« PreviousContinue »
XV. Electricity in Cats. MR. URBAN, THE phenomena of electricity, which has so many surprising properties, seem to be of two sorts, natural and artificial; the last is to be obtained from all bodies naturally susceptible of it, as glass, &c. in which the property lies dormant till excited to act by friction, or some other violent motion.
Natural electricity is common almost to all animals, especially those destined to catch their prey by night; cats have this property in the greatest degree of any animal we are acquainted with; their fur or hair is surprisingly electrical. If it be gently raised up it avoids the touch till it be forced to it, and by stroking their backs in the dark, the emanations of electrical fire are extremely quick and vibrative from it, followed by a crackling noise as from glass tubes when their electrical atmosphere is struck. It appears to me of singular use to animals destined to catch their prey in the dark; they give a sudden and quick erection to their fur, which raises the electrical fire, and this, by its quickness rushing along the long pointed hairs over their eyes, and illuminating the pupilla, enables them to perceive and seize their prey. It would be worth while to inquire whether all the wild sort that catch their
paw, are not endowed with the same vibrations of electrical fire; the cat is the only domestic animal of that species, but such a discovery in the ferocious kind, would still be an additional demonstration of that infinite wisdom, so easily discoverable in the minutest executions of all his works, and so perfectly adapted to a
I am yours, &c. 1754, March.
XVI. Heads for a Natural History of Great Britain,
The following Queries are proposed to Gentlemen in the several
parts of Great Britain, where they reside, with a view of obtaining, from their Answers, a more perfect account of the Antiquities, and Natural History of our Country, than has yet
appeared, 1. WHAT is the ancient and modern name of the parish, and its etymology?.
2. By what parishes is it bounded, E. W. N. and S. and what is its length and breadth ?
3. What number of hamlets or villages are in it? their names and situation ?
4. What are the number of its houses and inhabitants ?
5. What number of people have been married, christened, and buried, for the space of 20 years last past, compared with the first 20 years of the register? When did the register begin? If there are any curious remarks made therein, please to give an account thereof.
6. In what manor, diocese, deanry, and hundred, does the church stand ?
7. Is it dedicated to any saint, and when and by whom was it built?
8. Of what materials is it built, has it a tower or spire ?
9. What are its dimensions, number of isles, chancels, chapels, and bells, and the inscriptions thereon ?
10. What may the living be computed to be worth?
11. Is it a rectory or a vicarage, and who are the present and past incumbents, as far back as you can trace?
12. Who is the present or former patron?
13. Are there any and what lands belonging to the glebe or vicarage?
14. If a vicarage, who is possessed of the great tythes, what may their reputed value be, and is any modus paid thereout, and to whom?
15. Are there any and what manors in the parish, and to whom do they belong?
16. Are there any vaults or burial places peculiar to any ancient or other families ? What are they, and to whom do they belong?
17. Are there any ancient or modern remarkable monuments, or grave stones, in the church or chancel, &c.? Please to give the inscriptions and arms, if any, on the same, if worthy notice, especially if before the 16th century
18. Are there any remarkable ones in the church yard ! Please to give an account what they are.
Are there any paintings in the windows either of figures or arms? Add a copy or description.
19. Are there any tables of benefactions or other inscriptions which are worthy notice, on any of the walls of the church, either within or without? Please to insert them at full length.
20. Are there any particular customs or privileges or remarkable tenures in any of the manors in the parish?
21. What number of gentlemen's houses, farms and cottages, may be in the parish?
22. What ancient manor or mansion house, seats, or villas, are in the parish?
23. Is there any chapel of ease in the parish, how is it supported, and who is the present and late incumbent, and of what value may the cure be supposed to be?
24. Are there any annual or other processions, perambulations, or any hospital, alms, or school honse; by whom and when founded, and who has the right of putting people into them?
25. Have you any wake, Whitsun ale, or other customs of that sort used in the parish?
26. Is there any great road leading through the parish, and from what noted places ?
27. What common, or quantity of waste land may be in the parish?
28. What are the present or ancient prices of provisions, beef, veal, mutton, lamb, pork, pigs, geese, ducks, chicken, rabbits, butter, cheese, &c.?
29. What is generally a day's wages for labourers in husbandry and other work, and what per day for carpenters, bricklayers, masons, tailors, &c. ?
