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with interest, and hope soon to see through its exertions, a spirit of inquiry stirred up throughout India.
13th October, 1839.
ART. V.-Note on the process of washing for the Gold Dust and Diamonds at Heera Khoond. By Major J. R. OUSELEY.
The day before yesterday, I visited the Heera Khoond, and saw the process of washing for gold dust and diamonds. A set of fishermen have villages free from rent; on this service, men, women, and children are employed. The women alone wash, the men and children bring the gravel and sand in wooden trays, and place it in the trough, which is open at one end, with a gentle inclination towards the river, on the edge of which the women sit. With their left hands they stir up the gravel, and with the right pour water out of a wooden basket-looking bucket gently over the upper end; it runs out into the river, the larger pebbles and gravel are thrown over, and the finer sand, on the trough being full, re-washed until little remains, when it is removed into the wooden trays, and by dipping them under water, and shaking them about, the gravel gradually falls over, leaving only gold dust. They detect the diamonds at a glance, as they wash. One I saw about the size of a large grain of wheat, clear and bright; but these are not to be purchased, as they are the Raja's property. The gold they are allowed to dispose of; which they do at 12 or 15 rupees per tola. The veins are, I am convinced, some distance off, as the grains of gold appear flattened by collision, in rolling among pebbles. I have the pleasure to send 3 mashas, (a tola not yet brought), and some of the rocks about the spot where the diamonds and gold dust are found. The Heera Khoond is an island, about a coss long, and one or two hundred yards wide in the Mahanuddy, seven miles, seven and a half furlongs from the eastern end of Sumbulpoor. The Heera Khoond, is that part of the river, which runs south of the islands The diamonds and gold dust are said to be washed down the Ebee river, about four miles above the Heera Khoond; but as both are procurable as far as Soon poor, I am inclined to think there may be veins of gold along the Mahanuddy. It would however, I think, be very desirable to have this part of the country properly examined, which it never was yet. Gold washings might be under
taken on mechanical principles, which would, by reducing the manual labour, make the speculation highly profitable in gold dust alone, setting aside the diamonds.
The season for washing is after the river subsides, on the rains ceasing; but they occasionally continue until the rains again interrupt their labours. I have fancied that a graduated wire-sieve washing machine might be made, larger at the top, and smaller as the sieves approach the bottom, which would in the passage of the debris, flung in at the top one, to the bottom (a wooden tray) keep the more minute particles in suspension, or permit of the sieves retaining in succession the pebbles of gravelly matter; all earthy particles being carried away, if the machine were placed in a gentle stream, the gold dust would be found in the tray. Each sieve should be carefully examined for diamonds, on the machine being full; the machine might be six feet long, two wide, and six or eight high. The sieves being a foot or 18 inches apart, it would be necessary only to take up the top and second sieves often, the lower ones would take longer to fill; the machine should be made so as to admit of its being shaken constantly, and hung up in water six or seven feet deep, where the current would be gentle.
J. R. OUSELEY.
P.S. Their is also gold dust, in the Brahminee river, about six marches east of this, but no diamonds.
The women sit along the edge of the river, facing inwards, and gradually form little mountains of pebbles. The number employed is very great, but the speculation is not very profitable now.
ART. VI.-Proceedings of the Asiatic Society.
(Wednesday Evening, the 4th March, 1840.,
The Honorable Sir E. RYAN, President, in the chair.
The Proceedings of the last Meeting were read.
Messrs. James COLQUHOUN, H. SWEETENHAM, C. K. ROBISON, T. C. CADOGAN, and R. H. MATHEWS, proposed at the last Meeting, were balloted for and duly elected Members of the Society.
M. RENAUD proposed at the last Meeting, was upon the favourable report of the Committee of Papers elected an honorary Member of the Society.
The Rev. A. W. STREET proposed by Dr. O'SHAUGHNESSY, seconded by Mr. SUTHERLAND.
Rajah KISHTNA NATH ROY proposed by Mr. SUTHERLAND, seconded by Dr. O'SHAUGHNESSY.
Read letters from Messrs. A. PORTEUS and W. A. GREEN, withdrawing themselves from the Society.
Read a letter from Messrs. W. H. ALLEN and Co. intimating their having forwarded the busts of Sir Wm. JONES and Mr. COLEBROOKE, per ship "Felicity." (The busts arrived on the 20th April in perfect safety.)
Read a letter from James REYNOLDS, Esq., Secretary to the Oriental Translation Fund of the Royal Asiatic Society, stating that arrears of the Society's subscriptions were due to the amount of 427., from 1836 to 1839 inclusive.
The Secretary informed the Meeting that the Society's Book Agents in London have been instructed to discharge the claim in question.
The following books were presented :
The East Indian Journal of Literature, Science, and the Fine Arts, No. 1, by R. C. WOODS, Esq. L.L.D.-by the Author.
Esquisse Generale de l'Afrique by Mr. M. D' AVERGAC,by the Author. through R. C. WOODS, Esq., L.L.D.
Proceedings of the Bombay Geographical Society, May, 1839,-by the Society. Proceedings of the Astronomical Society, vol. 4, No. 24,-by the Society. English and Chinese Vocabulary, by R. MORRISON, D.D.-by Messrs. Thacker & Co.
A brief account of the Chronometer, with remarks on those furnished by PARKINSON and FRODSHAM to the expeditions of Capts. Ross, PARRY, SABINE, KING, LYON, FOSTER, and other distinguished navigatorsby Mr. Frodsham. Madras Journal, Nos. 21, 22, 23 and 24-by the Madras Library and Auxiliary Royal Asiatic Society.
