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1. That the city of Nysa, the native country of wheat and barley, is the same as Scythopolis or Bethsané, and is situated in the valley of the Jordan. 2. That the identity of the wheat and barley, anciently cultivated in Egypt and Palestine, with our Cereales, is certain. 3. That the habitat of all the vegetables, animals, and minerals, indicated by the most ancient monuments, as existing in the country of barley and wheat, has been confirmed beyond doubt. 4. That the comparison of the various zodiacs, the migrations of the worship of Ceres, confirm this origin of the Cereales. 5. That the greater number of species of the genera Triticum, Hordeum, and Secale, whose habitat is known, being indigenous in the East, the testimony of history accords sufficiently with the rules of criticism established by science; and that the valley of the Jordan, the chain of Libanus, or the part of Palestine and Syria, which borders upon Arabia, may with great probability be assigned to our Cereales, as their native country.
8. Instructions for Collecting and Preparing Fungi for Herbariums, and for Preserving them from the Attacks of Insects and their Larve. By M. C. H. PERSOON.A few words regarding the proper time for gathering Fungi, and the localities in which they are found, precede these useful instructions. The following are the principal rules of preservation given by this celebrated mycologist:-1. To gather the coriaceous and suberose fungi, before they begin to get old, lest they should contain germs of destruction, the most formidable of which are the eggs of insects, and to expose them from time to time to the rays of the sun. 2. To subject to pressure, without squeezing too much, the thinner species, to change the pa per often, and expose them to the open air. 3. To leave in the open air, until perfectly dry, the gelatinous fungi, such as the Tremella, Auricularia, &c. When immersed in water, they resume their original form and colours. 4. To model in wax, or immerse in weak spirits, the species whose forms cannot be exactly preserved. 5. To gather the Lycoperdineœ when half mature, and let them dry in the air, that they may bear a slight degree of compression, without being deformed. 6. To preserve the Trichiacea and Isaria, which grow upon chrysalids, in small boxes furnished with cotton, in order to retain
their delicate forms, which would be destroyed by the slightest shock. 7. To dry, in the usual manner, by a moderate degree of pressure, in grey paper, the Fungoids of a thin and papyraceous consistence, as well as the epiphyllous fungosities. 8. Lastly, After complete desiccation, to inclose them in paper bags, to prevent the attacks of insects and worms, and especially to defend them against the contact of foreign bodies. In this manner, says the author of the Synopsis Fungorum, these productions may be preserved for a long time, in order to compare them with one another, examine them without fear of losing them, and communicate them to others.
9. Effects of certain Manures on the qualities of Plants... Among the fertilizers of the soil, high importance is attached, and deservedly, to that mass of matter which results from the process of putrefaction upon organic substances undergoing cor-/ ruption after death. By reason of its efficacy, it is assiduously procured to fertilize poor soils, to renovate exhausted ones, and prevent good ones from wearing out. Animal manures have at peculiar rankness. Some of them stimulate, or, it may almost be said, cauterize with vehemence. Hence they require admixture of milder materials to mitigate their force. Yet, after the offal and scrapings of large cities, have been mingled with soil in such proportion as not to destroy the life of plants, but o to promote their vegetation, they have been considered as com->››› municating, in many cases, a disgusting or offensive quality to some of the vegetables they nourish. They have been charged with imparting a biting and acrimonious taste to radishes and.. turnips. Cabbages are less sapid and delicate. Potatoes have been observed to borrow the foul taint of the ground. It has been traced to the bulb of the onion. Millers observe a strong and disagreeable odour, in the meal of wheat that grew upon land highly charged with rotten recrements of cities. The like deterioration of quality, has even been remarked in tobacco raised in cow-pens. And stable-dung has been accused of imparting a disagreeable flavour to asparagus. It seems as if some portion of the foul matter of the manure was absorbed by the vegetable radicles, and, after passing unassimilated through the sap-vessels, was converted by the process of nutrition to living substances. This condition of the vegetable species, seems to
receive illustration from analogies in the animal kingdom. Ducks are rendered so ill-tasted from stuffing down garbage at the kitchen door, as sometimes to be offensive when brought as food to the table. The quality of pork is acknowledged to be modified by the food of the swine. The bitterness of partridges has been ascribed to the buds upon which they live; and the peculiar flavour of piscivorous wild fowl, is rationally traced to the fish they devour. Thus a portion of nutrimental matter passes into the living bodies of plants and animals, in certain proportion, without having been entirely subdued, or assimilated. It becomes, therefore, a subject of curious and important reflection. The horticulturist mostly calculates on the quantity of his crop. It is, however, a becoming subject of research, that he should likewise attend to the quality; or perhaps the consumer, his customer, may inform him that an offended palate and injured health, will induce a careful provider to seek uncontaminated articles for his table.-Dr Mitchill's Discourse at the Anniversary of the New York Horticultural Society, 1826.
