve is well dealt with in chapter xii., but in the succeeding substance and its commercial value, which are points th: one on the examination of tumours there are such evident could scarcely be expected to be mastered by one mind. I signs of hasty composition as to render it of small in- | the “Pharmacographia" of Flückiger and Hanbury, tw trinsic value. On the other hand, the important subjects master minds on the subject of drugs were brought int of urinary and excrementitious matters receive ample co-operation, with the result that a most satisfactory an treatment; and we have a clear résumé up to this date standard work on medicinal plants was produced. Tha of all that is taught on these subjects. As an example this book was in the mind of the author when he com we note with pleasure tbe account of Dr. Delepine's piled his “Odorographia," and selected its title, is quit work on “sable intestinal.” The bacillus of Asiatic apparent, and we are bound to say that on the whole h cholera and the methods of its detection are described has done his work remarkably well, though we wis on p. 228 ; and the diagnostic points between it and that that he had adhered more strictly to the lines of hi of cholera nostras are found on the next page. A large pattern. Mr. Sawer, however, at the very commence amount of space is necessarily devoted to the examina- ment of his preface, is so modest as to say that “al tion of sputa. Dr. Wethered's experience at the City of endeavour has here been made to collect together into on London Hospital for Diseases of the Chest enables him manual the information which has hitherto been only to speak with the voice of authority on the signification obtainable by reference to an immense number of work of the presence or absence of the tubercle bacillus. and journals, English and foreign, in many cases in Physiologists will find their side of the question well con- accessible to readers interested in the subject," and that sidered in the observations on blood ; on Dr. A. Garrod's he is thoroughly well acquainted with all that has been authority we are told that the blood of the Londoner has written is apparent not only from a glance through the not yet been found to contain its true proportion of hæmo pages, where numerous references occur, but also from globin. Eosinophile cells are not omitted ; but for more | the “ List of Principal Works referred to.” Besides this detailed information on this point we commend to the the author has, as he tells us, obtained information first notice of pathologists the article by Dr. A. Kanthack hand from some of the largest perfume-plant growers and in the British Medical Journal of June, 1892.

manufacturers of Grasse, Nice, and localities in the Medical microscopy as a subject is exceedingly elastic, Straits Settlements and West Indies. The difficulties and we believe Dr. Wethered has stretched it to its widest attending the compilation of a work of this nature have, limits when he finds space for describing the examina. | no doubt, been very great, because scraps of information tion of various kinds of cereals, also of water. Even are so widely dispersed, and even when found often the homely tea-leaf has not escaped his notice. A few times very confusing. The botany alone of the subject instances of clerical errors are to be found, thus Hart- must have occupied a considerable amount of time in nach for Hartnack, on p. 122, Richert for Reichert. | looking up, the plants yielding perfumes being natives At the term “collodionization "we venture to express our of various parts of the globe, and consequently described distaste. A growing practice exists of introducing un- | in the several floras appertaining to those special coungainly expressions of doubtful expediency into scientific tries, besides which the chemical and commercial aspects works.

occupy a large portion of the book. We have read this book with considerable attention, Though we are grateful to Mr. Sawer for giving us a and are convinced that it has a most distinct raison d'être, book that was really wanted, we regret, as we said before, and justifies on the whole, by the merit of its execution, that he has not followed more closely the plan of the the ambition of its title. It treats of the matter in hand “Pharmacographia" and arranged his matter under diswith much ability, and in a manner that evidences con tinct heads, such as History, Botany, Cultivation, siderable experience on the part of the author as a Chemistry, Commerce, &c. Practically he has done so pathologist, physician, and teacher.

to a certain extent, but the paragraphs are not sufficiently A. H. TUBBY. distinguished to enable one to turn at once to that upon

which information may be specially sought. The - ------ -- - - ---- - --- ------- ---

arrangement of chapters, in which the most important ODOROGRAPHIA.

and marked odours, such as those of musk, rose, violet, Odorographia : a Natural History of Raw Materials

the citrine odours, &c., are brought together, is gond, and Drugs used in the Perfume Industry. By J.

but the principal plants in each of these groups might Ch. Sawer, F.L.S.

