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in the author's own words, for fear we should not do it THURSDAY, APRIL 10, 1890.

justice :

“Our present lunation is too long by a fraction of a second, amounting in the course of a century, to about six minutes of time. In the same length of time, the

sun's anomaly is too long by about seven minutes ten VEII LIGHT FROM SOLAR ECLIPSES.

seconds of space, the moon's anomaly too long by eight New Light from Solar Eclipses; or Chronology corrected minutes twenty seconds of space, and the sun's mean by the Rectification of Errors in the received Astro- minutes thirty-five seconds of space.”

distance from the node is too short by about eight nomical Tables. By William M. Page. With an Introduction by the Rev. J. Brookes, D.D. (St. Louis : Barns discover any additional explanation or reason for the in

After an attentive perusal we have not been able to Publishing Co., 1890.)

troduction of these terms. Neither have we discovered THIS "HIS is a book with a considerable portion of which to what assumed values of the mean longitude, the mean

we can have no concern, for it treats largely of anomaly, and the argument of latitude these corrections theological matters of a disputed kind. It is the produc- are to be applied. The only references to authorities are tion, no doubt, of a devout and pious mind, but of one not apparently those of Baily's “ Tables "and Fergusson's “Asscientifically trained. Indeed, we are informed, in an in- tronomy," and the author does not appear to have had actroduction by a St. Louis divine, that it is “written by cess or thought it worth while to examine more modern and a brother actively engaged in the ordinary pursuits of trustworthy sources. We cannot be quite sure that we life," and an attempt is made to enlist our sympathies have described correctly the elements of the lunar and with the author on that account. This appeal would have solar orbits to which these corrections are to be made, but been more effectual if the scientific conclusions at which it is asserted that, when introduced into the tables, all the author has arrived, and for which he hopes to gain the eclipses recorded by the ancients can be represented attention, were put forward either with more modesty on correctly within a few minutes of time. It is much to be his own part, or with greater respect for recognized regretted that no rigorous comparison between the authorities.

observed and computed times of all the ancient eclipses But the contrary is the case. Our prejudices are not has been attempted, in order that a correct judgment respected, and while the crudest statements are made on might be formed of the value of this assertion. This was the smallest possible evidence, the work so bristles with the more necessary as the few cases selected are, we think, errors that it is difficult to present typical examples. We very infelicitous, and the incapacity of modern tables to | should have been tempted to leave this volume to the represent these eclipses is unjustifiably, but no doubt uninobscurity it merits from a scientific point of view, but for tentionally, exaggerated. two circumstances. One is, that this book will probably It is curious to notice that the author does not recognize circulate largely among readers not qualified to judge of any other criterion of accuracy than the possibility of the rashness of statement and inaccuracy of detail that satisfying these ancient eclipses, the records of which are characterize its astronomical portion, and that con- so imperfect, and the interpretation so doubtful, that they sequently a very erroneous and exaggerated opinion may are gradually being discarded in the discussion of the one be formed of the character and amount of the errors that question for which they at one time seemed peculiarly still exist in one of the most exact of sciences. The second fitted-namely, the determination of the amount of the inducement to look a little closely into its pages is this : secular acceleration of the moon's mean motion. The that another and more instructed class of readers may whole mass of modern observation is ignored. The careimagine that on matters of chronology astronomy speaks ful records of eclipses made at Bagdad and Cairo in the with an uncertain sound, and consequently be led to ninth and tenth centuries share the same fate. It would undervalue the very substantial advantages that history seem that any observation made after the first half of the has derived from astronomical sources.

first century does not appear to the author to possess any The main object of the book is the arrangement of a value. system that shall bring the narrative contained in the It will scarcely be believed that this is a correct descripGospels into the chronological order conceived by the tion of the author's method. No one will imagine that author as correct, and to render consistent, the facts re any sane man would attempt to construct a lunar theory corded in sacred and secular history, with this system. from ancient eclipses alone, and expect that the results at How far this method and system will satisfy competent which he has arrived will be generally admitted, because, theological critics it is, as we have said, not our duty to forsooth, he is able to represent a few facts by the introinquire ; we can only hope that the service rendered to duction of nearly as many variables. It is true that the religion is greater than that to science, for from the latter tables founded on this vicious reasoning do not appear in point of view we have no hesitation in saying that his their integrity, and probably do not exist ; but there are theory is erroneous in its conception and unwarranted in given many pages of computation, which are well calcuits application.

lated to mislead the uninstructed, and to give an air of The means employed to produce this chronological accuracy to the results, to which they are not entitled. harmony is based on the assumption that the places of We can imagine nothing better adapted to bring the sun and moon cannot be correctly computed for astronomy into disrepute with thoughtful, but not mathedistant dates from the existing tables, and that con- matically trained minds, than the unwarranted conclusions sequently additional terms, empirically determined, must presented in the slovenly manner in which they appear be introduced. This new theory had best be described here. VOL. XLI.- No. 1067.

