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a young cassowary, which the natives one day brought to him, with two eggs. He at once asked the natives to guide him to the nest, near which, in a bed of loose leaves, he placed the young bird, hoping to attract the old one. After the lapse of about ten minutes they suddenly heard the voice of the cassowary. This usually sounds like thunder, "but now, when calling its young, it reminded us of the lowing of a cow to its calf." Soon the beautiful blue and red neck of the bird became visible



T is somewhat remarkable that the ordinary notion that Great Britain has a special immunity from serious earthquake phenomena, still very generally obtains credit. An explanation of this popular fallacy may perhaps be found in the simple fact that, on the average, few people living at any one time chance to have experienced any considerable shock; whilst in the case of those few-we except the many who were affected by the disastrous Essex earthquake five years ago-who have felt the sensation, as a momentary mental impression it has been soon for

among the trees. The creature "stopped and scanned its surroundings carefully in the dense scrub, but a charge of No. 3 shot, fired from a distance of fifteen paces, laid it low." Six natives carried home the prize, which proved to be an unusually fine specimen of a male.

We cordially recommend this book to all who take an interest in anthropology and zoology, or in incidents of travel through unfamilar scenes. They will find in it much that cannot fail to give them genuine pleasure.

gotten. It should, however, by this time be more gener ally known and accepted that no part of the habitable globe is entirely exempt from seismic action, and that earth-tremors of considerable amplitude and intensity are by no means necessarily connected with volcanic disturb ances, as was formerly supposed. When it is duly recognized that, at the lowest computation, 600 disconnected shocks are known to have taken place in this country during the present era, the popular belief respecting our tight little island" may well be entirely shaken. This number includes many earthquakes of con siderable magnitude, and the additional seismological

evidence of modern compilations furnishes the testimony that as many as six or eight minor shocks have occurred annually in recent years. In evidence of the prevalence of such phenomena in England, it should be also remembered that it was on this island that Prof. George Darwin nrst discovered the fact of the continuous microseismic vibration of the earth's crust.

The new edition of the late Mr. William Roper's excellent summary of the principal earthquakes that have been recorded in Great Britain and Ireland during this era, which has lately been issued, bears witness both to the frequency of such phenomena, and, even more strikingly, to the great advance that has taken place within recent years in the study of seismology in Britain. The increased attention which has been devoted to the subject is doubtless partly due to the extensive shock which occurred in this country in 1884.

The famous Catalogue compiled by Robert Mallet will ever remain the cyclopædic work of reference upon which all subsequent earthquake catalogues will necessarily be based: and the name of Mallet, as the authority, naturally figures most extensively in Mr. Roper's list. Until recently, it may, indeed, be said that the work of Mallet, and of M. Alexis Perrey, of Dijon, stood almost alone 15 the historical register of seismic force in the world. Within the last few years, however, the valuable experimental work of Prof. Milne and others in Japan, and of numerous European and American seismologists, has been supplemented by several treatises devoted to British earthquakes alone. Some of these publications-as the detailed report of the great Essex earthquake, and Mr. E. Parfitt's Devonshire Catalogue-being issued in connection with particular areas, and by local scientific bodies, have had a restricted application; whilst others, as Prof. O'Reilly's catalogue, and the one just mentioned, have included the entire British Islands in their scope. It was the intention of the present writer, when engaged, in conjunction with Prof. Meldola, upon the Report of the East Anglian earthquake," to furnish a full list of British earthquakes; but, from the quantity of material accumulated from very many sources, it was found that so extensive a catalogue grew entirely out of proportion to the purpose of a special monograph, and only those disturbances which had similarly caused structural damage were included in that memoir. These alone, however, number as many as sixty well-authenticated records, although Mr. Roper, in his catalogue, which, unfortunately, is very scanty in point of detail, omits fully 25 per cent. of these injurious shocks. But since his atalogue too modestly professes to include only "the Pore remarkable earthquakes," it is to be expected that umerous omissions might be noticed, and we could adily add to his list over two or three dozen records (both media-val and modern) which fully equalled the average intensity of those he has included. In fact, while it may be said to form the most comprehensive list of British earthquakes that has yet been produced, 1 is incomplete, and it is much to be regretted that the compiler did not survive to finish his erudite undertaking, as is explained in a prefatory note by

his son.

