« EelmineJätka »
the 1st of January, British subjects shall be allowed to reside there in 1862 ; and it is not improbable that a great portion of the trade may ultimately be transferred to it from Ranagawa. There is plenty of water and a good anchorage at a distance of about a mile from the western suburb of Linagawa. The only other port which has been opened by the late Treaty in the Island of Nipon is the Port of Nee-e-gata, situated upon its western coast. As this port has never yet been visited by Europeans, it is stipulated that if it be found inconvenient as a harbour, another shall be substituted for it, to be opened on the 1st of January 1860."
On the Ethnology and Hieroglyphics of the Caledonians. By Colonel J. Fobbes. Colonel Forbes developed his views in the following propositions :—1. Whether found singly or in groups, those circles not surrounding moot-hills or tumuli were erected for places of worship. They were also used as places for the administration of justice, and for the assembly of councils. 2. The number of stones in these fanes had reference to the number of individuals or families; and perhaps, in circles of greater proportions, were according to the number of towns or tribe, to be represented in the councils, or benefited by the sacrifices at any particular cromlech. Some of the cromlechs contained altars within the area. Occasionally the altars formed port of the inclosing circle, and in other cases the altars were outside of the circle. 4. In the same fane there were altars to more than one deity. 5. The origin of these fanes cannot be traced in any country ; and nowhere, except in the Old Testament, does history or rational tradition fix the period when, or the people by whom, any one of these monuments was erected. 6. Open to the weather, incapable of being covered, and with long avenues of approach, the form of these fanes has apparently been devised in Eastern countries possessing a clear sky and warm climate. 7. These heathen fanes of Britain were afterwards used as places of Christian worship, but cattle continued to be sacrificed in them. 8. These fanes were also used as burying-grounds for Christians.
On the Arabic-speaking Population of the World. By Mr A. AmeuNey (a Syrian).—The Arabic has twenty-nine letters, and, with the combinations and the vowels, make about thirty-six. Seven of these letters are, to a foreigner, exceedingly difficult to pronounce. The Arabic being an original language, it has, of course, the masculine and feminine genders—and the dual. It has more. It has a personal pronoun, and a pronoun attached to the verb, like the Latin amo. It has feminine in the singular and in the plural to the verbs—so, if two people happen to be in the next room, and they were talking, you would know whether they be ladies or gentlemen, or whether one be a lady or a gentleman ; or whether the speaker be a lady or a gentleman, or whether the party spoken to be a lady or a gentleman. Not so in any other language—partly only in Greek. We have singular, dual, and plural—plural below No. 10, and above No. 10; we have a plural of plurals, and a collective plural and its plural. Let us see what we con do with these roots. Take the word love. We want to use it in English: we add r, and make lover, or ing, and make loving; or prefix be, and make beloved; but you have to say the place of love, the cause of love, and the course of love (they 6ay it never runs smooth) I You have kill, and a knife, and butcher, and 6laughter-house! We have nine letters, say a, b, c, and, by adding or prefixing one or more of these to the original, we make a word. One for the place, one for the instrument, one for the cause, and one for the passion. Take the word love, again, as a verb. You can only say might, should, or would, love; cause to love, command to love, ask to be loved, to be passionately in love, and to fall in love (which is the worst, I think). But with us, we have thirteen other letters, and, by prefixing or adding one or more to the original word, we change the meaning. We only change the accent of the noun, and make it a verb. You have something like it —a prdsent, and to present, a record, and to record. There are 65,000 words in the English Dictionary. We have 150,000 in the Arabic, and, when the derivatives are added, the language becomes really formidable. There are a few languages in which there is more than four or five names for an object. You have sword, scimitar, and cutlass, but we have 150 names for this instrument of death. We have 100 for an old woman, 120 for the hyena, and I should feel ashamed to tell you how many for the lion, the camel, and the horse. It is all very well for a poet, who wants to rhyme his verses, to have many words at his command, but the language becomes very formidable for the scholar and the foreigner. The Arabs, who, of course, lived at first in Arabia, did not differ from other primitive nations. They traded with, warred against, hated, and loved their neighbours. Their wars were mostly with the Persians and the Abyssinians, for their poems refer to these nations in particular. They had their national assemblies, as we have here now. There was one in particular like the British Association—that is, comparing small with great thtngs. During the month of Moharem they ceased their wars, and they met at Ackos, where the great poets recited their poems, and arbitrators decided which was the first, second, and third best. The first was then inscribed in letters of gold, and hung up at the Kaaba. We have seven of these poems (Moallakat), and many other lesser ones. Few nations have ever produced their equal—I speak not lightly of the poetry of other nations. It was my great desire to read Sir Walter Scott's poetry that urged me to learn the English language. They are passionately fond of their country. They have ideas equally as good as these lines,—
Breathes there a man, &c.;
O! Caledonia, stern and wild.
