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myself able to determine heights and distances with it with very great
Let us now turn our attention to the reverse side, where, by removing the revolving indices, we meet with numerous letters arranged around the centre in concentric zones, being an arrangement called lotas, the Indian metaphor of beauty, and a form peculiarly favoured of Indian sages.
The numbers 1, 2, 3, 4, it will be observed, are written exterior to the outer circle, and indicate the beginning of the four slokes which make up the figure; the three first being read across, and constituting diameters to the outer circle, the fourth forming the outer circle itself. The following is a translation.
'The length of the shadow of the gnomon at Khota is five ungols ' and 30 beaugols, in consequence of which the elevation of the signs 'above the horizon takes place there in times the particulars of which ' are as follow
But the other six signs, namely Libra, Scorpio, Sagittarius, Capri'cornus, Aquarius, and Pisces, are in point of rising above the horizon 'equal to the former six, when taken in inverse order; that is to say, 'Libra rises in the same time as Virgo, and so on.'
The length of the shadow here given is not quite correct,* at least if I may credit, which I have good reason to do, the result of Mr. Hunter's computations, published in the fourth volume of the Asiatic Researches. According to that careful observer, the latitude of Khota is 25° 11′ 41′′, while the datum of the instrument gives but 24° 37′ 25′′, which, notwithstanding some corrections which I shall presently make, still leaves the latter in defect.
The difference between the latitude of Khota, as calculated by Mr. Hunter, and that deduced from the Indian datum is, 34′ 16′′; this is considerable, and is perhaps not entirely attributable to imperfection of instruments or carelessness of observation, but to the
* The same length of shadow 5 a 30 b is the same as that supposed in the Bhagulpore tables given by Le Gentil. In both cases the number is suspiciously round, and in both also somewhat inaccurate.
omission of certain elements which the European astronomer takes into account. But little familiarity with astronomy is necessary to an apprehension of the fact that, whatever apparently elevates the sun above his true position must, in the same ratio, diminish the shadow of the gnomon, and consequently the latitude thence deduced. Now refraction does this to a small extent, and the rays of light from the sun's upper limb cause a much greater error of the same kind.
Making the necessary corrections, we have
This is, as I doubt not will be generally allowed, a difference astonishingly small, considering the imperfection of the instrument employed in observation.
Before entering on the examination of the Table of Ascensions of the Signs as given above, it may be as well to inform the reader that after having ascertained the occurrence of any celestial phenomenon, such as an eclipse for instance, in sideral time, the astronomer next converts this into civil time; to do which it is necessary that he should know how long each sign occupies in rising. This he effects in the following manner :—
Let us take for example the sign Aries, the place Khota, the length of the equinoxial shadow, as it is given to us, 5 ungols and 30 beungols, and the obliquity of the ecliptic 24°
1: Sin 24 :: Sin 30 : Sin decl.
8.9785257 5° 28' nearly,-ascensional diff.
Again, the Lugna of Lanca, or right ascension, is,
+ 17° 50'
22°.22′ the ascension of the sign Aries at Khota, = 3.726=3 dundas 43
which being reduced to Dundas gives us pulas nearly, as given on the plate, notwithstanding that my calculations have been performed with logarithms; a sufficient proof, if proof were needed, that where care can save him from error the Indian astronomer is not wanting. It will be seen that I have assumed the obliquity of the ecliptic to have been estimated at 24°, which assumption gives me the true result; this supports the statement made in the beginning of this article, that the instrument is not beholden to modern science for the principles of its construction. Calculating by spherical trigonometry, and assuming the same obliquity, I obtain 3 dundas and 40 pulas for the ascensional arc, giving a difference in time of 3 pulas, or about one of our minutes; an error so small, that even were the Indian astronomer aware of its existence he would disregard it, satisfied that the practical purposes which his labours subserve, are, notwithstanding, carried out with sufficient accuracy.