have been treated as we have described, the least im(London : Gurney and Jackson,

portant ones being given as they are at the end of the 1892.)

chapters. CONSIDERING the importance of the subject of Returning to the botany of the book, we cannot but

u perfumes both from a scientific and a commercial | think that the author might well have spared much space point of view, it is somewhat surprising that a really good by the omission of numerous varietal names and and authoritative book dealing on the matters encom- synonyms, many of which are scarcely ever heard of passed by “ Odorographia” has not before been at- | now, and which often only tend to confusion. Under tempted. The delay in the appearance o such a work | Violet, for instance (p. 104), half a page is given to a list

of the names of nine varieties of the Sweet Violet (Viola | are expressly stated to be in “ Coll. Saunders," all the odorata). Again, at p. 309, Vétiver, or Cus Cus, is rightly

others are in the British Museum, including those for described as the root of Andropogon muricatus, after

which a locality is given before the list of British Museum which follow the names of five synonyms. In reference to

specimens. this Mr. Sawer says, referring to the “Asiatic Researches," | Charles Darwin : His Life Told in an Autobiographical that “there is a verse in the Sanskrit language composed

Chapter and in a Selected Series of his published of nine words, arranged in two lines, purporting to be the

Letters. Edited by his son, Francis Darwin. (London : nine names under which the plant was known ; doubtless

John Murray, 1892.) they were poetical names, as they are not found in the

PROF. DARWIN describes this volume as practically an

abbreviation of the well-known “Life and Letters." The extensive list of local names recently enumerated by

task of compression has been accomplished admirably, and Watt." This would show that Dr. Watt, who in his there can be little doubt that the work will be cordially “Dictionary of the Economic Products of India " does appreciated by a large number of readers. Of course it not err on the score of brevity in the adoption of has been necessary to omit many details which are of synonyms, considered that there was a line to be drawn | interest to men of science ; but everything is included

which is really essential to a proper comprehension of somewhere. We may perhaps also be allowed to draw

| Darwin's fine personal character, and a sufficiently full attention to a paragraph on page 19, where the

and clear idea is given even of his scientific labours. No musk tree of Jamaica and the muskwood of Australia one will read this fascinating book without feeling anew have got confused. The paragraph in question runs how much reason England has to rank Darwin among thus: “The Eurybia argophylla or Guarea Swartsei, the the greatest and noblest of her sons. The volume is silver-leaved musk tree of Jamaica, New South Wales,

enriched with a reproduction of an exquisite photograph

of Darwin by the late Mrs. Cameron. and Tasmania, is a meliaceous tree, attaining a height of twenty-five feet.” Eurybia, or more properly Olearia Strange Survivals : Some Chapters in the History of Man. argophylla is the muskwood of New South Wales and By S. Baring-Gould. (1.ondon: Methuen and Co., Tasmania, and belongs to the natural order Coinpositæ,

1892.) while Guarea Swartsii is a meliaceous tree of Jamaica,

EVERY one who has given any attention to anthropology where it is known as musk tree. Another muskwood, not

is aware that many remarkable customs and beliefs,

which are still to be found among the uneducated classes mentioned by Mr. Sawer, is that of Moschoxylum

even in highly civilized communities, are relics of ancient Swartsii, a highly fragrant resinous tree, closely allied superstitions. In the present volume Mr. Baring-Gould to Guarea, and a native also of Jamaica and Trinidad. examines various groups of these curious survivals, and We refer to these matters in no captious spirit, but simply

traces them back to their origin in the ideas of past ages. with the hope that Mr. Sawer may see his way to over

He knows his subject well, and, being interested in it

himself, is able to present it in a way which is likely to haul and modify this part of his useful book in a future

make it interesting to others. The value of the text is edition, so as to make it even more useful and trust

considerably increased by some well-selected illustraworthy. We are glad to note that he “is still engaged tions. upon studies in this department, and hopes to publish another volume in due course.”

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR. [The Editor does not hold himself responsible for opinions ex.

pressed by his correspondents. Neither can he underlake OUR BOOK SHELF.

to return, or to correspond with the writers of, rejected

manuscripts intended for this or any other part of NATURE.. Catalogue of Eastern and Australian Lepidoptera

No notice is taken of anonymous communications. ]
Heterocera in the Collection of the Oxford University
Museum. By Colonel C. Swinhoe. Part I. Sphinges

Botanical Nomenclature. and Bombyces. (Clarendon Press, 1892.)

