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A lecture, illustrated withlarge drawings, was delivered by Professor Buckland on the fossil remains of a gigantic monster (the megatherium), which have recently been for the first time imported to England from South America. Dr. B. pronounced a glowing eulogy upon Cuvier. Upon the animal itself, and its kindred monster the sloth, he observed, that it had been considered by all naturalists to afford the greatest deviations from the ordinary structure of quadrupeds — deviations which they have always viewed as indicating imperfection in their organisation, without any compensating advantage. The object of the professor's lecture was to show, that these anomalous conditions and deviations are so far from being attended with inconvenience to the class of animals in which they occur (an opinion that has been entertained even by BufFon and Cuvier himself), that they afford striking illustrations of those rich and inexhaustible contrivances of nature, by which the structure of every created being is precisely fitted to the state in which it was intended to live, and to the office which it was destined to perform. The peculiarities of the sloth, which render its movements so awkward and inconvenient upon the earth, are adapted with peculiar advantage to its destined office of living upon trees and feeding upon their leaves. The peculiarities of the megatherium are not less wisely framed to its office of feeding upon roots; its teeth (though ill adapted for the mastication of grass or flesh) are wonderfully contrived for the crushing of roots, with the further advantage of keeping themselves constantly sharp by the very act of performing their work. The fore-feet, exceeding a yard in length and a foot in breadth, were provided with three gigantic claws, each more than a foot long, rendering them a most powerful instrument for scraping roots out of the ground. The colossal proportions of the hinder parts of the animal are calculated to enable it to occupy one of
its fore-legs in digging, whilst the other three legs support tile weight of the body. A further peculiarity consists in the fact of its having been armed with a coat of mail, like the armadillo and several other animals, which obtain their food by the act of continual digging in the ground. This coat of mail exceeds an inch in thickness, and in shape resembles an enormous barrel. The professor suggested his opinion that the use of this bony armour is to prevent the annoyance which this class of animals would feel, without some such protection, from the constant presence of dust and dirt with which the act of digging and scratching for their daily food would otherwise fill their skins. The height of the megatherium was about eight feet, its length twelve, its anterior proportions comparatively light and small, its posterior proportions nearly double the size of those of the largest elephant. The object of this apparently incongruous admixture of proportions was to enable the creature to stand at ease on three legs, having the weight of its body chiefly supported by the hinder extremities, and one of its fore-paws at liberty to be exercised without fatigue in the constant operation of digging roots out of the ground. The professor concluded, by repeating that this was but one of the many examples afforded by comparative anatomy of the inexhaustible richness of contrivances whereby nature has adapted every animal to a comfortable and happy existence in that state wherein it was destined to move; and added, that the researches of geology tended not only to afford similar examples of contrivance, indicating the wisdom, and goodness, and care of the Creator over all his works, but afforded also to natural theology a powerful auxiliary ;— showing, from the unity of design and unity of structure, and from the symmetry and harmony that pervade all organic beings in the fossil world as well as in the present, that all have derived their existence from the same almighty and everlasting Creator.
