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All objections, however, are not removed by this reading.
574. Pars, folidis adlisa, lapis rejecta—
Lapis is here given for the locis of some copieș.
685. promisa canum vis.

One manuscript having permiffa, the editor juilly prefers it; and, in a judicious note, he thus writes :

• Utra fit genuina lectio, patebit liquidiflime, si veras rationes di&tionum teneas, pauciffimis eruditorum, quantum intelligere vam leam, vel leviter, ne dum accurate, cognitas. Qui permittitur, “ de uno loco ufque ad alterum permeat;" qui rursus promittitur, “ quodam tenus folummodo mittitur:" majus ergo eft permitti, quam promitti. Vides autem, canum vim in Lucretio usque ad feras pervenire, omni intervallo peragrato : non fequitur solum, sed confequitur. Vera igitur lectio eft permilla; nec promila quidem mentem poëtæ adimpleverit.'

996. Degere, sæpe levem ex oculis volucremque soporern.

He omits this verse, as it does not appear to have been written by Lucretius, though it is given in several of the editions. 1123.

ac Melitensia, Ceaque, vortunt. The rectification of this paffage, he says, gave him great trouble ; but he did not regret the lofs of his time, when he found reason to conclude, that the poet had written atque Alidensia, Chiaque. 1188, 9.

conmunia quierens

Gaudia, solicitat spatium decurrere amoris. He is inclined to alter quærens to quondam, and admit the folicitant of some of the copies: but, prudently checking him. felf, he declines such a violation of the text.

(To be continued.)

An Account of Indian Serpents, colleEted on the coast of Coro

mandel; containing Descriptions and Drawings of each Spei cies; together with Experiments and Remarks on their several Poisons. By Patrick Russell, M. D. F. R. S. presented to the Hon. the Court of Direttors of the East India Company, and published by their Order, under the Superintendence of the Author. Folio., 3l. 135. 64. Boards. Nicol.

THE advantages of the Indian commerce, in promoting the progress of science in general, and particularly that of

natural history, have been pointed out in some of our articles, when we have had occasion to follow the steps of thofe enlightenei inquirers, who have joined scientific research to their principal object. The current century has added greatly, from this source, to the stock of our knowledge: within this period more has been added to science, than it could boast in the three preceding centuries.

The present work, published under the auspices of the East-India company, reflects credit on the liberality of the directors, and their zeal in the promotion of scientific inquiries and useful pursuits. But it must not be concealed, that it is incomplete, though it deserves attention for what has been done in it, and for its tendency to excite the industry of others.

In this volume, forty-three ferpents are described; and the descriptions are illustrated by coloured plates. Only three genera, however, are noticed the boa, coluber, and anguis. Of the boa four species are mentioned, of which the latt is not poisonous. The distinction between poisonous and innocuous serpents was long ago pointed out by Dr. Gray, in the Philosophical Transactions for 1789, Vol. LXXIX (noticed in our LXVIIIth volume, p. 415). The principal diftinction, on which our author insists, is the outer row of teeth. Serpents have usually an external row, which Dr. Russell styles marginal, besides an internal fet called palatal. Venemous serpents have not a regular set of marginal teeth, like those of the harmless kind. The four fpecies of boa are new : they do not occur in the Systema Naturæ of Linnæus, or in Gmelin's enlarged edition of that work. The first, which has two hundred and nine abdominal scuta and forty-seven subcaudal scales (we thall in future employ the two numbers only, 209-47), is not very poisonous. The second (150, 25) is apparently much more so; and the third (233, 36) is highly virulent. The fourth (209, 19) is, as we have faid, innocent.

Thirty-six species of the coluber are described. The first is the famous cobra de capello, the coluber naja of Linnæus, of which several varieties are mentioned. It is known to be poisonous; and, as it will be a standard of the poisonous qua, lity of the other species, we may add that its bite proves fatal to a dog in twenty-seven minutes, and to a chick in half a minute. The second species (168, 59) is not lefs dangerous: the third (241, 32), though poisonous, is slightly fo; and the fourth (170, 58) nearly reseinbles the third. The next fpecies is the coluber ftolatus of Linnæus, an innocent aniinal; and the sixth is only a variety of it. The c. mycterizans of Linnæus follows, which Dr. Gray has proved not to be poisonous. The fourteen next are new and innocent, though some of these are large and ferocious; and, in one or two in, Stances, there is a spur or claw near the anus, which, it is said,

sometimes serves for a weapon of offence. The twenty-second fpecies is the c. lineatus of Linnæus, which certainly possesses no poisonous organs. The remaining fourteen species are innocuous with respect to poisoning, though many of them are ferocious, and swallow small birds, which they previously strangle. We shall select a specimen of our author's manner from his account of one of these.

? COLUBER. Abdominal Scuta

222 2 Sub-caudal Squama


93 Called by the natives Mega Rekula Poda. • The head fmall, but broader than the neck, ovate, depressed, and covered with twelve principal laminæ, besides seven of smaller fize. The middlemost of those next the roftrum, emarginate; the lateral, perforated by the nostrils; a pair, small, roundili, between the nostrils : the next pair larger, angular, with two small, round, laminæ, on each side; the field-form lamina, between the eyes, acuminate; the large semicordate pair, irregularly fhaped, and truncate, with three small laminæ on each side. The scales under the eve white,

• The mouth, moderate fize; the jaws of nearly equal length. The teeth, finall, numerous, reflex; two palatal rows, and one marginal, in the upper jaw.

