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sbould share with the members of the society in the present advantages of the establishment, as that those advantages should be augmented by the assistance and co-operation of increased numbers.
On the merits of such societies generally the committee feel it unnecessary to dilate. The conveniences of select and well provided news-rooms--the pleasure of friendly intercourse and intellectual association--the amusement and instruction afforded by libraries of circulation and reference, museums of natural productions, and philosophical apparatus, readings and discussions, classes of experimental illustration, and public lectures ; all these appeal forcibly to the feelings and judg. ment of every one who enjoys any time unclaimed by the paramount duties of life, and has a taste for the pursuits of literature and science, or who may have an interest in properly directing the energies of the youthful mind. The committee have an agreeable duty to perform in showing that this society, recent as is its foundation, holds already an honourable rank mong institutions of a similar kind.
A large number of the most respectable inbabitants of Islington are on the list of members.
The reading rooms are commodious, and supplied with the leading daily, monthly, and quarterly publications.
The library consists of upwards of 1,800 volumes of carefully selected and valuable works.
The museum is enriched with collections in various departments of natural history and science, and with philosophical apparatus, some portion of which is of very superior construction.
The monthly meetings are rendered interesting by the reading of original essays, (previously approved by the Committee,) which are afterwards preserved on the records, and by discussions on subjects arising from such papers, or otherwise pointed out by the rules of the society.
Classes have been formed for the study and experimental illustration of different branches of natural philosophy, and for the acquisition of the French language, and proper lectures will be periodically given.
LINNÆAN SOCIETY.–Mr. Lambert in the chair. There was a very full attendance of members, this being the first meeting after the recess. A great number of books were presented; among which were the “ Transactions” of several scientific societies, and the fifth volume of Professor Ledeborr's splendid work on the plants of the Altai mountains. The chairman exhibited a branch and leaves of an arborescent species of dahlia, from Oaxaca, Mexico, said to grow to the height of fifty feet. There are living plants of it in the Liverpool Botanic Garden. Mr. Lambert also exhibited the root of a remarkable fern, (Angiopteris erecta,) from the Society Islands, and used by the natives for food. The root weighed 14lbs. Read, a description of some new species of Diopsis, a dipterous genus of insects, by Mr. Westwood ; also the commencement of a paper by Mr. Don, entitled, “ Descriptions of Indian Gentianeæ.” Mr. Lambert exhibited a coloured drawing of a new species of plantain, (Musa,) lately introduced from China by the Duke of Devonshire. Read, “A notice, by Mr. Wbite, of an individual of the great black Woodpecker," (Picus Martius, Linn.,) having been shot in 1834, at Billingford, near Scole Inn, Norfolk. The stuffed specimen is in the possession of Mr. Drake, a farmer of that place. The bird was shot in a moist natural wood, where the Rhamnus frangula and Vi. burnum opulus abound. Another of the same species was seen at the same time. These are the first that bave been observed in England. The conclusion of Mr. Don's account of Indian Gentianeæ was likewise read.
