Scientific American Supplement, No. 344, August 5, 1882

Part 1 out of 3

Produced by Olaf Voss, Don Kretz, Juliet Sutherland,
Charles Franks and the DP Team



NEW YORK, August 5, 1882

Scientific American Supplement. Vol. XIV, No. 344.

Scientific American established 1845

Scientific American Supplement, $5 a year.

Scientific American and Supplement, $7 a year.

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MANUEL EISSLER. I.--Historical notes.--Spanish Discoveries
in Central America.--Early explorations.--Nicaragua
projects.--Panama railway, etc.

Improved Averaging Machine.

Compound Beam Engine. 4 figures.--Borsig's improved
compound beam engine.

Power Hammers with Movable Fulcrum.--By DANIEL
LONGWORTH. 5 figures.

The Bicheroux System of Furnaces Applied to the Puddling of
Iron. 2 figures.

Gessner's Continuous Cloth Pressing Machine. 3 figures.

Novelties in Ring Spindles. 4 figures.

Improvements in Woolen Carding Engines.

II. NATURAL HISTORY.--Metamorphosis of the Deer's
Antlers.--Annual changes. 9 figures.

Monkeys. By A.R. WALLACE.--Comparison of skeletons of man,
orang outang, and chimpanzee.--Other anatomical resemblances
and diversities.--The different kinds of monkeys and the
countries they inhabit.--American monkeys.--Lemurs.
--Distribution, affinities, and zoological rank of monkeys.

Silk Producing Bombyces and other Lepidoptera reared in
1881. By ALFRED WAILLY, Member Lauriat de la Societe
d'Acclimatation de France.--An extended and important
European, Asiatic, and American silk worms, and other
silk producers.

Localities In and Around New York City and the Minerals
Occurring Therein.--By NELSON H. DARTON.--Chances for
collecting within one hour's ride of New York.--Methods
of collecting and testing.--Localities on Bergen
Hill.--The Weehawken Tunnel.--Minerals and modes of
--Apopholite.--Phrenite.--Iron and copper pyrites.


Crystallization and its Effects Upon Iron. By N.B. WOOD.--
Beauty of Crystals.--Nature of cohesion.--Cleavage.--Growth
of crystals.--Some large crystals.--Cast iron.--Influence
of phosphorus and sulphur.--Nature of steel.--Burnt
steel.--Effect of annealing.

IV. ARCHITECTURE, ART, ETC.--The Cathedral of Burgos, Spain.
--Full page illustration from photograph.

Description of Burgos Cathedral.

Photo-Engraving on Zinc and Copper. By LEON VIDAL.

Meridian Line.--A surveyor's method of finding the true
meridian.--By R.W. MCFARLAND.

WILLIAMS.--Example of electrical exaggeration and
delusion.--Early scientific attempts at electro-motors,
electric lamps, etc.

Action of Magnets Upon the Voltaic Arc. By TH. DU
MONCEL. 2 figures.

Volckmar's Secondary Batteries.

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Every year in March the deer loses its antlers, and fresh ones
immediately begin to grow, which exceed in size those that have just
been lost. Few persons probably have been able to watch and observe the
habits of the animal after it has lost its antlers. It will, therefore,
be of interest to examine the accompanying drawings, by Mr. L. Beckmann,
one of them showing a deer while shedding its antlers, and the other
as the animal appears after losing them. In the first illustration the
animal has just lost one of its antlers, and fright and pain cause it
to throw its head upward and become disturbed and uneasy. The remaining
antler draws down one side of the head and is very inconvenient for the
animal. The remaining antler becomes soon detached from its base,
and the deer turns--as if ashamed of having lost its ornament and
weapon--lowers its head, and sorrowfully moves to the adjoining thicket,
where it hides. A friend once observed a deer losing its antlers, but
the circumstances were somewhat different. The animal was jumping over a
ditch, and as soon as it touched the further bank it jumped high in the
air, arched its back, bent its head to one side in the manner of an
animal that has been wounded, and then sadly approached the nearest
thicket, in the same manner as the artist has represented in the
accompanying picture. Both antlers dropped off and fell into the ditch.


Strong antlers are generally found together, but weak ones are lost at
intervals of two or three days. A few days after this loss the stumps
upon which the antlers rested are covered with a skin, which grows
upward very rapidly, and under which the fresh antlers are formed, so
that by the end of July the bucks have new and strong antlers, from
which they remove the fine hairy covering by rubbing them against young
trees. It is peculiar that the huntsman, who knows everything in regard
to deer, and has seventy-two signs by which he can tell whether a male
or female deer passes through the woods, does not know at what age the
deer gets its first antlers and how the antlers indicate the age of the
animal. Prof. Altum, in Eberswalde, has given some valuable information
in regard to the relation between the age of the deer and the forms of
their antlers, but in some respects he has not expressed himself very
clearly, and I think that my observations given in addition to his may
be of importance. When the animal is a year old--that is, in June--the
burrs of the antlers begin to form, and in July the animal has two
protuberances of the size of walnuts, from which the first branches of
the antlers rise; these branches having the length of a finger only, or
being even shorter, as shown at 1, in diagram, on p. 5481. After the
second year more branches are formed, which are considerably longer and
much rougher at the lower ends than the first. The third pair of antlers
is different from its predecessors, inasmuch as it has "roses," that is,
annular ridges around the bases of the horn, which latter are now bent
in the shape of a crescent. Either the antler has a single branch (Fig.
3, _a_), or besides the point it has another short end, which is a most
rare shape, and is known as a "fork" (Fig. 3, _b_), or it has two forks
(Fig. 3, _c_). In the following year the antlers take the form shown
in Fig. 4, and then follows the antler shown in Fig. 5, _a_, which
generally has "forks" in place of points, and is known as forked antler
in contradistinction to the point antler shown in Fig. 5, _b_, which
retains the shape of the antler, Fig. 4, but has additional or
intermediate prongs or branches. The huntsmen designate the antlers by
the number of ends or points on the two antlers. For instance, Fig. 4 is
a six-ender; Fig. 5 shows an eight-ender, etc.; and antlers have been
known to have as many as twenty-two ends. If the two antlers do not
have the same number of ends the number of ends on the larger antler
is multiplied by two and the word "odd" is placed before the word
designating the number of ends. For instance, if one antler has
three ends and the other four, the antler would be termed an "odd"
eight-ender. The sixth antler shown in Fig. 6 is a ten-ender, and
appears in two different forms, either with a fork at the upper end, as
shown in Fig. 6, _a_, or with a crown, as shown in Fig. 6, _b_. In Fig.
7 an antler is shown which the animal carries from its seventh year
until the month of March of its eighth year. From that time on the
crowns only increase and change. The increase in the number of points is
not always as regular as I have described it, for in years when food
is scarce and poor the antlers are weak and small, and when food is
plentiful and rich the antlers grow exceedingly large, and sometimes
skip an entire year's growth.--_Karl Brandt, in Leipziger lllustrirte



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If the skeleton of an orang-outang and a chimpanzee be compared with
that of a man, there will be found to be the most wonderful resemblance,
together with a very marked diversity. Bone for bone, throughout the
whole structure, will be found to agree in general form, position, and
function, the only absolute differences being that the orang has nine
wrist bones, whereas man and the chimpanzee have but eight; and the
chimpanzee has thirteen pairs of ribs, whereas the orang, like man, has
but twelve. With these two exceptions, the differences are those of
shape, proportion, and direction only, though the resulting differences
in the external form and motions are very considerable. The greatest of
these are, that the feet of the anthropoid or man-like apes, as well as
those of all monkeys, are formed like hands, with large opposable thumbs
fitted to grasp the branches of trees, but unsuitable for erect walking,
while the hands have weak, small thumbs, but very long and powerful
fingers, forming a hook, rather than a hand, adapted for climbing up
trees and suspending the whole weight from horizontal branches. The
almost complete identity of the skeleton, however, and the close
similarity of the muscles and of all the internal organs, have produced
that striking and ludicrous resemblance to man, which every one
recognizes in these higher apes, and, in a less degree, in the whole
monkey tribe; the face and features, the motions, attitudes, and
gestures being often a strange caricature of humanity. Let us, then,
examine a little more closely in what the resemblance consists, and how
far, and to what extent, these animals really differ from us.

Besides the face, which is often wonderfully human--although the absence
of any protuberant nose gives it often a curiously infantile aspect,
monkeys, and especially apes, resemble us most closely in the hand and
arm. The hand has well-formed fingers, with nails, and the skin of the
palm is lined and furrowed like our own. The thumb is, however, smaller
and weaker than ours, and is not so much used in taking hold of
anything. The monkey's hand is, therefore, not so well adapted as that
of man for a variety of purposes, and cannot be applied with such
precision in holding small objects, while it is unsuitable for
performing delicate operations, such as tying a knot or writing with a
pen. A monkey does not take hold of a nut with its forefinger and thumb,
as we do, but grasps it between the fingers and the palm in a clumsy
way, just as a baby does before it has acquired the proper use of
its hand. Two groups of monkeys--one in Africa and one in South
America--have no thumbs on their hands, and yet they do not seem to be
in any respect inferior to other kinds which possess it. In most of the
American monkeys the thumb bends in the same direction as the fingers,
and in none is it so perfectly opposed to the fingers as our thumbs are;
and all these circumstances show that the hand of the monkey is, both
structurally and functionally, a very different and very inferior organ
to that of man, since it is not applied to similar purposes, nor is it
capable of being so applied.

When we look at the feet of monkeys we find a still greater difference,
for these have much larger and more opposable thumbs, and are therefore
more like our hands; and this is the case with all monkeys, so that even
those which have no thumbs on their hands, or have them small and weak
and parallel to the fingers, have always large and well-formed thumbs on
their feet. It was on account of this peculiarity that the great French
naturalist Cuvier named the whole group of monkeys Quadrumana, or
four-handed animals, because, besides the two hands on their fore-limbs,
they have also two hands in place of feet on their hind-limbs. Modern
naturalists have given up the use of this term, because they say that
the hind extremities of all monkeys are really feet, only these feet
are shaped like hands; but this is a point of anatomy, or rather of
nomenclature, which we need not here discuss.

Let us, however, before going further, inquire into the purpose and
use of this peculiarity, and we shall then see that it is simply an
adaptation to the mode of life of the animals which possess it. Monkeys,
as a rule, live in trees, and are especially abundant in the great
tropical forests. They feed chiefly upon fruits, and occasionally eat
insects and birds'-eggs, as well as young birds, all of which they find
in the trees; and, as they have no occasion to come down to the ground,
they travel from tree to tree by jumping or swinging, and thus pass the
greater part of their lives entirely among the leafy branches of lofty
trees. For such a mode of existence, they require to be able to move
with perfect ease upon large or small branches, and to climb up rapidly
from one bough to another. As they use their hands for gathering fruit
and catching insects or birds, they require some means of holding on
with their feet, otherwise they would be liable to continual falls, and
they are able to do this by means of their long finger-like toes and
large opposable thumbs, which grasp a branch almost as securely as a
bird grasps its perch. The true hands, on the contrary, are used chiefly
to climb with, and to swing the whole weight of the body from one branch
or one tree to another, and for this purpose the fingers are very long
and strong, and in many species they are further strengthened by being
partially joined together, as if the skin of our fingers grew together
as far as the knuckles. This shows that the separate action of the
fingers, which is so important to us, is little required by monkeys,
whose hand is really an organ for climbing and seizing food, while their
foot is required to support them firmly in any position on the branches
of trees, and for this purpose it has become modified into a large and
powerful grasping hand.

