Popular Science Monthly/Volume 36/January 1890/Popular Miscellany

From Wikisource
Jump to: navigation, search


The American Forestry Association.—The American Forestry Congress at its eighth annual meeting, held in Philadelphia in October, changed its name to Association. The meeting was opened with an address by the Hon. Carl Schurz, in which he narrated the difficulties he encountered from the opposition of Congressmen when, as Secretary of the Interior, he endeavored to protect the forests on the public lands against timber thieves. Mr. B. E. Fernow spoke on "Methods of Forestry Reform," and particularly of what lay within the competency of the Government. Resolutions offered by Mr. Fernow, recommending the withdrawal of all public forest-lands from sale till a permanent system of national forest management can be applied, called out debate. Mr. L. Thompson, a lumberman, argued that it would be contrary to our national usage and the spirit of our institutions to extend the sphere of Government control over interests that have been hitherto successfully managed by private enterprise; that the forests would be better protected by selling the land to citizens than by putting them under the management of office-seekers and politicians. Colonel Edgar T. Ensign held that where large water-sheds are involved, and the streams are to be used for irrigation, only national control can be made efficient and adequate; that it is not enough even to leave the matter to individual States. Mr. Richard J. Bin ton pointed out the impossibility of adequate supervision by owners or individual States of rivers like those that have their sources in our Western mountain forests. Mr. Fernow's resolutions were adopted. A resolution in favor of removing the duty on lumber wa8 not entertained, for fear of drawing the Association into political controversies.


Lake Ridges of Ohio.—In the American Association paper of the Rev. G. Frederick Wright on "The Relation of Lake Ridges in New York, Ohio, and Ontario," the ridges in Ohio were described as being four in t number, and standing at elevations above the sea of 775, 720, G90, and 650 feet. They consist of sand and gravel piled up to the height of from five to twenty-five feet, and approximately parallel with Lakes Erie and Ontario, and are evidently old shore lines of the lakes. The problem of how the water could have been kept up to these several levels seems to have been solved with considerable probability by recent glacial investigations. Attention was called to the fact that the irregularities of the southern boundary of the glacial region are such that if the retreat of the ice front was with equal rapidity all along its course it would have wholly withdrawn from Lake Erie and western Lake Ontario some time before the ice-dams across the Mohawk and the St. Lawrence had been melted away. An inspection of the map shows that two of the most important of these outlets would be, (1) that through Seneca Lake into the Chemung River in New York, and so into the Susquehanna, and (2) that through the Wabash at Fort Wayne, Ind. The heights correspond pretty well with that of the upper and third ridges in Ohio, the upper ridge being probably connected with the Chemung River outlet, and the third with the Wabash outlet.


Favoritism at Trinity House.—Prof. Tyndall published a full account, in the "Fortnightly Review" some months ago, of the transactions that led him, in 1883, to resign his position as scientific adviser to the Trinity House. The case, according to his showing, was one of the persistent exercise of personal and political favoritism by the Board of Trade in the experiments for determining what were the best lights for lighthouse purposes. In the competition between the quadriform gas-light of Mr. Wigham, a Scotch Irishman, who had the misfortune to be in trade, and the eight-wick oil-lamp of Mr. Douglass, whose brother was connected with Trinity House, the conditions were arranged so as to be more favorable to the latter. The electric light was then introduced into the competitions, and the proposition gradually assumed a form indicating a disposition to crowd Mr. Wickham out; so that Prof. Tyndall came to the conclusion that "if the treatment of the gas invention and its optical adjuncts could be regarded as a fair sample of the treatment of Ireland by England, it would be the bounden duty of every Irishman to become a Home-Ruler." The evidences of partiality becoming more and more prominent in the action of the board and its committee, Prof. Tyndall felt constrained to resign. Two months afterward the committee went to pieces. Prof. Tyndall observes that some of the parties throughout the transactions seemed to think that Ireland, and not the ships of all nations sailing to its coasts, was the chief beneficiary from the lighthouses.