In Nature for October 6 (p. 549) there is a note “on the This volume is the first part of a Catalogue of the progress of the negotiations concerning the nomenclature of moths from the Oriental and Australian regions in the genera, started by a committee of botanists at Berlin to supplecollection of the late Mr. W. W. Saunders, which was

ment the decisions of the International Botanical Congress held acquired by the Oxford Museum some fifteen years ago,

at Paris in 1867." It is stated that “the botanical authorities and consists chiefly of specimens collected by Wallace

of the British Museum favour the suggestions; those at Kew are during his famous voyage to the Malay Archipelago,

against them." and described by the late Francis Walker in his British

Now this requires a little correction. It may be remarked to

begin with that many botanists are exercised at the present Museum Catalogue. Since Walker's arrangement of

time not merely about the nomenclature of genera, but also the collection it has remained untouched and mostly

about that of species. Kew has, however, never given its neglected by lepidopterists, so that a rearrangement and adhesion to the attempts that have been made to bring about an comparison of the types had become highly necessary, iniernational agreement on these matters. It has always felt which useful work has been undertaken and very ably that so many considerations must determine the course taken by carried out by Colonel Swinhoe. All the types have been the systemalist in any particular case, that there is no advantage, brought to the British Museum, their synonomy carefully but positive inconvenience, in being subjected to a hard and fast vorked out and the species placed in their proper families

rule. It is therefore with no disrespect 10, or want of sympathy ind genera, many of them being fi ured in the eight

with, the able school of Berlin botanists, who have recently for

mulated some new proposals with regard to n'menclature, that oloured plates, and it is to be hoped the other parts will

Kew has officially refrained from expressing any opinion upon oon follow, and also that a list of the types which should

those proposals. It has neither expressed approval nor dis. e in the Museum and are missing will be added. There

approval. i one statement in the preface which requires correction ;

In America Harvard has long occupied the leading place in be only types of Walker's species described in his Cata- the botanical world, and the principles adopted there have been gue which are in the Oxford Museum are those which substantially in accord with ihose adopted at Kew. lsitherto,

therefore, the leading English-speaking botanists who have must yield regardless even of common sense, is a mere for occupied themselves with systematic botany have been in of fetichism exemplified in science. Many instances of t] substantial agreement that the adoption of a strict law of application of this law are not science but are rather superst priority in nomenclature must give way to considerations of otion.

SERENO WATSON. convenience.

February 22, 1892. Well known and accepted names are not therefore to be lightly changed as the result of mere bibliographical research. As to specific names the often merely mechanical process of de. The Reflector with the Projection Microscope. scribing a new species is held to be of little value compared with THE lantern is now used for so many purposes scientific the more difficult task of assigning to the plant described its true

photographic, and recreative—that any improvement in il affinities and correct systematic position. The principle which construction will be acceptable. When we look into th guides Kew practice in this matter is laid down by Sir Joseph instrument whilst at work we must be disappointed at the larg Hooker in the preface to “The Flora of British India" (p. vii).

quantity of light lost by reflection and by dispersion-lig! He remarks :

which ought to go to the illumination of the screen. In t. “The number of species described by authors who cannot

ordinary form of the lantern three lenses of dense glass at determine their affinities increases annually, and I regard the employed as condensers. Each of these six surfaces reflec naturalist who puts a described plant into its proper position in and scatters the light, and the glass itself is absorbent of i regard to its allies as rendering a greater service to science than rays. its describer when he either puts it into a wrong place or throws The dioptric construction of the projection lantern has bee it into any of those chaotic heaps miscalled genera with which well worked out by Messrs. Wright, Newton, Salomons, an systematic works still abound.”

others, but the catoptric principle, which would eliminat The following paper on the subject deserves the wider circu almost entirely these disadvantages, has been scarcely at a lation which its reprint in NATURE would give it. It repre. | studied. sents the Harvard tradition and practice, and is the last scien Although my experiments have been made solely with th tific utterance of Dr. Sereno Watson, who so soon followed to limelight in various forms, the following remarks may equal the grave his illustrious predecessor, Asa Gray.

apply to light given by the electric arc :Kew, November 14. W. T. Thiselton DYER,

If a reflector be used instead of the ordinary condensers

is obvious that the position of the lime cylinder must be reversed ON NOMENCLATURE.

