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ing to its concentration, and the time the steam has passed through it. When the solution has acquired 212°, the colour increases rapidly. If several glasses are connected, and successively raised to the boiling point, by the steam passing through them, all become coloured. Nitric acid destroys the colour of this solution of nitrate of silver; and whilst the steam is acting, oxygen is disengaged. When steam is passed through a solution of gold, a blue liquid is produced, like that obtained by adding oxalic acid to a solution of gold. Thus, it seems proved, that the steam acts in producing these effects by deoxidizing the salts of silver and gold. Muriate of platina, or either of the nitrates of mercury, were unaffected by similar treatment.
New Expeditions towards the Pole.Three Arctic winters have not cooled the zeal of our distinguished countryman, Captain Parry, who is in frequent commu. nication with Government on the subject of a new expedition in search of the muchwished-for passage to the Pole, which has been determined upon. It is said that Captain Parry will be provided with every thing requisite to enable him to extend his voyage to a period of three years, should he deem it necessary. The route to be taken, it is thought, will be Lancaster Sound, and that Captain Parry will proceed there in the first instance, and endeavour to pass through an inlet which he discovered in his former voyage, and named in honour of the Prince Regent. This inlet does not open in a direction towards the Pole, but is thought to communicate with the sea which Hearne discovered. If so, Captain Parry may be enabled to reach the point which he failed in doing through Hudson's Bay in his last voyage, and, without approaching too near the American coast, proceed at no great distance from it. Such is said to be part of the plan of the new Expedition, from the circumstance that Capt. Franklin is again to be sent out, on an overland expedition, to Mackenzie and the Coppermine rivers; and from the union of the North-West and Hudson-Bay Companies, every facility for so arduous an undertaking may be expected. Could guides and attendants be procured, possessing the same moral energies as our enterprising countrymen, we should entertain no doubt of Captain Franklin making the most important discoveries; but we have almost invariably seen, that natives bear with less resolution the rigours of climate, the pains of hunger, and the numerous privations to which such an expedition is exposed, than our sailors, who climb mountains, ford rivers, sleep on beds of
snow, and feed on tripe de roche, without
but interesting operation has been exhi-
Union of a Divided Palate.
his birth. The extent of the aperture was the whole length of the soft palate and the uvula, a retraction of about five-eighths of an inch, exposing to view, when the mouth was opened, the inside of the posterior parts of the nostrils. The principle on which the operation was performed, was the same as that of hare-lip, viz. by removing the extreme edges, and bringing the wounded parts into accurate contact; but, as may be easily imagined from the nature of the case, the mechanical difficulties made a variety of precautions necessary. It was found impracticable to effect the union of all the divided parts at one time, and the whole union was finally effected after five operations. Mr. A. considers the scissors with extremely thin edges, as recommended for surgical purposes by Dr. Wollaston, to be the best instrument for the removal of the inner edges. In the first four stages of the operation, the edges were brought together by sutures, in the latter by pins. The voice of the patient before the operation was strikingly nasal, and his articulation so indistinct that he had contemplated giving up an advantageous situation, in which he was required to converse with strangers. After the operation, his utterance, when careful, was perfectly distinct, and free from any obvious peculiarity. Mr. Alcock observes, that in case of cleft palate, the first or principal cause of indistinctness of utterance is the physical defect which admits the air too freely into the nostrils, and that defect is removed by union of the palate but another cause is the habit of not placing the tip of the tongue properly at the root of the front teeth in such sounds as s, th, &c.; and this babit, after the union of the divided palate, attention is required to counteract. M. Leroux, in France, has performed a similar operation to the one noticed above; we do not know whether before or since the one Mr. Alcock has described.
Vegetable Milk. Amongst the many interesting vegetable productions which are met with in the equinoctial regions, may be reckoned a tree, which abundantly affords a milky juice, similar in its properties to the milk of animals, and is employed for the same purposes, as M. de Humboldt witnessed at the farm of Barbula, where he himself drank of this milky juice. This liquid is derived from the pala de loche, or de, vacca, a tree which grows somewhat abundantly in the mountains above Periquito, situated on the north-east of Maracay, a village to the west of Caracas. This
milk possesses the same physical qualities as that of the cow, with this only difference-that it is a little viscous; it has the same taste also as cow's milk. With respect to its chemical properties, they sensibly differ from those of animal milk. The constituent parts of the milk of the Arbre de la Vache are-1st, wax; 2d, fibrine; 3d, a little sugar; 4th, a magnesian salt; and 5th, water. The presence, in vegetable milk, of a product which is not commonly met with, except in the secretions of animals, is a surprising fact, which we should not have announced without much circumspection, had not a celebrated chemist, M. Vauquelin, already found animal fibrine in the milky juice of the earica papaya.