The following was received from the Booksellers :-
Lardner's Cabinet Cyclopædia, Biography, Literary and Scientific men, vol. 2.
Literary and Physical.
Major J. R. OUSELEY forwarded a short notice of the process of washing for the gold dust and diamonds at Heera Khoond, with specimens of the gold dust.
Read a letter from Capt. T. S. BURT, forwarding copy of a facsimile taken by him at Paijore.
Read a letter from Major T. JERVIS, (Engineers) forwarding a paper on the cotton at Gujerat, by Mr. VAUPELL.
Read a letter from R. C. WOODS, Esq. forwarding a paper on the Introduction to the study of the science of Ethnology, or the Natural History of the human
Read a letter from Dr. N. WALLICH, forwarding for presentation on behalf of Mr. PARKER a specimen of the timber of the "Royal George," blown up in Colonel PASLEY'S operations.
Various specimens of minerals were presented by Major J. R. OUSELEY.
A sword fish and a hammer-headed shark, were presented by E. D. FABIAN, ESQ. An alligator, presented by Mr. R. S. HOMFRAY.
Pursuant to the resolutions of the last Meeting, the Secretary then laid before the Meeting the rules framed by the Committee of Papers, regarding the office of Curator of the Museum.
At a Meeting of the Asiatic Society of Bengal, held on the 5th February, 1840, it was proposed by Sir E. RYAN, seconded by H. T. PRINSEP, Esq. and unanimously agreed,
That the office of Curator to the Society's Museum be held in future on the following conditions-1st. Two hours at least to be devoted daily to the duties of the Museum. 2nd. Monthly reports to be made to the Committee of Papers. 3rd. The objects of Natural History belonging to the Society's collection not to be removed from the Museum. It was further decided, that the Committee of Papers should report to the next Meeting, on the nature and extent of the duties the Curator is to undertake, with reference to the office as held in other Museums.
Report of the Committee of Papers.
The Museum of the Asiatic Society of Bengal may be considered to embrace two very distinct departments: Ist. That of Oriental Antiquities, Literature, Architecture, and Numismatics. 2nd. That of Natural History.
It would be of great importance to secure, were it possible, the services of a Curator conversant with both these divisions; but such a combination of acquirements is so rare, that the Society must trust the arrangement, elucidation, and preservation of the articles appertaining to the first division, to the honorary services of the Oriental Secretary, the Librarian, and Pundits.
In the department of Natural History, it must be borne in mind, that the Curator's great object should be, to arrange and extend the Society's collections so as to make these available for the information of the student, conducive to the general illustration and advancement of science, and worthy of the place the Society holds among learned institutions. Viewed in this light, it is of far more importance to the Society that their Curator should assiduously apply himself to the collection, naming, and arrangement, of procurable specimens of the animal and mineral kingdoms, than that he should specially devote himself to the minute elucidation of any sub-division of these subjects.
By the elaborate investigation of a group or family, he may doubtless distinguish himself, and gain high individual reputation, but his utility to the Society would be far greater, by his applying himself to the humbler duties we have specified; moreover, it appears to us that these duties are in themselves more than sufficient to occupy the Curator's time, were it even to be entirely devoted to their discharge.
Our collection of minerals is an utter chaos, though rich in anonymous specimens, -valuable in themselves as illustrations of abstract mineralogy, but devoid of interest in a geological or geographical light, owing to the neglect with which they have been treated by some preceding Curators. It appears to the Committee of Papers, that the first object of the Society, in remodelling its Museum, should be, to form a grand collection of minerals and fossils, illustrative of the geology, geography, and palæontology of our British Indian possessions.
A few of the existing minerals, and some superb fossils in our Museum are available for this object, but it is clearly within the scope of the Society's influence to procure, within a few months, collections of specimens from every part of India, and in such numbers as would find the Curator in ample employment. While waiting for these additions to our collections, he should proceed to name and label those already in our possession. There is no need for delay for the preparation of cabinets. The specimens should be named, labelled, wrapped in paper with a number affixed, and then packed in boxes, until the cabinets are ready.
Duplicates of all specimens should be preserved for verification and analysis. Triplicates should be retained, wherever practicable, for presentation to other Museums in exchange.
The monthly reports should be a statement of progress in this duty, and affording a catalogue of the minerals adjusted. The specimens themselves should be exhibited at
This duty the Committee think should supersede all others for the first few months of the Curator's employment, meanwhile his subordinates would conduct the arrangement of such specimens of the animal kingdom, as might require immediate attention. All correspondence connected with the Museum should pass through the Secretary's Office, in conformity with the practice of similar institutions. It seems to the Committee of Papers an anomalous and inexpedient practice to commit the whole management of exchanges and similar transactions to the Curator. The suggestions of that officer will be always received with due attention and respect by the Committee; but it is manifest that without their being referred to it, the Committee cannot be responsible for the expenditure which the Curator's measures and correspondence may entail, for the views on which he may act in the management of the Museum, nor for the light in which this department of the Society's labours may be regarded by scientific men, and institutions in other countries.
It seems necessary too, to stipulate that all memoirs or papers drawn up by the Curator for publication, as well as plates, models, &c., on subjects he may have investigated in discharge of his duties, should be in the first instance placed at the disposal of the Committee of Papers, also that all proofs of such papers pass through the inspection of the same body.
The Committee are led to this suggestion by the circumstance of a fly-leaf having been prefixed, without their sanction or knowledge, to the last volume of the Transactions. Although containing nothing from which the Committee would dissent, the