This will present no difficulty, for the tube holding the jet a [It was the request of the late Dr. Sereno Watson that the following com.

be bent into a helical form. The dark image of the line munication, dictated by him in his last illness, should appear at an early date

cylinder also will have no more practical disadvantage than i in the Botanical Gazette.-Eds.)

experienced by a like image formed by the small plane speci

lum of the Newtonian telescope. For some time I have had a desire to give expression to my views upon botanical nomenclature. Under the circum.

As to the mirror itself, although a parabolic form is the mos stances, I must speak briefly and somewhat dogmatically. In

correct, a spherical surface will be sufficient for mere illumin my opinion botany is the science of plants and not the science

ating purposes, and thus expense may be spared in the grind of names. Nomenclature is only one of those tools which is

ing of the more difficult curve. A speculum of from 5 to 7 incha necessary to botany, and this being the case, points of nomen.

diameter, having a radial curvation of from 2 to 3 inches clature should be subordinated to science.

will grasp a large quantity of light, much more than that ob A principle of botanical convenience has been established

tainable from the 5-inch condenser usually employed. by those who prefer one name to another on account of ex.

Silver deposited by one of the various reducing processes ou pediency or convenience. This principle should have a great

the surface of a clear glass lens will have many advantages ovel deal of influence. It has been so recognized by the greatest

a metal mirror. The front surface will give perhaps the fines botanists, and from their authority receives great weight. I pre

definition, but by silvering the back part of a spherical glasi

film, or that of a ground lens, the brilliant surface will remai fer the word expediency as a better term than convenience to designate the principle, that the demands of science over-ride

untarnished for an indefinite time, and the whitish blood any merely technical claims of priority, &c.

formed by slow volatilization of the incandescent lime is easily Priority of specific names appears to be based entirely upon

removed. This silver film adheres with remarkable tenacity one section of the code of 1867. That simply says that

and it will bear a great deal of heat without blistering at

becoming detached. when a species is transferred from one genus to another, the specific name is maintained. This principle is usually under.

I have had considerable success in constructing such mirror stood and applied in the way that the oldest specific name

from the large ornamental glass spheres blown in Germany, and has a right in all cases to be retained. It cannot fairly be so

silvered within by Liebig's process, viz. with milk sugar and interpreted and applied, since it governs only to the extent

ammonio nitrate of silver. A glass sphere of 10 or II inches that this should be the law, but it is not to be made an ex

in diameter may be easily cut into eight or nine mirrors by a post facto law. Thus when a transfer has been made, that

red-hot iron, and this without disturbing the silvering, which ends the matter so far as the choice of a specific name is con

will require only gentle friction with a pad of cotton impreg. cerned, and no one is authorized to take up a different name.

nated with a trifle of rouge to brighten it. Thus, at the cost of This practice of retaining the oldest name under the genus,

a few shillings, eight or more mirrors can be made, and also no matter what older specific names there may be, was

provision be made against possible accidents of cracking by adopted by Dr. Gray in his later years and by the Kew bot

heat. anists, for the reason that once established and pretty generally

The light-radiant is so placed that the secondary focus is interrecognized, it would avoid the great mass of synonymy, which

cepted by a plano-concave lens of dense glass, as has been hapis being heaped like an incubus upon the science. I must

pily proposed by Mr. L. Wright. The convergent rays from the express surprise that Dr. Britton had not considered it his duty

speculum are thus made into a parallel beam, which must be de to publish the last written words of Dr. Gray which were

prived of its heat by an alum-trough, for the light and heat * addressed to him upon this subject and which expressed his

the substage condenser is very great.

Convergence, I find, is usefully promoted by a plano-conso positive opinions upon this point. There is nothing whatever of an ethical character inherent

lens of about eight inches focus, placed two or three inches in a name through any priority of publication or position

before the above-noted plano.concave lens. In all other respects which should render it morally obligatory upon any one to

the arrangements are like those of the usual modern projectics accept one name rather than another ; otherwise it would be

microscope. applicable or true as well in the case of ordinal names, mor.

