Page images


length found to be behind it, it is reasonable to attribute the

MERGUI, change to the man, and not the stream. But all turns upon the assumed steadiness of the stream's onward move

Contributions to the Fauna of Mergui and its Archipelage ment. Looking back on past experience, Mr. Giffen

2 Vols. (London: Taylor and Francis, 1889. entertains the hypothesis of a constant or “normal” "HE materials which have been brought together in growth of property. But with respect to recent years, these volumes are now made accessible to those it would be possible to cite, from other high authorities, specially interested in the fauna of this group of islands expressions of a contrary opinion. But, if the steady in a connected form. The collections were made in 1881motion of goods is not accepted, presumably the issue 82 by Dr. John Anderson, F.R.S., till recently Director isi between "scarcity of gold” and the opposed theory of the Indian Museum at Calcutta, who brought the specappreciation will turn upon a comparison of the rates at mens to England with him, and placed the different which the rate of increase varies for money and com- groups in the hands of specialists for their proper identi. modies respectively-an investigation of second differ- fication and description. The result has been the publicaentials which we could not regard as serious.

tion of a number of faunistic papers in the Journal of the The difficulties of monetary theory do not attend some Linnean Society and elsewhere, and these papers are of the uses to which the estimate of national capital may now published in the form of two volumes, well illusbe applied. It is not necessary to make a correction for trated with plates, and containing altogether nearly two the variation of money when we compare our own with a dozen distinct memoirs by recognized authorities in the foreign country in respect of absolute quantity, and even different departments. growth, of accumulation. Our colossal capital compares In the first volume Prof. P. Martin Duncan writes on not unfavourably with the capital of the United States, the Madrepores, and in his concluding remarks calls attenperhaps equal in amount, but much less per head. The tion to the remarkable distinctness of the existing a: £10,000,000,000 of the United Kingdom compares favour-compared with the Miocene corals of the same arca ably with the £7,200,000,000 of France weighted by a Prof. F. Jeffrey Bell's paper on the Holuthuria comes heavy debt, and the surprisingly small £1,920,000,000 of next in order, and is followed by Mr. F. Moore's paper Italy.

on the Lepidoptera, the collection in the last order con The comparison of provinces, as well as nations, is taining 208 species of butterflies, and 64 species of maths also instructive. Mr. Giffen finds that Ireland has less The Sponges are described by Mr. H. J. Carter, F.R.S. than a twentieth of the property belonging to the United and the Ophiuridæ by Prof. Martin Duncan, who contrKingdom. The property per head in Ireland is less than butes also a special paper on the anatomy of Ophiothri: a third of what it is in England, and not much more than variabilis and Ophiocampsi's pellicula. The Polyzoa and a third of what it is for Scotland. Upon these facts Mr. Hydroida are taken in hand by the Rev. Thomas Hincks. Giffen remarks :

The Coleoptera have come off badly, if Mr. Bate's de

scription of one new species (Brachyonychus andersoni “ Reckoning by wealth, England should have 86 per represents the whole of the material collected in this cent. of the representation of the United Kingdom, or 576 order. We suspect, however, that more will be heard members out of 670 ; Scotland, by the same rule, should have about 64 only ; and Ireland no more than 30.

about the Mergui beetles at some future period. There should be a representation of forces in Parliament,

Dr. Anderson himself contributes the list of birds, if we had perfectly just arrangements, and not merely a which he regards “merely as a small supplementary counting of heads. Nothing can be more absurd to the contribution " to Messrs. Hume and Davison's labours ** mind of any student of politics, who knows how forces the same field. The list chiefly records the distributies rule in the long run, than the system now established, as in the outer islands of the archipelago of a few of the between the metropolitan community of England and its companions in sovereignty, by which one of the com- species recorded by these last authors. Dr. Hoek, ve panion communities, and that the least entitled to privi- Leyden, writes on a Cirriped (Dichelaspis pellud, lege, obtains most disproportionate power."

