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sion, when the animal hangs by its tail ; and for performing
this office, nothing could be more advantageously contrived :
for when the tail is twisted or wound about a stick, this hook
of the spine easily sustains the weight, and there is but little
labour of the muscles required, only sufficient for bending the
tail; for then, as by a hook, the weight of the whole body is
here suspended. And for performing this, it was observed,
that in each preceding vertebra, there arose a muscle, which
was iuserted on each side of the succeeding vertebra; which
acting or contracting, must necessarily bend and curve that
joint. But for the strengthening the whole, there was observed
four muscles to arise from the os sacrum, which ran the whole
length of the tail; two on the upper side, and two on the
under ; sending each a tendon to each internode or vertebra.
So that when the skin was stripped off, the external parts of
these muscles seemed to have tendinous expansions over
them, the whole length of the tail, and to be almost covered
by them ; which must needs very much contribute to add
strength to the tail ; besides what may be the effect of their
insertion of tendons into each joint or vertebra, in curling and
unbending the tail.
Fig. 1. represents the outward shape and figure of the

Fig. 1.


opossum, drawn from the life. Fig. 2. the slit or aperture in the belly, opening

Fig. 3. to the marsupium

Fig. 2. or pouch, where the young ones lodge, till they can shift for themselves. Fig. 3. a, the marsupium turned inside outward, where may be observed the hair or fur that covers it,


which may help to keep the young ones warm; b b the two hinder legs cut off; c the foramen of the anus, which is also the common outward vent or exit to the rectum, the bladder of urine, and the uteri also ; d the beginning of the tail.


Concerning the Eyes of Beetles, &c. By Mr. Anthony VAN

LEUWENHOEK. - [1698.] I HAVE formerly spoken of the multiplicity of eyes, wherewith the smaller sort of insects are endued, as flies are ; which eyes

I have several times shown to different persons, to their great satisfaction ; and that in such a manner, that they could clearly discern the appearance of some hundreds of eyes at once. Among the rest, I have last summer shown to several English gentlemen the multiplicity of eyes that are to be seen in the tunica cornea of a beetle, called the eye. I cut that part of a beetle which is reckoned to be his eye from the head, and after I had made it clean, fixed it before the magnifying glass, and observed, that it could not make

up half the bulk of a globe, it being broader than it was long. I however counted, to the best of my power, the eyes that were in one row, in the greatest semicircle, and found that there were at least 60. Now let us suppose, that in the small semicircle of the tunica cornea there are but 40 eyes in one row, and then add these 60 to the 40, and it makes 100, the half whereof is 50, which I imagine, if we take the tunica cornea for half a globe, they stand in the greater half circuit of the same. Whence Mr. L. computes that 3181 is the number of these eyes that are in both the tunicæ corneæ of a beetle; if they both make up a whole spherc.

Account of one Edmund Melloon, who was of an extraor

dinary Size. - [1698.] The measures of some of the parts of this Irishman, 19

age, shown at Oxford, were communicated by Dr. Plot. He was seven feet six inches high ; his finger 6 inches long, the length of his span 14 inches, of his cubit two feet two inches, of his arm three feet 27 inches, from the shoulder to the crown of his head 11. inches.

years of

Of the Posture-master, or a Man having an absolute Command

of his Joints and Muscles. [1698.] In Pall-Mall, London, lived one Clerk, called the Posturemaster, who had such an absolute command of all his muscles and joints, that he could disjoint almost his whole body; so that he imposed on the famous Mullens, who looked on him in so miserable a condition, that he would not undertake his cure; though he was a well-grown fellow, yet he would appear in all the deformities that can be imagined, as hunch-backed, pot-bellied, sharp-breasted; he disjointed his arms, shoulders, legs, and thighs, that he appeared as great an object of pity as can be: and he has often imposed on the same company, where he has been just before, to give him money as a cripple; looking so much unlike himself that they could not know him. I have seen him make his hips stand out a considerable way from his loins, and so high that they seemed to invade the place of his back, in which posture he had so large a belly, that though one of our company had one of a considerable size, yet it seemed lank compared with his; he turned his face into all shapes, so that by himself he acted all the uncouth, demure, odd faces of a Quaker's meeting : I could not have conceived it possible to have done what he did, unless I had seen it; and I am sensible how short of a full description I have given of him. He began young to bring his body to it; and there are several instances of persons that can move several of their bones out of their joints, using themselves to it from childhood.