Xae System of Clironolngy.— Mr. Clarkson has recently delivered lectures at Richmond, in which he has, for the first time, developed his views of early Egyptian and all social history; and a new chronology, which perfectly synchronises with all collateral events, from the time of the beneficent and scientific dynasty of Amenoph and Thothmosis, who founded society in Egypt, down to the Christian era. His synchronology, which is perfectly uncomplicated and test-worthy, possesses a grand simplicity, which harmonises throughout, and
leaves the epoch of no great event in the history of the social progress uncertain. He professes to found it chiefly on the new discoveries in Egypt,—the tablet of Abydos, the anaglyphs or picture writing, the planispheres and zodiacs, the astronomical cycles applicable to them; the oblique entrances of the pyramids, built by the Titans, or Shepherd Kings, expelled by the first Amenoph, imitating the ecliptic line; and the sacred periods of the Egyptians, recorded as having passed or yet to come. His chronology, thus verified begins with Thothmosk I., who founded society by superseding the pastoral state of the human community (it was, in fact, a co-operative community! by the division of land; proceeds to the third Thothmosis, who, by the advice of his viceroy, Joseph (Oraniph), first applied a tax on the land, thus divided, of twenty per cent, to carry on the purposes of government; from him to the fifth, who expelled another branch of the pastoral family, the Israelites, down to the time when the great llamosses terminated the 19th dynasty by the great epoch which led to the civilisation of Ureece, of Europe, and, subsequently, of this country, by the expulsion of the last of that line, the Danaides, to Argos. Mr. C. carries back his chronology from the period of the foundation of society to the period of man's location upon the earth, as affirmed by geology to be a comparatively recent event. He deems this second period more problematical, resting on fewer facts; but he asserls that it still synchronises throughout in the most extraordinary and satisfactory manner with Mosaic statement. His basis of argument here is the stone of Abydos, affirming that the first line of that monument is occupied by the Auritas and demigods of Egypt, and the founders of the pastoral communities throughout the world, whether called Titans, Giants, Cyclopians, or Shepherd Kings. The Auritre agree in number with the antediluvian and postdiluvian patriarchs to the time of Peleg, the period of colonisation, whose Pagan contemporaries were, doubtless, the greater and minor gods of the ancients; but, more extraordinary still, agrees in attribute, symbol, Phonetic name, succession, and location on the stone of Abydos, with the same patriarchs. Some of the epochs, and the facts connected with the early division of Mr. Clarkson's chronology, remain still in a shadow. When those doubts are dispersed by the torch of future research in Egypt, a clear and powerful flood of light, progress, and ultimate tendency of society, may be drawn from correct views of the past.
Cultivation of the United Kingdom.—The following statement will be found interesting, as exhibiting the number of acres in cultivation in the United Kingdom, and the different purposes specified, for which they are employed in England and Wales; as well as the number of farms, and the annual amount of property derived from agriculture : —
. v>,nm,ncm 5,}W.««i 3,&w,too 3M!S'40?
37,091,000 acres, total of England and Wale*.
The number of farms in the United Kingdom is estimated at 2,000,000; and the property annually derived from agriculture in Great Britain and Ireland, at 215,817,624/.
The gas which lights London is calculated to consume 38,000 chaldrons of coal per annum; lightin;; 62,000 lamps in shops, houses, 4c, and 7,500 street lamps. In 1830, the gas pipes in and round London were above 1000 miles in length. Gas lights of half an inch in diameter supply a light equal to 20 candles; of one inch in diameter, equal to 100; two inches, 420; three inches, to 1000.
Recruiting From a return just printed,
it appears that there are nine recruiting districts in Britain and Ireland; viz. rive in England, three in Ireland, and one in Scotland. These employ 36 staff-officers, 40 subalterns, and 143 privates. The total annual expense (exclusive of bounties) in 1830, was 35,950/.; the number of men raised, 2,015; and the expense of raising each recruit by this system was, consequently, about 18/., without reckoning the bounty. Only one of the nine recruiting stations is in Scotland; and of the men obtained, England furnished 1,305, Irelaud 354, and Scotland 356.