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Some grounds must be given for the severe stricture of detail, employing his “ new and corrected tables." Foop here passed, and the only difficulty is to select the most these two eclipses, - 382, Dec., and – 200, Sept., he gives fitting examples from so much worthless matter. On the London mean times of the true full moon 13h. Gramm p. 18 the author says: “It is considered sufficiently near | and 3h. 16.n. respectively. There is no attempt to dete: to the truth, if our calculations came within a few hours mine the exact phase observed, and it may be remarked of the time and near enough to the quantity of the eclipse that the longitude given for Babylon is grievously :3 to identify it as being in all probability the obscuration error. These two eclipses have been selected with the mentioned by the historian in connection with a certain particular purpose of demonstrating that no secih event.” The italics are our own, and the statement to which acceleration of the moon's motion exists. This selecine. they call attention is absolutely a misrepresentation. It with this view, is unhappy. With regard to the earlier is scarcely necessary to say in these columns that no eclipse, it is very doubtful if it was really seen a astronomer of repute would be satisfied with a dis- Babylon. The account given in the * Almagest crepancy of anything like this amount between history ("Halma," p. 275) rather suggests that Athens, o ne and computation in any case in which the phenomenon of the Ionic colonies, was the place of observation, sint is clearly indicated and accurately described. In the the description of the date is by means of the Gress annexed table is given the comparison of the computa- calendar ; and Hipparchus says that this eclipse with the tions of various astronomers of the times of historic two immediately following are added to the catalogue i eclipses with the recorded times. To keep the table to the Babylonian eclipses as though they had been observat a moderate length it is confined to those dates between in that place (ós ékei ternpnuévas yeyovéval). This sugges which the examples have been worked out by the writer., tion that the record of the eclipse was made elsewhere In estimating the accuracy of representation, there are than at Babylon is strengthened by the addition of the two circumstances to be taken into account. One is note that “the moon set eclipsed." In an eclipse whak that an eclipse, being a phenomenon the exact time of commenced only half an hour before the setting of the whose occurrence could not be accurately predicted by 'moon, these words would have little meaning, but if the the observer or recorder, must have been in progress' note was added by the observer at Athens, its purposes some time before detection, or, all observations of the first, intelligible, for the eclipse would be more than half cho geometrical contact, the phase computed from the tables, before the moon touched the horizon. It is very posit, would be observed too late ; and though the error from this therefore, that some allowance for longitude was made by cause would not be so large in the observation of the end Hipparchus, but with such a doubt overhanging the te of the total phase, it is probable that this phenomenon corded time of observation, the selection of this ecliçe would be recorded too soon. The other circumstance is from the long catalogue collected by Ptolemy gives a very that we cannot regard Ptolemy, from whose work the doubtful support to any hypothesis. The second ecipe times here given have been taken, as a totally unpre- quoted was doubtless observed at Alexandria, bu fi judiced witness. He was anxious to establish a theory, Hipparchus is correctly rendered by Ptolemy, he s mad and it is probable that he selected those instances which to say that the eclipse began half an hour before the most nearly fitted his preconceived system. In other moon rose. The record, therefore, refers to a calculate.". words he inay have—what is not unknown in these days and not an observed, phenomenon, and on that groups -rejected a discordant observation.

alone should not have been selected.