Another striking difference between monkeys and men is that the former
never walk with ease in an erect posture, but always use their arms in
climbing or in walking on all-fours like most quadrupeds. The monkeys
that we see in the streets dressed up and walking erect, only do so
after much drilling and teaching, just as dogs may be taught to walk in
the same way; and the posture is almost as unnatural to the one animal
as it is to the other. The largest and most man-like of the apes--the
gorilla, chimpanzee, and orang-outang--also walk usually on all-fours;
but in these the arms are so long and the legs so short that the body
appears half erect when walking; and they have the habit of resting on
the knuckles of the hands, not on the palms like the smaller monkeys,
whose arms and legs are more nearly of an equal length, which tends
still further to give them a semi-erect position. Still they are never
known to walk of their own accord on their hind legs only, though they
can do so for short distances, and the story of their using a stick and
walking erect by its help in the wild state is not true. Monkeys, then,
are both four-handed and four-footed beasts; they possess four hands
formed very much like our hands, and capable of picking up or holding
any small object in the same manner; but they are also four-footed,
because they use all four limbs for the purpose of walking, running, or
climbing; and, being adapted to this double purpose, the hands want the
delicacy of touch and the freedom as well as the precision of movement
which ours possess. Man alone is so constructed that he walks erect with
perfect ease, and has his hands free for any use to which he wishes
to apply them; and this is the great and essential bodily distinction
between monkeys and men.

We will now give some account of the different kinds of monkeys and the
countries they inhabit.


Monkeys are usually divided into three kinds--apes, monkeys, and
baboons; but these do not include the American monkeys, which are really
more different from all those of the Old World than any of the
latter are from each other. Naturalists, therefore, divide the whole
monkey-tribe into two great families, inhabiting the Old and the New
World respectively; and, if we learn to remember the kind of differences
by which these several groups are distinguished, we shall be able
to understand something of the classification of animals, and the
difference between important and unimportant characters.

Taking first the Old World groups, they may be thus defined: apes have
no tails; monkeys have tails, which are usually long; while baboons have
short tails, and their faces, instead of being round and with a man-like
expression as in apes and monkeys, are long and more dog-like. These
differences are, however, by no means constant, and it is often
difficult to tell whether an animal should be classed as an ape, a
monkey, or a baboon. The Gibraltar ape, for example, though it has no
tail, is really a monkey, because it has callosities, or hard pads of
bare skin on which it sits, and cheek pouches in which it can stow away
food; the latter character being always absent in the true apes, while
both are present in most monkeys and baboons. All these animals,
however, from the largest ape to the smallest monkey, have the same
number of teeth as we have, and they are arranged in a similar manner,
although the tusks or canine teeth of the males are often large, like
those of a dog.

The American monkeys, on the other hand, with the exception of the
marmosets, have four additional grinding teeth (one in each jaw on
either side), and none of them have callosities, or cheek pouches. They
never have prominent snouts like the baboons; their nostrils are placed
wide apart and open sideways on the face; the tail, though sometimes
short, is never quite absent; and the thumb bends the same way as the
fingers, is generally very short and weak, and is often quite wanting.
We thus see that these American monkeys differ in a great number of
characters from those of the Eastern hemisphere; and they have this
further peculiarity, that many of them have prehensile or grasping
tails, which are never found in the monkeys of any other country.
This curious organ serves the purpose of a fifth hand. It has so much
muscular power that the animal can hang by it easily with the tip curled
round a branch, while it can also be used to pick up small objects with
almost as much ease and exactness as an elephant's trunk. In those
species which have it most perfectly formed it is very long and
powerful, and the end has the underside covered with bare skin, exactly
resembling that of the finger or palm of the hand and apparently equally
sensitive. One of the common kinds of monkeys that accompany street
organ-players has a prehensile tail, but not of the most perfect kind;
since in this species the tail is entirely clad with hair to the tip,
and seems to be used chiefly to steady the animal when sitting on a
branch by being twisted round another branch near it. The statement is
often erroneously made that all American monkeys have prehensile tails;
but the fact is that rather less than half the known kinds have them
so, the remainder having this organ either short and bushy, or long
and slender, but entirely without any power of grasping. All
prehensile-tailed monkeys are American, but all American monkeys are not

By remembering these characters it is easy, with a little observation,
to tell whether any strange monkey comes from America or from the Old
World. If it has bare seat-pads, or if when eating it fills its mouth
till its cheeks swell out like little bags, we may be sure it comes from
some part of Africa or Asia; while if it can curl up the end of its tail
so as to take hold of anything, it is certainly American. As all the
tailed monkeys of the Old World have seat-pads (or ischial callosities
as they are called in scientific language), and as all the American
monkeys have tails, but no seat-pads, this is the most constant external
character by which to distinguish them; and having done so we can look
for the other peculiarities of the American monkeys, especially the
distance apart of the nostrils and their lateral position.

The whole monkey-tribe is especially tropical, only a few kinds being
found in the warmer parts of the temperate zone. One inhabits the Rock
of Gibraltar, and there is one very like it in Japan, and these are the
two monkeys which live furthest from the equator. In the tropics they
become very abundant and increase in numbers and variety as we approach
the equator, where the climate is hot, moist, and equable, and where
flowers, fruits, and insects are to be found throughout the year. Africa
has about 55 different kinds, Asia and its islands about 60, while
America has 114, or almost exactly the same as Asia and Africa together.
Australia and its islands have no monkeys, nor has the great and
luxuriant island of New Guinea, whose magnificent forests seem so well
adapted for them. We will now give a short account of the different
kinds of monkeys inhabiting each of the tropical continents.

Africa possesses two of the great man-like apes--the gorilla and the
chimpanzee, the former being the largest ape known, and the one which,
on the whole, perhaps most resembles man, though its countenance is less
human than that of the chimpanzee. Both are found in West Africa, near
the equator, but they also inhabit the interior wherever there are great
forests; and Dr. Schweinfurth states that the chimpanzee inhabits the
country about the sources of the Shari River in 28 deg. E. long. and 4 deg. N.

The long-tailed monkeys of Africa are very numerous and varied. One
group has no cheek pouches and no thumb on the hand, and many of these
have long soft fur of varied colors. The most numerous group are the
Guenons, rather small long-tailed monkeys, very active and lively,
and often having their faces curiously marked with white or black, or
ornamented with whiskers or other tufts of hair; and they all have large
cheek pouches and good sized thumbs. Many of them are called green
monkeys, from the greenish yellow tint of their fur, and most of them
are well formed, pleasing animals. They are found only in tropical

The baboons are larger but less numerous. They resemble dogs in the
general form and the length of the face or snout, but they have hands
with well-developed thumbs on both the fore and hind limbs; and this,
with something in the expression of the face and their habit of sitting
up and using their hands in a very human fashion, at once shows that
they belong to the monkey tribe. Many of them are very ugly, and in
their wild state they are the fiercest and most dangerous of monkeys.
Some have the tail very long, others of medium length, while it is
sometimes reduced to a mere stump, and all have large cheek pouches and
bare seat pads. They are found all over Africa, from Egypt to the Cape
of Good Hope; while one species, called the hamadryas, extends from
Abyssinia across the Red Sea into Arabia, and is the only baboon found
out of Africa. This species was known to the ancients, and it is often
represented in Egyptian sculptures, while mummies of it have been found
in the catacombs. The largest and most remarkable of all the baboons
is the mandrill of West Africa, whose swollen and hog-like face is
ornamented with stripes of vivid blue and scarlet. This animal has a
tail scarcely two inches long, while in size and strength it is not much
inferior to the gorilla. The large baboons go in bands, and are said to
be a match for any other animals in the African forests, and even to
attack and drive away the elephants from the districts they inhabit.

Turning now to Asia, we have first one of the best known of the large
man-like apes--the orang-outang, found only in the two large islands,
Borneo and Sumatra. The name is Malay, signifying "man of the woods,"
and it should be pronounced orang-ootan, the accent being on the first
syllable of both words. It is a very curious circumstance that, whereas
the gorilla and chimpanzee are both black, like the negroes of the same
country, the orang-outang is red or reddish brown, closely resembling
the color of the Malays and Dyaks who live in the Bornean forests.
Though very large and powerful, it is a harmless creature, feeding on
fruit, and never attacking any other animal except in self-defense. A
full-grown male orang-outang is rather more than four feet high, but
with a body as large as that of a stout man, and with enormously long
and powerful arms.

Another group of true apes inhabit Asia and the larger Asiatic islands,
and are in some respects the most remarkable of the whole family. These
are the Gibbons, or long-armed apes, which are generally of small size
and of a gentle disposition, but possessing the most wonderful agility.
In these creatures the arms are as long as the body and legs together,
and are so powerful that a gibbon will hang for hours suspended from
a branch, or swing to and fro and then throw itself a great distance
through the air. The arms, in fact, completely take the place of the
legs for traveling. Instead of jumping from bough to bough and running
on the branches, like other apes and monkeys, the gibbons move along
while hanging suspended in the air, stretching their arms from bough to
bough, and thus going hand over hand as a very active sailor will climb
along a rope. The strength of their arms is, however, so prodigious,
and their hold so sure, that they often loose one hand before they have
caught a bough with the other, thus seeming almost to fly through the
air by a series of swinging leaps; and they travel among the network of
interlacing boughs a hundred feet above the earth with as much ease and
certainty as we walk or run upon level ground, and with even greater
speed. These little animals scarcely ever come down to the ground of
their own accord; but when obliged to do so they run along almost erect,
with their long arms swinging round and round, as if trying to find some
tree or other object to climb upon. They are the only apes who naturally
walk without using their hands as well as their feet; but this does not
make them more like men, for it is evident that the attitude is not an
easy one, and is only adopted because the arms are habitually used to
swing by, and are therefore naturally held upward, instead of downward,
as they must be when walking on them.

The tailed monkeys of Asia consist of two groups, the first of which
have no cheek pouches, but always have very long tails, They are
true forest monkeys, very active and of a shy disposition. The most
remarkable of these is the long-nosed monkey of Borneo, which is very
large, of a pale brown color, and distinguished by possessing a long,
pointed, fleshy nose, totally unlike that of all other monkeys. Another
interesting species is the black and white entellus monkey of India,
called the "Hanuman," by the Hindoos, and considered sacred by them.
These animals are petted and fed, and at some of the temples numbers
of them come every day for the food which the priests, as well as the
people, provide for them.

The next group of Eastern monkeys are the Macaques, which are more like
baboons, and often run upon the ground. They are more bold and vicious
than the others. All have cheek pouches, and though some have long
tails, in others the tail is short, or reduced to a mere stump. In some
few this stump is so very short that there appears to be no tail, as in
the magot of North Africa and Gibraltar, and in an allied species that
inhabits Japan.


The monkeys which inhabit America form three very distinct groups:
1st, the Sapajous, which have prehensile or grasping tails; 2nd, the
Sagouins, which have ordinary tails, either long or short; and, 3rd, the
Marmosets, very small creatures, with sharp claws, long tails which are
not prehensile, and a smaller number of teeth than all other American
monkeys. Each of these three groups contain several sub-groups, or
_genera_, which often differ remarkably from each other, and from all
the monkeys of the Old World.

We will begin with the howling monkeys, which are the largest found in
America, and are celebrated for the loud voice of the males. Often in
the great forests of the Amazon or Oronooko a tremendous noise is heard
in the night or early morning, as if a great assemblage of wild beasts
were all roaring and screaming together. The noise may be heard for
miles, and it is louder and more piercing than that of any other
animals, yet it is all produced by a single male howler, sitting on the
branches of some lofty tree. They are enabled to make this extraordinary
noise by means of an organ that is possessed by no other animal. The
lower jaw is unusually deep, and this makes room for a hollow bony
vessel about the size of a large walnut, situated under the root of the
tongue, and having an opening into the windpipe by which the animal
can force air into it. This increases the power of its voice, acting
something like the hollow case of a violin, and producing those
marvelous rolling and reverberating sounds which caused the celebrated
traveler Waterton to declare that they were such as might have had their
origin in the infernal regions. The howlers are large and stout bodied
monkeys, with bearded faces, and very strong and powerfully grasping
tails. They inhabit the wildest forests; they are very shy, and are
seldom taken captive, though they are less active than many other
American monkeys.

