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its relation to that of India. Mr. Hutchins was for some usual unsuited to the staple crops. Local knowledge of years in the Madras Forest Department before he went to the agricultural and economic conditions is hence of the the Cape some fifteen or twenty years ago:

He has made greatest importance in estimating the probable effect of a a special study of the rainfall of South Africa, and is a given variation of rainfall in any area. Mr. Hutchins, I careful and enthusiastic investigator in rainfall problems. have every reason to suppose, possesses such knowledge for He is, from his double experience in India and South Africa South Africa, and hence I attach the highest value to his and his present official work and position, eminently qualified information on such matters. to form a judgment on the abnormal features of rainfall The evidence I have collected, a small portion of which distribution in either area, and on their economic effect. was given in my address, appears to me to have established It is hence, as I hope to show later, very satisfactory that that during the period 1895-1902 there was a marked Mr. Sutton's figures confirm the general inferences I made tendency to more or less continuous deficiency of rainfall about South African rainfall, based chiefly Mr. over the Indo-oceanic area, most pronounced in dry inland Hutchins's information, in my address.

districts, and which in India intensified into severe droughts Before discussing Mr. Sutton's data and inferences, in the years 1896, 1899, and 1901, diminishing the crop perhaps I may be permitted to deal with two or three im- returns over large areas to such an extent that it was portant issues raised in Mr. Sutton's letter.

necessary to resort to famine relief on a large scale during The first is contained in the opening paragraph, in which the twelve months succeeding each period of crop failure.

south-east winds are rare on the south-east coast I was unable to make as precise statements for either of South Africa, and the rain of the greater part of the Australia or South Africa, but the scanty facts and informtableland and north-east coast comes mostly from some ation at my disposal appeared to justify the statement that northerly direction.' If these casual remarks have any these areas were similarly affected. I also pointed out that point at all, I think I am correct in assuming that they this period stood in marked contrast to a preceding period imply that Mr. Sutton considers the rainfall in the areas of three years, 1892-4, when the precipitation was apparently mentioned is not due to humid currents from the Indian in general excess over the same large area. Ocean, but from the dry interior to the north of the table- I give in the following table a comparison between the land. I have examined the rainfall charts of South Africa rainfall variations of India, and the area of spring, given in Bartholomew's “ Meteorological Atlas,

and they

summer, and autumn rains in South Africa, ,which, so far certainly indicate to me that the aqueous vapour, the con- as I can judge, is mainly dependent on the Indian Ocean densation of which gives rainfall in the eastern half of South supplies of aqueous vapour. I give, in the absence of the Africa, is brought up by air movement from the Indian number of stations for each area, the arithmetic means of Ocean, and occurs as a summer precipitation. Hence, so the second and third horizontal rows of figures in Mr. far as I can reasonably judge, that area forms a part of Sutton's summary of his data :what I have termed the Indo-oceanic region. I might add, in further reply, that rain in certain parts of India during Period of general excess of rain | Period of general deficiency of rain the south-west monsoon chiefly occurs with easterly and

Percentage variation

Percentage variation north-easterly, and even with northerly winds. But these

Year India S. Africa

Year

India S. Africa facts have not yet been utilised by anyone to prove that the 1892 + 12

+ 8 1895 5

9 rainfall is not brought up from the adjacent seas and oceans 1893 +22

1896

- 5 by the south-west monsoon circulation.