Interesting Fossils of British North America.—The Cretaceous fossil plants of Port McNeill, Vancouver Island, as described by Sir William and G. M. Dawson, consist chiefly of dicotyledonous leaves, with a few fruits. Large slabs have been procured, some with perfect specimens of the leaves. There are no ferns or cycads in the collection, and conifers are rare. Among the latter are two species of Salisburia, or gingko, one of which is "a beautiful little form." The exogenous leaves are very numerous, and belong to a number of genera, with at least twenty species, giving evidence of a very rich and varied forest flora of warm temperate aspect. Sir William Dawson has made an interesting study of the Balanus hameri of the Pleistocene of Rivière Beaudette, a species which is still living in somewhat deep water on the Canadian coasts. The specimens under consideration were found farther west than any point at which the fossil had been previously observed, and are interesting from their remarkable perfection and the large masses which they form. The original attachments of the animals, so far as observed, were on pebbles on the surface of the clay, and, as these afforded space for only one or two individuals, the young were obliged to attach themselves to the old in successive generations. Most grotesque groups were thus formed, which still remain entire. Observations of peculiar varieties of the mussels Mya arenaria and Mya truncata in the modern sea and in the Pleistocene have led the same author to remark upon the interesting feature of "the companionship of these allied species in the North Atlantic throughout the Pleistocene and modern periods, and their range of varietal forms applicable to each, according to the conditions to which they have been exposed, along with their continued specific distinctness, and the preference of each for certain kinds of environment; so that in some places one and in others the other predominates, while this relative predominance, as well as the prevalence of certain varietal forms, might no doubt be reversed by change of climate or depth."


The Cretaceous Inland Sea.—In the course of two years' study of the northern and eastern terminations of the Texas Cretaceous deposits, Prof. Robert T. Hill has found that the marine sedimentation of both divisions of the formation was limited on the north by an older continental shore line, the present remnant of which extends from the Ouachita River, near Malvern and Hot Springs, Arkansas, almost due west through Indian Territory into the Panhandle of Texas. The whole Cretaceous history, including the upper and lower systems, can be summed up as two profound subsidences, separated by a land epoch, which have left in their sediments two great chalk formations. During the second subsidence, which was the deepest in all Mesozoic times, the Atlantic Ocean extended continuously from British America southward around the Appalachian continent. Prof. Hill has begun the publication of a series of illustrations of the paleontology of the Cretaceous formations of Texas, in which pictures and outlines of characteristic fossils are given, with letterpress descriptions. The first number thus represents Pecten (Vola?) Roemeri Peterocera Shumardi, and Crioceras? (Acayloceras) Texanus—all new species, of the Comanche series, or Lower Cretaceous.


An Orthodox Compliment to Darwin.—The first number of the "Cumberland Presbyterian Preview" (Nashville, Tenn., January, 1889) contains a broad and enlightened article on "Charles Darwin," by Prof. J. I. D. Hinds. The author, whom the company in which he appears attests to be orthodox, looks at Darwin's doctrines on their merits, without regarding their seeming bearing on questions that are equally liable to be misunderstood with those with which the theory of evolution deals. "When a man wins distinction in this world," he begins, "it is customary to condemn him outright if his teaching happen to be in conflict with the consensus of mankind. This is natural, but at the same time very unwise; since it has thus often happened that theories have been placed under the ban which have afterward been proved true. .. . If Darwin found the correct explanation of the phenomena of the organic world, his theory will stand the test of investigation and logic; if not, it must take its place with other theories which have served their day, and have yielded to better ones; she must be content to leave the decision to the scientist and the philosopher, and we can certainly have no reason to reject their final conclusion. .. . The Christian, of all men, should have the greatest confidence and repose of mind in the face of the investigations of the present day: for, if his religion be true, its foundations can not be shaken; and, if it be false, he has nothing to lose." Of Darwin's theory, undoubtedly its first tendency "is toward infidelity and skepticism. But since the world has become familiar with it, and has found that it is simply an attempted explanation of the ordinary course of nature, to be placed side by side with Newton's law of gravitation, Copernicus's theory of the solar system, the nebular hypothesis, and the geological eras of indefinite time, it has ceased to be atheistic, and is likely soon to become itself one of the arguments of natural theologians." Of Darwin's agnosticism, "his religious views and the changes through which they passed were but the natural outcome of the course of his investigations and studies. He was a pioneer, and could not see the true ethical import of the doctrine which he promulgated. Like many other investigators, he contrasted the ideal of God to which his theories led him with theological dogmas and the prevalent anthropomorphic conceptions of Deity. His training had been Calvinistic, and the freedom which he found everywhere in nature did not accord with the Calvinistic idea of fatality and the arbitrary action of the supernatural will." Finally, "In truth, let me ask, how much worse is it to have pithecoid ancestors than to be a beast in propria persona? The great question with us is, not whence we came, but what we are, what we should be, and what we are destined to be."


