« AnteriorContinuar »
School of that town. Bates was at that time an ardent Society, and the chief burden of the arrangements for the entomologist, while Wallace was chiefly interested in various meetings, as well as those for the Geographical botany; but the latter at once took up beetle-collecting, Section of the British Association. There can be little and after he left Leicester the following year kept up an doubt that it was the confinement and constant strain of entomological correspondence with his friend. Two years this work that weakened his constitution and shortened a later Wallace proposed a joint expedition to Para in valuable life. order to collect insects and other natural objects, attracted When we consider the originality and clearness of exto this locality by the charming account of the country in position in his first great paper on Mimicry," the Mr. W. H. Edwards's “ Voyage up the Amazon,” a choice accuracy and fulness of knowledge displayed in his confirmed by the late Edward Doubleday, who had just systematic and descriptive work, and the power of obserreceived some new and very beautiful butterflies collected vation and felicity of style which characterizes “ The near the city of Para. The two explorers sailed from Naturalist on the Amazons," we cannot but regret that Liverpool in April 1848, in a barque of 192 tons burthen, circumstances should have compelled him to devote so one of the very few vessels then trading to Para, and the much of his time and strength to the mere drudgery of results of their journey are well known to naturalists. office work, and be thereby to a great exten: debarred They made joint collections for nearly a year while stay- from devoting himself to those more congenial pursuits in ing at or near Para, but afterwards found it more con- which he had shown himself so well fitted to excel. venient to take separate districts and collectindependently. His high reputation, both as a hard-working entomologist Bates spent eleven years in the country, divided pretty and philosophic naturalist, led to his being twice chosen equally between the lower and the upper Amazon, and he President of the Entomological Society of London, first amassed a wonderful collection of insects. Returning home in 1869, and again in 1878; while he was elected a Fellow in 1859, he devoted himself to the study of his collections, of the Royal Society in 1881. His somewhat rugged and in 1861 read before the Linnean Society his remark- features, quiet, unassuining manners, and thoughtful able and epoch-making paper on the Heliconidæ of the utterance, must be familiar to all who have attended the Amazon Valley. In this paper, besides making important evening meetings of the Royal Geographical Society corrections in the received classification of this group and during the last twenty-seven years. Rarely has any its allies, he discussed and illustrated in the most careful Society had a more efficient secretary, whó not only manner the wonderful facts of mimicry,” and for the carried on its work with accuracy and judgment, but also first time gave a clear and intelligible explanation of the gained the respect and esteem of all who came in contact phenomena, their origin and use, founded on the accepted with him. He died on Febuary 16, at the age of sixtyprinciples of variation and natural selection. In spite of seven.
A. R. W. countless attacks-usually by persons who are more or less ignorant of the facts to be explained--this theory still holds its ground, and notwithstanding the constant ac
THOMAS ARCHER HIRST. cumulation of new facts, and its discussion by new writers, it has never been more clearly or more fully explained WE regret to have to record the death of Dr. Hirst, than by its original discoverer.
