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50 Proceedings of Public Societies.

proved method of constructing fire or furnace bars, or gratings.-Jan. 27. G. F. HAGNER, gent. of the Adelphi; for certain improvements in manufacturing white lead and verdigris.-Jan. 27. R. Acker MANN, of the Strand, printseller; for certain improvements on axletrees, applicable to four-wheeled carriages.--Jan. 27. W. HoRNER, B.A. clerk, of Howick, Northumberland ; for a machine for acquiring a very high mechanical power in a small compass, and with little fliction, and without the possibility of running amain, if employed in raising or lowering weights. G. PRI or, of Leeds, York, watchmaker; for perfectly detaching the escape. wheel of chronometers from the influence of the friction and inaccuracies arising from the main-spring, the pivots, and the teeth, of all the other wheels and pinions in the machine during the time of its giving impulses to the balance, whereby its vibrations will be more accurately and uniformly supported than by any other invention heretofore made public.

... [Aug. 1, J. PENw ARNE, esq. of Stafford-street; for a certain improvement on the cock for drawing beer, &c. from casks and other vessels, without the interruption of a vent, plug, or any opening whatever in the upper part of the cask or vessel, either for the purpose of admitting air, or for affixing the said instrument or cock, or any apparatus or appendage belonging to the same.—Jam. 31. B. TAYLoR, of Mile-end, Lanarkshire; for a loom, to work by the power from a steam-engine, which will weave figures or flowers upon either twilled or plain cloth, in either silk, cotton, linen, or worsted, or any of them intermixed.—Jan. 31. Sir T. Coch RANE, knt. commonly called Lord Cochrane; for an improvement in the process of purifying the spirit of tar or oil of tar, and which is obtained from the different ligneous, carbonaceous, or bituminous substances; by means of which improvement the said oil will be separated iron certain impuritics, which have hitherto prevented the application of such oil to divers useful purposes.—Feb. 3.

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ROYAL INSTITUTION. N Mr. Brande's interesting Lectures on Mineralogical Chemistry, he lately introduced the following obserwations on meteoric stones, . We do not, however, agree with him in the theory of their origin, for many reasons; but we will name one of a conclusive nature— viz. that, if they came from the moon, they could never fall beyond the parallel of twenty-seven or twenty-eight degrees of north or south latitude. The first tolerably accurate narration, (says Mr. Brande,) of the fall of a meteoric stone, relates to that of Ensisheim, near Basle, upon the Rhine. The account which is deposited in the church was thus:—A.D. 1492, Wednesday, 7 November, there was a loud clap of thunder, and a child saw a stone fall from heaven; it struck into a field of wheat, and did no harm, but made a hole there. The noise it made was heard at Lucerne, Villing, and other places; on the Monday, King Maximilian ordered the stone to be brought to the castic, and, after having conversed about it with the moblemen, said the people of Ensisheim should hang it up in their church, and his royal excellency strictly forbade any body to take any thing from it. His excellency, however, took two pieces himself, and sent another to Duke Sigismund of Austria. This stone weighed 255]bs. In 1627, 27th November, the cele

brated Gassendi saw a burning stone fall on Mount Vaisir, in Provence; he found it to weigh 591bs. In 1672, a stone fell near Verona, weighing 300lbs. And Lucas, when at Larissa, 1706, describes the falling of a stone, with a loud hissing noise, and smelling of sulphur. In September, 1753, De Lalande witnessed this extraordinary phenomenon, near Pont de Vcsli. In 1768, no less than three stones fell in different parts of France. In 1790, there was a shower of Stones near Agen, witnessed by Mr. Darcet, and several other respectable persons. And on the 18th of December, 1795, a stone fell near Major Topham's house, in Yorkshire; it was seen by a ploughman and two other persons, who immediately dug it out of the hole it had buried itself in; it weighed 56Ibs. We have various other, and equally satisfactory, accounts of the same kind, All concur in describing a luminous meteor moving through the air in a more or less oblique direction, attended by a hissing noise, and the fall of stony and semi-metallic masses, in a state of ignition. We have, however, evidence of another kind, amply proving the peculiarities of these bodies. It is that, although they have fallen in very dif. ferent countries, and at distant periods, when submitted to chemical analysis, they all agree in compoucut parts; the - nuetallie 1818.] metallic particles being composed of nickel and iron; the earthy of silex and magnesia. Large masses of native iron have been found in different parts of the world, of the history and origin of which nothing very accurate is known. Such are the great block of iron at Elbogen in Bohemia; the large mass discovered by Pallas, weighing 1600lbs. near Krasnojark in Siberia; that found by Goldberry, in the great desert of Zahra, in Africa; probably also that mentioned by Mr. Barrow, on the banks of the Great Fish river in Southern Africa; and those noticed by Bruce, Bougainville, Humboldt, and others in America, of enormous magnitude, exceeding thirty tons in weight. That these should be of the same source as the other meteoric stones seems at first to startle belief; but, when they are submitted to analysis, and the iron they contain found alloyed by nickel, it no longer seems credulous to regard them as of meteoric origin. We find nothing of the kind in the earth. To account for these uncommon visitations of metailic and lapideous bodies, a variety of hypotheses have been suggested. Are they merely carthly matter fused by lightning? Are they the offspring of any terrestrial volcano? These were once favourite notions; but we know of no instance in which similar bodies have in that way been produced, nor do the lavas of known volcanos in the least resemble these bodies, to say nothing of the inexplicable projectile force that would here be wanted. This is merely explaining what is puzzling, by assuming what is impossible; and the persons, who have taken up this conjecture, have assumed one impossibility to account for what they conceive to be another, namely, that the stony bodies should come from any other source than our own globe. The notion that these bodies come from the moon, though it has been laugh...d-at as lunacy, is, when impartially considered, neither absurd nor impossible. It is quite true, that the quiet way in which they visit us is against such an origin; it seems, however, that any power which would move a body 6000 feet in a second, that is, about three times the velocity of a cannon-ball, would throw it from the sphere of the moon's attraction into that of our earth. The cause of this projective force may be a volcano, and, if thus impelled, the body would reach us in about two days,