But it is in solar eclipses, the total phase being coafael Greenw'ch mean time

to a comparatively narrow zone of country, that the

computed by feebleness of the author's method is most conspicuous Phase given in

exhibited. The eclipse known as that of Xerxes 2 Almagest

serve for an example. To adequately explain the ci cumstances as recorded by Herodotus and Aristides de exercised the ingenuity, but baffled the efforts, of man experts. It offers no difficulties to Mr. Page, though ve

cannot think that his rendering will be generally appre - 490, April 25 | Middle 8 27 8 17 7 50 7 53 7 35 ciated. Herodotus's description runs, “ The army harung - 382, Dec. 22 Beginning 15 3515 52 16 19 16 15 16 7 - 381, June 18 Beginning 5 $ 425 4 54 5 9 4 40

come out of their winter-quarters in the opening of spriaz - 381, Dec. 12 Beginning 5 594 57 6 30 6 18 6 14 In the latitude of Sardis the opening of spring coeld 200, Sept. 22 Beginning 3 23 2 57

hardly be put as late as April 18, but this is the date End 6 25 55 6 29 6 24 6 14 selected by Mr. Page, because on that day - 480 there - 199, Mar, 19 Beginning - 199, Sept. 11 Middle 12 22 12 3 12 34 12 28 12 i8 was undoubtedly a total eclipse of the sun. The write - 173, April 30 {

Beginning 10 48.0 4 10 36 10 16 10 24 does not mention, what is equally the fact that the shaons

| End 13 31 12 45 13 12 13 20 13 3 of the moon first touched the earth in the Indian Ocen - 140, Jan. 27 Beginning

8 7 644 816 1 5 passed over the Himalayan peninsula, through Chian + 125, April 5 Middle

6 306 36 659 6 54 6 şi and disappeared in the Pacific. Such a path is totally

inadequate to explain the further description of Herodotes It is needless to point out there are no discrepancies that " night came on instead of day." of a few hours between the tabular and observed facts, A still greater absurdity is introduced when the author and that the grave charge of the lack of accuracy is uns wishes to prove that the death of Augustus happened a sustained. The circumstances of two of these eclipses the year 13, by means of a solar eclipse which is said su have been worked out by the author with some pretence have occurred just before the death of that Emperor. He

Date.

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inds that there was a solar eclipse on 13, April 28, and an Or, again, on p. 27:attractive woodcut is given showing the track of the shadow “As a special case of natural selection Darwin's minor passing over Rome. As a matter of fact, this eclipse i theory (j.e. sexual selection) is open to the objection of began in the Pacific, touched the continent of America being teleological, i.e. of accounting for structures in terms about Vancouver, and passed over Canada to the Atlantic : of a final advantage. It is quite open to the logical critic

to urge, as a few have done, that the structures to be exthe whole of its path is confined to “regions Caesar never plained'have to be accounted for before, as well as after, knew." But the list of false deductions is too long and the stage when they were developed enough to be useful. ou uninteresting to pursue any further : exact astronomy The origin, or in other words, the fundamental physiocan lend no support to the chronological system here logical import, of the structures, must be explained before developed WILLIAM E. PLUMMER.

we have a complete or adequate theory of organic evolution."

Now there can be no doubt of the question here at issue.

Readers of NATURE may remember that some time ago THE EVOLUTION OF SEX.

(NATURE, December 12, 1889, p. 129) Prof. Ray Lankester

à propos of Cope's supposed contribution to the theory of The Evolution of Sex. By Prof. Patrick Geddes and J. natural selection,' asked : “ How can Mr. Cope presume Arthur Thomson. With 104 Illustrations. (London: to tell us this? Who has ignored it? When? and where?” Walter Scott, 1889.)

It is clear that Prof. Geddes and Mr. Thomson imagine TH HIS book, say the authors in the preface, has “the that Darwin has ignored this, and that he has done so in

difficult task of inviting the criticism of the biologi- his theory of sexual selection, and in his accounts of al student, although primarily addressing itself to the contrivances in plants to prevent self-fertilization. In a general reader or beginner." In attempting to meet these set of works the definite and reiterated purpose of which $0 interests the authors have aimed high : they have is to show (1) that variations do occur, (2) that from these, med at producing a classic. They have brought to the by selection, varieties, species, organs are elaborated ask-as indeed their names guarantee--a wealth of know- and adapted, it is fortunately easy to find chapter and edge, a lucid and attractive method of treatment, and verse conclusive against the view that Darwin could have

rich vein of picturesque language. The illustrations are imagined that selection teleologically causes the variations kertinent, and sometimes very good. The index and table that give it scope. Will Prof. Geddes and Mr. Thomson { contents are copious, and the summaries and references refer to the "Descent of Man" (the writer has the second u literature at the end of each chapter are most useful. edition before him)? On p. 240 it is written :

matters of history they are especially good, and “Not only are the laws of inheritance extremely comdvanced biological students will find the abstracts of the plex, but so are the causes which induce and govern rews of Eimer, Weismann, Brooks, Hertwig, Haeckel, variability. The variations thus induced are preserved Kallace, Spencer, Geddes, and many others exceedingly and accumulated by sexual selection." selul. But as writers for the general public the authors Will Prof. Geddes and Mr. Thomson refer to the are serious if not prohibitive disadvantages.