He was the So early as March 1860, Mr. Bates commenced a series youngest of the three sons of Mr. Thomas Hirst, a woolof papers for the Entomological Society, under the title stapler, and was born at Heckmondwike, in Yorkshire, of “ Contributions to an Insect Fauna of the Amazon on April 22, 1830. In 1844 he became an articled pupil of Valley." These were at first devoted to the Diurnal Mr. Richard Carter, land agent and surveyor at Halifax ; Lepidoptera, and in one of them he gave a new classi- but afterwards he went to Germany, and studied at several fication of the whole group, founded chiefly on the structure Universities, taking the degree of Doctor of Philosophy of the legs, and leading to the conclusion that the Papi- at Marburg in 1852. His intercourse with Steiner, at lionidæ formed one of the lowest families, while the Berlin, gave a strong impulse to his studies, and ultiNymphalidæ were the highest. This classification has mately determined their character. Dr. Hirst on his been very generally adopted by entomologists, though return to England filled the vacancy at Queenwood there are a few dissentients, who hold that the principle College caused by Tyndall's appointment to the Profesadopted to determine the rank or grade of the respective sorship of Natural Philosophy in the Royal Institution. families is an unsound one. Later on he wrote many | The work at Queenwood occupied most of his time, so papers on the various groups of Longicorn beetles; and that during the three years for which he held the post his finding that his circumstances and the time at his disposal only original paper was a note
“On the Existence of did not allow him to keep up and study two such exten- a Magnetic Medium” (R.S. Proc., vii., 1854). sive groups as the Coleoptera and Lepidoptera, he parted Towards the close of 1854 he married, and in consewith his fine collection of South American butterflies to quence of his wife's delicate health he passed the winter Messrs. Salvin and Godman, and thereafter devoted him- of 1856-57 in the south of France. During this period self exclusively to the study of Coleoptera. Later still, he he wrote two papers “On Equally Attracting Bodies" almost confined his attention to the Carabidæ, on which (Phil. Mag., xiii., xvi.). On the return journey Mrs. important group he became a recognized authority. His Hirst died (1857) in Paris. After this sad event Dr. largest works in this direction were his contributions Hirst spent six weeks with Prof. Tyndall on the mer de to the “ Biologia Centrali-Americana”: Vol. I., Part 1 glace (cf. “Glaciers of the Alps"): he then returned to (Geodephaga); Vol. II., Part 2 (Pectinicornia and Paris, and attended the lectures of Chasles, Liouville, Lamellicornia); Vol. V. (Longicornia). A supplement | Lamé, and Bertrand. At this time he translated Pointo the Geodephaga has since been published in the sot's famous memoir “On the Percussion of Bodies," and Transactions of the Entomological Society of London contributed a paper, "Sur le Potentiel d'une Couche infor 1890 and 1891 ; and a supplement to the Longicornia finiment mince comprise entre deux Paraboloides Ellipwas in course of preparation, but not finished at the tiques" (Liouville, J. de M., ii., 1859). The winter of time of his death.
1857-58 was spent in Rome. Here was written for In 1864, he was appointed Assistant Secretary to the Tortolini's Annali the memoir “Sur la Courbure d'une Royal Geographical Society, an appointment he held till | Série de Surfaces et de Lignes” (vol. ii., 1859), an abstract his death. Besides editing the Journal and Proceedings, of which was subsequently published in the Quarterly and carrying on an immense correspondence with travellers Journal of Mathematics. In these stirring times Dr. and others in every part of the world, he had practically
1 Cr. Chasles, " Rapport sur les Progrès de la Géométrie," p. 144. the entire management of the large establishment of the 2 Chasles, “Rapport," p. 303.
Hirst received a cordial welcome from the mathematicians | Annali di Matematica (vii., 1865), and a form of it is of Southern Italy, and then going north he followed the published in the Nouvelles Annales (v., 1866). His revictorious armies as far as San Martino and Solferino. maining papers, mainly contributed to the London After the Peace of Villafranca he visited the town of Mathematical Society's Proceedings, are :-“On CorrelaCremona, and here commenced an acquaintance of life- tion in Space" (abstract of Presidential Address, 1874, long duration with Prof. Luigi Cremona.
