Page images
PDF
EPUB

I

nothing of the professed) naturalist to identify such

FIRE RISKS. specimens as might come under observation. All such

Fire and Explosion Risks. By Dr. von Schwartz difficulties vanish with Mr. Millais's life-sized coloured

Translated by C. T. C. Salter. Pp. xxi +357figures as a standard for comparison, the distinctive

(London: Charles Griffin and Co., Ltd., 1904.) features of each species being brought clearly before

Price 16s. net. the reader both in the text and in the plates. Much

N estimating the risks of fire due to the storage important work has also been done with regard to the local distribution of several of the species, notably as

of goods of varying descriptions, the insurance to the occurrence of the lesser horseshoe bat and the companies are met by the difficulty that the knowledge noctule in Wales. Whether Mr. Millais has been well

necessary to gauge the comparative safety or other

wise of the materials present is of so technical a nature advised, at all events in a work of this nature, in

that but few possess it, and in many cases substances generically separating the noctule and Leisler's bat of apparently the most innocuous character become from the pipistrelle may, however, be open to question active sources of danger under conditions likely to Moreover, seeing that the author refuses to admit

escape the notice of any but those who have made a “ Myotis myotis” into the British list, the propriety special study of the subject. As a result risks are of assigning a separate heading to this species may often taken at far too low a premium, whilst the disperhaps likewise be doubtful.

trust born of the loss incurred afterwards leads to erAmong the Carnivora, the account of the wild cat cessive charges in utterly wrong directions, very few inis of special interest, largely owing to the fact that

surance offices being fortunate enough to possess inthe author does not endorse the views of the late Dr.

spectors or assessors with the necessary knowledge Hamilton as to the practical extermination of this

to safely guide them in the adjustment of their scale species in the British Islands. Not that it is anywhere of fees. common, even in the wilder parts of Scotland, where

In Germany several works by such authorities as in many districts it has long since been killed off. At Dr. Richter, Prof. Hapke, and Dr. von Schwartz lend the present day, owing to a special cause, west Ross

valuable aid to the scien fic de of the question, but shire appears to be its main stronghold. As to the in England, with the exception of some valuable little extermination of the wolf and the bear from our

works compiled by Mr. W. A. Harris, the able secreislands, the author has much to say--and all that he says is worth reading. Very interesting, too, is his tary to the Phænix Fire Office in Liverpool, the

literature of the subject has been entirely neglected, account of two distinct types of the fox in Scotland, although the fact that on an average 10,000,000l. is namely, a dark and grey form in the mountains, and a annually paid by British fire insurance companies on smaller red or pale form in the lowlands. Apparently, fire claims alone, whilst the loss probably is nearly however, he does not allude to the “greyhound fox "

double this amount, suggests that the subject is well of the Lake District, which Cumberland sportsmen worth the deepest consideration. insist is entitled to be regarded as a distinct local race. Under these conditions it is a matter for congratu

The most original and therefore the most valuable lation that Mr. C. T. C. Salter has now given us an part of the section on the Carnivora is that relating excellent translation of Dr. von Schwartz's valuable to the British seals, of the characteristics and habits book on “ Fire and Explosion Risks,” a handbook of which Mr. Millais has made himself thoroughly which deals in a thoroughly practical way with the master as the result of personal observation in their investigation, detection, and prevention of dangers native haunts; and no longer will naturalists find any arising in the manufacture and storage of the most difficulty in distinguishing between the common and widely used chemico-technical substances. the grey seal at all ages. Special interest attaches to

The author has had a very wide experience as a the recognition of four distinct colour-phases in the consulting chemist and factory inspector, and has adult male of the grey seal, although, since every inter- brought his almost unique experience in manufacturing mediate stage between these may occur, and they are methods to bear upon the various risks which they found together, they cannot be regarded as local races. entail, with the result that he has produced a work Even more interesting is the statement that the young in which practice is so blended with theory as to make hooded seal is not, as commonly reported, white, but the book of the utmost value, not only to chemists, but of the same mottled colour as the adult. It is, how- also to those who, without much chemical knowledge, ever, to be wished that the author had given the full yet wish to master the mysteries of a very intricate reasons for this assertion.

