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you would, in your answer to Abbé de la Caille, acquaint him that I had proposed to the R.S. the observations of the moon's parallax before his letter came; and that Dr. Bradley was to make observations at Greenwich correspondent to mine at St. Helena; and that I was drawing up a list of the proper observations to be made, and the proper stars with which the moon was to be compared, which I proposed to transmit to the Abbé de la Caille, in order that he might attend to the same observations if he thought proper. But as he has made out a list of proper opportunities of observing, I shall only set down 5 observations to be added to it, which I beg you will transmit to the Abbé de la Caille; and likewise deliver a copy of the same to Dr. Bradley.
I also desired in my letter that you would request the Abbé de la Caille, and the other French astronomers by him, to attend to the observations of the eclipses of Jupiter's satellites; especially the first, from May 1761 to June 1762 inclusive, in order to settle the difference of longitude between Paris and St. Helena; which if it came in the name of the Society it would be better; and that you would also deliver it as my request to the Society, that they would recommend it to my Lord Macclesfield, Dr. Bradley, Mr. Raper and Mr. Short, and any other gentlemen they know propose to attend carefully to the observation of the transit of Venus, to make as many observations of the eclipses of the satellites as they conveniently can, in order to settle the difference of Jun. 2. Vesp. longitude between their place of observation 3. and St. Helena in the most exact manner; Vesp. which is of the utmost importance with respect Vesp. to the use to be made of the observations of Jun. 30. the transit of Venus.
Culmin. Decl. A.
(.. 13h 37m
VII. On a Samnite Denarius, never before published. By the Rev. John Swin
ton, B.D., of Christ-Church, Oxon., F.R.S. p. 28.
This is a silver coin of the size of the larger denarii, and with two Etruscan inscriptions. On one side is a galeated head, with an inscription in Etruscan letters answering to the Roman FITEEIV. On the reverse are 3 human figures with an Etruscan inscription answering to the Roman C. PAAPII. C. VIII. Account of an Eruption of Mount Vesuvius. By Sir Francis Haskins Eyles Stiles, Bart., F. R. S. Dated Naples, 23d Dec. 1760. p. 39. The mountain, which was quiet this morning, with scarcely any visible smoke, threw up on a sudden about noon a vast column of black smoke, which rose to a very considerable height; and before it had diffused itself made a splendid and glorious appearance, as the sun, which was then shining, gilded the superior
part of it; but soon after it dispersed and covered all the mountain, and a great portion of the sky in that quarter. The ashes that fell from it resembled the falling of a heavy shower, seen at a distance, and must have done great mischief, if any living thing was under them, as is but too probable. The drift of this storm was towards the south-east, the wind being nearly north west. Portici might be within its influence, but the body of the smoke seemed to go beyond it. At the same time that this smoke broke out, they observed two large columns of smoke arising at the foot of the mountain, on the south-east side of it, which bespoke eruptions in that part: and this has proved true; for the first smoke from the top soon after decreased, probably from the event obtained at the foot; and ever since sun-set they have seen the foot all on fire. The direction of the line of fire was from the mountain towards the sea.
IX. Another Account of the same Eruption of Mount Vesuvius. By Sir Francis Haskins Eyles Stiles, Bart., F. R. S. Dated Naples, 29th Dec. 1760. p. 41. He went with others on the 24th to take a nearer view of the eruption; they took the great road to Salerno, and about 10 miles from Naples, about mid-way between Torre del Greco and Torre del Annuntiata, they were stopped by the stream of lava which had crossed the road, and was making for the sea. The mouths of the eruption were about a mile and half, or better, to the left, and were raging in a very frightful manner, as the noise of the explosions, which succeeded each other, at the interval of only a second or two, was equal to a storm of thunder. The flames were very bright after it was dark; and the accensed stones, which were thrown up in vast quantities at every explosion, resembled the springing of a mine, as they call it, in a fire-work. The lava has not yet reached the sea, though it was said to be within half a mile of it when they were there. A small rising of the ground before it has obliged it to spread. in breadth, and its progress for the shore is very slow. The mouths are said to have been 14 in all at first, afterwards reduced to 8, and now much fewer. There are 3 hillocks, large enough to be distinguished at Naples, that are formed by the stones and matter thrown up at these mouths, and one of them is already a young mountain. Some imagine the eruption will last many months, as the lower eruptions have generally lasted longest; and this is it seems a great deal lower than any that ever happened.
X. Extract of a Letter from Mr. Robert Mackinlay, dated at Rome, Jan. 9, 1761, concerning the late Eruption of Mount Vesuvius, and the Discovery of an Ancient Statue of Venus at Rome.
There has been a most terrible eruption lately of mount Vesuvius, about the latter end of last month, but the accounts hitherto arrived are not very distinct; however, they all agree that there were 9 new mouths or openings towards the
Torre del Greco and Annonciada; that very considerable shocks of an earthquake were felt all over Naples: that neither fire nor smoke came out of the old crater; that the lava had run into the sea: and that beyond Portici, on the high road, the lava was 17 palms in height, and some of the streams 400 yards broad. Much damage has been done to houses and vineyards; and it is said the palace of Portici has suffered somewhat.
In the month of September last a Venus, of most exquisite workmanship, was dug up here in the Mons Coelius near the place called Clivo Scauri. It is in the possession of the Marquis Carnavallia, who gave 50 scudi to the workmen, their full demand, as the half of the value, according to agreement, though it is worth some thousands. It is full 6 feet high, in the same attitude with the Venus of Medicis, with this difference, her right hand before her breast, and her left supporting a light drapery before the pudenda. On the base, which is of one piece with the statue, and quite entire, is the following inscription:
Є П О І Є І.
