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is to be found in ahundance in all parts of the country. The paths dividing the plots of paddy ground might be planted with palmy. ras and cocoanut trees, which during their growth would be useful in many ways and when old couid be cut down and cut up into logs for the fires. To prevent evaporation as much as possible, the form of the reservoir should be an oblong oval, the banks or bands turfed and planted with the most umbrageous trees, the roots of which striking into the earth, will give a stability to the soil, whilst the branches shade the water from the direct rays of the sun.

The situations best calculated for the plan of operations here proposed, can be ascertained by consulting the maps of the several collectors which have been framed upon actual survey of the country. It might surely be advisable for the government to take the necessary measures for ascertaining the probable result of the project, but should government decline risking, if risking it can be called where a certainty of gain based on accurate calculations is positively ensured, individual enterprise might, especially at the present time when it is difficult to get any return for capital, find it advantageous to attempt an improvement on the old system, which, from its not having kept pace with the progressive improvement of ages, now yields inadequate returns.-Surely no project can be more deserving of the attention and encouragement of a liberal government, than the introduction of steam engines for the purpose of improving the agricultural process in India, as it will be the means of bringing large tracts of land into cultivation, which are now lying waste, and of rendering these territories independent of requiring foreign aid, as at present, in every occasion of scarcity.

There are numerous other advantages likely to arise from the adoption of this scheme, which are too obvious to require any lengthened comment, and I am sure that every generous mind would rejoice in the prospect of seeing India rise from her depressed state and condition by the very means which has raised England, to her present commercial superiority.

VI.-- Note, by a Member, on Colonel Bowler's description of

the branched Palmyra trees. The occassional occurrence of these trees is a frequent subject of surprise and remarh, and being apparently inconsistent with the established opinions on the structure and physiology of the family of plants to which they belong, the explanation given by a distinguished French Botanist may prove interesting to some of the readers of the Journal. The stipe or stalk of palms is in many respects allied to a bulb and in consequence it is seldom branched, as branches are always produced by the elongation of a bud, which is usually placed in the axilla of a leaf ; but in the monocotyledous plants, or those whose seeds are not divided into two portions, these axillary buds almost always prove abortive er remain in the rudimental state as in the palms, and hence the stipe is perfectly simple ; but occasionally some of the buds receiving more nourishment than the others become developed, that is to say, the leaves that compose them uniting at their base, form a new stipe, springing from the old. Instances of this may be observed in some species of yucca and in the Cucifera Thebaica (American Palms.) Richard's Botany.

Without referring to the interesting discoveries in the physiology of animals, made of late years by a careful study of monstrous productions, it is evident that these anomalies of the growth of Palm trees assist in a remarkable manner the enquirer into the structure of plants of this class, by bringing to light the existence of rudimental parts which might have otherwise escaped detection, and are also interesting in demonstrating the effects of the unnatural or un- . healthy execution of the nutritive functions. It should be kept in mind that all branches are truly distinct individuals or the vivipar. ous progeny of the stem on which they are formed, their rudiments existing from the first forniation of the germ, till circumstances at some indeterminate period, unfolds it into a perfect branch, and that if the vital energy is unusually augmented the bud may be unfolded into a perfect branch before the natural period in which it would have progressively become so.

The process here described I have witnessed from its commencement in the Palmyra (Borassus Flabelliformis) but the young branch did not appear likely to attain to any size or prolonged existence: The soil was favourable and the trees flourishing. I have also seen the process going on in the common wild date tree (elate silvestris,) where it seemed to arise from the head having been injured and a consequent oversupply of nutrition sent to the other parts.

In the tree No. 2, of Colonel Bowler's sketches, the cause was probably irregular action from defective nourishment, the soil being unfavourable. In No. 4, it is probable, that the head had been injured as in the date tree alluded to.

VII.- Ata Meeting of the Madras Literary Society and Auriliary of the Royal Asiatic Society, held at the Society's Rooms, at the College, on Thu rsday evening the 28th November 1833.

The Honorable W. OLIVER, Esq. in the Chair.

Lieut. Col. NaPIER,

J. G. S. BRUERE, Esq. Revd Mr. HARPER, C. V. LUTCHMIAH, and J. OUCHTERLONY, Esq. J. C. MORRIS, Esq. Secretary.

The Secretary is requested to read the paper selected for perusal, being a continuation of Lieut. Conner's Memoir of the


in Travancore.