Next come the spider monkeys, so called from their slender bodies and
enormously long limbs and tail. In these monkeys the tail is so long,
strong, and perfect, that it completely takes the place of a fifth hand.
By twisting the end of it round a branch the animal can swing freely in
the air with complete safety; and this gives them a wonderful power of
climbing end passing from tree to tree, because the distance they can
stretch is that of the tail, body, and arm added together, and these are
all unusually long. They can also swing themselves through the air for
great distances, and are thus able to pass rapidly from tree to tree
without ever descending to the ground, just like the gibbons in the
Malayan forests. Although capable of feats of wonderful agility, the
spider monkeys are usually slow and deliberate in their motions, and
have a timid, melancholy expression, very different from that of most
monkeys. Their hands are very long, but have only four fingers, being
adapted for hanging on to branches rather than for getting hold of small
objects. It is said that when they have to cross a river the trees on
the opposite banks of which do not approach near enough for a leap,
several of them form a chain, one hanging by its tail from a lofty
overhanging branch and seizing hold of the tail of the one below it,
then gradually swinging themselves backward and forward till the lower
one is able to seize hold of a branch on the opposite side. He then
climbs up the tree, and, when sufficiently high, the first one lets go,
and the swing either carries him across to a bough on the opposite side
or he climbs up over his companions.

Closely allied to the last are the woolly monkeys, which have an equally
well developed prehensile tail, but better proportioned limbs, and a
thick woolly fur of a uniform gray or brownish color. They have well
formed fingers and thumbs, both on the hands and feet, and are rather
deliberate in their motions, and exceedingly tame and affectionate in
captivity. They are great eaters, and are usually very fat. They are
found only in the far interior of the Amazon valley, and, having a
delicate constitution, seldom live long in Europe. These monkeys are not
so fond of swinging themselves about by their tails as are the spider
monkeys, and offer more opportunities of observing how completely this
organ takes the place of a fifth hand. When walking about a house, or on
the deck of a ship, the partially curled tail is carried in a horizontal
position on the ground, and the moment it touches anything it twists
round it and brings it forward, when, if eatable, it is at once
appropriated; and when fastened up the animal will obtain any food that
may be out of reach of its hands with the greatest facility, picking up
small bits of biscuit, nuts, etc., much as an elephant does with the tip
of his trunk.

We now come to a group of monkeys whose prehensile tail is of a less
perfect character, since it is covered with hair to the tip, and is of
no use to pick up objects. It can, however, curl round a branch, and
serves to steady the animal while sitting or feeding, but is never used
to hang and swing by in the manner so common with the spider monkeys and
their allies. These are rather small-sized animals, with round heads and
with moderately long tails. They are very active and intelligent, their
limbs are not so long as in the preceding group, and though they have
five fingers on each hand and foot, the hands have weak and hardly
opposable thumbs. Some species of these monkeys are often carried about
by itinerant organ men, and are taught to walk erect and perform many
amusing tricks. They form the genus _Cebus_ of naturalists.

The remainder of the American monkeys have non-prehensile tails, like
those of the monkeys of the Eastern hemisphere; but they consist of
several distinct groups, and differ very much in appearance and habits.
First we have the Sakis, which have a bushy tail and usually very long
and thick hair, something like that of a bear. Sometimes the tail is
very short, appearing like a rounded tuft of hair; many of the species
have fine bushy whiskers, which meet under the chin, and appear as if
they had been dressed and trimmed by a barber, and the head is often
covered with thick curly hair, looking like a wig. Others, again, have
the face quite red, and one has the head nearly bald, a most remarkable
peculiarity among monkeys. This latter species was met with by Mr. Bates
on the Upper Amazon, and he describes the face as being of a vivid
scarlet, the body clothed from neck to tail with very long, straight,
and shining white hair, while the head was nearly bald, owing to the
very short crop of thin gray hairs. As a finish to their striking
physiognomy these monkeys have bushy whiskers of a sandy color meeting
under the chin, and yellowish gray eyes. The color of the face is so
vivid that it looks as if covered with a thick coat of bright scarlet
paint. These creatures are very delicate, and have never reached Europe
alive, although several of the allied forms have lived some time in our
Zoological Gardens.

An allied group consists of the elegant squirrel monkeys, with long,
straight, hairy tails, and often adorned with pretty variegated colors.
They are usually small animals; some have the face marked with black and
white, others have curious whiskers, and their nails are rather sharp
and claw like. They have large round heads, and their fur is more glossy
and smooth than in most other American monkeys, so that they more
resemble some of the smaller monkeys of Africa. These little creatures
are very active, running about the trees like squirrels, and feeding
largely on insects as well as on fruit.

Closely allied to these are the small group of night monkeys, which have
large eyes, and a round face surrounded by a kind of ruff of whitish
fur, so as to give it an owl like appearance, whence they are sometimes
called owl-faced monkeys. They are covered with soft gray fur, like that
of a rabbit, and sleep all day long concealed in hollow trees. The
face is also marked with white patches and stripes, giving it a rather
carnivorous or cat like aspect, which, perhaps, serves as a protection,
by causing the defenseless creature to be taken for an arboreal tiger
cat or some such beast of prey.

This finishes the series of such of the American monkeys as have a
larger number of teeth than those of the Old World. But there is another
group, the Marmosets, which have the same number of teeth as Eastern
monkeys, but differently distributed in the jaws, a premolar being
substituted for a molar tooth. In other particulars they resemble the
rest of the American monkeys. They are very small and delicate creatures
some having the body only seven inches long. The thumb of the hands
is[1] not opposable, and instead of nails they have sharp compressed
claws. These diminutive monkeys have long, non-prehensile tails, and
they have a silky fur often of varied and beautiful colors. Some are
striped with gray and white, or are of rich brown or golden brown tints,
varied by having the head or shoulders white or black, while in many
there are crests, frills, manes, or long ear tufts, adding greatly to
their variety and beauty. These little animals are timid and restless;
their motions are more like those of a squirrel than a monkey. Their
sharp claws enable them to run quickly along the branches, but they
seldom leap from bough to bough like the larger monkeys. They live on
fruits and insects, but are much afraid of wasps, which they are said to
recognize even in a picture.

[Transcribers note 1: Changed from '... it not opposable', ...]

This completes our sketch of the American monkeys, and we see that,
although they possess no such remarkable forms as the gorilla or the
baboons, yet they exhibit a wonderful diversity of external characters,
considering that all seem equally adapted to a purely arboreal life.
In the howlers we have a specially developed voice organ, which is
altogether peculiar; in the spider monkeys we find the adaptation to
active motion among the topmost branches of the forest trees carried to
an extreme point of development; while the singular nocturnal monkeys,
the active squirrel monkeys, and the exquisite little marmosets, show
how distinct are the forms under which the same general type, may be
exhibited, and in how many varied ways existence may be sustained under
almost identical conditions.


In the general term, monkeys, considered as equivalent to the order
Primates, or the Quadrumana of naturalists, we have to include another
sub-type, that of the Lemurs. These animals are of a lower grade than
the true monkeys, from which they differ in so many points of structure
that they are considered to form a distinct sub-order, or, by some
naturalists, even a separate order. They have usually a much larger head
and more pointed muzzle than monkeys; they vary considerably in the
number, form, and arrangement of the teeth; their thumbs are always well
developed, but their fingers vary much in size and length; their tails
are usually long, but several species have no tail whatever, and they
are clothed with a more or less woolly fur, often prettily variegated
with white and black. They inhabit the deep forests of Africa,
Madagascar, and Southern Asia, and are more sluggish in their movements
than true monkeys, most of them being of nocturnal and crepuscular
habits. They feed largely on insects, eating also fruits and the eggs or
young of birds.

The most curious species are--the slow lemurs of South India, small
tailless nocturnal animals, somewhat resembling sloths in appearance,
and almost as deliberate in their movements, except when in the act of
seizing their insect prey; the Tarsier, or specter lemur, of the Malay
islands, a small, long tailed nocturnal lemur, remarkable for the
curious development of the hind feet, which have two of the toes very
short, and with sharp claws, while the others have nails, the third toe
being exceedingly long and slender, though the thumb is very large,
giving the feet a very irregular and _outre_ appearance; and, lastly,
the Aye-aye, of Madagascar, the most remarkable of all. This animal has
very large ears and a squirrel like tail, with long spreading hair.
It has large curved incisor teeth, which add to its squirrel like
appearance, and caused the early naturalists to class it among the
rodents. But its most remarkable character is found in its fore feet
or hands, the fingers of which are all very long and armed with sharp
curved claws, but one of them, the second, is wonderfully slender,
being not half the thickness of the others. This curious combination of
characters shows that the aye-aye is a very specialized form--that is,
one whose organization has been slowly modified to fit it for a peculiar
mode of life. From information received from its native country, and
from a profound study of its organization, Professor Owen believes
that it is adapted for the one purpose of feeding on small wood-boring
insects. Its large feet and sharp claws enable it to cling firmly to the
branches of trees in almost any position; by means of its large delicate
ears it listens for the sound of the insect gnawing within the branch,
and is thus able to fix its exact position; with its powerful curved
gnawing teeth it rapidly cuts away the bark and wood till it exposes the
burrow of the insect, most probably the soft larva of some beetle, and
then comes into play the extraordinary long wire-like finger, which
enters the small cylindrical burrow, and with the sharp bent claw hooks
out the grub. Here we have a most complex adaptation of different parts
and organs, all converging to one special end, that end being the same
as is reached by a group of birds, the woodpeckers, in a different way;
and it is a most interesting fact that, although woodpeckers abound in
all the great continents, and are especially common in the tropical
forests of Asia, Africa, and America, they are quite absent from
Madagascar. We may, therefore, consider that the aye-aye really occupies
the same place in nature in the forests of this tropical island, as do
the woodpeckers in other parts of the world.


Having thus sketched an outline of the monkey tribe as regards their
more prominent external characters and habits, we must say a few words
on their general relations as a distinct order of mammalia. No other
group so extensive and so varied as this, is so exclusively tropical in
its distribution, a circumstance no doubt due to the fact that monkeys
depend so largely on fruit and insects for their subsistence. A very
few species extend into the warmer parts of the temperate zones, their
extreme limits in the northern hemisphere being Gibraltar, the Western
Himalayas at 11,000 feet elevation, East Thibet, and Japan. In America
they are found in Mexico, but do not appear to pass beyond the tropic.
In the Southern hemisphere they are limited by the extent of the forests
in South Brazil, which reach about 30 deg. south latitude. In the East,
owing to their entire absence from Australia, they do not reach the
tropic; but in Africa, some baboons range to the southern extremity of
the continent.

But this extreme restriction of the order to almost tropical lands is
only recent. Directly we go back to the Pliocene period of geology,
we find the remains of monkeys in France, and even in England. In the
earlier Miocene, several kinds, some of large size, lived in France,
Germany, and Greece, all more or less closely allied to living forms of
Asia and Africa. About the same period monkeys of the South American
type inhabited the United States. In the remote Eocene period the same
temperate lands were inhabited by lemurs in the East, and by curious
animals believed to be intermediate between lemurs and marmosets in the
West. We know from a variety of other evidence that throughout these
vast periods a mild and almost sub-tropical climate extended over all
Central Europe and parts of North America, while one of a temperate
character prevailed as far north as the Arctic circle. The monkey tribe
then enjoyed a far greater range over the earth, and perhaps filled a
more important place in nature than it does now. Its restriction to the
comparatively narrow limits of the tropics is no doubt mainly due to the
great alteration of climate which occurred at the close of the Tertiary
period, but it may have been aided by the continuous development of
varied forms of mammalian life better fitted for the contrasted seasons
and deciduous vegetation of the north temperate regions. The more
extensive area formerly inhabited by the monkey tribe, would have
favored their development into a number of divergent forms, in distant
regions, and adapted to distinct modes of life. As these retreated
southward and became concentrated in a more limited area, such as were
able to maintain themselves became mingled together as we now find them,
the ancient and lowly marmosets and lemurs subsisting side by side with
the more recent and more highly developed howlers and anthropoid apes.