Mr Roper has, in effect, unconsciously erred unduly on the side of moderation, since he includes most of the fabulous stories that belong to medieval times, while he has omitted many important shocks. This recalls a somewhat strange incident in connection with the 1884 earthquake-namely, that more damage actually occurred in the out-of-the-way villages chiefly affected by the shock, than was ever reported in the London newspapers-a "A List of the more Remarkable Earthquakes in Great Britain and and during the Christian Era." Compiled by William Roper, F.S.S., Ik Met. Soc. (Lancaster: Thǝs. Bell.)

Report on the East Anglian Earthquake of April 22, 1384." By pha Mridula FRS, &c., and William White. (Essex Field Club Special Memoirs, val 1) (London: Macmillan and Co., 1885.)

fact which does credit to the caution exercised by the daily press writers at the time. Too much, on the other hand, was made of the really slight but widely distributed shock which took place on May 30 in the present year, when no displacement of furniture nor stoppage of clocks then resulted; the experience being limited to the rattling of windows and the swaying of walls, as may be seen on referring to the summary which appeared in NATURE for June 6 (pp. 140-42).

Covering so considerable a period of history, and including so much subject-matter, Mr. Roper's work certainly deserved a more extended treatment than it has received. An introductory analytical chapter would have added considerably to the interest of such a catalogue, while a fuller elaboration and thorough editing would have advantageously extended the work beyond its unpretentious limit of fifty pages. The convenient method adopted by Mr. Roper of inserting a preliminary list of "principal authorities cited," is almost compulsory in such a work, for the purpose of establishing a code of abbreviations for subsequent use in the columns of the list; but the titles are generally given imperfectly or incorrectly, without the requisite details of publication, while the dates, where given, are not throughout those of the original, as they should be, but of later reprints. These and similar slight defects are inconvenient in an historical treatise, and we hope they may receive attention in the event of another edition of this interesting list being called for.

The total number of distinct earthquakes included in this catalogue-regarding the series of repeated shocks which sometimes take place within a brief period as a single record-amounts to 582, and an analysis of these records may be of interest here, as furnishing some slight indication of the chronological distribution of the chief seismic disturbances which have been accounted in British annals as having taken place within our area. They may, for convenience, be arranged as they occurred during each century, and term of 500 years: thus-

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It may perhaps be fairly assumed from this table that no true estimate of the actual number of shocks happening within each period can be arrived at, for the chief reason that the records are entirely subject to the irregularities of the few capable observers of the early centuries. It is to be observed that 423 shocks, or nearly 75 per cent. of the total number, have occurred since 1600, which may be considered as the period from which the more trustworthy accounts commenced. There is no reason whatever for supposing that the frequency of seismic shocks has increased since that period; and the evidence indicates little more than the activity of the observers, who appear to have fallen off considerably at times, as during the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries. This point is worth remarking, on account of the misleading statement that has been more than once made,

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Making a total number, between 1800-88, of 233 shocks.

Although it appears from this artificially divided list as if a low decade was followed, as a rule, by a high decade, the number being often doubled, no safe computation whatever can be inferred; and the more one considers the facts accumulated, the more one feels that there is no real evidence upon which the various conjectures respecting earthquake periodicity have been made. About a dozen only of the numerous Comrie shocks are included in the above figures, but even this number is sufficient to materially affect any such calculation, whilst very many other well-authenticated shocks, as already mentioned, are omitted in Mr. Roper's list. With regard to Comrie, in Perthshire, it may further be remarked that, during the month of October 1839, as many as sixty-six separate shocks are reported to have taken place; and during the years 1839-42, altogether upwards of 200 vibrations were experienced in that district (vide NATURE, vol. xxiii. pp. 117 and 170).