I have pretty constantly used the ether-oxygen saturator, act phological names, teratological, and every other form of

I consider it to be perfectly safe, if ordinary precautions be name, to which now no one feels himself bound to apply the

taken. The oxygen, compressed in cylinders, is much recomlaw of priority. The application of this law as at present

mended, as there can be no mixture of vapour, except at the

right place. The U-shaped horizontal saturator, plugged with practised by many botanists, which would make it the one

flannel, must be well charged with ether, or with the best gasagreat law of botanical nomenclature, before which every other

lene, and care should be taken, before beginning or ending 2 * From Botanical Gazette, vol. xvii.

exhibition, to shut off the oxygen tap before closing the etbe

tap. This will prevent the harmless “snap" from the mixture

Women and Musical Instruments. in ihe small chamber at the joining of the gas tubes. If a disc In answer to Prof. O. T. Mason's letter which appeared in a more than eight feet be required for the microscope, it will be recent number of NATURE (vol. xlvi. p. 561), I may draw attenwell to use hydrogen gas instead of ether, since the calibre of tion to the following facts which bear upon a part of the subject the jet cannot in the ether light very well exceed of an inch.

which he broaches, namely, the part played by savage women As an extra security, I pack the mixing chamber with asbestos

in the use of musical instruments. In the South Pacific the “nosefibre, moistened with glycerine ; but, as before urged, the oxy Aute” is very generally, though by no means exclusively, gen must leave the saturator, saturated.

played upon by women. In the account of the voyage of Capts. To insure the coincidence of the foci of the reflector with the

Cook and King there is in one of the plates a figure of a woman optical axis of the microscope, it will be well to place three ad of the Tonga Islands seated under a hut playing upon a "nosejusting screws in a triangle behind the mirror, and this last may flute.” A similar figure of a woman playing upon a "nose-flute" have both a small vertical and horizontal movement.

may be seen in plate 28 of Labilladière's “Voyage de la I claim for this catoptric arrangement a larger grasp of light Perouse,” in the representation of a Tongan double-canoe. than can be got from ordinary lenses, and this may be effected Melville (“ Four Months' Residence in the Marquisas Islands," al: o at a small outlay. For the amateur constructor the plan | p. 251) mentions playing upon the “nose-flute" as being "a will afford many advantages.

G. B. BUCKTON. favourite recreation with the females.” In Wilkes' “Ú. S.

Exploring Expedition," üi. p. 190, there is a description of Note on the Colours of the Alkali Metals.

this instrument as used in the Fiji Islands, and it is stated WHEN these metals are heated in a vacuous tube in such a that “no other instrument but the flute ['nose-flute'] is way as to cause an extremely thin sublimate of the metal to played by the women as an accompaniment to the voice." condense upon the glass, the film so obtained will be found to

Turning now to another genus of primitive instruments, possess a beautiful and strongly.marked colour. That this colour

viz., the “musical bow," we find a peculiar local form, the is not in any way due to the combination of the metal with any

“Pangolo," occurring at Blanche Bay, New Britain. There lingering minute traces of oxygen, is evident from the fact that

are specimens of this at Berlin and Vienna. This instrument vacuous tubes which have contained the clean and bright metal

is stated by Dr. O. Finsch (Ann. des K. K. Naturhist. for years, and in which the metal has been frequently melted

Hofmuscums, supp). vol. iii. pt. 1, p. 111) 10 be only played and rolled about, and even vapourized in places, and in which,

upon by women of Blanche Bay. Guppy too (" Solomon therefore, it is impossible to conceive of any oxygen remaining,

Islands," p. 142), says that the women of Treasury Island will continue to show the phenomenon whenever a portion of

produce a soft kind of music by playing, somewhat after the contained metal is heated. The experiment may readily be

the fashion of a jew's-harp, on a lightly-made fine-stringed bow made by introducing a freshly-cut fragment of the metal into a

about 15 inches long. glass tube sealed at one end and drawn down to a narrow and