Throughout the long ages of the Tertiary period monkeys must have been
very abundant and very varied, yet it is but rarely that their fossil
remains are found. This, however, is not difficult to explain. The
deposits in which mammalian remains most abound are those formed in
lakes or in caverns. In the former the bodies of large numbers of
terrestrial animals were annually deposited, owing to their having been
caught by floods in the tributary streams, swallowed up in marginal bogs
or quicksands, or drowned by the giving way of ice. Caverns were the
haunts of hyenas, tigers, bears, and other beasts of prey, which dragged
into them the bodies of their victims, and left many of their bones to
become embedded in stalagmite or in the muddy deposit left by floods,
while herbivorous animals were often carried into them by these floods,
or by falling down the swallow-holes which often open into caverns from
above. But, owing to their arboreal habits, monkeys were to a great
extent freed from all these dangers. Whether devoured by beasts or birds
of prey, or dying a natural death, their bones would usually be left on
dry land, where they would slowly decay under atmospheric influences.
Only under very exceptional circumstances would they become embedded
in aqueous deposits; and instead of being surprised at their rarity
we should rather wonder that so many have been discovered in a fossil

Monkeys, as a whole, form a very isolated group, having no near
relations to any other mammalia. This is undoubtedly an indication of
great antiquity. The peculiar type which has since reached so high a
development must have branched off the great mammalian stock at a very
remote epoch, certainly far back in the Secondary period, since in the
Eocene we find lemurs and lemurine monkeys already specialized. At this
remoter period they were probably not separable from the insectivora,
or (perhaps) from the ancestral marsupials. Even now we have one living
form, the curious Galeopithecus or flying lemur, which has only recently
been separated from the lemurs, with which it was formerly united, to be
classed as one of the insectivora; and it is only among the Opossums and
some other marsupials that we again find hand-like feet with opposable
thumbs, which are such a curious and constant feature of the monkey

This relationship to the lowest of the mammalian tribes seems
inconsistent with the place usually accorded to these animals at the
head of the entire mammalian series, and opens up the question whether
this is a real superiority or whether it depends merely on the obvious
relationship to ourselves. If we could suppose a being gifted with
high intelligence, but with a form totally unlike that of man, to have
visited the earth before man existed in order to study the various forms
of animal life that were found there, we can hardly think he would have
placed the monkey tribe so high as we do. He would observe that their
whole organization was specially adapted to an arboreal life, and this
specialization would be rather against their claiming the first rank
among terrestrial creatures. Neither in size, nor strength, nor beauty,
would they compare with many other forms, while in intelligence they
would not surpass, even if they equaled, the horse or the beaver. The
carnivora, as a whole, would certainly be held to surpass them in the
exquisite perfection of their physical structure, while the flexible
trunk of the elephant, combined with his vast strength and admirable
sagacity, would probably gain for him the first rank in the animal

But if this would have been a true estimate, the mere fact that the ape
is our nearest relation does not necessarily oblige us to come to any
other conclusion. Man is undoubtedly the most perfect of all animals,
but he is so solely in respect of characters in which he differs from
all the monkey tribe--the easily erect posture, the perfect freedom
of the hands from all part in locomotion, the large size and complete
opposability of the thumb, and the well developed brain, which enables
him fully to utilize these combined physical advantages. The monkeys
have none of these; and without them the amount of resemblance they have
to us is no advantage, and confers no rank. We are biased by the too
exclusive consideration of the man-like apes. If these did not exist
the remaining monkeys could not be thereby deteriorated as to their
organization or lowered in their zoological position, but it is doubtful
if we should then class them so high as we now do. We might then dwell
more on their resemblances to lower types--to rodents, to insectivora,
and to marsupials, and should hardly rank the hideous baboon above the
graceful leopard or stately stag. The true conclusion appears to be,
that the combination of external characters and internal structure which
exists in the monkeys, is that which, when greatly improved, refined,
and beautified, was best calculated to become the perfect instrument
of the human intellect and to aid in the development of man's higher
nature; while, on the other hand, in the rude, inharmonious, and
undeveloped state which it has reached in the quadrumana, it is by no
means worthy of the highest place, or can be held to exhibit the most
perfect development of existing animal life.--_Contemporary Review_.

* * * * *



By ALFRED WAILLY, Membre Laureat de la Societe d'Acclimatation de

By referring to my reports for the years 1879 and 1880, which appeared
in the _Journal of the Society of Arts_, February 13 and March 5, 1880,
February 25 and March 4, 1881, it will be seen that the bad weather
prevented the successful rearing in the open air of most species of
silk-producing larvae. In 1881, the weather was extremely favorable up
to the end of July, but the incessant and heavy rains of the month of
August and beginning of September, proved fatal to most of the larvae
when they were in their last stages. However, in spite of my many
difficulties, I had the satisfaction of seeing them to their last
stage. Larvae of all the silk-producing bombyces were preserved in their
different stages, and can be seen in the Bethnal-green Museum. In July,
when the weather was magnificent, the little trees in my garden were
literally covered with larvae of more species than I ever had before, and
two or three more weeks of fair weather would have given me a good crop
of cocoons, instead of which I only obtained a very small number. The
sparrows, as usual, also destroyed a quantity of worms, in spite of wire
or fish-netting placed over some of the trees.

On the trees were to be seen--_Attacus cynthia_ (the Ailantus silkworm),
the rearing of which was, as usual, most successful; _Samia cecropia_
and _Samia gloveri_, from America; also hybrids of _Gloveri cecropia_
and _Cecropia gloveri_; _Samia promethea_ and _Telea polyphemus_;
_Attacus pernyi_, and a new hybrid, which I obtained this last season by
the crossing of Pernyi with Royle. For the first time I reared _Actias
selene_, from India, on a nut-tree in the garden, and _Attacus atlas_,
on the ailantus. The _Selene_ larvae reached their fifth and last stage.
The Atlas larvae only reached the third stage, and were destroyed by the
heavy rains; only two remained on the tree till about the 8th or 9th of
September, when they had to be removed. I shall now reproduce the notes
I took on some of the various species I reared.

_Actias Selene_.--With sixty cocoons I only obtained one pairing. The
moths emerged from the beginning of March till the 13th of August,
at intervals of some duration, or in batches of males or females. I
obtained a pairing of Selene on the 30toh of June, 1881, and the worms
commenced to hatch on the 13th of July. The larvae in first stage are of
a fine brown-red, with a broad black band in the middle of the body. The
second stage commenced on the 20th of July; larvae, of a lighter reddish
color, without the black band; tubercles black. Third stage commenced on
the 28th of July; larvae green; the first four tubercles yellow, with a
black ring at the base; other tubercles, orange yellow. Fourth stage
commenced on the 6th of August; larvae green; first four tubercles
golden-yellow, the others orange-red. Fifth stage commenced on the 19th
of August; first four tubercles yellow, with a black ring at the base;
other tubercles yellow, slightly tinged with orange-red; lateral band
brown and greenish yellow; head and forelegs dark-brown. As stated
before, the larvae were reared on a nut-tree in the garden, till the last
stage. Selene feeds on various trees--walnut, wild cherry, wild pear,
etc. In Ceylon (at Kandy), it is found on the wild olive tree. As far as
I am informed by correspondents in Ceylon, this species is not found--or
is seldom found--on the coasts, but _Attacus atlas_ and Mylitta are
commonly found there.

_Attacus (antheroea) roylei_ (with sixty cocoons); three pairings only
were obtained, and this species I found the most difficult to pair in
captivity. Two moths emerged on the 5th of March, a male and a female,
and a pairing was obtained; but the weather being then too cold, the ova
were not fertile, the female moth, after laying about two hundred eggs,
lived till the 22d of March, which is a very long time; this was owing
to the low temperature. The moths emerged afterward from the 8th of
April till the 25th of June. A pairing took place on the 2d of June, and
another on the 6th of June.

Roylei (the Himalaya oak silkworm) is very closely allied to Pernyi, the
Chinese oak silkworm; the Roylei moths are of a lighter color, but the
larvae of both species can hardly be distinguished from one another.
The principal difference between the two species is in the cocoon. The
Roylei cocoon is within a very large and tough envelope, while that of
Pernyi has no outer envelope at all. The larvae of Roylei I reared did
not thrive, and the small number I had only went to the fourth stage,
owing to several causes. I bred them under glass, in a green-house. A
certain number of the larvae were unable to cut the shell of the egg.

Here are a few notes I find in my book: Ova of Roylei commenced to hatch
on the 29th of June; second stage commenced on the 9th of July. The
larvae in the first two stages seemed to me similar to those of Pernyi,
as far as I could see. In second stage, the tubercles were of a
brilliant orange-red; on anal segment, blue dot on each side. Third
stage, four rows of orange-yellow tubercles, two blue dots on anal
segment, brilliant gold metallic spots at the base of the tubercles on
the back, and silver metallic spots at the base of the tubercles on the
sides. No further notes taken.

One of my correspondents in Vienna (Austria) obtained a remarkable
success in the rearing of Roylei. From the twenty-five eggs he had
twenty-three larvae hatched, which produced twenty-three fine cocoons.
The same correspondent, with thirty-five eggs of _Samia gloveri_,
obtained twenty cocoons. My other correspondents did not obtain any
success in rearing these two species, as far as I know.

_Hybrid Roylei-Pernyi_.--I have said that it is extremely difficult to
obtain the pairing of Roylei moths in captivity. But the male Pernyi
paired readily with the female Roylei. I obtained six such pairings, and
a large quantity of fertile ova. The pairings of Roylei (female) with
Pernyi (male) took place as follows: two on the 21st of May, one on the
3d of June, two on the 4th of June, and one on the 6th.

The larvae of this new hybrid, _Roylei-Pernyi_, contrary to what might
have been expected, were much easier to rear than those of Roylei, and
the cocoons obtained are far superior to those of Roylei, in size,
weight, and richness of silk. The cocoon of my new hybrid has, like
Roylei, an envelope, but there is no space between this envelope and the
true cocoon inside. Therefore, this time, the crossing of two different
species (but, it must be added, two very closely allied species) has
produced a hybrid very superior, at least to one of the types, that of
Roylei. The cocoons of the hybrid _Roylei-Pernyi_ seem to me larger and
heavier than any Pernyi cocoons I have as yet seen.

The larvae of this new hybrid have been successfully reared in France,
in Germany, in Austria, and in the United States of North America. The
cocoons obtained by Herr L. Huessman, one of my German correspondents,
are remarkable for their size and beauty. The silk is silvery white.

I have seventeen cocoons of this hybrid species, which number may be
sufficient for its reproduction. But the question arises, "Will the
moths obtained from these cocoons be susceptible of reproduction?"

In my report on Lepidoptera for the year 1879, I stated, with respect to
hybrids and degeneracy, that hybrids had been obtained by the crossing
of _Attacus pernyi_ and _Attacus yama-mai_, but that, although the moths
(some of which may be seen in the Bethnal-green Museum) are large and
apparently perfect in every respect, yet these hybrids could not be
reproduced. It must be stated that these two species differ essentially
in one particular point. _Yama-mai_ hibernates in the _ovum_ state,
while Pernyi hibernates in the _pupa_ state. The hybrids hibernated in
the _pupa_ state. Roylei, as Pernyi, hibernates in the _pupa_ state.