Proc., vi.). “Note on the Correlation of Two Planes In 1860, Dr. Hirst took up his residence in London, (Proc., viii.). “On Cremonian Congruences" (Proc., xiv.). and for a short time took the advanced mathematical * On Congruences of the Third Order and Class classes in University College School, in consequence of (Proc., xvi.). On Cremonian Congruences contained in Mr. Cook's illness, and on that gentleman's death he Linear Complexes” (Proc., xvii.). "On the Correlation became his successor. This office Dr. Hirst held for five of Two Spaces, each of Three Dimensions" (Proc., xxi.). years, and here, with Prof. Key's full concurrence (see “On the Complexes generated by Two Correlative Dr. Hirst's preface to Wright's “Elements of Plane Planes” (Chelini Memorial Volume, 1881). "Sur la Geometry," 1868), he taught geometry to classes of be- Congruence Roccella” (Circolo Matematico, 1886). ginners without the use of “ Euclid. Subsequently, in 1870, at the request (of the Ladies' Educational Association, he gave a course of twenty-four lectures on the
DR. THOMAS STERRY HUNT. subject of geometry to a class of sixty ladies at St. George's Hall. The syllabus of these lectures was
R. T. STERRY HUNT, who died at New York on printed at the time. He was so well satisfied with the the 12th of this month, in his sixty-sixth year, was results of his attempt that when, in 1871, the Associa- widely known from his geological works, especially those tion for the Improvement of Geometrical Teaching was
relating to chemical geology. For some years past he started, though he had taken no part, directly, in its had been in feeble health, suffering much from heartformation,' he at once gave in his adhesion to the move- disease. Early in this year he was attacked with influment, and contributed very materially to its success, by enza, from which he seemed to be recovering, but a his accepting the office of President, and by his doing relapse occurred, from which he failed to rally. Born on yeoman's service during his tenure of the office (1871-78). September 6, 1826, at Norwich, in Connecticut, he was Previous to this Dr. Hirst had, in 1865, been elected educated for the medical profession, but in 1845 became Professor of Mathematical Physics in University College. assistant to Prof. B. Silliman at Yale College, and was This post he vacated in 1867, when he succeeded Prof. also chemist to the Geological Survey of Vermont. In de Morgan in the Chair of Pure Mathematics. It was on 1847 he joined the Geological Survey of Canada, under January 16, 1865," that the London Mathematical Society Sir W. Logan, as chemist and mineralogist. From 1856 was started. Of this Society Dr. Hirst was one of the to 1862 he was Professor of Chemistry at Laval Unipillars, and it was in a great measure through his foster-versity in Quebec, giving his lectures in French From ing care that it has made the mark it has. He served on 1872 to 1878 he was Professor of Geology at the Massathe Council from 1865 to November 1885, and for the chusetts Institute of Technology. He was elected a session 1890-91. He vacated the office of Treasurer Fellow of the Royal Society in 1859, and in 1881 received when he was elected President for the years 1872-73, the honorary degree of LL.D. at Cambridge. Dr. Hunt 1873-74.
was one of the founders of the International Geological In 1870, Dr. Hirst was appointed to the new office of Congress at Philadelphia, in 1876; he attended the Assistant Registrar to the University of London, and meetings of the Congress at Paris in 1878, Bologna in thereupon resigned his Professorship, and the General 1881, Berlin in 1885, and London in 1888, taking an Secretaryship of the British Association, which he had active part in the proceedings of each. held from 1866. In 1873, when the Royal Naval Col- Although by birth a citizen of the United States, he is lege was founded, he became the Director of Studies, and best known as a Canadian geologist, and, after retiring held the office for ten years, when the precarious state of from the Canadian Survey, he lived for some years in his health necessitated his retirement, and the passing of | Montreal. But latterly he preferred to consider himself several winters abroad. He died on February 16. once more as belonging to the United States, and for a
In 1861, Dr. Hirst was elected a Fellow of the Royal few years before his death was a resident in New York. Society. He was three times a member of the Council Dr. Hunt's most important geological work was done of the Society, and twice one of its Vice-Presidents. In in connection with the Geological Survey of Canada, 1883 one of the Royal Medals was awarded to him for with and under Logan. They led the way in the study of “his investigations in pure geometry; and, more particu- the Archæan rocks of that area, and Hunt gave to them larly for his researches into the correlation of two planes many of the names which have since become well known, and into the complexes generated by them.” He was a and too widely used, in the Archæan controversy. His Fellow of the Royal Astronomical Society, a member of work on the geology of petroleum was of high value, and the Physical Society, and of several Continental Societies. he long ago clearly stated generalizations as to its occurHe served for some years on the Council of University rence which later investigations, over wider areas in College, London, and was also a member of the Senate North America and in other districts, have fully verified. of the University of London.
Other important researches, published in the official Dr. Hirst revised the mathematical articles in Brande's Reports of the Canadian Survey and elsewhere, related “Dictionary of Arts and Sciences," and contributed new to limestone, dolomite, and gypsum ; salt ; the chemistry ones; and published a translation of Clausius's treatise on of natural waters ; the porosities of rocks ; rock-weather“The Mechanical Theory of Heat” (1867).
