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overflowed with water only one inch deep. He then had the boat brought, and this, though on other occasions a light burden for two men, was now, in consequence of the mud, carried with difficulty by six, one quarter of a mile, where finding only two inches of water, they returned. The final experiment was extremely dangerous. The party waded knee-deep through viscid and tenacious mud, three miles from the shore, and found but six inches of water. They were much fatigued with the labor, and under constant apprehension at every step of sinking in some treacherous quagmire, and were rejoiced at their “good fortune in coming upon two small islands, raised but little above the general level, where they rested before retracing their course.” Two of the party, however, more courageous than the rest, pushed on for the north shore, thinking to wade across the lake. Their hardihood had nearly proved fatal, for after accomplishing about two miles farther, they became so exhausted, that it was only by the utmost labor that they were enabled to rejoin their comrades. They reported the water somewhat deeper and the mud slightly more yielding. Thus ended the expectations of the government in that quarter. Freeling pronounces the appearance of the lake, its islands, and the opposite shore as seen by Goyder to be due to the mirage.
The expedition of Stephen Hack in the summer of 1857 from Streaky Bay to Lake Gardner and its vicinity, has proved of far greater practical importance than either of the two already noticed. "The new grazing lands discovered to the south of Lake Gairdner comprise an area of more than 4,500 square miles.” Hack skirted the south shore of this great lake, but for various sufficient reasons he was obliged to discontinue his explorations, and he returned across the country to Port Augusta. Mr. Harris, surveyor to the expedition, took by azimuth observations, combined with determinations of latitude, the position of all permanent bodies of fresh water, and of the mountains passed on the route, and charted the outlines of the lake-shore by the results of trigonometrical measurements. Mr. Hack's original.intention was to have rounded the sourthernmost bay of Lake Gairdner and ascertained its entire outlines upon the east. He thinks there is reason to suspect some union between Lake Torrens and Lake Gairdner, and perhaps that they are one and the same great expanse. It is hinted that the geographical notes of this expedition are of great interest and importance, but they have not yet come to hand. Meanwhile we may judge of the pressing need in South Australia of more extended pas. turage, by the fact that within one week after Mr. Hack's return, negotiations were pending for the purchase of about 2000 of the 4,500 square miles of meadow land newly discovered by him. And shortly previous to this, one of the largest proprietors had
been compelled to send a herd of his cattle to New South Wales to graze.
An expedition in charge of Mr. Swinden to explore the region to the west of Lake Torrens left Port Augusta in August, 1857; but the notes we have of it are short and unsatisfactory, amounting to little more than the bare mention of distances between one creek, pool, or spring, and another, and of the character of the water in each, whether brackish or fresh. The great number of such bodies of water, and their nearness to each other, have excited much interest respecting this region, and the reader will doubtless be pleased to learn that a strongly equipped expedition is probably now on the ground, and that the vigorous prosecution of the instructions which Mr. B. Herschell Babbage, its leader, received from the government in February, 1858, will soon result in an accurate knowledge of this now unknown territory. We may add that there are accompanying this expedition, not only a surveyor, but a chemist and a botanist.
HEIGHT OF THE HIMALAYAN PEAKS.—The survey, now in progress in Caschmir and Thibet, under the direction of Col. A. S. Waugh, has lately determined the height of one of the peaks of Kara-Korum, and ascertained it to be 27,928 English feet, more than 1000 feet above the Dhaulagiri, and therefore the third in height of all the peaks in the world yet measured.
The following measurements are given for the highest Himalayan peaks : Mount Everest.....
29,002 English feet. Kintschindjunga ...
28,156 Kara-Korum ....
27,928 Dhaulagiri ......... ... 26,826
Tschumalari .................. 23,946 GUYOT'S PHYSICAL TABLES.—Upon another page of this num. ber a detailed account is given of the Meteorological and Phys. ical Tables, prepared with the greatest care, by Prof. Arnold Guyot, of which a second enlarged edition has reeently been published (Washington, Smithsonian Institution, 1858). We allude to the subject here for the sake of calling the attention of those who are interested in geographical investigation, to a variety of tables which they will find of great convenience and value.
D. C. G. Yale College Library, Dec. 4, 1858.
Art. XI.-Biographical Notice of Dean Conybeare and Alcide
D'Orbigny; by Major General PORTLOCK, President of the Geological Society of London.*
1. DEAN CONYBEARE. It has been justly said of Dean Cony beare that he was one of a race of clergymen, and those, men of intellectual eminence. His grandfather was Dean of Christchurch and Bishop of Bristol, the friend of Bishop Berkely, and the author of a work distinguished even in an age of deep thinkers and profound theologians, entitled, “The Defence of Revealed Religion.” The Bishop's only son, Dr. Willian Conybeare, Rector of Bishopsgate, left behind him two sons, both of whom were eminent men. The elder, John Josias, Vicar of Bath Easton, was an accomplished scholar, no inconsiderable chemist, a sound geologist, and filled with credit the University offices of Professor of Poetry and of Anglo-Saxon, as well as that of Bampton Lecturer: he promoted the revival of Saxon literature, and left behind him, on his death in early life, a volume of translations which it was his brother's office to complete and edit. That brother, the second son of Dr. William Cony beare, was the illustrious object of this notice, William Daniel Cony beare: he was born in June 1787, and in due time sent to Westminister School, where he received his early education. From Westminister he proceeded to Oxford, and entered Christ Church in the same year as his fellow collegian Sir Robert Peel, taking a first class in classics, in which he was classed with Sir Robert, and a second class in mathematics, in which he was classed with Archbishop Whately. Until he took his M.A. degree, he continued to reside at the University, pursuing various studies, and assisting by his exertions to lay the foundation of geology, which was then only a rising science. At the early portion of the present century, an indifference, such as we can now scarcely understand, as to the cultivation of the natural sciences prevailed at Oxford; but, in the midst of the consequent general neglect, a small band of individuals, residents of the University, were united in the effort to keep alive a taste for at least one branch of natural science, and succeeded in enlisting others in its cause.