British Benevolence.— The income of the principal religious societies supported by voluntary contributions, for the year ending May, 1832, has been as follows : — British and Foreign Bible Society - - ^81,700 Wesloyan Methodist Missionary Society - 46^800 Church Missionary Society - - - 48,700
London Missionary Society - 34,500
London Hibernian Society - - 9,800
Soviet for Promoting Christianity among
the Jews - ... 11,000
British and Foreign Seamen and Soldiers'
Friend Society - - 5,000
Religious Tract Society - - - 3,300
Irish Evangelical Society - 3,000
Home Missionary Society - - - '4,000
Naval and Military Bible Society - - 2,700 Prayer Book and Homily Society - - 8,100 British and Foreign School Society - - 2J0O
Continental Society ... 1,900
Port of London Society - 700
Christian Instruction Society - - 6*>
Ecclesiastical Knowledge Society 440
Sunday School Society ... S40
London Itinerant Society - - - 3SO
Society for the Observance of the Lord's Day S*0
The Society for the Propagation of the Gospel in Foreign Parts, the Society for promoting Religious Knowledge among the Poor, the Baptist Missionary Society, and various other minor institutions, not making up their annual accounts in May, are not included in the above summary. If these were added, the gross amount contributed voluntarily in this country, tor the support of religious institutions for general purposes, would exceed 300,000/. annually.
The Game Laws.— By a return to the House of Commons, it appears that the number of commitments in England under the Game Law*, in November, December, and January last, was 1,29:3; being an increase, as compared with the corresponding months of 1829-30, of 177. But it is obvious that some other causes have been at work to affect the comparison besides the new Game Law; for whilst in SufTolk there has been an increase from 75 to 94 commitments, in Norfolk there has been a diminution from 61 to 40. Again, in Sussex, the increase has been from 40 to 85, in Hants from 54 to 109, in Somersetshire from 14 to 3G, in Oxfordshire from 49 to 82, in Northamptonshire from 26 to 51, and in Northumberland from G to 23; whilst in Bucks there has been a decrease from 57 to 31, in Nottinghamshire from 50 to 33, in Staffordshire from 40 to 28, in Derbyshire from 52 to 24, and in Yorkshire from 113 to 78. One great defect in the new law, it has been well observed, is its not conferring upon the tenant the right of killing the game upon his occupation, except where it has been expressly reserved by the landlord. This would make it the interest of tile farmer to prevent poaching in many cases where it now lies directly the other way; and it would also secure a more regular supply of the market. Neither do we think that it would be any hardship if the right of supplying the dealers were eonfined to the owners or occupiers of a certain quantity of land. But until education, employment, and reward of industry, can be afforded to the poor, it is probable that the only effectual check to the offence of poaching will be found in the abandonment of game-preserving.
Small Debit During the last year, the
Society for the Relief of Persons imprisoned for Small Debts released from prison 2,080 debtors, at the charge of 5,227/., being an average of less than 2/. 10s. each; and since the 2d of June, it has procured the discharge of 111 debtors, of whom 93 had wives and children to tiie number of 301, for 324/. It would give us much pleasure to obtain some more detailed report of the cases relieved by this most excellent Society,
August.—Vol. xzxvi. yo. CXL.
to which we would gladly render all the assistance in our power.
Barracks.— There are, by Parliamentary Paper, No. 277. of 1832, 182 separate barracks in Great Britain, and 119 in Ireland, being 301 barracks already existing in the United Kingdom. Any increase of the number of barracks should be made with caution; and the proposition to postpone the new barrack was not, perhaps, unreasonable. The sums voted for barracks amount to 352,621/. sterling, viz. — For Barrack-Masters and Barrack. Serjeant* in Great Britain - ;£16,901 Ditto ditto Ireland 10,013
Ditto ditto Colonies 10,821
Expense for repairs and building . Barracks in the Colonies - 95,476
Ditto ditto Great Britain - 149,130
Ditto ditto Ireland 70,880
Total of the Metropolis - -864,753 1,453,-662
New Variety in the Human Species.— Winkelman had perceived that the ear was invariably placed much higher in the Egyptian statues than in the Greek; but he attributed this singularity to a system in the Egyptian art, of elevating the cars of their kings, in the same way as the Grecian artists had exaggerated the perpendicularity of the facial angle in the heads of their gods. M. Durea de la Malic, on his visit, in May, 1831, to the Museum at Turin, so rich in. Egyptian monuments, was particularly struck with this peculiarity in all the statues of Pbia, Meris, Osymandyas, Rhamses, and Sesostris. Six mummies, recently arrived from Upper Egypt, were at that time under examination, and afforded him the
