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per mensem, with Us. 10 per mensem additional, should his work give satisfaction, with a view to send him to Darjeeling to be under the orders of Dr. Campbell and others; it was resolved to engage Mr. Hoi.grEtt, on the terms specified for six months, subject to special report at the end of that period.
The Honourable the President having audited the accounts for the past year (1841), laid before the Meeting of January, ordered that they be printed.
To H. Torbbns, Esq.
Secretary, Asiatic Society.
In the latter part of the month of September 1840, you did me the kindness to confer upon me tbe appointment of Accountant to the Asiatic Society of Bengal, and the year 184' having just expired, I do myself the honor to submit my Account Current, closed to the 31st Dec. 1841, exhibiting in favor of the Society, Co's. Rs. 19,516: 1: 9;
In cash 1,849 7 1
In custody of the Govern-
cent. Loans, .. 17,666 10 8 Co's. Rs. 19,516 I 9
I am not aware that it is necessary for me to enter into any detailed explanation at regards the accounts, but I may be permitted to draw attention to the following circumstances :—
1st That the Society have become enriched during the last 15 months in its
•Library. "V Library and Museum to the exPurchase and binding of Books and Table, 1,10.1 8 6 I
•Muieutn. [ tent of Rs. * 1,521 8 6
Purchase of Cabinets and Subjects, 418 0 0 r"
1,521 8 6 J
2d. That the debt of the Society to the Baptist Mission Press for printing has been paid off, Rs. 1,912: 3: 9.
3d. That the Secretary has been paid for supplying his Journals to Members and learned Societies in Europe, Rs 3.8(8. 4th. That for paper, and drawing and lithographing the specimens of Natural His •1st 1.521 8 6\ tory by the late Sir A. Burnes, under preparation for publics3,8i& 0 it \Uim m the Transactions, have been disbursed, .. 1,176 0 0
Co's Rs 8 497 12 3 / making in the 4 items a total expenditure of Rs. *8497 12 3
I have the honor to be,
Your most obedient humble Servant,
W. H. BOLST
Calcutta, 20<A Jan. 1842.
The following contribution was presented by Mr. W. Masters, of the La Martiniere, for the Museum of the Society :—
A bottle containing a double child joined breast to breast, with four legs, four hands, one face, four ears, one on each side of the face, and two in close juxtaposition at the back of an apparently double head: the sex is male in each, and perfect: the limbs and features are natural, and without distortion. "This monster," writes Mr. Masters, "was the offspring of a Malabar woman, and born about five years ago in the vicinity of Madras; it died a few hours after its birth. After its birth people flocked from all quarters, under superstitious impressions, (o present gifts to the mother.''
The Curator read his Report for the past mouth, as follows:—
Sib,—During the short time that has intervened since our last meeting, specimens of the followise Mammalia and Birds have been added to the Society's Museum.
Khrerra Basse, Horsfield, or V. Indica of M. Is. Geoffrey St. Hilaire, but not V. Indica of British authors; Fiverricula Reuse, Hodgson. This, with its near ally, the V. Indica of British naturalists, are both common in this neighbourhood, and unquestionably distinct. I also know a third ipeciea, which I believe is from Northern India, and hitherto undescribed. For this and the next, the Society is indebted to the kindness of Dr. Wallich.
Paradaxnrus typus, a remarkably fine old male, of a much deepet ground-colour than that noticed in my last report.
Meminna Indica : the female which was presented to the Society last month having died, it has been added to our collection of stuffed specimens.
Ons Sahoor, Hodgson. I have procured a handsome skin of this species, more deeply coloured than usual, and having the generic markings on the limbs, &c. very black and well defined.
Athene lugubris; Strit Ivgubris, Tickell, J. A. S. I. 571. A common species in this neighbourhood.
