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est stimulus to the lead trade, but would also enable those who have lately discovered valuable iron mines near Marbella (25) miles south-west from Malaga, and not 4 miles from the sea), to ruin a branch of trade almost exclusively in our hands, namely, the construction of iron-hoops for barrels, &c. for which, in a wine-country, there is a great demand. It is certain that there are now in England agents employed for the purpose of purchasing machinery for the owners of these mines, who are only waiting for its arrival, and for that of an Englishman to superintend it, to commence their projected manufactory. Having stated this much, I may now ask, how far we might be justified in refusing the introduction of machinery to a country, which rigidly prohibits almost every article of British manufacture, and charges the few that are permitted with such exorbitant duties, that they can only be smuggled into it? Should the prohibition of machinery be deemed expedient under the above circumstances, it would be necessary to prevent any being sent, as it now is, when intended for Spain, to Gibraltar, under the idea of this being an English and a free port. Every one knows that there are neither mines nor manufactories on the rock of Gibraltar; it is therefore absurd to make use of such a pretext for the introduction of machinery into Spain, thereby enabling that country to rival us in interesting branches of our commerce. I am of opinion, that the captain of this port, who is now a Magistrate, and is empowered to visit every ship in the bay, ought to be directed to seize any machinery he may discover; for, as it cannot be intended for Gibraltar, nor for English interests, it is evident, that its being put into the bill of lading as destined for that port, is a mere stratagem; and it no sooner arrives there, than it is transferred to another vessel, to be landed at some place along the coast. Political economists will perhaps say, that if our machinery enriches Spaniards, they will purchase more of our articles. As a general principle, this I admit; but when we know that almost every British article of trade is strictly prohibited (even coals, although there is not a single coalmine wrought in the Spanish Peninsula), I cannot help thinking, that such prohibitions on their part should be followed by similar prohibitions on ours, with respect to articles so likely to operate to our immediate disadvantage, and that they call for

legislative interference, as being subversive of free trade in general. H. WITHAM, Esq. F. R. S. E. &c.

Letter of Professor BUCKLAND to Professor JAMESON, and of Captain SYKES to Professor BUCKLAND, on the Interior of the Dens of living Hyænas.

DEAR SIR,

Oxford, 5th March 1827. IN the 4th volume of the Memoirs of the Wernerian Society of Edinburgh, a paper has been printed by Dr Knox, in which he expresses doubts as to a circumstance I have insisted on in my history of the Cave of Kirkdale, namely, that it is the habit of living hyænas to drag home their prey to the interior of their dens.

These doubts he allows are founded only on the two negative facts, that, during his residence at the Cape, he has never seen hyænas engaged in the act of dragging dead carcases into their den, nor ever examined, or caused to be examined, the interior of their habitation, to see what may be its contents. He at the same time candidly admits, that negative evidence is never reckoned so good as positive; and that, after all, my theory is perhaps the best hitherto offered.

In No. 28, also, of the Edinburgh Philosophical Journal, Dr Fleming contends, it is more probable that the bones discovered in the cave of Kirkdale have been drifted in by water, than gradually accumulated by the agency of hyænas that once inhabited it; and adds, that "the evidence proving the Kirkdale Cave to have been an Antediluvian Den, seems in all its parts so deficient in precision, as to warrant the rejection of that hypothesis it had been produced to support."

As in cases of this nature, where the question is concerning facts, the evidence of accurate and independent observers is most competent to decide the point at issue, I subjoin a copy of a letter I have lately received from Captain Sykes, a friend of Dr Somerville, now on service near Bombay, who has recently been investigating this subject. From his observations, it appears that the interior of a living hyæna's den, presents an exact

fac-simile of the mangled antediluvian remains that occur in the caves of Kirkdale and Torquay.

MY DEAR SIR,

Poona, 11th June 1826.

Your commission with respect to the hyæna has not been executed probably with the promptitude you anticipated, but, in truth, it was only in my last campaign I was enabled to meet with a hyæna, to satisfy myself fully with respect to the habits of this beast. At the present moment, from having examined the dens of hyænas in three different districts, I can state to you confidently, that these animals do carry with them into the recesses of their dens their prey, or such parts of their prey, as the narrowness of the entrances and passages of their

course.

abodes will admit. I first examined some dens in the face of a hill about eighteen miles north of Poona in March 1825, near a place called Mahloonga, The rockiness of the ground disabled me from laying them open, but I pulled out myself, from some feet within the entrances of two dens, several bones. Bones also lay strewed about the mouths of the dens, but not in any great quantity. The hyænas evaded our pursuit, and the plans we laid to entrap them for some days, although they had the courage to come for two successive nights and devour more than three parts of a dead pony I had dragged to about one hundred yards from my encampment. Subsequently to this period, I had not an opportunity of examining another hyæna's den until the 23d December 1825. Being then encamped at Kowta, in the Pabool district, a den was pointed out to me about three and a half miles S. by E. from the village. I found it situated on the bank of a waterThe den had several entrances and outlets. I had these carefully closed, and trusted I had secured the animals within. The depth of calcareous soil on the banks of the water-course led me to expect that I should not meet with any impediment in laying open this den. Leaving a man to watch until I could send a sufficient number of my people with tools to dig at it, in the course of a couple of hours I set fourteen men to work, and in a few hours more the whole den was laid open to the day; they had closed it up before the hyænas had returned home, and therefore did not meet with them. We found the den to consist of several passages on two different levels; some of these terminated in the exits and entrances, others in small chambers, not of any determinate form. In the lowest passage, at the depth of several feet from the surface, and 18 feet from the nearest entrance, I found numerous bones, broken and whole. These bones appeared to be those of the camel, buffalo, ox, hog, dog, and sheep; but you will be enabled to judge for yourself, as I have sent you some of them dug out of the den.. At 24 feet from the entrance I took out the rib of an ox. Not near so many bones were found outside the den as inside, some few only were lying about the mouths of the northern entrances, and none whatever in the bed of the water-course below the southern entrance. The Latitude of this den is 18° 21" N. nearly; and Longitude 74° 24′ E. The country near is amygdaloid greenstone in horizontal strata, and the elevation of the dens above the sea, determined by the boiling temperature, is 1650 feet.