Nautical Science.-The Clio, Captain Strangways, has returned to FortGeorge with Mr. Adam, Rector of the Inverness Academy, on board, after a cruise of fifteen days among the Orkneys, and in the Moray Firth, between Caithness and Kinnaird's Head, for the purpose of trying the performance of his eye-tube to the telescope of a sextant, for taking altitudes when the horizon is invisible. The altitudes taken by this eye-tube are not affected by any dip or depression of the horizon. When Mr. Adam observed, standing on one of the guns, so as to see the horizon over the bulwarks, a screen was placed before the horizon glass of his sextant; and when he observed standing on deck, or on large gimbols, placed in the main hatchway, to obviate the effect of the ship's motion, the bulwarks intercepted his view of the horizon. Under these circumstances, after rejecting a few observations, the mean difference of one hundred and ninety-nine altitudes of the sun, moon, and stars, taken by the eyetube, from those taken at the same time, in the ordinary way, by the officers of the Clio, and corrected for dip, amounted to only one minute and ten seconds. Considerable care and practice are necessary before the eye-tube can be handled successfully at sea; but when observers have learned to use it, the latitude, the time at the ship, and consequently the longitude, may all be determined by it, when the horizon is invisible; and by means of it either the large or the pocket-sextant may be successfully employed on shore, as a substitute for the theodolite, upon making the necessary allowance for the parallax of the instrument, in the name of index error, which, on becoming sensible, must vary inversely with the distances of the reflected terrestrial objects.
The Academy of Sciences lately heard a report on the discovery of a petrified man and horse in the forest of Fontainebleau. That forest is very remarkable, and has never been properly examined. Cuvier is charged with the investigation of this astonishing petrifaction, and this may lead to other important researches.
Geometry.-The author of the Mécanique Céleste has published the fifth and last volume of his great work. The question of the form of the earth is treated by him in points of view in which it has not hitherto been considered: that is to say,-1st, The dynamic effect of the presence and distribution of the waters on the surface of the globe; 2dly, The compression to which the interior beds are subjected; 3dly, The change of size, which may result from the progressive cooling of the earth. M. De Laplace has arrived at the following results: that the great mass of the earth is by no means homogeneous; that the beds situate at the greatest depth are the most dense; that those beds are disposed regularly round the centre of gravity of the globe, and that their form differs little from that of a curved surface generated by the revolution of an ellipsis ; that the density of water is nearly five times less than the mean density of the earth; that the presence and distribution of the waters on the surface of the earth do not occasion any considerable alterations in the law of the diminution of the degrees, and in that of weight; that the theory of any considerable displacing of the poles at the surface of the earth is inadmissible, and that every geological system founded on such an hypothesis will not at all accord with the existing knowledge of the causes which determine the form of the earth; that the temperature of the globe has not sensibly diminished since the days of Hipparchus (above two thousand years ago), and that the actual loss of heat in that period has not produced a variation, in the length of the day, of the two hundredth part of a centesimal second.
Mechanics.-M. Girard has investigated certain questions relative to cast iron, and the use of that material in machinery, in pipes for conducting water, and in the boilers of steam-engines. He deduces from his formulæ the relation between the interior and exterior diameters of a
hollow cylinder, and the means of impart ing the greatest strength to it with the least weight.-M. Dupin has made an elaborate report on the construction of
VOL. XII. NO. XXXVII.
public carriages, as well as on that of the American steam-boats.
