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“ Even the magnitude of the resulting eccentricity cannot be considered as proving the curve described to be actually a hyperbola. On the contrary, I fully coincide with the views which Professor Peirce has developed at a late meeting of the Academy, with regard to the non-hyperbolism of any of the cometary orbits on record. I can only say, that no curve but a hyperbola can be drawn precisely through the three places given by the observations on which my calculations were based. None of the observations had been made in the merid. ian, and a small change in the fundamental places would change the character of the curve very considerably. I believe, however, that the evidence is sufficient to prove that the comet was not moving in any ellipse whose eccentricity differs sufficiently from unity to enable us to deduce the period, and am convinced that no hypothesis of identity with Klinkenberg's comet of 1748 could be supported. It must moreover be observed, that, during the whole of the period comprised between the fundamental observations, the comet was approaching the earth, whose attraction must, in consequence of its proximity, have been powerful, and was to be added to that of the sun. The increased velocity thus imparted to the comet might give temporarily a hyperbolic aspect to the orbit.”

Dr. Gould then spoke of the comet observations quoted in Struyck and Pingré as having been made by Kindermann in Dresden, and a Dutch navigator at the Cape of Good Hope, in the spring of 1748. He had attempted to reconcile them with the orbits of the two authentic comets of that year, but entirely in vain.

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