« הקודםהמשך »
II.-Inquiry for various collections supposed to have been detained at the Society's
Rooms, especially those of Dr. Helfer and Capt. Pemberton. My report on Dr. Helfer's collection will I trust have satisfactorily shewn that, with respect to them, the Society is exonerated from all blame. I omitted in it to refer to the Entomological part. On careful inquiry, I find that no collection of insects was, at any time, deposited at the Society's Rooms by Dr. Helper. Specimens of the moth cocoon, &c. of the Assam silk worms, were only presented by him to illustrate his paper on that subject.
With reference to Capt. PEMBERTON's collection, you will not fail to remark, that the collections referred to in those passages of the proceedings quoted in the Honourable the Court's letter, are collections placed “in deposiť only, and consequently, I shall infer, held by the Society at the disposition of the depositor, who evidently by his letter, at p. 749 of the Journal, is there disposing of them; since he says, that "under instructions from Government he presents to the Society 145 specimens of birds, a selection from the Bootan collection, &c.”
Further : The collections deposited by Captain PEMBERTON were packed at the Museum, and in February 1840 sent to the Marine Board, for shipment to England, in four cases. Upon reference to Mr. GREENLAW, who has kindly referred to the agents of the Shepherdess, the vessel on which the cases were shipped, I learn that she did not arrive in England till the month of December; the Honourable Court's letter, it will be observed, bears date the 16th September 1840.
This is what I have been able to ascertain from the assistants and taxidermists at the Museum, and from Capt. PEMBERTON's official letter; in addition to which I may state, that from the description of the assistants, the four cases were about eqnal to half or three-quarters of a ton of measurement. Mr. Greenlaw has no knowledge of their size, as freight was to be paid at home.
I have referred to Dr. McClelLAND, who has furnished me with Mr. GreenLaw's receipt, but he has not replied to my official letter, of which copy is bereto an. nexed. He however informs me in a private note as follows :
“The duplicates only, as far as I recollect of the Bootan collection, were sent to the Court of Directors. A complete series was kept with the Society, particularly of the insects; the rest I forwarded myself through the Government on the part of the Bootan deputation."
There is some discrepancy here, which I cannot reconcile with Capt. Pemberton's letter quoted above ; but as my knowledge stops at this point, I must leave it for your consideration.
of the insects, there are none in the Society's collection noted as from the Bootan deputation. The assistants state, that they have no recollection of any collection having been received at the Museum for the Society as from Capt. PEMBERTON, or from the Bootan deputation; nor can I find any in their book, which however, is not very carefully kept. The insects referred to by Dr. McCLELLAND, may possibly be those which have no donor's names annexed to them in our cases. On my assuming charge of the Museum, I found a tin box of insects in the taxidermists' room, of which they were taking great care, and their account of it was, that Capt. PEMBERTON bad brought two such boxes to the Museum; one of which they packed, and he himself sent it away, for the Court
of Directors; leaving the other under their care as his private property. This box has recently (February) been sent, under your directions, to Mrs. PEMBERTON.
My report of February also mentions, that in that month I bad received from Col. MACLEOD two boxes, being Geological Specimens collected by Capt. PEMBERTON on his Bootan Mission ; but without ny catalogue. On these you will doubtless take the orders of Government. Dr. MCCLELLAND in his note mentions the collections of the Assam Deputation. On reference to Dr. Wallich, he informs me that he has reported on this subject to Government.