The Symptoms that attended the Bite of a Serpent. -[1698.] : Mr. Robert BURDETT, an English merchant at Aleppo, was bit by a serpent on the left wrist, near the pulse towards his hand : it seemed at first like two pricks of a pin : he immediately vomited, and his wrist and hand began to swell presently; he had some few days before a looseness, which this, perhaps, increased : he rode easily alone, after he was bit, above two miles off to Aleppo; he felt no pain, but a great desire to sleep; his arm continued swelling upwards, and grew black. Some remedies were used, till the rest of the factory returned, who then began to cup and scarify his arm; he having still no pain, but a great drowsiness. At last the swelling came up to his shoulder, and then he complained much; and within one quarter of an hour he died. He was bit about ten in the forenoon, and died about three in the afternoon. His body swelled much after death, and purged.

The snake was in length like a common snake ; his colour dark sandy, with black spots; his two teeth, or fangs, like

those of a rattle-snake, on the upper jaw. The poison lies in the gums : and wherever they fetch blood of any creature they certainly kill; though in some parts sooner than in others. The oil of tobacco kills the serpent, if put in his mouth, as was experienced. The people of the country say, that if, as soon as any one is bit by a serpent, they shall suck immediately the wound, they may be saved ; but they rub first their gums and teeth with oil, that none of the poison may touch any place where the skin is broken, and spit out immediately what they suck; every time washing the mouth, and taking more oil.

This serpent killed a dog, in about eight minutes' time, biting him at the end of his ear; and two young turkeys afterwards in three or four minutes each, biting them at the root of a claw; and then we poisoned him with the oil of tobacco out of a reed-pipe, (that had been much used, and not cleansed for a week or two,) and he died in about two or three minutes, trembling as soon as the oil was dropped into his mouth. There are people who get their bread by showing these serpents: they find them in hot days near rocks, and putting a forked stick near the head, they take them up carefully by the neck, and put them into a leather bag.

On the Scarabeus Galeatus Pulsator, or the Death-Watch.

By Mr. BENJAMIN ALLEN. - [1698.] This animal makes a noise resembling a watch: it lived four days with me, beating exactly, I found it in a copper: it resembled dry dirt in colour. I found another some years before on a rotten post, and it made the noise like a watch, by beating its head on the subject that it finds fit for sound. This was answered by another in the same room, and after a minute's distinct beating, it would forbear for the other to answer. The part it beats with is the extreme edge of the face, which I may call the upper lip, the mouth being protected by this bony part, and lying underneath, out of view.

It was five sixteenths of an inch long ; the colour a dark brown, with spots somewhat lighter, irregularly placed, which would not rub off readily. They lie athwart on the back, and direct on the head. Under the vaginæ are pellucid wings, and the body is of a dark colour. The head appeared large, by reason of a large cap or helmet which covered it round, only turned up a little at the ear : from under this appeared

the head, which was flat and thin ; the eyes forwards : the lip hard and shining; the bars of the helmet greyish.

On an Eruption of Fire out of a Spot in the Earth. By

Dr. ROBERT ST. CLAIR. - [1698.] I LATELY received an account from my brother, that on the side of one of the Appenine mountains, half way

between Bologna and Florence, near a place called Petra Mala, about five miles from Fierenzola, there is a spot of ground, about three or four miles diameter, which incessantly sends up a flame rising very high, without noise, smoke, or smell, yet it gives a very great heat, and it has been observed to be always thus, except at great rains, which put it out for a time, but when that is over, it burns with greater vigour and heat than before ; the sand about it, when turned up, sends up a flame; but within three or four yards of it there grows corn all round about, for it continues always in the same spot. The flame seems to proceed from a vein of bitumen or naphtha, that cropes, as the miners call it, only here; which, when by ploughing or some other accident the upper crust has been turned up, was kindled into a flame by the heat and agitation of the air, as other salino-sulphureous bodies are. The inhabitants there have been so little curious to observe it, that they believed that there was a great hole in the flame-place, but he found it to be firm ground. Neither does any there remember, when, and upon what occasion, it first began. The flaming well near Wigan seems to proceed from a similar cause : you may boil an egg in it, and upon the approaching of a lighted candle it takes fire : both seem to proceed from a naphtha or subtle bitumen, only that in a hotter country, and being in a drier soil, is more subtle and inflammable.

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Captain Longford's Observations on his own Experience upon

Hurricanes, and their Prognostics. - [1698.] It has been the custom of the English and French inhabitants of the Caribee islands to send, about the month of June, to the native Caribees of Dominico and St. Vincent, to know whether there would be any hurricanes that year ;

and about 10 or 12 days before the hurricane came, they would constantly send them word; and it very rarely was erroneous, as I have observed in five hurricanes, in the years 1657, 1658, 1660, 1665, and 1667. From one of these Indians, I had the following prognostics :

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