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The above circular and reports having been read, and the subject commented upon in detail by Sir J. P. Grant, Col. Forbes, Mr. W. P. Grant, Mr. Welby Jackson, Mr. Blyth, Capt. Munro, and Dr. W. B. O'Shaughnessy, it was unanimously decided :
1.—That the plates be not published, but that copies be supplied to any member applying for them.
2.—That Mr. Blyth's claim be paid in full in consideration of his general services to the Society during the period concerned, and without reference to his MS. for the Burnes' drawings.
3.-That the Senior Secretary be authorized to sell off Company's Paper to pay Mr. Blyth's demand.
The Committe of Papers having received a communication from Mr. Piddington, with a postscript by Mr. Torrens, regarding the expenses incurred by the lithographing of the Chusan Zoological drawings by Dr. Cantor, the Senior Secretary was proceeding, by direction of the Committee, to read Mr. Piddington's letter when that gentleman objected to its being brought forward. The subjoined Report by the Committee was then read :
The Committee of Papers beg leave to submit to the Society a communication from Mr. Piddington, dated the 19th June, from which, they have been for the first time led to infer that a portion of the outlay on account of the “ Cantor drawings,” viz. Co.'s Rs. 2,300, might have been in advances for future work, and not solely for the 12 plates finished by Mr. Bennett, up to July 1846.
After repeated applications to Mr. Bennett, the Committee have at length ascertained that Mr. Bennett undertook to execute coloured plates of the whole of Dr. Cantor's drawings for the sum of Rupees 1,174. All expenses included.
The original drawings form a portfolio (bound) of 88 pages of sketches, which could be conveniently lithographed in 61 4to. plates.
Of the 88 pages, 13, containing the subjects for 12 plates, were delivered to Mr. Bennett and lithographed and coloured by him, being one-fifth of the number of plates he agreed to complete for Rs. 4,171.
Advances were made to Mr. Bennett (see account) during the progress of these 12 plates, to the amount of Rs. 2,300; of these advances 1,700 Rs. were paid on the order of Mr. Piddington, countersigned by Mr. Torrens, between the 9th June 1844, and 23rd December 1815, and Rs. 600, on the order of Mr. Torrens alonc from 20th April 1816, to 26th October 1816. Total Rs. 2,300,
Mr. Bennett's actual charge for the 12 plates completed during that time is Rs. 785. No more of the original drawings having been delivered to Mr. Bennett, he is accordingly indebted to the Society, on this account, to the amount of Rs. 1,515.
In answer to an application on the part of the Committee of Papers, Mr. Bennett has cons
nsented to proceed with the “ Cantor drawings" or other drawings, not involving greater labour or expense, so as to adjust the balance now against him in the Society's accounts. The Committee accordingly propose to issue the plates now in hand with early numbers of the Journal, as may be found convenient, as letter press must accompany them, and to proceed with others to the extent of the sum specified as advanced by the Society on this account. (By order of the Committee,)
W. B. O'SHAUGANESSY. Asiatic Society, 5th July, 1847.
The report having been read it was unanimously agreed to authorize the Secretaries to take the best means in their power to secure work being done by Mr. Bennett in illustrations of the Journal to the extent of the advance he had received.
Mr. Piddington brought to the notice of the meeting that the tomb of Sir Wm. Jones is in a dilapidated state, and submitted an estimate by Messrs. Weaver and Co. for the repairs thereof, amounting to Rs. 386 10. Resolved that the estimate be referred to Col. Forbes for examination and report and that the expense of the repairs be defrayed by a subscription among the members of the Society.
Books received for the Meeting of the 7th June, 1847.
PRESENTED. Proceedings of the Academy of Natural Sciences of Philadelphia, Nos. 4 and 5.–BY THE ACADEMY.
A cheap, simple, and concise method of obtaining early warning of any approach to Spontaneous Combustion or Ignition by Accident, on board of Steamers, Coal or other Ships, and of instantly conveying water nearly to the spot; with some chemical notes and practical deductions for the use of sailors, by H. Pidulington, Esq.–BY THE AUTHOR.
Le Moniteur des Indes Orientales et Occidentales, No. 12.–BY THE EDITORS.
On the Relation of Islam to the Gospel, translated from the German of Dr. J. A. Mochler, by the Rev. J. P. Menge. (2 copies.)-By J. Muir, Esa.
Meteorological Register kept at the Surveyor General's Office, Calcutta, for the month of June, 1847.-FROM THE Surveyor GENERAL's Office.
