beneath the surface are desirable. At might seem to require it, under the the late scientific meeting at Jena this advice, and by the authority, of a medical proposition met with a favourable recep- practitioner. As it is frequently thus tion, and Dr. Cotta has, in consequence, misapplied, and as fashion, which is so undertaken, by aid of subscriptions, to often synonymous with folly, has promake the excavations, &c. necessary to moted its use even in the tender age of ascertain the fact. He invites the geo- | infancy, we cannot be surprised that logists of all countries to co-operate in

nervous disorders are common, that accomplishing the work.

bodily vigour and mental energy are The objects to be obtained are,- impaired, and that cases of insanity

1. To determine, by excavations and have become more numerous. An emiborings in the valley of Polenz, in what nent physician, whose experience in manner the granite is superposed upon such cases was very extensive, and the Grès.

whose opinions were founded upon accu2. To expose to view, on the road rate observations, assured me that infrom Rotherwalde to Hohnstein, on the sanity had, in many instances, arisen right slope of the valley of Polenz, the from the injudicious employment of boundary of the granite and the grès, calomel; and such must naturally be in order that accurate observations may the result, when both the mind and the then be made of their reciprocal penetra- body are debilitated by factitious means, tion, if such exists, and of the phe- when the infirmities of old age are prenomena of their contact.

maturely produced, when life becomes 3. Finally, to examine the geolo- languid, and the power no longer exists gical circumstances of the jurassic and of enjoying the gifts of Providence, and free-stone (quader-sandstein) strata. of sustaining with com posure the cares

Each subscriber of a conventions- and vexations of our earthly pilgrimage. thaler (about 4s. Eng.) is considered Under such circumstances, an infirmity as the holder of a share; this will en- may become intolerable, and the mental title him to a pamphlet, descriptive of faculties may be disturbed, if not dethe operations and their results, with stroyed; but even when such lamentable engravings, and an account of the ex- consequences do not ensue, a shattered penditure.

constitution, a sort of nominal existence The cost is thus estimated :

in a melancholy and miserable state of Object No. 1, from £10 to £30. dejection and debility, with enfeebled

2, £ 4 to £ 6. nerves and almost exhausted powers,

3, £20 to £30. may be more afflicting to the patient Printing, engraving,

than a chronical disorder. It will be £14 to £16. said, and I am ready to admit, that a

mercurial preparation has not, in an £48 £82 equal quantity, the same action on

different individuals, and that some Many distinguished geologists have persons are more susceptible than others become subscribers; among others, of its injurious effects; but this circumMM. Humboldt, Weiss, Leonhard, stance furnishes an additional argument Naumann, Rose, Noeggerath, &c. against the unnecessary administration

of such a remedy, since its power, in Danger of Calomel. Medico-Botanical any particular case, can be learned only Society's subject for Gold Medal.

from experience, and is sometimes found

to be greater than was expected or “ Amongst the chemical preparations wished by the physician. So extensive that have attained great celebrity is is the misuse of mercurial preparations, calomel, a medicine which enfeebles all and so injurious are their ultimate the vital powers, and which may from operation, that it has been most properly that circumstance derive its efficacy in determined, by the Council of this subduing active inflammation; but its Society, to offer the gold medal for the operation is eminently injurious; and it best Essay on the question, “What is cannot be sufficiently deplored that it the vegetable substance which could be should be rashly and ignorantly em- employed with success as a substitute ployed as a domestic remedy, and even for mercury in the cure of syphilis, or as an ordinary aperient, instead of being of diseases of the liver ?" reserved solely for those disorders which " It would be of extreme importance if

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effectual substitutes could be discovered | deep, were replaced by a globe of a for those medicines which, from their temperature 500 times greater than potency, may be dangerous, if not fatal, that of boiling water, 200,000 years when they are misapplied, and which, would be required to increase the temeven when they remove a disorder, may perature of the surface one degreer. produce permanent injury to the patient. A much smaller depth would make the That such substitutes may be found in effect on the superficial temperature insome disorders, was shown in a case sensible for 2000 years. It is calcuwhich came under my personal observa- lated, moreover, that from the rate of tion, of a lady to whom I was related, increase of temperature in descending, and who had been accustomed, for the the quantity of central heat which purpose of allaying the pain arising escapes in a century, through a square from an internal complaint, to take metre (about 3 feei 2; inches by 3 feet opium, of which the dose was gradually 24 inches,) of the earth's surface, would increased till it amounted to a consider- melt a column of ice, having that metre able quantity; but it was last discovered, for its base, and 3 metres (9 feet 8 though it was then too late to remedy inches) high."—WHEweli., Report on the evils which had been thus occasioned, Electricity, &c.; Dublin Session, Brithat the same relief was experienced tish Association, 1835. from drinking soda water. Nothing would more contribute to the advance- Estimate of Solar Heat imparted to ment of medical science, to the honour