ing, &c. The well-known “Geology of Canada," issued by The following titles of papers may be mentioned :- Logan in 1863 as Director of the Survey, was in large “On the Volumes of Pedal Surfaces” (Phil. Trans., 1863 ; part written by Hunt, the parts on lithology and on Crelle, lxii., 1863 ; and Tortolini, Annali, v., 1863). "On economic geology being almost entirely his; he likewise the Quadric Inversion of Plane Curves” (R.Š. Proc., read the proofs of the whole. He also wrote much on 1865; cf. Chasles, “ Rapport,” p. 167, “ Ce mémoire est un Alpine and Italian geology, and on the classification of travail fort complet ”). This was his first purely geo the older Palæozoic rocks; in the Cambro-Silurian conmetrical paper. It was translated by Cremona in the troversy he was a warm advocate of Sedgwick. The
origin of serpentine was also a favourite subject, he 1 Opening remarks in the Presidential Address, A.I.G.T., First Report, stoutly maintaining its aqueous origin. As regards the January 17, 1871 (cf. also NATURE, vol. ii. pp. 65, 141, 164). Memoir of Augustus de Morgan, pp. 280-86.
| ancient crystalline rocks generally, he to a large extent
reverted to the Wernerian view, but with some important required. The following have consented to receive subscripmodifications; these he explained in his crenitic tions :-Prof. Ray Lankester, Oxford ; Dr. Günther, British hypothesis.”
Museum (Natural History), Cromwell Road ; Dr. Ball, Science Dr. Hunt's earlier papers (1846-49) were wholly on and Art Museum, Dublin ; the Duchess of St. Albans, Bestchemistry and mineralogy, and to these subjects he always gave much attention. Some of his latest writings bankers, 59 Strand. The Hon. Walter Rothschild, 148 Picca
wood Lodge, Arnold, Notts. ; and Messrs. Coutts and Co., are purely chemical, dealing mainly with the more speculative aspects of that science. Perhaps in these dilly, has undertaken the duties of honorary secretary. questions, as is certainly the case with many of his theo
On Saturday last a meeting was held in the Combination retical views on geology, Dr. Hunt failed to carry conviction to the minds of his fellow-workers; and it may well for the provision of a national monument to the late Prof.
Room of St. John's College, Cambridge, to discuss a proposal be doubted if some of his views on these matters will ultimately add to his scientific reputation. But it would
Adams. The Rev. Dr. Taylor, the Master of the College, be unjust on this account to ignore the mass of solid presided ; and among those present were Dr Peile (Master of work which he accomplished, and the suggestive hints Christ's, and Vice-Chancellor), Dr. Ferris (Master of Caius), which are scattered throughout his writings.
Dr. Porter (Master of Peterhouse), Mr. Aldis Wright (ViceDr. Hunt was a man of wide reading and general cul- Master of Trinity), Dr. Forsyth, Prof. Hughes, Dr. Hobson, ture ; he possessed a marvellous memory, and great con- Prof. Thomson, Dr. Glaisher, Dr. Frost, Dr. Sandys, Prof. versational powers. In his company one might for hours Mayor, and Sir George G. Stokes, M.P. The Master said that forget that science was his special study, so well informed Prof. Adams had memorials in Cambridge in the Adams Prize, was he in history, literature, and philosophy. His conversation on such subjects possessed an additional work was his monument in the annals of science. They wished
and his portraits at that College and at Pembroke. His own interest from his personal acquaintance with many American authors. He was thus an excellent travelling
to commemorate his name and personality in the eyes of the companion, and the writer will not soon forget with what
world in that central sanctuary where, age after age, they comthrilling effect he recited Macaulay's Horatius,” within memorated their national types of various kinds of supreme sight of Cortona and its Etruscan walls.
excellence which were the glory of the world. The first suggesW. TOPLEY. tion of that came to him from Archdeacon Farrar. The sug
gestion had been mentioned at a College meeting and by it
adopted, and they were met that day to carry it out. He NOTES.
thought the better method would be to form a large and in
fluential committee, containing the most prominent names in The date of the Bakerian Lecture to be delivered before the
mathematics and science, which would enable them to show Royal Society has been altered to March 1o. Prof. James
there was a general feeling in favour of it. Then he thought Thomson has chosen as his subject " The Trade Winds."