The Moving Forces of Meteorite Swarms.—An attempt has been made by Mr. G. H. Darwin to apply the kinetic theory of gases to the case of a swarm of meteorites in space. The individual meteorites are analogous to the molecules of the gas, and the mass of gas corresponds, in the author's theory, to the whole solar system. Lockyer and Sir William Thomson have expressed their conviction that the present condition of the solar system is derived from an accretion of meteorites, but the idea of fluid pressure seems necessary in explaining present forms of equilibrium. The author proposes to reconcile the two theories by showing that the laws of fluid pressure apply to a swarm of meteorites which is condensing to a solid form. The case of an infinite atmosphere of equal-sized meteorites is considered, and then the case of meteorites of very different sizes. In the case of a swarm of meteorites condensing under the mutual attractions of its parts, the author shows that the larger meteorites will gravitate toward the center of condensation, and that consequently the mean density of the condensed mass will decrease from the center toward the circumference. During the process of condensation the condensing mass will first gain by accretion of meteorites; then a balance will be maintained between those which remain on the condensing mass and those which rebound from it; and, finally, more will be lost by rebounding than gained by accretion.


The Sacred Maori Axe.—The thought of a connection between ancient stone weapons and thunder is widely diffused, and has a hold even in European minds. A curious illustration of its character has been communicated to "Nature" by Mr. Edward Tregear, of Wellington, New Zealand., in the shape of a translation from a Maori newspaper of the story of the finding of the sacred axe, Te Anhiorangi, which had been hidden by a remote ancestor, and had not been seen again till December, 1887. A party of Maoris had gone out to gather the edible mushroom. With them was a young woman, a stranger in the district, and ignorant of the sacred places. Wandering away by herself, and looking here and there for funguses, "she saw a tree on which there was a fungus, and laid her hand on it, but suddenly there came the flash of the axe. Following with her eyes the direction of the flash, she saw the axe close against the foot of a pukatea-tree; a cry of terror broke from her, and she fled screaming. At the same time the thunder roared, the lightning flashed, and blinding hail burst forth in sudden storm, increasing her terror almost to madness. Her husband heard her cries as she flew along; but an old man, called Te Rangi Whakairione, directly he heard her shrieks, understood the reason of the outcry, so he began to chant an incantation, and the fury of the storm abated. When the party had assembled in the open land, the old priest asked which of them had been to Tieke; whereupon the girl asked, 'Where is Tieke?' The old man answered that it was beyond the turn at Waione. Tomairangi replied: 'I have been there, but I did not know it was a sacred place; I saw something that looked like a spirit, and I am full of great fear.' Then all the party went to ascertain what it was, and then they found that it was indeed the lost sacred axe, Te Anhiorangi. After Te Rangi Whakairione had chanted another incantation over it, they all took hold of the axe, and wailed over it. When the crying had ceased, they brought the axe back to the settlement." The tradition had long existed that the axe was at the spot where it was found, which had therefore been tabooed, and never visited until on this occasion. On the next day the sacred thing was hung up on a tree, that all might see it, with imposing ceremonies of a procession and priests reciting charms and incantations. "All the people carried green branches in their hands as an offering to Te Anhiorangi. When the concourse drew near the place, successive peals of thunder and flashes of lightning rent the air; then came down a dense fog, making it dark as night. The Tohunga (priests) stopped the thunder and dispersed the darkness by their incantations. When the light again appeared, the people offered the green branches, together with a number of Maori mats, etc.; then they made lamentations, and sang the old songs in which the ancient axe was spoken of by their forefathers. The pedigree of the axe, which was a stone weapon of extremely high polish, was traced back to the first Maori chief who came to New Zealand; and to him it had descended, through the great god, Tane, from the primeval pair, Heaven and Earth.


