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the ball does in the spcket of the eye ; and perhaps to come forth of these
shells, and re-enter, after taking their food. But of these things there can be
no certainty, because the parts dissolve between the fingers.

The body, viewed forward, fig. "J, is of a reddish colour. In the middle ap-
pears a line, often dark-brown, often blackish, sometiines not visible, some-
times running near half the length. The rest of the animal is of a whitish or
grey colour. ]. If you intend to dissect it, and examine the inside, you must
first remove a thin membrane surrounding the whole body, which for that rea-
son may be called the cutis or cuticula. When this is removed, there appears
an oblong vessel placed in the middle, of a reddish colour, from the shaved
wood, of which it is full: hence it seems to be the stomach, or at least the first
organ of digestion. 2. In the lower part you will find another vessel, appear-
ing like a dark-brown line, which contains the excrements, of which it is often
found full, and discharges them at the end of the tail. 3. At the sides of the
reddish vessel, or stomach, is placed a white, clammy, fat substance, sticking
to the fingers, and perhaps constituting the flesh of the animal.

Where the body ends, the tail begins, thicker than the body, and rendered
stronger by circular fibres. At its end it has two small hard bodies, containing
and defending the tender extremities of the tail. This tail, thicker than the
body, terminates in two ends, the thickest of which certainly serves for the
discharge of the excrements, the slenderest doubtless for generation : and this
it can stretch out to an incredible length, so that in worms that seemed to be
in copulation, it appeared above an inch out of the pile. The two small bodies,
that contain these ends of the tail, are of a harder substance than even the
hemicrania. The outer part is gibbous, the inner hollowed. The lower end is
bifid ; whence it is conjectured, that they serve the animal for feet, when it is
mounting upright, or corroding the wood ; by leaning on them as on a prop,
fig. 13.

The above- described worm dwells now very securely in a testaceous tube, of


a white colour, which it exactly fills, yet so as to be able to move with freedom.
That tube, like the coverings of snails, &c. daily grows with the animal, from
the matter which perspires from its body ; whence it is sometimes found
straight, sometimes bent, according to the course which the worm steered in

As to their generation, it is probable enough, that, analogous to that of
other insects, it is performed by copulation of male and female : for thev can so
lengthen one end of their tail, and thrust it out of the pile, that they may
copulate by that means. Then they lay their eggs in the water, close to the
piles, to which they stick by their clammy viscid matter, such, for example, as
frog's spawn ; and afterwards, by the heat of the sun, hatch the worm, which
immediately endeavours to get into the pile-

Dr. B. could not observe the difference of sex, either with the eye, or a mi-
croscope. Some think them hermaphrodites, as snails, and that they copulate
in the same manner : but these conjectures are not very probable.

Many remedies and secrets for destroying these dangerous enemies were im-
mediately boasted of, which for the most part were preparations of arsenic or
mercury, and are not worth enumerating : the following is the best and surest
of all. Take an iron plate, of an oblong figure, and of the width of the pile,
with a strong handle at each end. One end of this plate must be armed with
thick nails, half an inch long, and about an inch asunder. The nails of this
plate must be driven into a pile of any slight wood, with a hammer, and then
the plate pulled off by njeans of its handles. And this is to be repeated, until
the pile is perforated every where with small holes : then it must be daubed
over with varnish in the hottest sun, the varnish being imbibed by the soft
wood with so many holes in it ; and while the varnish is yet hot, let it be
strewed over with brick- dust. And this is to be repeated 3 or 4 times, after the
preceding varnish is quite dry, till the pile is entirely surrounded with a stony
crust, which will be impenetrable to all insects, and last many years.

But Providence has already so far destroyed these pernicious insects, which
multiplied so prodigiously for 8 or p years past, that there is great room for
hope, that our country will in a short time be entirely freed from them.

^n Explanation of the Figures. — Fig. 6, pi. 8, is the pile-worm, of its
natural middle size, lying on its belly.

Fig. 7, the same lying on its back, a is the stomach ; b the duct, full of
excrements ; c the tail, with its defences dd, and its point e, which it can
stretch out.

The Six following Figures are represented much larger than Life. — Fig. 8,
A, A, the first series of fibres running straight down ; bb the second series


running transversely ; cc the third taking a different course ; dd the lower
edge, which is infixed to the head.

