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Article 37. An Efay towards elucidating the Hiftory of the SeaAnemonies. By Abbé Di quemare, &c. Profeffor of Experimental Philofophy, &c. at Havre de Grace.
Many of the wonders which have been offered to us by the polype, and particularly by the operations performed upon it, are here renewed in the obfervations made by the Author, and the operations which he has performed, on a much larger and more curiously organised animal, which fome have called the sea-nettle, (urtica marina) but others more properly the fea-anemony, on account of its form and colours. One of its extremities resembles the inclofing outward leaves of that flower; while its limbs are not unlike the fhag or inner part of it. By the other extremity the fea-anemony fixes itfelf to a rock or to the ftones lying in the fand. As to the colours of one fpecies particularly, the pureft white, carmine, and ultramarine are faid to be scarce fufficient to exprefs their brilliancy.
It appears evident from the Author's obfervations that notwithstanding their external aspect, thefe beings ought undoubtedly to be ranked in the animal kingdom, and not in the dark and indeterminate lift of zoophites. All their functions are of the animal kind, and indicate them to poffefs, in the fulleft manner, the powers of volition, and fpontaneous motion.
One of the fingularities obferved in these animals is, that though they will live a whole year, or perhaps longer, in a veffel of fea water, without any vifible food, yet they are fo voracious, when food is prefented to them, that one of them will fucceffively devour two mufcles in their fhells; and fome of them will even fwallow a whole crab as large as a hen's egg. After a day or two is paft, the crab fhell is voided at the mouth, perfectly cleared of all the meat. The mufcle fhells are likewife difcharged whole, with the two fhells ftill joined together, but entirely empty; fo that not the leaft particle of the fish is to be perceived on opening them. An anemony of one species will even fwallow an individual of another fpecies; but, which is fingular, after retaining it ten or twelve hours, will then throw it up alive and uninjured.
Many of the Author's experiments on the reproductive quality of these animals are fomewhat incomplete; but they are fufficient to shew that they poffefs it in an extraordinary degree. The limbs of an anemony being cut off, are fucceeded by others; and it feems thefe reproductions may be extended as far as is confiftent with the curiofity and patience of the operator. A fea-anemony being cut in two by a fection through the body, that part where the limbs and mouth are placed eat a piece of mufcle offered to it foon after the operation, and continued to feed and grow daily, till the time of writing this account, which appears to have been about three months after the fection. The
food fometimes paffed through the animal, but was generally thrown up again confiderably changed, as is the cafe with the perfect fea-anemony. With refpect to the other part of the animal, in about two months the Author perceived two rows of limbs growing out of the part where the incifion was made. On offering food to this, new mouth, it was laid hold of and eat; and the limbs are now pretty near as large as thofe which the animal had before the operation In fome other experiments, both the parts appear to have become complete animals.
Such is the general or almost conftant event that follows the cutting of these animals in two. Accident however furnished the Author with fome anomalies in the action of this reproductive power, the refult of which was the formation of monsters. In two inftances the lower extremity of the fea anemony has fhot forth new limbs from the cut part, in the usual way; but the upper half, where the limbs and mouth were, instead of bealing up into a new bafis,' at the part where the incifion was made,
has produced both another mouth and limbs. Hence an animal was formed, which caught its prey and fed at both ends in the fame time.'
Your ftaunch Naturalift is generally a very hard-hearted being, and we have often expoftulated with him for his want of feeling for the unhappy fubjects that have the misfortune to ex-cite his curiofity and fall into his hands. The Author however makes a plaufible defence against the imputation of cruelty with which he may be charged, on account of his experiments. He urges the favourable confequeqces that have attended his opera⚫tions, in those fea anemonies who have been fo fortunate as to be the fubjects of them; alleging that he has thereby not only extended or multiplied their exiftence, but likewife renewed their youth; which laft, he adds, is furely no small advantage.'
The cutting these animals into fritters, though it gives them long life and increase, is not however alleged to be attended with any pleasurable fenfation, refembling that ufually annexed to the multiplication of the fpecies in animals; and how the fea-anemonies relish the Abbe's process of rejuvenescence is best known to themfelves. But accepting in part his apology, it cannot justly be applied to his stewing thefe poor animals, (who pay dear for the rank he has affigned them in the creation). in a pan of water, with a thermometer immerled in it, over a flow fire, in order to afcertain the precife degree of heat, in which, after a féries of increafing tortures, they would at length part with that life, of which they seem to be fo tenacious. That we may not fet other experimentalifts a longing, and induce them to repeat fo cruel an experiment, in order to acquire this thoroughly useless piece of knowledge, we haften to inform
them that the sea anemonies' protracted struggles and sufferings, ceafe at 50 degrees of Reaumur's thermometer. Thank God! as Trim fays,He is dead!
In the 28th article, the Hon. Daines Barrington corrects fome miftakes that have been made by ornithologifts, particularly by M. de Buffon, in their descriptions of the Lagopus or Ptarmigan.
In the 33d article, the late ingenious Mr. Hewfon relates his. discoveries and obfervations on the figure and compofition of the red particles, or globules, as they have been commonly called, of the blood. From the time of Lewenhoeck to the prefent, phyfiologifts and microscopical obfervers had in general agreed in reprefenting these particles in men and other animals, as being of a fpherical, or, in fome cafes, of an oval form.. Some authors had however doubted whether they were fpherical, and particularly Father de la Torré; whofe obfervations on this fubject were prefented to the R. Society about eight years ago, together with fome glafs fpherules of a confiderable magnifying power; one of which the author employed in feveral of his experiments. This ingenious philofopher difcovered that thefe particles were flat and circular, but imagined that they were likewise annular, or that they were perforated at the center. He was induced to form this opinion on perceiving a dark fpot in the middle of each particle. Mr. Hewfon however, by diluting the blood with ferum, or with a folution of any of the neutral falts, discovered that its particles in man and other animals are flat and circular, or elliptical veficles, probably filled with a transparent fluid, and in the center of which is placed a very small and seemingly folid globule.