branch of technical application. The author has expressed the hope that his work In dealing with the various substances the raw may be found a fitting companion, as regards illustra- material is fully described in each case, its origin, tion, to Lord Lilford's volumes on British birds. So physical character, and behaviour under all conditions far as he has gone at present, he may be congratulated is freely discussed, whilst cautions and suggestions on having attained his ambition, and there is every for the safe manipulation and storage of each are reason to expect that the second and third volumes clearly stated. will be fully equal in this respect to the one before us. The arrangement by sections of those bodies likely For many years this splendid work will probably re- to react on each other is particularly useful, and the main one of the standard authorities on British works chemist and insurance surveyor can find the mammals, and in the matter of illustration it will most information he seeks in relation to the particular class likely be always without a rival.

R. L. of goods with the minimum of trouble.

Taking the book as a whole, the reader's interest reactions are best employed by the determinative is fully sustained, and although one finds instances of mineralogist in confirming conclusions already arrived duplication of cautions, this is evidently the result of at from the evidence of physical properties. They are, the sectional arrangement and so unavoidable. however, so invaluable for this purpose, and afford

In so excellent a work detailed criticism is a some- such an indispensable aid to entification by physical what thankless task, but it might be suggested that properties, that any determinative scheme from which in discussing the risks attendant on the use of they are entirely excluded must be in a sense deficient. petroleum lamps, some notice might be taken of the The author would have greatly added to the value of views of Sir James Dewar, Dr. Boverton Redwood, the tables by including for each species a brief stateand the late Sir Frederick Abel, as to increase of the ment of its distinctive blowpipe reactions, and we flash point not being so complete a solution of the venture to suggest this extension of the scope of the trouble as the author leads one to believe.

work to him for future editions. It might be well to note in a future edition that As in all tables of this kind, the identification of an barium peroxide, which on p. 117 is said to become unknown mineral is effected by a process of elimindangerous at 800° C., may also give rise to fire at ation. The minerals dealt with in the book are first atmospheric temperatures when exposed to friction divided into categories according to their colour in the with organic matter.

powdered condition; these groups are then subdivided On p. 187 it is stated that one pound of calcium into minor groups according to the colour of the carbide furnishes 4 to 45 cubic feet of acetylene, which mineral in mass; and finally, the species in each of is perfectly true of the inferior carbide made on the these divisions are arranged in order of hardness. Continent, but with material of the quality until In general plan the tables are similar to those of recently made at Foyers the yield rarely fell below Weisbach; but they differ from them in certain re5 cubic feet per pound.

spects, notably in their greater simplicity, and in the Occasionally one finds slight discrepancies in the abandonment of that indefinite and unsatisfactory statement of temperatures in different parts of the property lustre, as an important means of discrimin

ation. book, the temperature at which lead fuses being given

The tables are preceded by an “analytical at p. 291 as 325° C., whilst in the appendix, key,” by reference to which it is possible, after prep. 343, it is stated to be 334° C. Such details as these, liminary observations of streak and colour, to see at however, detract but little from the value of a book a glance in which table the mineral under examination which is an important and most valuable addition to will be found; it is then only necessary to determine the technical literature of the day.

the hardness and one or two other characters, such as crystalline form, structure, cleavage, specific gravity,

and so forth—all of which are described in columnar THE DETERMINATION OF MINERALS.

form in the tables—to complete the identification. Mineral Tablesfor the Identification of Minerals by The omission of the great majority of those rare

their Physical Properties. By Arthur S. Eakle, minerals which the ordinary student or prospector is Ph.D. Pp. 73. (New York: John Wiley and Sons ; scarcely likely to meet with, and which by their inserLondon : Chapman and Hall, Ltd., 1904.) Price tion render so many books of this kind dear and un55. 6d. net.

necessarily complicated, is to be commended. The *TUDENTS of mineralogy, miners, prospectors,

tables are certainly to be regarded as among the most and others interested in the determination of

satisfactory that have yet appeared. minerals by methods which do not involve the use of elaborate apparatus, will find this little book a useful

OUR BOOK SHELF. addition to the literature of the subject.