My report of February last also states, what had been found to be the sad condition of the three cases forwarded from Umballa by Mr. CLARK, and just received at the Museum, where I had recognised the collection as being that made by Sir ALEXANDER BURNEs during his mission to Scinde. You will doubtless take the orders of Government on this collection also. The Society is thus, I trust completely acquitted of any negligence or detention of any collection which has come into its hands III.—The assistance which may be afforded by the Society to facilitate the early des
patch of collections made by Government Officers. It appears from the foregoing statements, that the Society, in the case of Dr. Helfer's and Capt. Pemberton's collections have, really in every respect forestalled the wishes of the Honourable Court, by assisting as far as possible in the early dispatch of them. It is unnecessary here to refer again to its resolution, as already quoted at par. 2, when speaking of the relations in which it stands towards the Honourable the Court. IV.-The assistance which may be afforded by the Society towards the completion
of the Court's Museum. In reference to this matter, the Society has also done itself the honour to forestall in some respect the views of the Right Honourable the Governor General in Council, by its resolution and by our first dispatch of duplicates of birds and snakes, and of Lieut. Hutton's valuable Geological series from the Himalaya and Spiti Valley. If desired, it might employ a few taxidermists at the expence of Government, who could be sent at a small expence with gentlemen desirous of contributing to the knowledge of Indian Natural History, and under zealous amateurs, many of whom are now deterred by their want of knowledge, or want of time, or the expence, much might doubtless be done.
I may be excused in remarking in conclusion that it is clear that, in relation to the Natural Sciences, as in every thing else, if India had all that she requires from Europe, and Europe all that she wants from India, both must be immeasurably benefitted. In nothing then, surely, can a scientific body like the Asiatic Society, be
more honourably employed than in promoting even the smallest fraction of such an ' exchange; and in nothing could it, in its sphere, more effectually confer lasting benefit on India.
I have the honour to be,
Your's obediently, Asiatic Society's Rooms,
H. PIDDINGTON, 18th March, 1811.
Acting Curator, As. Soc. Museum.
Copy of a Letter to Dr. McClelland referred to in the foregoing Report. DEAR SIR,
A dispatch having been received by the Government of India from the Honourable the Court of Directors, in which, referring to Proceedings of the Asiatic Society for February, September, October, and November, 1838, they state, that it would appear that collections of Natural History have been detained at the Society's Rooms since those epochs, I have been desired to furnish a report thereon.
2. They refer more particularly to Dr. Helfer's and Captain Pemberton's collections. Of the first of these, (Dr. Helfer's,) I have been able to render a full account, quite exonerating the Society or its officers from any blame.
3. Of the second : we have in the Proceedings reference to three collections, mostly birds, deposited by Capt. PemBERTON, and at p. 749, (Journal 1838,) that 145 birds were presented by him “under instructions from Government.” It appears, moreover, by the books, that on the 29th February 1840, four cases which the Messrs. Bouchez state to have been packed and marked here for the Honourable the Court, were sent to the Marine Board for shipment, but they have no receipt for them.
4. I am therefore desired to request from you, on the part of the Society, the best information you can afford us as to these, or any other Government collections of Natural History, which may have been received or sent out while you were in charge of the Society's Museum; with any documents or receipts which may enable us to explain to the full satisfaction of Government, what has become of them.
I am Sir, &c.
H. PIDDINGTON, As, Socy. Rooms, 12th March, 1841.
Actg. Curator, As. Socy. Museum.
To DR. J. McCLELLAND,
Curator, Asiatic Society's Museum.
With reference to your letter dated 29th ultimo, I am directed by the Marine Board to inform you of the shipment on the Shepherdess, Capt. Biggar, of the 4 boxes containing Natural Curiosities for England, to the address of the Honourable the Court of Directors, at the rate of £ 5-5 per ton of 50 cubic feet; freight payable in England on due delivery of the boxes.
I have the honor to be, Fort William,
Sir, MARINE BOARD OFFICE,
Your most obedient Servant, The 5th March, 1840.
C. B. GREENLAW,
Secretary. Resolved—That Mr. PIDDINGTON's report be forwarded to the Government, and that attention be particularly directed to the three points suggested in paragraphs 10, 11, and 13, by the Officiating Curator for the consideration of Government, and more particularly for the employment of taxidermists at its expence to accompany gentlemen desirous of contributing to the knowledge of Indian Natural History, but now deterred from doing so, for want of knowledge, or want of time, or the expence.
Read the following letter of 24th March last from Mr. Secretary BUSHBY :
"To H. TORRENS, Esq.
'Secretary to the Asiatic Society.
• General Department.