I had almost despaired of getting you the skeleton of a hyæna, when fortunately, on my march from the Pabool to Cheencholee, on the 14th February 1826, I saw a large male and a female basking in the sun, with a couple of good sized cubs tumbling about them. The -country is a table land, and perfectly open. The beasts were about half a mile from the road. I was obliged to approach them without disguise or concealment., As I neared them, the cubs disappeared in the den, and the female walked slowly away; but the male waited very coolly until I got within a hundred yards of him, when a ball from my gun brought him down. I had shot him through the shoulder, and on running up to him found he had sufficient strength left to move; and fearful he would get into his den, distant only five paces, I put a ball through his head. I regret this now very much, as it broke the skull into fragments, and it will occasion you a good deal of trouble to put them together again. My people had most of them passed on to the new ground of encampment eight miles distant; and as it was getting very hot, I did not think it necessary to dig out the cubs. The hyæna family I found had been regaling themselves on the remains of a jackass, some of whose bones, with the half putrified flesh on them, were lying about. The rest of the animal was doubtless in the den, as I pulled out from one of the passages a hind-leg and haunch, with part of the flesh on it, which the hyænas had been disabled from taking into the recesses of the den, by the leg having stiffened into so angular a form, as not to admit of its passing where the rock narrowed.

I have to remark a very singular fact with respect to the habits of these carrion beasts. It was evndent from uū ས་ང་ཐམ་»ཨ་ the same spot, in a hollow about ten feet from the entrance of the den, and from this substance not being found in any other place, that these beasts, young and old, resorted regularly to a chosen spot; in short, that they had thought it necessary, in their domestic arrangements, to render a spot sacred to the goddess of filth. A very few words will now close the hyæna's history. The beast I had killed was taken to my tents, carefully skinned, and the skin cured in the native way, by being rubbed with turmeric and salt, and subsequently with thick acid milk. The flesh was boiled off the bones; and the skeleton, skin, and some of the bones found in the several dens, were packed into a box; you will put on board the Pyramus, and directed to you, and I trust receive this box almost as soon as you get my letter. I have omitted to remark, that porcupines' quills are commonly found in hyenas' dens; these animals, therefore, must be their prey. The hyenas, although sometimes as large or larger than a stout mastiff, contrive to creep along very narrow passages in their dens. I have farther only to remark of the hyena, that it is a cowardly beast. It never attacks where there is any risk; and, when chased and driven to extremity, submits to be killed almost without resistance. When the beast does bite, and gets a fair hold, the power of the jaws is so great as to admit of their fracturing any bone of a horse or an ox. (Signed)

W. H. SYKES.

To the above letter of Captain Sykes, I add no farther note or comment. Your readers will judge for themselves how far it may confirm the theory I have proposed in my Reliquiæ Diluviance, to explain the accumulation of teeth and bones in the Cave of Kirkdale.

P. S.-I beg to correct an omission that occurs in No. XXVIII. of your Journal, p. 363. in the description of fragments of gnawed bones, from the cavern of Kent's Hole, near Torquay, that are stated to have been sent to the Edinburgh Museum by myself. They were only transmitted through me, and at my request; but they were both discovered and presented by the Reverend J. M‘Enery of Torquay, a gentleman who, during two years' past, has exerted himself with the greatest zeal and success in exploring the contents of this cavern, and who has formed the most extensive and most instructive collection of gnawed and mangled fragments of skeletons of antediluvian animals, that has yet been made. It is highly gratifying to me to add, that the conclusions he has drawn from his own independent observations in the larger cavern of Kent's Hole, y with those I had founded on a display of similar phenomena, though on a less extensive scale, in the cave of Kirkdale.

I

On the growth and preparation of Straw used in the Tuscan Trade *.

THE following observations have been extracted from some valuable communications which have reached the Highland Society from Mr H. Hall of Florence, Mr Boswell of Kingcausie, and others; and will perhaps afford information on some points of management in the growth and preparation of the straw used in the Tuscan trade, which may not yet be quite familiar in this country.

"The seed from which the straw for plaiting is grown, is a small round grain of wheat, called grano marzuolo, or more properly grano marzolano. It is so called from being sown in the month of March, and differs from common wheat in appearance, from its rounder and

* Extracted from the printed List of Premiums of the Highland Society of Scotland for 1827.

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