Die Sinnesorgane der_Pflanzen. By G. Haberlandt. The tables, though forming a volume of only 73 Pp. 46. (Leipzig : Barth, 1904.) Price i mark. pages, include nearly 250 minerals, comprising all This little book, which is appropriately dedicated to

the memory of Darwin, was given as a lecture before the commonly occurring ores, veinstones, and rock

the recent Versammlung deutscher Naturforscher und formers, as well as a few species of more restricted

Aertzte at Breslau. The author devotes the chief part occurrence. They are designed for the identification

of his space to a semi-popular account of the various of unknown minerals by the examination of their types of structures, such as bristles, hairs, papillæ, physical properties alone; blowpipe reactions are not which serve for the perception of mechanical stimulus. employed at all in the scheme. It is claimed by the This is necessarily, to a large extent, a recapitulation author that the determination of minerals by blow

of his own interesting work on the subject, and is

followed by an account of the statolith theory—the pipe analysis is less apt to become merely mechanical

hypothesis independently put forward by himself and if it has been preceded by practice in identification by

Němec as explaining the sensitiveness of plants to the physical properties. This is no doubt true; and if, as force of gravity. The most interesting part of the is often the case, the beginner is tempted to rely upon lecture is, however, Haberlandt's concise discussion of blowpipe analysis alone, that intimate acquaintance his recent theory of the mechanism by which the direcwith minerals which is only gained as the result of

tion of incident light is perceived by plants. He the systematic observation of their physical properties,

believes that the epidermic cells are, so to speak, the and which is so valuable for their ready recognition light strikes a leaf at right angles to the surface it

eyes of the plant. Thus, according to his view, when in the field, is either missed entirely or is only very results, from the plano-convex form of the epidermic imperfectly acquired. Indeed, in most cases blowpipe cells, that the inner wall of each cell is illuminated more brightly in the centre than at the periphery. clude Cerbera Odollam of the salt marshes, an endemic This makes it possible for the leaf to orientate itself Beaumontia, and a species, also endemic, of Ervain regard to light. Thus, suppose the plant to be tamia, a genus cut off by Dr. Stapf from the original moved so that the light now strikes the leaf obliquely, genus Tabernæmontana. Another dominant order the bright patches of light on the inner cell walls will is that of the Asclepiadaceæ, which furnishes mostly no longer be central. This change may be believed to twining shrubs or climbers, and of which a good many, constitute a stimulus calling forth a curvature of the as, for instance, the four species of Hoya, and seven leaf stalk by which the leaf is brought again to its species of Ceropegia, are confined to the western side normal position at right angles to the incident light. of the peninsula. This part gives every indication of Thus the leaf moves when the bright patch is not the same care and accuracy which distinguished the central, and comes to rest when each of its epidermic first volume. cells is centrally illuminated. This attractive theory

Quadratic Partitions. Ву cannot be said to be as yet established, and botanists

Lieut.-Colonel Allan will look with interest to its further development by

Cunningham, R.E. Pp. xxiv +266. (London: its author. The appendix of six pages is devoted to

F. Hodgson, 1904.) Price 12s. net. the literature of the subject and to short discussions

This contains a complete list of primes up to of points which probably seemed too technical for the 99991, with the factors of p-1, and resolutions of text of the lecture.

p=a? +6*=6° +2d2=A*+3B?=f(L? +27M*); Electricity in the Service of Man. By R. M. of p=e:–2f?, up to p=24977; together with other re

Walmsley. Pp. viii + 1208. (London : Cassell and solutions of the type mp=x + Dyfor selected values Co., Ltd., 1904.) Price 1os. 6d. net.

of m, D, and all primes p up to a certain limit. When the first edition of this book was published in Besides this, there are tables relating to the Pellian 1888, it was doubtless a comparatively easy matter to equation, and others directly connected therewith. write a treatise covering all the practical applications The introduction explains the nature and use of the of electricity to the service of man. As each successive tables, and gives an account of their preparation. edition appeared the task must have become one of Though some of the contents have already been pubincreasing difficulty, and now that the fourth has been lished (as explained in the introduction), a substantial reached Dr. Walmsley no longer finds it possible to part appears for the first time in print; the whole condense all his material into one volume. He has forms a varied as well as extensive series of ariththerefore wisely confined himself to certain branches,

metical records which will be found of great value hy and left the others for treatment in a supplementary