“Fertilization of Orchids” (also second edition)? On treneral readers demand, with right, that those who p. 284 it is written :peak to them with the voice of authority shall give "Thus throughout nature almost every part of each hem the authoritative views. Controversial matter living being has probably served in a slightly modified hey are only remotely interested in, and when it condition for diverse purposes, and has acted in the living annot be avoided they must have it carefully distin- machinery of many ancient and distinct specific forins." kuished from matter beyond controversy. These authors Or, again, on the same page :le controversialists from the first page of their book to ! "This change" (labellum assuming its normal position) ne last: they are partisan controversialists offering their “it is obvious might be simply effected by the continual lares and their wisdom as accredited doctrine and selection of varieties which had their ovaries less and less letermined result. This is no quarrel with the views of twisted; but if the plant only afforded varieties with the be authors. Prof. Geddes and Mr. Thomson are workers the selection of such variations until the flower was turned

ovarium more twisted, the same end could be attained by ell able to command the attention of biologists for their completely round on its axis.” pneributions to any controversy. It is a quarrel with the

Can there be the faintest suspicion that the man who hering of personal views, generalizations, and theories as zal, in a series “ designed to bring within the reach of material for selection and the causes producing that

wrote these sentences did not distinguish between the le English-speaking public the best that is known and material ? One more quotation from the authors to lought in all departments of modern scientific research.” show how they misunderstand Darwin's spirit and is is the fashion with neo-Lamarckians, the authors

writings :caight in obtruding their misconceptions of Darwin.

“ The first of these is the still curiously prevalent opinion ake, for instance, the following statements :

that, when you have explained the utility or the advantage - Arguing from the bad effects of close-breeding among which the theory of natural selection has done more to

of a fact, you have accounted for the fact, an opinion gher animals, Darwin and others have called attention foster than to rebuf. Darwin was indeed himself charthe numerous contrivances among plants which are said acteristically silent in regard to the origin of sex as

reader self-fertilization impossible. It must again be well as of many other big lifts' in the organic series led that this survival of a very old way of explaining facts (p. 126). in terms of their final advantage-is not really a causal

The key-note of Cope's imagined contribution was, "Selection cannot planation at all" (p. 74).

explain the origin of any hing."

What do the authors mean? Their erudite and care of Sex," on “ Sex Elements," and on “Growth and Re ful statements of the position of many foreign writers production," are very suggestive. But indeed, to bolo emphasize their failure to represent the position of the gists the greater part of the book and its theories must be author of the “ Origin of Species."

useful and suggestive. It is only the general public that The authors think that the problems and questions re- must be warned off. lating to sex, problems and questions carefully and in It is very much to be regretted that the authors have geniously analyzed by them, “are in final synthesis all included a discussion of certain social and ethal answerable in a sentence.” Morphological questions are problems absolutely unconnected with the title of their at base, they say, physiological ; and physiological ques- book. If such matters are to be discussed coram popule, tions are ultimately referable to the metabolism of proto- it is only fair that explicit information should appear on plasm, as Prof. Burdon-Sanderson pointed out last autumn. the title-page.

P. C. 31 This metabolism is double : it consists on the one hand of anabolic, constructive, elaborative processes--processes attended with the storage of energy; and on the other THE QUICKSILIER DEPOSITS OF THE hand of katabolic, destructive, disintegrating processes

PACIFIC SLOPE. processes attended with the liberation of energy. These processes are complementary ; in living protoplasm they Geology of the Quicksilver Deposits of the Pacific Slope. seem for the most part coincident. Losing sight of the

By G. F. Becker. Pp. 486, and Atlas of xiv. folia coincidence the authors have seized on the antithesis ; the

Plates. (Washington : Government Printing Office idea has grown upon them till they see a rhythm of

1888.) anabolism and katabolism swinging through organic A MONG the numerous mineral treasures of Califor: nature and producing-well, producing nearly everything.

none are of more interest than the deposits i Take, for instance, secondary sexual characters. Males mercury ore which occur at intervals along the greate are frequently litbe, active, aggressive, gorgeously coloured part of the Coast Range from the Mexican boundary to and decorated. Females are often sluggish, vegetative, Clear Lake, in lat. 39° N., a distance of more than : passive, and soberly coloured. These characters, according miles. This region, together with the district of Stear to Geddes and Thomson, occur because males have a male boat Springs in Nevada, has been carefully examined by or katabolic diathesis, because females have a female or the division of the United States Geological Survey under anabolic diathesis.

