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the supply of two toes behind is rendered extremely necessary for its support.' The phrase Pedes scansorii should there fore be cancelled, as inducing an erroneous idea; and Mr. Sheppard suggests the substitution of the epithet comprehensorii.
An Account of a new Species of Gull lately discovered by Capt. Edw. Sabine) on the West Coast of Greenland. By Joseph Sabine, Esq., &c. - This species, which is with great propriety named Larus Sabini, was shot on a group of low rocky islands, in lat. 75° 29' N., and long. 60° 9' W., where they were assembled for the purpose of breeding in considerable numbers with the common Tern. On account of the forked tail, some ornithologists may be disposed to class it with Sterna rather than with Larus. As it was not again observed, the different stages of its colouring and various particulars relative to its habits remain to be ascertained: but Mr. Sabine seems to have noted every characteristic circumstance within his reach.
Remarks on the Changes of the Plumage of Birds. By the Rev. William Whitear, of Starston in Norfolk. Mr. Whitear adverts to some striking examples of a change of colour in full-grown feathers, without their being replaced by new comers: a phænomenon which probably occurs more frequently than ornithologists are aware. The instances here quoted were observed in the Mallard, the male Chaffinch, the Swiss Sandpiper, the Dunlin, and the Black-headed Gull.
A Memoir on the Birds of Greenland ; with Descriptions and Notes on the Species observed in the late Voyage of Discovery in Davis's Straits and Baffin's Bay. By Captain Edward Sabine, of the Royal Artillery, F. R. Š. and L.S. Of fifty species,' says Captain Sabine, enumerated by various authors as having been found in Greenland, twenty-four fell under my notice: some interesting facts relating to these have been ascertained, and four other species have been added to the list, one of which has not been before described by any naturalist. That so few birds were seen is to be explained by the circumstance, that the ships very rarely approached the shores so as to permit a landing: but it is confidently hoped, that the voyage which is about to be undertaken will afford facilities for more extensive research.'
We cannot venture to accompany the memorialist in his many excellent critical remarks : but we may barely touch on some of the northern peculiarities which he has noted. The specimens of Greenland Ptarmigans, which he had occasion to observe in their perfect summer-plumage, were white, and more gaudy than those that are found in Scotland at the same season. The bills of the Greenland common Terns are one 16
third shorter than those of the European; and the Tarsi of the former are only half the length of those of the latter. Should such marked differences be constant and uniform, they would seem to indicate specific distinctions. If the observa ation of Temminck be correct, the black markings of the primary quill-feathers of the Herring-gull, which have been regarded as essentially characteristic of the species, are changed to white in the arctic countries. Captain Sabine, however, is strongly inclined to believe that the species which he has denominated Larus argentatus, or Silvery Gull, is intitled to a separate station in the nomenclature. It is singular,' he says, that Pennant, in his Arctic Zoology, under the head of Herring-gull
, states that bird to be common in Greenland throughout the year; though no other writer, as far as my observation has extended, mentions the circumstance, and we did not observe a single one with black primary quill-feathers during our voyage in the Straits.'— While the ships were detained in Jacob's Bay, from the 24th of June to the 3d of July, Fulmars were observed passing, in a continual stream, to the northward. King-Ducks abound on the coast of Greenland, associating with Eider Ducks: but they were too shy to approach the ships.
• As the Long-tailed Duck only winters in Europe, returning to the arctic regions in the summer, the state of its plumage at the time we were in Baffin's Bay is interesting. I obtained a specimen of a mature male on the 30th of June. Its winter dress has been detailed by several of the authors referred to, but I believe a description of its summer plumage will be new. The whole under
of the neck and the breast is black, the appearance of the black spot so conspicuous in winter being removed by the general diffusion of the dark feathers; the sides of the head and a little beyond the eye are a brownish white; round the eye are some white feathers; from the bill a black line runs on the top of the head to the crown, which is black; the back of the neck is ehiefly black, but at a small distance below the crown a few white feathers are intermingled with the black ones across the neck; the black of the back of the neck extends down the back, but in the centre of the upper part of the back near the neck is a patch of black feathers edged with ferruginous; the scapulars are long and narrow, black in the centre and edged with ferruginous white, the longer ones having more white; the wings are a brownish-black, the quill-feathers being the palest; the lower belly and sides to the rump and the under tail-coverts are white, a line of black descending between the white from the back to the tail ; of the four middle tail-feathers two are eight inches, the others are about four and a-half inches long.'
Captain Sabine's annotations, on most of the species which he has particularized, are calculated to remove much of the confusion that has prevailed in their history and arrangement, from a want of due attention to the progressive changes of colour which they are destined to undergo.
Characters and Description of Lyellia, a new Genus of Mosses, with Observations on the Section of the Order to which it belongs ; and some Remarks on Leptostomum and Burbaumia. By Robert Brown, Esq. F.R.S. Lib. L. S. - Lyellia has its name in honour of Mr. Charles Lyell, an English botanist, particularly conversant in the history of some of the cryptoganic tribes. It is related to Polytrichum and Dawsonia, but, from the peculiar structure of its peristomium, requires to be separated from both. The trivial name of the species is Crispa; and the plant was lately discovered in Nepaul by the botanical collectors sent from the Company's garden at Calcutta. Mr. Brown describes the characters at length, with as much confidence as the inspection of dried specimens will justify; and he accompanies his definitions with some valuable remarks on the character and structure of the other genera mentioned in the title. On the consideration of these, however, we cannot enter, without exceeding the bounds of discretion.
Extracts from the Minute-Book of the Society. — Of these extracts, the most important is the first in order, from a letter addressed to the Secretary by Sir John Jamison, F.L. S., dated at Regentville, New South Wales, Sept. 10. 1816.
