times, to an extraordinary length, and thrice opened the hinder part of their bodies, and discharged some excre. ments, which, in the little water that remained about them, were dissolved into small pellets, before they assumed their round figure.

In the month of October, before the dirt of the leaden gutter was quite dried up, I took a handful of it, and laid it on a glazen earthen dish, in order to preserve it. This foul stuff, when dry, is as hard as clay, so that the mites cannot come at the animalcula that are thus doubly shut up. Upwards of 21 months after I took some of this dry stuff, and infused it both in cold water that had been boiled, and in rain-water newly fallen ; whereupon the animalcula began to show themselves, and that in great numbers; and soon after there appeared two sorts of much smaller animalcula.

Of the Rain at Towneley, in Lancashire, Upminster, in Essex,

Lisle, and Paris. ' By the Rev. W. DERHAM, F.R.S. At Lisle one year with another, the depth of the rain amounts to 22 inches 3 lines, Paris measure, or 23 inches 3 lines, which makes about 231 inches English or 244. At Paris, one year with another, it amounts to 20 inches 3 lines, Paris measure, which is near 22 inches English. But at Towneley, in Lancashire, one year with another, according to Mr. Towneley's computation formerly, the rains amount to above 41 inches depth. And by taking eight other years, in which the rain was observed both at Towneley and Upminster (viz. from 1696 to 1704), I find that all the eight years' rain at Towneley amounts to above 1700 lines Troy, at Upminster 823 lines only. Which said sums being divided by 8, give 212} lines one year with another, at Towneley, and near 103 lines at Upminster. Each of which sums being doubled, and making a decimal fraction of the last figure, gives nearly the number of inches, which all the rain would have risen to, if the earth had stagnated, viz. 424 inches at Towneley, and about 204 inches at Upminster. Wherefore the rain at Upminster is less than at Paris, at Paris less than at Lisle, and at every one of the places much less than at Towneley.

An Experiment made at a Meeting of the Royal Society, on the

Diminution of Sound in rarefied Air. By Mr. Fr. HAUKSBEE. - [1705.]

A BELL being included under a receiver, which being shaken to make the clapper strike, it was very observable

that the interposition of the glass between the bell and the ear, was a great obstruction to its sound, yet it was audible at some good distance from it: but gradually withdrawing the air, and making several stops to shake the bell at different degrees of rarefaction, the diminution of the sound at every stop was very distinguishable. Till at last, when the receiver was well exhausted of air, the remains of sound was then so little, that the best ears could but just distinguish it: it appearing to them like a small shrill sound at a great distance. On suffering the air gradually to re-enter,


was easy to perceive the increase of sound at the different times the bell was made to ring: the recipient being again replete with air, the sound then seemed something more clear and audible than at its first inclusion.

Experiment on the Descent of Malt Dust in the evacuated

Receiver. By Mr. FR. HAUKSBEE. — [1705.] I took some malt dust, and having dried it well, put a quantity of it into a fine muslin bag, where being loosely inclosed, it would upon shaking discover itself plentifully in the open air, undulating and floating a considerable time before it would descend; but being included within a receiver, from which the air was well exhausted, and then shaken, the dust descended like a ponderous body, precipitating in straight lines from the top to the bottom of a tall receiver,

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The Doctrine of Combinations and Alternations. By Major

EDWARD THORNYCROFT.-— [1705.] To give an instance of the prodigious variety that there is in music, I have calculated the number of tunes in common time, consisting of eight bars each, which may be played on an instrument of one octave compass only, and it is this ; viz. 27584.270157.013570.368586.999728.299176; whereas the changes on twenty-four bells are not more than 620448.401733.239439.360000, which is but the part of the number of tunes; and yet Dr. Wallis, in his algebra, demonstrates, that the changes on bells could not be despatched in 31557.600000.000000 years. If, then, the instrument were of as many octaves' compass as any instru. ment now in use, how prodigiously must the number of tunes be increased; the calculation of which (though much more intricate and operose) would be equally attainable by our theorem.

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Of Ancient Manuscripts. By Mr. HUMFREY WANLEY.

The librarii or book-writers were, from the time of the Romans, a particular company of men, and their business a trade: but though book-writing was their profession, yet they afterwards had but a third part of the business. Learning, after the erection of monasteries, was chiefly in the hands of the clergy; and they were for the most part regulars, and lived in monasteries : among these were always many industrious men, who wrote continually new copies of old books for their own use or for the monastery, or for both; which seems to have swallowed up above half the business. Then, if an extraordinary book was to be written, for the standing and more particular use of the church or monastery, the antiquarius must be sent for, to write it in large characters, after the old manner, and such a copy they knew would last for many ages, without renovation. Between these two sorts of people, the writing-monks and antiquarii, the poor librarii, or common scriptores, who had families to maintain, could hardly earn their bread. This put them upon a quicker way of despatch, that so they might undersell each other : and in order to this despatch, they would employ several persons at one time, in writing the same book, each person, except him who wrote the first skin, beginning where his fellow was to leave off: or else they would form the letters smaller and leaner, and make use of more jugations and abbreviations than usually others did. And this is the only account that I can give for that variety of hands which in former ages, being learned of, or borrowed from the Romans, was commonly used, and in fashion at the same time, and in the same country, throughout these western parts of Europe, and for their growing less and less for one age after another.