Referring the curious to the article itfelf for further information, we fall only obferve that the true figure of these particles seems hitherto to have been altered and mistaken, in confequence of the Obferver's having diluted the blood with. water, which, it feems, diffolves the veficles, and confequently. alters their form. In order to fee their true figure, which refembles that of a guinea, a fmall quantity of ferum is to be taken, and a piece of the craffamentum is to be fhook with it, till it is a little coloured with the red particles. A fmall quantity of the liquor being put on the flider, placed on a pofition fomewhat declining from a horizontal fituation, the circular but not globular veficles will be feen, as the liquor defcends, to turn over and prefent in their revolution all the phases of a flat circular body.
Of the three remaining articles of this volume, the 30th contains fome obfervations, tranfmitted by Edward King, Efq; on a fingular fparry incrustation refembling marble, formed by the
water of a coal-pit in Somersetshire, in its paffage through a pipe or trunk of elm. This petrifaction feems to be of the fame nature, and to be capable of being applied to the fame ufes, which we indicated in giving an account of Mr. Rafpe's differtation on the qualities of the water at Radicofani in Tufcany*. In the 32d article, feveral particulars are related concerning the Tokay and other Hungarian wines, by Silvefter Douglas, Efq. The 36th article is a paper communicated by Mr. John Robertfon, Lib. R. S. and written by the late William Jones, Efq; F. R. S. in which the properties of the conic fections are deduced after a compendious manner, by that excellent mathematician.
• See M. Review, vol. xlvi. March 1772, page 132.1
ART. XII. An Efay towards the Hiftory of Leverpool †, drawn from Papers left by the late Mr. George Perry, and from other Materials fince collected. By William Enfield. With Views of the principat public Structures, a Chart of the Harbour, and a Map of the Environs. Fol. 12 S. Boards. Johnson. 1774.
HE materials of this
were for the most col
Tlected by a gentleman, whofe untimely death prevented
the execution of his plan: the collection has been fince enlarged by other communications, and digefted into its prefent' order by the ingenious Editor. The defign,' as he tells us in the preface, was firft formed by Mr. George Perry, a gentleman who had abilities and perfeverance fully equal to the undertaking. This fcheme included a large and accurate plan of the town of Leverpool; elegant views of the town and of its principal buildings: a chart of the harbour, and a map of the environs; the natural, civil, and commercial hiftory of the town; and some account of the adjacent country. He had the fatisfaction to accomplish the whole of this defign, excepting the hiftory of the town and neighbourhood, and to receive the highest approbation from the Public for the accuracy and elegance with which the plan, the views of the town, and the map of the environs were executed. The views of the public buildings were referved for a place in the hiftory, and therefore have not appeared till this publication.
For the last part of the defign, he had collected many vaJuable materials, chiefly refpecting the etymology, natural hiftory, and antiquities of Leverpool, and the adjacent places. Thefe materials he intended to have increafed, and to have di gefted into a connected and complete hiftory; and had he lived, would certainly have executed the defign upon a much
This the Editor apprehends, for reafons afligned in the firft chapter, to be the original orthography.
larger plan, and in a much more perfect manner, than it ap pears at prefent. The Editor, however, has done what lay in his power to collect new materials, particularly, with regard to the population, the public ftructures and inftitutions, and the commerce of the town; and has digefted and drawn up the whole with all the attention which his other engagements would admit of.'
In this hiftory we have a particular account of the ftate of population and commerce in the town of Leverpool, together with a comparative view of its prefent and former ftate in both thefe refpects; by which the Reader will be able to judge of the furprising increase of its inhabitants, and the very rapid progrefs of its trade. The two chapters which treat of these subjects are by no means the least interesting and valuable part of this volume. We fhall in the fequel of this article collect together fome leading facts and obfervations to this purpose.
In November 1565 there were in Leverpool only 138 houfeholders and cottagers; and about the fame time a rate was levied on the inhabitants, by which it appears, that only about seven streets were inhabited. From this time till about the end of the next century, Leverpool made but a flow and inconfiderable progrefs, either in the number of its inhabitants or extent of its trade. The æra of its chief increase appears to have been the 10th year of the reign of King William, 1699; at which period the inhabitants obtained an act of parliament for building a new church, and for making the town a parish of itself, feparate from Walton, previous to which Leverpool was, only a part of the former. Since this time the increase, both of its trade and population, has been fo great, as to render it neceffary to make three fpacious docks, and to build three large churches. In the beginning of the year 1773, the state of population in Leverpool was inveftigated by an actual furvey; from which it appears, that the number of families is 8002, and of inhabitants 34,407. The number of inhabited houses has been found to be 5928, fo that the proportion of inhabitants to a house is 5, and to a family 4.
The fubjoined lift exhibits the comparative ftate of Leverpool with that of fome other towns, whose inhabitants have been either numbered or accurately computed:
In the year 1760 the number of houfes in Leverpool was 4200, and confequently the number of inhabitants about 25,000. In 1753, the number of houses was 3700, and of inhabitants about 20,000. So that in twenty years the number of people