those who are interested in the theory of numbers, volume. The book before us is divided into two parts, especially in connection with the theory of residues the first being more or less theoretical, dealing with and of quadratic forms. Great care has been taken the principles, and incidentally with the history, of to ensure accuracy, and the appendix contains lists the subject, and the second dealing with the technology of errata detected in various preceding tables. The of electricity. The first part is clearly written, and new part of the work represents a very large amount forms a good introduction to the study of electricity of labour, which is henceforth spared to those in search and magnetism which should be valuable to the of material for induction, and the grants made by the beginner or to the amateur interested in scientific Royal Society towards the expenses of computation progress. The second part is confined in the present and publication have been worthily bestowed. It may volume to generators and motors, with a chapter on

be added that the paper and type used are satisfactory; measurements. The writer is of opinion that these in the case of tables this is a matter of real import. more advanced subjects are best studied by means of All serious students of the theory of numbers the many very excellent treatises specially devoted to ought to procure this work, as well as Lieut.-Colonel them; but still, there can be no doubt that a general Cunningham's “ Binary Canon," for, independently review such as the one before us appeals to a large of their use in solving special problems, these tables class of readers and serves a useful purpose. The may suggest or confirm new theorems of real importbook is plentifully illustrated with drawings and diagrams, which are for the most part good, though Advanced Iland-camera Work. By Walter Kilbey. several, especially in the earlier part, are rather crude

Pp. xvii +98. (London : Dawbarn and Ward, Ltd., and out of date.

M. S.

1904.) Price is, net. The Flora of the Presidency of Bombay. By T. Cooke. In this series of photographic books already published

Vol. ii. Part i. Compositæ to Boraginaceæ. Pp. 216. the present author is responsible for the popular volume

(London : Taylor and Francis, 1904.) Price 9s. on “ Hand Colour Photography," which is now in This volume begins in the middle of the series inferae its second edition. In the issue before us he deals with belonging to the gamopetalous division. The indi- the higher fights of hand-camera work, more genous species of Compositæ are numerous, but for especially in connection with its use with the local the most part are not so important as the introduced plane shutter. The subject-matter treats of the seleccomposites, of which a list is given. In the series tion of apparatus, the behaviour and efficiency of the heteromerae the cohort Ericales is unrepresented, but focal plane shutter, and practical work with the the orders Myrsineæ, Sapotaceæ, and Ebenaceæ in- camera, the last mentioned consisting of hints on clude several interesting genera. Under Bassia Dr. | focusing, exposing, and the treatment of moving Cooke explains how the synonym Illipe has been objects. No less important are the subjects of the erroneously introduced. Illipe is the Tamil name for last two chapters, which concern the plates and Bassia longifolia, and is applied commercially to the developers suitable for such work, and the employfatty product obtained from the fruit; this species re- ment of hand cameras in telephoto, stereoscopic, and places in southern India the better known mahua tree, orthochromatic photography. A great number of Bassia latifolia, of which the flowers furnish a favourite excellent and appropriate illustrations from the food, also a spirit to the natives of Central India. The author's own negatives accompany the text. province is rich in species of Diospyros, amongst them The easy and clear style of the author, and his ebenum, melanoxylon, the calamander-like oocarpa, thorough acquaintance with the subject he is treating, and crumenata. The author agrees with Hiern in render the book not only delightful to read, but a valuuniting. D. ebenum and D. assimilis, but separates able guide to those who wish to work successfully D. cordifolia and D. montana. The Apocynaceæ in- ' with hand cameras.

ance.

ance.

to

me

a

66

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR.

In answer to Mr. A. T. Mundy's questions, it seems

that it [The Editor does not hold himself responsible for opinions

would be impossible in young

living ape, by artificial means, to prevent his frontal expressed by his correspondents. Neither can he undertake to return, or to correspond with the writers of; rejected ing it open I question if any marked increase in the

suture from closing, and if we could succeed in keepmanuscripts intended for this or any other part of NATURE.

size of the animal's frontal lobes would augment his inNo notice is taken of anonymous communications.]

tellectual capacity. It is not only the great size of man's The Definition of Entropy.