1894

+ 4 1897 normal Mr. Sutton in a later paragraph says he fancies that

1898 + 1

9 the impression of unusual dryness over South Africa in

1899 - 27 recent years arises from the misleading mean values used

1900

+ 2 by the Meteorological Commission for comparative purposes

1901

+ 7 which are taken from Buchan's rather futile Rainfall of

1902

5

+ 10 South Africa,' and average fully two inches (equal to perhaps 10 per cent.) too great.' There is an air of These figures show that the eastern half of South Africa certainty about this statement which I am unable to share had heavier rain than usual during the same period (1892–4) without further proof. Buchan's means are based on ten as India, that it was steadily in defect during the first years' data, Mr. Sutton's on twenty years' data. It does five years of the period of persistent deficiency of rain in not necessarily follow that twenty years' means are better India, and was especially deficient in the years 1897 and representatives of normal or average conditions than ten 1899, the former being the year and rainfall season following years' means. It depends entirely upon whether the ten the first severe drought year of the period in India, and the years may or may not be accepted as representing the normal latter the same year as that of the greatest drought expericonditions, and whether the additional ten years' data are for enced in India during the past 100 years at least. The an abnormal period or not. The fact that the two sets of parallelism between the two sets of figures is, indeed, more means differ on the average of the whole area by 10 per complete than I anticipated, and hence I consider not only cent. indicates to an outsider on South African meteorology that Mr. Sutton's conclusion to the effect that “there is like myself that it is quite as probable the ten years' nothing to justify the statement that South Africa has additional data erred in defect as that the ten years' data been under the same influence as that which set up the employed by Dr. Buchan erred in excess. There hence prolonged drought in Australia and the dry years in India appears to be in the absence of any proof) an element of is neither in accordance with what I hold to be the general doubt in his means, just as he asserts to be the case in the meteorological conditions and relations of the whole Indorather futile" means of Dr. Buchan.

oceanic area nor even with the data which Mr. Sutton Again, if I read Mr. Sutton's letter rightly, he considers furnishes. The probability, so far as I can judge, is at that the question as to whether the crops have failed over least twenty to one that there is some relation such as I large areas being due to drought is settled by a consideration have suggested. The chief object of my address was, I of percentage variations. It is certainly not the case in may add, to urge the necessity for the coordination and interIndia. A percentage variation gives no certain indication comparison of the meteorological observations of the whole unless considered in relation to the normal fall, and also to Indo-oceanic area and their discussion as a whole by an its time-distribution. A deficiency of 25 per cent. is of abso- efficient scientific staff in London. The question at issue lutely no economic importance in such areas as Sind (with between Mr. Sutton and myself, for example, could be an average rainfall of about four inches) or such as Arakan authoritatively settled by such an investigating office. (with an average of more than 200 inches). The former In conclusion, I hope that my remarks may not be interarea depends solely on irrigation for cultivation, and the preted as in any way depreciating the value of Mr. Sutton's latter is so abundantly supplied for the rice crop that it work in collecting and discussing as a whole the rainfall bears a loss of fifty inches lightly. On the other hand, in data of South Africa, and in utilising the data to obtain the regions termed the dry zones in India, where the mean normal means for purposes of comparison. His work will, rainfall ranges between fifteen inches and thirty inches, a I am confident, be appreciated by all interested in African deficiency of 20 per cent. is usually a serious matter, more meteorology from any point of view. John Eliot. especially if it accompanies more irregular distribution than Bon Porto, Cavalaire, Var, France.

- 18

I

IO

toun

The Origin of Life.

struck her that the noise was like a cat's jump from a ALTHOUGH to the evolutionist it must necessarily appear

height. Procuring light she found the cat standing by the more than probable that at some time or other non-living

door. She then saw that the curtains, where folded on the matter has by evolution acquired the properties of life, and

bed, had been a little disturbed, put in her hand, and found to him the only question is as to how this has come about,

three soft warm kittens! They were immediately put into yet, for all that, he has been in the habit of admitting that

a basket with flannel, and set by the kitchen fire; but as the complete failure of all experiment in this direction makes

soon as the lady had gone downstairs she met the cat, with the negative evidence very strong indeed. My present object

a kitten in her mouth, on her way back to the bedroom. is to suggest that the negative evidence, so far from being

Why did she select that room? She was not petted by the strong, is so weak that perhaps it can hardly be said to

lady, nor friendly to her. The housemaid was safe, busy exist.

waiting at table. In the experiments the first step has always been, and, so

Debarred from this resource, she hid the kittens again far as one can see, must always be, to destroy all existing

while the family were at dinner, and apparently felt so sure life and all existing germs of life. Suppose the agent to

that they were safe, that she went and sat by the kitchen be heat. How does the experimenter know that the very

fire, awaiting the usual scraps.