In the November number, 1881, of "The Entomologist," Mr. W.F. Kirby,
of the British Museum, wrote an article having for its title,
"Hermaphrodite-hybrid Sphingidae," in which, referring to hybrids of
_Smerinthus ocellatus_ and _populi_, he says that hermaphroditism is the
usual character of such hybrids.

I extract the following passage from his article: "I was under the
impression that hermaphroditism was the usual character of these
hybrids; and it has suggested itself to my mind as a possibility, which
I have not, at present, sufficient data either to prove or to disprove,
that the sterility of hybrids in general (still a somewhat obscure
subject) may perhaps be partly due to hybridism having a tendency to
produce hermaphroditism."

Now, will the moths of new hybrid Roylei pernyi (which I expect will
emerge in May or June, 1882) have the same tendency to hermaphroditism
as has been observed with the hybrids obtained by the crossing of
_Smerinthus populi_ with _Sm. ocellatus_? I do not think that such will
be the case with the moths of the hybrid Roylei-pernyi, on account of
the close relationship of Roylei with Pernyi, but nothing certain can be
known till the moths have emerged. Here are the few notes taken on the
hybrid Roylei-pernyi: Ova commenced to hatch on the 12th of June; these
were from the pairing which had taken place on the 21st of May. Larvae,
black, with long white hairs. Second stage commenced on the 21st of
June. Larva, of a beautiful green; tubercles orange-yellow; head dark
brown. Third stage commenced on the 1st of July; fourth stage on the
7th. Larva of same color in those stages; tubercles on the back,
violet-blue or mauve; tubercles on the sides, blue. Fifth stage
commenced on the 18th of July. Larva, with tubercles on back and sides,
blue, or violet-blue. First cocoon commenced on the 10th of August. Want
of time prevented me from taking fuller and more accurate notes.

_Attacus Atlas_.--For the first time, as stated before, I attempted the
rearing of a small number of Atlas larvae in the open air on the ailantus
tree, but had to remove the last two remaining larvae in September; the
others had all disappeared in consequence of the heavy and incessant
rains. These larvae were from eggs sent to me by one of my German
correspondents. The pairing of the moths had taken place on the 17th of
July, and the eggs had commenced to hatch on the 4th of August.

I had about eighty cocoons of another and larger race of Atlas imported
from the Province of Kumaon, but only eight moths emerged at intervals
from the 31st of July to the 30th of September. Not only did the moths
emerge too late in the season, but there never was a chance of obtaining
a pairing. In my report on Indian silkworms, published in the November
number of the "Bulletin de la Societe d'Acclimatation," for the year
1881, compiled from the work of Mr. J. Geoghegan, I reproduce the first
appendix of Captain Thomas Hutton to Mr. Geoghegan's work, in which are
given the names of all the Indian silkworms known by him up to the year

Of _Attacus atlas_, Captain Hutton says: "It is common at 5,500 feet at
Mussoorie, and in the Dehra Doon; it is also found in some of the deep
warm glens of the outer hills. It is also common at Almorah, where the
larva feeds almost exclusively upon the 'Kilmorah' bush or _Berberis
asiatica_; while at Mussoorie it will not touch that plant, but feeds
exclusively upon the large milky leaves of _Falconeria insignis_.
The worm is, perhaps, more easily reared than any other of the wild

I will now quote from letters received from one of my correspondents in
Ceylon, a gentleman of great experience and knowledge in sericulture.

In a letter dated 24th August, 1881, my correspondent says: "The Atlas
moth seems to be a near relation of the Cynthia, and would probably feed
on the Ailantus. Here it feeds on the cinnamon and a great number of
other trees of widely different species; but the tree on which I
have kept it most successfully in a domestic state is the _Milnea
roxburghiana_, a handsome tree, with dark-green ternate leaves, which
keep fresh long after being detached from the tree. I do not think the
cocoon can ever be reeled, as the thread usually breaks when it comes
to the open end. I have tried to reel a great many Atlas cocoons, but
always found the process too tedious and troublesome for practical use.

"The Mylitta (Tusser) is a more hardy species than the Atlas, and I have
had no difficulty in domesticating it. Here it feeds on the cashew-nut
tree, on the so-called almond of this country (_Terminalia catappa_),
which is a large tree entirely different from the European almond, and
on many other trees. Most of the trees whose leaves turn red when about
to fall seem to suit it, but it is not confined to these. In the case of
the Atlas moth, I discovered one thing which may be well worth knowing,
and that was, that with cocoons brought to the seaside after the larvae
had been reared in the Central Provinces, in a temperature ten or twelve
degrees colder, the moths emerged in from ten to twenty days after the
formation of the cocoon. The duration of the _pupa_ stage in this, and
probably in other species, therefore, depends upon the temperature in
which the larvae have lived, as well as the degree of heat in which the
cocoons are kept; and in transporting cocoons from India to Europe, I
think it will be found that the moths are less liable to be prematurely
forced out by the heat of the Red Sea when the larvae have been reared in
a warm climate than when they have been reared in a cold one.

"I do not agree with the opinion expressed in one of your reports, that
the short duration of the larva stage, caused by a high temperature, has
the effect of diminishing the size of the cocoons, because the Atlas
and Tusser cocoons produced at the sea-level here are quite as large as
those found in the Central Provinces at elevations of three thousand
feet or more. According to the treatise on the "Silk Manufacture," in
"Lardner's Cyclopedia," the Chinese are of opinion that one drachm
of mulberry silkworms' eggs will produce 25 ounces of silk if the
caterpillars attain maturity within twenty-five days; 20 ounces if the
commencement of the cocoons be delayed until the twenty-eighth day; and
only 10 ounces if it be delayed until between the thirtieth and fortieth
day. If this is correct, a short-lived larva stage must, instead of
causing small cocoons, produce just the contrary effect."

In another letter, dated November 25, 1881, my correspondent says: "I am
sorry that you have not had better success in the rearing of your
larvae, but you should not despair. It is possible that the choice of an
improper food-plant may have as much to do with failures as the coldness
and dampness of the English climate. I lost many thousands of Atlas
caterpillars before I found out the proper tree to keep them on in a
domesticated state; and when I did attain partial success, I could
not keep them for more than one generation, till I found the _Milnea
roxburghiana_ to be their proper food plant. I do not know the proper
food-plant of the Mylitta (Tusser), but I have succeeded very well with
it, as it is a more hardy species than the Atlas. Though a Bombyx be
polyphagous in a state of nature, yet I think most species have a tree
proper to themselves, on which they are more at home than on any
other plant. I should like, if you could find out from some your
correspondents in India, on what species of tree Mylitta cocoons are
found in the largest numbers, and what is about the greatest number
found on a single tree. The Mylitta is common enough here, but there
does not seem to be any kind of tree here on which the cocoons are to be
found in greater numbers than twos and threes; and there must be some
tree in India on which the cocoons are to be found in much greater
plenty, because they could not otherwise be collected in sufficient
quantity for manufacturing purposes. The Atlas is here found on twenty
or more different kinds of trees, but a hundred or a hundred and fifty
cocoons or larvae may be found on a single tree of _Milnea roxburghiana_,
while they are to be found only singly, or in twos and threes, on any
other tree that I know of. The Atlas and Mylitta seem to be respectively
the Indian relations of the Cynthia and Pernyi. It is, therefore,
probable that the Ailantus would be the most suitable European tree for
the Atlas, and the oak for the Mylitta."

_Attacus mylitta_ (_Antheraea paphia_).--I did not receive a single
cocoon of this species for the season 1881. My stock consisted of seven
cocoons, from the lot received from Calcutta at the end of February,
1880. Five were female, and two male cocoons; one of the latter died,
thus reducing the number to six. The moths emerged as follows: One
female on the 21st of June, one female on the 26th, one female on the
28th, one female on the 1st of July, and one male on the 3d of August;
the latter emerging thirty-four days too late to be of any use for
rearing purposes. The last female moth emerged, I think, about the end
of September. These cocoons had hibernated twice, as has been the case
with other Indian species. I had Indian cocoons which hibernated even
three times.

_Attacus cynthia_, from the province of Kumaon.--With the Atlas cocoons,
a large quantity of Cynthia cocoons were collected in the province
of Kumaon. Both species had, no doubt, fed on the same trees; as the
Cynthia, like the Atlas cocoons, were all inclosed in leaves of the
_Berberis vulgaris_, which shows that Cynthia is also a polyphagous
species. It is already known that it feeds on several species of trees,
besides the ailantus, such as the laburnum, lilac, cherry, and, I think,
also on the castor-oil plant; the common barberry has, therefore, to be
added to the above food plants.

These Kumaon Cynthia cocoons were somewhat smaller and much darker in
color than those of the acclimatized Cynthia reared on the ailantus. The
moths of this wild Indian Cynthia were also of a richer color than those
of the cultivated species in Europe.

During the summer 1881, I saw cocoons of my own Cynthia race obtained
from worms which had been reared on the laburnum tree. These cocoons
were, as far as I can remember, of a yellowish or saffron color; which
I had never seen before. This difference in the color of the cocoon was
very likely produced by the change of food, although it has been stated,
and I think it may be quite correct, that with many species of native
lepidoptera the change of food-plants does not produce any difference of
color in the insects obtained. With respect to the Cynthia worms reared
on the laburnum instead of the ailantus, it may be that the moths, which
will emerge from the yellow cocoons, will be similar to those obtained
from cocoons spun by worms bred on the ailantus, and that the only
difference will be in the color of the cocoons.

The Kumaon Cynthia cocoons, as I found it to be the case with Indian
species introduced for the first time into Europe, did not produce moths
at the same time, nor as regularly as the acclimatized species. The
moths emerged as follows: One female on the 22d of July; one female on
the 25th; one male on the 3d August; one female on the 19th; one male on
the 28th of August; one male on the 2d September; one female on the 3d.
A pairing was obtained with the latter two. Two males emerged on the 4th
of September; one male on the 6th; one male and one female on the 22d;
one female on the 23d; and one female on the 25th of September. Five
cocoons, which did not produce any moths, contain pupae, which are still
in perfect condition; and the moths will no doubt emerge next summer
(1882). As seen in my note, a pairing of this wild Indian Cynthia took
place; this was from the evening of the 4th to the 5th of September. The
eggs laid by the female moth were deposited in a most curious way, in
smaller or larger quantities, but all forming perfect triangles. These
eggs I gave to a florist who has been very successful in the rearing
of silk-producing and other larvae; telling him to rear the Cynthia on
lilacs grown in pots and placed in a hot-house, which was done. The
worms, which hatched in a few days, as they were placed in a hot-house,
thrived wonderfully well, and I might say they thrived too well, as they
grew so fast and became so voracious that the growth of the lilac trees
could not keep pace with the growth of the worms. These, at the fourth
stage, became so large that the foliage was entirely devoured, and, of
course, the consequence was that all the worms were starved. I only
heard of the result of that experiment long after the death of the
larvae; otherwise I should have suggested the use of another plant after
the destruction of the foliage of the lilacs; the privet (_Ligustrum
vulgare_) might have been tried, and success obtained with it.

Of such species as _Attacus pyri_, of Central Europe, and _Attacus
pernyi_, the North Chinese oak silkworm, which I have mentioned in my
previous reports, and bred every season for several years, I shall only
say that I never could rear Pyri in the open air in London, up to the
formation of the cocoon. As to Pernyi, I had, in 1881, an immense
quantity of splendid moths, from which I obtained the largest quantity
of ova I ever had of this species. I had many thousands of fertile ova
of Pernyi, which I was unable to distribute. Many schoolboys reared
Pernyi worms, but with what success I do not yet know. The number of
fertile ova obtained from Pyri moths was also more considerable than in
former years, which was due partly to the good quality of the pupae, and
partly to the very favorable weather in June, at the time the pairings
of the moths took place.