10. New Mode of applying Graphite, or Black Lead, in Drawings.-Mr C. Galpin, the inventor of this improvement in the management of graphite, as applied to drawing, having long regretted that a material of so pleasing a neutral colour, should only be capable of producing broad shades, by means of a laborious repetition of lines or touches, commenced a series of experiments with reference to this subject, which, however, did not at first lead to any useful result, on account of the granular separation of the substance, when applied to paper. At length, having thought of reducing it to an impalpable powder, and using it with a brush, he obtained the most complete success, having found that every possible degree of shade can be produced with the nicest uniformity, and in less than a twentieth part of the time required in the ordinary manner. The process is described as follows:-The instruments required are, a small piece of muslin, filled with black-lead reduced to fine powder, which is called a shader; a palette, made of thick card board; and a brush of medium size. The shader is rubbed two or
three times on the palette, near one extremity, by which a small portion of the lead is sifted, as it were, through the muslin; the brush is passed round in the pulverised graphite, and on some other part of the palette, to adjust the shade required; the brush is then applied to the paper, to produce a sky, or other expanse of shade, with a circulating motion. To produce a darker shade, the graphite may be rubbed in with alder, pith, or any similar substance, brought to a point.-Gill's Technical Repository, 1827.
11. On Etching and Dyeing at once figures on Ivory; by Mr J. Cathery.-The usual mode of ornamenting ivory in black, is to engrave the pattern or design, and then to fill up the cavities thus produced with hard black varnish. The demand for engraved ivory in ornamented inlaying, and for other purposes, is considerable, although the price paid for it is not such as to encourage artists of much ability to devote themselves to this work, which consequently is trivial in design, and coarse in execution. Mr Cathery's improvement consists in covering the ivory with engraver's varnish, and drawing the design with an etching needle. He then pours on a menstruum composed of 120 grains of fine silver, dissolved in one ounce measure of nitric acid, and then diluted with one quart of pure distilled water. After half an hour, more or less, according to the required depth of tint, the liquor is to be poured off, and the surface is to be washed with distilled water, and dried with blotting paper; it is then to be exposed to the light for an hour, after which the varnish may be removed by means of oil of turpentine. The design will now appear impressed on the ivory, and of a black or blackish-brown colour, which will come to its full tint after exposure for a day or two to the light. The property which nitrate of silver possesses, of giving a permanent dark stain to ivory, and many other substances, has been long known; but Mr Cathery has the merit of having advantageously applied it in a department of art in which it is likely to be of considerable service, by improving the quality of the ornament, and at the same time of diminishing the cost. Varieties of colour may also be given, by substituting the salts of gold, platina, copper, &c. for the solution of silver.-Gill's Repository, Feb. 1827.
1. Essay on the Theory of the Earth. By Baron GEORGE CUVIER; with Geological Illustrations by Professor JAMESON. Fifth edition. Translated from the last French edition, with numerous additions by the Author and Translator. Eleven Plates. Blackwood, Edinburgh; Cadell, London. 14s.
On the suggestion of Professor Jameson, the celebrated essay of Cuvier was translated by the late Robert Kerr, Esq. F. R. S. E., and under the revisal of the present editor, who also added to the original a series of notes and illustrations. The success of the work was great. It was speedily republished in America, and translated, with its notes and illustrations, into the German and Italian languages. Another edition was soon required. This, in its turn, was speedily exhausted. Although, in the third edition, as in the former, the impression, was great, a fourth and enlarged edition appeared in 1822. The present, which is the fifth edition, is translated from the last edition of the illustrious author, and may be considered nearly as a new work, from the numerous additional facts and views which it contains. The many thousand copies of this work now circulated throughout the British Empire, and indeed in every country where the English language is known, is a proof not only of the very general interest excited by geological facts and reasonings, but also of the absurdity of the opinion still entertained by some of the inutility of this branch of natural history. On this subject, Professor Jameson, in the preface to the present edition, has the following remarks:
"Geology, now deservedly one of the most popular and attractive of the physical sciences, was, not many years ago, held in little estimation; and, even at present, there are not wanting some who do not hesitate to maintain, that it is a mere tissue of ill observed phenomena, and of hypotheses of boundless extravagance. The work of Cuvier now laid before the public, contains, in itself, not only a complete answer to these ignorant imputations, but also demonstrates the accuracy, extent and importance of many of the facts and reasonings of this delightful branch of Natural History. Can it be maintained of a science, which requires for its successful prosecution an intimate acquaintance with Chemistry, Natural Philosophy and Astronomy, with the details and views of Zoology, Botany and Mineralogy, and which connects these different departments of knowledge in a most interesting and striking manner, that it is of no value? Can it be maintained of Geology, which discloses to us the history of the first origin of organic beings, and traces their gradual developement from the monade to man himself, which enu