The first lectures given at Oxford on Mineralogy, which was then as a study not accurately distinguished from Geology, were, it is believed, those delivered by Sir Christopher Pegge, then Regius Professor of Medicine; and although it may not be possible, either from written records or from the personal testimony of any one now living, to form an accurate opinion of the merits of those lectures, it may be fairly assumed that they were not destitute of attractiveness, as the same individual delivered long afterwards lectures on Anatomy, remarkable for an elegance and a fluency of diction which have caused them to continue fresh in the recollection of many. Sir Christopher Pegge was succeeded by Dr. Kidd, who for several years gave courses of lectures at Oxford on both the allied sciences, Mineralogy and Geology, and collected around him a knot of persons interested in similar pursuits, who formed themselves into a little club of Oxford Geologists. This club included amongst its members the late Dr. Buckland, the two brothers Cony beare, the late Rev. Philip Serle, of Trinity College, afterwards Rector of Addington, Oxford, and many others, who, though less vigorously devoting themselves to geological research, were still, from their eminent qualities and high character, most instrumental in keeping alive the growing interest for the new science, and in raising the character of the club so high, that some of the early members of the Geological Society of London, then in its infancy, amongst whom were the late Mr. Greenough and the present patriarch of our science, Dr. Fitton, were in the habit of paying an annual visit in Whitsunweek to the University, in order to explore, under the guidance of the geologists of Oxford, the physical structure of the rocks in its neighborhood; whilst, on their part, they thus judiciously enlisted local inquirers in the service of general geology.
* From the Anniversary Address of the President of the Geological Society of London, Feb. 19, 1858. Quart. Jour. Geol. Soc., vol. xiv, Part 3.
The venerable Principal of Magdalen College, Dr. Macbride, is the only survivor at Oxford, of this memorable club, and he preserves at an advanced age the vigor of his faculties, and exhibits all his former interest in the progress of learning and of science; but of non-residents, there still survive Archdeacon Hony, now Prebendary of Sarum, and Mr. Philip Duncan, who now resides at Bath: the latter and his brother, Mr. John Grant, were Fellows of New College, were honored by the degree of D.C.L., and were remarkable not only for their love of natural history, but for their zealous support of every philanthropic and scientific object. The Rev. William D. Conybeare was, however, in the first rank of this little body, and stood so high in the estimation of all its members, that Dr. Buckland, when first lecturing as the successor to Dr. Kidd, expressed in the warmest terms his sense of the obligations he owed to him for the information he had imparted on points relating to geology, and his persuasion that it would not have been fitting for him to offer himself to fill the office of lecturer on that subject, had Mr. Cony beare been desirous to occupy it. Let me add here, that another equally eminent individual, the founder of the new school of geology at Cambridge, as Dr. Buckland was of that of Oxford, has assured me, with a similar frankness, so character. istic of Prof. Sedgwick, that he too looked upon Dean Cony beare as his early master in geology.
In 1814 Mr. Cony beare married, and retired from the Univer. sity, the scene of his early triumphs, to undertake the quiet work of a country curacy, and nine years afterwards removed to the vicarage of Sully in Glamorganshire, on the presentation of the late Evan Thomas, Esq., his brother-in-law; but, whilst holding the curacy of Banbury and Lectureship of Brislington, near Bristol, he was mainly instrumental, in conjunction with Sir Henry DelaBeche, in founding the Bristol Philosophical Institution and Museum, and it was at that time he received a visit from the great French geologists, M. Elie de Beaumont and M. Dufrénoy, who came for the purpose of acquiring a knowledge of the secondary rocks of England, as a standard of reference for those of France; and he so deeply impressed them, whilst acting as their companion and guide in an exploration of the neighborhood, with a sense of his geological knowledge, that they were prepared on their return to cooperate with Cuvier in obtaining the election of Mr. Cony beare as a corresponding member of the Institute for Geology. Nor must it be supposed that this excellent man neglected his sacred duties whilst storing his mind with the richest treasures of geological research, as it was during his residence at Sully that he delivered, gratuitously, at the request of his friend Dr. Prichard, a course of theological lectures at Bristol College, of which institution he had become a visitor.
In 1836 he left Sully and went to Devonshire, having presented himself to his family living of Axminster, and, whilst there, preached, at the request of the authorities of the University of Oxford, the Bampton Lecture for 1839. The living of Axminster he resigned after a few years, on being called by his friend Bishop Copleston to the care of the Cathedral of Llandaff. Here he continued zealously to carry on the good work of restoration which had been commenced by his predecessor Dean Bruce Knight; and, as at all times in his life, he was ever ready to distribute the rich and varied stores of his mind for the benefit of his fellow-men in whatsoever station of life they might have been. This venerable, much-loved man, and admired philosopher, left Llandaff to attend the death-bed of his eldest son, and, whilst pausing in his return at the house of another son, was stricken with pulmonary apoplexy, and died on the morning of the 12th of August, after an illness of only three hours, in the 71st year of his age.
Such is the general picture of the life of a truly estimable man; and I shall now add to it a very brief notice of his most characteristic works, premising, however, that, even before the SECOND SERIES, Vol. XXVII, No. 79.-JAN, 1858.