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LITERARY AND SCIENTIFIC INTELLIGENCE.
Dr Davy's Scientific Tour in Ceylon. all wooded, are principally composed of The following Extract of a Letter from John euphorbia, and mimosæ ; its few inhabiDavy, M. D., to Sir H. Davy, dated Trin- tants are a sickly race, miasmata destroying omalee, Oct. 3, 1817, relates to the same their health, and the wild animals with scientific tour in Ceylon of which a short which the country abounds, as elephants, Dotice was given in the Asiatic Journal, hogs, deer of different kinds, leopards, bears, Fol. VI. p. 475. But something more is &c. destroying the fruits of their labour. unfolded of the extent to which Dr. Davy In the beginning of January I attended the was able to explore the country. With Governor and Lady Brownrigg to Kandy, chemical and geological researches he com- and had a good opportunity of becoming bined attention to the remains of antiquity, acquainted with the manners of the natives. to existing specimens of natural history, to The country in the interior, and particularthe manners of the native inhabitants, and ly round Kandy, is magnificent ; its grand to the statistics of an important dependency features are high hills and mountains, and of the empire.
deep vallies and perpetual wood, and peMy different excursions have been high- rennial verdure; the wood is in faulty ex. ly interesting. As soon as possible I shall cess. The climate is fine ; the air cool; give you a pretty minute account of the re- generally at night below 75°, averaging all sults of my observations : now I must be the year round the moderate temperature very concise indeed. In July. I went to of 74o. the southern part of the island, and visited From Kandy I made an excursion alone the districts of Matura and the Malagan, into Doombera, and explored a mountainpatton. In the former gems abound. I ous region, where a white man was never saw the natives at work in search of them seen before. My object was to examine a in alluvial ground. Here I ascertained that cave that yields nitre. It is a magnificent the native rock of the sapphire, ruby, cat's- one in the side of a mountain, in the depths eye, and the different varieties of the zir. of a forest surrounded by mountains of con, is gneiss. These minerals and cinna- great height and noble forms. I shall mon-stone occur imbedded in this rock. In send you a particular account of this and one place I found a great mass of rock, con- other nitre caves I have visited. The rock sisting almost entirely of zircon in a crys- is a mixture of quartz, felspar, mica, and talline state, and deserving the name of the talc, impregnated near the surface with ni. zircon rock. It is only a few miles distant tre, nitrate of lime, and sulphate of magfrom a rock called the cinnamon-stone rock, nesia, and in one spot with alum, and in from its being chiefly composed of this mi. another incrusted with hydralite, similar to Leral, in company with a little quartz and that round the Geyser in Iceland. From adularia
the mountains of Doombera, I looked down In the Malagan-patton, the most remark on the wooded plains of Birtanna, and saw able phenomena, and what I went chiefly to the great lake of Birtanna, which no Eurosee, are the salt-lakes, the nature of which pean I believe ever before visited : it is full bitherto has been considered very myste- of alligators. rious from the want of inquiry. This ! Returning to Kandy, after a short stay was able to make in a very short time, and there I next came to this place, through a ascertain the source of the salt. Many of country almost entirely over-run with wood. these lakes) are of great extent, and in a I wish you could see some of the noble great measure formed by an embankment ebony trees which flourish here. Three of sand, thrown up by a heavy sea along a days we travelled in a noble forest without level shore ; the water, that falls in torrents seeing a single habitation, and without obduring the rainy season, is thus confined, serving any traces of cultivation ; but some and inundates a great part of the country; fine remains of antiquity, especially about the sea, more or less, breaks over or perco. Candely lake, indicating that the country lates through the sand-banks, and thus the had once been in a very different state. Fater is rendered brackish. In the dry Topical Remedy for the Hydrophobia. Season the wind is very strong and dry, and Sig. A. M. Salvatori of Petersburgh, in a the air very hot; it was from 85° to 90° letter to Professor Morrichini of Rome, when I was there : the consequence is, a gives the following remedy for this dreadvery rapid evaporation of the water, the dry- ful malady: ing of the shallow lakes, and the formation “ The inhabitants of Gadici, but when of salt. It is from these lakes chiefly that or how I know not, have made the importthe island is supplied with salt. The reve- ant discovery, that near the ligament of the nue that this one article brings government, tongue of the man or animal bitten by a amounts to about £10,000 annually. rabid animal, and becoming rabid, pustules