30. What is usually the fuel? Is it coal, wood, heath, furze, turf, peat, or what; and the prices paid on the spot?
31. What distance is it from London and the chief towns round, and what is the price of carriage per hundred weight?
32. Are there any crosses, or obelisks, or any things of that nature erected in the parish?
33. Are there any remains or ruins of monasteries or religious houses? Give the best account thereof
you 34. Are there any Roman, Saxon, or Danish castles, camps, altars, roads, forts, or other pieces of antiquity remaining in your parish; what are they, and what traditions are there, or historical accounts of them?
35. Have there been any medals, coins, or other pieces of antiquity dug up in your parish; when and by whom, and in whose custody are they?
36. Have there been any remarkable battles fought, on what spot, by whom, when, and what traditions are there relating thereto?
37. Has the parish given either birth or burial to any man, eminent for learning or other remarkable or valuable qualifications?
38. Are there in any of the gentlemen's seats in the parish,
any remarkable historical pictures, or portraits of eminent persons, any curious statues, busts, &c. or other things worthy notice!
39. Are there any parks or warrens, the number of deer, and extent of the park, &c. any heronries, decoys, or fisheries?
40. Do any rivers rise in or run through the parish, which are they ; if navigable, what sort of boats are used on them, and what is the price of carriage per hundred or ton, to your parish?
41. Are there any, and what bridges, how are they supported, by private or public cost, of what materials, what number of piers, or arches, the length and breadth of the bridge and width of the arches?
42. Are there any barrows or tumuli, and have any been opened, and what has been found therein?
43. Are there any manufactures carried on in the parish, and what number of hands are employed?
44. What markets or fairs are kept in the parish, what commodities are chiefly brought for sale; if any of the manufactures or produce of the country, live cattle, or other things, what toll is paid, and to whom, and where are they kept?
45. Is there any statute fair for hiring of servants, and how long has it been established; what are the usual wages for men and maids, &c. for each branch of husbandry?
46. Are there in any of the gentlemen's houses, or on their estates, any pictures which give insight into any historical facts, or any portraits of men eminent for any art, science, or literature; any statues, bustos, or other memorial which will give any light to past transactions ?
47. Are there any and what dissenting meetings in the parish, and what number of each sect may be in the parish?
tries relating to the Natural History of the Parish.
1. WHAŤ is the appearance of the country in the parish; is it flat or hilly, rocky or mountainous?
2. Do the lands consist of woods, arable, pasture, meadow, heath, or what?
3. Are they fënny or moorish, boggy or firm?
4. Is there sand, clay, chalk, stone, gravel,"loam, or what is the nature of the soil?
5. Are there any lakes, meers, or waters, what are they, their depth, where do they rise, and whither do they run? 6. Are there any subterraneous rivers, which appear in one place, then sink into the earth, and rise again?
7. Are there any mineral springs, frequented for the drinking the waters; what are they; at what seasons of the year reckoned best, and what distempers are they frequented for?
8. Are there any periodical springs, which rise and fall, ebb and flow, at what seasons? Give the best account you can, 9. Are there
mills on the rivers, to what uses are they employed?
10. Are there any and what mines; what are they, to whom do they belong; what do they produce?
11. Have you any marble, moorstone, or other stone of any sort, how is it got out, and how worked?
12. What sorts of manure or amendment do they chiefly use for their land, and what is the price of it on the spot ?
13, What are the chief produce of the lands, wheat, rye, oats, barley, peas, beans, or what?
14. Are there any hop or cherry gardens, and what is the price on the spot?
15. What sorts of fish do the rivers produce, what quantities, and what prices on the spot, and in what seasons are they best?
16, Are there any remarkable caves, or grottos, natural or artificial? Give the best description and account thereof you can,
17. Are there any and what quantities of saffron, woad, teasels, or other vegetables of that sort, growing in the parish, and the prices they sell for on the spot?
18. Is the parish remarkable for breeding any cattle of remarkable qualities, size, or value, and what?
19. Are there any apple orchards in the parish, do they make any cyder, of what sort is it, and if sold, what may it be worth a hogshead on the spot?
20. Are there any chalk pits, sand or gravel pits, or other openings in the parish, and what?
21. On digging wells or other openings, what stratas of soil do they meet with, and how thick is each?
22. How low do the springs lie, and what sort of water do you meet with in the several parts of the parish?
23. Is there any marl, fullers earth, potters earth, or loam, or any other remarkable soils, as ochre, &c. ?
24. Are there any bitumen, naptha, or other substances of that nature found in the earth?