the charge of Mr. G. F. Becker, and the results are cov “ Brilliancy of colour, exuberance of hair and feathers, presented in another of the handsome quarto series ar actiyity of scent glands, and even the development of monographs published by Major Powell, the head of ttweapons, are not and cannot be (except teleologically) ex

Survey. plained by sexual selection, but in origin and continued The discovery of mercury in California preceded that development are outcrops of a male as opposed to a of gold ; the most productive locality, New Almaden, se female constitution ” (p. 22).

San José, at the south end of the Bay of San Francisco It is impossible to follow in detail and state the in- having been known for about 65 years, while the action numerable objections to this explanation. Do the authors mining was commenced under a grant from the Mexico suppose a male diathesis explains the ascending series of Government shortly before the cession of the country horn and antler development? Can it in any way account the United States. In its earlier years the mine for “interference” colours, which play so large a part in extremely profitable, and the long judicial controvert the adorning of males ? Are women less female when they that ensued before the title was satisfactorily establisen have radiant complexions and abundant tresses ? What i occupies a prominent place among the recnnis physiological reason is there for believing that skeletal American mining litigation. The maximum produ weapons and scent glands, or the crystals in anthers, are of 47,194 flasks of 764 pounds each was realized in the due to the katabolism of “exuberant maleness," while ; but in 1886 it was reduced to 18,000 flasks, the local menstruation and lactation are means of getting rid of the period 1850-86 being 853,259 flasks, or aborto "anabolic surplus ? "

thirds of the produce of the Spanish Almade 1 Parthenogenesis occurs in groups of animals where the total produce of the Californian mines, which was a anabolic rhythm is dominant. Sex itself appears when 80,000 flasks in 1877, declined to 30,000 in 1886. katabolic conditions preponderate. And this is why The second mine in point of importance, knori flowers so often are situated at the end of the vegetative New Idria, is about 70 miles in a south-easterly direct axis ; this is furthest from the source of nutrition ; the from New Almaden, the ore, cinnabar, occurring un flower occupies a katabolic position, and is often the conditions similar to those in the latter mine-Damuel. plant's dying effort (p. 226). Alternation of generations very irregular groups of fissures in metamorphic s is a special example of the rhythm. Thus, but the authors which pass into others containing Neocomian fossas do not cite this example in this connection, the tiny sexless the genus Aucella. These were succeeded by other and spore-bearing stalk parasitic on the moss-plant is the taceous and Tertiary formations up to the Miocene, anabolic vegetative generation, while the conspicuous close of the latter period being marked by an uphez moss-plant is the sexual or katabolic generation-the and the commencement of volcanic activity. The generation peculiarly connected with starvation! It is deposits are closely related to the latter, and are probably obvious that the authors are nothing if not original. But nearly all, if not entirely, of post-Pliocene origia. the real value of the book must not be lost sight of in In the Clear Lake region, in lat. 39* Y., which quotations from it. The chapters on the “ Determination joins the group of volcanic cones known as Mar

Konocte (or Uncle Sam) hot springs and solfataras are In addition to the mines specially described, the author abundant in a small area of basalt of comparatively has extended his study of the subject to a consideration: recent origin. The most important of these, known as of the principal mercury-mines other than those of Amethe Sulphur Bank, was at first worked for sulphur, but, rica, partly from personal investigation in Spain and on getting below the surface, cinnabar was found in the Italy, and partly with the help of other observers and decomposed basalt, and for some years it produced large published accounts. He expresses a very decided opinion quantities of mercury, up to 11,152 flasks in 1881 ; but against the supposed substitution origin of the Almaden latterly the yield has fallen off, being only 1449 flasksin 1886. deposits, considering them to be essentially of a vein-like