The Oriental Christian Spectator, Nos. 3 to 6.-By the Editor.
The Calcutta Christian Observer, for June and July, 1817.-BY THE Editors.
Owing to the lateness of the hour the Curators' Reports were not received.* The thanks of the Society were voted as usual to the donors of books and papers, and of contributions to the Museum.
Report of Curator, Zoological Department. The following are the donations to which I have, upon this occasion, to call the attention of the Society.
1. From W. C. Thorburn, Esq. of Goalpara, I have received a collection birds, reptiles, fishes, and crustacea, which has added a few species to the Museum, as the Emys dhonghoka, Gray and Hardwicke, and some small fishes described by Buchanan Hamilton.
2. Mr. J. Weaver has favored us with a small collection of sundries, chiefly from the Sandheads ; comprising a small fish allied to Equula (which I have not yet identified), two human fætuses, some sea Snakes, &c.
3. Mr. J. Reeve has sent a small Crocodile, 54 feet long, of the species Crocodilus palustris, Lesson.
4. E. B. Ryan, Esq. A stuffed specimen of a Leopard. 5. J. C. Pépé, Esq. of Gurruckpore. A Boar skull, from the Nepal Terai, of the species or variety having a broad occiput, noticed in XV, 135.
6. Mr. E. Lindstedt. A Porcupine (Hystrix), of the common small species inhabiting the Sunderbuns.
7. Mr. Nathan Buckley. A specimen of a Limulus, or · King Crab,' one of two species common at the mouth of the river. The present one is distinguished (among other characters) by having cylindrical tail: and one sex only of the other corresponds to the definition of Tachypleus, Leach.
8. Mr. C. J. Madge. A living Bat, of the species Megaderma lyra. This Bat, which is the M. carna ica of Mr. Elliot, seems to
very generally diffused throughout India, being replaced in the Malay countries by M.
* Mr. Blyth's MS, of his report received subsequenty to the meeting is now inserted,
spasma (also in the Museum), and further east by the newly described M. philippinensis, Waterhouse, P. Z. S. 1843, p. 69; while in Africa it is represented by the M. frons.
9. Capt. Phayre, of Moulmein. A young living specimen of a Binturong - Arctictis binturong,
v. Ictides ater, Valenciennes. This little animal is very tame and playful, having most of the actions of a kitten, combined with a few Ursine traits; it also mews very like a young kitten when impatient of being left alone ; and if gratified by being noticed, it purrs, like the Felide and many Viverride (as the Paradoxuri). The prehensile power of the tail is very great, and exists throughout that organ; by the extremity alone it will readily support its weight. By means of the linds, also, it has great power of clinging, so as not to be easily dislodged when it has grasped a person by the leg, as it is rather fond of doing when suffered to run loose : indeed, though it bites only in play, its deciduary canines are so sharp that its fondness for grasping one's limbs is rather troublesome. Although its eyes, with the pupil contracted to the narrowest line during the day, indicate the naturally nocturnal habitude of the species, this animal is lively and always ready to play and frisk with any one, at all times of the day: the iris is of a light hazel colour. Mr. McClelland had a larger Binturong some time ago, from Assam, which was allowed its liberty, and passed its time chiefly upon a tree near his house ; from which, instead of descending the trunk when it wanted to come down, it would sometimes drop from a height of several feet, as is the habit of the Coatimondis (Nasua) of S. America, which, with the Binturong, belong to the group of true Plantigrada. Indeed, I think the Racoons (Procyon) have the same babit, another genus pertaining to the same division.
10. From the Rev. J. Mason, of Mergui. Specimens of Calotes versicolor, and of Hemidactylus Coctei, from the neighbourhood of Moulmein, and therefore valuable from the locality,—both reptiles being common in Calcutta. Also an imperfect skin of Pomatorhinus olivaceus, nobis, p. 451 ante; differing from the specimen previously described in having the crown of a more dusky olive than the back, though not slaty as in P. schisticeps.
11. From Capt. Thos. Hutton, of Mussoorie. A few bird-skins, among which is one species new to the Museum, viz. Certhia himalayana, Vigors, v. asiatica, Swainson; common in the Deyra Doon.” This is quite distinct from C. nipalensis, Hodgson, and from my C. discolor, inhabiting Sikim; making three Himalayan species of typical Certhia. The C. spilonota, Franklin, has been at length obtained by Mr. Hodgson from Behar, and is described as a new generic form, by the name Salpornis, by Mr. G. R. Gray, Ann. Mag. N. H. (Ma 1847, p. 352; and with it Mr. Gi describes, as a new genus and species, a Caulodromus Gracei, which is my Rimator malacoptilus, p. 155 ante (February 1847), founded on the identical specimen, which was lent me for the purpose of being described by Mr. Grace, and so labelled by me when I returned it.