cerebrum as compared with that possessed by anthropoid THERE is, I fear, a difficulty in drafting Prof. Bryan's

apes which gives him greater intellectual power, but, as I

have stated in the passage quoted by Mr. Mundy from my definition so as to be clear as well as accurate. This arises when the definition is first given with reference to the

Hunterian oration, the frontal and parietal lobes of the

human brain are far more perfectly developed than the entropy of the working substance, because the non-available

corresponding lobes among anthropoid apes. This is energy is not necessarily a portion of the energy of the substance. The terms available energy, free energy, bound

especially the case with respect to those motor and psychical

areas of man's cerebral convolutions which control his energy, and non-available energy are continually used loosely in thermodynamics as if they referred to portions of

power of intelligent speech ; these areas of the brain are the energy of the working substance. I know from experi- ability to make use of articulate language, and through

deficient in the anthropoid apes. It is probable that man's ence the difficulty of defining the entropy of the working

this means to think, has led to the great development of substance in terms of dissipation or degradation, without

the psychical elements of his brain. A comparison of the reference to the state of things outside the substance, and

size and conformation of the cranium of Tertiary man with in a paper on the factors of heat I adopted the notion of reduction of “transfer credit," so that increase of entropy

that of existing Englishmen is an indication of the length

of time it has taken for the human cerebrum, and therefore went with lessening of capacity for transforming heat into work with change of volume. In my book on

intellect, to reach its present stage of evolution. Man and

Entropy the whole treatment is essentially from the dissipation or

anthropoid apes we hold to be derived from a common

ancestral stock ; the former, under the action of natural degradation point of view, but entropy is first defined in connection with the irreversible increase of entropy in an

selection and other causes, including, I think, not only

an inherent capacity of cerebral but also of cranial growth, isolated system. It is thus defined : “ Increase of entropy

have gradually developed, whereas anthropoid apes, from is a quantity which, when multiplied by the lowest available

arrest of cranial and cerebral growth, have not reached the temperature, gives the incurred waste.

standard attained by human beings; the difference between May I say that I am exceedingly glad to find Prof. Bryan treating the subject from the same point of view, as it is

these two orders of beings, however, is one of degree, and not of kind.

N. C. MACNAMARA. strong evidence that my treatment is essentially right.

November 26. 41 Palace Court, w.

J. SWINBURNE. Mr. SWINBURNE has directed attention to an obscure point

Pinnipedia a Sub.order of Cetacea ! in my letter of November 10 which is calculated to produce

One is so much accustomed to encounter strange asserquite the contrary impression to what I intended. In

tions in regard to zoology in the non-scientific Press that defining available energy relative to a given temperature, it

one takes little notice of them ; but when one reads under was not my intention to exclude work that the system was

the head of
“ Science,

as may be read in this day's capable of producing by expansion or otherwise without

Athenaeum (p. 767), a reviewer of Mr. Millais's “Mammals using the reversible engines, and instead of " maximum

of Great Britain and Ireland amount of energy " I meant maximum amount of work.

complaining of that work

that “ Nowhere is it stated, as it should be, that the SubBy work I refer to ordinary mechanical energy as opposed to what Mr. Swinburne calls “ waste energy, The point

order Pinnipedia belongs to the order Cetacea,” one is

tempted to ask to what end have writers on classification to which I wished to direct attention was the desirability

laboured, if such an assertion as this is to pass unof basing a definition of entropy on non-available energy,

challenged? If, by a slip of the pen,

“ Cetacea” was and the use of the term “ relative " in this connection, or

written for “Carnivora," one can sympathise with the reat least some equivalent language (as implied in my words,

viewer, for all are liable to such unhappy accidents; but the ** The definition may be stated somewhat as follows ”). So far as I am able to judge, both from Mr. Swinburne's general drift of his remarks seems to forbid that charitable

construction, for in the preceding paragraph it is expressly book and from some correspondence with the author, it

stated that the Carnivora, except the Mustelidæ, are dealt would appear that the conclusions to which I am being led

with in the volume.

F. Z. S. by independent working in regard to entropy agree closely

December 3: in many substantial points with those at which he has arrived. Since the controversy referred to there have been nne or two papers published on the subject by other writers

The Late Mr. Assheton Smith, with which I altogether disagree.