Fig. 9, the shell or hemicranium, seen on the inside, with the process run-
ning across it, one end of which a is fixed, the other a is moveable.

Fig. 10, A, B, c, D, the same as in fig. 8 ; e the hinge, by which these are
connected, and may easily dilate or open.

Fig. 1 1 , AA the membrane covering the head, freed from the hemicrania,
which were attached to this membrane ; b the place, where the hemicrania
were connected ; c the middle anterior part, in which the tubercle was pro-

Fig. 12, AA the membrane of fig. I I, separated and turned back; b the
pellucid pyriform body, lying in the middle of the head, and which formed ;
c the tubercle.

Fig. 13, the two defences of the tail, of which the exterior part a, is gib-
bous, the other or interior b, is, as it were, hollowed : these extremities are
bifid, c, the part by which they are joined to the tail.

Tmo Otservalions of Explosions in the j4ir ; one heard at HaUted in Essex, by
the Rev. A. Vievar ; the other by Sam. Shepheard, Esq. of Spring^ld.
N°455, p. 288.

On Sunday the 12th of March 1731-2, between 1 and 2 o'clock in the
afternoon, walking in the garden, Mr. V. heard as it had been a loud clap of
thunder from the north-east. While looking into the air, the noise was re-
peated very loud, but seemed more like the violent fall of a house, so that he
expected every moment an out-cry from the town : but he was soon undeceived,
when it began again, and he found it made towards him, with a different noise
from the former, being like the grinding of flint stones, but very loud. Its
dimensions seemed to be about 3 feet wide. He found it sink in the air, and
as it seemed to point directly at his head, he laid himself down on a glass-slope,
to let it pass over. However, at the upper end of the walk it fell to the ground,
and came rolling down the grass-walk ; and he can compare it to nothing better
than to that of a violent grinding of flint-stones, or a coach and six at full
speed on a causeway of loose stones. He lay attentive, expecting to see some-
thing, and saw a piece of wood came running before it. When the pheno-
menon came to the water- side, it twisted up a large stake that stood in its way,
and tossed it towards him with much violence, and immediately fell into the
water, with the violence and noise of a red-hot mill-stone. He has seen tjje


seas break against a rock in a storm, but never saw a greater ferment caused by
the boiling of the waters. It staid about a quarter of a minute in the water, and
then mounted again into the air. and went rattling away, but with much less
violence. He heard it for about a quarter of a mile, and lost it. It came
against the wind, and not faster than a man may walk. The froth and foam
on the water remained 30 hours after.

The other Account. By Sam. Shepheard, Esq. P. 289.

On Tuesday, Aug. 15, 1732, between 11 and 12, the sun shining very
bright and hot, without the least cloud, the wind so calm, that the water was
as smooth as glass, Mr. Shepheard was in a little room next the garden, about
40 yards from the canal, when he heard a very surprising noise of fire, as if a
very large quantity of oil had been thrown into a great bonfire, burning in its
greatest rage. He stepped immediately to the window, which was open, where
he saw the middle of the canal, which in the dry season had sunk about 6
inches, in extreme agitation, as rough as the Thames in a storm, foaming and
smoking, and forced up, to appearance, full 2 feet above the surface, but it
might be far more, the window being much higher than the canal ; and the
man, who was at work, protests he saw the water, like the spray of the sea,
above the dwarf-trees, which must necessarily be 5 or 6 feet. The duration of
the phenomenon might be half a minute, and it made such a stench in the
house, as if a gun had been fired in it.

The canal bears east and west, and the man says he heard it coming from the
west, bringing the leaves of some tall trees from an adjacent field in its passage;
but he could not discover any material or substantial body to fall in the water,
where the hissing was very loud and violent ; neither was there any lightning or
thunder before or after, but the day remained bright, still, and hot. The
space of the canal that was affected by it, might be 12 or 15 yards.

A Catalogue of the Fifty Plants from Chelsea Garden, presented to the Royal
Society hy the Company of Apothecaries, for the Year 1738, pursuant to the
Direction of Sir Hans Sloane, Bart. Med. Reg. et Soc. Reg. Frees. By
Isaac Rand, Apothecary, F. R. S. Hort. Chel. Prcef ac Preelec. Botan.
N''456, p. 29].

This is the 17th presentation of this kind, amounting to 850 plants.