Remedies for Sleeplessness.—Correspondents of the London "Spectator" have been supplying that journal with various remedies for sleeplessness. A curate in London is afflicted in direct proportion to the mental worry and absence of air and exercise he has to endure, and finds that "to walk even one mile in the day is a great thing" in the way of a remedy. At the moment, he says, the best thing one can do is to get up, drink half a glass of water, and walk round the room. The slight alternation of cold and warmth has a soporific effect. For a permanent result: "Live healthily. Avoid too little and too much exercise, food, particularly wine. Dine lightly, eating very little meat; drink only one glass of wine. Bathe an hour before dinner, not before going to bed. . . . Do something in the evening that does not excite you, something like whist that does itself mechanically. Decide how much sleep you ought to have—say, eight hours—and get up sternly when you have been in bed eight hours, however long you have been awake. Increase your air and exercise gradually." A journalist, when suffering from an over-excited brain, and finding his eyes in constant movement, although the lids are closed, resolutely fixes the gaze downward—say, to the foot of the bed—while the lids are kept closed. If his sleeplessness arises from flatulence, he takes a remedy for that. "A most wretched lier-awake" of thirty-five years' standing, who had for ten years thought himself happy if he could get twenty minutes' sleep in the twenty-four hours, took hot water—"a pint, comfortably hot, one good hour before each of my three meals, and one the last thing at night—naturally, unmixed with anything else. The very first night I slept, for three hours on end, turned round, and slept again till morning. I have faithfully and regularly continued the hot water, and have never had one 'bad night' since. Pain gradually lessened, and went; the shattered nerves became calm and strong, and instead of each night being one long misery spent in wearying for the morning, they are all too short for the sweet, refreshing sleep I now enjoy."


The Mental Torpor Remedy.—Complete intellectual torpor is recommended as a remedy for overweariness by a writer who, to sustain his view, brings pertinent illustration to the support of argument. Such a condition is almost superstitiously avoided by hard-working men, who are disposed to regard it as a waste and an idle indulgence. But "there is no more harm in intellectual torpor for the sake of the mind's health, than in sleep for the sake of the body's health; and its duration ought to be governed only by expediency. .. . As to the curative effect of torpor, we have no doubt whatever. So far from the mind being weakened by total rest, or the energies diminished, both wake after a time fully recovered, and repossessed of the old readiness to exert themselves to fatigue. 'I am tired,' says the cured man to himself, 'of doing nothing'—that is, he has recovered the power to do things easily, which is the mark of mental health. The mind itself is, in fact, often positively stronger, having grown in its sleep as the body grows, and having, so to speak, resharpened its weapons, till the 'lazy' mathematician can not only solve his old problems more quickly, but can recollect them more accurately, the mind having gained, as in boyhood it gained, from sleep. We can all recollect how in school-days the lesson of the evening was often best known on the following morning, although, if torpor weakens, we ought in the intervening twelve hours to have invariably lost some slight grip of the words, instead of gaining a fresh one. The memory in particular recovers under this process in the most amazing way, so that even the permanent weakness, the slowness of recollection which comes of advancing years, seems to disappear. The grand gain, however, is in mental nerve, in the disappearance of that apprehensive anxiety and sense, not of strain which is, but of strain which is coming, that, far more than actual toil, however severe, shatters men's powers to pieces. But how is torpor to be attained? Like everything else, by determining to have it—that is, by a persistent resolve to be lazy, to do nothing, read nothing, think nothing, and say nothing, that involves the smallest up-springing of the sense either of trouble or of effort."


Animal Language.—Whether animals can "talk," and men can learn to understand their "language," is the subject of an article by Mr. F. G. Frazer in the "Archæological Review." A critic of the paper denies the human part in the matter, and declares that the supposition that men can learn to understand animals to the extent implied "is a direct contradiction to universal and unbroken human experience." All representations asserting such an achievement as a fact, or assuming its possibility, are vain boastings or imaginings. Yet beasts and birds all utter sounds, and sounds that have meaning to them, and meanings which to a certain extent we can understand. "They all utter, or at least they all seem to utter, the same sounds to express the same emotions. The love-cry of the nightingale, the low by which a cow recalls a straying calf, the grunt of a pig when it sees food, the mew of a cat who wants the door opened—that is, wants to attract attention—the bark of a domesticated dog to testify recognition, and the howl of an uncivilized dog as the moon rises, or of a civilized dog when the church-bells begin, are all, to human ears at least, unchanging sounds, sounds with one meaning and no other." So with numerous other familiar sounds peculiar to certain animals, and well understood; but they can not be regarded as "language" in the sense in which the term is used in the proposition under review. An interesting detail of the discussion concerns the grating sound not unlike the "gnashing of teeth" of the scolding or "swearing" of birds, which they utter also evidently in play as kittens and dogs are also fond of playing bite, and dogs bark. However much there may be that one can not learn of the "language of animals," the study of the little that is at our command is enough to furnish profitable as well as amusing occupation.