Of course a search was means he employs to destroy in living matter the property

made in all likely hiding places and corners frequented by of life are not equally efficacious in destroying the peculiar

the young people, who were very fond of this cat, and

A piteous, faint squealing property or properties of matter that is just on the point thought she was fond of them. of transmutation? For all that we certainly know to the

betrayed the poor little creatures on the floor behind the contrary, dead matter may be changing into living every

largest folios in the library. The space above the books day in every pool, especially every warm pool, on the face

was so small that it is difficult to think how the cat got in of the earth. If so, the difference between the last state

with a kitten in her mouth, or even without it. This was the one

room into which the housemaid seldom came, of the non-living and the first state of the living must, by the evolutionist's hypothesis, be extremely small; and it is especially in the evening, as the master sat there. He did probable to my mind most probable--that both would be

not pet the cat at any time, and she took no notice of him. similarly affected by an unusual degree of heat, or what

But though securely hidden, the kittens could hardly have ever other agent is calculated to destroy life; the precaution

lived in that cold place; their mother seemed to have overeliminating life and its potentiality at one stroke. But the

looked their need of warmth. After this failure she subvalue of the negative evidence is precisely in inverse pro

mitted to have them kept in the basket in the kitchen.

Y. N. portion to this probability. If the probability is thought great, the negative evidence will necessarily be thought small. I submit that the probability is very great indeed,

Fish.passes and Fish.ponds. and consequently that we are pretty much in the same position as to the possible evolution of life from non-living fish-passes and fish-ponds, the following statement is

IN your issue of August 18, in an article dealing with matter as we should have been if no experiments had been

made :made. Certainly, so far as the logic of the matter is con- “Much of the information as to the construction of cerned, there is no need yet to consider the hypothesis of ponds and their inlets and overflows is, of course, ancient, life having been imported here from another planet.

and can be found in such books as the “ History of HowieBirmingham, October 25.

GEORGE HOOKHAM.

(by the late Sir James Ramsay Gibson Maitland, Bart.).

The above statement may easily cause the incorrect inThinking Cats.

ference that the information in Sir James Ramsay Gibson I HAVE known three cats which behaved as if they thought. Maitland's work is now obsolete. Perhaps you may care to The first, a large, sleek tabby, belonged to a private family

make it known that this is, of course, not the case, although living in the City. Between 1846 and 1858 the owner,

no doubt with lapse of time improvements and modifications Mr. I. S., was surprised by his manservant coming to his

are introduced.

HOWIETOUN FISHERY Co. office at the back of the house in business hours and asking,

Howietoun Fishery, Stirling, N.B., October 24. “Did you ring, sir?” “No, I have not been into the house,' was his answer. This occurred repeatedly. At Average Number of Kinsfolk in each Degree. last the man watched, and observed that, the family being in other rooms, the dining room bell rang, and when he

I THANK Dr. Galton for his explanation (p. 626), which answered it the cat ran out of the door. He then purposely

only shows how easy it is to make mistakes in things which shut her into the room. A leather easy chair was so placed

appear perfectly trivial. The discrepancy can be accounted that by getting on the seat, and then standing on the

for, however, more simply still by the fact that families arm, she could reach the knob with her front paw; and she

containing boys only have to be left out of account, and continued to practise this accomplishment as often as she

therefore in the families which contain at least one girl was shut up in the room.

there are on an average more girls than boys altogether.

G. H. BRYAN. The second cat, also a large tabby, lived at Blackheath. Her master often sat up late writing. The cook, a “good old servant,” also now and then sat late, sewing or read

Misuse of Words and Phrases. ing, in the kitchen. One night after twelve Mr. H. F. It is quite true, as Mr. Basset says, that “ in English was interrupted by the cat running into the library (the door considerable care is often required in the arrangement of being open), mewing, and clawing him, then running a sentence, so as to avoid ambiguity”; but he seems to go towards the door, and repeating these acts. He got up too far when he says that brevity ought always to be and followed the cat, which now ran into the kitchen. The aimed at." Too much brevity will often, as we are warned cook was sitting asleep close to the fender, a piece of coal by Horace, lead to obscurity : brevis

laboro : had fallen on her dress, and it was burning. No harm obscurus fio; and the absence of inflections and genders happened, thanks to the cat.