the request might be made to the Dean and Chapter, on behalf The general arrangements for the Edinburgh meeting of of the Committee, by the Chancellor, the Duke of Devonshire, the British Association have now been completed. The first
and in a letter which he had received from the Duke he stated general meeting will be held on Wednesday, August 3, at 8 p.m., that he should be very glad to give any assistance in his power when Dr. William Huggins, F.R.S., will resign the chair, and
to carry out the wishes of the Committee. Among those who Sir Archibald Geikie, For. Sec. R.S., Director-General of the
had agreed to join the Committee were the Astronomer-Royal, Geological Survey of the United Kingdom, President-Elect,
the Master of Trinity, Dr. Salmon (Provost of Trinity College, will assume the Presidency, and deliver an address. On Thurs
Dublin), the Master of Corpus, Mr. Justice Romer, Prof. Jebb, day evening, August 4, at 8 p.m., there will be a soirée ; on
Mr. Courtney, Lord Rayleigh, Prof. Newton, the Gresham Friday evening, August 5, at 8.30 p.m., a discourse will be
Professor of Astronomy, Prof. Cayley, and Sir Donald Smith delivered by Prof. A. Milnes Marshall, F.R.S. ; on Monday (Chancellor of Montreal University), who asked to be allowed evening, August 8, at 8.30 p.m., a discourse on magnetic induc
to subscribe £ 100. The following motion, proposed by the tion will be delivered by Prof. J. A. Ewing, F.R.S. ; on
Master, seconded by Sir G. G. Stokes, and supported by Tuesday evening, August 9, at 8 p.m., there will be another
Dr. Glaisher and Prof. Liveing, was carried unanimously : soirée ; and on Wednesday, August 10, the concluding general
“That the late Prof. John Couch Adams, by his discovery meeting will be held at 2.30 p.m. The different Sections will
of the planet Neptune, and other masterly work, published assemble for the reading and discussion of Reports and other
or unpublished, is entitled to be named with the great communications on Thursday, August 4, and on the following astronomers of the world ; and that this meeting pledges Friday, Saturday, Monday, and Tuesday. The delegates of itself (so far as in it lies) to promote and carry out the scheme Corresponding Societies will meet on Thursday, August 4, and
for placing a memorial to the late Professor in Westminster Tuesday, August 9, at 3.30 p.m. Excursions to places of interest
Abbey." The following resolutions were also carried :—“That in the neighbourhood of Edinburgh will be made on the afternoon
the memorial consist of a bust, with tablet and inscription." of Saturday, August 6, and on Thursday, August 11.
“That a Committee be formed (with power to add to their
number) to carry out the scheme; that the Master of Pembroke It is proposed that Englishmen shall celebrate the fourth College and Prof. Liveing be the Treasurers, and the Master of centenary of the discovery of the New World, and do honour Peterhouse, Dr. D. MacAlister, and Dr. Glaisher the Secretto the memory of Columbus, by establishing in Jamaica a marine aries, and that such and such persons be the Executive Combiological station on the lines of the marine laboratories at mittee.” “That any surplus from subscriptions after payment Naples and Plymouth. The institution would be called “the of the necessary expenses to be used in the first instance to Columbus Marine Biological Station.” An excellent letter on defray the cost of presenting copies of the collected papers of the subject by Lady Blake appeared in the Times on Wednes. Prof. Adams to learned Societies and libraries at home and day. The scheme has been laid before Prof. Huxley, Prof. abroad, and that the remainder (which, if of sufficient amount, Ray Lankester, Prof. Flower, Dr. Günther, Dr. Ball, Sir John shall be constituted a permanent memorial fund) be offered to Lubbock, Mr. Scott, Mr. Sclater, and numerous other scientific the Master and Fellows of St. John's College to form an Exmen, all of whom warmly approve of it. For the establishment hibition or Scholarship sund for the encouragement of the study of the laboratory on a sound basis an outlay of £15,000 will be of mathematics or physics by the undergraduate students of the
College, such fund 10 be administered in such a manner as the things in them were not in any way connected with any known Masters and Fellows may from time to time determine." African race; the objects of art and the special cult were foreign At a meeting of the electors to the Lowndsean Professorship religion was, and had been since the days when the early Portu
to the country altogether, where the only recognized form of of Astronomy at Cambridge, held on February 20, Sir Robert S. Ball, Astronomer-Royal for Ireland, was elected to succeed the
guese explorers penetrated into it and El Masoudi wrote, that late Prof. Couch Adams. Sir Robert Ball is fifty-one years of age.