which does not appear to have been observed since

Darwin published his original description in his monoOne of the most legitimate uses to which estimates of graph. The shells-marine, estuarine, freshwater, and national capital can be put, is to ascertain the progress of terrestrial-form the subject of a paper by Prof. E. x. wealth from age to age. In an historical retrospect, Mr. Martens, of Berlin. Mr. Stuart Ridley has been coGiffen reviews the work of his predecessors, rescuing trusted with the Alcyonaria, and Prof. A. C. Haddon from an undeserved neglect more than one writer who describes two species of Actiniæ. 'The Annelids art had the courage and sagacity to employ what Colquhoun treated of by Mr. Frank E. Beddard, who includes in huis calls“ approximating facts." The succession of estimates, paper an important section on the structure of the eyes from the age of Petty to the present time, appears to in one of the species described. The Pennatuliga are justify the hypothesis of a constant increase of property-treated of by Prof. Milnes Marshall and Dr. G. H a five-fold multiplication per century. Contemplating Fowler, and the Myriopoda by Mr. R. I. Pocock, ths the long series of records, Englishmen may reflect with being the first list of species recorded from the urce pride that the increased estimates are matched by an pelago. The Comatulæ are described by Dr. P. Herbert ncreasing power of handling them, that the growth of Carpenter, the Echinoidea by Prof. P. Martin Duncan material prosperity has not been attended by a decline and Mr. W. P. Sladen, and the Asteroidea by this las in statistical genius, and that the work of Petty is con-author. These organisms, when referable to know tinued by one who is worthy to be compared with the species, "show variations which are sufficient to impart founder of Political Arithmetic.

F. Y. E. a character to the collection as a whole, and to indicate

the existence of local conditions whose action upon types approximately the component parts of a pasture in the of a more plastic nature than that of the series of forms young state, it is open to the observer to wait for further so far collected would probably result in new morpho-proof in the spike or panicle, which will in due time appear. logical developments.” Mr. Sladen further throws out A grass-field contains a larger number of species, not only the suggestion that the Mergui area “may be looked of grasses but of clovers, other leguminous plants, and upon as a moulding ground wherein Malayan types miscellaneous herbage, belonging to the Composita, assume a modified form." A description of the physical Umbellifera, Rosacea, and other natural orders. This conditions prevailing in the localities where the Asteroidea book treats solely of the grasses, and clearly, and with the were collected is contributed by Dr. Anderson, and adds help of 200 figures, shows how any person may identify much to the value of this paper. The paper on the grasses in the leafy stage. “ The difficulties connected Mammals, Reptiles, and Batrachians is by Dr. Anderson, with the identification of grasses in the flowerless conthe three classes being represented by 23, 53, and 12 dition,” says Mr. M’Alpine, “are not at all so great as species respectively. The whole of the second volume, usually supposed.” This is good news from the botanist containing over 300 pages and 19 plates, is devoted to of the Highland and Agricultural Society of Scotland, the Crustacea, the author entrusted with this order Professor of Botany in the New Veterinary College, Edinbeing Dr. J. G. de Man, of Middleburg, Netherlands. burgh, and translator of Stebler's" Best Forage Plants.” The It should be added that this part of the work relates great and varied knowledge of Mr. M'Alpine, is in itself a only to the stalk-eyed Crustacea.

