« AnteriorContinuar »
cherrina, a South European mite, hy Mr. A. D. Michael.- presenting the sister University of Oxford. He had noticed that
Linnean Society, December 3.-Prof. Stewart, l’resident, -- Cherryfield rhomboides in balsam, with a new yo apochromatic
in the chair.— The President announced the recent bequest by homogeneous immersion 14 N.A., by Messrs. Powell and the late Sir George MacLeay, K.C.M.G., of a marble bust of Lealand. -A collection of different species of Rotifera, by Mr.
his father, the late Dr. William Sharp MacLeay, formerly a C. Rousselet. - Photograph of a new apparatus for measuring
Fellow and Vice-President of the Society.—The President then drawings made with the camera lucida, by Sir Walter Sendall,
exhibited a series of specimens of a South American beetle, K.C.M.G. - Petrological slides, transparencies of rock sections,
showing the extremes of variation of colour observable within Foraminifera, &c., by Mr. G. F. Smith.-Starch from potato the limits of a single species.-Mr. J. E. Harting exhibited a fruit under | inch, with polariscope, by Mr. W. T. Suffolk.
photograph of an abnormally situated nest of the chimney Photographs of Podura scales, by the Hon. J. G. Vereker. - swallow (Hirundo rustica), which had been built for the second Section of passion-Power, by Mr. J. J. Vezey, —Blight of grape
time on a swinging hook in an outhouse; and made some vine (Phylloxera); Bacillus mallei (glanders); Pacinian corpuscles
remarks on three recorded cases of swallows nesting in trees, a in mesentery of cat, chlorophyll of moss, Diatomaced from
most unusual habit.— The Botanical Secretary read a paper by Jutland, a slide containing 100 species of Pleurosigma, by
Mr. W. West, on the Fresh-water Algæ of the West of Ireland, Messrs. Watson.
and exhibited by way of illustration a number of preparations
under the microscope, and a series of beautiful drawings by the Entomological Society, December 2.-- The Right Hon.
author. The paper was criticized by Messrs. A. W. Bennett Lord Walsingham, F.R.S., Vice President, in tbe chair.–
and E. M, Holmes, both of whom testified to the excellence of Dr. D. Sharp, F.R.S., exhibited and commented on a number
the work done and the value of the drawings. — The Zoological of photographs of various species of Lucanidæ belonging to M.
Secretary next read a paper by Dr. W. H. Strachan, on the tick René Oberthür.- Mr. C. G Barrett exhibited specimens of pest of Jamaica, which was characterized as of so serious a local forms and varieties of Lepidoptera, taken by Mr. Percy
nature as to demand investigation by entomologists, with a Russ near Sligo, including Pieris napi, var. near bryoniæ ;
view to a remedy. An interesting discussion followed, in which Anthocharis cardamines (male), with the orange blotch edged
Mr. D. Morris gave a variety of details from personal experience with yellow, and yellowish forms of the female of the same spe.
during a residence of some years in Jamaica, and Mr. A. D. cies ; very blue forms of Polyommatus alsus ; males of P. alexis,
Michael pointed out the generic characters of certain West with the hind inargin of the under wings spotted with black, and
Indian ticks which were likely to include those found in Jamaica very handsome forms of the female. — The Rev. S. St. John ex
by Dr. Strachan. The question of remedy for this plague was hibited two specimens of Lycæna argiades, taken in So nersetshire
discussed by Dr. John Lowe, and Messrs. T. Christy, C. by Dr. Marsh in 1884 ; three specimens of Deilephila euphorbia,
Breeze. and T. J. Briant. bred from larvæ found feeding on Euphorbia paralias on the