the Earth. of the medical profession, and to the It may be curious to contrast the effect benefit of patients, than the cure, by of the heat ascending to the earth’s safe and simple means, of difficult or surface, as stated in the article preceiling, dangerous diseases, instead of employ- with that annually poured down upon it ing, as is too frequently done, and even by the sun. This is estimated by Pouillet in cases of a different description, sub-tó be sufficient to melt a coat of ice, stances which are powerful, but poi- 14 metres thick, (about 46 Eng. feet,) sonous, and therefore pernicious."

incrusting the whole globe of the earth. EARL STANHOPE, Address to MedicoBotanical Society, 1836.

Progressive Rise of a Portion of the

Bottom of the Mediterranean. Great Central Heat of the Earth not alarming

M. THEODORE VIRlet lately addressed

a note to the French Académie des " It appears, that if there be an increase Sciences, in which he directs the attenof temperature in descending, such a tion of geologists to the probability of fact can result from nothing but a the speedy appearance of a new island central heat, independent of existing in the Grecian Archipelago, in conseinfluences.

quence of the progressive rise of a “The discussion of the evidence of sunken solid rock (composed of trachytic this fact must be left to the geological obsidian ?) in the gulf of the volcano of speculator; but we may here mention Santorin. The following are the author's some of the results of theory, which are observations on this subject:—"Towards fitted to make less formidable the idea the end of the last century, at the period of having a vast abyss of incandescent when Olivier visited Santorin, the fishmatter, within the comparatively thin ermen of the island asserted that the crust of earth on which man and his bottom of the sea had recently risen works are supported. It results from considerably between the island of Little Fourier's Analysis *, that at 124 miles Kaïméni and the port of Thera; in fact, deep the earth may be actually incan- the soundings did not give a greater descent, and yet that the effect of this depth than fifteen to twenty fathoms, fervid mass upon the temperature at where formerly the bottom could not be the surface may be scarcely a percep- reached. When Colonel Bory and the tible fraction of a degree. The slowness author visited the island in 1829, they with which any heating or cooling were able not only to confirm the truth effect would take place through a solid of Olivier's statement, but also to ascercrust, is much greater than might be tain, by various soundings, that the rise supposed. If the earth, below 33 miles

+ Mem. Inst. Tom. vii. p. 603. * Bull. des Sci., 1820, p. 58.

# Tom. ii. p. 704.

of the submarine land had continued, Substitutes for costly Drugs. and that at the point indicated the depth was not more than four fathoms and a “It is well known that, in some instances, half. In 1830 the same observers made drugs which are vended under the same new soundings, which enabled them to name, and might be supposed to be determine the form and extent of the similar in their effects, are so different mass of rock, which in less than a year in their qualities and powers, that the had been elevated half a fathom. It administration of them is attended with was found to extend nearly 900 yards much uncertainty, and, therefore, with from east to west, and about 550 from considerable danger. The same prenorth to south. The submarine surface scription may, in cases exactly similar, deepened gradually to the north and produce, from the dissimilarity in the west, from four to twenty-nine fathoms; properties of the drug that is employed, on the east and south this increased to either the cure or the fatal termination forty-five fathoms. Beyond this limit of the malady; and the accurate disthe soundings indicated in all directions crimination of the drugs which are a very great depth. I have lately been genuine from those which are of inferior informed that Admiral Lalande, who, quality, is of the utmost importance to since 1830, has twice returned to San- those by whom they are compounded, torin, has ascertained that the rock still as well as to those by whom they are continues to rise; and that, in Septem- adıninistered. I speak from very high ber 1835, the date of his last visit, the authority when I state, that of some depth of water amounted to only two drugs which are vended in this country, fathoms; so that a sunken reef now exists only four parts in a hundred are of the which it is dangerous for brigs to best quality, and are consequently posapproach. If the rock continues to rise sessed of their full efficacy, while the at the same rate, it may be calculated other ninety-six parts contain, in some that in 1840 it will form a new island. instances, only one half the quantity of Since the eruptions of 1707 and 1712, the active principles which ought to which produced the new Kaïméni, belong to them. I am assured, that of volcanic phenomena have completely the colocynth imported into this counceased in the gulf of Santorin, and the try, only one-hundredth part is of the volcano seems at the present day quite best quality; that there is of scammony, extinct. Nevertheless, the rise of a of the Peruvian bark, and of rhubarb, portion of its surface seems to demon- only a very small proportion; but that strate continual efforts during fifty years there is of ipecacuanha and of sarsato make an eruption; and that, when- parilla a larger proportion, and a larger ever the resistance shall not be strong still of jalap; and all of these are, I enough to offer a sufficient obstacle, the need not say, very important medicines, volcano will again resume its activity." which are frequently administered. If