Timalia Honfieldi, J. and S,, III. Orn., pi. cxix: male and female. The habitat of this ipecies is accordingly now ascertained, it being not a rare bird in the vicinity of Calcutta. The figure alluded to is defective, in so far as that the orbits are conspicuous bright orange, and theirides pale brownish-yellow; bill black, having the conch-like membrane of the nostrils wax-yellow, aad the legs axe of a tolerably bright orpiment-yellow. I possessed these birds alive for some days, and noticed that they frequently placed one foot upon their food, while they picked it with the bill. In several respects, they much reminded me of Calamophilus; but, on dissection, I found neither the powerfully muscular gizzard, nor the large crate, or dilatation of the oesophagus, characteristic of that very distinct genus; which latter Mr. Swuinson still strangely confounds with the Tits—Paris (Class. Birds, L 43), whereto I cannot perceive that it is at all allied, either internally or externally, in habits, nidification, eggs, voice, or indeed aught else.1
Alamdida;. The species of Indian Larks are extremely difficult to identify from the descriptions of them which have been hitherto published ; these being, for the most part, much too concise and deficient in the needful details to be satisfactory. I have obtained four species in this neighbourhood, which are as follow :—
1. Uirafra Assamica, M'Clelland and Horsfield, P. Z, S., 1839, 10*; being probably also the ipecies doubtfully assigned to Af. Javanica by Mr. Jerdon, Madr. Jour. xi. S3, in which case, the
'Since writing the above, I have obtained other live specimens of Timalia Hortfieldi, which I have kept some weeks ; and continued observation of them has satisfied me, notwithstanding the anatomical differences above noted, that Calamnphiiu* approaches much nearer to this group than to any other with which I am acquainted.—E. B.
impropriety of its topical name becomes obvious, as the species would extend over the greater part
of India. Length 5J to 6 inches: extent 9j to 10$ inches: wing from bend 34 to 'i\ inches : tail \\ 9 11 5
inch: bill to forehead above *- inch, to gape — inch and upwards, and vertical depth at base » 16 ltf 16
inch: the penultimate fourth of the edges of both mandibles strongly inflected : tarse nearly 1 inch:
the hind toe % inch; and its claw from | to J inch. The form of the wing (as characteristic of this generic group) differs much from that common to the three others, the 1st quill, which in the restricted Larks is excessively diminutive, measuring fully 1 inch: the 2nd is shorter than the 6th, and the 3rd, 4th, and 5th, equal and longest. Irides hazel; bill dusky above, the sides of the base of the upper mandible, and all the lower one except its extreme tip, whitish; legs and feet light brown with a tinge of carneous, the joints and claws rather darker. General colour ashy-brown above, the coronal feathers, interscapularies and scapularies, having broad dusky-brown centre*, or the? may be described as of the latter hue, slightly tipped and broadly margined laterally with cinereous, which last prevails on the nape and rump: wings and tail dusky, margined with rufeaeent pale fulvous, a little deeper at the base of the caudal plumes: the 3rd, 4th, 5th, and 6th primaries successively more cmarginated outwards on their exterior webs, and the unemarginated portion, with nearly the whole outer webs of the other primaries excepting the two first, deep infoferruginous: underneath, the wings are almost wholly of a fainter ferruginous, and the rest of tho under-parts are fulvous white, somewhat deeper and marked with dusky spots on the breast, and paler on the throat: a fulvous-white streak passes over the eye; and the ear-coverts are confusedly speckled with dusky. A common species in the neighbourhood of Calcutta. It has none of the sprightliness of the true Larks, but (as observed in captivity) is a thick-built, heavy and inactive bird, prone to hide itself from observation by creeping under other birds, or availing itself of whatever sort of cover there happens to oiler. The sexes are undistinguishable.
The next may, I think, be referred to the genus Corypha, G. Gray, or Brachonyx, Swainsoo. It U the Ortolan of Europeans in India, or Baghairee of the natives, though other species are often sold with it under the former name, especially a large Pipit which appears to be the Anthu* Riduirdiy and which is brought in great numbers to supply the tables of the luxurious towards the clone of the cool season, when the present species gradually replaces it.