CAMBRIDGE. Cornish coast in September, 1889; and a series of various forms of Anchocelis pistacina, all taken in a garden at Arundel. Lord Philosophical Society, November 23. — The following Walsingham, F.R.S., Mr. Barreti, and Mr. McLachlan, communications were made :- The self-induction of two parallel F.R.S., took part in the discussion which en ued. - Mr. Jenner: conductors, hy Mr. H. M. Macdonald. The well-known exWeir exhibited and made reniarks on two dark specimens of pression for the self-induction of two parallel wires (Maxwell, Zygæna minos which had been caught in Carnarvonshire. He § 685) holds only for the case when neither of them is magnetic. remarked that the specimens were not representatives of com- For the case when both wires are magnetic, the value of the coplete melanism, and suggested that the word “ phæism "--from efficient is sound, in this paper, in the form of an infinite series. paiós, dusky-would be a correct word to apply to this and This series can be expressed in finite terms when only one of the similar departures from the normal coloration of a species.- wires is magnetic, and then gives Mr. C. J. Gahan exhibited specimens of the common “ booklouse," Atropos pulsatoria, Fabr., which he had heard making
L a ticking noise similar to that made by the “death-watch
(u + Mo) + 2u, log
where Mo is the permeability of the surrounding media (viz. Gelechia osseella, Sın. ; Chrysoclysta bimaculella, Haw. ; and
usually unity), a the radius of the magnetic wire of permeability Elachista cingilella, Fisch. - Mr. R. Adkin exhibited a variety
M, a' the radius of the other wire, and b the distance between of Anthocharis cardamines, and one specimen of Sesia
their lines of centres. The effect of the magnetic quality is exscoliæformis bred from a larva found at Rannoch.—Mr. G. T. hibited by means of numerical tables.— The effect of flaws on Baker read a paper entitled “Notes on Lyciana (recte Thecla) the strength of materials, by Mr. J. Larmor. The effect of an rhymnus, tengstræmii, and pretiosa.” A discussion followed,
air-bubble of spherical or cylindrical form in increasing the in which Lord Walsingham, Captain Elwes, and Mr. Baker took
strains in its neighbourhood was examined ; and it was suggested part. - Mr. F. Merrifield read a paper entitled “The effects of
that the results might be of practical service in drawing general artificial temperature on the colouring of Vanessa urticw and
conclusions as to the influence of local relaxations of stiffness of certain other species of Lepidoptera.” The author stated that
other kinds. In particular, a cavity of the form of a narrow both broods of all three species of Selenia, Platypteryx falcataria,
circular cylinder, lying parallel to the axis of a shaft under Vanessa urticæ, Bombyx quercus and var, callunæ, and Chelonia
torsion, will double the shear at a certain point of its circumcaja were affected by temperature in the pupal stage, the lower
ference ; and the effect of a spherical cavity will not usually be temperature generally producing the greater intensity and
very different. It is assumed in the analysis that the distance of darkness of colour ; some of the Vanessa uticæ made a near
the cavity from the surface of the shaft is considerable compared approach to the var. polaris of Northern Europe. A long discus
with its diameter, so that the influence of that boundary may be sion ensued, in which Mr. E. B. Poulton, F.R.S., Prof.
left out of account in an approximate solution. —The contacts of Meldola, F.R.S., Mr. Barrett, Mr. Jenner. Weir, and Lord
certain systems of circles, by Mr. W. McF. Orr.-On liquid Walsingham took part.---Mr. W. Bateson read a paper entitled jets, by Mr. H. J. Sharpe. The problem is treated by the "On the variation in the colour of the cocoons of Eriogaster method of Fourier series. lanestris and Saturnia carpini," and exhibited a large number of specimens in illustration of the paper. Lord Walsingham
DUBLIN. congratulated Mr. Bateson on his paper, and on the intelligent care and method shown in his experiments, and said that he was Royal Society, November 18.-Prof. A. C. Haddon, glad to see that at Cambridge there was an entomologist ready President of the Scientific Section, in the chair.-An analysis to enter this interesting field of investigation, and perhaps at of the spectrum of sodium, by Dr. G. Johnstone Stoney, some future day to contest the palm with Mr. Poulton as re- F.R.S. The position of the lines which present themselves in
n = k
the spectrum of hydrogen are given, or approximately given, by The investigation shows that in series P and series S of Balmer's law, viz.
