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Panicles of flowers terminal on leafless branchlets, broad-oval, spreading, much and loosely subdivided, 12 to 16 inches wide at the base; the divisions cylindric, covered with much soft down. There is a small linear, caducous bract under each branch. Flowers white, inodorous, rather large, two or three in each fascicle, supported by pedicels half an inch to an inch in length. Calyx smooth, consisting of five sepals which are marginally soldered together into one, forming a conical, attenuated, obtuse hood, slightly marked with parallel veins; it falls off the instant the coralla is ready to expand, leaving an annular vestige on the peduncle immediately under the coralla; its base circular, irregularly slit a little way, in four or five places. Petals white, imbricating and slightly contorted in estivation, lanceolate-oblong, rather obtuse, with entire, a little undulated, ciliated margins, thin and membranous, pubescent on both sides, minutely reticulated, half an inch long. Torus large, fleshy, hemispherical, pitted for the insertion of the stamens, its base five-lobed. Stamens very numerous, straight, spreading in all directions, half the length of the petals; filaments subulate, smooth; anthers oval, versatile. Ovary very small, obliquely oval, smooth, supported from the centre of the torus by a short, cylindric, pubescent pedicel, one-celled; ovule suspended from a lateral ascending funicle. Style rising obliquely from the vertex of the ovary, subulate, not reaching to the ends of the stamens.
Stigma minute, obtuse.
The accompanying figure represents a panicle of flower reduced to one half of its natural size. Fig. 1, flower-bud, the hooded calyx commencing to detach itself, and at Fig. 3, completely separate. Fig. 2, corolla in estivation. Fig. 4, the same fully expanded. Fig. 5, petals separate, showing the pitted torus.. Fig. 6, ovary opened showing the insertion of the ovule.
ART. IX. Proceedings of the Asiatic Society.
Wednesday Evening, the 2d January, 1839.
The Right REV. the LORD BISHOP of Calcutta, Vice-President, in the chair.
The Proceedings of the last Meeting were read.
The Meeting then proceeded to the election of Office-bearers for the ensuing year, when the following gentlemen were chosen :
The Right Rev. LORD BISHOP of Calcutta,
The Honble. Sir J. P. GRANT,
H. T. PRINSEP, Esq.,
Col D. MACLEOD,
Were elected Vice-Presidents.
Dr. GOODEVE and Mr. R. O'SHAUGHNESSY, proposed at the last Meeting, were balloted for, and duly elected Members of the Society.
Messrs. A. PORTEOUS and J. CowIE were proposed by the Officiating Secretary, seconded by the Vice-President.
Dr. O'SHAUGHNESSY apprised the Meeting that the Committee of Finance had recommended 20 rupees per mensem, as an increase to the Clerk HERAMBANATH THAKUR's salary.
Resolved, That the meeting approve of the decision of the Committee of Finance, and that it take effect from the date of the Clerk's application.
Read a letter from J. K. KANE, Esq., Secretary of the American Philosophical Society, acknowledging receipt of the first part of vols. 19 and 20 of the Asiatic Researches, and vols. 5 and 6 of the Journal of the Asiatic Society.
Read a letter from J. VAUGHAN, Esq., Librarian of the American Philosophical Society, forwarding the following works for presentation to the Society
Transactions of the American Philosophical Society, Vol 6, Part 1, New Series. Transactions of the Literary and Historical Committee of the Society.
Read a letter from M. CASSIN, Book Agent of the Society in Paris, enclosing account of sales of oriental publications sold by him in France, and forwarding from the proceeds thereof several recent publications for the use of the Society. He had likewise sent several books for sale in this country.
Resolved, That the books for sale be advertized on the cover of the Journal, Asiatic Society, with their prices.
A brochure by the Royal Society of Cornwall, presented by Capt. F. JENKINS through Dr. WALLICH.
Meteorological Registers kept at the Mauritius, during the last six months of 1836, and first six months of 1837, were presented by M. JULIEN DESJARDINS, Secretary of the Natural History Society of the Mauritius.
Read a letter from MADHUSHUDANA GUPTA, forwarding specimens of the plates for the "Sarira Vidya" engraved by Native artists.
The Officiating Secretary with reference to the very high cost and inferior execution of the plates submitted, proposed a reference by the overland mail to Professors QUAIN and PAXTON, by whose friendly co-operation he had no doubt casts of their anatomical wood-cuts could be procured at half the price, and in half the time the Native artist would require.
The proposition was seconded by Baboo RAMCOMUL SEN, and unanimously agreed to.
Read a letter from J. P. GRANT, Esq., Officiating Secretary to the Government of India, intimating that measures have been taken by the local authorities to prevent any further dismantling of the Kanarak temple, or Black Pagoda.
Read a letter from Major HAY, with reference to a Museum of Natural History collected by him from the Cape and the Eastern Archipelago,
Resolved, That the Officiating Secretary be requested to inform Major HAY, that the present state of their funds entirely precludes their purchase of his collection, but that the Society will be happy to allow the use of their rooms for the reception of the specimens, and to employ their establishment for their care and preservation. It was further decided that the Society make a representation Government on the subject.
The Officiating Secretary then laid before the Meeting the Annual Report of the past year's transactions.
[This Report will appear in a subsequent number.]
Baboo RAMCOMUL SEN submitted the Account Current of the Society for the past year, in which a balance of rupees 7,755: 1: 2 stands in favour of the Society on the 31st December, 1838.
[The Account Current will be found at the end.]
Proposed by Baboo RAMCOMUL SEN, seconded by Mr. HARE, and unanimously agreed, that a sum of rupees 4,500 be invested in Company's five per cent. Government Securities.
The Officiating Secretary informed the Meeting, that with reference to a communication made by him to Messrs. SHERRIFF and Co. regarding the repairs of the Society's house, that these architects report that the roof of the house is in a very ruinous state, and unless immediate steps are taken, serious danger is apprehended.
Mr. H. T. PRINSEP remarked that Mr. JAMES PRINSEP thought that additional rooms might be built for the Museum.
Resolved, That Col. MACLEOD be requested to furnish a plan to that effect, and an estimate of the probable expense, in order that the Society may determine on the subject at their next Meeting.
After the conclusion of the routine business, Mr. H. T. PRINSEP called the attention of the Members present to M. MASSON's large collection of coins and relics then exhibited on the table.
This collection Mr. PRINSEP, stated had been made from the funds advanced to M. MASSON by the Government; the proceeds having been forwarded through Col. POTTINGER to Bombay for transmission to the Honble. Company's Museum in England, were ordered by the Right Honble. the Governor General to be first sent to Calcutta for examination and arrangement by the gentlemen connected with this Society.
The articles having consequently been sent round in the "John Adam" from Bombay, were laid upon the table of the Society in order that if any gentlemen were disposed to undertake their examination and arrangement, the Society might form them into a Committee for the purpose.
The collection consisted of some hundred gold and silver coins and several thousand copper coins.
Some discussion arose as to the steps to be taken by the Society with this collection. By an unfortunate coincidence, all the leading numismatologists of the Society being absent from Calcutta, either through illness (as Mr. JAMES PRINSEP and Professor MALAN,) or on Military duty (as Col. STACY, Capt. CUNNINGHAM, and Mr. TREGEAR) it was suggested that the Government be requested to forward the collection to England, where the Court of Directors might refer the examination to Mr. J. PRINSEP, who will no doubt be happy to meet the wishes of the Court.