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between the rivers Bhagirutta and Sutlej. H 2

Royal Institution.—Royal Society of London. 51

and enter our atmosphere with a velocity of about 25,000 feet in a second. Their ignition may be accounted for, either by supposing the heat generated by their motion in our atmosphere sufficient to ignite them; or by considering them as combustibles, ignited by the mere contact of air. While we are considering the possibility of these considerations, it may be remembered that, in the great laboratory of the atmosphere, chemical changes may happen, attended by the production of iron and other metals; that, at all events, such a circumstance is within the range of possible occurrences; and that the meteoric bodies, which thus salute the earth with stony showers, may be children of the air, created by the union of simpler forms of matter.

-soROYAL SOCIETY OF LONDON. At a late meeting of this Society, Mr. Frazer's notes on THE HIMALA MoUNTAINS, accompanying a series of specimens, were read. The plains of Hindostan are bounded on the N. E. by a mountainous track which runs from the banks of the Burrumpooter to the Indus, and, crossing that river, spreads out into a less circuit.scribed and less lofty highland country, the chains of which are connected with many of the chief ridges of Asia. The belt of hills, which thus separates Hindostan from Thibet, is perfectly unconnected and unbroken, running in irregular ridges, undivided by any valley of consequence from the one plain to the other. These mountains on the side of Hindostan rise from a level at once into sharp and precipitous cliffs, while the north-western side, according to the best accounts that have been obtained, falls more gradually into green hills, and ends in a gently-sioping plain. The great Himală mountains form the centre of this ridge, and rear their sharp crests, covered by eternal snow, to an almost incredible height, in unapproachable, desolate grandeur. Mr. Colebrooke, in the tweifth volume of the Asiatic Researches, estimates the height of the different peaks at 26,862 feet to 22,000 feet. Jumnatra, the source of the Jumiła, is estimated at 25,500 feet above the level of t.e sea. During the tour, in which the specimens laid before the Society were collected, the route lay over a shoulder of tilis imonntain, within (it was conjectured) 2,000 ieet of its summit. The specimens were collected

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52 Proceedings of Public Societies.

The general line of the mountains is here nearly N. W. and S. E. A small abrupt ridge, rising from 500 to 750 feet in height, and extending from three to six miles in breadth, runs next to the plains from Hurdwar, half way to the Sutlej. This consists of sandstone, indurated clay, and beds of rounded pebbles and gravel. The next range of hilis runs from 1,500 to 5,000 feet in height, with sharp narrow crests, and consists of a very decomposable greyish brown indurated clay, containing silicious matter. Just beyond this range rises a mountain of limestone, about 7,000 feet high : a large perennial stream marked the division between this range and a mass of mountains consisting almost entirely of varieties of schist, with much mica, and veined with quartz. Connected with these, were observed a coarse sandstone, and a conglomerate of sand, mica, and gravel, cemented by a white spar easily frangible. As the snowy mountains were approached, rocks of white quartz were observed, and of a hard semi-transparent stone of many colours, grey, red, yellow, and greenish. On reaching the heart of the snowy mountains, the distant peaks appeared to be stratified, and to dip to the N. E. at an angle of about forty-five degrees. For several thousand feet below their tops all vegetation ceases, and no living thing is to be seen. The returning route was for a considerable way along the bed of the river Pabur, which rises among the depths of the Himäia: in this bed, blocks of a peculiar kind of rock were found. The neighbouring rocks were schist and limestone. Another opportunity presented itself of viewing the summits of the Himälä from Jumnairee, which rises in two grand peaks, covered on the S. and S. E. by perpetual snow, but showing a wo rocky face towards the N. . The river Jumna was here traced to its source in a number of small rills flowing from the snow, and collected in a pool at the bottom of a steep slope. Nearly every sort of rock observed throughout the tour was found here, particularly the rock before referred to as occurring in the bed of the river Pabur, and white quartz in veins intersected the general stratification. From these veins trickles a stream of hot water, impregnated with calcareous matter, which it deposits on the surface of the rocks over which it runs. There are no glacieres in any part of the snowy mountains; but a perpetual frost appears to rest on their summits,