The zones which bound this side of the instrument alone remain to be explained. There are two of them, with their subordinate circles, the inner serving for an hour circle, the outer for the Bhagana or zodiac. It will be observed that in the latter the signs are arranged in pairs, and are referred to the hour circle, of which they occupy segments proportioned to their times of ascension, as given above, while the pairs whose ascensional arcs are equal, are classed together: viz. Mesha and Minah, (Aries and Pisces) Brisha and Khumbo (Taurus and Aquarius) and The whole zodiac thus occupies an equatorial arc of 12 hours, or 30 dundas.
Indian astronomers divide their zodiac in the same manner as those of Europe, and have equivalent names for their signs, as appears in the following table.
This is a remarkable fact, and in itself a strong argument against the opinion entertained by some, that the boasted antiquity of Indian astronomy owes its rise to imposture practised by the Brahmins; since it is inconceivable that men capable of perfecting so astonishing a system would have permitted a coincidence so striking, and so encouraging to envy or suspicion, to continue.
The revolving indices, although they might serve the astronomer to illustrate the revolution of the colures, were more probably intended to assist the astrologer in the partition of the celestial concave-an early and important process in the investigation of destiny.
I must not quit this subject without expressing my grateful acknowledgments to Bishonath Turkabhooshuna and Jogodhan Missi, two learned Pundits of this city, for their valuable assistance in translation of the inscriptions.
ART. VI.-Extract from a Memoir on the Preparations of the Indian Hemp, or Gunjah, (Cannabis Indica) their effects on the Animal system in Health, and their utility in the Treatment of Tetanus and other Convulsive Diseases.-By. W. B. O'SHAUGHNESSY, M.D. Professor in the Medical College of Calcutta, &c. &c.
(Continued from page 745.)
Experiments by the author-inferences as to the action of the drug on animals and man.
Such was the amount of preliminary information before me, by which I was guided in my subsequent attempts to gain more accurate knowledge of the action, powers, and possible medicinal applications of this extraordinary agent.
There was sufficient to show that Hemp possessed in small doses an extraordinary power of stimulating the digestive organs, exciting the cerebral system, of acting also on the generative apparatus. Larger doses, again, were shewn by the historical statements to induce insensibility, or to act as a powerful sedative. The influence of the drug in allaying pain was equally manifest in all the memoirs referred to. As to the evil sequelæ so unanimously dwelt on by all writers, these did not appear to me so numerous, so immediate, or so formidable, as many which may be clearly traced to over-indulgence in other powerful stimulants or narcotics, viz. alcohol, opium, or tobacco.
The dose in which the Hemp preparations might be administered, constituted of course one of the first objects of inquiry. Ibn Beitar had mentioned a direm, or 48 grains of Churrus, but this dose seemed to me so enormous, that I deemed it expedient to proceed with much smaller quantities. How fortunate was this caution, the sequel will sufficiently denote.
An extensive series of experiments on animals, was in the first place undertaken, among which the following may be cited:
Expt. 1.-Ten grains of Nipalese Churrus, dissolved in spirit, were given to a middling sized dog. In half an hour he became stupid and sleepy, dozing at intervals, starting up, wagging his tail as if extremely contented, he ate some food greedily, on being called to he staggered to and fro, and his face assumed a look of utter and helpless drunkenness. These symptoms lasted about two hours, and then gradually passed away; in six hours he was perfectly well and lively.
Expt. 2.-One drachm of Majoom was given to a small sized dog, he ate it with great delight, and in twenty minutes was ridiculously drunk; in four hours his symptoms passed away, also without harm.
Expts. 3, 4, & 5.-Three kids had ten grains each of the alcoholic extract of Gunjah. In one no effect was produced; in the second there was much heaviness, and some inability to move; in the third a marked alteration of countenance was conspicuous, but no further effect.
Expt. 6.-Twenty grains were given, dissolved in a little spirit, to a dog of very small size. In a quarter of an hour he was intoxicated; in half an hour he had great difficulty of movement; in an hour he had lost all power over the hinder extremities, which were rather stiff, but flexible; sensibility did not seem to be impaired, and the circulation was natural. He readily acknowledged calls by an attempt to rise up. In four hours he was quite well.