Some Reflections on Generation, and on Monsters, with a description of some
particular Monsters. By Daniel de Superville, Physician to the Margrave of
Brandenburg- Bareith, i^c. Translated from the French by Phil. Hen. Zoll-
man, F. R. S. N" 456, p. 294.

On the subject of generation, this author espouses Leuenhoeck's theory j
according to which he thinks monstrous births may be easily accounted for. He
mentions having in his collection a pig, that had 8 feet; the 2 bodies, that were
separated, reunited themselves by the spina dorsi below the diaphragma, and
had but one visible neck supporting a head, larger than it should be, on which
there appeared 4 ears, 3 eyes, and the snout seemed double. He had also the
head of a foal, which was double, and had 3 eyes. He had a Turkish duck,
which was double, the 2 bodies being joined by the breast; each body had 2
wings, and 2 legs ; but they had only 1 neck with 1 head. He had a chicken,
which had a second rump fixed to its breast, with the 2 legs, and 2 paws. He
had a frog, which besides its 4 paws, had a 5th as well formed as the others,
which came out at the right shoulder. The production of all these monsters
that are double, or have superfluous members, may very well be occasioned, he
thinks, by 2 animalcula entering into the same egg; they touch, they close,
they unite, they croud each other; the parts of the weakest, being too much
crouded, cannot extend nor display themselves; so they vanish, as it were,
so much the easier as they are extremely tender, and without any sensible con-

It is not more difficult to find plausible reasons for imperfect monsters, or
that have an odd conformity, as to the whole, or as to some of the members.
He had the foetus of a sheep, which had no nose; the part where the nostrils
should be, seemed to be flayed, and the 2 eyes were one by the side of the
other. On the forehead there was a small trunk, of about 14 inch long, and
pierced at the end by 2 nostrils. He had another, which had but 1 eye, in the
middle of the forehead. He had a human foetus, of about 7 months, which
had no mark of the sex, and instead of the legs there was a bag that ran to a
point, the extremity of which was cartilaginous; in that bag there was a bone
3 inches long, covered with a muscular flesh; it was articulated with the os
sacrum ; the osea innominata was wanting, and below the anus, which was on
the middle of the os sacrum, there was a small tail like that of a pig.

When he was at Stetin in Pomerania, about 12 or J 4 years before, a mid-
wife came to tell him, that a Serjeant's wife was delivered of 3 dead children,
one of which had no head. He immediately went, and observed, that these



foetuses had died at different times. One began already to corrupt, and the
epidermis severed itself at the least touch. The monster without a head was
also already quite flabby, and the third seemed to have died but a few hours
before. He examined the monster: there was no appearance of any head; and
instead of the navel, there was a small lump of spongy flesh, of the size of a
large strawberry. About the secundines he found but 1 placentas, and 2 coats;
so that this monster must absolutely have been in one of those coats with
another foetus. The midwife was not skilful enough to give him an account
of the delivery; he put questions to the mother, who assured him she felt one
child dying 3 weeks before, and that the last died the evening before. He
oflitred a good sum of money to have all she was delivered of, but they would
not let him have it. He still ofl^ered money to have only permission to dissect
the monster, but the superstition of the parents deprived him of that satis-

He had in his collection a monstrous foetus, which deserved particular atten-
tion. It was of 8 months, without head or arms; the figure outwardly seemed
to be nothing else but the abdomen with the legs; these were well-shaped and
proportioned, with the toes, and the beginning of the nails; the right foot
however was, as it were, crooked, and bending inwards. Having opend it, he
found indeed but one cavity, which in the upper part contains a small bladder.
There was not in all the cavity any thing besides a bit of intestine, the 2 kid-
neys, the bladder, and the right testicle, which lay upon the ring. The flesh
was hard, and, as it were, carcinomatous. The navel-string went in a little
higher than naturally, and a little towards the right side, entering into the in-
testine. There was a slender intestine, of about 14 lines in length, proceed-
ing from the same place, where the navel entered into the cavity ; next came
the caecum with its vermicular appendix, the colon and the rectum, the whole
together of the length of about 2 feet. These intestines went from above to
below in zig zag, and were attached to the spina dorsi. There was no trace of
the heart, the lungs, the stomach, the liver, the spleen, the pancreas, the
mesentery, all were wanting. The small bladder was fleshy, and contained
some serosity ; it was attached to the first of the vertebrae of the neck. This
beginning of the spina was bent forwards like a bow, and formed the monster's
roundness from above. The bended extremity kept the little bladder, as it
were, under, and shut up in the cavity closed up by the ribs. This cavity was
to form the thorax, but the sternum was wanting, as well as the diaphragm.