S. C. baghaira : Emberiza baghaira, Franklin; Alauda DukhunentU, Sykes. Length 6 to 6J inches.
extent 13j to 13$ inches; wing from bend 8j inches; and tail 2£ inches: bill to forehead — inch
and g inch to gape ; its vertical depth at base less than % inch ; tarse ~ inch, or nearly so: the hind
toe and claw averaging fj inch, representative of the usual 1st quill wholly obsolete, and what therefore become the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd, are subequal, and jj inch longer than the 4th. In the typical Alauda- which follow, the first quill exists in extreme minuteness, and the four next are longest and subequal. Irides dark hazel. Bill whitish-horny, blackish along ridge of upper mandible, and slightly on that of lower; legs brownish, and darker at the joints. This bird changes its plumage in February, and the prevalent hue of the upper parts, in newly moulted specimens, is slightly rufescent pale sand-colour, each feather having a moderately broad streak of dusky ; stripe over the eye, and the whole undcr-parts, fulvous-white, deepening on tho breast, and wholly spotless in some, in the generality a little spotted, more or less obscurely: ear-coverts tinged posteriorly with dusky: wings dusky-brown, with fulvous edgings, broader and deeper coloured on the tertiaries and tips of the coverts, and a whitish edge to the first primary only: tstil also dusky, its penultimate feather having the exterior web white-edged, and the outermost feather luring its exterior web wholly white to near the base, and also a considerable portion of its inner web. In the old or worn plumage, the dusky much prevails upon the back, from the fulvous edgings to the feathers having disappeared, and, in general, there is a strong rufous cast upou the crown, which is seldom very distinctly apparent in the new feathers; the breast has commonly a few small and narrow dusky streaks, and a patch of the same appears on each side of the lower part of the fore-neck, composed of the outer webs of the uppermost exterior pectoral feathers; this is more or less developed in different specimens, and less observably in the newly moulted plumage. This species, like the hut, progresses on the ground as much by hopping as by mining, but has a true Lark's chirrup. It is caught in immense numbers for the table.
The next is a typical Atauda, allied to the European Wood Lark (A. arborea), and more from 1 combination of collateral evidence than from the sufficiency of any description to which I have iceess, I conclude it to be the No. 186 of Mr. Jerdon's list, referred by that naturalist to A. Ciadeoia^ Franklin, bat which appears to me to be rather
1 A gvtyttia. Franklin, P. Z. S, 1631, 119. Length 6 inches to 6| inches, by 10} to 11| inches h extent; wing from bend 2\ to 3$ inches, and tail 2 to 2£ inches; bill to forehead £ inch, and to rape - inch; tarae barely 1 inch, and hind-toe and claw averaging the same. Irides dark haxcl. Bill dusky above, the rest whitish; and legs pale brown. Colour of the upper parts blackish daky-brown, relieved with contrasting pale fulvous lateral margins to the feathers; beneath fj^escent-white, deeper and spotted or streaked with dusky-black on the breast and car-coverts partly, the remainder of the latter being suffused posteriorly with dusky: a pale streak over the fTt; and the erectile coronal feathers moderately elongated: some have a rufous tinge on the null upper tail-coverts, and also margining the large quills, more especially the secondaries; »Liie the coverts are edged with grey: the tail has its outermost feather almost wholly, and tho ftaahhnate on its exterior web only, fulvescent-white. As compared with the British Wood Lark (ladwrinng from memory of the latter), the general cast of colour inclines less to rufous, cspe-a-ij about the rump, the coronal feathers are less lengthened, and the eye-streak is not carried reasd the occiput. This species is common, and during February more especially, Is brought to the bsxaar more numerously than the Mirafra, or than any of the other species sold as Ortolan*, ftspting the large Pipit and the Corypha.*
i. A. gracilis, Nobis. The dimensions of this nearly accord with those of the preceding species, bat the shape of the living bird is considerably more slender, and the merest glance suffices to discriminate them apart; yet on endeavouring to describe them separately, I find the greatest difficulty in kitting upon any one satisfactory distinction. The hind-claw is certainly longer and straighter "'iii, measuring ^ inch; and the aspect of the plumage is different, though not adequately so dseribable: the colours of the feathers are much more cleanly defined apart, and the light hue all but qtnte obsolete on the outer side of each scapulary and interscapular}-, while in the preceding species both sides are distinctly so marked (the outer, however, being darker and browner than the ffiaertiaej, and the mottling is a more confused character. On examining many specimens of tpresomedj A. gulgula, I cannot find one in which the penultimate tail-feather is tipped on its inMt web with white; but in this species it is distinctly so tipped for nearly \ inch, and all its whittfc or albescent is much more deeply suffused with ferruginous. 1 have seen but two examples ff this bird, the first alive in the shop of a dealer who had sold it, and the second was shot by Mr. Frith, and presented in a fresh state to the Society, as noticed in my Report for January. VHten I come to know more of its notes and habits, I shall doubtless be able to describe it more satisfactorily than at present; but in the mean while lam quite satisfied of its distinctness, and tlnald never hesitate in recognising it the moment 1 beheld a specimen.