““ I cannot,” says this gentleman, “ avoid relating to you an extraordinary peculiarity which I have lately discovered in the Ornithorynchus paradoxus. — The male of this wonderful animal is provided with spurs on the hind feet or legs, like a cock. The spur is situated over a cyst of venomous Auid, and has a tube or cannula up its centre, through which the animal can, like a serpent, force the poison when it inflicts its wound. I wounded one with small shot ; and on my overseer's taking it out of the water, it stuck its spurs into the palm and back of his right hand with such force, and retained them in with such strength, that they could not be withdrawn until it was killed. The hand instantly swelled to a prodigious bulk; and the inflammation having rapidly extended to his shoulder, he was in a few minutes threatened with locked-jaw, and exhibited all the symptoms of a person bitten by a venomous snake. The pain from the first was insupportable, and cold sweats and sickness of stomach took place so alarmingly, that I found it necessary, besides the external application of oil and vinegar, to administer large quantities of the volatile alkali with opium, which I really think preserved his life. He was obliged to keep his bed for several days, and did not recover the perfect use of his hand for nine weeks. This unexpected and extraordinary occurrence induced me to examine the spur of the animal ; and on pressing it down on the leg the fluid squirted through the tube : but for what purpose
Nature has so armed these animals is as yet unknown to me. The female is oviparous, and lives in burrows in the ground, so that it is seldom seen either on shore or in the water. The males are seen in numbers throughout our winter months only, floating and diving in all our large rivers; but they cannot continue long under water. I had one drowned by having been left during the night in a large tub of water. I have found no other substance in their stomachs, than smali fish and fry. They are very shy, and avoid the shot by diving and afterwards rising at a considerable distance.”
The poison-apparatus of this paradoxical creature is an additional anomaly in its natural history; and the circumstance of its viviparous reproduction ought, henceforth, to remove it from the class of mammiferous animals.
One of the authors of the Flora Peruviuna, and his botanical companions, have found the potatoe growing wild in the environs of Linia, on the coast of Peru, and in Chili; where it is also very abundantly cultivated by the Indians, who call it Papas.
The Reverend Revett Sheppard states that, on the first of January, 1818, be shot a fine specimen of the common Heron, and that its feathers were covered with a powder of a light blue colour.
A specimen of Salix cinerea, with androgynous catkins, was found by Mr. Gee, at Duckinfield, near Stockport, in Cheshire. Nearly half of the flowers in the upper part of the catkin were male, and the rest female.
ART. VI. Memoirs of the Life and Writings of John Eve
lyn, Esq. F.R.S.
[ Article concluded from p. 131.] THE
HE distress which Charles's friends underwent on his ac
count, during his exile, would have for ever bound to their interests a man of any honourable feelings. The extremity of this suffering is exhibited in various letters from Sir Edward Hyde and Sir Richard Brown: but a single instance may suffice.
Sir Edward thus expresses himself in a letter to Sir Edward Nicholas : - 66 It is no wonder you should desire to be eased as much as may be of all kinds of charges. I am sure I have as much reason as any man living to join with you in that thrift; yet I cannot avoid the constant expence of seven or eight livres the week for postage of letters, which I borrow scandalously out of my friends' pockets, or else my letters must, more scandalously, remain still at the post-house; and I am sure all those which concern my own private affairs would be received for ten sous a-week; so that all the rest are for the
King, from whom I have not received one penny since I came hither, and am put to all this charge; yet it is to no purpose to complain, though I have not been master of a crown these many months, and cold, for want of clothes and fire, and owe for all the meate which I have eaten these three months, and to a poor woman who is not longer able to trust." Yet Charles, in his prosperity, could abandon this faithful adherent!
Mr. Evelyn preserved an intimacy with Lord Clarendon after the period at which Charles, with the most disgusting and the basest ingratitude, had sacrificed him to his love of power and to his licentiousness, or both; for the Chancellor was a restraint on him in each of these respects. Clarendon did not bear his reverse of fortune like a great man, although he employed the leisure which it afforded him in a work that does honour to his memory. Mr. Evelyn observes in his Diary, 27th August, 1667: Visited the Lo. Chancellor, to whom his Ma'y had sent for the seales a few days before ; I found him in his bed-chamber very sad. The Parliament had accus'd him, and he had enemies at Court, especially the buffoones and ladys of pleasure, because he thwarted some of them and stood in their way. I could name some of ye chiefe. The truth is, he made few friends during his grandeur among the royal sufferers, but advanc'd the old rebells. He was, however, tho' no considerable lawyer, one who kept up ye forme and substance of things in ye Nation with more solemnity than some would have had.''
Similar memorandums recur in different places as to the disconsolate state of mind in which the Chancellor remained: but Mr. Evelyn speaks of him more at large in a letter to Mr. Secretary Pepys, written many years afterward :
" I shall say no more of his ministrie, and what was the pretence of his fall, than that we haue liued to see greate Revolutions. The Buffoons, Parasites, Pimps, & Concubines, who-supplanted him at Court, came to nothing not long after, & were as little pittied. 'T is something yet too early to publish the names: of his Delators, for fear of one's teeth. But Time will speake Truth, and sure I am the event has made it good. Things were infinitely worse manay'd since his disgrace, & both their late Maties fell into as pernicious counsels as euer Princes did : whilst what euer my La Chancelrs skill, whether in Law or Politics, the offices of State & Justice were filled with men of old English honor & probitie ; lesse open bribery & ostentation ; there was at least something of more grauity and forme kept up (things, how. euer railled at, necessary in Courts): magnificence & antient hospitalitie in his Maties houses, more agreeable to the genius of this Nation than the open & avowed luxurie & prophaness which