Leaving these, I now come to the North American species.

_Telea polyphemus_.--As I have stated in former years, this is the best
North American silkworm, producing a closed cocoon, somewhat smaller
than that of Pernyi, but the silk seems as good as that of Pernyi.

The cocoons of Polyphemus I had in 1881 were smaller and inferior in
quality to those I had before. Those received in 1878 and 1879 were
considerably finer and larger than those which were sent in 1880 and
1881; besides, they were sent in much larger quantities. The cocoons
received this year (1882) are finer than those of 1881, but yet they
cannot be compared with those of 1878 and 1879.

With about sixty cocoons of _Telea polyphemus_ I only obtained three
pairings, which I attribute solely to the weakness of the moths, as
the weather was all that could be desired for the pairings. The moths
emerged from the 1st of June to the 20th of July. One male moth emerged
on the 7th September. This latter was one from a small number of cocoons
received from Alabama; the other cocoons of the same race had emerged at
the same time as the cocoons from the Northern States. In the Northern
States the species is single-brooded; in the Southern States it is

The larvae of Polyphemus can be bred in the open air in England, almost
as easily as those of Pernyi, and even Cynthia; they will pass through
their five stages and spin their cocoons on the trees, unless the
weather should be unexceptionally cold and wet, as was the case during
the month of August, 1881, when the larvae had reached their full size;
they were reared this year on the nut-tree, and some on the oak. The
species is extremely polyphagous, and will feed well on oak, birch,
chestnut, beech, willow, nut, etc.

The moth of Polyphemus is very beautiful, and, as in some other species,
varies in its shades of color. The larva is of a transparent green, of
extreme beauty; the head is light brown; without any black dots, as in
Pernyi; the spines are pink, and at the base of each of them there is a
brilliant metallic spot. When the sun shines on them the larvae seem to
be covered with diamonds. These metallic spots at the base of the spines
are also seen on Pernyi, Yama mai, Mylitta, and other species of the
genus Antheraea, all having a closed cocoon, but none of these have so
many as Polyphemus.

The cocoons of the species of the genus Actias are closed, but the larvae
have not the metallic spots of the species of the genus Antheraea.

_Samia Gloveri_.--Three North American silk-producing bombyces, very
closely allied, have been mentioned in my previous reports; they are;
_Samia ceanothi_, from California; _Samia gloveri_, from Utah and
Arizona; and _Samia cecropia_, commonly found in most of the Northern
States--the latter is the best and largest silk producer. Crossings of
these species took places in 1880, and, as I stated before, the ova
obtained from a long pairing between a Ceanothi female with a Gloveri
male, were the only ones which were fertile. The Gloveri cocoons
received in 1880 were of a very inferior quality, and produced moths
from which no pairings could be obtained, although some crossings took
place. In 1881, the Gloveri cocoons, on the contrary, produced fine,
healthy moths; yet only five pairings could be obtained, with about one
hundred cocoons. Besides these five pairings, a quantity of fertile
ova were obtained by the crossings of _S. gloveri_ (female) with _S.
cecropia_ (male), and Cecropia (female) with Gloveri (male). No success,
so far as I know, was obtained with the rearing of the hybrid larvae; the
rearings of the larvae of pure Gloveri were also, I think, a failure,
only one correspondent having been successful; but some correspondents
have not yet made the result of their experiments known to me. The larvae
of _Samia cecropia, S. gloveri_, and _S. ceanothi_, are very much alike;
and hardly any difference can be observed in the first two stages. In
the third and fourth stages, the larvae of _S. cecropia_ and _S. gloveri_
are also nearly alike; the principal difference between these two
species and _S. cecropia_ being that the tubercles on the back are of a
uniform color--orange-red, or yellow--while on Cecropia the first four
dorsal tubercles are red, and the rest yellow. The tubercles on the
sides are blue on the three species.

The larvae of the hybrids _Gloveri-cecropia_ were, as far as I could
observe, like those of Cecropia, but I noticed some with six red
tubercles on the back instead of four, as on Cecropia. They were reared
on plum, apple, and _Salix caprea_; in the open air.

The larvae of _Samia gloveri_ were reared, during the first four stages
on a wild plum-tree, then on _Salix, caprea_, and I reproduce the notes
taken on this species, which I bred this year (1881) for the first time.

Gloveri moths emerged from the 15th of May to the end of June; five
pairings took place as follows: 1st, 4th, 9th, 24th, and 26th of June.
First stage--larvae quite black. Second stage--larvae orange, with black
spines. Third stage--dorsal spines, orange-red; spines on sides blue.
Fourth stage--dorsal spines, orange or yellow, spines on the sides blue;
body light blue on the back, and greenish yellow on the sides; head,
green; legs, yellow. Fifth and sixth stage--larvae nearly the same;
tubercles on the back yellow, the first four having a black ring at the
base; side tubercles ivory-white, with a dark-blue base.

The above-mentioned American species, like most other silk-producing
bombyces, were bred in the open air; but besides these, I reared three
other species of American bombyces in the house, under glass, and with
the greatest success. These are: _Hyperchiria io_, a beautiful species
mentioned in my report for the year 1879; _Orgyia leucostigma_, from ova
received on December 29, 1880, from Madison, Wis., which hatched on the
27th of May, 1881.

The third American species reared under glass is the following very
interesting bombyx: _Ceratocampa (Eacles) imperialis_. The pupae of
this species are rough, and armed with small, sharp points at all the
segments; the last segment having a thick, straight, and bifid tail. The
moths, which measure from four to about six inches in expanse of wings,
are bright yellow, with large patches and round spots of reddish-brown,
with a purple gloss; besides these patches and round spots, the wings
are covered with small dark dots. The male moth is much more blotched
than the female, and although of a smaller size, is much more showy than
the female.

With twenty-four pupae of Imperialis I obtained nineteen moths from the
21st of June to the 19th of July; five pupae died. Two pairings took
place; the first from the evening of the 13th to the morning of the
14th; the second from the evening of the 15th to the morning of the 16th
of July.

The ova, which are about the size of those of Yama-mai, Pernyi, or
Mylitta, are rather flat and concave on one side, of an amber-yellow
color and transparent, like those of sphingidae. When the larvae have
absorbed the yellow liquid in the egg, and are fully developed; they can
be seen through the shell of the egg, which is white or colorless when
the larva has come out.

The larvae of Imperialis, which have six stages, commenced to hatch on
the 31st of July; the second stage commenced on the 7th of August; the
third, on the 17th; the fourth, on the 29th of August; the fifth, on
the 18th of September; and the sixth, on the 1st of October. The larvae
commenced to pupate on 13th of October.

The larvae of this curious species vary considerably in color. Some are
of a yellowish color, others are brown and tawny, others are black or
nearly black. My correspondent in Georgia, who bred this species the
same season as I did, in 1881, had some of the larvae that were green. In
all the stages the larvae have five conspicuous spines or horns; two on
the third segment, two on the fourth, and one on the last segment but
one; this is taking the head as the first segment with regard to the
first four spines These spines are rough and covered with sharp points
all round, and their extremities are fork-like. In the first three
stages they are horny; in the last three stages these spines are fleshy,
and much shorter in proportion than they are in the first three
stages. The color of the spines in the last three stages is coral-red,
yellowish, or black. In the fifth and sixth stages the spine on the last
segment but one is very short.

Here are a few and short notes from my book:

1st stage. Larvae, about one-third of an inch; head, brown, shiny, and

2d stage. Larvae, dark-brown, almost black; spines, white at the base,
and black at the extremities; head shiny and light brown.

3d stage. Larve, fine black; head black; white hairs on the back;
spines, whitish, buff, or yellowish at the base, and black at the
extremities; other larvae of a brown color.

4th stage. Larvae, black granulated with white; long white hairs; horns,
brown-orange with white tips; on each segment two brown spots. Spiracles
well marked with outer circle, brown, then black; white and black dot in
the center. Anal segment with brown ribs, the intervals black with white
dots; head shining, black with two brown bands on the face, forming a
triangle. Other larvae in fourth stage, velvety black, with coral-red
spines; others with black spines.

5th stage. Larvae, entirely black, with showy eye-like spiracles,
polished black head; other larvae having the head brown and black. Larvae
covered with long white hair; spines black or red. No difference noticed
between the fifth and sixth stages.

One larva on fourth stage was different from all others, and was
described at the British Museum by Mr. W. F. Kirby as follows: "Larva
reddish-brown, sparingly clothed with long slender white hairs, with
four reddish stripes on the face, two rows of red spots on the back,
spiracles surrounded with yellow, black and red rings; legs red, prolegs
black, spotted with red. On segments three and four are four long
coral-red fleshy-branched spines, two on each segment, below which, on
each side, are two rudimentary ones just behind the head; in front of
segment two are four similar rudimentary orange spines or tubercles;
last segment black, strongly granulated and edges triangularly above and
at the sides, with coral-red; several short rudimentary fleshy spines
rising from the red portion; the last segment but one is reddish above,
with a short red spine in the middle, and the one before it has a long
coral-red spine in the middle similar to those of segments three and
four, but shorter"

As soon as my Imperialis larvae had hatched, I gave them various kinds of
foliage, plane-tree, oak, pine, sallow, etc. At first they did not touch
any kind of foliage, or they did not seem to touch any; and I was afraid
I should be unable to rear them; but on the second or third day of their
existence, they made up their minds and decided upon eating the foliage
of some of the European trees I had offered them. They attacked oak,
sallow, and pine, but did not touch the plane-tree leaves. In America,
the larvae of Imperialis feed on button-wood, which is the American
plane-tree (_Platanus occidentalis_), yet they did not take to _Platanus
orientalis_. After a little time I reduced the foliage to oak and sallow
branches, and ultimately gave them the sallow (_Salix caprea_) only, on
which they thrived very well. I was pleased with this success; as I had
previously read in a volume of the "Naturalist's Library" a description
of _Ceratocampa imperialis_, which ends as follows: "The caterpillars
are not common, and are the most difficult to bring to perfection in
confinement, as they will not eat in that situation; and, even if they
change into a chrysalis, they die afterward."

Before I finish with _C. imperialis_, I must mention a peculiar fact.
During the first stage, and, I think, also during the second, several
larvae disappeared without leaving any traces. I also saw two smaller
larvae held tight by the hind claspers of two larger ones. The larvae thus
held and pressed were perfectly dead when I observed them, and I removed
them. My impression then was that these larvae were carnivorous, not
from this last fact alone, as I had previously observed it with larvae
of Catocalae when they are too crowded, but from the fact that some had
disappeared entirely from the glass under which they were confined. I
began to reduce their numbers, and put six only under each glass, so as
to be able to watch them better. Whether I had made a mistake or not
previously to this I do not exactly know; but from this moment the
larvae behaved in a most exemplary manner, especially when they became
larger. They crawled over each other's backs without the least sign of
spite or animosity, even when they were in sleep, in which case larvae
are generally very sensitive and irritable, all were of a most pacific
nature. It is, therefore, with the greatest pleasure that, for want of
sufficient evidence, I withdraw this serious charge of cannibalism which
I first intended to bring against them.

From what has been said respecting the rearing of exotic silk-producing
bombyces, especially tropical species, it must have been observed
that several difficulties, standing in the way of success, have to be
overcome. The moths of North American species emerge regularly enough
during the months of May, June, or July, but Indian and other tropical
species may emerge at any time of the year, if the weather is mild, as
has been the case during this unusually mild winter of 1881-1882. From
the end of December to the present time (March 14, 1882) moths of four
species of Indian silk-producers, especially _Antheraea roylei_ and
_Actias selene_, have constantly emerged, but only one or two at a time.
These moths emerged from cocoons received in December and January last.