Antiquities. In that part of the citadel of Metz which commands the Moselle, near the Tour d'Enfer, some remains of antiquities were discovered at the foot of the curtain. The first is a tomb, two stones of which were dug up. The lower part of the monument bears the following inscription :—
CATVLLINVS CARATHO VN(icus)
SIBI VIVI POSVEPVNT ET
The end of the inscription is illegible; the
and holding a trident in his hand. This sepulchre is adorned with pilasters and fluted pillars, and the receptacle for the ashes is still visible. The workmanship appears to be of the period of the latter part of the Roman dominion in this country. The objects represented on the third monument are less correctly drawn than those on the first two. We here see a man at a table, on which are some weights; on the left hand lie some tables for casting accounts; he holds a book in his left hand, and his right is extended as if pointing at something,-the two last fingers are bent; before him a young man, standing, with his right hand over the reckoning table, seems to be calculating. -This monument, which is believed to be the first of the kind which has been described, appeared to be that of a Mensarius, or some officer of a similar description. The fourth monument is also a tombstone, which is very much damaged: the following letters of the inscription are still legible :
VENDI V PANI
T HERDES F. C.
At the beginning of the inscription the letters D.M. should, probably, be supplied, and then it would be as follows:-Dis MANIBUS Vendi Veterani Ex Optione Legionis Vigesimæ Secundæ, Primigeniæ, Piæ, Fidelis Defuncti et Finitimiæ Nonnæ, Conjugi Vivæ, Filii et Heredes Faciendum Curaverunt. The twenty-second Roman legion has left numerous memorials in the countries on the Rhine; its historical epithets were Primigenia Pia Fidelis, which we see on many monuments. These monuments are made of white calcareous stone, which is found in abundance in the environs; and all these antiquities are deposited in the museum of the Academy of Sciences at Metz.
the name of Flavius Merobandis, who bore arms with honour under Theodosius and Valentinian. Such is the mutilated state of the manuscripts on which M. Niebuhr has laboured, that it is only by induction that he has arrived at the name of the author. Of five pieces of poetry, three are very brief and disfigured; the fourth, which appears to belong to a poem composed in honour of the son of Aetius, has several good lines; the fifth, which is the longest, contains no fewer than a hundred and ninety-seven lines, which are the remains of a poem commemorative of the exploits of Aetius himself. There are two prose pieces of a similar tendency; but there are not ten consecu tive lines of them undamaged. At present it is impossible to assign Merobandis any rank among poets and orators; but the efforts of M. Niebuhr may stimulate other learned persons to occupy themselves with the same author, and the result may possibly be to give the world an additional ancient poet. It is also to be hoped that the lovers of antiquity may be induced to visit the libraries of Switzerland, which have been too much neglected, and of which many are well deserving the researches of the learned. Particularly in the library which decorates the rich and powerful Abbey of Einselden, there are many manuscripts which appear very worthy of being published.
Ancient Literature. The library of the ci-devant Abbey of Saint Gall, in Switzerland, has justly acquired great celebrity in consequence of its having preserved and given to literature the writings of Quintilian, Silius Italicus, Valerius Flaccus, Marcellinus Ammianus, several treatises by Cicero, &c. It is not surprising, therefore, that although this illustrious depôt is nearly exhausted, every thing that proceeds from it is still received with eagerness. M. Niebuhr has just published, under the title of "Fl. Merobandis carminum orationisque reliquiæ, ex membranis San-Gallensibus edita," the fragments of a writer little known, of
Etymology. In a work on the origin of Runic writing, recently published at Copenhagen, the author, M. Buxdorf, traces the source of the Runic writing of the ancient Scandinavians in the Moesogothic alphabet of Ulphilas. M. Buttmann, one of the members of the Royal Academy of Sciences at Berlin, has written a paper on the word Minya. He examines why the Argonauts were called Minyæ; and contends that that word was never the name of a people. According to him, it designated a kind of mythological nobility, and was derived from the East. Menu is, among the Indians, the father of the human race. He appears again in Egypt, where he is called Men, or Mènas. He is again seen in the Minos of the Cretans, the Manès of the Lydians, the Mannus of the Germans, and in the word Manes. The same subject has engaged the attention of M. Neumann, of Gottingen, who however, in a sketch of the history of Crete, maintains that the resemblance in sound of the Indian Menu to the Cretan Minos is far from indicating any analogy between the Institutions of India and of Crete, which in fact were essentially different. A brief Essay on the Celtic Language by Julius Leichtlen,
the Keeper of the Archives at Fribourg, and in which he examines the four words, Briga, Magus, Durum, and Acum, which form the termination of a number of Celtic nouns, concludes thus: "I am tired of always hearing the Romans quoted when the commencement of our civilization is spoken of; while nothing is said of our obligations to the Celts. It was not the Latins, it was the Gauls who were our first instructors."