The opinions of most of the natural philosophers concerning the origin and
formation of monsters may, he observes, be reduced to two hypotheses: 1. That
monsters are original, that is, that even in conception the monster is conceived.


2. That they are not produced but by accident. It may be concluded from
what he had said about double monsters, that he believed them accidental ; and
he believes, rigorously speaking, they are so, whatever they be; for supposing
every animalculum to be an embryo created, he cannot imagine them to be
created imperfect. Their imperfection, their deformity, may proceed from a
thousand accidents, either in the reservoirs where they are contained, or in the
different routes they are obliged to take, going from father to son. In this case
it may easily happen, that tliey are monsters, even in the moment of concep-
tion, though they be such by accident. To how many accidents are they not
subject afterwards in the venter of the females ? A fall of the mother, a strong
pressure, a contusion, &c. may disorder the nice and tender structure of that
little creature so far, that a great many of its parts do not unfold themselves
any longer, are destroyed, or have their order and natural situation quite

The disturbed and disordered imagination of the females ought also to be
ranged among the accidental causes of monsters. He had seen in a sow, just
slaughtered, 7 pigs, which all had the bloody mark of the knife about their
necks. About 20 years ago, a cloth-shearer, in Holland, had the misfortune
to fall into the hands of some drunken young fellows, who murdered him, and
stabbed him with more than 20 wounds with their swords. He was to be
married that very week; his intended bride saw his corpse naked with all those
wounds, and was 2 days after delivered of a dead child, which had the marks
of the wounds in the same places of its body, where the mother had observed
them on her dead lover.

He very well knew, that these sorts of instances, of which one might allege
some hundreds, would not go down with certain people, who deny the effect
of the mother's imagination on the foetus. They lay stress on two principal
reasons: 1. It is pretended, that the foetus has no immediate connexion with
the mother who carries it. But this is ridiculous, f©r it cannot be denied, that
the secundines are closely united to the matrix, and receive from the mother a
humour, or a liquid, which by the navel-string it remits to the foetus. It is by
that way it receives its nourishment, that is, the mutter necessary for its increase.
Accordingly one may say, that the foetus owes part of its being to the mother;
and that the liquid which runs in the vessels of the mother, runs likewise in the
vessels of the foetus. 2. It is said, that it is incomprehensible, how the soul of
the mother can have an effect on the child. He owns he does not comprehend
it neither. It does not follow from thence, that we ought to reject as false all
that our reason cannot penetrate into. When once the existence and the na-
ture of the soul has been demonstrated, when once we have a perfect know-

3d 2


ledge of the manner how an immaterial being acts upon matter, we shall then
reason in consequence about what the soul can do, and cannot do. Daily ob-
servations demonstrate, that the disordered and disturbed imaginations of wo-
men often hurts the infants. And this is a reason, which he adds to all the
others, to think he had good grounds to conjecture, that all monsters were
accidental; and to believe, that by the hypothesis of animalcula one may better
explain the phsenomena which are observed in generation, than by any other.

On a Bregma of a Gigantic Magnitude; with a Problem to determine the Size of
the Giant according to the Rules of the Art of Drawing. By James Theodore
Klein, Secretary to the Republic of Dantzic, and F. R. S. N° 456, p. 308.
From the Latin.

Having obtained, from Wittsen's museum, at Amsterdam, a bregma of a
gigantic size, in height Q English inches, and its breadth 7, with a description
and figure by Ruysch, representing the height of the head, from the chin to
the crown, 20 inches, and the breadth at the temples 12 inches; and also
another bone of the same kind, the height of which was 5f inches, and breadth
5 inches, but without a figure and reference to the head, it is easy to find, ac-
cording to the rules of painting, by taking 8 lengths of the head, that the
giant's stature was 13 feet 4 inches. But being desirous also to know the just
proportion of the other bregma, according to strict mathematical rules, M.
Klein proposed the following problem to Dr. Henry Kiihn, professor of mathe-
matics at Dantzic, viz.

