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portion to the purity of that soil. In a state of nature, and when fully developed, the seeds are nearly as large as a particle of grain, and are closely covered all round by a strongly adhering bright pea-green coloured fur, and enveloped in a fine silky wool of considerable strength, and fully an inch in length.
Hedgerows, gardens, groves of trees about the abodes of devotees ud temples, are the places where this plant is found. I don't know of its being cultivated in any other way. In these places it is a perennial, lasting for four or five years or more, and being cut down to within two feet of the ground in the end of June, or a little before the setting in of the annual rains; this also is the best time for sowing the jeed.
The natives appreciate this cotton, from its fine staple enabling them to spin finer thread than from any other kind with which they are acquainted. Muslins and long pugries for the head are made from it; but since the introduction to this country of European products of the loom, its use and its culture have been so reduced, as hardly at this day to afford sufficient evidence to save their being classified along «ith the fabulous stories of Hindoo history.
Of the quantity produced per acre, I can give no estimate; but in the first year, it could not be over 100 lbs. of clean cotton. In the second year, as the plant then comes into full bearing, it might be from three to four hundred pounds. The great extra labour and expense wer the common crops, of protecting the fields during the whole year, which the cultivation of this plant would entail, is, I believe, the main obstacle to any attempts being made to cultivate it. Here we have to hedgerows, and nothing that is well calculated for such a purpose; ill the agricultural produce being from annuals, the ryot protects them awn cattle, thieves, &c. by living in his fields during the few months they are ripening, and which he could not do for a longer period. The price of this cotton in the bazar, is always double that of the common country article. However, there is never more than a few pounds procurable,
I have for several years back entertained great hopes in regard to this cotton, particularly that it may be improved, so as to become of ralue, by attending to modes of culture. That from it new varieties, suited to different soils and situations as regards climate, may be jbtained, is more probable than from any of the cultivated kinds, and I have hoped that circumstances might some day admit of my being rt>le to attempt its culture as a perennial, in the same way as cotton s grown in Peru.
Samples of the Nurmah cotton are forwarded with this letter, procured from different places in and about the city of Broach. As regards soils, I cannot at present obtain any such as could be of use to Mr. Piddington; but when I am relieved from the medical charge and duties of this place, I shall then be able to select, in visiting the country round, proper specimens. Broach Office of the Superintendent of American Cotton Planters, 6th January, 1842.
On an Ancient Magic Square, cut in a Temple at Gwalior. By Captain
As every thing tending to throw any certain light on the antiquities of India has an interest, I send you the following inscription of a Magic Square, which I copied last year from an old temple in the hill fort of Gwalior. It bears the date ^*WH Vi$° = A. »• 1483.
The temple is on the northern side of the hill, and at one time it has been a very magnificent edifice, though now it be sorely dilapidated.
It has formerly suffered from the rude hands of the Musalmans, and more lately it has been excavated under the site of the image to the depth of twenty or twenty-five feet, in the vain hope of finding hidden treasure.
There is another and larger ancient temple in the fort, of a peculiar form, which the Musahnans have converted into a Musjid.
If I remember rightly, the Magic Square is cut on the inner side of the northern wall, close to where the excavation has been made. I did not measure the dimensions ; but the form is as follows :—
The properties of the square are, that in every way, whether vertically or horizontally, or diagonally, the sum of the numbers is 34: the diagonals may be summed either in one line as usual, or in two parallel lines; containing together four numbers thus :—
34 = ( 16 + 6 + 1 + 11 = 3 +12 +14 + 5 = 13 + 7 + 4 +10 = 2 + 9 +15 +8 = 116 + 10 + 1+7 = 9 + 3 + 8 + 14 = 4 + 6-1-13 + 11=2 + 12 + 15+5
It will be observed, that the places of the numbers 1, 2, 3, 4, form a rhomboid, as do also 5, 6, 7, 8; 9, 10, 11, 12; 13,14, 15, 16. It may be remarked also, that the sum of every two alternate numbers taken diagonally is 17: and that all these properties will hold good if the lines be transposed vertically or horizontally in the same order; that is, if the top line be brought to the bottom ; or if the left hand vertical line be carried over to the right.
JS42.] On an Ancient Magic Square, cut in a Temple at Gwalior. 293
The whole displays considerable ingenuity, and in connection with the date, may be of use as indicating the former state of arithmetical kcowledge.
Slk April, 1842.