guarantee that the distinctions he has traced between the The names of the different specialists who stand re blades and stems of grasses are not of a hasty or flimsy sponsible for their respective contributions are sufficient character. Many of them are new to us, but others we have guarantee that Dr. Anderson and the Calcutta Museum noticed ourselves, and know them to be correct. Any one have been the means, aided largely by the Linnean furnished with a copy of this little book, and a small Society, of giving to the public a substantial and trust magnifier, will find that an additional interest will be comworthy contribution to the natural history of a much-municated to walks in the fields, and the question as to neglected group of islands. The proximity of the archi- the nature of the growing herbage of pastures may be pelago to the main land of course precludes the possibility satisfactorily answered. An eye trained to observation of expecting much in the way of insular forms. There is will be able to detect slight differences better than the eye one paper, however, contributed by Dr. Anderson, and which sees not, but we feel confidence that a careful forming the second part of the first volume, which wiil be examination of the plates and the letterpress of this little read with interest by anthropologists, as it contains a de- book will, if used in the field, be in itself a training in scription of a peculiar race of sea gipsies called “Selungs," habits of observation. The book should be in the hands who frequent the archipelago and inhabit many of its of every agricultural student, as it in due time will become islands. These people appear to be sufficiently distinct the basis of questions at examinations. The facts that from those of the main land to warrant their being re- | Mr. M'Alpine is himself a teacher, and that Prof. Wallace, garded as an insular race, probably having Malayan of Edinburgh University, has written the preface, point to affinities. At any rate, all that we know about them at this conclusion. the present time is contained in the paper referred to, The price for so small a book (35. 6d.) certainly appears which is accompanied by two photographic groups of the very heavy; but if it is called for in sufficient numbers, people, a photograph of their boats, and a lithographed we shall doubtless soon hear of a cheaper edition. The plate of their weapons and utensils. There is also a demand for books of this class is small, as most farmers vocabulary of their language, which, according to General do not read more than is good for them, and the subject Browne, bears not the slightest affinity to Burmese, but is not of great interest to the general reading public. which Dr. Rost reports to be distinctly Malayan.

The classification adopted by Mr. M'Alpine is not R. M. that of genera and species. For example, rye-grasses

(Lolium) and meadow fescue (Festuca) are grouped to

gether, as having red bases to their stems; crested HOW TO KNOW GRASSES BY THEIR LEAVES. dog's-tail grass is peculiar for a yellow stem base ; meadow How to know Grasses by their Leaves. By A. N. M'Alpine. fox-tail, for a dark or almost black stem base ; Yorkshire (Edinburgh : David Douglas, 1890.)

fog, for having a white sheath, with red veins. These 'HIS little book will be a valuable aid to agriculturists colours at the base of the stem, taken together with

and agricultural students. It is small, and adapted other characters, are used to identify the species, and the for carrying in a side pocket. It comes out seasonably, I grasses which are known by the colours just enumerated as the time is fast approaching in which its teaching may form a group described as “characteristically coloured be verified in the field. It fills a gap in our know- grasses." Group II. includes variegated grasses, whose ledge of grasses, as botanists usually decide species by leaf-blades are composed of alternate strips of white and the inflorescence, rather than by the leaves. Colour, habit green tissue. Group III. includes bulbous grasses, with of growth, and form of leaf, are, we know, somewhat low, flat ribs, such as Timothy grass and false oat grass. variable characters, and cannot always be relied upon ; Group IV., cord-rooted grasses in hill pastures, such as and in questions relating to the absolute identification of mat grass and purple Molinia. Group V., acute sheathed species, no doubt, inflorescence is of first importance. grasses, so named on account of their sharp edges. The There is, however, a practical knowledge which derives shoots are quite flat on the sides and the edges acute immense benefit from the kind of information contained -such are cocksfoot and rough-stalked meadow grass. in Mr. M'Alpine's work, and after having determined Group VII., bitter tasted grasses. Group VIII., bristle

bladed grasses. Group X., hairy grasses. Group XII., The work is based on Baron Nordenskiöld's private ribless bladed grasses. Groups VI., IX., and XI. are collection of ancient printed maps. This collection be separately dealt with, but those above-mentioned will began to make many years ago, and it is now rich in sufficiently show the principle upon which the classification documents from the periods reviewed in the present

“ is made.

The maps have been excellently copied and printed, The figures (diagrams', showing the tapering, obtuse, and the great care taken by the librarian, Mr. W.E. flat, involute, or imbricate character of the herbage, are Dahlgren, has secured the correctness of the citations exceedingly plain and characteristic, and will be of great | All geographers who have a right to an opinion on the assistance to the observer in the field. The leaf-blades, subject will agree that the work is indispensable to stems, ligules, sheaths, &c., are well shown in cross- ! every library in which there is a department devoted to

geography sections, and at length.