of ancestor worship. It was also obvious that the ruins
formed a garrison for the protection of a gold-producing He is a native of Dublin, and was educated at Trinity College.
race in remote antiquity. So we must look around for When twenty-five years old, he was appointed Lord Rosse's
such a astronomer at Parsonstown. He became Professor of Applied in Arabia that we found the object of our search. All
race outside the limits of Africa, and it was Mathematics and Mechanism at the Royal College of Science of ancient authorities speak of Arabian gold in terms of extraIreland in 1867, and Professor of Astronomy at the Dublin University, and Astronomer-Royal sor Ireland, in 1874. In 1873, and here in Africa gold was produced in large quantities, both
vagant praise. Little, if any, gold came from Arabia itself; he had been made a Fellow of the Royal Society. He has done
from alluvial and from quartz, from the remotest ages. A cult much by his writings and lectures to create and foster a popular practised in Arabia in early times was also practised here ; hence interest in astronomical study. In relation to this appointment there was little room for doubt that the builders and workers of we give the following extract from the Cambridge University | the Great Zimbabwe came from the Arabian peninsula. He had Reporter of February 23:- The Council of the Senate beg
no hesitation in assigning this enterprise to Arabian origin, and leave to report to the Senate as follows: “The arrange
to a pre-Mahomedan period. ment by which the superintendence and management of the Observatory' were intrusted to the late Lowndsean Profes. At the anniversary meeting of the Geological Society, held at sor (Grace, May 2, 1861, Ordinances, p. 239) has now ter- Burlington House on Friday last, the following officers were minated, and as no provision has been made for the future elected :-President: W. H. Hudleston, F.R.S. Vice-Presidirection of the Observatory, the Council think it desirable dents: Prof. T. G. Bonney, F.R.S., L. Fletcher, F.R.S., G. that a special Syndicate should be appointed to consider the J. Hinde, Prof. J. W. Judd, F.R.S. Secretaries: Dr. H. Hicks, question." The Council therefore recommend : * That a
F.R.S., J. E. Marr, F.R.S. Foreign Secretary: J. W. Hulke, Syndicate be appointed to consider what provision should be F.R.S. Treasurer : Prof. T. Wiltshire. The following are the made for the future superintendence and management of the members of the Council : Prof. J. F. Blake, Prof. T. G. Bonney, Observatory, and to report to the Senate before the end of Í F.R.S., James W. Davis, R. Etheridge, F.R.S., L. Fletcher, the present Lent Term.” "That the Vice-Chancellor, Dr. F.R.S., Prof. C. Le Neve Foster, Sir A. Geikie, F.R.S., A. Ferrers, Master of Gonville and Caius College, Prof. Sir Harker, H. Hicks, F.R.S., G. J. Hinde, W. H. Hudleston, G. G. Stokes, Dr. Glaisher, Prof. Liveing, Prof. Thomson, F.R.S., Prof. T. McKenny Hughes, F.R.S., J. W. Hulke, and F. Whitting, M.A., of King's College, be appointed a F.R.S., Prof. J. W. Judd, F.R.S., J. E. Marr, F.R.S., H. Syndicate to consider what provision should be made for the W. Monckton, Clement Reid, J. J. H. Teall, F.R.S., W. future superintendence and management of the Observatory, Topley, F.R.S., Prof. T. Wiltshire, Rev. H. H. Winwood, and to report to the Senate before the end of the present Lent | H. Woodward, F.R.S., H. B. Woodward. Term."
In the February number of the Kev Bulletin much useful inThe Queen has approved the appointment of Dr. Thomas formation on sisal hemp (Agave rigida, Mill.) is presented. The Clifford Allbutt, F.R.S., to be Regius Professor of Physic in cultivation of sisal hemp has lately been developed to so rethe University of Cambridge, in the room of the late Sir George markable an extent in the Bahamas that hemp-growing has Paget.
become, for the moment, one of the most prominent of the new MR. J. Scott Keltie has been appointed to succeed the localities where plants of sisal hemp are now found, and the
industries of the tropics. The Bulletin mentions most of the late Mr. H. W. Bates, F.R.S., as Assistant Secretary of the material it has collected will be of great service to all who may Royal Geographical Society.
think of embarking in a fibre industry at the present time. At the meeting of the Royal Geographical Society on Mon
AMONG the other contents of the Kew Bulletin is an interesting day, Mr. Theodore Bent read before a large audience a paper correspondence between Mr. Thiselton-Dyer and the Viceon his recent exploration among the Zimbabwe and other ruins.