the sodium spectrum, the curve of nature is not an exact hyper4
bola, but a curve slightly less curved in the neighbourhood of its m
vertex. It also indicates that there is probably a line in the sodium
spectrum, belonging to series P, at or a little less than the wave. where k = 274'263. In this formula n becomes the oscillation length 2130.--Mr. J. Joly exhibited and described a shutter for use frequency of the successive lines, when for m we write the in- in stellar photography. This shutter enables any bright star in the teger numbers 3, 4, 5, &c. Similarly, Profs. Kayser and Runge field of the telescope to be covered at will, so as to secure better have found that A, B, and C can be determined so that the definition. The shutter is a small watch-spring magnet, adjustempirical formula,
able to any part of the field, and pivoted so that it can be
rotated by the action of a current which circulates round the n = A + B
+ C ma
field in a narrow coil. In one position of the magnet the star
is exposed, in the other covered. A modification for parallax shall approximately represent the positions of the lines in any
work, suggested by Mr. A. A. Rambaut, and used at Dunsink one of the three series that present themselves in the spectra of Observatory, has the magnet and coil to one side of the field, the other light monad elements-Li, Na, K, Rb, Cs. These
and the shutter, which is carried on a needle attached to the formulæ have an important physical meaning. They indicate
magnet, fixed in the centre of the field. There is no vibration that n is a function of 1/m ; in other words, that although the
in these shutters, owing to the small mass of the moving parts. periodic times of the successive rays are not themselves a funda
In the first form, the current in the one coil may control mental period with its harmonics, as is the case with the vibra
shutters placed in any part of the field of the telescope, so that, tions that give rise to musical sounds, they in some way depend | if desirable, more than one star may be covered. — Prof. T. on an event of this simple character which is going on in the Johnson described the structure and function of the peculiar molecules from which ihe spectrum emanates. Balmer's law
swellings (callosities) of Nitophyllum versicolor, Harv., and may be represented by a very simple diagram which places this pointed out the bearing of his observations on the specific charrelationship in evidence. Draw the parabola
acter of N. versicolor, and Schmitz's views on the structure of the
Floridean thallus.—Mr. E. W. L. Holt read a list of the rarer ya (k − x),
shore and deep-sea fishes obtained during the cruise of the s.s.
Harlequin on the west coast of Ireland (1891). One fish, and place its axis horizontal. Erect an ordinate at the distance
Centrophorus squamosus (Gm. L.), taken in deep water off the from the vertex. Double this out, and using its double Mayo coast, is new to the British fauna. The following are length as unit, set off upon it the harmonics 1/3, 1/4, 1/5, &c.
new to the Irish fauna : Raia oxyrhynchus (Linn.), from 500 to From each of the points so determined draw horizontal lines to
375 fathoms, and from shallow water ; Raia microcellata the curve : these are the values of n for the successive lines of
(Mont.), from shallow water-coast of Mayo and Donegal ; the hydrogen spectrum. Now, having regard to the fact that
Rhombus norvegicus (Gthr.), from shallow water-Donegal the light monad elements, H, Li, Na, K, Rb, Cs, have all
Bay; Arnoglossus grohmanni (Bonap.) was again taken ; of them series of lines which appear to belong to the same
Crystallogobius nilssoni (Düb. and Kor.) proved to be abungeneral type, we are justified in assuming that Balmer's law is
dant everywhere, between 10 and 35 fathoms. The followThe simplest case of a general law which prevails throughout all
ing were amongst the forms, usually inhabiting littoral The light monads. Hence, if the oscillation-frequencies be
water, which were taken at more than 100 fathoms : Scyllium plotted down as the horizontal lines of a diagram constructed as
canicula, Acanthins vulgaris, Galeus vulgaris, Raia oxyrhynabove with x = 11 and y = 1/m, the curve passing through the
chus, Gadus aglifinus, Conger vulgaris. ends of the lines in the other monads should be some curve of which the parabola is a particular case. This may happen in
PARIS. different ways, but the simplest hypothesis is that they are Academy of Sciences, December 7.-M. Duchartre in the hyperbolas or ellipses. Accordingly, the author has tried this
chair.-Reply to a note by M. Besson on phosphides of boron, hypothesis in the case of the sodium spectrum, with the result
by M. Henri Moissan. The author points out that he rethat hyperbolas approximately represent series P (the principal marked upon the reaction between boron and phosphorus in a series) and series S (the series of sharp lines), and that a para. bola represents the third series, series D (the series of diffuse