Light and Hest. By the Rev. F. W. Aveling, M.A., B.Sc. OUR BOOK SHELF.

Second Edition. (London : Relfe Bros., 1890.)

This is a new edition of a text-book intended to prepare Facsimile Atlus to the Early History of Cartography, aith candidates for one of the science subjects

of the London Reproductions of the most important Japs printed ' matriculation. It has been much improved since its in the Fifteenth and Sixteenth centuries. By A. E. : first appearance, but it still treats the subject in a very Nordenskiold. Translated from the Swedish original superficial way. Although no one could seriously study by J. A. Ekelöf and Clements R. Markham. (Stock- the subject with this as a guide, it is certainly a useful holm, 1889.!

summary of the main facts, and will probably be found In this handsome volume there are 142 pages of letter- 'serviceable by intending candidates. The coloured plate press in imperial folio, and 51 plates in double folio. It of spectra has been corrected, but surely this is superilous contains reproductions of about 160 of the rarest and in a book which does not even describe an ordinary most important maps printed before the year 1600. student's spectroscope. The author has fallen into the Among these are the maps of Ptolemy, edited by very common error of stating that the electric arc gives Schweinheim-Buckinck in Rome, 14-8 and 1400; maps a continuous spectrum, and he also states that the lines from Berlinghieri's "Geographia," Firenze, c. 1478: Aesch- in the spectra of the fixed stars are different from those ler's and belin's “ Ptolemy" of 1513: Reisch Marga- which characterize sunlight; whereas in a great many rita Philosophica, of 1503 and 1515; Lafreri's ** Atlas," cases they are practically identical. Rome, c. 1570; Richard Hakluyt's " Petrus Martyr,"

There are numerous d.agrams, but they are barely of Paris, 1537, and Principal Xavigations," London, 1500: a quality equal to those which would be produced by a maps of the world, by Ruysch, 1508, Bernardus Sylvanus, student at an examination. The large collection on 1511, Hobmicza, 1512, Apianus, 1520. Laurentius Frisius. questions and answers will be very useful 1522, Robert Torne, 15-7. Orontius Finacus, 1531, Gry irrin's Taze ni Formula Beck. By the Rev. Isaac næus 153, Mercator, 1534, Girava, 1556, de Judæis, 1593Weird also the first modern printed maps of the northern

Warren. London: Longmans, Green, and Co., 1889.. regans of the Holy Land, of Central Europe by Nicolas We have in this small work a compact and trustworthy a Cusa, of France, of Spain, ot Erg'and, of Russia ; the set of tables, facts, and formulæ which come within the first charts for the use of mariners pub’ished in print ; 3: scope of an ordinary education. As a reference book, it genera. maps, or maps relerring to the New Worid : the shod prove must useful, the information it convey first modern printed maps of Wrica; the first map ilius. being curcise and to the point. In addition to the usual trating the distribution of regie es creeds, &c. of weights and measures, &c., we have an account As regards the ext, chap:ers 1-1i. contain researches of the phys cai and electrical units now in use, followed re'arr; to the induence of Ptolemy on modern carto- by the most important formulæ used in algebra, mensyragarh, as merits and defects and the difierent editions tan and trigonometry, and tables of exchange, principal e is geograpar. Of the editions enumera:ed in its of age throughout the world, and comparative b.biographica: norks ?- spurious ones are negiected. In average values of some important coins, the last of which chapter il, a review is given of ancient maps other than be found useful to those travelling abroad. Fieceru.c, of the portelangs and their ir zence on Some of the most important business forms, such as modern gearby. Chapter v. :rets of the excersion of Form of alcz: Fromissory Note," " Form of Foreign Fizens towards the Barth and forth wess, B. of Exchange, c, are printed in full; and the work the pre-columban marse sordnavia ard Greeriard cocoties n. puses and telegraph rates. On the back ike mos: remarkare of which is one discovered by of the cover are pribed diagrams of a square decimetre Nordeaskerfin abrary at Warsaw reproduced and certmetre a square inch, together with scales of or Tab. m) Charter vi dears with the strips of the centimetres azucches. New Wardine then recents disa vered parts of Ascanius tiere e zucker dus attezken the hithena reglectal factibit maps tem Vasco de Games