A Glance at Cambodia. A French traveler, writing from Penompein, the capital of Cambodia, says that "in passing from Cochin China to Cambodia, the difference between the Cambodian and the Annamite type is very striking. The Cambodian is almost the height of Europeans, and is idle and dirty, while the Annamite is small and active. A full-grown Annamite woman is like a French girl of twelve. A book on Cambodia would be very interesting. The banks of the river are covered with luxuriant vegetation. The entire territory and its inhabitants belong absolutely to the king, who lives here, with a second and third king besides him, while a fourth king is stationed in the interior. He has three hundred wives, chosen from the handsomest women in the whole country. The second king at present is in opposition to King Merodom. All the Cambodians are the king's earmen or slaves, and pay him rent. .. . The country is a most curious one. Elephants are very numerous here, and wander about in freedom through the brushwood, like oxen in the meadows of France. The capital of Cambodia consists of only one street, which is nearly four miles long. In all the town there are not ten houses built of stone or of bricks, and those so built are public buildings. All the officers are lodged together in two payothes, which are almost contiguous. A payothe is composed of a wooden floor resting in turn on a scaffolding of bamboo. The walls are formed of a trellis of straw or leaves, in the style of the thatch of cottages all over Europe. If you push with your finger a little strongly, it will pass through the wall. The roof is of thatch. The furniture is very primitive. It consists of a bed, formed of a frame in bamboo on which is placed a mat, and a table."


Stages of Himalayan Vegetation.—General R. Strachey describes the changes which the traveler meets in ascending one of the great mountain-ranges, as embodying a compendium of the climates and vegetation of the entire globe. Nowhere can such a display be better or more easily obtained than upon the Himalayas. The transition is abrupt from the well-cultivated plain of northern India, with its fields of rice and millet, or golden-flowering mustard, to the dense, umbrageous forests along their base, almost wholly composed of trees of tropical forms, with a few oaks and an elm, which, with a tangled growth of undershrubs and creepers and epiphytal plants, give cover to the elephant, the rhinoceros, and tiger, and afford shelter to the peacock and other gayly colored birds. The glens are choked with gigantic grasses and feathering bamboos. Great forests cover the outer ranges of the chain, scandent palms spreading over the lofty trees, whose stems are splendidly furnished with the dark-green foliage of climbing aroids; the ground beneath them is concealed under a rich growth of tree and other ferns, orchids, and Scitamineæ, or broad-leaved plantains. With gradually increasing elevation and falling temperature the character of the vegetation changes. More open woods of evergreen trees, typical of warm temperate climates, succeed, including rhododendrons, oaks, and laurels. Lofty pines cover the vast mountain-slopes through many thousand feet of altitude in unbroken uniformity. Still ascending, are reached forests of deciduous trees of surpassing size and beauty, crowning the hill-tops and fringing the courses of the rivers, intermingled with many flowering shrubs and an abundant display of herbaceous plants, of which, at the greater elevations, the forms are for the most part allied to or identical with those of Europe. The arboreous vegetation, the last members of which are commonly birches, pines, and junipers, usually ends at about twelve or thirteen thousand feet above the sea-level, the shrubby growths ascending a thousand feet higher. The Alpine region is thus attained, where, under the influence of the frequent showers that fall upon the mountain-slopes exposed to the south, the open pastures are adorned, during their short summer, with flowers of every hue and in the greatest profusion and luxuriance, including well-known European forms, such as gentian, primula, anemone, ranunculus, and many others. With increased elevation, and as the ranges are less directly exposed to the rain-bearing winds from the south, the climate becomes colder and drier, the vegetation more scanty, the forms fewer; and on reaching the border of Thibet, at an elevation of fourteen or fifteen thousand feet, where the atmospheric conditions are wholly changed, the aspect of the country is that of a desert—treeless and bare, as a rule—and, excepting in the rare neighborhood of water, not one twentieth of the surface is clothed with vegetation, and such bushes as there are seldom rise to a greater height than one or two feet.