With regard to the trustworthiness of the earlier records, it may be generally assumed that some earth vibration did actually take place at the time stated, notwithstanding the exaggerations and extraneous notions that were mixed up with such phenomena in superstitious times. But whether the occurrence was in every case an earthquake in the proper sense of the term is open to doubt. It is, indeed, highly probable that such occurrences as that recorded under the date of June 7, 1750, and other more recent cases, were not earthquakes at all, but the effect of bursting bolides, similar to the phenomenon which was described very fully in Symons's Meteorological Magazine for December 1887. Others, again, appear to have been no more than extensive landslips, or other superficial rock displacements resulting from aërial denudation; while some others were probably only connected, with violent storms, or the frost-cannonadings which are commonly produced on exposed chalk cliffs during the winter season.

The absurd statements that were made respecting some of the older occurrences are evidently either intentional or unintentional falsehoods; but many of them contain so much quaint humour that a few samples are well worth quoting. In the year 132 A.D. there was a terrible earthquake in England, when "men and cattle were swallowed up"; but this fashion in recording events had been set at least twenty-nine years earlier, for in the year 103, a city is said to have been swallowed up." In 418 there was one that was "great and general; then famine, plague, hail, snow, cold, and meteors.” In 505 one lasted for three hours. At about three o'clock on August 11, 1089, there was a terrible one in England, which caused great scarcity of fruit, and a late harvest; while twelve years later there was another that "terrified

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all England with a horrid spectacle, for buildings were lifted up and then again settled as before." Again, in 1177, near Darlington, "the earth swelled up to a gre height from nine in the morning to the setting of the sun, and then with a loud noise sank down again"; ther was another that took up all the day in 1110; wide on September 11, 1275, a great earthquake was felt in New castle, with "dreadful thunder and lightning, blazing starand a comet, . . . . with the appearance of a great dragon, which terrified the people between the first and third hour of the day." This savours somewhat of the Chinese dragon fables, while some others almost maten the deluge of Noah in their vast extent. In 974, fz instance, "a great one shook the whole of England". while earlier still, in 856, one occurred "over the greates part of the known world." In 1133, "in manie parts of England an earthquake was felt so that it was though that the earth would have sunke under the feete of mea. with such a sound as was horrible to heare." In 12 there was one felt in England that was described 1being "nearly universal () in Europe"; while we are assured, with circumstantial evidence, that, in the year 1426," on the even of St. Michael the Archangel, in he morning before day, betwixt the hours of one and two of the clocke, beganne a terrible earthquake, with lightning and thunder, which continued the space of two houres. and was universal through the world.. The unreasonable beasts rored and drewe to the townes with hideous noue, also the fowls of the ayre likewise cried out."

Space does not permit of other equally curious accounts as marvellous almost as the more primitive traditions of patriarchal times regarding the vindictive forces of Nature

Whatever may be said about the accompaniments al absurd effects which have been ascribed to earthquake action, the majority of those shocks which are recorded as having caused damage to buildings may fairly be down as facts, and although they may have occasionally been exaggerated, some of the details are generali authentically described.

A curious problem may be raised with regard to the effect of earthquakes upon river courses. That shoe have frequently been produced along marine coasts well known, a striking case being that which happened early in January 1885, off Malta, to the extent of danger ously affecting navigation; but there are several accounts which agree in the assertion that the beds of such nav gable streams as the Trent and the Thames have been temporarily raised by local earthquakes so as to permit of people "passing over dry-shod." What became of the river course during the operation is a problem that doe not appear to have required solution. Yet sufficient circumstantial evidence has been produced, in connection with the shock in 1110 at Nottingham, and in 1158 at London, to almost warrant the idea that a certain amount of credence may be given to the stories. Whether it may be inferred from such statements that a change the bed of the rivers in question then took place is doubtfik as history yields us no information on the point.