means of ascertaining whether this special character of the higher situation of the orifice of the ear really existed in the skulls of the natives of the country. He was much astonished to find in these, as well as in many other skulls from the same place, of which the facial angle did not differ from that of the European race, that the orifice of the ear, instead of being, as with us, on a line with the lower part of the nose, was placed on a line with the centre of the eye. The head, in the region of the temple, was also much depressed, and the top of the skull elevated, as compared with those of Europe, from one and a half to two inches. It is somewhat strange that this observation has hitherto escaped the notice of so many savans and travellers who have traversed Egypt. As a striking corroboration of so singular a conformation, which may not inaptly be considered the Egyptian type, and a new variety in the Caucasean race, M. Dureau cites as an example M. Elias Boctor, a Copt, native of Upper Egypt, who has been twenty years in Paris, and is a professor of Arabic. He was well known to M. Dureau, who had constantly remarked the great elevation of his ears, which, indeed, had the appearance of two little horns. The Hebrew race resemble the Egyptians in many respects. M. Dureau examined and found that the ears of M. Carmeli, a Jew, professor of Hebrew, although not placed so high as in the mummies or Copts of Upper Egypt, were still very remarkable as compared with those of the natives of Europe. — lidvue Encyclopfdique.
The expedition sent out by the American Government in 1820-21, to explore the Rocky Mountains, and north of the Numean Line, has at length been heard of, after an absence of eleven years. The company landed at Green Bay, and wintered; went by Prairie du Cbien to St. Anthony's Falls, Mississippi; went up St. Peter's 200 miles, in search of lead mines, where they discovered several very valuable ones; wintered there; went down the same river, and also the Mississippi to'the mouth of the Missouri; thence up the Missouri to the foot of the Rocky Mountains; wintered there, and continued to the middleof August; then crossed the mountains, and were west eight years. While travelling by the Frozen Ocean, and having been over into Asia South, towards the head of Colombia River they were overtaken by a storm, and compelled to build houses, and stay there nine months, six of which the sun never rose, and the darkness was as great as during our nights. The snow, part of the time, was fourteen feet deep, and the company were compelled to eat
forty-one of their pack horses to prevent starving, whilst the only food the horses had was birch bark, which the company cut and carried to them, by walking on the snow with snow-shoes. After passing the mountains, they passed 386 different Indian tribes, some perfectly white, some entirely covered with hair (denominated the Esau Indians), who were among the most singular, and so wild that the company were compelled to run them down with horses to take their dimensions, which was part of their duty, whilst others evinced the most friendly disposition. While west of the mountains, they fell in with a tribe called the Copper Indians, who receive their names from owning extensive copper mines; three hundred of ihem, armed with bows and copper darts, copper knives and axes, attacked the company in day-time: a severe action ensued, and only about thirty of the Indians escaped; the rest were killed or wounded, with a loss of two of the com pany, and seventeen wounded. Among the various discoveries made by the company, we have only room to mention those of extensive beds of pure salt, the largest of which was seventeen acres, several inches deep, on the borders, found to be pure and wholesome; also, innumerable beds of alum, iron, lead, copper, gold, and silver ore, the gold almost pure. Among the animals, the grisly bear is the most ferocious; the weight of several killed by the company varied from 60 His. to 125 lbs. ; of the company, five died by sickness, one by breaking a wild horse, one by the fall of a tree, and fifteen were killed by the Indians — total twenty-two. Ten of the nineteen survivors are lame, some by accident. Captain Lcavcnsworth is among the number. He was on horseback half a mile distant from the camp, when he was shot by an Indian, which broke his thigh, and dropped his horse: the horse fell upon the injured leg, and broke it again below the knee. The horse continued to hold him -thus, whilst the Indian ran up to scalp him, when Leavensworlh seized a pistol from his saddle and shot him dead, after which he was got safe to camp.