paper presented on April 6, 1891, and more fully described
its properties on July 6, 1891. He therefore claims priority lines); and with the further interesting result that the only line
over M. Besson, who first presented a note on the subject on in the sodium spectrum which has not hitherto fallen into its July 13.-On the theory of linear differential equations, by M. place as a member of one or other of the three series proves to André Markoff.-On modifications of the adiabatism of a conbe in reality the first term of series S, with a value for n which
tracted gaseous stream, by M. H. Parenty.—The vapour tenis negative instead of positive. The physical meaning of this is
sions of cobalt chloride solutions, by M. Georges Charpy. The that the revolution going on within the molecules round that graphic representation of the tensions at different temperatures elliptic partial which gives rise to this double line is in the opposite direction to what it would have been if its n had been CoCl2) gives two right lines from 20° to 40°, and from 75°, on
of a solution saturated in the cold (containing 32 per cent of positive (see memoir by the author “On Double Lines in
wards respectively, joined by a curve. Each of these right lines Spectra," recently published in the Transactions of the Royal corresponds to a definite state of hydration of the salt; the Dublin Society). The equation of an hyperbola being
lower represents the tension of a red solution, the upper of a (a
blue one. x)2 = P(b + 1000 . ya),
These results agree with those of M. Etard, but the
interval of passage between the two states is from 40° to 75o the values to be attributed to the constants for series P of the instead of from 35° to 50°, as found by this observer, a difference sodium spectrum are approximately
explained by the use of saturated solutions in his experiments. log P = 3'7740300
Action on some metals of sodammonium and potassammonium, 3337'4120
by M. Joannis. (See Notes.)–Calculation of the temperature of b = 1438-35
ebullition of isomeric ethers of the fatty acids, by M. G. Hin
richs. - Thermal data concerning active malic acid and potassium and their values for series S are
and sodium malates, by M. G. Massol. The heat of solution of log P = 2-5263843
the anhydrous acid is (per mol. in 4 litres), - 3'31 Cal. ; heats 434'0587
of neutralization—by K = + 26'23 Cal., by Na = + 24.86 Cal.; b 108.514.
heats of solution of the anhydrous salts : The equation of a parabola being
C,H,O,K in 6 litres 5.78 Cal. x = a - 1000. by,
C,H,O, K, in 8 litres
+ 1'55 Cal.
C,H,O, Ná in 6 litres = I'66 Cal. the values of the constants for series D are
C,H,O,Na, in 8 litres = + 1978 Cal. 244'93,
The heats of formation of the salts indicate that malic acid lies log b = 0.04357.
between succinic and oxalic acids in the energy of its action.
The rotatory power of silk, by M. Léo Vignon.—Ammonia in captive balloon, and (4) at the earth's surface. ! By this means atmospheric waters, by M. Albert Lévy. At the previous meet- simultaneous determinations of temperature, humidity, and ing of the Academy, MM. Marcano and Müntz gave the results pressure at four different air-levels would be obtained. - Prof. of twenty estimations of ammonia in rain caught at Caracas, and Sporer described the appearance of two groups of sun-spots, of the mean (1.55 mgr. per litre) was thought by M. Müntz to be which one was unaccompanied by any disturbances of terrestrial higher than that obtained in our latitudes. M. Lévy, however, magnetism, while the other was followed by very strong disshows that a higher proportion has been frequently obtained in turbances. France and elsewhere. He has estimated the ammonia and nitric acid in all the rainfalls at Montsouris for sixteen years. The average number is 150 per year; and from these 2000 or 3000
BOOKS, PAMPHLETS, AND SERIALS measures, a mean weight of 2.2 mgr. of ammonia per litre has
RECEIVED. been obtained.—In which part of the nervo-muscular system is inhibition produced ?, by M. N. Wedensky.-The antennal Books.-La Rose: J. Bel (Paris, Baillière),-Les Champignons : A. gland of Amphipodes of the Orchestiidal family, by M. Jules Acloque (Baillière).-La Place de L'Homme dans la Nature : T. H. Huxley Bonnier.– New list of large Cetacea stranded on the French
(Baillière). ---Analysis of Theology: Dr. E. J. Figg (Williams and Norgate).
-Sul Regime delle Spiagge e sulla Regolazione dei Porti : P. Cornaglia coast, by MM. G. Ponchet and H. Beauregard. --On the para
(Torino, Paravia). - Reports on the Mining Industries of New Zealand, 1891 sitic fungus of Lachnidium acridiorum, Gd., by M. A. Girard. Wellington, Didsbury). - Annual Report of the Department of Mines, -On the germination of grains of Araucaria Bidwilli, Hook., N.S.W., 1890 (Sydney, Chapman).-The Embryology of the Sea Bass : Dr.