As a general statement we may safely infer finally the earthquakes in Great Britain, including the microseism disturbances which are now so frequently recorded, were as common in the past as in the present period of more scientific observation; though, fortunately, such calamitous results as attended the catastrophe in Essex within recent times continue to be rare. It is still a matter for regte however, that no steps have yet been taken to establish seismographs in different parts of this country. Lo this is done, the chance records of various individuals whose impressions, being inevitably affected more or less by the personal equation, produce only doubtful datamust continue to take the place of precise observation.



mault, encountered a gale accompanied by tremendous seas. A bag, punctured with the point of a knife, was filled with oil and rigged out on the weather side of the vessel. This had such a marked effect, that the vessel rode bravely through the gale, and reached her destination in perfect safety. On October 8, 1880, a Mr. Fondacaro left Monte Video for Naples in a three-ton boat. He arrived at Malaga on February 4, 1881. On his voyage across the Atlantic, he had repeatedly to lay-to during stress of weather, and reports that he considered his safe arrival entirely due to his use of oil. A gallon of olive-oil would last him, when hove-to, for twenty-four hours. He gives it as his experience that oil does not diminish the size of the waves, but renders them comparatively harmless by preventing their breaking. There is a consensus of opinion among those who have tested the use of oil, that a small quantity is quite as efficacious as a larger one, a consumption of one pint per hour being sufficient. Small as this quantity is, the extreme expansibility of oil when floating upon the water renders it quite adequate. Thus a ship running 10 knots an hour will leave behind her a wake some 10 knots by 40 feet, covered with a thin film of oil.

GENERALLY speaking, proverbs are the resultant expression of observed facts, but the efficacy of ait upon troubled waters would appear to be a proverb which, instead of being preceded by and founded upon rial and experiment, has rather led to the scientific demonstration and establishment of the truth it asserts. From the very earliest ages the effect of oil when poured on disturbed water appears to have been widely known. Aristotle mentions it, and accounts for the phenomenon by assuming that the thin film of oleaginous matter into which oil resolves itself when poured upon water prevents the wind from obtaining a hold upon the water, and so checks the wave formations which are the usual esults of wind at sea. Pliny, too, observes that among the officers of his fleet the soothing influence of oil was marter of common knowledge, and that the Assyrian divers were in the habit of sprinkling the surface water wth oil when they wished to smooth down ripples, and so obtain a better light for prosecuting their work below. Coming down to more recent times, the custom of oiling the waves with a view to facilitate navigation would appear to have fallen into desuetude. Benjamin Franklin, The Dunkirk Chamber of Commerce, fully alive to however, seems to have been led, from observing the the vast importance of the use of oil as materially confect of pouring overboard some greasy water, to test ducing to safe navigation, have just reported on the s potency in a thoroughly scientific manner, when on a results of some tests made at their direction among voyage across the Atlantic. Having experimented with the French fishing fleet off Iceland. One master reports great success upon the surface of a pond near London, that by its use he was enabled to ride out successfully a e tested the effects of oil upon the sea itself. A prolonged and severe spell of bad weather, which comtormy day was chosen, and from a boat, some half a pelled his confrères to run to port until the weather le from the beach at Portsmouth, oil was poured moderated. The Chamber rewarded him with 100 francs. on the sea The experiment met with a very small Other captains who have reported in detail the result of sire of success, for, while a greasy patch of water their experiments, agree with him in stating that, for was discernible right to the shore, the surf con- small vessels experiencing stress of weather in deep inded to break upon the beach with unabated vigour. water, the use of oil cannot be too highly recomsequent and recent investigation has confirmed mended. Franklin's finding, and proved that the greatest benefit derived from the use of oil is obtainable in deep water, where wave-motion is merely undulatory. When a shore20proaching wave ceases to find enough depth to impart To its neighbour its peculiar undulatory motion, it is no nger a wave pure and simple, but becomes an actual Towing body of water which moves rapidly forward, until it breaks with great violence upon the shore; upon th waves as these, oil has little or no effect.

The knowledge of the influence of oil upon a rough sea La long been known to those engaged in the whale and a fisheries, and its application is of common occurrence. When their vessels or boats are overtaken by a storm, they usually, by means of a drogue or sea anchor, make hat is nautically termed a dead drift, i.e. they suffer themselves to be slowly drifted before the wind. In such cumstances as these, the application of oil to the waves ures that the area into which the boat drifts is one of alm, as the oil spreads more rapidly than the boat Toves, and consequently prepares a smooth patch for the vessel to drift into. If the captain, however, prefers to run his vessel before the wind, then she ranges ahead of the oiled patch, and thus the effect of oiling the waves a very materially discounted.