XI. On the Term and Period of Human Life. And on Dr. Halley's and other Tables of Lives. By T. W., A. M. p. 46.
Mr. T. W. is dissatisfied with all the tables of lives, chiefly because they begin with too small a number of persons, 100 or 1000, &c. by which it happens that long before the 100th year they are all dead, and the tables become useless. for all ages after 80 or 90, though many persons live to much higher ages. He would therefore have the tables to begin with at least 100,000 persons born. If we look back, says he, we shall find the first sketch, that of Capt. John Graunt, alias Sir William Petty, was formed on 100 only, and such a table carried the account to the 80th year, or upwards. Next were introduced those of 1000, which extended the computation of life to between 84 and 100; tables formed on 10,000 would advance to above 105; and on 100,000, duly proportioned from the materials we have, might continue the account to 115 years and upwards. If in the first sketch, the supposed term of life was closed too soon, and it was an improvement to carry on an account of the gradual decay beyond the 90th year, why are we to rest here, having additional observations made for more than 60 years, which furnish materials for a further progress? If there is room, and good foundation to advance but 20 years beyond the compass of the present tables, should not this be done? And will it not make a considerable,
yet necessary, alteration in all computed values, on annuities to be granted to persons in the latter part of life?
XII. Experiments on Cheching the too Luxuriant Growth of Fruit Trees, tending to dispose them to produce Fruit. By K. Fitzgerald, Esq., F.R.S. p. 71.
Mr. F. had observed a method taken to bring young trees to bear, when planted in too rich a soil, by cutting away part of the bark from some of the main branches. This method had brought them soon to bear plentifully; but it leaves an ugly wound, the wood continuing bare, and apt to rot in that part. He had some young plumb and cherry trees planted against a north pale, in a very rich soil. The plumb trees had in 3. years shot forth the extremities of their branches to 15 or 16 feet distance, and had quite covered and overtopped the pale. As the cutting away of any of these branches would make the rest shoot the stronger, he made the following experiments about the middle of August 1758.
He made a circular incision on the main arms of an Orleans plumb tree, near the stem, quite through the bark, where it was smooth, and free from knots. About 3 or 4 inches higher, he made another incision, in the same manner; then making an incision lengthwise, from the upper to the under circumcision, he separated the bark entirely from the intermediate wood, covering it, and also the bare part of the wood, to keep the air from the wound; and letting them remain so for about a quarter of an hour, when the wound began to bleed, he replaced the bark as exactly as he could, and bound it round pretty tightly with bass, so as to cover the wound entirely, and also about half an inch above and below the circumcisions. He treated the entire stem of a duke cherry tree in the same manner, about 10 inches from the ground, and below all its branches. Also several branches of a morelli cherry tree; and the main arms of two perdrigon plumb trees. These last two were old trees, which had been cut to the ground about 4 years before, and had shot forth very luxuriant branches, but had not since borne any fruit. In about a month's time the bark of these began to swell, both above and below the binding, when he unbound each of them, and found the several parts, that had been replaced, all fairly healed except one, which was on the main arm of the perdrigon plumb tree, part of which was healed, and about an inch in breadth of the bark on one side of the longitudinal incision, remained loose, and afterwards dropped off. He bound them all again lightly with bass, and let them remain so till the beginning of the summer following: when he took off the binding entirely, and found them all healthy and flourishing. Each of these trees bore plentifully that season, though in general reckoned a bad year for fruit.
This induced him, in the beginning of August 1759, to make similar experi
ments on several other young trees; some that had not yet borne any fruit, and others that had borne but a small quantity; particularly two young pear-trees,: that never yet had any bloom. He treated the main arms of one of these in the manner already described, and also several of the branches that grew on these arms; likewise one of the arms of the other pear-tree. The first of these bore a surprizing quantity of fruit last summer; and the circumcised arm of the other bore a moderate quantity, though no other part of the tree had any appearance of bloom.
He made also the following experiments on two branches of different young: apple-trees, as nearly of the same size as he could find. He cut off the bark of these as exactly as he could by a guage; changing them, and putting the bark of the branch of one tree on the branch of the other. A small slip of wood came off with the bark of one, and the bark of the other had a leaf-bud on it; which branch had also 2 apples growing on it. The bark of each of these healed perfectly, and the apples remained on, and ripened with the rest: the leaf-bud pushed forth leaves, and both the branches bore so very plentifully the last summer, that one broke down with its load; and the other would also probably have suffered the same fate, but that he had it supported. These were both nonpareil apple-trees planted in asparagus beds.
He changed the barks of the branches of a peach and a nectarine tree; that which was placed on the peach-tree healed perfectly, and the branch produced a quantity of bloom last season; but the bloom of the whole tree, as well as of several others against the same wall was entirely blasted. The gardener cut off the branch of the nectarine when he was pruning, and nailing the trees, as he did of several others, on which had been made experiments of the same kind; against which he declared his opinion strongly at the time of making.
About the beginning of November last, Mr. F. cut off one of the arms of the perdrigon plumb tree, which had the experiment made on it in 1758, to examine what effect it had on the wood; to which he found the bark between the circumcisions more firmly.united than in any other part. There was a dark vein, which ran through the wood in that part which appeared of a harder texture than the rest of the branch.
XIII. Of the Urtica Marina.* By Joseph Gaertner, M.D. p. 75. Having lately visited the southern coasts of Cornwall, Dr. G. met with several new and undescribed sorts of the urticæ marinæ, called by Mr. Hughs the animal flowers. The name of urtica, as the celebrated M. de Reaumur justly ob
* The animals described in this paper belong to the genus Actinia, and are in some degree allied. to hydræ or polypes.