Chairman of the Middlesex County Council on the question of The paper was one of great interest. Mr. Bent said that, with
instruction in horticulture. There is so much vague talk his wife and Mr. Robert Swan, he went to Mashonaland pri- nowadays about technical education that all who wish the words marily to examine the ruins of the Great Zimbabwe. These ruins, so named to distinguish them from the numerous minor Thiselton-Dyer's remarks on the proper way of learning the art
to be used in the right sense will read with pleasure Mr. Zimbabwes scattered over the country, were situated in south of cultivating plants. “The cultivation of plants,” he says, “is latitude 20° 16' 30", and east longitude 31° 10' 10", at an elevation
an art which can only be acquired by practice, and therefore, it of 3300 feet above the sea-level, and formed the capital of a long series of such ruins stretching up the whole length of the appears to me, cannot be taught in the lecture-room any more west side of the Sabæ River. They covered a vast area of ground,
than painting or shoe-making. I know of no royal or theoretical and consisted of the large circular building on a gentle rise with
road to the acquisition of a competent or even usesul knowledge
of the gardener's art except by beginning at the bottom and a network of inferior buildings extending into the valley below, and the labyrinthine fortress on the hill, about 400 feet above, going through every operation, from the most elementary to the naturally protected by huge granite boulders and a precipice that, and keeps his eyes open, he may become a successful
most difficult and refined. If an intelligent young man does running round a considerable portion of it. Mr. Bent gave a minute description of the ruins, drawing attention to evidence gardener. But the mere reading of books and attendance on that their ancient inhabitants must have been given to the
lectures will never, in my judgment, make anyone even a
moderately competent gardener.” grosser forms of native worship. Perhaps the most interesting of their finds in one portion were those in connection with the A REPORT on the botanical collections made by Dr. Brown manufacture of gold. Mr. Bent held that the ruins and the ! Lester, Medical Officer to the Gambia Delimitation Commission,
was published in the Kew Bulletin for October and November generally when snow is falling, sparks emanate from the fingers 1891. A translation of the botanical section of the reports of the outstretched hands; but the station was only once struck made by the French members of the Commission is given in the by lightning. The Lick Observatory is on Mount Hamilton, February number of the Bulletin for the purpose of supple-4300 feet above the Pacific Ocean, which is plainly visible from menting Dr. Brown Lester's notes.
the summit. Fragmentary observations have been made at APPENDIX II., 1892, of the Kew Bulletin contains a list of
various other stations, the most important which were those the new garden plants of the year 1891. The list includes,
by Prof. Langley, on Mount Whitney, California, in 1881, besides the plants brought into cultivation for the first time heat received from the sun, and to show that the sun is much
which have served to change the theory of the nature of the in 1891, the most noteworthy of those which have been reintroduced after being lost from cultivation. Other plants in
hotter than had been supposed. The article is accompanied by the list have been in gardens for several years, but either were
photographic illustrations of several of the stations. not described or their names had not been authenticated till
ELECTRICITY is being applied to a novel use in the U.S. recently.
Navy. Four electric fans have been placed by the Crocker IN their Irish Education Bill the Government propose that a Wheeler Company in the turrets of the powerful iron vessel large proportion of the funds at their disposal for the improve | Miantonomah, the intention being that they shall blow away ment of national education in Ireland shall be spent for the the smoke from the guns. benefit of the teachers, who as a class have hitherto been too much neglected. The rest of the amount will be devoted to a
An interesting compound of carbon with the metal barium, capitation grant, and to the freeing of all schools in which the possessing the composition C,Ba, is described by M. Maquenne fees do not exceed six shillings a year per child. Attendance
in the current number of the Comptes rendus. It may be conat elementary schools, if the Bill becomes law, will be com
sidered, perhaps, as an acetylide of barium-that is, a compound pulsory in Irish towns, but in rural disiricts it will be open to
formed by the replacement of the hydrogen of acetylene, C,H,, the people to accept or reject compulsion as they may think fit.
