Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 28.djvu/125

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117
SKETCH OF SIR LYON PLAYFAIR.

used are turquoise, lapis-lazuli, agate, aqua-marina, and amber, if the latter may be classed with the stones. They also wear ornaments made of a colored porcelain, etc. The very great people, such as governors, have large ornaments in gold. Most of their precious stones come from the neutral ground, or Singpho country, north of Upper Burraah, between the British province of Assam and China, also from India via Cashmere. When a woman prepares for sleep she simply wraps a man's Tchru ba round her head, and lets the skirts fall about her, rolling herself up in these, and, with her boots and belt for a pillow, she requires to seek no couch.

On the subject of trade very little can be said. Not that the trade is insignificant by any means, but the system can be summed up in the one word "peddling." Every family trades; the Lamasseries trade; the officials trade; but it is in every case conducted on the peddler system. Members of a family attend to the trade of the family, and travel immense distances with their laden mule and yaks, exchanging their goods at different places as they go along. Shops are almost unknown on any scale.


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SKETCH OF SIR LYON PLAYFAIR.

IN Sir Lyon Playfair the British Association has for its president this year a gentleman who, to a thorough scientific training and a wide fame as a scientific man, unites a versatile adaptability to public affairs, and who has done many unquestionable services to the state in the lines of administration and of the advancement of great public questions. "He is eminent," says the writer of a sketch of him in an English paper, "as a scientific and practical chemist, a sanitary reformer, an educational reformer, a man of public business, an ex-minister, and late chairman of the Committee of Ways and Means in the House of Commons."

Dr. Playfair is a son of Mr. George Playfair, Chief Inspector-General of Hospitals of Bengal, and was born at Meerut, Bengal, May 21, 1819. He was taught at St. Andrews and afterward at Glasgow, where he studied chemistry under Sir Thomas Graham, till 1837, when he went to India for his health. Upon his return to England, with restored vigor, he rejoined Professor Graham, who was then in the London University, but soon after went to Giessen, where he continued his chemical studies, in the "organic" branch of the science, under Liebig, and translated some of that author's works into English. Upon his return to Scotland he became manager of the Messrs. Thompson's Calico-Printing Works at Clitheroe. In 1843 he was appointed Professor of Chemistry, succeeding Dalton, in the Royal Institution at Manchester. In the next year he was appointed, upon the