The Redington Mine, adjoining Knoxville, about 25 character, the cinnabar being deposited in fissures or miles south-east of Clear Lake, was discovered in making interstitial cavities in sandstone previously existing. This a cutting for a road, and has been worked since 1862, and latter conclusion is substantially similar to that arrived has produced nearly 100,000 flasks of mercury, a quantity at by the late Mr. J. A. Phillips and the present writer, in which has only been exceeded by the mines of New a microscopic study of the Almaden ores made some Almaden and New Idria. In 1886 the yield had fallen years since. The details of the foreign deposits have to 409 flasks, the immense irregular body of ore at the been very carefully collected, the comparatively new dissurface having changed in depth to some narrow veins coveries of Avala in Servia, and Bakmuth in Southern following fissures in the metamorphic Neocomian strata. European Russia, being included. The latter mine, These are to a large extent converted into serpentine ; and which, at the time the book was completed, was not at a black opal, known as quicksilver rock, accompanied the work, has since become of considerable importance. The ore, which was remarkable as consisting largely, in the ore, cinnabar, occurs as an impregnation of a bed of carupper workings at least, of amorphous black sulphide of boniferous sandstone from 14 to 17 feet thick, with an mercury, or meta-cinnabar, a mineral that was there average yield of 154 pounds per ton-about 7 per cent.recognized in quantity for the first time. This deposit is and the reduction works have a productive capacity of considered to be the result of the action of hot springs about 10,000 flasks annually. in connection with an adjacent mass of basalt-springs In conclusion, it is scarcely necessary to state that the which are now dormant except in so far that sulphur gases whole of the details illustrating the subject have been are given off and sulphur crystals are deposited in the old worked out with the care and fulness which have characworkings, where a comparatively high temperature, ex: terized the author's former monograph on the Comstock ceeding 100° F., prevails.

lode. Whether mercury-mining in California may be in The Steamboat Springs in Nevada, near the Comstock | a declining state, or destined to a revival of its former lode, have been also studied by the author. These, prosperity at a future time, there can be no question of although presenting no deposits of commercial value, the high value of the record of the results hitherto are interesting from the light they cast upon the pheno- obtained, which is contained in the volume it has been mena of the formation of mineral veins, and have there our pleasant task to notice.

H. B. fore been carefully investigated by several observers, including the late Mr. J. A. Phillips, F.R.S., and M. Laur, of the École des Mines. The author considers

OUR BOOK SHELF. that the main source of the ore in the Comstock lode is Illustrations of some of the Grasses of the Southern Punthe diabase forming the hanging wall, and that the mine jab, being Photo-lithographs of some of the Principal ral contents were extracted from this pre-Tertiary erup Grasses found at Hissar. By William Coldstream, Live mass by intensely heated waters charged with alkaline

B.A., Bengal Civil Service. With 38 Plates and 8 pages carbonates and sulphides rising from great depths, and

of Introduction. (London: Thacker and Co. Calcutta:

Thacker and Spink. 1889.) that a similar origin may properly be attributed to all the This work contains a series of thirty-eight photo-lithocinnabar, pyrites, and gold found in the mercury-mines of graphs of the grasses used for agricultural purposes in the the Pacific slope, having been brought in as solutions southern portion of the Punjab. The tract of country to as double sulphides of metal and alkalies. The original which it relates lies to the west of Delhi, between the source must have been either the fundamental granite of Jumna on the east and the Sutlej on the west. It conthe country, or some infra-granitic mass, it being ex-stituted till recently the civil district of Hissar, which has tremely improbable that they were extracted from any now been broken up. It has an area of 8500 square

miles, and a population of a million and a half. Except volcanic rock at or near the surface. In connection with along the streams and canals the soil is sterile and sandy, this subject, the author has made a series of interesting and the crops depend upon the periodical rains. The experiments on the relations of the sulphide of mercury staple cereals are Sorghum vulgare and Penicillaria to that of sodium, which show that mercuric sulphide spicata. In its centre is situated the great Government is freely soluble in aqueous solutions of sodium sulphide, finest Indian breeds have been reared by Government, although the contrary has repeatedly been asserted. principally for the supply of the ordnance and transport de Mercuric sulphide may be precipitated from sulpho-saltpartments, but also to some extent for distribution through solutions in many ways, particularly by excess of sul- the country, with the aim of improving the commoner phuretted hydrogen, by borax and other mineral salts ; indigenous kinds. The Bir, or grass-lands, of this great by cooling, especially in the presence of ammonia, and farm are of very wide extent, and in the rainy season a by dilution. In the latter case, a certain quantity of large number of grasses, of more or less value as fodder, metallic mercury separates as well as the sulphide, in-gether an area of above sixty square miles, and it is

grow luxuriantly over its vast parks. The farm has altodicating one of the methods by which the native metal mainly from this that the species figured by Mr. Coldhas been produced in Nature.

stream are taken.

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