renders it impossible to write English in the brief, epigramThe third was a very small, slight cat, white and tabby, matic style that is common in Latin. a good mouser and bird catcher, and not at all afraid of To Mr. Basset's rules the following may be advantage

On one occasion the servant, exasperated by the ously added : that new words of foreign origin should not trouble caused by the cat's selection of a birthplace for be employed when English words will suit the purpose as kittens, drowned them all, for which she was duly rebuked. well or better. For instance, autotomic and anautotomic, The next family arrived in a suitable corner, but, when two as applied to curves, are objectionable, because self-cutting or three days old, disappeared, as well as their mother. and non-self-cutting express precisely the same ideas in As the cat was never allowed to go upstairs, it was supposed simpler and more familiar words. I am at a loss to know that, like another cat once before, she had made a lair in on what ground Mr. Basset objects to the phrase the garden, where she spent most of her time. At dusk the singular cubic curve"; does he think the epithet is mistress of the house went up to dress for dinner. As soon couth

inelegant "inaccurate"? as she entered her room she heard something fall, and it

October 31.

T. B. S.

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FLOODS IN THE MISSISSIPPI,

Missouri and Kansas remained no longer rivers, but

became merged into an inland sea. When the flood WE E have on previous occasions directed attention subsided there was revealed a condition of general ruin

to the reports issued by the Department of and desolation. Holes had been gouged in the streets Agriculture of the United States, and to the valuable some 30 feet deep; railroad tracks had been torn to information they afford to the officers engaged in the pieces; an oil tank, 50 feet in diameter and 30 feet high, different departments. We have now been favoured made of iron plates, had been torn from its foundations with a copy of a report issued by the Weather Bureau and tossed about like a frail shanty; freight cars

had been broken up and carried away down the river; heavy locomotive engines had been rolled over and were discovered lying in mud banks; and mud from 2 feet to 4 feet deep covered everything. An approximate estimate of the loss

in this district was put at 31 million anmu :3153

pounds. In the vicinity of Kansas City the losses were placed at upwards of three million pounds, while the value of the bridges destroyed was more than 150,000l. In previous floods the losses have fallen principally on the agricultural districts, but this time the loss to the farmers was less than one-third of the total, and about the same proportion was borne by the railroads.

But great as the losses were, they would have been far greater but for the property saved owing to timely warnings issued by the

Weather Bureau. Owing to the Fig. 1.- Kansas City, Missouri. Scene in the freight yard of the St. Louis and San Francisco careful records kept of previous Railway after subsidence of the flood.

floods the department was enabled

to forecast the time at which the on the floods in the Mississippi watershed in the spring | flow would reach the various towns situated on the of 1903,' which gives an interesting and detailed river, and the height to which it would probably rise, account of the most disastrous floods in this district of and so could send out timely warnings. In the lower which there is any record.

district alone the value of the property saved by reThese floods are described as marking a new epoch moval to places of safety was estimated at 5 million in the economic history of the country. When previous pounds. The forecasts as to the probable height of floods occurred they ran harmlessly over unbroken the flood were issued in the higher districts at least forests, and bottoms tenanted only by the beasts of the field, except over a limited area where there were small farms tenanted by French colonists. The floods of 1903 descended upon fertile and highly cultivated fields, and upon rich valleys filled to overflowing with vast industries devoted with never ceasing energy to the fulfilment of the insatiable demands of commerce. The resulting ruin and desolation were beyond description. Along the lower Mississippi 6820 square miles of country were inundated. In Kansas City five square miles of territory were overflowed ; large portions of the manufacturing towns of Venice and Madison were flooded to a considerable depth; more than 3000 square miles of territory, one-half of which was under cultivation, were

Fig. 2.-Repairing levee at Lagrange, Mississippi. overflowed and the crops ruined.