G. H. Bryan.

The man of ample means, and who is a lover of living

creatures, has a great opportunity. Mr. Assheton Smith Craniology of Man and the Anthropoid Apes.

had this opportunity, and he used it not only to gratify his In reading Mr. Macnamara's Hunterian oration of own pleasure, but to share it with others. There was February, 1901, I find these words :

nothing that he liked better than to go the round of his * Prof. Deniker in his work on the embryology and de- park with a guest, and to point out and discuss the characters velopment of the anthropoid apes has shown that in con- and habits of the animals which he had gathered together sequence of the early closure of the anterior sutures of the from various quarters of the globe. With the late squire skull of these animals the fore part of their brain does not such a ramble was no ordinary treat. One felt, too, that increase beyond the size it had attained at the end of the in this man the beasts had a true friend, that he had studied first year of life ; but in man these sutures do not consoli- them and knew their ways, and that he would do his utmost date until a much later period, so that the anterior lobes to make their lot as happy as possible. To such a man science of his brain are enabled to expand, and actually become far owes a great debt. Not only does he afford the student an more perfectly developed than the corresponding lobes opportunity of studying animals in favourable circumamong anthropoid apes."

stances, but he is able to place material at the disposal of This being so, I ask :

the laboratory and museum when these animals have paid (1) Has the experiment ever been tried of keeping the nature's last demand. For a number of years I have had sutures of an infant ape open by artificial means? And if the good fortune to act, as it were, as prosector to his it has,

menagerie, and both my students and I have been able to (2) Has the brain been found to expand and become more carry out not a few studies in comparative anatomy. Someperfectly developed ?

times, playfully, he would accuse me of possessing the For if so we should expect the ape to manifest an intelli- " evil eye,” as he said that an animal was not likely to gence not far short of that of a man. A. T. Mundy. survive long should I express a desire to have it eventually

29

[ocr errors]

for the college museum. I am grateful that my liking for natural history brought me in touch with him. It is in the small actions of life that one can best read character. A gentleman to the core, he was never fearful of giving himself away by showing the utmost courtesy to the humblest. An unfastened door or gate, a watertap left trickling he would not abide. Everything at the park must be precision and finish to the smallest details. Over his many acts of private charity he ever kept the veil tightly drawn. A few of them have incidentally come to my knowledge, and they reveal the vastness of his sympathy. His many zoological donations, and his gift to the college of a site on the Menai Straits for a biological station for the study of marine life, bear eloquent testimony to his desire to advance science. May the pile to be raised on this fine site-let us hope at no distant date—be at least one grateful tribute to his memory.

PHILIP J. WHITE. University College, Bangor, November 28.

From roh. 3om. to 13h. 15m. 21 meteors observed
13h. 15m. »

16h. 30m.
16h. 3om. ,, 17h. 35m.

No shooting star seen As no mention is made of the state of the weather, it seems the display terminated very abruptly at Paris, slightly more so than in Dublin or elsewhere, as Mr. T. R. Clapham, on November 15, from 15h. 45m. to 17h. 45m. counted 19. Leonids with 3 three doubtful ones, notwithstanding two brief interruptions from clouds, this result, it may be added, indicating a meteoric rate almost exactly equal to that of the preceding night as given by Mr. Hector Macpherson, who on November 14, from 15h. to 18h., recorded 35 meteors (English Mechanic, November 25, p. 365). The rate on the latter night seems, however, to have been even higher than this to judge from some results, but more observations are, no doubt, desirable.

John R. HENRY. Dublin, November 29.

to

numerous

on

Blue-stained Flints. Two years ago I found large patches of an intense blue colour, with some black spots, on flints on the quay at Great Yarmouth. I looked for a possible cause, and discovered other patches similar in all respects but colour. The latter patches were black, and had been made by tar spilt by fishermen when tarring their fish skips. I kept some pieces, both black and blue, in a box until some months ago, and no appreciable change had taken place, so I came to the conclusion that the blue colour was produced by the action of the tar on the flint when exposed to sunlight.

This occurrence is interesting in view of the action noticed by Dr. Allen between gas-lime and flint, and points to the action on the flint of some substance common to the tar and gas-lime.

May I suggest to your former correspondent that the blue Aints seen at Bournemouth were produced from thblack, and not vice versa.