I have read several of the best poets in English, French, Italian, and Latin, but all appear to me to write too much. An Arab poet says all he wishes to say in a few verses. I am sure all Arab poetry is burning with a strong passion. The nearest to it is Pope's "Eloisa and Abelard." The wars of Arabs have ever been either for women or horses, and their poetry is full of expressions about them. The eyes, the lips, the breath, the neck, and skin of a woman, have more names than I could tell you of. Terreack! breath of life; wine, coffee, water of life, and paradise. The Arabs in their native simplicity are frugal, can endure fatigue, hunger, and thirst; but the Arab can never become rich, because he is so generous. From the days of Abraham to this day, his great delight is to entertain strangers. They have no hotel charges. Brotherhood is one of their strong ties. One becomes a brother either by a present or service rendered. People who live in towns present—give to one of the chiefs, and he can travel amongst the tribes. Antar had made a war on a tribe, defeated it, and was leading the people into captivity. A man called out to him, "El Goman, Antar!"—that is, The Covenant. Antar asked him where and when he ever covenanted with him. 1 was, said the man, once at such a well watering my horse. You came and wanted to do the same, but your rope was too short. Bread and salt is another thing. The refuge another. Yet France wanted others to give up the refugees whom she turned out herself. Whether Christianity ever made any great progress among them we do not know. There are, however, many Christian tribes, especially in Hauran and Korak. But as soon as Mohammed appeared, the Arab mind took a different turn, and they became a conquering race. They, in fact, burst the bounds of their desert, and went out— the Koran in one hand and the sword in the other—either submission or death. After a little while came the tribute, or redemption. People redeemed themselves by paying an annual tax, very small, and they lived
to the borders of the Alantire, &c. The Arabs are like the AngloSaxons. They conquer,—give their language, manners, and customs to the conquered nation,—and in a short time they make them Arabs.*
Thursday, 10th November, 1859.—Mr Andrew Mcreay, President, occupied the Chair, and delivered the following opening address :— It is the custom for merchants once a year to make an inquiry into their affairs: to take stock, as they call it, balance their books, reckon their gains and their losses, and see what the progress of their business has been during the bypast year. It is a good and a salutary custom, and one which most of ourselves put in use to a greater or less degree in regard to our own past conduct and life, when the advent of another year invites our thoughts to such considerations. Let us, at the commencement of our New Session, follow this example; let us take a retrospective view of our position, and estimate the gains and losses which we as the representatives, at least as the only embodied representatives, of the Science of Botany in this city, have made during the past year. Let us see how the progress of Botany has been affected by the events of that period.
And first, let us, like stout men, look our losses in the face. These, gentlemen, have not been small. We have no loss in the actual progress of our science to deplore; we have no false step in the mode of conducting our investigations to anounce; we have no fundamental principle to correct. The science Jb firmly based on the natural system. Its principles are sound, and are being day by day worked out to more and more perfection. Our physiological views have received no rude check; and we are progressing steadily and surely in our search after truth, and in the acquisition of fresh knowledge. But if we have no loss in this respect to regret, we have suffered deep and heavy loss in the persons of some of those who have been mainly instrumental in bringing the science into this satisfactory position. We have to bewail the loss of Alexandre von Humboldt and of Robert Brown, the topmost trees of all the forest. You have already heard the eulogium and the history of their labours from the pen of our excellent Professor, and I shall not do myself the injustice, nor inflict on you the tedium, of retreading the same ground. You have also heard from him an account of the loss we have sustained in the death of Professor Agardh of Lund, the great algologist. Of our young friend and fellow-member, Dr Nichol, he has likewise spoken ; and we have recorded in our minutes the sense we felt of his loss; but in speaking of him and of similar losses, I cannot refrain from uttering the reflection which has sometimes forced itself upon me, on the occasion of the death of some of those heroes of Science, who have long stood in the front rank, and full of years as well as honours, have at last succumbed
* The Ueport of the Proceedings of the British Association is taken partly from the " Athenaeum,'' and partly from Authors' abstracts.
in peace. Then they extended
Botanical Society of Edinburgh.