• The eyes high, not large, orbicular, prominent: the nostrils near each other, very small.

· The trunk round, swelling gradually from the neck to two inches and a half circumference, then tapering to the tail : the scales, ovate, close, imbricate.

· The length, two feet three inches and a half. taper, terminates in a sharp point: it measures five inches three fourths.

* The colour of the head, an olive-yellow, with a short, oblique, bluish-black, ftreak, behind each eye; two long streaks of the same colour, with two or three ovate rings between, adorn the neck, whiie two other streaks cross the throat obliquely. On the rest of the neck, and part of the trunk, a faint pink is blended with the olive-yellow; and a narrow thread of dark blue, with white spots at the angles, runs zigzag, or waving, along the back. But neither the percil, nor verbal defcription, can convey an adequate idea of the elegant colouring of this snake, when provoked and swelling with rage; the colours incefiantly sliding into each other, and varying in brilliancy.

The colours of the remainder of the trunk, with the tail, are more uniform and permanent; the waving thread fades gradually, the olive-yellow of the back becomes darker, and a dark-brown fillet is continued along cach lide to the Mary point of the tail;

The tail very

It ap.

between which and the scuta, is interposed a double row of white {cales. The scuta and fquamæ are of a pearl colour.

• OBSERVATIONS. This snake was found at Vizagapatam, in the month of April and brought to me in an hour or two after it was caught. peared fingularly alert in its movements, and snapped at every thing presented to it. In preparing to attack, it wreathed its neck, and part of the trunk, into close turns, and at the same time, retracting its head, presented, at a distance, something of the appearance of a hooded snake. When it snapped, the body being more raised by affiítance of the tail, the wreaths were rapidly unwreathed, and the head darted obliquely forward, with a motion so rapid, that the animal, without rising from the ground, seemed to fly on his prey. In this manner it could unexpectedly seize an object wliich in appearance lay far beyond its reach.

"A chicken, intended for experiinent, 'having made its escape, was accidentally pursued into the chamber where the snake had been left at liberty, and was no sooner perceived, than the snake flew furiously at him, snapped several times as he passed, and foon seized and secured him, by wreathing round the body. In two minutes the bird was found dead, having been strangled by the snake's tail.

? A second chicken was attacked in like manner, and had he not been relieved in time, would have suffered the fame fate. He was bitten in several places, but without any confequence.

- It was remarkable that, ferocious as this snake appeared to be, he could not, when held in the hand, be provoked to bite a chicken repeatedly presented to him.'

Four fpecies of anguis are described ; none of them with poisonous organs. Some of these are supposed to have a head at each extremity, as they move with equal ease in both directions; but the idea is unfounded ; for the anus is as diftinguishable as the head.

The experiinents on different serpents follow ; viz.. on the. first species of boa, gediparagoodoo; on the first fpecies of coluber, cobra de capello ; on the katuka rekula poda, the second species; and bodroo pam, the fourth. The most numerous trials were with the two first species of coluber.

The effects of the poison greatly resemble those of the European viper, or the rattle-snake. Yet the venom of the latter is much more deleterious than that of the East Indian serpenis, in these experiments. There is in uch reason to prefume, however, that there are kinds niuch inore noxious than those described in the prelent volume.

It is painful to pursue these experiments in all the variety of nisery produced. It is sufficient to say, that the venom of

P. 37

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the boa, and that of the cobra de capello, were highly deleterious, though the former was less so than the latter : the two other colubers were lefs noxious than the cobra de capello.

. From the experiments detailed, it fufficiently appears, that the several poisons mentioned, though in different degrees, are all deleterious.

- That the symptoms produced by them in the bodies of different animals are very much alike.

• That the progress of these symptoms, after they commence, is nearly in the same order of progression, though in different de. grees of rapidity.

• That a like variation is observed in the commencement of the fymptoms. Sometimes it is almoft instantaneous ; in general from three to ten minutes; but very seldom later than half an hour.

• That when the snake is first caught, its bite infects with more certainty than when kept fome time: but the deleterious quality of the poison, though impaired, is not by captivity (even where accompanied by long fasting) destroyed. When it appears to have lost the power of killing larger quadrupeds, įt ftill retains that of killing birds, though lefs speedily than at first.

· That when the snake is made to bite several times successively in the fame day, the first bite, other circumftances being equal, is not only more certain of infecting, but in general proves more quickly deleterious.

• That the poison of snakes does not invariably kill animals; and that they fometimes unexpectedly escape from a concourse of dangerous symptoms; though in general the danger of death is in proportion to the violence, and early appearance of these syms ptoms. That the period of death varies considerably, Dogs, in

ng instance, were killed in so short a time as birds : but the variation, with respect to both, fo far as my experiments go, does not seem ftri&tly correspondent to the size of the animals.

« That the artificial insertion of poison is less secure of taking effect than the bite of the animal; but the consequent symptoms are exactly the same, and the event, with refpect to the smaller animals, not less fatal. For the trial of remedies, however, the bite of the reptile itself was always preferred to the artificial insere tion of the poiton.

6 Several of the above inferences will be found of service to prevent certain effects, whether good or bad, from being ascribed erroneously to medicines, which properly belong to the disease in its natural course.' P. 66,

The remedies were next examined. The Tanjore pill apo peared to be uselefs. Its composition is of white arsenic, peps per, quicksilver, the roots of velli-navi (a poisonous vegetable. from the Malabar coast), the roots of neri-vitham, and the

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