H. V. Wilson (Washington). - Electricity up to Date: J. B. Verity (Warne).and Araucaria brasiliensis, Rich., by M. Ed. Heckel.
Studies in Anatomy from the Anatomical Department of the Owens College,
vol. i. (Manchester, Cornish). - The Living World : H. W. Conn (Putnam). BERLIN.
- A Natural Method of Physical Training : E. Checkley (Purnam).- Notes on Building Construction, Part 4 (Longman-). -Botanical Wall Diagranis
(S.P.C.K.). –(Euvres complètes de Christiaan Huygens, tome quatrième Physiological Society, November 13.-Prof. du Bois (La Haye, M. Nijhoff).- L' Electricité dans la Nature : G. Dary (Paris, Reymond, President, in the chair. — Prof. H. Munk gave an G. Carré).-Thermodynamique : H Poincaré (Paris, G. Carré). -Through account of further experiments made in his laboratory, on the
Equatorial Africa: H. von Wissmann ; translated by M. J. A. Bergmann
(Chatto and Windus).— Mission Scientifique au Cap Horn, 1882-1883, tome effect on the larynx of section of the superior laryngeal nerve vii., Anthropologie, Ethnographie: P. "Hyades and J. Deniker (Paris, in the horse, and which had again led as their result neither to Gauthier-Villars). - Whitaker's Almanack, 1892 (Whitaker). paralysis nor atrophy of the laryngeal muscles.-Dr. Krüger PAMPHLETS. - Higher Education in Indiana : Dr. J. A. Woodburn having investigated the chemical constitution of adenin and
(Washington).-Rules for a Dictionary Catalogue, 3rd edition; C. A.
Cutter (Washington). -Promotions and Examinations in Graded Schools : hypoxanthin, finds that they belong to the uric acid group; Dr. E. E. White (Washington). ---Sanitary Conditions for School-houses : When treated with hydrochloric acid at 130° C., they yielded
A. P. Marble (Washington). glycocoll, and by a more profound decomposition with bromine,
Serials.- Journal of the Chemical Society, December (Gurney and Jack. son). - Journal of the Royal
Society, vol. xiii. Part 3 (117 potassium chlorate, and hydrochloric acid, alloxanthin and urea
Victoria Stree!). -- L'Anthropologie, 1891, tome ii No. 5 (Paris, Masson), were obtained.
The Asclepiad. No. 32, vol. viii. (Longmans).— Botanische-Jahrbücher für
Systematik, Pflanzengeschichte und Pflanzengeographie, Vierzehnter Band, Physical Society, November 20.-Prof. Kundt, President,
4 Heft (Williams and Norgate). in the chair. - Prof. A. du Bois Reymond explained, starting from the discovery of electrodynamic rotations produced by alternating currents made by Galileo Ferraris in 1888, how the
PAGE rotation of the magnetic field is employed in the construction of rotatory current motors, and exhibited several forms of the
Two Zoological Text-books. By Prof. E. Ray Lan. instrument to the Society. The principle discovered by kester, F.R.S.
145 Ferraris has undergone very material modification during its Modern Artillery. By A. G, G.
146 practical application, and has led to most interesting scientific Giants and Acromegaly.
Peaks and Passes in New Zealand. By Prof. T. G. December 4.-Prof. von Helmholtz, President, in the chair. Bonney, F.R.S.
147 -Dr. Assmann described his aspiration-meteorograph intended Our Book Shelf:for use in captive balloons.-Dr. Wolff spoke on the per- De la Saussaye: “Manual of the Science of Religion." manency of an accumulator battery which had been standing
-W. R. S. for a year, until the Auid in it had evaporated to dryness, and
“Euclid's Elements of Geometry,” Book XI. which, on being recharged, almost immediately recovered its -W.
149 original strength.