There was another sort of book-writers still in use, namely, the notarii, whose business it was to take trials and pleadings at courts of judicature ; to write as amanuenses from the mouth of an author, and to take homilies and sermons at church, from the mouth of the preacher. These notarii made use of notæ or marks instead of letters; but when, in process of time, letters were usually written small and quick, and abbreviations grew common, the notarii were turned off, unless they would write books in long-hand, as other librarii did, and their notæ grew out of use; and most of their performances in notes or marks have been since destroyed.

Suppose, then, that a man had one Latin book of each of the our sorts above mentioned laid before him, written all at a

time, and without any date or note of the age; would not he be ready to say that the first three were of different ages ?. As that in capitals was older than that in the middling hand; and this again older than that in the running and smaller hand? and that such a book written in the notæ being all full of marks, was not Latin, but of some other unknown language? But to come down later ; suppose that a person should have some more recent books or charters laid before him in the pipe, text, exchequer, chancery, court, and common hands, all written at the same time, would he not be apt to say, that one seemed to him to be older than another, and that they were the hands of several nations ?

Experiments on the Attrition of Bodies in Vacuo. By Mr. Fr.

HAUKSBEE, F.R.S. -[1705.] Showing the Necessity of the Air's Presence, in the Production of Fire, on the Attrition of Flint and Steel.-Having provided a steel ring, about four inches diameter, and one eighth of an inch thick, which (between two pieces of wood of a. less diameter) I fixed on a spindle with the nuts ; its edge verging about half an inch beyond the extremity of the wood that held it; to a plate of brass, I fixed a piece of flint, an edge of which stood exposed to the steel, while the brass plate by its spring held the fint pretty strongly to it, notwithstanding some might be worn or chipped off by the rapidity of the motion. In this manner it was covered with a receiver, and a brass plate and box. But before any air was exhausted, the great wheel was moved, which gave motion to the small one, and consequently to the included steel, which exhibited sparks of fire in a very plentiful manner. After some air had been withdrawn, the great wheel was turned, as before, but the number of sparks then produced did not only seem to be lessened, but a sensible decay of their lustre and vigour was manifest. And at every stop that was made, to repeat the experiment at greater rarefactions, the sparks produced still diminished in their quantity and light; till at last, when the receiver was well exhausted of air, then, although a more violent motion was given to the steel than before, yet not the least spark appeared to be struck from it: but a small continued light was visible on the edge of the fint, that was rubbed by the steel. On admitting a little air, some sparks, on the motion given, were discovered of a dull gloomy hue; but on letting in a little more air, I

know not by what accident, the whole quantity insinuated, and then on repeating the wheel's motion, the sparks appeared as numerous and as vivid as the first.

An Account of an extraordinary sleepy Person. By Dr. WILLIAM OLIVER, F.R.S.

- [1705.] SAMUEL CHILTON, of Tinsbury, near Bath, a labourer, about 25 years of age, of a robust habit of body, not fat, but fleshy, having dark brown hair, happened, on the 13th of May, 1694, without any visible cause, to fall into a very profound sleep, out of which no means employed could rouse him, till after a month's time; when he rose of himself, put on his clothes, and went about his business of husbandry as usual ; he then slept, ate and drank as before, but spake not one word till about a month after. All the time he slept, victuals stood by him: his mother fearing he would be starved, in that sullen humour, as she thought it, put bread and cheese and small beer before him, which was spent every day, and, it was supposed by him, though no one ever saw him eat or drink all that time.

From this time he remained free of any drowsiness or sleepiness till about the 9th of April, 1696, when he fell into his sleeping fit again, just as he did before. After some days his friends were prevailed on to try what effect medicines might have on him; and accordingly, one Mr. Gibs, an apothecary, bled, blistered, cupped, and scarified him, and used all the external irritating medicines he could think on; but all to no purpose; and after the first fortnight, he was never

Victuals stood by him as before, which he ate of now and then, but nobody ever saw him eat or evacuate, though he did both very regularly, as he had occasion; and sometimes they have found him fast asleep with the pot in his hand in bed, and sometimes with his mouth full of meat. In this manner he lay about 10 weeks, and then he could eat nothing at all; for his jaws seemed to be set, and his teeth clenched so close, that with all the art they used with instruments, they could not open his mouth, to put any thing into it to support him, At last, observing a hole made in his teeth, by holding his pipe in his mouth, as most great smokers usually have, they now and then poured some, wine into his throat through a quill: and this was all he took for six weeks and four days; and of this, not above three

his eyes.

observed to open

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