It cannot, I believe, be said that any of these instruments thickened constriction near the middle. The tube is then drawn

have been invented by women, and it is undoubted that out at the open end and connected to a Sprengel pump. As

women in savagery but seldom figure as performers upon musical soon as a good vacuum is obtained the tube is warmed through

instruments. It would certainly be interesting to collect all the out its entire length, the pump being still in operation, and the

instances recorded. I hope that the above few notes regard. metal heated sufficiently high to cause it to melt and run out of

ing instruments in the South Pacific may be of use to Prof. the crust of oxide. When the exhaustion is again as complete

Mason, and I can only regret that lack of the necessary as possible the tube is sealed off. The metal is once more

time prevents my going further into the matter. melted, the whole tube being at the same time gently heated,

University Museum, Oxford,

HENRY BALFOUR. and the molten mass allowed to filter through the constriction

November 7. into the other portion of the tube. The vacuous condition of the tube allows of the metal freely running through an extremely fine aperture, and in this way it becomes perfectly separated from all dross. The tube is then sealed off at the constriction. On

AN ANCIENT GLACIAL EPOCH IN gently heating a minute fragment of the bright metal so obtained,

AUSTRALIA. by means of a small pointed gas flame, the coloured film of A VERY interesting “special report” has just been sublimed metal will at once be seen: Viewed by transmitted

issued by the Department of Mines of Victoria, light, the colour of the film of sodium thus obtained is greenishblue, inclining to green. Potassium gives a sublimate which is

giving an account of the remarkable evidences of glaciaof a magnificent rich purple colour, while rubidium, on the

tion observed at a locality about twenty miles southother hand, forms a film which is a pure indigo blue.

east of Sandhurst, and about the same distance north of In the cases of sodium and potassium, the colour of the metallic

the great Dividing Range. The report is illustrated by sublimates is different from the colour of the vapour as seen when

a map and sections on a large scale, and by eight excelthe metals are boiled in an atmosphere of hydrogen. Potassium, lent photographic prints, showing the character of the it will be remembered, yields under these circumstances a vapour deposit on the surface and in railway cuttings, the possessing an emerald-green colour, while that of sodium, which striated bed rock, and the striated and grooved blocks appears colourless when seen in small layers, shows a violet or and boulders, so that full materials are given for the conpurple colour when viewed through a sufficient thickness.

clusion that we have here an undoubted glacial deposit. When the liquid alloy of sodium and potassium is treated in A brief summary of this report will therefore be interesting the same way, the sublimate obtained is found to be greenish in

to all students of the phenomena and problems of terrescolour nearest to the source of heat, quickly shading off to blue and purple as it is more remote from that point, indicating ap

trial glaciation. parently ihat the two metals sublime separately.

The district now specially described is about fifteen As a means of observing these colour phenomena, this alloy

miles in one direction by five in another, and over this is more advantageously employed than the solid metals them

area of about thirty-six square miles the conglomerate is selves, for, by rolling the liquid about, the sublimate may be

continuous, overlying the Silurian rocks of the district. wiped away and the experiment repeated indefinitely in the same It has generally a rounded or undulating surface, but tube.

shows cliffs about 100 feet high in some of the gullies, and As to whether the colours of these sublimed films are properties its maximum thickness is estimated at 300 or 400 feet, intrinsic to the particular metals, or are merely a function of the while its highest point is about 700 feet above sea-level. physical condition of the substances, it is perhaps rash to As well seen in the cliffs and several railway cuttings, the dogmatize. A number of other elements have been treated in a

conglomerate consists of a matrix of sand and clayey similar manner, but without similar results ; thus lithium,

matter containing huge boulders, great angular and subcadmium, mercury, arsenic, tellurium, and selenium, when heated

angular masses of rock, pebbles, and rock-fragments of in vacuous tubes are readily sublimed, but in no case does the 61m; appear coloured. On the other hand, however, it is well |

endless variety of size, form, and material. Many of known that some of the very malleable metals when beaten out

these masses are planed, scored, striated, or polished. into thin films are capable of transmitting light varying in colour "Notes on the Glacial Conglomerate, Wild Duck Creek." By E. J. from g een to violet.

G, S. NEWTH. Dunn, F.G.S. (R. S. Brain, Government Printer, Melbourne, 1892.)

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