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office, and in part from a feeling of delicacy entertained by the Committee in interfering in any way with the patronage of Government. But certain it is that it were no easy matter to find a person better qualified by taste, experience, and skill for the congenial task he here volunteers. Whether the services of this gentleman are still available, I have no means of knowing: but if so, it may be left to the meeting to consider whether a representation to the foregoing effect should still be submitted to the Government, or what other measures should be adopted to carry out the wishes of the Hon. Court of Directors as expressed in their letter to the Governor General in Council, 29th May, 1844.
The caves of Ajunta are now indeed, under the orders of the Madras Government, being satisfactorily investigated ; but the field is yet vast, and with the Society will remain the credit of having improved, or the discredit of having neglected so fair an opportunity of promoting at once its objects and its reputation.
Before concluding this report, I may be allowed perhaps to observe, that the present neglect of Indian Archeology may in a very great measure be ascribed to the interrupted publication of the Society's Journal. For many months little has been known of our proceedings beyond these walls : not to the public only, but to distant members and contributors, have these been a sealed book; a circumstance emi. nently unfavourable to pursuits such as our's, mainly dependent as they are, upon the free-will offerings of widely-dispersed contributors. This defect will, it is hoped, be remedied henceforward : the arrears of the proceedings have already been brought up, and we may hope to be able in a few weeks to produce a monthly number of the Journal with tolerable regularity.
J. W. LAIDLAY,
Co-Secretary. 1014 February, 1847.
Mr. Blyth submitted the following Report on the progress of the Zoological department during the preceding months.
Report for the months of December, 1846, and January and February, 1847. Sir,-Having been absent upon an excursion to explore the jungles N. and W. of Midnapore, at the period of the January meeting of the Society, and the pres. sure of business at the December meeting having necessitated the postponement of the reading of my report for that occasion, I have now to bring before you the results of three months' gatherings, and can scarcely, within moderate compass, do justice to the contributions of our numerous supporters.
1. From the Barrack pore menagerie, I have to acknowledge having received the carcass of a particularly fine female Giraffe, the skin of which is in process of being set up as a stuffed specimen, while the skeleton has likewise been preserved. Also that of a Kangaroo, that has in like manner been prepared as stuffed skin and skeleton.
Two other large animals that have been mounted as stuffed specimens during the past month, are a young Bull Gayal (Bos frontalis), which I have the pleasure of presenting to the Society, and the male Saumer Deer (Cervus hippelaphus), which had been living for some years in the Society's compound.
2. From R. W. G. Frith, Esq., and
3. From Mr. E. Lindstedt, large and valuable collections of mammalia and bird skins from the Malayan peninsula. These collections have left scarcely a species of the two classes mentioned, known to inhabit that peninsula, of which the Society still requires specimens ; and they have contributed a good deal to our knowledge of the rich zoology of the country in question. As some of the desiderata which these collections have supplied us with, may be enumerated-among mammalia, a very fine series of the Hylobates lar, also Presbytis femoralis, exam. ples of the Marten referred to Mustela flavigula in Dr. Cantor's list (xv. 194), and some murine skins,--and of birds, Buceros comatus, male and female, Bucco quadricolor, Gecinus rubiginosus, Tiga Rafflesii, series of Centropus eurycercus, Chaptia malayensis, Brachypodius criniger, A. Hay, (xiv. 557), Malacopteron majus,
Orthotomus edela, and Rhizothera longirostris, m. and f. Some fishes also are comprised in Mr. Frith's collection, pertaining to the genera Serranus, Mesoprion, and Murænesox, and a Monitor (vel Varanus) in that of Mr. Lindstedt, as also a small Crocodilus biporcatus.
4. The Rev. J. Barbe, to whom we have been repeatedly indebted for valuable donations, has now presented us with a considerable number of specimens, chiefly of birds, collected in the Tenasserim provinces, Penang, and Malacca. From the first named locality, Mr. Barbe has brought a third undescribed species of Squirrel (all from the provinces,) for which we are indebted to his exertions; and from Penang the Crypsirina varians (or Phrenotrix temia, Horsfield), the male of Philentoma plumosums and other species of much interest.
5. Mr. O'Ryley, of Amherst, has favoured the Society with an extremely in. teresting collection of mammalia, birds, reptiles, &c. from the Tenasserim provinces: among which may be noticed the skin of the head of an old female Rhino. ceros sumatranus, with the horns perfect, and which I have had properly stuffed ; also fine specimens of an undescribed Squirrel ; and among birds, two examples of the Eurinorhynchus griseus (vide As. Res. vol. xix, pt. i, p. 69. and pl. ix), which has hitherto been considered one of the rarest of the feathered class, but which appears to be of very common occurrence on the Tenasserim coast, as I am assured by Mr. Barbe and others. Mr. O'Ryley has sent also a Teesa Hawk, which seems to be the Poliornis fasciatus of Lord Arthur Hay, Madras Journ. No. XXXI, 146 (but, if so, very doubtfully distinct from P. teesa), a Bulboul, which is the representative of Pycnonotus hemorrhous of Arracan; some rare snakes, &c. &c.