THOMAS L. D. PORTER. County School, Ilford, Essex.

The Leonid Meteors of 1904. From results of observations of this shower as published in Nature of November 24 it seems that Leonids were found be somewhat

the night of November 14.

It is to be regretted that those observers who were able to count so many shooting stars on this night had not the following night equally clear, as at Dublin both November 14 and 15, though not to the same degree, proved favourable for observations, and it was on the latter night that the maximum occurred. Owing to the unsuitable weather that appears to have prevailed in many places on November 15, some details of the observations made on the successive nights of the epoch at the same place may prove interesting.

The night of November 14 turned out ideally fine here, the temperature also being very mild for the season. During a watch on this date from roh. 15m. to 13h. 45m. (Dublin time) 16 meteors were counted, of which 7 or 8 were referred to the Leonid radiant. The meteors, especially the Leonids, did not appear very bright, only 1 of the first and 2 or 3 of the second or third stellar magnitudes having been seen. No particulars of their paths were noted, as doing so might have interfered with the observations of other meteors. Shooting stars were more numerous in the early part of the watch than after midnight, 5 having been counted between 10h. 45m. and uh., of which 2 shot from the direction of Leo. Another, though feebler, maximum occurred about 13h. ; but, as it was considered from the declining meteoric rate that the anticipated miniature shower of this night was already over, observations were discontinued shortly before 14h.

The night of November 15 began very inauspiciously ; clouds in the early evening covered the heavens, totally concealing both moon and stars. Subsequently, however, the sky partially cleared at intervals, and when observations were begun at noh. 15m. passing clouds in the east left clear tracts of considerable area. Though the seeing was thus far from good, yet meteors were considered to be rather scarce, only I shooting star, a third magnitude Taurid, having been seen during a watch extending over nearly an hour. About uh. the clouds passed off, leaving the eastern sky clear until nearly 14h. Meteors now began to be more numerous. A fine Taurid at uh. 25m. passed down straight towards Leo, which, however, was partly invisible in a bank of fog along the horizon. When about twenty minutes later the “ Sickle” emerged clear in the heavens, a succession of fine Leonids left no doubt as to the superior character of the coming display.

From uh. to 13h. 3om. 32 meteors were counted ; at 14h. 55m. the number had increased to 50 meteors, the total result at 16h. 45m. amounting to 60 meteors. But owing to clouds observations were greatly hindered from 13h. 45m. to 14h. 15m., and a second interruption of nearly equal length, arising from the same cause, occurred about 15h. During the last hour of the watch the sky was fairly clear, and it was noted that the meteor shower was now rapidly declining. The majority of the meteors were observed to emanate from Leo as soon as the latter had become visible near midnight.

The shower was also observed at the Paris Observatory on the night of November 15 with the following results:

1 The results are of course given in Paris mean time.

FIND OF ROYAL STATUES AT THEBES.
THE
HE “ land of surprises and paradoxes," as Egypt

has well been called, has once again justified its reputation, and out of the ruins of one of its most ancient cities there has come to light a mass of historical evidence which, if we mistake not, will be found to be of more importance the more it is studied. It will be remembered that for many years past M. G. Legrain has been carrying out a series of repairs of a very far-reaching character on the mass of buildings of various styles and ages which is commonly known as the “ Temple of Karnak." In the course of this work he has collected a number of important facts which, when duly arranged, will be of considerable use to the student of ancient Egyptian architecture, and, side by side with these, he has brought together a considerable amount of information of value historically. It is not our purpose even to outline the broad facts of the works of restoration which he has carried out, and we therefore pass on to state briefly the facts which relate to his last “ find ” of monuments at Karnak.

Early in the present year M. Legrain was continuing the excavation of a portion of the temple precincts near one of the great walls when he accidentally came upon a large pit or well which, it was evident, had been filled up by the ancient Egyptians. Soon after he began to dig out the well the workmen came upon a layer of statues made of hard stone of various kinds, and when the mud was removed from them many of them were found to be inscribed. Beneath this layer of statues was a layer of earth, and beneath the earth was another layer of statues, and the clearing out of the pit showed that it was filled with layers of statues and earth, arranged alternately. The statues were usually found face downwards, and it thus became

« PreviousContinue »