It is only when these tropical species shall have been already reared in
Europe that the emergence of the moths will be regular; then they will
be single-brooded in Northern or Central Europe, and some will very
likely become double-brooded in Southern Europe. But when just imported
the moths of these tropical species will always be uncertain and
irregular in their emergence; hence the importance of having a
sufficient number of cocoons so as to meet this difficulty, i.e., the
loss of the moths that emerge prematurely or irregularly.

Before I conclude, I shall repeat what I already stated in a previous
report, that the sending of live cocoons and pupae from India and other
distant countries to Europe, can easily be done, so that they will
arrive alive and in good condition, if care be taken that the boxes
containing these live cocoons and pupae should not be left in the sun or
near a fire (which has been the case before), and that they should at
once be put in a cool place or in the ice-room of the steamer. The
cocoons and pupae should be sent from October to March or April,
according to distance, and it is most important to write on the cases,
"Living silkworm cocoons or pupae, the case to be placed in the ice

By taking this simple precaution, live cocoons and pupae, when newly
formed, can be safely sent from very distant countries of Europe.

To continue these interesting and useful studies, I shall always be glad
to buy any number of live cocoons, or exchange them for other species,
if preferable.


110 Clapham Road, London, S.W.

* * * * *


A correspondent from Sheepshead Bay, a place celebrated for the size of
its mosquitoes and the number of its amateur fishermen, recommends the
following as a very good mixture for anointing the face and hands while

Oil of tar. 1 ounce.
Olive oil. 1 ounce.
Oil of pennyroyal. 1/2 ounce.
Spirit of camphor. 1/2 ounce.
Glycerine. 1/2 ounce.
Carbolic acid. 2 drachms.

Mix. Shake well before using.--_Drug. Circular_.

* * * * *


This most remarkable structure, in the province of the same name, adorns
the city of Burgos, 130 miles north of Madrid. The corner stone was laid
July 20, A.D. 1221, by Fernando III., and his Queen Beatrice, assisted
by Archbishop Mauricio. The world is indebted to Mauricio for the
selection of the site, and for the general idea and planning of what he
intended should be, and in fact now is, the finest temple of worship in
the world. This immense stone structure, embellished with airy columns,
pointed arches, statues, inscriptions, delicate crestings, and flanked
by two needles or aerial arrows, rises toward the heavens, a sublime
invocation of Christian genius.

Illuminated by the morning sun it appears, at a certain distance, as if
the pyramids were floating in space; further on is seen the marvelous
dome of the transept, crowned with eight towers of chiseled lace-work,
over the center of the church.

Pubic worship was held in a portion of the edifice nine years after the
work was begun; from that time onward for three hundred years, various
additional portions were completed. On March 4, 1539, the great
transept, built fifty years previous, fell down; but was soon restored.
August 16, 1642, at 61/2 o'clock, P.M., a furious hurricane overthrew the
eight little towers that form the exterior corner of the dome; but in
two years they were replaced, namely July 19, 1644: the same night the
great bells sounded an alarm of fire, the transept having in some way
become ignited. The activity of the populace, however, prevented the
loss of the edifice, which for a time was in great danger.

The first architect publicly mentioned in the archives of the edifice
was the Master Enrique. He also directed the work of the Cathedral of
Leon. He died July 10, 1277. The second architect was Juan Perez, who
died in 1296, and was buried in the cloister, under the cathedral. He is
believed to have been either the son or brother of the celebrated Master
Pedro Perez, who designed the Cathedral of Toledo, and who died in 1299.
The third architect of the Cathedral of Burgos was Pedro Sanchez, who
directed the work in 1384; after him followed Juan Sanchez de Molina,
Martin Fernandez, the three Colonias, Juan de Vallejo, Diego de Siloe,
the elder Nicolas de Vergara, Matienzo, Pieredonda, Gil, Regines, and
others. It is worthy of note that a number of Moorish architects were
employed on the work during the 14th and 15th centuries, such as
Mohomad, Yunce, the Master Hali, the Master Mahomet de Aranda, the
Master Yunza de Carrion, the Master Carpenter Brahen. Among the figure
sculptors employed were Juan Sanchez de Fromesta, the Masters Gil and
Copin, the famous Felipe de Vigardi, Juan de Lancre, Anton de Soto, Juan
de Villareal, Pedro de Colindres, and many others. Our engraving is from
a recent number of _La Ilustracion Espanola y Americana_.


* * * * *


By MANUEL EISSLER, M.E., of San Francisco, Cal.



When Cortez, in the year 1530, made the observation that the two great
oceans could be seen from the peaks of mountains, he, in those remote
days, preoccupied himself with the question to cut through the

Therefore, the idea of an interoceanic canal is by no means a modern
one, as travelers and navigators observed that there was a great
depression among the hills of the Isthmus of Panama. As Professor T.E.
Nurse, of the U.S.N., says in his memoirs:

"This problem of interoceanic communication has been justly said to
possess not only practical value, but historical grandeur. It clearly
links itself back to the era of the conquest of Cortez, three and a half
centuries." [1] It is a problem which has been left for our modern era
to solve, but nevertheless its history is thereby rendered still more
interesting, having needed so many centuries to bring it to an issue.

[Footnote 1: From Prof. Nurse's historical essay. See Survey of
Nicaragua Canal, by Com. Lull.]

Spain, which acquired through her Columbus a new empire, lying near, as
it was supposed, to the riches of Asia, could not be indifferent, from
the moment of her discoveries, to the means of crossing these lands to
yet richer ones beyond.

India, from the days of Alexander and of the geographers, Mela, Strabo,
and Ptolemy, was the land of promise, the home of the spices, the
inexhaustible fountain of wealth. The old routes of commerce thither had
been closed one by one to the Christians; the overland trade had fallen
into the hands of the Arabs; and at the fall of Constantinople, 1453,
the commerce of the Black Sea and of the Bosphorus, the last of the old
routes to the East, finally failed the Christian world. Yet even beyond
the fame of the East, which tradition had brought down from Greek and
Roman, much more had the crusaders kindled for Asia (Cathay) and its
riches an ardor not easily suppressed in men's minds.

The error of the Spanish Admiral in supposing that the eastern shores
of Asia extended 240 degrees east of Spain, or to the meridian of
the modern San Diego, in California--this error, insisted on in his
dispatches and adopted and continued by his followers, still further
animated the earlier Spanish sovereigns and the men whom they sent into
the New World to reach Asia by a short and easy route.

Nobody in Europe dreamt that Columbus had discovered a new continent,
and when Balbao, in 1513, discovered the South Sea, then it was known
that Asia lay beyond, and navigators directed their course there. On
his deathbed, in 1506, Columbus still held to his delusion that he had
reached Zipanga, Japan. In 1501 he was exploring the coast of Veragua,
in Central America, still looking for the Ganges, and announcing his
being informed on this coast of a sea which would bear ships to the
mouth of that river, while about the same time the Cabots, under Henry
VII., were taking possession of Newfoundland, believing it to be part of
the island coast of China.

Although these were grave blunders in geography and in navigation, the
discoveries really made in the rich tropical zones, the acquirement of
a new world, and the rich products continually reaching Europe from it,
for a time aroused Spain from her lethargy. The world opened east and
west. The new routes poured their spices, silks, and drugs through new
channels into all the Teutonic countries. The strong purposes of having
near access to the East were deepened and perpetuated doubly strong, by
the certainties before men's eyes of what had been attained.

Balbao, in 1513, gained from a height on the Isthmus of Panama the first
proof of its separation from Asia; and Magellan enters the South Sea
at the southern extremity of the country, now first proven to be thus
separate and a continent. Men in those days began to think that creation
was doubled, and that such discovered lands must be separate from India,
China, and Japan. And the very successes of the Portuguese under Vasco
da Gama, bringing from their eastern course the expectancy of Asia's
wealth, intensely excited the Spaniards to renew their western search.

The Portuguese, led around the Cape of Good Hope, had brought home vast
treasures from the East, while the Spanish discoverers, as yet, had not
reached the countries either of Montezuma or of the Inca. Their success
"troubled the sleep of the Spaniards."

Everything, then, of personal ambition and national pride, the thirst
for gold, the zeal of religious proselytism, and the cold calculations
of state policy, now concurred in the disposition to sacrifice what
Spain already had of most value on the American shores in order to seize
upon a greater good, the Indies, still supposed to be near at hand. And
since it was now certain that the new lands were not themselves Asia,
the next aim was to find the secret of the narrow passage across
them which must lead thither. The very configuration of the isthmus
strengthened the belief in the existence of such a passage by the number
of its openings, which seemed to invite entrance in the expectancy that
some one of them must extend across the narrow breadth of land.

For this the Spanish government, in 1514, gave secret orders to
D'Avilla, Governor of Castila del Oro, and to Juan de Solis, the
navigator, to determine whether Castila del Oro were an island, and to
send to Cuba a chart of the coast, if any strait were possible. For
this, De Solis visited Nicaragua and Honduras; and later, led far to the
south, perished in the La Plata. For this, Magellan entered the straits,
which, strangely enough, he affirmed before setting out, that he "would
enter," since he "had seen them marked out on the geographer Martin
Behaim's globe." For this, Cortez sent out his expeditions on both
coasts, exposing his own life and treasure, and sending home to the
emperor, in his second relation, a map of the entire Gulf of Mexico
(Dispatch from Cortez to Charles V., October 15, 1524). For this great
purpose, and in full expectancy of success in it, the whole coast of
the New World on each side, from Newfoundland on the northeast, curving
westward on the south, around the whole sweep of the Gulf of Mexico,
thence to Magellan's Straits, and thence through them up the Pacific to
the Straits of Behring, was searched and researched with diligence.
"Men could not get accustomed," says Humboldt, "to the idea that the
continent extended uninterruptedly both so far north and south." Hence
all these large, numerous, and persevering expeditions by the European

Among them, by priority of right and by her energy, was Spain. The great
emperor was urgent on the conqueror of Mexico, and on all in subordinate
positions in New Spain, to solve the secret of the strait. All Spain was
awakened to it. "How majestic and fair was she," says Chevalier, "in the
sixteenth century; what daring, what heroism and perseverance! Never had
the world seen such energy, activity, or good fortune. Hers was a will
that regarded no obstacles. Neither rivers, deserts, nor mountains far
higher than those in Europe, arrested her people. They built grand
cities, they drew their fleets, as in a twinkling of the eye, from the
very forests. A handful of men conquered empires. They seemed a race of
giants or demi-gods. One would have supposed that all the work necessary
to bind together climates and oceans would have been done at the word of
the Spaniards as by enchantment, and since nature had not left a passage
through the center of America, no matter, so much the better for
the glory of the human race; they would make it up by artificial
communication. What, indeed, was that for men like them? It were done
at a word. Nothing else was left for them to conquer, and the world was
becoming too small for them."

Certainly, had Spain remained what she then was, what had been in vain
sought from nature would have been supplied by man. A canal or several
canals would have been built to take the place of the long-desired
strait. Her men of science urged it. In 1551, Gomara, the author of the
"History of the Indies," proposed the union of the oceans by three of
the very same lines toward which, to this hour, the eye turns with hope.

"It is true," said Gomara, "that mountains obstruct these passes, but if
there are mountains there are also hands; let but the resolve be made,
there will be no want of means; the Indies, to which the passage will
be made, will supply them. To a king of Spain, with the wealth of the
Indies at his command, when the object to be obtained is the spice
trade, what is possible is easy.