6. Mr. F. Skipwith, C. S., has likewise sent us, from Chittagong, an example of the Eurinorhynchus, a species which I hope soon to obtain in abundance from Mr. O'Ryley, and so ascertain its seasonal variations of colouring, as well as to receive replies to my various inquiries respecting its habits and mode of life.
7. From Capt. Phayre, the Society has been presented with a large collection of Arracan specimens, chiefly birds, of which the most remarkable is a very large species of lora, in all probability that alluded to in Vol. XIV, p. 602, of the Society's Journal.
8. Major Jenkins has obliged us with numerous specimens of reptiles, insects, &c. preserved in spirit, from Assam.
9. Mr. Thorburn, of Goalpara, has presented the Society with a collection of birds, reptiles, fishes, &c. from that vicinity.
10. From Dr. R. Templeton, of Colombo, we have received a fourth case of Cinghalese specimens of mammalia and birds, comprising various objects of much interest in those classes, and several novelties which I intend to treat of elsewhere ; merely mentioning now that Dr. Templeton has sent a second and new species of Jungle-fowl from that island (Gallus lineatus, nobis), additional to the G. Stanleyi of Hardwicke's illustrations—which latter has, I believe, been first verified from an actual specimen, previously transmitted to the Society by the same gentleman.
11. Capt. Boys left with us, for the Society's museum, a few specimens of birds procured on the route to Calcutta from the Upper Provinces, and the skull of a Gatialis from the Ravee river, flowing into the Indus.
12. Mr. Birch, of the Pilot service, continues to collect for our museum such specimens of fishes, crustacea, mollusca, &c. as he can procure in the course of his professional trips to and from the Sandheads.
13. Mr. T. H. Duncan, has sent to the museum a living specimen of Strix flammea.
14. Dr. Gurney Turner, of Midnapore, obliged me, when I visited that station, with some Hornbills, snakes, &c. for the Society's museum.
15. 0. W. Malet, Esq. Magistrate of Midnapore, also favored me with a magnificent pair of Saumer horns, from Cuttack.
16. From Sir William Jardine, Bart., the Society has received a small collection of British birds, including some that are very acceptable ; among which I may mention the common English Sparrow, which I had long wanted to compare with its Indian representative.
And I may conclude by remarking that during the month that I was absent from the museum, I collected above 60 skins of mammalia, (including of course the small species,) 273 of birds, and numerous reptiles, &c. ; many of which are either quite new to the museum, or have replaced very inferior specimens of the same.
To treat in detail of these various acquisitions, would require more time and leisure than I can at present command ; but the results I hope to embody in future contributions, and indeed have already incorporated some of them in papers which are awaiting publication.
I have the honor to be, Sir,
P. S. The large amount of duplicates that have accumulated during the last few months, have for the most part been distributed in collections now ready to be forwarded to the Hon'ble Company's Museum, to that of the Christiania University, that of the Society of Arts and Sciences, &c. of Boston, United States, and that of the Manchester Institution.
I have the pleasure also of presenting, on my own account, some purchased specimens of rare Himalayan mammalia and birds, of species which I have long required for examination and frequent reference.
For all the above communications and donations the thanks of the Asiatic Society were unanimously voted.
On the Ruins of Anuradhapura, formerly the capital of Ceylon, by
WILLIAM KNIGHton, author of the “ History of Ceylon," and late Secretary, Ceylon Branch Royal Asiatic Society.
The ruins of the former capital of Ceylon are situated in the northern province of the island, about midway between Aripo and Dambool, on the road or trace which unites the two. It is distant from Aripo about 45 miles, and from Dambool not quite 48. On both sides of it the road passes for many miles through a desolate and unhealthy region, unvariegated by any scenery of interest to take from the monotony of the journey. But a few native huts are now in existence on the site once so densely populated, and were it not for the existence of a District Court, and a Government Agency there, it would probably be entirely deserted. Dense masses of jungle now surround the monuments of ancient civilization, amidst which are to be seen in all directions, granite pillars, varying in height from fifteen to twenty-five feet, and occurring so frequently as to give rise continually to the thought, what could have been their use? But before entering particularly upon any description of the ruins, it may not be amiss to take a brief review of its foundation and history.
Anuradhapura was founded about five hundred and forty years before our era, by Anuradha, one of the followers of Wijeya, who had shortly before invaded the island. It is thus coeval with the earliest authentic facts in the history of Ceylon. The Mahawanso in noticing its
No. III. NEW SERIES.