Serjients. — M. Duvernoy, who has devoted much time to the study of the organisation of venomous serpents,has ascertained that, besides the venomous teeth in front, the existence of which has long been known, they have in the hinder part of the jaw longer and stronger teeth, of as great malignity. He is also inclined to think that the secretions of the lachrymal glandsin some descriptions of venomous serpents do not go to moisten the eyeballs, but enter the mouth, and assist in communicating saliva to the food.
It appears from the Parliamentary Returns, that the number of lunatics confined on the authority of the Chancellor, whose property is under 200/. per annum is 109; and the total annual amount is 11,2102.
14s. 'id. The number of those who possess property of '2001. per annum and upwards, 234; total amount, 264,4G4f. 14j. Id.: and 43 lunatics whose property is not ascertained: malting a total of 386.
American Seamen. — The fourth Annual Keport of the Board of Directors of the Boston Seamen's Friend Society states, that the number of seamen belonging to the United States, estimated with as much accuracy as possible, is 92,090, of whom there are in the foreign trade 50,000; in the coasting trade, in vessels of nearly or over 100 tons burthen, 25,000 j in coasting vessels of less than 50 tons burthen, 5,000; in the cod fishery, 5,000; in the steam-vessels, 1,000; and in the United States' navy, G,000.
By the triennial census of the population of Prussia, made up to the close of 1831, it appears that since the year 1828, when the amount of the population was 12,726,110, there has been an increase, by excess of births (in 1829, 1830, and 1831) of 241,699, and by emigration of 71,151 ; making together, 312,850, and increasing the whole population to 13,038,960. There has been a considerable decrease in the number of births, but an increase with regard to emigration.
The FraxineUa.—It is well known that
when the fraxinelln is approached at night with a candle, it darts forth little flashes of light. This has been usually attributed to the existence of an ethereal vapour, which surrounds this plant at the time of its flowering. M. Biot has shown the fallacy of such an opinion, and has proved that the phenomenon is the result of essential and inflammable oil, contained in small vessels at the extremities of the branches, which vessels burst on the approach of any inflamed body, setting at liberty the essential oil, as that contained in orange-peel is set at liberty by pressure.
OuvaravUc.—Such is the name given to a new kind of precious stone, said to have been found in Russia, in its texture resembling granite, but of au emerald green in colour.
Giallo Antico. — Anothermincral treasure has, it is stated, been discovered in the Russian empire. It consists of rich quarries of reddish yellow marble, veined with white, equal to the giallo antico of Lacedrcmonia. The site is about twenty wersts from Simpheropol, in Tauris.
Sheeji - tlicaring. — Dr. Parry recommends the shearing of fine-woolled lambs about the beginning of August, having found that the hog-fleeces grow finer, when the lamb fleeces have been removed. This practice promises considerable profit; an argument in favour of its adoption of a very powerful kind. There does not appear to be any danger to be apprehended from the operation at that season of the year; and the wool will have time to grow to a sufficient length, for defending the animal from cold, rain, and snow, before winter sets in. The Doctor attended more than any person in Britain to the subject of wool-growing, and has shown very superior judgment in conducting his experiments. His recommendation goes no farther than to finewoolled lambs; but those of other breeds may not probably be hurt, if these do not
suffer any injury from the operation. At the time of clipping, and indeed at all other times, when the flock is collected, every individual should be carefully examined; and any wounds or sores should be cleaned and dressed. The feet should be looked at, and every animal which has swelled, or ulcerated limbs, should be separated from the flock. These, and all others which seem to be sickly, should be kept at home until cured. Sheep ought to be collected and examined more frequently than at the usual stated times.
Chimney Soot is said to be an excellent manure, if properly applied. It is generally mixed up with earth and dung as a compost; in this state it is worth little or nothing; but when properly applied, by being kept dry, and sown on young wheat, clover,