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR. secunduage were printei as ea: v as 1513 reproduced (The Ear dues must is limself responsible for apexions et

de letterpres. ris :2. Chapter you gives an goessens by eas correspondents. Neither can ke nderin acon otete reser:

aabes, uzd :a capier van to us, to arresponded the writers af reverter * =2 pachhe 2. Cortas severa ezers MENU Tipes intended for this or any other part Narni, gecey ad se is the key of this part of card Jimatu saker of any communications.] armaster: be dels with the end of the early

Panmisin." pers, 12 a chapter we and meang o ne zier per

1:erei arreta... which Nr. Ko

**345 . :i 3 j. 511. 63 ay delec Gis

ind :) **Svation of Polar ere

: es convince one of the

sure yunated new princples astees vesseerte

**er my trolle for Mr. Darwik ) 2. sze

oses himself by their aii In his -45. Mr. Romane lays great stresa 10


[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

criticizing Weismann upon what he calls a reversal of selection," the effects of use and disuse. As Mr. Spencer says, in the prewhich he now tells us is the same principle as “economy of face to "The Factors of Organic Evolution," "Considering the growth." Yet in the earlier letter he entirely omits to credit Mr. width and depth of the effects which acceptance of one or other Darwin with the recognition of that principle, an l after carefully of these hypotheses must have on our views of Life, Mind, asserting that Mr. Darwin had overlooked the principle of Morals, and Politics, the question-Which of them is true ? de** parmixia," he gives in an historical form what he (Mr. Romanes) mands, beyond all other questions whatever, the attention of had argued some years ago, and what his views were-including scientific men." herein the principle of economy of growth, or more generally, As experiments suggested by those who believe in the inreversed selection. Now that the oversight has been pointed heritance of the effects of use and disuse would hardly carry the out to him Mr. Romanes allows that " it is a matter of familiar weight to those who do not believe in this inheritance which exknowledge that Mr. Darwin at all times, and through all his periments proposed by themselves would, I write to suggest works, laid considerable stress upon the economy of growth (or the desirability of undertaking an investigation which, Prof. more generally, reversed selection)."

Weismann thinks, would prove one or other hypothesis. He Mr. Romanes makes an unreal separation between “cessa- states it in the following words on p. 90 of the English edition tion of selection" and " reversal of selection"; at the same of his “ Essays " :time, for the mere purpose of badinage, he affects to suppose "If it is desired to prove that use and disuse produce that I do not perceive any difference between them-a suppo hereditary effects without the assistance of natural selection, it sition which cannot be sincere in view of the statements in my will be necessary to domesticate wild animals (for example, the letter of March 27. Cessation of selection is not a "principle wild duck), and preserve all their descendants, thus excluding at all. It is a condition which alone cannot produce any im. the operation of natural selection. If, then, all individuals of portant result. At the same time, what Mr. Romanes mislead. 'the second, third, fourth, and later generations of these tame ingly calls " reversal of selection," viz. "economy of growth,” ducks possess identical variations, which increase from generation cannot become operative in causing the dwindling of an organ to generation, and if the nature of these changes proves that until the condition of " cessation of selection " exists. The fact they must have been due to the effects of use and disuse, then is-as Mr. Romanes insisted before it was pointed out in these perhaps the transmission of such effects may be admitted ; but pages that it was no new principle of his own discovery, and it must always be remembered that domestication itself inwhen he wished to lay claim to an improvement upon Weis. Auences the organism,--not only directly, but also indirectly, by mann's exposition of "panmixia "- cessation of selection must the increase of variability as a result of natural selection. Such be supplemented by economy of growth in order to produce the experiments have not yet been carried out in sufficient detail." results attributed to "panmixia.” And inasmuch as economy If Profs. Weismann, Romanes, and Lankester, would agree of growth as a cause of degeneration involves the condition of to some such experiment as the above as definitely proving the cessation of selection, Mr. Darwin, in recognizing the one point in question (I say "definitely,” for the sentence which recognized the other.