ZoologicAL SOCIETY.-At the usual monthly meeting, the balance in favour of the society on the 1st of November was declared to be 7621. 4s. 1d. Upwards of 8,000 persons visited the gardens in October. Among the accessions to the collection there during the last month, is a male specimen of that rare and interesting creature, the chimpanzee (Simia troglodytes.) Having received intelligence of its arrival at Bristol, the council despatched one of its chief keepers to Bristol to purchase it, in wbich he succeeded. The keeper then made arrangements for the conveyance of his charge to London : and after some difficulty (owing to objections on the part of the coach proprietors to receive them), he succeeded in obtaining two inside places in one of the night coaches. The little fellow, the monkey, proved a good traveller, and reached the gardens in excellent health and spirits. He appears at present to be remarkably gentle and docile, very sensible of kindnesses shown to him, and has become much attached to the old woman who acts as bis nurse, and who assists the keeper in taking care of him. Capt. Wood, who brought bim to this country, states that he is a native of Western Africa, was obtained on the coast south of Sierra Leone, and was captured up the interior of the country about the distance of one hundred miles. When first seen he was in the arms of his mother, who, unfortunately, was sacrificed in order to secure the young one. There was lately presented to the society, by H. B. Campbell, Esq., a white variety of the blackbird (Turdus merula.). It is now living at the gardens; and we present the following notes respecting it. This curious specimen is of the common blackbird kind—the merle noir of Temminck. It is entirely white, including the plumage, beak, legs, and feet; and was discovered near a fárm-house, in the occupation of Mr. Owkam, at Bilsthorpe, Notts. There were two other young ones in the nest, the plumage of which, as well as that of the parent birds, was of the ordinary caste. The present specimen is a male bird : but though he has the quickly-repeated chirp, and all the habits of his kind, Nature, when she altered her regular course, and presented him with his snowy costume, seems therefore to have denied to him the usual vocal powers of his tribe. He is no warbler; but, from his frequent fruitless attempts, it may be inferred, that he feels the dear price at which he has been permitted to wear his novel and attractive plumage.
ASTRONOMICAL SOCIETY.—Professor Airy, astronomer royal, in the chair. This was the first meeting of the season. The minutes of the last meeting of the past session were read by Mr. Epps. Among the papers included in these, was the communication made by the Philosophical Society at the Cape, through Sir John Herschel, for establishing synchronous meteorological observations throughout the world. The days recommended are, the 21st of March, June, September, and October, as being nearest the equinoxes and solstices : the observations to be made hourly. A variety of papers were then read by Mr. De Morgan, viz. “ Observations on the right ascension and declination of Halley's comet, made by Dr. Pearson on the 29th of October.” These observations only exceed the maximum in the ephemeris 30 min. A solution of one of Kepler's problems by the angular calculus, by Professor Wallace, Observations on the occultations and eclipses of the stars; made at Edinburgh in 1834-5, by Professor Henderson. Observations on the occultations of the fixed stars by the moon, seen at the Observatory of General Gordon, at Ardross. To several of these papers we may revert, as occasion serves.
The Rev. Joseph Hunter was elected å fellow, and Captain Russell Manners was proposed
SOCIETY OF ANTIQUARIES.—This society held their first meeting for the season, Mr. Amyot in the chair. A long list of presents in books, engravings, &c. was announced. Mr. Kempe exbibited a “ chart” of the lottery of 1561; considered to be an unique specimen ; the bill is five feet in length by nineteen incbes in breadth : it has at the top an impression of a boldly cut wood-block, twenty inches deep, representing the royal arms, the city of London, St. Paul's Cathedral, with its lofty spire, the river, and the sun effulgent, and underneath the articles of plate, money, and tapestry constituting the prizes, are curiously displayed in several compartments. This document is in the possession of James More Molineux, Esq., of Loseley, and a reduced copy of the wood-block forms the frontispiece to Mr. Kempe's very interesting work on the Loseley manuscripts. Sir F. Madden communicated a copy of the royal warrant, containing the particulars of the costly apparel and appointments of the Princess Elizabeth, daughter of James I., on her marriage with Frederic V. Elector Palatine, in 1613. He also noticed a grand masque performed on the occasion under the direction of Inigo Jones.
