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I am indebted to Professor Kane for the following note on this subject:

“ I have examined the mineral which you sent me, from Teneriffe, which, it appears to me, is of a very interesting species. In chemical nature it is identical with the form of gelatinous quartz which has been found cementing the sandstones in some parts of the south of France, and which differs from the opal only in possessing some traces of crystaline structure, which is absent in the real opal. It is amazingly porous; its specific gravity, when freed from air by exposure for several hours under water, in vacuo, is 2,014. Its chemical composition I found to be


91,0 Water




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Lime a mere trace.
Its formula is, therefore, 2 Si. 3+1 0, which gives


91,13 Water


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The crystals on it were pure octohedral sulphur."

E.-PAGE 187.


As I obtained several of these animals during our stay at Algiers, I may be permitted to offer some observations on them.

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There were two descriptions:--the first and most common about an inch and a half long—the Amphioxus Lanceolatus of Yarrell; and the Limax of Pallas, who first noticed it. The body is diaphanous, and enclosed in a thin flexible envelope, not circular, but preserving a five, and in some instances a seven-sided figure. This in every respect resembles the calamus or pen of some of the Molusca, especially that in the common cuttle-fish. These little animals had a power of attaching themselves to each other in a remarkable manner, sometimes clustering together, and at others, forming a string six or eight inches long; the whole mass seemed to swim in unison, and with great rapidity, going round the vessel in a snake-like form and motion. They adhered to one another by their flat sides ; when in line the head of one coming up about one-third on the body of the one before it; no doubt those sides are of use in forming this attachment. The other variety was thinner, and from two and a half to three inches long, having a large dorsal fin, which moved continually in an extraordinary manner, describing a circle by rotating upon its narrow base. The mouth was a circular disc, surrounded by ciliæ that continued in constant motion. When put into a tumbler of water it moved round the glass, and although no eyes were perceptible, it carefully avoided the finger, or any substance put in its way, stopping suddenly, or turning aside from it. Both these animals when taken out of the water kept up a strong pulsatory motion for some time. The small one, (the Amphioxus Lanceolatus,) by this means pumped out of its interior a quantity of air and water; and they could be seen coming to the surface to inhale, and a globule of air was observed floating through the internal cavity. In the larger species the internal tube was perfectly distinct, and of a blue colour. When put into spirits and water it died almost immediately, and turned opaque. A number of circular bands also appeared on it. Mr. Yarrell, in his beautiful work on British fishes, has placed this singular little animal among the finny tribe. With all due deference to that learned naturalist, I would suggest the following reasons for it belonging to the mollusca: The absence of vertebral column, the transparency, and the thin flexible skeleton of the animal being external.



F.- PAGE 192.


The great antiquity of the manufacture of linen, and the numerous uses to which it has been applied by the ancients and moderns, gives this subject a degree of interest, almost greater, perhaps, than any other connected with the arts and manufactures, which is increased by the difference of opinion that exists at present amongst professed antiquaries ; those of the continent, in many cases, maintaining that all the specimens, excepting those made of silk and wool, of woven fabrics found by them in Egypt, or brought home from that country, were composed of cotton, while the British antiquarians, with few exceptions, maintain, that all similar articles found by them in Egypt, when examined by a microscope of sufficient power, are evidently made of flax.

My friend, Mr. Edward Clibborn, to whom I am indebted for these remarks, and who has been connected with the Irish linen trade, has carefully examined the specimens that I brought home, as well as numerous others lately introduced by travellers into this country. He entertains the opinion, that though he has not found a single specimen of cotton in many hundred specimens of mummy cloths, and other woven fabrics from Egypt, yet' he thinks it more than probable, that some specimens of cotton have found their way from that country to the continent of Europe. “The probability is decidedly in favour of the Egyptians having had this substance, which they may have, with silk, obtained from India; or the plant, or some varieties of it, may have been cultivated in Egypt or Arabia, or other neighbouring countries, or the cotton may have been imported in a raw or manufactured state into Egypt. Yet there appear to be several reasons against our admitting the assertion that the Egyptians had cotton up to a certain period, for we find fabrics of flax so very fine, and so very like Indian muslin, that we are led to infer, that they would not have wasted