reads "if the nature of these changes proves that they must have By the use of the term “the principle of the cessation of been due to the effects of use and disuse," seems to leave a loop: selection” Mr. Romanes has created an unnecessary obscurity: hole for escape, even if the experiment were carefully carried To say that a part has become " useless," or " has ceased out), there are two ways in which it might be effected. One is, to be useful to its possessor" as Mr. Darwin does, is clearly the that the British Association, which by devoting time to the dissame thing as to say that it "has ceased to be selected"-selec cussion of the hypothesis has shown an appreciation of its worth, tion and use being inseparable. Mr. Darwin states that such should at its next meeting appoint a committee, with a small parts " may well be variable, for their variations can no longer grant for necessary expenses, to carry out the investigation. The be checked by natural selection.” That is panmixia. It is Other is, that it should be undertaken independently by the true that Mr. Darwin did not recognize that such unrestricted foremost of those on both sides who are interested in the quesvariation must lead to a diminution in size of the varying part tion, and who would no doubt subscribe among themselves without the operation of the principle of "economy of enough for the purpose in view--at least, speaking for myself, growth." This was no strange oversight : he would have been I should not object to contribute to the expenses of a properly in error had he done so. On the other hand, he did recognize planned investigation. that, given the operation of that principle, the result would Regarding the place where the "wild ducks," or possibly amount to the dwindling and degeneration of parts which are some animal with a more frequent recurrence of broods, should referred to as rudimentary

be located for observation, I would suggest that the Zoological " Panmixia.” as a term clearly refers to the unrestricted inter- Society should be asked to afford space in their Gardens at breeding of all varieties which may arise, when selection in Regent's Park.

F. HOWARD COLLINS. regard to a given part or organ is no longer operative. The Churchfield, Edgbaston. term, like its correlative cessation of selection,” does not indicate a principle but a natural condition : it does not involve

Galls. the inference that a dwindling in the side of the organ must result from the inter-breeding ; but simply points to a precedent 27, P. 394) appears at first sight a serious one, but I think it

The difficulty raised by Mr. Wetterhan (NATURE, February condition.

I am by no means prepared to admit that pinmixia alone vanishes on examination. Supposing the attacks of the insects (1.4. without economy of growth or other such factors) can be to be constant, trees in their evolution would have to adapt relied upon, as it is by Mr. Romanes, to explain the reduction in themselves to these circumstances, just as they have adapted size of the disused organs of domesticated animals. I observe themselves to the environment of soil, air, light, wind, and so that in his letter on this subject to Nature of April 9, 1874, forth. But the fallacy (as it seems to me) of Mr. Wetterhan's Mr. Romanes does not attempt to attribute a dwindling action argument lies in the supposition that the life of an oak-tree as to " panmixia" alone, but assumes a limitation by economy of such, and the life of an insect, may rightly be compared. A tree growih to any increase beyond the initial size of the organ which is really a sort of socialistic community of plants, which has become useless. Given this limitation and the condition of continually die and are supplanted by fresh. Bud-variation is panmixia, the dwindling follows ; but it is absurd to attribute a well-known thing, and in oaks A. de Candolle found many the result, or any proportion of it, to the panmixia or cessation

variations on the same tree. Now is it unreasonable to suppose of selection alone. On the other hand, when we consider shape variation-or rather, be obliged to take advantage of it

, if it

that internal-feeding insects might take advantage of such and structure, and not merely size, it is clear that panmixia without economy of growth would lead to a complete loss of that were in a direction to benefit the tree? I will give two complex adjustinent of parts which many organs exhibit, and purely hypothetical instances, to illustrate the points involved. consequently to degeneration without loss of bulk. That the Imagine two oak-trees, each with three branches, and each principle of economy of growth is ever totally inoperative has attacked ty three internal-feeding insects. The insects infesting not been demonstrated.


one tree are borers ; those on the other tree are gall-makers. April 9.