by metallic barium. For immediately it is brought in contact
with water pure acetylene gas is evolved with great rapidity. The National Association for the Promotion of Technical M. Maquenne bas obtained the new substance by the direct and Secondary Education has issued an appeal to the electors of action of metallic barium, employed in the form of an amalgam the London County Council on the subject of technical inconsisting of one part barium and four parts mercury, upon struction. As everyone interested in technical education knows, powdered retort-charcoal. Upon distilling such a mixture in a London has devoted to the relief of the rates the whole of its current of hydrogen, when the mercury had been expelled and share of the grant obtained from the proceeds of the beer and the temperature attained redness, an energetic reaction was spirits duties. This has been done in direct opposition to the found to occur between the barium and the carbon, with prowish of Parliament; and the Association has no difficulty in duction of the new carbide or acetylide. The hydrogen took no showing that the grant will be continued only if it is used for part in the reaction, and M. Maquenne has subsequently found the purposes to which the House of Commons intended it to be that it may be replaced by nitrogen ; the latter, however, being applied. It may be noped that the appeal will be widely read, less advantageous, inasmuch as the carbide produced is then and that voters will perceive that it deals with a matter by which admixed with more or less cyanide. The new substance, as their interests must sooner or later be vitally affected.
obtained when hydrogen is employed to furnish the atmosphere, The principal article of interest to meteorologists in the when heated to bright redness.
consists of a grey, friable mass, which remains quite unaitered
The moment, however, it is American Meteorological Journal for January is by A. L.
thrown into cold water it is decomposed, with a rapid efferRotch, on the mountain meteorological stations of the United States. At the present time the only stations in operation in the air with a luminous fame, precipitates a red substance
vescence of a gas which possesses the odour of acetylene, burns throughout the year are the Lick Observatory, in California, resembling acetylide of copper from an ammoniacal solution of and the Blue Hill Observatory, in Massachusetts.
cuprous chloride, and, in short, possesses all the properties of Mount Washington (6280 feet above the sea) was established in 1870, and partially closed in 1887 ; during the three following is remarkably pure.
acetylene. M. Maquenne adds that the acetylene thus obtained
The reaction with water may be expressed years it was opened during the summer months only. At no
by the equationother station in the world was such severe weather experienced, as the highest wind velocity often occurred with the lowest
C,Ba + 2H,0 = C,H, + Ba(OH),. temperature. During a storm in February 1876, when the Barium acetylide would appear to be analogous to the contemperature fell to 50°, a wind velocity of 184 miles an hour pounds obtained by M. Berthelot by heating the metals of the was recorded.
In foggy weather the frost formed upon the alkalies in a current of acetylene, and also to the acetylide of anemometer cups in such quantity as to break off the arms. calcium prepared by Wöhler. The direct formation of this The observations at this station have been much lessened in substance from barium and carbon, together with its reaction value, owing to their not being published in detail, and to the with water, afford another mode of synthesizing acetylene, which want of a low-level station for comparison. The Blue Hill M. Maquenne considers to be of interest from the point of view Observatory is only 640 feet above the sea, and was opened in of the formation of the natural hydrocarbons. He considers it 1885. The hourly values for five years have been printed in the probable that other metals possess this same property of forming Harvard College Observatory. For several years hourly ob-acetylides under the influence of high temperatures. If, thereservations of clouds have been made, with a view to benefit fore, as M. Berthelot has attempted to show, it is a fact that weather predictions. The Observatory on Pike's Peak, Colorado acetylene forms the primary material, or starting-point, for the (14,134 feet), was built in 1873, and for fifteen years was main- formation of other hydrocarbons, it is quite possible that such tained by the Signal Service. It was closed in 1888, and the compounds of metals with carbon, upon coming in contact with observations have been published in the Annals of the Harvard water under conditions of more or less pressure, may give rise College Observatory. The average annual temperature was to the production of the immense stores of natural hydrocarbons, 19°, and the extremes 64° and - 39° Pike's Peak is remark- such as those which exist in the petroleum wells of Russia and able for its electrical storms. When the air is moist, and the New World.