Makino : "Illustrations of the Flora of Japan.”-
149 Meteorological Society, December 1.-Prof. Schwalbe, Clutterbuck : “ About Ceylon and Borneo"
149 President, in the chair.-Dr. Assmann spoke on meteorological Letters to the Editor :observations during balloon voyages and in captive balloons. Wind Direction. (With Diagram.)-A. B. M. 149. For the determination of temperature, humidity, and atmospheric The Migration of the Lemming.-F. Howard pressure in a free balloon, the aspiration thermometer and an
150 aneroid barometer suffice. Comparative measurements made by The New Railway from Upminster to Romford, Essex. Rotch in Paris and in Berlin, during balloon voyages, showed
-T. V. Holmes,
151 that a Richards thermograph records a temperature some 8° C. Peculiar Eyes.-G. K. Gude
151 higher than does a maximum and minimum thermometer, and Grasted Plants.-W. H. Beeby
151 the latter shows a temperature always 2° C. higher than does Intelligence in Birds.-A. Wilkins
151 an aspiration thermometer. In order to carry out prolonged Sir Andrew Crombie Ramsay. By A. G.
151 observations on humidity during a balloon trip, three aspiration
On Van der Waals's Isothermal Equation. (With thermometers must be combined, of which two are alternately Diagram.) By Prof. D. T. Korteweg .
152 moistened while the third is kept dry. For use in captive The Bird-Gallery in the British Museum
154 balloons self-registering instruments must be employed, whose The October Eruption North-West of Pantelleria. construction, owing to the frequently violent vertical jolts of the By Prof. John W. Judd, F.R.S. ; G. W. Butler 154 balloon, presents considerable difficulty. The speaker exhibited Notes
154 tracings which showed that these difficulties had been overcome Our Astronomical Columo:by him. Temperature is recorded by a bent Bourdon tube Jupiter and his First Satellite .
159 filled with alcohol, humidity by a hair hygrometer, and atmo- Spectra of the Sun and Metals
159 spheric pressure by an aneroid ; all these instruments being Measurement of Jupiter's Satellites by Interference. placed in a space in which aspiration is continuously kept up. (Illustrated.) By A. A. Michelson
160 Each instrument records upon a cylinder which rotates once in The Samoan Cyclone of March 16, 1889.
By about five hours. The German Ballooning Society proposes H. F. B.
161 10 make simultaneous observations (1) in a free balloon, (2) University and Educational Intelligence
162 with a self-recording apparatus suspended by a long cable from Societies and Academies
162 the car of the balloon, (3) with a second similar apparatus in a Books, Pamphlets, and Serials Received
THURSDAY, DECEMBER 24, 1891.
that are as well established as a thing can be in the uncertainties of the relative rank of vegetable organisms. The struggle of literary botanists to bring the law of
priority into operation has, as will presently be shown, BOTANICAL NOMENCLATURE.
resulted in successsive changes in nomenclature, each one Revisio Genera Plantarum Vascularium omnium, atque carrying his investigations a little further than his prede
Cellularium multarum, secundum Leges Nomenclaturæ cessors, and extending the backward limit of authority Internationales, cum Enumeratione Plantarum in for the establishment of genera and species, until the Itinere Mundi collectarum. Mit Erläuterungen von whole thing has drifted into a lamentable and undignified Dr. Otto Kuntze. Pp. 1011. (London : Dulau and race between persons who deal in dates, and are even Co., 1891.)
prepared to make all sorts of evasions of ordinary rules THE HE importance of tbis subject is so great, and the in order to gratify their craze for reviving old names.
alterations made in this book so revolutionary (al- It is hardly necessary to say that these successive though the author pretends to be guided by “international changes, apart from the great divergencies as to the rules"), that a brief sketch of the recent history of plant- limitations of genera and species, have a most deterrent , naming is desirable in order to render any criticisms of effect on the progress of the study of systematic botany, the work generally intelligible ; and it is all the more
and make it ridiculous in the eyes of persons who regard called for because Dr. Kuntze specially attacks the a name as merely a means to an end. position taken up by a considerable section of English In 1867 a Botanical Congress was held in Paris, to botanists.