all of them were of an inferior quality, French Scientific Congress, 1836. they would, of course, be far less effiThe Fourth Session of the Scientific cacious, but there would not be the Congress of France commenced on the same difficulty and danger in employ11th of September at Blois, and termi-ing them, as is now experienced from nated on the 21st. About 200 mem- the inequality in their power, and, conbers, natives of France, were present. sequently, from the uncertainty in their There were several English, German, operation. Belgic, and Spanish visiters, and, The great difference of price between among the rest, several ladies.

those of the best and those of an inThe business of the Congress was ferior quality, offers a strong inducement pursued with such zeal, that, during to use the latter; and it would be an innearly the whole of the session, several estimable advantage to the art of medisections met twice a day, and very fre- cine if satisfactory substitutes for them quently the afternoon sitting was con- could be discovered amongst the plants tinued till late in the evening; but, which are indigenous to this country. notwithstanding, a day more than the An admirable paper of Dr. Rousseau* prescribed period was required to bring proves incontestably that in the cure of up arrears, and was unanimously agreed intermittent fevers holly is preferable to

The Fifth Session will be held at Rewarded by this Society with their Metz in the early part of Sept. 1837. silver medal.



the Peruvian bark; there is reason to

Diamond-making anticipated. believe that rhubarb of a good quality could be produced in this country, and ACCORDING to the following extract that elm bark may supply the place of from a letter addressed by M. Theodore sarsaparilla; and it deserves further Virlet to M. Arago, another labourer inquiry, whether the juice of the in the vast field of chemical science EUPHORBIA Cyparissias could not be appears to be approaching to the same used instead of scammony, and the point as Mr. Cross, but by a different seeds of the ATRIPLEX angustifolia route. instead of ipecacuanha. The analysis

“ Who does not know how many of these common indigenous plants facts, perhaps among the most difficult would be highly interesting:"-Earl to comprehend previously, have already STANHOPE, Address to the Medico- been explained by the excellent reBotanical Society, 1836.

searches of M. Becquerel in electrical

chemistry, and the important labours of The Level of the Caspian Sea much M. Fournet regarding the formation of below that of the Ocean.

veins? Numerous other facts, although

not yet fully explained, have been In 1814 Messrs Engelhardt and Parrot brought forward, and armitted without attempted to determine, by means of the dispute. For example, I have proved barometer, if, as was long ago supposed, that the emery of Naxos comes from the waters of the Caspian Sea are less veins, and, consequently, had been elevated than those of the Mediterra- formed, like the greater nnmber of nean and the Ocean. The mean of three specular iron ores, by means of volatilideterminations gave a difference in this zation and sublimation; yet the corespect of 320 feet. But subsequently rundum and oxide of iron, ihe mixture M. Parrot having thrown some doubt on of which constitutes emery, are not the result of the observations made more volatile than the carbonate of in 1814, M. Erman has taken up the magnesia, which forms the subject of subject, and the following is the result dispute. of his investigations:- Barometrical “Since our chemical knowledge, then, observations made for seven years at does not always enable us to explain Kasan, compared with corresponding the phenomena whose existence we can observations made during the same prove, does it follow that we ought to period at Dantzig, give 104 feet as call them in question ? Has nature no the height of the former town above the mode of acting which surpasses our level of the Baltic. This result is con- knowledge? And could she not profirmed by six years' observations at ceed, for instance, by means of double Mittau. Hence, with the assistance of chemical decomposition ? On this suplevelling, M. Erman concludes that the position, the phenomenon (dolomisation) height of the junction of the Kasanka will admit of easy explanation. It is well with the Volga is only 29 feet above known that all the muriates are volatile, the Baltic. Thus, in order that there or at least susceptible of sublimation. should be a coincidence between the Magnesia might then easily reach the levels of the Caspian and the Baltic, it state of a muriate, and occasion the forwould be necessary that, in the extent mation of a soluble hydrochlorate of lime, of 1470 miles, between Kasan and which would be carried off by the inAstracan, the descent of the river filtration of water; while the magnesia, should not be more than 29 feet, on the contrary, would be combined which seems inadmissible. The de- with that portion of the carbonic acid scent of the Volga from Torjok to set at liberty, and would thus serve to Kasan, in an extent of 690 miles, has form the double carbonate of magnesia been measured. Supposing that in the and of lime, which constitutes dolomite, remainder of its course the river fol- properly so called. In this there is lows the same law, M. Erman has ascer- certainly nothing inadmissible or contained that the depression of the Cas-trary to reason, inasmuch as the hydropian Sea, compared with the Baltic, chloric acid gas is one of the gases most would be 275 feet,-a result which frequently disengaged from volcanoes, does not differ much from that (320 and the muriates ought to have been feet) obtained by Messrs. Engelhardt disengaged more abundantly in former and Parrot.