The borers bore into the branches, which they kill while undergoing their transformations : the tree po sibly does not

die that year, but next year the progeny of the three, being Heredity, and the Effects of Use and Disuse. more numerous while the tree is weaker, effect its destruction, ALI. biologists will, I am sure, agree as to the desirability of a and finally the insects serish for want of food. On the other thorough testing of the hypotheses relative to the inheritance of tree, the gall-makers do no appreciable damage, and the tree is

able to support them and their progeny without great difficulty. nine cylinders, about "Podump" and "Pook-jin-Squiss," the Now a little consideration will show that the longer the life and Black Cat and the Toad Woman," which has never been the slower the reproduction of the trees, the greater will be published. In a detailed report of my work with the photo the contrast. If the plant infested by the borers had been an graph in preserving the Passamaquoddy language, I hope to give annual herb, it might have contrived to perfect its seeds, and a translation of this interesting story. the death of the old stem would be but a natural and inevitable Boston, U.S.A., March 20. J. WALTER FEWKES, process, and fresh plants might have been produced in sufficient numbers to continue the species in spite of all insect

Solar Halos and Parhelia. attacks. But in the case of trees--oak-trees especially, the rate of growth and reproduction is such that, unless the insect-borers

A MAGNIFICENT display of solar halos and parhelia was can live in galls, they will destroy the plants entirely, and witnessed here this afternoon, exceeding in beauty and brilliancy themselves in consequence. Indeed, I have no doubt, that if that observed on January 29, 1890, and described in NATURE all the gall-makers now existing could suddenly be transformed February 6, p. 330. into stem-borers, the genera Quercus, Rosa, and Salix, now so

The phenomenon was similar to the one of January 29, dominant, would shortly disappear from off the face of the earth. except that the mock suns were distinctly outside the first circle The other hypothesis—here assuming that the production of or halo, at a distance of 5 or 6°, and were when first seen galls is due more to the tree than the insect—is this. Suppose at 3 p.m, above the level of the true sun ; a handkerchief stretched an oak tree with four branches, all attacked by internal-feeding at arm's length from one to the other gave the blurred image of insects. Two of the branches produce swellings in which the

the sun several degrees lower. insects live, while the other two produce none, and the insects

At 3.49 the patch of white light appeared about 90° from the have to devour the vital parts. Now the two branches which right mock sun and connected to it with a curved band of white produced no swellings would quickly be killed by the insects, light, concave side upwards. The right mock suo must then but those which produced galls would live, and the more

have been below the level of the sun, as the band appeared to perfect the galls, the greater the insect-population they would be pass upwards through it to the sun. This band only remained able to support. Hence the tree would finally, by the survival a few minutes; the right sun and zenith arc at the time were of its gall-producing branches, become purely gall-producing,

most intensely brilliant, with the colours exceptionally clear and and we may assume that its progeny would inherit the pecu- vivid. The zenith arc, and the patch of white light, were the liarity.

last to disappear at 4.22. I am aware that the above arguments will sound a little like

The cirro-stratus cloud during and after the display was those of the Irishman, who said he ought not to be hanged, be- rapidly advancing from the north. cause, “in the first place, he did not kill the man; in the

Driffield, April 9.

J. LOVELL second place, he killed him by accident; and thirdly, he killed him in self-defence,”—but I do not represent either of the

Cambridge Anthropometry. above hypotheses as the precise truth of the matter, and I think I have read with much interest, in NATURE of March 13 they sufficiently illustrate the principles involved.