Extraordinary Current in Norway. About six leagues from Hundholm, is the celebrated current of Salten (Saltenstrom), which is even more dreaded than the Mahlstrom, as all the inhabitants of Saltensfiord have to cross this dangerous passage, in which several persons annually perish. There is, says the letter of a late visitor, really something wonderful in the violence of the current of the waters, when they are confined in this narrow passage, where the current runs about seven French leagues in an hour, and forms, besides, a multitude of whirlpools wherever it meets with any resistance from the sinuosities of its banks.
Ural Gold Mines.-Respecting these, the following are new particulars from St. Petersburgh. The mines on the east side of the mountains are far richer than those on the opposite side. The former extend from Verkhoturir to the sources of the river Ural. Those places, however, where the gold appears to be the most abundant, extend between the mines of Nijne-Tajilskoi and Kouphtoumhoi, to the length of 300 wersts (200 miles). The mines here begin almost at the surface, under the turf, and the earth that contains the gold is at the depth of a few arsheens. The ore is obtained merely by washing, and the labour is so trifling, that in general little boys are employed in it. The metal appears in small grains, and sometimes in lumps, weighing six marks. On an average it may be assumed, that 100 poods (3600 lbs.) of earth yield 24 ounces of pure gold. A single land-owner, Mr. Jucowliff, on whose estate are the richest mines yet discovered, will send this year 30 poods (1080 lbs.) of gold to the mint in Petersburgh. The other mines in the Ural mountains furnish altogether 130 poods. The gold seems to have been originally combined with greenstone, slaty chlorite, serpentine, grey iron earth, &c.; and these substances being decomposed, have left the ore pure. The other mine
ralogical treasures of the mountains are said to be as multifarious as they are immense. Among them are adamantine spar, various metals, American and Indian precious stones, especially one of the latter, resembling the sapphire, to which has been given the name of Soimonit, in honour of the learned mineralogist Senator Soimonoff.
Variety of Languages in Russia. — To give some idea of the great diversity of languages and idioms employed by the various nations who inhabit this vast empire, it will be sufficient to observe that the Bible Society has caused the Bible to be translated into the following languages; - Sclavonian, Russian, Hebrew, ancient Greek, modern Greek, German, French, Polish, Finnish, Esthonian of the dialect of Dorpat, Esthonian of the dialect of Revel, Lithuanian, Georgian, Armenian, Samogitian, Carelian, Teheremissian, Mordowian, Ossetinian, Moldavian, Bulgarian, Tyrenian, Persian, Calmuc, Mongol of the Bouriates, Turkish-Tartaric, Tartaric, Tartaric of the dialect of Orenbourg, Tartaric-Hebrew; in all, twenty-nine languages or dialects. The translation of the Gospel is still going on in various other languages and dialects.
Some contend that for the thirty years subsequent to the death of Gustavus III. science, arts, and literature have declined in Sweden. This assertion is too sweeping. M. Berzelius is one of the best living chemists; M. Nordberg is one of the first proficients in Europe in oriental literature; Wargentin has been celebrated by Condorcet as an able astronomer. Cardel as an engineer, Font, in general, and Engestrom in diplomatic history, have never been surpassed in Sweden; and thence it may be fairly inferred that the sciences have not altogether declined in that country, particularly those connected with public utility. Eloquence is now divested of the exuberance of ornament that distinguished it under the reign of Gustavus III.; but it has been formed more upon the model of the English. On the ministerial side of the public speakers, M. de Wedderstadt, more elegant than profound, and M. de Lagerbielke, known by some very remarkable eulogies, are the individuals most worthy of notice. On the political opposition side, there is Ankarowerd, who appears formed as a speaker on the model of the ancient classics, and upon noble and pure principles; and lately (since suddenly dead) M. Posoć, who in his career seemed to have imbibed the spirit of the best French ora