The native Eskimo, when engaged in transporting family from place to place, always insures a smooth Passage for the oomiak, or women's boat, by trailing a punctured skin filled with oil from the stern of his kayak, which he propels at some considerable distance ahead of the boat containing his wife and children.

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Within the last twenty years many well-authenticated stances have been placed on record as to the potency as a water-soother, but unfortunately the value of 31.h reports is very much diminished by the ship-master's neglecting to explain the relative position of their vessel in regard to the wind and sea. The British warship Steffiure, when on a voyage from Honolulu to Esqui

In this

Nor is the utility of oil confined alone to this branch of marine navigation. Advices just received from New York furnish some interesting particulars relative to the towage of the disabled steamship Italia of the Hamburg American Company. The Italia broke her shaft whilst proceeding from Havre to New York. condition she was taken in tow by the Gellert, of the same company. The towing hawsers-6-inch steel wirewere lengthened by heavy chain cables until the distance between the two vessels was increased to 1000 feet. Unfortunately, a heavy gale from the north-west caused a dangerous sea to arise, and it was feared that the Italia would have to be abandoned. As a last resort, a can of oil with a small hole in the bottom was set over the stern of the Gellert. The effect, according to the master, Captain Kampf, was magical. The seas broke over the bows of the Italia with much less fury, merely surging past in a heavy swell, while the tension on the cable was immediately relieved, and the Gellert was enabled, in spite of continued bad weather, to reach New York in safety, having towed her charge continuously for the distance of 750 miles. Possibly many cases of abandoned towages in bad weather might be averted did the masters of tugs but try the effect of a little oil prior to casting the vessel adrift.

The true part played by this oleaginous film in diminishing the disturbance of the sea seems to be that of a lubricant. Waves are formed by the friction of wind and water. Any force, therefore, that tends to lessen the friction reduces the violence of the waves. As far as is at present known, animal or the heavier vegetable oils form the best lubricant between the two elements. Mineral or fossil oils, which possess less viscosity and are less oleaginous in their mechanical properties, exert much less influence upon the water. This anti-frictional force of oil can hardly be over estimated. The Atlantic waves have been calculated to exert an average pressure

during the winter months of 2086 pounds per square foot. During a heavy gale this pressure is increased to 6983 pounds; yet the thin oil blanket is sufficient, when applied under certain conditions, to enable a vessel to navigate through them in perfect safety, their oiled summits raising themselves in sullen grandeur, but never breaking aboard. What the exact coefficient of friction between air in motion and water is, and the proportion of its reduction by oil or other lubricants, are questions that open up a most interesting subject of inquiry, the resolution of which will prove highly beneficial to the whole nautical and mercantile world.

Numerous experiments have been made with a view to testing the utility of oil in smoothing the approaches to exposed harbours in rough weather. The tests undertaken at Peterhead have met with unqualified success. The modus operandi has been to lay leaden pipes along the bottom of the harbour, taking care to keep the pipes stationary by means of concrete. The pipe is provided with numerous roses for disseminating the oil. When rough weather comes on, oil is forced along the pipes, and it escapes into the water through the apertures provided, and then, its specific gravity being less than that of water, it rises to the surface and quickly renders the sea less turbulent and the passage into the harbour quite safe. Another method employed to render safe ingress into harbours in bad weather is that of firing out to sea an oil-carrying projectile. This consists of a heavy tin tube weighted with lead at one end. The tube is filled with two or three quarts of oil, and the aperture stopped. When the projectile is fired from a gun or mortar, it reverses, and, the time-fuse exploding, the powder blows out the plug, and the liberated oil falls into the sea. A series of experiments, conducted by a Committee appointed by the United States Life-saving Service to inquire into the practical utility of oil-carrying