The Malagan-patton altogether is a sin- of a whitish hue make their appearance, gular country ; its woods, and it is almost which open spontaneously about the 13th day after the bite; and at this time, they gentleman is one of the fifteen voyagers that say, the first symptons of true hydrophobia have been despatched by the King of Denmake their appearance. Their method of mark into different parts of the world, for cure consists in opening these pustules with the purpose of illustrating the sciences. He a suitable instrument, and making the pa. was in Italy, in 1818. From his observatient spit out the ichor and fluid which run tions this account has been transcribed. from them, often washing the mouth with M. Schow could not fail to be struck with salt water. This operation should be per- astonishment at the view of this magnificent formed the ninth day after the bite. The spectacle of nature, so imposing and treremedy is so effectual, that with these peo- mendous to the sense, though the fall is by ple this hitherto incurable disease has lost far the most considerable in the spring, its terrors.” Bibl. Ital. xiv. 428.
when the snow melts from the mountains. Recent Observations respecting the height This immense descent consists, properly of Mount Etna, by M. the Baron de Zach, speaking, of three falls, two upon inclined of Genoa. Admitting the height of this planes, each of which, separately, would mountain, as ascertained by Captain Smyth, form such a cataract as is no where to be the visual ray from its most elevated point seen, and the last is an abrupt and precipi. will extend one hundred and thirty miles, tate perpendicular. Professor Esmark made which is in exact accordance with the testi- a measurement of this last leap, and rates it mony of the Knights. With respect to re- at 800 feet in height ! fraction, it may be shewn from calculation, In general, such cascades as are most elethat it produces the effect of elevating the vated have the least water, and such as dismountain near seven thousand feet; that is charge large masses of water have little eleto say, that if there was no refraction to see vation ; but in the Riakan-Fossen, the rule Mount Etna from Malta, it would require is reversed. The volume of its waters is in addition twice the height of Mount Ve- supplied from a very considerable river, suvius to be seen.
called the Maamelven, into which the lake The travellers who have scaled Mount Mioswatten, which is eight or ten German Etna vary much in their reckoning as to its leagues in extent, empties itself, not far height above the level of the sea. The from the cascade.-Monthly Magazine. Canon Recupero, an indefatigable traverser Gauze Veils.-Mr Bartlett, in Thom. of Mount Gibello, assigns to it 15,000 son's Annals, has lately proposed gauze French feet, but this is too much. The veils as preservatives from contagion. The Canon has been in the habit of making ob- idea is certainly deserving of serious consi. servations on the Volcano, near forty years deration, more especially as Dr. Uwins, and successively, making his ascent once every some other medical gentlemen, consider year. M. le Comte de Borch, in his letters that they may be adopted with a conon Sicily, assigns only 9,660 feet, but this siderable prospect of success. The gauze again is too little. "M. de Saussure ap- employed for this purpose is similar in proaches nearer the truth, and finds the its properties to that so ingeniously apheight by a barometrical observation 10,032 plied by Sir Humphrey Davy in the safety feet. Captain Smyth makes it out 10,203 lamp. feet. All travellers who have ascended Etna Salubrity of the London Air.-It was a agree, that you may see from it the rock of saying of Mr Cline, many years ago, that Malta; the Æolian isles, the Ionian sea, the “' London is the healthiest place in the entrance of the Adriatic, and the coasts of world." In no place are there so inany Albania.