The towns of Armourdale, Argentine, and Harlem four days in advance, and in the lower part, at New were covered from 8 feet to 12 feet with water, and had Orleans, twenty-eight days in advance. By these to be abandoned. Twenty thousand people in this warnings the people were kept well informed of what district were made homeless. All public utilities were they might expect in the way of high water. The put out of service; sixteen out of seventeen bridges work of the River and Flood Service in furnishing over the river Kaw

washed away.

The information regarding this flood was complete and 1 "The Floods of the Spring of 1903 in the Mississippi Watershed.' By

satisfactory. By the use of the Post Office, telegraph H. C. Frankenfeld. (Washington : Weather Bureau, 1904.)

and telephone lines, and the daily Press, and with the

[graphic]
[graphic]

were

cooperation of the various railway companies, every flooded areas, and of the rainfall in the different intelligent person in the district was made aware of districts. the impending danger in ample time to make such Two other volumes issued by the Geological Departpreparations as they were able.

ment relate to the floods of the river Passaic in 1902 The floods of 1903 owed their inception to a series and 1903, when the loss to the inhabitants of the of heavy rainfalls caused by a succession of storms: district was estimated for the two floods at about 3 of the south-western type, the best rain-producing million pounds. These two volumes also contain quarter, coming on the top of the water derived numerous very telling illustrations of the flooded areas from the melting of the snow on the mountains in the and of the damage done to houses and factories." upper reaches.

In the February flood in the lower Mississippi the water rose in one long swell from Cairo to the Gulf of

WHAT IS BRANDY? Mexico from 17.5 feet on the gauge on January 28, passing the danger point of 45 feet thirty-nine days THIS question, which a few months ago great! later, and 50. feet, or 51 feet above the top of the exercised analytical chemists in this country in banks, eight days afterwards. It remained above the consequence of the action of certain local authorities danger line for another twelve days, and then began under the Sale of Food and Drugs Acts, has recently to fall. It will thus be seen that the water in the engaged the attention of the Technical Committee of river during the flood rose 33 feet.

@nology, instituted by the French Minister of ComAlthough excessive rainfall was the original cause merce by decree of March 22, 1904, and the committee of these floods, the effect was greatly increased by

have adopted the conclusions of M. Rocques, the reworks that had been carried out for the improvement porter of the subcommittee charged with the considerof the river and for providing means of inland trans- ation of the matter, whose report is published in extenso port, necessitating the frequent crossing of the river by

in the Moniteur Officiel du Commerce of June 30. In railway bridges. Formerly a certain amount of relief view of the importance of the subject, it may be deto the floods was afforded by the water flowing through sirable to give a short summary of the facts and arguthe numerous crevasses or breaches of the banks that ments which led the technical committee to adopt the occurred, but during recent years the banks have been conclusions of the special subcommittee. systematically raised and strengthened. For example,

In the first place the committee, for reasons which in the St. Francis system the levees have been extended it is unnecessary to explain, object to the term and raised 2 feet over a length of 173 miles, and the coefficient of impurities, hitherto employed by French area originally subject to being submerged reduced chemists, in conformity with a decree of the Minister 4000 square miles. The same operations have been of Commerce of May 26, 1903, to designate the aggrecarried on in other districts, so that the flooded area gate proportion of the substances other than ethylic which previous to 1897 extended over 30,000 square

alcohol in brandy, and prefer to denote it by the term miles in 1903 barely reached 7000 square miles. The

coefficient non-alcohol, or more simply non-alcohol, by fight against this flood was also the most extensive which is to be understood the sum of the different and persistent ever attempted in the history of levee volatile substances, other than ethylic alcohol, exengineering. When a breach was likely to occur all pressed in grams per hectolitre of absolute alcohol. the help and material available was concentrated at These substances are the acids, aldehydes, ethers, the the point of greatest weakness. At one place a force alcohols higher in the homologous series than ethyl of more than 1000 men was employed both day and alcohol, and the furfurol. night, in spite of which the bank gave way for more

The causes which influence this coefficient are many, than a mile.