before the assaults of time; that their removal was, perhaps, a less loss to Science than that of some promising young man just entering on his career. They are like old trees which stand out as great landmarks, but which have almost done growing. Their powers of work are nearly exhausted; while the fresh intellect, keen eye, and powers of labour of the young man, might justify us in anticipating a greater harvest from him were he spared than perhaps the giant could now produce. The loss of the great man is felt keenly by those who come in contact with him. His stores of information, applied by a profound and practised intellect, render his loss to thom irreparable. To-day they might go to him secure of getting information on any subject they had on hand; to-morrow, not all the reading, nor all the correspondence with all the learned in Europe, could procure it. To them the loss is irreparable. But to you or to me, and the general scientific world, who had no access to his well-stored mind, and look for no new work from his pen, the loss is one of sentiment and feeling. In the pure practical, selfish point of view, the talented young man is probably the greater loss of the two. But in this practical and selfish light, a greater loss than either is that of the matured man, as yet in the full vigourof life, prolific in work, accomplished in science, and eager and zealous in its pursuit. And such a loss we have sustained since we last met. Arthur Henfrey, Professor of Botany in King's College, London (in which chair he succeeded Edward Forbes), has been taken from us in the prime of life and intellectual vigour, and in the full career of laborious and successful research. He was only thirty-nine years of age when he died on the 7th of September last—not a great space of time to acquire the position and to leave the numerous contributions to Science which he has done. His walk was specially vegetable physiology and histology. His contributions to the Royal and Linnean Societies of London were numerous and valuable; the last of which is a paper in this year's Proceedings of the Linnean Society, on the Morphology of the Balsaminaceae. Not his last literary bequest, however ; for he was in course of contributing papers on Vegetable Structure to " The Journal of the Royal Agricultural Society of London;" and the last proofsheets of the second edition of his papers in the " Micrographic Dictionary" were only out of his hands a few days before his death.
Such, gentlemen, are the losses by which the past botanical year has been distinguished. Let us now turn to the more cheerful side, and reckon up our gains. In doing so I shall pass lightly over the not light labours of descriptive and of systematic botanists. Hooker, Bentham, De Candolle, Lindley, Miers, Bennett, Anderson, Berkeley, with many others, are ably continuing their labours in this department of botany. But time will not permit me to do more than merely notice the fact, that much progress has been made in this most important and most necessary, although rather dry branch of our science. Neither shall I have to detain you with a long list of new botanical works. In that respect, the year has not been fruitful. I see a new German book (" Die Pilanzendecke der Erde von Ludwig Rudolph," Berlin, 1859), which attracted my notico from being a sort of anticipation of one which most of us know is in progress by Professor Balfour and Dr. Grevillo,—a Climatic Flora; showing the character impressed upon different countries by the vegetation peculiar to them. It is illustrated with a number of coarse woodcuts, representing the different regions referred to. It shows that the idea has got abroad, or has originated in other minds besides those of our friends; and suggests the desirableness of pushing on more rapidly the work to which we all look forward with so much pleasure.
But if little has been done this year in the way of producing botanical works of a general nature, a great deal has been done in the way of procuring materials for such works in the future. Much new material regarding the Flora of special regions has been published; many short notices of new plants have appeared; and various accounts of the results of public and private expeditions have either already been published, or shortly will be so. It will, I hope, not be uninteresting to the Society, if I give a hasty notice of what has been done in this way. But, first, I would direct your attention to the fact, and claim your mutual congratulations upon it, that by far the greater portion of this work has been done by members of this Society, and men educated in this school. In every one of the public expeditions which have been sent out by Government, the post of Naturalist is filled by one of our body. Of tho expedition up the Niger, Dr Balfour Baikie is Chief. In the United Presbyterian Mission at Old Calabar, which, although not a public scientific expedition, has assumed so much scientific interest and importance in the eyes of the public as almost to be looked upon in that light, we have no less than three members of this Society zealously working for us—Mr Baillie, Dr Hewan, and the Rev. Mr Thomson. In Livingstone's Expedition to the Zambesi, we have Dr Kirk and Mr Bankes, who, I think, is also an alumnus of this school; and to Captain Pal User's Expedition to the Rocky Mountains, Dr Hector is Geologist and head of the Naturalist Department. And these are not our only members who are ably working for us abroad. I shall, as I go along, have occasion to refer to othere.
I shall now, following the sun round the globe, give a short summary of the progress which has been made in our knowledge of Geographical Botany during the past year.
In Europe, few new discoveries have been made; and in Britain, I believe, none. There may be one or two additions made to our Flora by the discovery of some minute cryptogamic plants which have escaped my notice; but I have better authority than my own (my friend, Mr M'Nab's) for saying that nothing of any moment has been added to our Flora. In Africa, a great deal has been done, although little has yet been published. Mr Charles Barter, of the Niger Expedition, had addressed two letters (dated January and March 1859) to Sir William Hooker, giving an interesting account of the vegetation of tropical West Africa. These letters have been published in the Linnean Society's Proceedings of this year, but I do not find much that is new. He states that orchids were very scarce; aquatic plants, which might have been expected to be numerous, were not found to be so. His list only contains thirteen, among which is the Papyrus antiquorum. In regard to the economic expectations from the vegetation of Africa, he says, "Too much must not be expected of Central Africa as a cotton-producing country; the plant needs more moisture than it would obtain in much of the land of the interior, and water-carriage should never be far distant in a country where all loads are conveyed by canoe or on the