Besides the above, the little Pyrrhulauda crucigera is common here, as in other parts of India, f A specimen of the Mirafra alone existed in the Society's Museum at the period of my taking charge of it
* 1 have since obtained the young in full-grown nestling plumage, which closely resembles the »rre»ponding garb of the British Sky Lark: the crown is very dark, with whitish edgings to the feathers; eye-streak; strongly marked, and carried round the occiput as in a Wood Lark; a rufous tuige to the edgings of the great wing and tail feathers : length 5i by lt>i inches in extent, wing 3|, «d tail 1J inches.
tTrus also breeds in the vicinity of Calcutta, and the nestling plumage of the young definitively J^fers the genus to the Alamdidee, or Lark family: it essentially resembles that of the true Larks, «rog of a dull greyish-brown, darker and but slightly whitish-edged on the crown, scarcely at all w «lged on the inter-scapularies, and most broadly on the wing-coverts; under parts dull fulvouswith a few narrow and minute dark pectoral streaks, suffusing part of the feathers. Length
the wings, with full grown feathers, 2j inches, and of the tail inch. The nest and eggs have "*« described by Mr. Jerdon.
Tragopan tatyrus: male and female, and a skeleton also of the latter.
Ciconia alba; the European White Stork: male, female, and a skeleton of a third. ('. leucocephala, or uoihdlata of Wagler. (Double-tailed Stork.) This species, which it nearly allied to the smaller Adjutants, is remarkable for the singular form of its tail, which, strictly speaking, is merely rounded, and consists of twelve white feathers; but its upper coverts are unusually broad and firm, and present the appearance of a second tail overlying the first, and which is of a black colour, and deeply forked, the outermost of these coverts being longer than the exterior true rectrieet. I have not observed a similar structure in any of the allied birds. Ardea Caboga, vel russata: second plumage.
Machete* pugnax. I have procured a few of these birds alive, with the intention of having them set up when they have put forth their extraordinary vernal livery, in which it is rare to find even two that much resemble each other. In the dress adverted to, I cannot learn that this species has been observed in this part of the world.
Scolopax heterura and Se, gallinula, male and female of each.
Porzana maruetta, v. Crex porzana, Auct: both sexes.
Fuligula rufina, male-
Ictkyiietui nanus, Nobis. Allied to /. Horsfieldi, v. Falco icthyaetus, Horafield; but considerably smaller, being under 2 feet in length, the wing 14 inches, and tail, which is a little wedged, 8J inches; bill over curve, including cere, Ig inch, and 1| inch from tip of upper mandible to gape ; tarse l\ inches; the talons large, and all (as in I. Hortfieldi) completely rounded with the exception of that on the middle toe ; 4th and 5th primaries equal and longest, a little exceeding the 3rd and 6th; colour of the upper parts somewhat light purplish-brown, darker on the quills, and the nuchal feathers having each a mesial whitish streak; forehead, streak over the eye, throat, fore-neck, and the ear-coverts except posteriorly, white; the whole under-parts appear to have been formerly of this colour, which in the specimen before me is nearly altogether replaced by new feathers which are wholly pale brown upon the breast, and more or less so elsewhere, the white being chiefly retained upon the medial part of the feathers, and being laterally more or less freckled with the pale brown of the rest; some of the lengthened tibial plumes have a few nearly obsolete pale fulvous bars, the rest being white, as are likewise the vent and under tail-coverts: tail pure white at base, where impended by deep brown upper-coverts, then suffused with brown on the outer webs, and freckled with deeper brown on the inner webs, forming two or three dark spots on each, or rudimental bars; the terminal 1£ inch dark aquiline-brown, with paler extreme tips: beneath the wing are also rudiments of a few distantly placed dark bars. Bill dusky : the legs appear to have been yellow; and talons blackish.
Alcedo Bengalensis. Merops Phillipinensis. Picus pulverentvlus, P. pitnicrus. P. tristu. Megalorhynchut Lathami: M. spinosus, Eyton, P.Z.S. 1839, 106; Bueco Lathami, Gmehn apud Sir Stamford Raffles, (Lin. Trans, xiii. 284,) who describes it as follows:—" It is about six inches in length. Bill more compressed and arched than in other Barbets, and wanting the bristles at the base, almost black in the male, but yellowish in the female. The legs are red, bat