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flax, and the enormous labour necessary to bring it to this degree of fineness if they had had cotton. It may, however, be urged, that these fabrics may have been made in imitation of Indian cotton goods* which they imported; in this case, the inference would be against the Egyptians having the cotton plant at a very early period, but the chances would be in favour of their introducing it in the course of time, and also it would be in favour of our finding some specimens of cotton in their tombs, &c. In May, 1838, when discussing the subject of the material of the Egyptian mummy bandages, a gentleman from Manchester present, stated that he actually manufactured a peculiar kind of calico, which was readily sold in Egypt, and there applied to the purpose of mummy bandages by certain Arabs, &c., who made a trade of manufacturing mummies; now it is possible that some of this American cotton, manufactured in Manchester and sold in Egypt, may have been the cause of the difference of opinion between our British and continental antiquarians.

The data on which the following remarks are chiefly founded, were collected from different sources. The specimens were obtained by different travellers, and found frequently under different circumstances.

They may be arranged under the following denominations:The material in every instance is flax.

1. Simple or single thread, called yarn, used in sewing, and also as the material of the woven fabrics.

2. Doubled and twisted yarn, used for thread. In one speci

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* It is just possible that the Indians may have copied the fine flax fabrics in cotton, which is the substance the Hindoo or Bramminical thread, the emblem of that system, is composed of. There is a chance that this thread was composed of flax, before their migration into India. Long and fine gold coloured flax, like the hair of a young and beautiful Scythian blue-eyed lass, and not a short white curled fibre, like the hair of a negro become white with age, appears to have been the substance sacred to Vesta, or Siva, or Venus. The long locks of Harpocrates or Adonis is a male personification of the same idea.

The curly-headed Buddhas of India point to cotton, whose hair their poets may have compared to or called cotton. Flaxen-haired is the term the northerns use. Flax itself is a substitute for hair, and cotton appears to have been a substitute for flax-not only in England, but Egypt, Arabia, and India.

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men the warp is composed of this thread. This piece appears to have been very broad, above six feet, and how much more cannot now be told. The rolling of the edge and overcasting to prevent ravelling, is a curious specimen of needle-work. The quality is very coarse. It

appears to have been used for a sheet, and came to this country about twenty years since.

3. Fabrics made of (No. 1,) simple yarn, of equal and different degrees of fineness, which may be divided into two classes; those which have nearly an equal number of threads in the same measured surface of warp and weft, and,

4. Those which have a considerable difference in the numbers of the threads, the difference being always in favour of the warp, in a superficial inch, of which we always find more threads than in one of the weft.

This difference is so great in some specimens, that the threads of the west are completely hid by the others, which gives the linen manufactured on this principle, a very silky or shining surface like satin.

There are other considerations which lead to the supposition that this is the kind of linen known by the epithet ww, applied to the Egyptian linen of the superior kind, which this certainly is, for it contains more flax yarn than the other kind. It must have been the more valuable, on account of the great quantity of labour consumed in its manufacture.

There are specimens of this linen which are of different degrees of fineness, varying from the finest duck to the coarsest sail-cloth. It is quite opaque, that is, it cannot be seen through; it is stiff like the Egyptian dresses represented in ancient pictures, and was probably used for clothing men, when the form of the person underneath was not intended to be seen. On the contrary, the open

linen, in which the threads of both warp and weft appeared, was probably used by women when the person was exhibited. Linen of this kind was made of different degrees of fineness and openness, varying from the coarsest sacking and straining canvas, the material used for working worsted patterns on, to the finest cambric, and a fabric which comes very near silk crape in appearance, and used probably for ladies' dresses. This article must have been very dear, on account of the extreme fineness of the threads. It was so transparent it might have

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