times, if we admit, with geologists of

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the modern school, that the immense out even excepting those of the chalk deposits of rock-salt which exist in and the Molasse, present a striking saliferous formations are deposited by resemblance to the tropical species of volatilization, in the midst of the strata ferns, but none 'to those of temperate which they penetrate.

and cold climates. One of the prin"I am, therefore, of opinion that the cipal conclusions to be drawn from the moelifications of rocks of the second geological distribution of fossil ferns is, class may henceforth be all explained that each formation has particular speby means of double decomposition,-a cies, which differ essentially from those process which has enabled one of my of other formations. To this there are friends, M. Aimé, to produce, in the very few exceptions. Silesia is remarklaboratory, crystallized specular iron ore, able for its extremely rich fossil flora, analogous to that of the Island of Elba, for no less than 230 species have already as well as pure iron equally well crys- been found in that country. The fossil tallized, -a substance hitherto unknown flora of England resembles greatly that to mineralogists: whence I conclude, of Silesia. Excepting the genus Stigthat the time is not perhaps fur distant, maria, which is common to the transiwhen we shall be able to produce with tion and the coal formations, no species case all the species of precious stones, has been found in two formations. without even excepting the diamond.Finally, it is remarkable that dicotyle

dons and junci occur both in the most Fossil Ferns.

ancient and in the most modern deposits,

,-a fact which tends to prove that The following general conclusions re- there is little foundation for the opinon garding the geological and geographical that at the earliest epochs cellular distribution of fossil ferns, are contained plants only existed, afterwards monocoin a recent Memoir by Professor Göppert. W tyledons, and then at a later period The beds of the coal formation contain dicotyledons. the largest number of fossil ferns, viz. 183; while the muschelkalk, and the

Light indefinitely produced. chalk and tertiary formations, contain the smallest number. The total num- M. Cauchy had been led, theoretically, ber of these fossil vegetables at present to anticipate, that near the limit of total known amounts to 253; of which 92 reflection in a prism refraction takes have been found in Silesia, 29 in Bohe- place, with a vast increase in the intenmia, 56 in the other countries of Ger- sity of the incident ray of light. He many, 49 in France and Belgium, 89 in has since verified it experimentally. Great Britain, 3 in Denmark and Swe- The most astonishing results may be den, 1 in Italy, 11 in North America, 1 expected to ensúe from this extraordiin Holland, and 4 in the East Indies. nary fact, since it would appear from The ferns that are the most widely dis- it, that light, however small in quantity, tributed on the globe are the following: may be magnified indefinitely. -Alethopteris Serlii (in England, France, Silesia, Pennsylvania), Neu

Patent-Law Grievance. No. IX. ropteris angustifolia, and N. abutifolia (in England, Bohemia, Silesia, Penn- The penalties inflicted on the inventive sylvania), and N. Lohsii (in England, genius of Britain during the present France, Belgiuin, in the districts of the year, up to the 25th ult., in the shape of middle Rhine, in Bohemia, and Silesia). government stamps and fees on patents, Most of the ferns of the Jura forma- amount to more than £38,000! tion occur in England. The number of N.B. This sum has been paid in fossil ferns amounts nearly to a third of ready money, on taking the first steps, the total number (800) of fossil vege- and as many of the inventors are poor tables at present known. But it is very men, (operatives,) and a great many probable that we are acquainted with others of them persons to whom it would but a small portion of these fossils. be very inconvenient to pay at least Several genera of ferns belong exclu- £100 down, they have been obliged to go sively to one or to two formations. into debt, or mortgage or dispose of their

Fossil ferns, of all formations, with. I inventions, either wholly or in part, &c.

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