which botanists of all countries had been invited, and From the time of the foundation by Linnæus of the the most important subject discussed was botanical binominal system of nomenclature, which cannot be said nomenclature. Mr. A. de Candolle had drawn up a to have been consummated before the publication of the most carefully considered code of rules to govern botanfirst edition of the “Species Plantarum” in 1753, down ists in their writings; and this code was submitted to to within the last 25 or 30 years, matters proceeded with the assemblage of botanists, each rule being formulated tolerable smoothness, though some influential botanists and modified as the majority deemed wise. Finally, the did not scruple to ignore the published names of their whole was printed and circulated. The fundamental contemporaries, or alter them on the most trivial principle of these laws was priority of publication with grounds; and there was almost universal laxity in citing | adequate descriptions, and unfortunately it was made retroauthorities. But the more critical investigation of the spective, without any sufficiently defined statute of limitaEuropean flora especially, and to some extent also, per- tions. For reasons of their own, the Kew botanists took haps, the tendency to multiply species, led to a more no part in the proceedings of this Congress ; whether thorough exainination of the literature, resulting in the wisely or not it would be difficult to determine, and fruitdiscovery that the same genus or species had often been
less to discuss. Of course, their position was open to described and named by more than one writer, the names comment and criticism, which have not been wanting ; being usually different. Furthermore the limitation of and Dr. Kuntze, while expressing his admiration of the many of the genera founded by Linnæus and others amount and quality of the work done at Kew, deplores was greatly modified, some by narrower circumscription, the fact that little regard has been paid to remote and others by amplification, according to the opinions and obscure priorities. So far he is fair enough; but when inclinations of the writers; and of course frequently he imputes unworthy motives to Bentham, he commits a happened that different writers dealt with the same great mistake, and does grievous injustice to the memory materials independently of, and unknown to, each other. of a man whose sole aim was to advance botanical Some of these new genera and species were described or science, and especially that branch to which he had proposed in publications of merely local circulation, and devoted his life, and which is most intimately bound up were overlooked by the majority of botanists, and others with nomenclature. No doubt the authors of the “Genera seem to have been purposely neglected ; so that in many Plantarum” failed to take up a large number of published instances the current and commonly accepted names generic names ; and not being bound down by the law of were of more recent publication than those of other priority, they were not always consistent, even from the authors. As there appeared to be no way out of the point of view of expediency and convenience, as the survivpractice of citing the author of a given combination of ing author would readily admit. But to suggest that they generic and specific names, it followed that the only fair would not conform strictly to the rule of priority because procedure would be to adopt the name and give credit to they would have to undo much of their own work is as the man who first published a change generally accepted; disingenuous as it is untrue. The first volume of the because the presumption was that it was always possible, “Genera Plantarum ” was not completed till 1867, the and usually probable, that the later author was aware of “Flora Australiensis” was less than half done, and the the earlier publication. If an author published later "Flora of British India” was not commenced; so that, if than another, his names must be relegated to the syno- the authors had had a longing for change and cheap nymy. This is all very well in theory, and is not so very notoriety, they might have re-named a third of the flowerdifficult to put into practice, so far as recent writers are ing plants of the world. But their idea was to maintain concerned, once we have proved the identity of plants genera and species, as they had been gradually built up, under different names ; but when we come to the older | under current names. The opinion of the late Mr. writers, all sorts of doubts and ambiguities arise, and it Bentham on this point is clear from the following passeems much better to retain generic and specific names sage (Journ. Linn. Soc., xix., p. 19) in his “Notes on the
Gramineæ"-the last of the natural orders elaborated binations of 0. K. (Dr. Kuntze). It is no disparagement for the “Genera Plantarum”:
to the literary researches of Dr. Kuntze to say that Mr.
Jackson was in a position to do this infinitely better than “Much has been done, however, for the elucidation
Kuntze, if it had been desirable to do it. But it was of the order in local Floras. Already at the close of the last century and the commencement of the
never a part of the plan that the compiler should reduce present one, several Continental botanists proposed synonymy, and amend the nomenclature of plants. His new genera for anomalous European grasses; but task has been to prepare an index, and as such its value these were published in works which entered but will far exceed any attempts at finality in synonymy. To little into general circulation, and were overlooked by have proceeded on the lines of Steudel would have only Beauvois, Persoon, Willdenow, and other systematists.
resulted in the addition of many thousands of names Several of the same genera have since been re-established, but under other names which have now been so
devoid of all authority. Nevertheless, Dr. Kuntze, being long and so universally adopted, that they must be con
so impressed with the importance of his precious names, sidered as having acquired a right of prescription to declares that the index will have no scientific value unless overrule the strict laws of priority. It would indeed be i it include the 30,000 specific names appropriated by mere pedantry, highly inconvenient to botanists, and so
“ O. K." without more labour than a mere transfer. Dr. far detrimental to science, now to substitute Blumen. bachia for Sorghum, Fibichia for Cynodon, Santia for
Kuntze worked at Kew for several years, and enjoyed the Polypogon, or Sieglingia for Triodia.”