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After descending into the bed of the Bhagirutta, that river was also traced nearly to its source: the glen through which it runs is deeper and darker, and the precipices on either side far more lofty than those forming the bed of the Jumna : the rock in the neighbourhood of its source was granite, and contained black tourmaline.

Since the above was published, we have seen the following more exact particulars of the height of these mountains. —Lieut. WEBB, of the Bengal Establishment, has transmitted to Europe the result of his observations for ascertaining the heights of some of the principal mountains in the Nepaul country: from which it is found that many of those mountains much exceed in height any before known; that, out of twenty-seven peaks, nineteen are higher than Chimborazo, and that the highest exceeds the mountain of the Andes nearly 5000 feet. Lieut. Webb's results were transmitted, by a correspondent, to the Editor of the Madras Gazette, and first. published in that paper, in which the altitude above the sea is calculated.

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Signor MoMTICELLO has communicated the following report upon the Eruption of Vesuvius in Dec. 1817.

This eruption of Mount Vesuvius began on the 22d, and terminated on the 26th, of December last. On the 23d I was at Resina, and on the 24th at Torre del’Annunciata; so that I had an opportunity of observing the two currents of lava, one of which ran towards the plain of Pedimentina, the other towards Mauro. On the 24th, I remarked that the small conical hillock which stood near the centre of the edge of the crater had disappeared; it . . . seemed

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1918.]

seemed swallowed up by the same ignivomous aperture which raised it in 1816. The other smaller hillock upon the western ridge of the crater had also fallen in, and was swallowed up by a very large rent upon that side of the Volcano. Instead of these hillocks, I found the recent lava curiously disposed in the manner of a wall, fortifying, as it were, the ancient crater upon the east and west sides; convex, and very irregular upon the north south. Of this wall some parts are quite even and regular, looking exactly like our terraces: the whole was extremely hot, and apparently incandescent in the interior, as seen through some of the holes and fissures. I have little doubt that parts of these walls were hollow, not only from this appearance, but from the sound occasioned by throwing a large stone upon any part of them. Upon the south, all former appearances are destroyed, and there has been produced a very gentlyinclined plain, covered with fine sand; indeed it would have been impossible here to have recognized the former edge of the crater, were it not for two large blocks of stone which were thrown up in the eruption of 1812, and which, though much changed by the action of two small fumarolee underneath them, which have burned since the year 1815, still serve as landmarks. This plain is often traversed by long fissures, more or less perpendicular, running east and west. On the second of March we counted round the cratcr fourteen apertures, most of which were still smoaking; one of them was circular, and about two feet in diameter; it was perfectly quiet, and appeared of an unfathomable depth. The largest of them is on the northern side of the crater, at a little distance from the great fissure which rent the come asunder during the eruption of 1813, and which has been entirely obliterated, or at least covered by the late formation of lava. Upon the north-east side, a little above the sandy plain, is the new crater, which poured forth the lava that cut the cone of the volcano, and took the direction of Mauro. This lava spread round the antient Somma,

and upon the east side of that mountain

descended through a wood, and, passing before a house belonging to the Prince of Ottaiano, reached to within a very

Royal Academy of Sciences at Naples.

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short distance of the principal street of Mauro. On the 26th of December, while we were observing the progress of the torrent from a small wood of oaks near the Prince's Casino, we were suddenly surprised and alarmed by the motion of the ground we were standing upon, and, immediately afterwards, threa small jets of flame made their appearance at a few feet only from us; we therefore hurried away to a place of safety, expecting a repetition of the same phenomenon, but we only observed jets of smoke here and there in the wood.

Whilst observing Vesuvius on the 24th of December, I remarked lava flowing from five apertures, which augmented the current that formerly issued from the south side of the cone previous to the destruction of Torre del Greco, and in which were small apertures emitting flame, and rapidly appearing and disappearing in succession. The light was very intense and splendid.

On the north of the great fissure of the crater above alluded to, the recent lava assumed the aspect of basaltic columns.