12. C. J. Bonnevie, Esq. of Rungpore. The limb-bones of a large Tiger. July 7th, 1847.
The following Supplementary Report refers to the Society's present collection of Sciuride, which was exhibited at the Meeting.
Supplementary Report by the Curator, Zoological Department. The fine series of animals which I have now the pleasure to exhibit, illustrative of the great Squirrel family-Sciurida, comprises representatives of its three principal subordinate groups of Flying Squirrels, Ordinary Squirrels, and Marmots.
Of the first, we possess 23 (select) mounted specimens, pertaining to the divisions Pteromys, Cuv., as at present restricted, and Sciuropterus, F. Cuvier.
The species of restricted Pteromys are by no means satisfactorily determined; and I can only contribute a little towards their elucidation. The Society's specimens are as follow :
1. ' Pt. petaurista, (Pallas): Taguan of Buffon, from Malabar ; Pt. oral, Tickell, Calc. Journ. N. H. II, 401: Pt. philippensis, Gray, apud Elliot, Madr. Journ. No. XXV, 217. This is the only large Flying Squirrel of the peninsula of India, and probably of Ceylon ;* that of the Moluccas and Philippine Islands can hardly be the same. In all the specimens I have seen (excepting a pale variety to be noticed afterwards), the terminal two-thirds or three-fourths of the tail were black or blackish, with rarely a little white at the extreme tip. Upper-parts dusky maronne-black, grizzled with whitish tips to the fur, terminating in inconspicuous black points : membrane and limbs above, much brighter and more rufous maronne: feet, muzzle, and around the eyes, black : and the under-parts are dingy brownish-grey. An individual variety, procured in Travancore by Lord Arthur Hay, is much paler than usual, being of a light maronne-brown above with yellowish-white tips; the long hair behind the ears is pale rufous, instead of being dark ; the fore and hind feet only are, in part, blackish, especially the former; the muzzle and around the eyes are dark brown ; and the tail has its terminal three-fifths uniform rufous-brown, a little darker at the tip, while its base is paler with minutely mingled whitish hairs : under-parts with scanty annulated hairs, of a predominant pale colour; and two white streaks extend longitudinally along the rows of mammæ. Of this Indian species, I have retained for the Museum a very fine specimen, from Travancore, presented by Lord Arthur Hay; and an example of the young, brought alive to Midnapore probably from the Cuttack jungles, and presented (dead) by Mr. P. Homfrey.
2. Pt. petaurista (?), var. cineraceus, nobis. The common large species of Arracan and the Tenasserim provinces, and the only large kind I have seen from that range of territory. Very like the preceding, but the whitish tips to the fur more predominating, imparting a hoary-grey appearance to the whole upper surface, and continued along the tail, the extreme tip only of which is blackish ; under-parts pure white, or nearly so, in different specimens; and the rest of the colouring much as in the preceding variety (?) In both, the white tips to the fur predominate in the newly put forth pelage, and disappear to a great extent as the fur becomes old and worn.
In the young of the Arracan race, the black extreme points of the fur are much developed. We have two adults, and a small young specimen, from Arracan, presented by Capt. Phayre; and another adult, in worn pelage, and unusually rufescent with darker tail than ordinary, from Tenasserim, presented by the Rev. J. Barbe.
A third dark race, or species, of a bay-brown-colour above, variegated with white splashes, was procured at Malacca by Capt. Charleton, and has been described as Pt. punctatus by Mr. Gray, Ann. Mag. N. H. 1816, p. 211.6 It is perhaps identical with Pt. elegans of Dr. S. Muller, from Java.
3. Pteromys albiventer, Gray, Hardw. Ill. Ind. Zool. : placed as a synonyme of the Malayan Pt. nitidus by Dr. Cantor, J. A S. XV,
* A notice of the habits of the Pteromys of that island is given in Major Forbes's " Journal of a Residence of 11 years in Ceylon.”
Felis Charltoni, Gray, described on the same occasion, is merely an occasional variety of F. bengalensis. Major Jenkins favored the Society with a living specimen of this variety from Assam, and with two live specimens of the ordinary marking, all of which are now set up in the Museum. We have also an intermediate variety, which removes all doubt of the specifical identity,