in carrying in small boats the fish from the smacks to the steam despatch-boats, is very great. Their boats might be equipped, at a very low cost, with oil-tanks or oil-bags tote used when trans-shipments are being effected in bea weather. Already the Governments of the United State and Germany have realized the vast importance of this sub ject, and have instituted an exhaustive series of experimen: with the view of rendering compulsory the carrying oil for use as a life-saving equipment. When that com plex and overburdened instrument of government, the Board of Trade, was asked in Parliament to cause exper. ments to be made relative to the use of oil at sea, the repi was, that there were no funds available for the pi pose; that the Board could not spend money or become investors in such schemes. The Consultative Committeappointed under the Life-saving Appliances Act of year have, however, suggested oil-bags, among othe equipments, to be carried by boats and rafts. At br International Maritime Conference at Washington, US this subject has received the attention its importan merits. Further, the National Life-boat Institution and the National Sea Fisheries Protection Association hot amalgamated their forces with a view to testing the effica of oil, but as yet the results of their investigations has not been published. While it is very gratifying to ka that the man of science and the philanthropist are read to explore the practical utility of this question, cannot hope for any satisfying material results until the Board of Trade sees its way to take administrative action in the matter, and to deal in a fitting manner with a question that is so indissolubly connected with t interests of all classes of this great mercantile communit RICHARD BEYNON

RECENT OBSERVATIONS OF JUPITER. BSERVATIONS of Jupiter have been conducts. under great difficulties during the past oppositio in consequence of the low altitude of the planet. H elevation, even at meridian passage, has only been abo 16°, as observed in this country, so that the study of his surface markings has been much interrupted by the bad definition which usually affects objects not far re moved from the haze and vapours on the horizon. Ita however, important that planetary features, esper those which exhibit changes of form and motion, shou be watched as persistently as circumstances allow, 24 with this purpose in view Jupiter has been submitted to telescopic scrutiny whenever the atmosphere offert facilities for such work during the past summer a autumn. Few opportunities occurred, however, during th latter season owing to the great prevalence of clouds, an on the several nights sufficiently clear for the purpose. atmosphere was unsteady and the definition indiferen thus the more delicate lineaments of the planet's surta. could be rarely observed with satisfactory distinctness

projectiles, goes to confirm the statement made above, viz.OBS
that the power of oil to subdue the force of the waves in
shoal water, or to prevent the waves breaking in surf, is
very small indeed. There is one point, however, upon
which all authorities who have tested the use of oil at
sea are agreed. As an adjunct to the equipment of ships'
boats it is simply invaluable. Many a shipwrecked crew
have been enabled to keep their frail craft afloat until
land was reached or a rescue effected, solely by its use.
Nothing is more common among the records of ship-
wrecks than to read of the small boats either being
swamped while at the vessel's side, or capsizing through
stress of weather. In January 1884 the Cambria emi-
grant ship was run into by the Sultan in the North Sea,
and, out of 522 on board, 416 were drowned. Of the
four starboard boats, no less than three capsized, and all
their occupants perished. In the collision in the Channel
between the Forest and Avalanche, two out of three boats
which left the Forest were swamped, and all on board
lost their lives. These are but two instances out of many
where lives might have been saved by the use of a little

The subject of saving endangered life at sea is one that always enlists the deepest sympathies of all sorts and conditions of men. The perusal of the "Annual Wreck Chart," published by the Board of Trade, or of the lamentable records of personal sorrows and destitution consequent upon the disasters around our coasts, suggests the possibility that the loss of life might be considerably reduced by a practical knowledge of the best methods of applying oil during storms at sea. We think that much might be done by its use to facilitate the launching of boats from distressed vessels, and their safe subsequent navigation. Harbours of refuge on exposed coasts might be established at a very small cost.

In one department alone of our maritime industry, deep-sea fishing, many lives might be saved. At present, the mortality among the carriers, i.e. those engaged


The great red spot was visible on the night of May 2 1889, and it was estimated to be on the central meridi at 12h. 31m. Further views of the same object secured in June, July, and later months. In appearance and form it presented much the same aspect as in pr ceding years. Its elliptical outline is still preserved, 2 there seems to have occurred no perceptible change size. It is somewhat faint relatively to the very r spicuous belts north of it, and it is only on a good net that it can be well recognized as a complete ellipse with dusky interior. On the evening of September 12 obtained an excellent view of it with my 10-inch reflects power 252. The spot was central at 6h. 33m., and following end was seen to be much the darkest. This has usually been the case, and I have often noticed a ver small, black spot at this extremity. Another observa was effected on the early evening of November 20, whe the spot crossed the planet's centre at 3h. 54m., but the

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