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Mr. Peirce is collecting observations preparatory to a still more thorough investigation of the orbit of this comet, and desires communications from those astronomers who may have observed it.

Professor Peirce said that his attention had been drawn, by Mr. Herrick of New Haven, to the supposed planet observed by Wartman of Geneva, in 1831, with the inquiry, whether it was not identical with Le Verrier's. He showed, that, although it could not have been more than eight or ten degrees distant


from it, it was too far from the place given by Le Verrier's orbit to be the same body, and that the limits of the errors of this orbit were much too small to be consistent with their identity. He showed, moreover, that the places of the body given by Wartman's observations are wholly irreconcilable with those of any planet whatever, whose orbit is nearly circular, and whose motion is direct. The researches made by Wartman, in the year 1832, for the rediscovery of his supposed planet, might easily have resulted in the discovery of the planet by which the name of Le Verrier is now immortalized.

DONATIONS TO THE LIBRARY. Annual Report of the Commissioner of Patents, for 1845. 8vo. Washington, 1846. (Cong. Doc.) From Hon. R. C. Winthrop.

Report of the Fifteenth Meeting of the British Association, held at Cambridge, in June, 1845. 8vo. London, 1846. From the British Association.

Annuaire Universel au Histoire Politique pour 1844. 8vo. Paris, 1845. From O. Rich.

Sir R. I. Murchison. Address to the British Association for the Advancement of Science. 8vo. pamph. London, 1846. From E. Everett.

Gaspar Cipri. Découvertes Physico-Mécaniques. 8vo. pamph. Paris, 1846. From the Author.

Antiquissimi Virgiliani Codicis Fragmenta et Pictura ex Bibliotheca Vaticana. fol. Roma, 1742. Bequest of Hon. John Pickering.

A. A. Gould. Expedition Shells : described for the Work of the U. S. Exploring Expedition. 8vo. pamph. Boston, 1846. From the Author.

Abhandlungen der Koeniglichen Akademie der Wissenschaften zu Berlin. For 1844. 4to. Berlin, 1846. From the Berlin Academy.

Besicht über die zur Bekanntmachung geeigneten Verhandlungen der K. Preuss. Akad. Wissenschaften zu Berlin. July, 1845, to June, 1846. 8vo. From the Berlin Academy.

Nouveaux Mémoires de l'Académie Royale des Sciences et Belleslettres de Bruxelles. Tom. XVII. & XVIII. (1844, 1845). 4to. From the Academy.

Mémoires Couronnés et Mémoires des Savants Étrangers publiés

par l'Académie Royale des Sciences et Belles-lettres de Bruxelles. Tom. XVII. & XVIII. (1843 – 1845). 4to. From the Academy.

Bulletins de l'Académie Royale des Sciences, etc., de Bruxelles. Tom. XI. & XII. (for 1844, 1845). 8vo. From the Academy.

Annuaire de l'Académie Royale des Sciences, etc., de Bruxelles. For 1844 and 1845. From the Academy.

Annales de l'Observatoire Royale de Bruxelles. Publiés aux frais de l'État, par le Directeur, A. Quetelet. Tom. IV. 4to. 1845. From M. Quetelet.

Observations des Phénomènes Periodiques. (Extr. du Tom. XVII. des Mem. Acad. Brux.) 4to. From M. Quetelet.

Two hundred and eighty-ninth Meeting.

December 1, 1846. — MONTHLY MEETING.

The VICE-PRESIDENT in the chair.

Dr. C. T. Jackson exhibited specimens of gun-cotton, explained the mode of preparation, and illustrated its effects. He also exhibited specimens of paper prepared in a similar way, which was shown to acquire nearly the firmness of vellum, and to have become somewhat impermeable to water.

Mr. Agassiz made some remarks on the points of resemblance between the flora of the fresh-water Molasse (later miocene) of Europe and the existing flora of North America, alluding to the fossil fruits, &c., in the former of such peculiarly North American genera as Taxodium, Liquidambar, Carya, etc., and to a considerable prevalence of Juglandece, as facts not only very curious in themselves, but also as evidence that Europe, at the era in question, possessed a temperate (and not a tropical) climate.

Dr. Webster communicated from Mr. Hunt, the British Consul at St. Michaels, Azores, the annexed table, containing the results of his meteorological observations made at that place.

Showing the Mean Temperature, Dew-point, Dryness, and Atmospheric Saturation, according to the Prevalence of particular Winds ;

the Results of Observations taken at St. Michaels, in 1845 and 1846.

By J. C. Hunt, Esq., H. B. M. Consul at St. Michaels, Azores.
N. B. The observations were taken daily, at intervals of three hours. Results in small figures not verified.

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* Dew point found in multiplying the difference between the thermometers by 2.33.




Mr. Hunt remarks upon these results, that “ The table bears out the general experience at St. Michaels, that the southwest wind brings most moisture, and that it is followed in the order of humidity by the cardinal points, west, north, and east. During the six years ending with December 31st, 1845, the mean of twenty-five days was north, 111 northeast, 18 east, 42 southeast, 17 south, 52 southwest, 74 northwest, and 8 perfectly calm, which numbers, multiplied by their respective mean annual amounts of vapor, and divided by 365, give a mean of five grains of vapor for the whole year. As might be expected, there is more vapor in summer than in winter. The thermometer rose to the extraordinary height this month (August, 1846), on three different days, of 90° F., and the vapor only amounted to 6.65, which is less than with the thermometer at 750.”

Mr. S. P. Andrews stated that he had in course of preparation a memoir on the Chinese language, according to the request of the committee of the Academy upon that subject; and that he should also, at an early day, be prepared to present and explain before the Academy detailed charts of Chinese syllabic or sound words, with their ramified significations, in illustration of the theory he maintained. Mr. Andrews farther stated, in brief, that he believes that he shall be able to demonstrate conclusively that

“ All the numerous meanings of the same vocal syllable or word in the Chinese language, being in some instances as many as several hun. dreds, and seeming at first view to have no connection with each other, are in fact legitimately and closely related in idea ; in other words, that all of these numerous significations constitute a family of ideas, which family is denoted generically by the single Chinese word, while they are severally or specifically signified in other languages by a family of words, which then have corresponding etymological relationships ; – hence, that ideas are distributed into genera and species, and that a true and thorough insight into the structure of the very remarka. ble spoken language of China conducts directly to a knowledge of this distribution, and of the laws by which it is governed. From this it seems to result, that, out of the philosophical study of the Chinese will issue a light which cannot fail to illuminate the whole field of etymology, and,

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