but in the main they may be said to depend upon At another part of the river, about 36 miles below (1) the nature of the wine, (2) the method of distilNew Orleans, a crevasse occurred at a place where lation, and (3) age. the river is 120 feet deep. The bank was all washed As regards the first cause, it is foạnd that the proaway, and where it formerly stood a hole was scoured portion, as well as the character, of the volatile matters out 60 feet deep. Owing to the precautions taken, vary according to the origin of the wine, the conditions due to the warnings of the Weather Bureau, provision under which its fermentation has been effected, the had been made to meet such a catastrophe, and work

manner in which it has been kept, &c. The proportion men were at once concentrated on the spot, and train- of acids and ethers is considerably augmented if the loads of material which had been provided in readi- wine becomes sour, and, speaking generally, the proness for such an emergency were brought to the place. portion of aldehydes is higher in white than in red By this means the breach was successfully closed, and

wines. the flooding of some of the finest sugar plantations in But it is mainly in the method of distillation that we Louisiana averted.

are to seek for the cause of the wide variations in this Other causes that contributed to the greater rise of coefficient. This is readily understood if we examine the flood were the numerous railway bridges that had the manner in which the various substances, which been carried across the river without leaving sufficient together constitute non-alcohol, behave during distilwaterway for floods. In one place, where the natural lation. It is known that these substances pass over width of the river is goo feet, the waterway had been in very different proportion in the course of the distilcontracted to 400 feet by a railway bridge, the velocity lation. Thus the aldehyde and the more volatile ethers of the water through which rose to twelve miles an are found mainly in the first runnings (produits de hour.

tête), whereas the taillings (produits de queue) contain Encroachments by reclamation have also materially in largest quantity the higher alcohols and the furfurol. interfered with the free flow of the river, the original The separation of these various products—the prowidth of the channel in some places having been re- duits de tête, the alcohol itself (de coeur), and the duced one-half.

produits de queueis effected in a manner more or The report of these floods contains numerous illus- less complete, depending upon the apparatus employed. trations which give a very graphic idea of the ruin In the larger distilleries this apparatus is of a very caused in the flooded areas, and also of the works high order of perfection. But without further labourcarried on in repairing the levees. There is also a

1 The Passaic Flood of 1902, Water Supply and Irrigation Paper map of the watershed of the Mississippi and of the No. 88, and of 1903, Paper 92. (Washington : Government Printing Office.

seems

ing this point, it is obvious that the aggregate amount The question whether it is possible to fix minimum and relative proportion of these products must depend and maximum limits to this coefficient naturally revery largely upon the means made use of, and hence ceived much consideration from the committee. The perfectly genuine brandies must necessarily show wide fixation of these presents a certain interest, and that differences in the coefficient non-alcohol.

from two different points of view. The fixation of a In addition, it must be remembered that in the manu- minimum limit has interest for the analyst, as guiding facture of brandy from wines of repute, the elimination him in his inference as to the genuineness of the brandy of the substances constituting non-alcohol must be or as to the amount of “ silent” spirit with which it made with the greatest circumspection, since it is may have been mixed. The fixation of a maximum upon their bouquet that the value of these brandies limit has an interest from the hygienic point of view, depends, and this bouquet resides wholly in the non- since it may become necessary if regulations are to be alcohol.

established in this sense. On the other hand, if the brandy is being made from The committee, however, are unable to recommend damaged wine the rectification must be most carefully that any such limits should be fixed, owing mainly to conducted, and may have to be pushed to a point that the extremely variable character of brandy. Even in the alcohol is obtained almost pure, that is to say,

the case of brandies of a definite character, as, for almost free from non-alcohol.

example, Cognac, the non-alcohol coefficient is not the As regards the influence of age, it is observed that only element of value, and any conclusions as to in those brandies which are found to improve on keep- character cannot be based solely upon it. Regard must ing there is an increase in non-alcohol due (1) to the be had to the proportions of the different volatile subformation of products of oxidation (acids and alde- stances and their relations among themselves. Expert hydes), and (2) to concentration due to a loss of alcohol tasting (dégustation) must be considered as an indisand water.