I add a copy of the inscription in our common numerals, in case it
may be wanted, as also a sample of the way in which it may be extended, which probably is similar to that in Dr. Franklin's Magical Square of Squares, but on this point I cannot speak positively, as I do not distinctly remember the particulars of Dr. Franklin's Square of Squares, and have at present no means of reference.
Eiport upon the Construction of Philosophical Instruments in India.
It is, I believe, the intention of Government, that the proposed Madras University shall be an institution in which the principles, or tren a complete knowledge, of the Physical Sciences, shall be taught to those who are willing among the Native community.
For this purpose, as apparatus for the lecture tables, and for the eshibition of the principles of machines and the various experiments in Chemistry, Hydrodymacis, Pneumatics, and the effects of Light, a set of instruments will be required, which as adapted for any institution called *n University, cannot be procured at a less outlay than £10,000 at least.
It is this set of apparatus which I propose making up in India by the hands of native workmen only, at probably an outlay of little more than 5,000 rupees for the whole, and of such workmanship and finish as to be comparable, if not as good, as the best which London can produce.
I believe no one, either youth or adult, who was at all interested in the pleasures of the pursuit of science, has ever left a lecture room in London without a secret wish, that he could himself repeat the experiments he has seen performed, and a regret that the apparatus required were beyond his means; and no one intimately acquainted with the character of Natives, and with the keen vivacity with which they regard any thing new or wonderful, will doubt the feeling of regret and humiliation with which they must regard the beautiful apparatus as finished by European workmen ; while they examine a balance which takes nearly two minutes to perform a single oscillation, and wonder how it can be made to move so slow and regularly, and which is capable of rendering sensible a quantity no greater than the millionth part of the load which it sustains; when they are told that such an instrument cannot be purchased for less than 500 rupees, and that its execution is utterly beyond the capacity of the Natives of India, and that no instrument submitted to their inspection can they ever be permitted to handle or to use, and if not in affluent circumstances hardly any of the simplest can they ever hope to purchase. It may happen that the idea may strike them, that under such circumstances, what may be the value of listening to an abstract detail of philosophical facts, which they can never hope to investigate themselves, or to prove to their own satisfaction, that they are founded upon truth.
Besides this, the practical application of scientific knowledge can never be turned to account, without a familiar knowledge of the technical mode of exemplifying it.
On the contrary, how much it must assist a teacher of science in being able to fix the attention of his auditory by telling them, that there is not an article exhibited to their view, beautiful and wonderful as they at first may appear, which has not been made by Natives of India, at a price which any but the most indigent can afford, and which any one may become capable of constructing, if they pay attention to the explanation of the principles upon which the instruments have been formed.
That Native workmen are capable of this I have endeavoured to shew in a former report, and have instanced in the allusion to an injJnunent with regard to the powers of which I may mention, that Sir John Herschell, in his Discourse upon Natural Philosophy, has thought it necessary, for fear the fact should be doubted, "to assure the reader tiat balances have been constructed capable of rendering visibly sensible, a quantity of matter to even the millionth part of the whole;" yet this, which by the passage is evidently considered a great effort of awhanira] skill, I have been able to effect by the hands of an Indian workman, totally untaught, except by myself; and with regard to its eatward appearance, no one who has yet seen it but has remarked, } * How beautifully it is worked," or that " no one would for an instant believe that it was made in India."
It might be* remarked in contravention of my propositions, that I endeavour to assert the possibility of rivaling in India the productions of the genius of Ramsden and Troughton, and that the idea is absurd; bet however, such it is my intention to assert.
However preposterous the proposition may at first appear, yet it nav be shewn, that there is nothing impossible in its execution, for it will at once be seen by any one acquainted with the subject, that the instruments by the aid of which the investigations by which our present knowledge of the laws of matter and unponderable substances have been conducted, owe their excellence not so much to the skill of the medomical workman, as the ingenuity and talent in adopting means of product to the desired purpose, as shewn by those who directed the construction.
And in fact, what are the beautiful and costly instruments, the eipense of which is only within the means of nations, and to which are due the proofs of the profound investigations of modern Astronomy, but large masses of metal, the true form assumed by which at each change of position, has puzzled the investigation of the most penetrating and ingenious, and has caused a competent judge to remark, *' that the "observations made by a circle of only 12 inches diameter are better, "and more worthy of confidence than those procured by all the 3-fcet "circles, and even the 8-feet circle of Ramsden, which have yet been "constructed," and what are the divisions upon them, but a rude attempt, (as referred to what future ages may produce), to divide the circumference into 189,600 parts, which instead of being equal parts, often differ to the amount, "5 of the circumferences and always to 1*.