GEOLOGICAL Society.-Wednesday, the 4th of November, being the first even. ing of meeting for the session, the society assembled at its apartments in Somerset House, Mr. Murchison in the chair. A paper, by Dr. Buckland, was first read, on the discovery of the beaks of four extinct species of fishes, referable to the genus Chimæra ; and found in the oolitic and cretaceous series of England. Some of these curious remains were presented to Dr. Buckland, about six years since, by Sir Philip Egerton, who had discovered them in the Kimmeridge clay, near Oxford ; but it was not until a recent visit to the museum at Leyden that the author ascertained their relation to the singular genus of fishes in which he has placed them. The paper was accompanied by an appendix, by Dr. Agassiz, describing the distinctive characters of each species. A communication, by Mr. Murchison, was next read, containing an account of the quarry in the new red sandstone at Rhone Hill, near Dungannon, in which numerous ichthyolites (Palæoniscus catopterus, Agassiz) had been found, and of the geological structure of the adjacent district. A slab of the sandstone presented to the society by Mr. Greer, the proprietor of the quarry, was laid upon the table, and exhibited on a surface not exceeding two feet square, impressions of above two hundred and fifty fishes. Mr. Agassiz afterwards gave a succinct account of his researches in English fossil fishes. The number of species which he has noticed amounts to about four hundred, of which three hundred are new; and he stated that the specimens, too imperfect to be described at present, announce the existence of a still greater number of species. A large collection of beautifully-executed drawings, illustrative of Mr. Agassiz's labours, was exhibited.
Wednesday, the 11th, Mr. Lyell, president, in the chair. The first communication read contained an account, by Dr. Pingel, of Copenhagen, of the changes which have been noticed in the relative level of land and sea on the west coast of Greenland, between 60° and 65° N. lat. By these observations it appears, that there are at several points along this extensive range of coast, the remains of ancient buildings, which are now more or less covered by the tide. The earliest recorded observation was made by Arctander, between 1777 and 1779, on a small island in the Firth called Igalliko. On this island, then almost entirely submerged at spring tides, were the walls of a house ; and when Dr. Pingel visited the place, half a century after, only the ruins rose above the water. Some notes by Captain Fitzroy, and communicated by Captain Beaufort, were then read, on the effects produced by the earthquake, in February last, on the currents of the coasts of Chili
. A letter from Mr. Alison, of Valparaiso, to the president, gave an account of the destruction at that period of Conception, with the ports of Talcahuano and Maule; and stated that the earthquake was felt to the southward in the Indian territory, opposite the island of Chiloe, lat. 43° 8'; and to the northward beyond Copiapo, lat. 27° 8'; at Mendoza, on the east side of the Andes ; and by a ship, one hundred miles to the westward of Conception. It gave an account, also, of the effects of the earthquake at the island of Juan Fernandez, (three hundred miles from the coast,) where the sea, agitated in the same manner as at Talcahuano, first retired, then rushed over the land, and destroyed the houses belonging to the convicts. Professor Sedgwick read extracts of letters addressed, by Mr. Darwin, to Professor Henslow. They referred principally to the writer's observations on the tertiary formations of Patagonia and Chili, and on the changes of level between land and sea, which he noticed in those countries. The letters contained, also, an account of his discovery of the remains of the Megatherium over a district of six hundred miles in extent to the southward of Bueynos Ayres; and a highly-important description of the geological structure of the pass of Uspallata, in the Andes, where he discovered alternations of vast tertiary and igneous formations, and the existence, in the former, of veins of true granite, and of gold, and other metals.
Society of Arts. The first meeting of the session 1835-6 was held on the 4th instant in the evening. Among the numerous communications which were reported and referred to the consideration of committees, were the following, from the Hon. the Directors of the East India Company :-a sample of cloth from Assam, made from the down of the silk-cotton (Bombar heptaphyllum ;) a fine sample of safflower from the same country; and samples of fibre prepared from the leaf of the pine-apple, with netting made of the same ; also, from Assam, some extraordinarily beautiful specimens of the natural lace from the inner bark of the lace-bark tree (Daphne Lagetto) of Jamaica, were sent by Mrs. Landelt. An elaborate set of models, representing the new series of weights and measures of Belgium, was sent by M. H. Van Toorn. Several new members were announced. The illustrations are restricted to eight this season, but they promise to be exceedingly interesting. The first is, «« On the use of Science in cases of extreme necessity," by Dr. Ritchie ; there are two, we perceive, by Mr. Aiken, “ On the Antiquarian History of Iron, and the Metallurgical History of the same Metal :" one by Brockedon, “ On the uses of Caoutchouc;" and the others are almost of equal interest.