If, in two human bodies of different stature, the height of the bregma in the
former, be Q inches, the breadth 7> the height of the whole head 20, the
breadth 12 ; and in the latter, the height of the bregma 5^, and the breadth
5 ; to determine the height and breadth of the whole head of the latter, and
the proportion of its stature to that of the former.

Now the stature of the first body being 20 X 8 = l6o inches, or 13 feet 4
inches, if the bodies were similar, the question would be easily answered, by
making a simple proportion, viz. as any dimension of the one is to the like
dimension in the other, so is the stature of the former, to the stature of the
latter. But because 9 to 7 and 5-|- to 5 are dissimilar ratios, the bodies are not
similar. Therefore we must take a kind of mean between tlie stature required,
as determined both by comparing the lengths and breadths of the bregmas to-
gether. Which may be done in three different ways, as follows :

1st. As 9 : l60:: 5-|- : l02f inches = 8 feet 6f inches, the stature of the
latter body as determined by the heights of the bregmas.


And, as 7 : l6o :: 5 : 1 14-5- inches = g feet 6-f- inches, the stature of the same
as determined by the breadths of the bregmas.

The mean between these two is Q feet -^ inch nearly.

2dly. As 9 + 7 : 51- + 3 ••: l6o : 107 -i- inches = 8 feet 1 1-^- inches; differing
only -J- of an inch from the former way.

3dly. By the geometrical means, as v/Q X 7 : ^5|- X 5, that is, as ^63 :
\/284 :: l6o : 180 inches or Q feet ; which being nearly a mean between the two
former, it may be accounted the most accurate of all.

Hence then the statures being 13 feet 4 inches, and g feet, or l6o inches and
108 inches, are to each other as 40 to 27.

j4n Account, by the Rev. Zachary Pearce* D. D. F. R. S. of a Book, entitled.
Rejections Critiques sur les Histoires des Anciens Peuples, ^c, Paris 1735
Ato. in 2 vols. N° 456, p. 3 13.

The general design of M. Fourmont, the author of this book, is to rectify
the history of the most ancient nations, particularly the Chaldeans, Hebrews
Phoenicians, Egyptians, Greeks, &c. down to the time of Cyrus, the founder
of the Persian empire. The work consists of 3 books.

In the first of which, he gives, at length, the famous fragment of Sancho-
niathon the Phoenician, as translated by Philo Byblius, and preserved by Eu-
sebius, in his Prasparatio Evangelica, lib. I. cap. 9. With this fragment he
has published a French version of it, in which he endeavours to distinguish
between the account given by Sanchoniathon the author, and what he supposes
to be the additions of Philo the Greek translator. After this he examines into
the reasons brought by several of the learned, for and against the genuineness
of the fragment, and determines in favour of it, with as much weight of argu-
ment as the question will admit. He then takes notice of a treatise, written
on the same subject as his own, by our learned countryman Bishop Cum-
berland ; and having examined and declared his dislike of the Bishop's scheme

* Dr. Zachary Pearce, a celebrated English bishop, and F. R. S. was bom in 1690, and educated
at Westminster; whence he was elected to Trinity College, Cambridge; while there, he wrote se-
veral papers in the Spectator and Guardian. In 1724 he published an edition of Longinus; and his
next work was a treatise, " On the Origin and Progress of Temples."

In 1739, Dr. Pearce was made dean of Westminster, and in 1748, bishop of Bangor. In 1756,
he was translated to the see of Rochester, with the deanery of Westminster. He died in 1774-
and an elegant monument to his memory is erected in Westminster Abbey.

Bishop Pearce published an edition of Cicero de Officiis; also A Review of the Text of Milton;
an Accovint of Trinity College, Cambridge; and several other esteemed works. And, since his
death, there have been published his Sermons, in 4 vols. 8vo. ; also his Commentary on the Gospels
and the Acts of the Apostles, in 2 vols. 4to.


in the main, he prepares his reader to expect full satisfaction from his own,
which makes the subject of his second book.

In the second book, he undertakes to reconcile the generations of men, set
forth in Sanchoniathon's fragment, with those which are recorded by Moses,
of the patriarchs before, and for some time after the flood. By the help of

Online LibraryRoyal Society (Great Britain)The Philosophical transactions of the Royal society of London, from their commencement in 1665, in the year 1800 (Volume 8) → online text (page 45 of 85)