pensable complement of chemical analysis. Brandies may be classified in the following The hygienic point of view, involving the fixation manner :

of a maximum value for the non-alcohol coefficient, (1) The brandies of the two Charentes, which are was brought to the notice of the International Congress habitually designated by the name of Cognac. of Chemistry in Paris in 1900, but the problem, as then (2) The brandies of Armagnac.

stated, received no definite solution. To base con(3) The brandies de vin du Midi and of Algeria clusions on the value of the coefficient alone, with no (trois-six de Montpellier, &c.).

regard to_the factors which it comprises, (4) Marc brandies.

illogical. For example, the acids, and in particular The brandies of the Charentes are obtained by acetic acid, frequently make up a large proportion of distillation of the wines of the district, and as the this value, but it cannot be contended that these subreputation of these brandies depends upon their stances, at least in the proportion in which they are bouquet they are submitted to a slight rectification present in brandy, have any detrimental influence. only in order to preserve that bouquet.

Far more important are the aldehydes, ethers, the The same may be said of the Armagnac brandies. higher alcohols, and furfurol. As to brandies made in other viticultural regions, As regards the higher alcohols, the attempt has been and in particular in the middle of France, their nature made to establish a higher limit. Thus in Belgium, by is much more variable. These brandies require to be a Royal decree of December 31, 1902, the sale is prorectified in a manner, more or less complete, depend hibited of spirituous liquors containing more than ing upon the nature of the wine or of the marc from I gram of the higher alcohols and essences per litre which they are derived, and varying, too, with the of absolute alcohol when these liquors have an alcoholic quality of the brandy it is desired to produce. Certain content higher than 90°, and 3 grams when the wines require, in fact, to be most carefully rectified in alcoholic richness does not exceed 90°. order to produce merchantable brandy. Marc brandy The committee remark that the effect of this regula. is made in all viticultural regions, and that of tion would be to exclude some of the most famous, and Burgundy enjoys a special reputation.

notably the oldest, brandies of the Charente, many of As regards the value of the coefficient in different which exceed the maximum Belgian limit, which, exbrandies, it is found that in those of Charente and pressed as a non-alcohol coefficient, is 300. Thus :Armagnac the coefficient is very high. Thus, as

Higher alcohols minima, a brandy of Clunis (1879, good, but not

per hectolitre of guaranteed) gave 259 (Girard and Cuniasse). A

abs, alcohol Cognac of 1892 gave 287 (Rocques). As maxima may

Bois Brandy, 1817 (Lusson)...

612 be cited a Bois brandy of 1817, which gave 1174

Saintonge, Cazes, 1896 (Lusson)

372 (Lusson). This last number is exceptionally high. It

Gemozac, or de Fesson, 1893 (Lusson) 345
Clunis, 1875 (Lusson)

345
may be said that, ordinarily, the value of the coefficient
in Cognacs and fine champagne ranges between 275

Cognac, 1873 (Rocques)

304

From the hygienic point of view the ethers, furfurol, But little analytical evidence has been published re- and especially the aldehydes, are undoubtedly of much specting the Armagnac brandies, but, such as it is, greater importance than the higher alcohols, since it indicates that the coefficients in their case are less admittedly the action of these substances on the than are generally found in Cognacs.

organism is far more deleterious than that of the higher The brandies obtained from the wines of the Midi alcohols. From this point of view the attention of and Algeria show much wider variations, ranging from hygienists should be directed to the Marc brandies, 25 to 500. Marc brandies have almost invariably a high able quantities of aldehydes.

which, as already stated, frequently contain considercoefficient. The numbers range from 555 to 1487, and Interesting and, no doubt, valuable as the report is, it is interesting to note that the aldehydes frequently it is hardly calculated to facilitate the work of the unform a large proportion of the whole. Thus a

fortunate public analysts who may be called upon to Burgundy marc brandy was found to contain as much

express an opinion as to the genuineness of a sample as 519 of aldehyde, and one from the Midi as high as of brandy. The question, What is brandy ? analytically 730 of aldehyde.

speaking, still awaits solution.

...

...

and 450.

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