On the 27th of December, a cavern near Mauro was covered with a white incrustation of salt, sublimed from below ; its quantity was so considerable, that fifty or sixty people made a profitable occupation of collecting it; for this purpose they either broke the stones, or scraped off the saline matter, and replaced them in their former situations, and a day or two afterwards they became again covered as before. We often saw the deposition of this sublimate, which I am induced to believe required the presence of air for its formation, for it only existed near the surface, or in cavities open to the access of atmospheric air. The same observation applies to the beautiful specimens of sublimed oxide of iron (fer oligiste). Various other sublimates were deposited upon the lava, but in much smaller quantity; their colours were chiefly yellow, red, and green; they were most abundant near the large, crater; the yellow and red were deliquescent; but the yellow and green. permanent. The smell of muriatic acid, though frequently perceived near the large burning orifice of the mountain, was never observed in the lava of Mauro.

BRITISH

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BRITISH LEGISLATION, -o-Acts PASSED in the 58th YEAR of the REIGN of GeoRGE the third, or in the SIXTH SEssion of the FIFTH PARLIAMENT of the UNITED KING Dom. -o

AP. XXXIII. To alter the allowance for broken Plate Glass, and to to empt Manufacturers of certain Glass Wares from Penalties for not being licensed—May 23. Cap. XXXIV. To repeal the several £ounties on the Erportation of refined Sugar from any Part of the United Kingdom, and to allow other Bounties in lieu thereof, until the 5th day of July 1820, and for reducing the Size of the Packages in which refined Sugar may be exported.—May 23. Cap. XXXV. To provide for the maintaining of the Royal Canal from the River Liffey to the IRiver Shannon, in Ireland.— May 23. Cap. XXXVI. To carry into Erecution a Treaty, made between His Iłłajesty and the King of Spain, for the preventing Traffic in Slavés.—May 28. Cap. XXXVII. For further continuing, until the 5th Day of July 1819, an Act of the Forty-fourth Year of His present Majesty, to continue the Restrictions com:tained in several Acts of his present Majesty, on Payments of Cash by the Bank of England.—May 28. Cap. XXXVIII. To extend and render more effectual the present Regu

lations for the Relief of Seafaring Men

and Boys, Subjects of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, in Foreign Parts.-May 28. Offences against the Act of 11 and 12 W. 3. c. 7. to be prosecuted by indictment in the Court of King's Bench at Westmin. ster, &c. Penalty on masters of vessels at foreign

ports refusing to take on board seafaring .

men being his Majesty's subjects. If any master or other person, having charge of any merchant-ship or vessel belonging to any of his Majesty's subjects, shall leave any seafaring man or boy on shore at any foreign port or , place, on account of sickness or any other inability to proceed on the voyage, every nch master or person, having the charge of such ship or vessel, shall deliver to the governor, minister, or consul, if any there, or, if not, them to two respectable merchants at such port or place, a true and just account of the wages due to such seafaring man or boy, and pay the amount thereof, either in money, or by a bill upon the owner or owners of such ship or vessel, to such governor, minister, consul, or mershants, as the case may be; and, in default

of his so doing, or in case of the owner or owners not accepting and paying such bill when due, such owner or owners shall be liable to an action for the amount, with interest at the rate of five pounds per !entum per annum, to be brought in any of his Majesty's courts of Record at Westminster or Dublin, or in his Majesty's court of Exchequer in Scotland, at the suit of the holder or holders of such bill, as for money had and received by such

owner or owners to his or their use; but,

in case of payment of such wages being duly made as required by this Act, the same, when received by the said governor, minister, consul, or merchants, as the case may be, shall be applied by him or them towards the payment of any hospital expenses of such seafaring man or boy as aforesaid, (except the charges for his subsistence,) and also towards the payment of the expenses of clothing, bedding, or other necessaries, that may be supplied to him, and the remainder (if any) shall be paid to such seafaring man or boy. Cap. XXXIX. To explain and amend an Act, passed in the 56th year of the Reign of his present Majesty, for amending the Law of Ireland respecting the Recovery of Tenements from absconding, overholding, and defaulting Tenants, and for the Protection of the Tenant from undue Distress.-May 28. Proceedings may be instituted against tenants of 20l. a year. Cap. XI. To continue the Laws now in force relating to Yeomanry Corps in Ireland.—May 28. Cap. XLI. To amend an Act, made in the 56th year of his present Majesty, for regulating and securing the Collection of the Duties on Paper in Ireland, and to allow a Drawback of the Duty on

Paper used in printing certain Books at

the Press of Trinity College, Dublin.— May 28. Instead of the charge under the recited Act, paper-makers shall pay at the rate of 12s. 6d. Hritish, per month, for every cubic foot of the engines used by them. Officer to make a return to the collector of the amount of the monthly rate, and also of the quantity, quality, and weight of paper, and of the duty thereon. Duty to be payable within three months, on penalty of 2 l. No license shall be granted, unless the engine contain fifty cubic feet. But not to prevent the granting of license to persons who were licensed on or before

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