human beings congregated together enjoyA remarkable Cataract in Norway.ing so high a degree of general good health. NORWAY may boast of a cataract or water. It has been stated, and we believe correctly, fall, much superior to that of Schaffhausen that the happy exemption which the inha. on the Rhine, or even to the famous fall of bitants of London for the most part enjoy Niagara in North America. It was dis- from the diseases common to other capitals, covered or noticed for the first time, about is owing to the sulphureous naptha emitted eight years ago, by Professor Esmark; a from the coal, serving the salutary purpose circumstance which is attributed to its very of checking the progress of febrile infection. remote situation in the most lonely part of To prove that the air is saturated with this the interior, and to the very scanty number naptha, we shall not be able to recognize of curious travellers that resort to the Hy, the presence of a wasp, an insect to which perborean regions, for the purpose of mak. sulphur is obnoxious, within the sphere of ing observations.
its action. It is situated in the district named Telle- Architectural uniformity in rustic dwell. marken, and named Riakan-Fossen, which ings. There is something rather pleas. in the Norwegian idiom, denotes the smoke ingly allied to good management in a prac. of water falling. An immense cloud, formed tice now adopted by the Russian governby the drops of water in evaporation, to a ment, of sending to every city, town, and spectator has the appearance of torrents of village under its influence that is to say, smoke.
not the exclusive property of any nobleman, Doctor Schow, of Copenhagen, visited a collection of engraved designs for dwell. this cataract in the summer of 1812. This ings, and buildings ; among which any person about to build himself a house maying in very peculiar circumstances, there choose one to his mind, but he must choose will always be a great saving of power in one of the number submitted to his inspec. conveyances by water, for this simple reation. This duty is confided to the mayor or
that the whole weight of the burden so superior of the place (gorod-nisckew), and transported is transported by the stream wil by degrees introduce a general resem. with a comparatively small loss of power blance or conformity into the country towns. by friction, while the inclined plane on At the same time, orders are given for the which the carriage runs supports only a regular arrangement of the streets ; for part of its weight. On the other hand, their being formed into lines of proper however, it cannot be denied that many sibreadths, and the houses being of equal tuations in which it would be quite imposheights, two stories only being allowed.- sible to open a canal, might admit of the However rustic the construction of these establishment of metallic and other rail. abodes may be, and many are formed of no ways. thing better than vast trunks of trees scarce- Varnish for Wood. The Italian cabinet ly squared into timber, yet the effect will work in this respect excels that of any other become equally striking and picturesque, country. To produce this effect, the work. especially with proper accompaniments of men first saturate the surface with olive oil, gardens, plantations, and other rustic em. and then apply a solution of gum arabic in bellishments.
This mode of varnishing Iron Rail or Carriage-ways.- In the is equally brilliant, if not superior, to that neighbourhood of Newcastle, this ingenious employed by the French in their most ela. mode of reducing friction, and facilitating borate works. the conveyance of loaded waggons, has been Crocodiles' Flesh an Article of Food.-At adopted to a very great extent. According Sennaar crocodiles are often brought to to M. Gallois, an extent of 28 square miles market, and their flesh is publicly sold on the surface of the earth, presents a series there. I once tasted some of the meat at of 75 miles for this species of conveyance; Esne, in Upper Egypt ; it is of a dirty white while the interior of the adjacent coal mines colour not unlike young veal, with a slight contains them to as large an amount. Five fishy smell; the animal had been caught or six waggons, made entirely of iron, by some fishermen in a strong net, and was fastened to each other in regular succession, above twelve feet in length. The Goverdescend these roads without any other move nor of Esne ordered it to be brought into er than their own gravitating force. By his court-yard, where more than a hun. means of a pulley, or wheel, a certain num- dred balls were fired against it without ber of carriages in descending occasion a any effect, till it was thrown upon its certain number of others to mount, in order back, and the contents of a small swivel to take in a load at the summit of the in- discharged in its belly, the skin of which clined plane they traverse. We are, how. is much softer than that of the back. eser, naturally led to believe that, except- Burkhardt's Travels.
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