usual privileges of the establishment, and the exceptional
privilege of consulting the index in question ; and he now It is idle to argue that two or three persons have no very magnanimously dedicates a genus to the compiler, and right to make laws; for any corporation, however small, patronizingly tells him he hopes he will take proper advanthas that right, and is justified in exercising it if it has the age of the researches and superior wisdom of the author. power to carry them into effect.
But, after all, the main The extent to which these changes have been made may question is, whether the Kew botanists acted in the interest be gathered from the author's own summary, in which he of science in declining to be guided by the rules passed states that he has reduced 151 genera ; separated off 6 by another body of botanists ; and I think any unpreju- genera ; re-named 122 genera, because they bore names diced outsider would agree that they did, and that the homonymous with other genera ; restored 952 genera in course events have taken has strengthened their posi- accordance with the laws of priority; and re-named uption.
wards of 30,000 species belonging to these genera! How It should be remembered that most of the advocates of he justifies these changes may be learnt from a few expriority, and especially those advocates of almost un- amples, selected to illustrate the various extraordinary qualified priority, such as Dr. Kuntze, have no respon- devices employed by a writer who professes to be anisibility beyond literary accuracy, and even that cannot be mated by a sincere desire to reform and consolidate maintained for such uncertain quantities as orders, botanical nomenclature. We may waive for the moment genera, and species of plants. On the other hand, the another phase of the question-how far can botanists botanists of Kew have grave responsibilities towards the accept these identifications, even if they are prepared to general public. It is not too much to say that Kew is accept the principle ? Astragalus, a genus of more than almost exclusively responsible for the botanical nomen- a thousand species, is to be superseded by Tragacantha, clature current in gardens, and in English and colonial because the latter name was published by Linnæus in his literature dealing with plants or the products of plants, earlier crude “Systema” (1735), though in his revised and to say nothing of the vast named collections at Kew. improved work he preferred and employed the former. The labour of renaming the plants in accordance with Kuntze says, in fact, that no author can be permitted to the investigations of successive reformers would have revoke any previously published name of his own making, been as nothing to the folly of doing so, though it would any more than those of another person ; and accordingly have been a herculean task, and a recurring task, as each he transfers page after page of names from Astragalus to older name was disinterred. The idea of giving a gar- Tragacantha, with the appended authority,“ O. K.” Other dener, or a manufacturer, or any person interested in familiar large genera treated in the same way are: Erica, vegetable products, one of these resuscitated generic | which becomes Ericodes, on an even less tenable ground; names with a specific name tacked on to it by a person Pelargonium has to cede to Geraniospermum; and Clemawho has done nothing else except put his initials to it, is tis receives an additional syllable, and in future we must too absurd. All the literature connected with the plant say Clematitis. Recent authors have combined Rhodois under another name, all the figures likewise, and, one dendron and Azalea under the former, but Kuntze now might add, all the persons almost who know anything gives them all names under the latter. Proceeding to exabout the plant, know it by the old name. Yet, forsooth, amples of more far-fetched changes, it may be noied that we are asked to sacrifice everything that belongs to the Cleistanthus is to be Kaluhaburung hos, though it was only present for the sake of a “principle " that involves endless the other day that Dr. Trimen discovered that a plant in confusion, and feeds the vanity of the living more than it Herrmann's herbarium, bearing this name, which was honours the dead. Of course priority in current work is taken up by Linnæus in his “ Flora Zeylanica,” was the a totally different thing ; but if it had been the intention as Cleistanthus acuminatus. Dr. Trimen also of the promoters of the new Index to Plant Names," on identified Gaedawakka as of the same origin with Chatowhich Mr. Daydon Jackson and his assistants have been carpus, therefore Kuntze restores the former. Another engaged for some ten years, to restore these old generic excuse for changing names is the existence of two of the names, and enumerate the species thereunder, it would same derivation. Thus Glaucium cannot be tolerated by now be necessary to cite some 30,000 of them as the com- the side of Glaux, and Kuntze takes the opportunity of