(p. 450), Mr. Venn's very interesting article on anthropometry

T. D. A, COCKERELI. at Cambridge. West Cliff, Custer Co., Colorado, March 16.

There is in his tables one rather peculiar feature, of which !

find no notice taken in the text. It will be seen on reserence le On the Use of the Edison Phonograph in the Preserva- the tables that, while the other physical characteristics increase tion of the Languages of the American Indians.

from A to B, and from B to C (weight and height being irregular, The present state of perfection of the Edison phonograph led however, the breath is highest in A, less in B, and least in c,

thus falling with the intellectual fall. me to attempt some experiments with it on our New

England Indians, as a means of preserving languages which are rapidly characteristics is so slight as to be as Mr. Venn says

It is true that the difference in this as in most of the other becoming extinct. I accordingly made a visit to Calais, Maine, practically negligible ; but still the fact that this should steadily and was able, through the kindness of Mrs. W. Wallace Brown, fall instead of rising with the other physical characteristics to take upon the phonograph a collection of records illustrating strikes me as peculiar. I should be glad therefore to bear if the language, folk-lore, songs, and counting-out rhymes of the Passamaquoddy Indians. My experiments met with complete any explanation thereof to suggest.

Mr. Venn has any comment to make on this phenomenon, or success, and I was able not only to take the records, but also to

F. H, P. C. take them so well that the Indians themselves recognized the

April 4. voices of other members of the tribe who had spoken the day before.

A Remarkable Meteor. One of the most interesting records which was made was the On Thursday, April 10, at 10.40 p.m., I observed a meteor song of the snake dance, sung by Noel Josephs, who is recog- of extraordinary brilliancy shoot from a point just east of A nized by the Passamaquoddies as the best acquainted of all with Leonis. It travelled over about 10° in a porth-westerly direction, this song " of old time.” He is always the leader in the dance, and was visible for fully two seconds. Its apparent diameter, as and sang it in the same way as at its last celebration.

nearly as I can judge, was about a quarter of that of the fall I also took upon the same wax cylinder on which the im- moon; its colour, a very vivid pale green. J. Duxx. pressions are made his account of the dance, including the Much Marcle, Herefordshire, April 11. invitation which precedes the ceremony. In addition to the song of the snake darce I obtained on the

Earthworms from Pennsylvania, phonograph an interesting "trade song," and a “Mohawk war song” which is very old. Several other songs were recorded.

NEARLY twenty years ago, a very aberrant earthworm was Many very interesting old folk-tales were also taken. In some described by a French naturalist, who obtained it from Pennsylof these there occur ancient songs with archaic words, imitation vania. I should be greatly indebted to any naturalists or travelof the voices of animals, old and young. An ordinary conversa: if they would collect some of these worms and send them to me

lers who may find themselves in that part of the United States, tion between two Indians, and a counting-out rhyme, are among the records made.

The most convenient mode of transmission would be to pack I found the schedules of the United States Bureau of Ethno

the living worms in moist earth with moss or grass, in a tin bos logy of great value in my work, and adopted the method of perforated at one end : this should be inclosed in a wooden bor giving Passamaquoddy and English words consecutively on the

Both small and large worms should be collected : some might le cylinders.

preserved in strong spirit, but living specimens would be the The records were all numbered, and the announcement of the most useful.

W. BLAXLAND BENHAM. subject made on each in English. Some of the stories filled

University College, London, April 10. several cylinders, but there was little difficulty in making the changes necessary to pass from one to the other, and the Indians,

Crystals of Lime. after some practice, were able to "make good records” in the SINCE the appearance of my letter on this subject (p. 315) I instrument. Thirty-six cylinders were taken in all. One apiece have found that similar crystals have been recently observed by is sufficient for most of the songs and for many of the short Mr. J. Joly, and were described by him in the Proceedings al stories. The longest story taken was a folk-tale, which occupies the Royal Dublin Society, vol. vi. p. 255. H. A. MIERS

« PreviousContinue »