But the sacred fire suddenly burned itself out in Spain. The peninsula
had for its ruler a prince who sought his glory in smothering free
thought among his own people, and in wasting his immense resources in
vain efforts to repress it also outside of his own dominions through all
Europe. From that hour, Spain became benumbed and estranged from all
the advances of science and art, by means of which other nations, and
especially England, developed their true greatness.

Even after France had shown, by her canal of the south, that boats could
ascend and pass the mountain crests, it does not appear that the
Spanish government seriously wished to avail itself of a like means of
establishing any communication between her sea of the Antilles and the
South Sea. The mystery enveloping the deliberations of the council of
the Indies has not always remained so profound that we could not know
what was going on in that body. The Spanish government afterward opened
up to Humboldt free access to its archives, and in these he found
several memoirs on the possibility of a union between the two oceans;
but he says that in no one of them did he find the main point, the
height of the elevations on the isthmus, sufficiently cleared up, and
he could not fail to remark that the memoirs were exclusively French or
English. Spain herself gave it no thought. Since the glorious age of
Balbao among the people, indeed, the project of a canal was in every
one's thoughts. In the very wayside talks, in the inns of Spain, when a
traveler from the New World chanced to pass, after making him tell of
the wonders of Lima and Mexico, of the death of the Inca, Atahualpa,
and the bloody defeat of the Aztecs, and after asking his opinion of El
Dorado, the question was always about the two oceans, and what great
things would happen if they could succeed in joining them.

During the whole of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, Spain
had need of the best mode of conveyance for her treasures across the
isthmus. Yet those from Peru came by the miserable route from Panama to
the deadliest of climates. Porto Bello and her European wares for
her colonies toiled up the Chagres river, while the roughest of
communication farther north connected the Chimalapa and the Guasacoalcos
in Mexico, and the trade there was limited sternly to but one port on
each side. As late as Humboldt's visit, in 1802, when remarking upon the
"unnatural modes of communication" by which, through painful delays, the
immense treasures of the New World passed from Acapulco, Guayaquil,
and Lima, to Spain, he says: "These will soon cease whenever an active
government, willing to protect commerce, shall construct a good road
from Panama to Porto Bello. The aristocratic nonchalance of Spain, and
her fear to open to strangers the way to the countries explored for her
own profit, only kept those countries closed." The court forbade, on
pain of death, the use of plans at different times proposed. They
wronged their own colonies by representing the coasts as dangerous and
the rivers impassable. On the presentation of a memoir for improving the
route through Tehuantepec, by citizens of Oaxaca, as late as 1775,
an order was issued forbidding the subject to be mentioned. The
memorialists were censured as intermeddlers, and the viceroy fell under
the sovereign's displeasure for having seemed to favor the plans.

The great isthmus was, however, further explored by the Spanish
government for its own purposes; the recesses were traversed, and the
lines of communication which we know to-day were then noted.

In addition to the fact that comparatively little was explored north or
south of that which early became the main highway, the Panama route,
there is confirmation here of the truth that Spain concealed and even
falsified much of her generally accurately made surveys. No stronger
proof of this need be asked than that which Alcedo gives in connection
with the proposal by Gogueneche, the Biscayan pilot, to open
communication by the Atrato and the Napipi. "The Atrato," says the
historian, "is navigable for many leagues, but the navigation of it is
prohibited under pain of death, without the exception of any person

The Isthmus of Nicaragua has always invited serious consideration for
a ship canal route by its very marked physical characteristics, among
which is chiefly its great depression between two nearly parallel ranges
of hills, which depression is the basin of its large lake, a natural and
all-sufficient feeder for such a canal.

In 1524 a squadron of discovery sent out by Cortez on the coast of the
South Sea, announced the existence of a fresh water sea at only
three leagues from the coast; a sea which, they said, rose and fell
alternately, communicating, it was believed, with the Sea of the North.
Various reconnoissances were therefore made, under the idea that here
the easy transit would be established between Spain and the spice lands

It was even laid down on some of the old maps, that this open
communication by water existed from sea to sea; while later maps
represented a river, under the name of Rio Partido, as giving one of
its branches to the Pacific Ocean and the other to Lake Nicaragua. An
exploration by the engineer, Bautista Antonelli, under the orders of
Philip II., corrected the false idea of an open strait.

In the eighteenth century a new cause arose for jealousy of her
neighbors and for keeping her northern part of the isthmus from their
view. In the years 1779 and 1780 the serious purposes of the English
government for the occupancy of Nicaragua, awakened the solicitudes of
the Spanish government for this section. The English colonels, Hodgson
and Lee, had secretly surveyed the lake and portions of the country,
forwarding their plans to London, as the basis of an armed incursion,
to renew such as had already been made by the superintendent of the
Mosquito coast, forty years before, when, crossing the isthmus, he took
possession of Realejo, on the Pacific, seeking to change its name to
Port Edward. In 1780, Captain, afterward Lord Nelson, under orders from
Admiral Sir Peter Parker, convoyed a force of two thousand men to San
Juan de Nicaragua, for the conquest of the country.

In his dispatches, Nelson said: "In order to give facility to the great
object of government, I intend to possess the lake of Nicaragua, which,
for the present, may be looked upon as the inland Gibraltar of Spanish
America. As it commands the only water pass between the oceans, its
situation must ever render it a principal post to insure passage to the
Southern Ocean, and by our possession of it Spanish America is severed
into two."

The passage of San Juan was found to be exceedingly difficult; for the
seamen, although assisted by the Indians from Bluetown, scarcely forced
their boats up the shoals. Nelson bitterly regretted that the expedition
had not arrived in January, in place of the close of the dry season. It
was a disastrous failure, costing the English the lives of one thousand
five hundred men, and nearly losing to them their Nelson.

At this period, Charles III., of Spain, sent a commission to explore the
country. These commissioners reported unfavorably as regarded the route;
but fearing further intrusion from England, forbade all access to the
coast; even falsifying and suppressing its charts and permanently
injuring the navigation of the San Juan and the Colorado by obstructions
in their beds.

It is, however, a relief here to learn that when Humboldt visited the
New World, he could say: "The time is passed when Spain, through a
jealous policy, refused to other nations a thoroughfare across the
possessions of which they kept the whole world so long in ignorance.
Accurate maps of the coasts, and even minute plans of military
positions, are published." It is also true that the Spanish Cortes,
in 1814, decreed the opening of a canal, a decree deferred and never

It was reserved for our century to see this great project carried into
execution, and it is but just that as a chronicler of events I should
connect with the Canal of Panama the name of a family who have done much
to bring the scheme, so to say, into practical execution.

As early as the year 1836, Mr. Joly de Sabla turned his views toward the
cutting of a canal across the Isthmus of Panama. He resided at the time
on the Island of Guadeloupe, one of the French West India Islands,
where he possessed large estates. Of a high social position, the
representative of one of France's ancient and noble families, with large
means at his disposal and of an enterprising spirit much in advance of
his time, he was well calculated to carry out such a grand scheme.

He soon set about procuring from the Government of New Granada (now
Colombia) the necessary grants and concessions, but much time and many
efforts were spent before these could be brought to a satisfactory
condition, and it was not until the year 1841 that he could again visit
the Isthmus, bringing with him this time, on a vessel chartered by him
for the purpose, a corps of engineers and employes, medical staff, etc.,
etc. After two years spent in exploring and surveying a country at that
time very imperfectly known, he returned to Guadeloupe to find his
residence and most of his estates destroyed by the terrible earthquake
that visited the island in February, 1843.

Undaunted by this unexpected and severe blow, Mr. De Sabla persisted in
his efforts, and in the same year obtained from the French government
the establishment of a Consulate at Panama to insure protection to the
future canal company, and also the sending of two government engineers
of high repute (Messrs. Garella and Courtines), to verify the surveys
already made and complete them.

After receiving the respective reports of Garella and Courtines, Mr.
De Sabla decided upon first constructing a railway across the Isthmus,
postponing the cutting of the canal until this indispensable auxiliary
should have rendered it practicable and profitable. He then presented
the scheme in that shape to his friends in Paris and London, and formed
a syndicate of thirteen members, among whom we may recall the names of
the well known Bankers Caillard of Paris, and Baimbridge of London,
of Sir John Campbell, then Vice President of the Oriental Steamship
Company, of Viscount Chabrol de Chameane, and of Courtines, the
exploring engineer.

A new contract was then entered upon with New Granada in June, 1847, and
early in 1848, the Syndicate was about to forward to the Isthmus the
expedition which was to execute the preliminary works, while the company
was being finally organized in Paris, and its stock placed.

The success of the undertaking seemed to be assured beyond peradventure,
when the unexpected breaking out of the French revolution in February,
1848, dashed all hopes to the ground. Several of the prominent
financiers engaged in the affair, taken by surprise by the suddenness of
the revolution, had to suspend their payments and of course to withdraw
from the Panama Canal and railroad scheme. Others withdrew from
contagious fear and timidity. Finally the term fixed for carrying out
certain obligations of the contract expired without their fulfillment
by the company, and the concession was forfeited. Another contract was
almost immediately applied for and granted with unseemly haste by the
President of New Granada to Messrs. Aspinwall, Stephens and Chauncey,
which resulted in the construction of the actual Panama Railroad.

These gentlemen acted fairly in the matter, and in 1849, calling Mr.
De Sabla to New York, offered him to join them in the new scheme.
Unfortunately they had decided upon placing the Atlantic terminus of the
railroad upon the low and swampy mud Island of Manzanillo, while Mr.
De Sabla insisted on having it on the mainland on the dry and healthy
northern shore of the Bay of Limon. They could not come to an
understanding on this point, and Mr. De Sabla, whose experience and
foresight taught him the dangers that would result to the shipping from
the unprotected situation of the projected part (now Colon--Aspinwall),
and who well knew the insalubrity of the malarial swamp constituting
the Island of Manzanillo, withdrew forever from the undertaking, after
having devoted to it without any benefit to himself, the best years of
his life and a large portion of his private means.

One of his sons, Mr. Theodore J. de Sabla, after having actively
co-operated with Lieutenant Commander Wyse, in the original scheme
of the present canal company, is now one of Count de Lesseps's
representatives in the City of New York, and a director of the Panama
Railroad Company.

* * * * *


At the recent meeting of the American Society of Civil Engineers, in
this city, a paper on an improved form of the averaging machine was read
by its inventor, Mr. Wm. S. Auchincloss.

The ingenious method by which the weight of the platform is eliminated
from the result of the work of the machine was exhibited and explained.
This is accomplished by counterweights sliding automatically in tubes,
so that in any position the unloaded platform is always in equilibrium.
Any combination of representative weights can then be placed on this
platform at the proper points of the scale. By then drawing the platform
to its balancing point, the location of the center of gravity will at
once be indicated on the scale by the pointer over the central trunnion.

The weights may be arranged on a decimal system, with intermediate
weights for closer working, or they may be made so as to express
multiples or factors.

Each machine is provided with a number of differing scales, divided
suitably for various purposes. When the problem is one of time, the
scale represents months and days; for problems of proportion, the zero
of the scale is at the center of its length; for problems for the
location of center of gravity of a system from a fixed point, the zero
is at the extremity of the scale, etc.

The machine exhibited has sixty-three transverse grooves, which, by
arrangement of weights, can be made to serve the purposes of two hundred
and fifty-two grooves.

The machine is 29 inches in length, 9 inches in width, and weighs about
13 pounds.

With the machine can be found average dates, as, for instance, of
purchases and of payments extending over irregular periods; also average
prices, as for "futures," in comman use among cotton brokers. The
problem of average haul, so often presented to the engineer, can be
solved with ease and great celerity. Practical examples of the solution
of these and a number of other problems involving proportions or
averages were given by the author.

* * * * *


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