The Secretary lays before the meeting the following letter from the Secretary to a Society established at the Cape of Good Hope for exploring central Africa.

Sir, I am instructed by the“ Managing Committee of the Cape of Good Hope Association for exploring central Africa" to communicate to you, for the information of the Royal Asiatic Society at Madras, the views with which this Association has been recently established, and the grounds on which they hope to receive such encouragement and assistance from those scientific societies and individuals to whom the objects of their undertaking must necessarily be interesting, as may enable them to effect their purpose in a manner generally advantageous to the public and creditable to the British nation.

In further explanation of the statement contained in the printed papers, which I have now the pleasure of enclosing, I take the liberty of troubling you with the following observations:

The principal aim of the leader of the expedition, which it is proposed to equip with as much speed as our circumstances may allow, will be to penetrate, if it be found practicable, through the central districts of southern Africa to the Equator-to make himself acquainted with the native tribes located in those parts of the continent thro' which his course will lie and to establish relations of amity and commerce with them by which the natural produce of the Interior may be more readily obtained, the demand for British, manu. factures and colonial articles increased, and a door opened for car. rying the “ Glad tidiugs” of salvation to the uninstructed heathen beyond the present limits of missionary operations.

conjunction with these important objects, the interests of science in many of its most valuable branches will be essentially promoted : the geographical situation of the various tribes, the course of rivers, and the principal landmarks, will be determined by accurate observations and correctly laid down for the guidance of future travellers, and the advancement of geographical knowledge in a country to which it has not hitherto extended--the geological structure of the rocks and mountains and the quality of the alluvial soil, from which a presumption may be entertained of the mineral riches of the land, and its capability of culture, will be closely investigated and illustrated by a copious collection of instructive specimens ;The field for Botanical research in which there is every reason to expect a large accession of new and interesting subjects, as well as the animal Kingdom still unexamined in the vast tropical regions south of the Equator, will be carefully explored ; and in each of these departments of natural history no pains will be spared to render the expedition competent to fulfil the expectations which it is calculated to excite among the friends and professors of general science.

Situated as this Colony is with regard to central Africa, great advantages will be enjoyed by persons proceeding on a journey of discovery from hence in as much as they will be enabled to choose the most favourable season, to set forward in possession of the health and strength derived from a most salubrious climate, and with the confidence of being able to return if insurmountable difficulties or noxious regions oblige them to retreat ; upon a land of friends and an invigorating atmosphere.

As the success of such an expedition must in a great measure, if not wholly, depend on the qualifications of its leader, the Committee consider that they possess the best security for accomplishing the various objects above enumerated in the character and talents of the gentleman to whom the charge and conduct of the enterprize have been entrusted ; and they have no doubt that he will receive every support and assistance in his arduous undertaking from those individuals who have been or may be appointed to form his company and divide his labour.

The sum of money at present raised in the Colony about £ 600, is by no means adequate to the fitting out and sustaining of the Expedition upon a scale large enough to warrant anticipations of accomplishing all that has been above referred to as included in the proper scope of such an experiment, and no great addition to this sum can be expected from private sources.

As therefore, the objects of the intended expedition into central Africa regard not only the benefit of this Colony and of the native tribes in the interior, but the promotion of moral and natural science in general, in a new and deeply interesting sphere:-as the greatest probability exits of its being able to explore a country fruitful in the works of nature and unknown to former travellers, and thereby of reaping a rich harvest for the advantage and information of the British public—the Committee feel justified in soliciting the aid of public bodies and individuals in Great Britan and India, to enable them to carry on their operations and to take such measures as may best serve the accomplishment of their design.

The Committee request that you will be good enough to lay their communication before the Royal Asiatie Society of Madras, and to make known their views to any such scientific persons within the presidency as may be likely to take an interest in their proceedings.

I would be the favour of an answer at your earliest convenience as the Expedition must necessarily leave Cape Town early in next year, and it is most desirable that the extent of its means should be ascertained previous to its departure.

I have the honor to be, Sir,
your faithful obedient servant,
(Signed) E. G. BURROW, D. D.

Secretary for Correspondence.

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Resolved, that the foregoing letter and the prospectus which accompanied it be circulated to the members of the Society, with a Book soliciting donations in support of the undertaking.

The thanks of the Meeting were voted to the Honorable the Chairman,

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