• I am directed to acknowledge the receipt of your letter and its enclosure of the 8th instant, and to acquaint you for the information of the Asiatic Society, that the Report of the Officiating Curator of the Society's Museum on the Specimens brought out by Capt. TREMENHEERE, and deposited with the Society for the basis of a Museum of Econoinic Geology, will be transmitted to the Hon'ble the Court of Directors by the next Overland Mail.
• 2d. I am desired to take this opportunity for forwarding to the Asiatic Society the accompanying three specimens of rock from the head of the Pass at the Gurrah Ghât, near Mhow, on the Bombay and Agra road, together with a copy of the letter from Captain J. H. SMYTH, Officiating Supefintendent of the Road, transmitting the specimens to the Military Board.
3d. In respect to the Society's Museum of Economic Geology, the contributions will be obtained gradually by such aids as the Hon'ble the Court of Directors may be enabled to procure, or be pleased to sanction, and by the assistance of private individuals interested in this department of practical science, and by donation or interchanges with other Societies.
• 4th. The influence and correspondence of the Asiatic Society will progressively accomplish these objects.
"5th. The Military Board will be instructed to direct the attention of the executive Officers of public works and roads, to the purposes of the institution of a Museum of Economic Geology, and to cause collections to be made of specimens, and descriptive lists to be sent to them, from which in communication with the Curator of the Society, the valuable and useful parts will be selected for transmission to the Museum at the least possible expence, and in most cases it is hoped, by a proper arrangement, without any charge in excess of the ordinary carriage that would be employed for other public uses. • Fort William,
• I have the honor to be, *24th March, 1841.
*Your most obedient Servant,
G. A. BUSHBY, Secretary to the Government of Bengal.
Secretary to the Military Board, Fort William.
• You will receive by Dak banghy, three specimens of the soil at the head of the Pass at Ghurra Ghat, forwarded to me by Captain KELLNER, superintending the road from
Dewass to Ackberpore. No. 1 abounds in detached masses eight feet below the surface; No. 2 in blocks four to six feet in diameter at the surface, and bedded two to three feet in No.3, which latter is the prevailing stone at the pass, as far as the excavation has as yet been carried.
I have &c.
(Signed) • J. W. SMYTH, Captain, S&EPREE
Offig. Supt. of the Agra and Bombay Road. *16th Februury, 1841.
(True Copy,) (Signed) •M. MACLEOD, Captain,
· Assist. Offg. Secy. Military Board. (True Copy.)
(Signed) G. A. BUSHBY, • Secretary to the Government of Bengal.'
With reference to the three specimens of rock received with the foregoing letter, read the following report from the Officiating Curator of sth April, 1841, a copy of which was communicated to the Government through Mr. Secretary BUSHBY :
•H. W. TORRENS, Esq.
Secretary, Asiatic Society. "Sir,
*I have to acknowledge receipt of the three specimens of Stone forwarded by Capt. KELLNER, through the Military Board, from the Pass at Ghurra Ghaut, and to say that they are "• No. 1. Hornblende Slate (or Basaltic Hornblende.)
*No. 2. Argillaceous Sandstone, with veins of mica, having a metallic appearance.
No. 3. Felspar Prophyry. I beg to suggest, that if a good series of specimens through the whole line of road, with a plan and elevation, and as many barometrical elevations of the heights of passes, &c. as possible, could be procured, it would be a great addition to our geological knowledge; as we have but very few sections crossing from the NNE. to the SSW. from the valley of the Ganges towards that of the Nurbudda.
• I further suggest that a copy of Capt. Tremenheere's Memoir be sent to Capt. KELLNER, and indeed to all officers in charge of road-making duties. The specimens are for the present placed in the Museum of Economic Geology. Museum,
*I am, Sir, "Sth April, 1841.
Your obedient servant,
•H. PIDDINGTON, Offg. Curator, As. Soc. Museum.
With reference to the 3rd paragraph of Mr. Busuby's letter, a question having been suggested as to the proprietorship of the Museum of Economic Geo. logy, the Meeting were of opinion, that as it was not likely that the Government would ever recall it, that the Asiatic Society be considered virtually the proprietor.
* Specimen too small to determine to which variety belonging.