« السابقةمتابعة »
lateral fores and hind subequal, last strongest ; nails stout, moderately curved, acute ; tail various, as in Promerops or in Cinclosoma.
Species Ist. Pieaoïdes. Pie-like Sibia mihi. Saturate slatey-blue; paler and greyer below; darker and merging into black on the wings and tail; speculum on the secondaries, and tips of the rectrices, white; legs plumbeous ; bill black ; iris sanguine ; tail very long, and gradated conspicuously and equally throughout; head not crested ; 14 inches long and as many wide ; bill 11 inch ; tarsus 1}; central toe ; hind toe 9 ; its nail ?; tail 8}; weight 1} to 1 oz. Sexes alike. 16
3rd. Species. Nipalensis, nobis. Described already as a Cinclosoma, and forming a singular link of connexion between the Cinclosoma and the Sibice. I postpone what I have to say upon the habits and manners of these birds to a future opportunity; at present it must suffice to observe, that they are indissolubly linked to the Merulidae by the nature of their food and manner of taking it.
Nepaul May, 1836.
Art. VI.--- On the Egyptian system of Artificial Hatching. By
Don SINBALDO DEMAS. Several unfruitful attempts have been made in different parts of Europe since the labours of Reaumur to introduce the artificial mode of hatching eggs. In some parts chickens have been brought forth which have not propagated ; in others, for instance in Aranjuez, instead of chickens, hard eggs have been made. Notwithstanding these failures, being persuaded that they proceeded rather from ignorance on the part of the experimentalist than from any real or insuper
I Note.- As Soc. Transac. Phy. Class., vol. xix. p. 143.
able obstacle in the nature of the country where the experiments were performed, since my arrival in Egypt I determined to study in person minutely all the proceedings, without trusting to accounts which would always leave me uncertain of the truth. The enterprize was by no means an easy one. Few in Egypt possess the art, and those few make a secret of it. Besides, this first difficulty vanquished, so much patience and perseverance is necessary to remain for 21 days in an oven at 34° of Reaumur, full of the pestiferous smoke of burning dung-contending incessantly with the stupidity and prejudices of the Arabs, who always suspect some sinister motive, and to every thing oppose difficulties, (believing, among a thousand other follies, that the thermometer warms the room in which it is introduced,)—that no traveller before me, that I am aware of, has examined the matter in a satisfactory manner, or has given a circumstantial description of it. Nevertheless, my intimacy with my countryman Gaityany Bey, who rendered me every facility which the Government could offer, my knowledge of the vulgar Arabic language, and my constitution of the south of Europe, enabled me to overcome all the obstacles which hitherto embarrassed all Europeans who attempted to investigate this subject.
Before entering on a description of the process, I will stop a moment to shew that the artificial hatching, practised from time immemorial in Egypt, is not only a curious fact, but an eminently useful one; since it facilitates with surprising rapidity the reproduction and abundance of the fowl, as well as the egg; both of which may
be reckoned among the most pleasing and salutary articles of food for man.
The operation is carried on in an oven, generally composed of eight divisions or cells. In each of them 6000 eggs are hatched every 21 days, for the space of 3 or 4 months. It is admitted that Egypt contains more than 200 of these ovens. Deducting one quarter of the eggs which may be lost, we shall see that this artificial hatching gives 37} millions of chickens in one third of the year ; which again must produce an immense number of eggs,' Thus it happens that al. though latterly the price of all provisions has been doubled in that country, I have bought in Upper Egypt one egg for half a para, and the best fowl for a piastra.' It is to be considered also, that the power of establishing these ovens is given by Government to the highest bidder; and that from this circumstance a considerable revenue is received, which cannot fail to raise the price of the article.
I In the Encyclopædia Britannica the number of ovens is stated to be 360 ; and the chickens produced 92 millions ; which I think at least in the present day is a very exaggerated calculation.
2 One Company's rupee=10 piastras. I piastra=40 paras.