Experimental Fields at Rothamstead.—The grass-land experimental field at Rothamstead consists of about seven acres, and is divided into twenty plots. It has probably been laid down in grass for some centuries. It is certain that no fresh seed has been artificially sown within the last fifty years; and there is no record of any having been sown since the grass was first laid down. The experiments were begun in 1856, when the herbage was uniform in character. Each plot has been treated differently. One has had no manure, others have had farm-yard dung, superphosphate of lime, ammonia salts, sulphate of potash, or other chemicals. Sir John Lawes said to a writer in the "Pall Mall Gazette," who visited the farm, that "the result was evident in many ways. On one plot the fertilizers supplied had fed only a single kind of grass, which had covered the whole area, killing out all the rest. On another the grass was hard and wiry, scarcely fit for food; and on yet another the land was little better than a bog. We can not go into technical details as to the results, but these experiments have shown that the food which plants receive, either artificially from the soil, or by the atmosphere, determines their nature as much as in the case of animals. The same thing is seen in the wheat and barley fields. One of the most important of the former is a section upon which the grain has been grown continuously for forty-five years, in one case without manure. The average of the first recorded eighteen years gave 1478 bushels per acre, and last year the same quantity was produced, showing that in the soil there is a large reserve amount of fertility." In another part of the field, Sir John Lawes told the writer: "Five years ago we left the upper end of this wheat-field uncropped, allowing the corn to fall when ripe. In three years there was scarcely a single ear of corn left; those which I could find were short in the stalk, and with perhaps a single grain. Now there is not one. This shows that food-products are almost entirely artificial, and that in a few years the land would be a perfect wilderness, if uncultivated. But I myself was surprised at the rapidity with which the wheat disappeared." This was explained thus: "The weeds were stronger, and killed out the artificial grain. Weeds are hardy, and it is really 'the survival of the fittest' or the hardiest. The same thing I can show you in the turnip-field, where the unmanured plot is almost barren, the plants having scarcely in any case formed a bulb. It is the starch we want as food. Cultivation and fertilization give that starch."


Palm-Oil.—Palm-oil is the product of the fruit of the oil-palm tree of Guinea. The fruit grows in clusters on top of the tree, which is about thirty feet high, and resembles a chestnut. The oil is extracted by boiling the pulpy and fibrous mass around the central nut, and is used in making soap and candles. The fruits are harvested in April. The oil of Arachis, which is equally important in commerce, is from the nut of the Arachis (peanut), thousands of tons of which are sent to Europe every year to be made up into "olive-oil." It is the fruit of an annual creeping plant (Arachis hypogea), and ripens in July and August. Oils of inferior quality are made into soap. Another underground nut (Voandzeia subterranea) affords a white, hard butter, richer than butter from the cow, which has the further advantage of remaining fresh for a whole year without being salted. Only limited quantities of this product have as yet come into the market. The native Africans use all these fruits, under one form or another, for their own alimentation.


Flowers and Perfumes.—The rose is extensively cultivated in the Balkan Peninsula, chiefly for the sake of the perfume it affords. The Provence or cabbage rose, it is said, will yield in the second year from one hundred to two hundred bushels of flowers per acre, weighing six pounds to the bushel. The rose harvest at Adrianople sometimes yields about ninety-four thousand ounces of attar of roses; the average of the Bulgarian harvests in the past ten seasons has been fifty-seven thousand ounces. The price of this perfume has declined fifty per cent since 18S3. The Moors in Algeria extract an attar of moderate value from the indigenous double white musk rose. Twenty-eight tons of rose-leaves were imported into Aden in 1886, of which half were shipped to India. The "ixora extract" is made from the soka-flower {Parvelta angustiflora); frangipanni, from the flowers of species of Plumeria, native to the West Indies and some parts of South America; the essence and pomade of cassie, of the French perfumers, from the flowers of Acacia farnesicina. About one hundred tons of these flowers are used in Cannes yearly, individual makers working up one hundred thousand pounds. The fragrant white flowers of Blighia sapida and of the Bukul {Mimusops Elengi) are used for making distilled waters; and the flowers of spikenard {Andropogon nardus) are employed in Algeria for perfuming hair-oils and cosmetics. Moorish women form garlands to ornament. the interior of their dwellings from the flowers of the jasmine, and obtain a perfume by steeping them with oil in bottles, which are exposed to the sun. The same process is applied to the flowers of the tuberose and the cassia. Hungary water is distilled with spirit from the tops of rosemary-flowers. Twenty tons of violets are used annually in Nice and Cannes, and one hundred and twenty tons of orange-blossoms in Nice. Orange-flower water is one of the most agreeable vehicles for nauseous medicines that we have. Rose-buds are made into preserves in Arabia; the blossoms of the shaddock are used for flavoring sweet-meats, and the fleshy calyces or flower-bracts of the Indian sorrel, a Hibiscus, having a pleasant acid taste, are made into tarts, jellies, and refreshing drinks in India. The petals of flowers arc much used in Roumania for flavoring preserves, of which not less than one hundred and fifty varieties are made.