MISCELLANEOUS, PHILOSOPHICAL, &c.
TIN MINES IN FRANCE.- T'in was not known to exist in any part of France till the year 1809, when it was discovered not far from Limoges, in the department of Haute Vienne; and in the year 1817, it was accidentally found in the south of Brittany, not far from the mouth of the river Loire. A marine officer, who had long been detained as a prisoner of war in England, and had been quartered in Cornwall, in the neighbourhood of the tin-mines, returned to his native town of Piriac, a small sea port of the departmeut of the Lower Loire. Going out sea-fishing one day, and wanting some weights for his lines, he picked up a pebble on the shore, which appearing to him unusually heavy, he took it bome to compare with a piece of Cornish stream tin which he had brought from the place of his captivity, and found it to be the same substance. He gave notice of his discovery in the proper quarter, and M. Dufrenoy, now a distinguished French geologist, then a young aspirant of the School of Mines, was seut with another to investigate the matter, and the report they made shows a remarkable uniformity of structure between that part of Brittany and the tin district of Cornwall on the opposite side of the channel.
New HYDROSTATIC ENGINE.- The Rev. J. Porter, of the Close, Salisbury, has, it is stated, discovered a hydrostatic engine, which, if it succeed, will vie with the astonisbing power of steam. The principle upon which it acts is the pressure of fluids. The construction of the apparatus is simple, consisting of four cylinders, two of which act as pumps, the other two as working cylinders, each of them have ing proper pistons. The double-acting power (of the model) is put in motion by only twenty-five ounces of water, assisted by the lever. Some idea may be formed of the force of the pressure, when we say that, with the stroke of one of the cylinders of the piston, an ash bough, an inch and a half in diameter, was broken with the greatest ease. The reverend gentleman is very sanguine as to the ultimate success of his discovery, and affirms that a ship, laden with the usual freight, may take a trip to the East Indies and back, the engine requiring for its total supply not more than a balf hogshead of spring water.
Fossil Tree.-In the quarry from which stones are at present being taken for the new church erecting at the Miltoun of Balgonie, the quarryman lately discovered, what he at first sight supposed to be a great stone imbedded in the rock. As his operations proceeded, it shortly became apparent that this was a large fossil tree. It is lying nearly horizontal, and is as yet attached by about two-thirds of its circumference to the sandstone. It is about fifteen inches in diameter, and about seven feet of it are at present visible. As it tapers slowly to the outer end, the portion still undiscovered is probably considerable. It is wholly composed of white sandstone, similar to that in which it is imbedded. This quarry is remarkably rich in vegetable impressions. Casts or marks of palm trees are to be found in great beauty and abundance.
Married.- At St. George's, Hanover Square, Captain John Sidney Doyle, second son of Major-General Sir Charles Doyle, to Lady Susan North, daughter of the Dowager Countess, and of the late George Augustus, Earl of Guilford.
At Marylebone Church, the Hon. Charles Lennox Butler, youngest son of the Right Hon. Lord Danboyne, to Eliza, only cbild and sole heiress of T. Lindsey Holland, Esq.
At the Parish Church of Ham, Surrey, Rt. Moorson, Esq., of the Scots fosileer Guards, to Henrietta Frances, daughter of Lient.-Gen. Sir Henry Cambell, K.C.B., and G.C.H., of Richinond Park.
Died. -- In Hanover Street, St. George's, Lieutenant the Hon. John Porbes, of the 19th regiment, son of General Lord Forbes.
At Hayle Cottage, near Maidstone, Theophilus Jones, Esq., Admiral of the White.
At Holmwood, the Countess of Antrim, last surviving daughter of the late Marqness of Antrim.
At Dunham Massey, in Cheshire, the Lord Grey of Groby.
Aí Park Place, Paddington, Henry Hoghton, Commander, R.N.
Wadbam Locke, Esq., M.P. for Devizes, after a few days' illness.
INDEX TO VOL. XIV.