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THE TRACTS AND LYCEUM.—Three volumes of the Scientific Tracts have been completed, since they were projected, and they have been gradually gaining favor with the reading community. For the library, these volurnes, on account of their original essays, will always be valuable, because they contain the latest as well as the most accurate information which the writers were able to col. lect, on the subjects upon which they have treated.
Instead of being the labor of one individual, exertions have inva. riably been made to enlist the services of men of science, who were supposed to be well acquainted with the subjects on which they consented to write. In this way, we have been able to present our patrons with an immense amount of purely original matter, which otherwise would never have reached them in a form so cheap or so popular.
The publishers, ever desirous of meeting the wishes of their subscribers, have devised a new method of presenting them, in connection with the regular series of Tracts, a miscellaneous collection of all that is curious or worth knowing, in relation to the progress of the various institutions of the world, which have for their object the moral or physical cultivation of mankind. In short, without being restricted to any particular system, as it regards one half of the pages of each successive number, whatever relates to the great plan in view, increasing the amount of useful knowledge, will be embraced, and items, therefore, and contributions from all wellwishers of our cause, are earnestly desired.
A union, it will be perceived, has been effected with the Lyceum, a paper travelling the same course as the Tracts, though presenting less massive materials. A tract will hereafter be a leading artide in each number, accompanied by such essays, reflections, notices and facts, as were the characteristics of the Lyceum.
The editor, in assuming the care and responsibilities of this new form of both publications, wishes it to be expressly understood that he does not consider himself accountable for the theories of his correspondents.
Communications upon whatever relates to any department of science, the practical arts, and education, in this widely extended country, will have an early insertion,
Public LECTURES.-If this is rightly denominated the mechanical age, it is no less a lecturing era. This is as it should be ; one man reads for a thousand, and instead of sacrifising the time of the multitude to read in search of a particular species of knowledge, one individual toils over the books, and at the evening lecture presents the results of his inquiries to the host of auditors. Never was a system devised, more happily calculated to elevate the moral tone of society-no, never. One must be stupid indeed, if he remains ignorant in these halcyon days.
Lyceums cannot exert the influence which they were designed to exercise, without a regular periodical course of lectures. In Boston, immense halls are filled every night in the week, and whatever is valuable, whatever is worth knowing, is clearly and subcessfully taught. There is not a town in the United States that should not have its Lyceum, and its regular course of lectures; nor is there a town so deplorably intellectually poor, as not to possess citizens, who might sustain the public exercises of these nurseries of intelligence.
A REQUEST.-Among other contributions, we request gentle. men to forward to us their manuscript lectures, which have been given before Lyceums. And we moreover request young gentle. men or ladies, who have the leisure, to transmit a synopsis of such lectures as strike them as being particularly valuable. If they are accompanied by accurate drawings, necessary to the elucidation of the text, we shall have them engraved at once.
Any juvenile correspondent, who shall have furnished a synopsis of six lectures, which may have been delivered in any Lyceum in the United States, which are published in this periodical, shall be entitled, at the close of the year, to a richly bound copy of the work. The names of the authors of the lectures which may be published, as well as those who report the doings of Lyceums for these pages, will on no account be printed, unless permission is given by the writer.
Scientific Doings. Within a few months, the Boston Society of Natural History have fitted up their splendid collection of natural curiosities, in a spacious hall, over the Savings Bank, Tremont Street, where the members meet every other Wednesday, for the transaction of the regular business of the Association. After the President has taken the chair, committees usually read reports. These commonly relate to such objects as were presented to the Society at the previous meeting. The whole world seems to have been laid under contribution; for as often as the members come together, the table is loaded with new and rare productions. Papers are read, and various extemporaneous communications are made.
This institution is one of deep interest to science, and will, no doubt, prove the nursery of many, who will at some future day exert a powerful influence in the field of Natural History.
Novel MachINERY.-A few days since we were permitted to examine the operation of a machine, propelled by steam, for manufacturing hooks and eyes. It is a little affair, that might nearly be packed away in a gentleman's hat; yet its regularity of motion, and the simplicity of its contrivance, in making those crooked things with the rapidity of the ticking of a watch, all fit for a lady's dress, called forth our highest admiration.
The turning of gun stocks, shoemakers' lasts, and ox yokes, beside several other queerly shaped every-day conveniences, with which the farmer, the soldier, and the mechanic are familiar, must certainly be considered the ne plus ultra of native ingenuity.
There are several ponderous cast iron machines for sale in a loft in Broad Street, the invention of a yankee, for making common brass pins. A child, by turning a crank, for aught we can discover, might manufacture a bushel a day, all headed and pointed for use.
Admitting LADIES TO THE MEETINGS OF LYCEUMS.—A fair' correspondent of the Belmont (St. Clairsville, O.) Journal, alludes to the policy of the Lyceums of the eastern states in permitting ladies to witness and in many cases to take part in their exercises ; and argues that the same policy ought to be adopted by the two Lyceums of that place. So far as our observation has extended, we have found this policy indispensable to the prosperity and perpetuity of these institutions. Indeed we believe it is allowed as a fundamental doctrine wherever we have seen them established, that the fairer portion of community are susceptible of, need and should be partakers of the improvement afforded by such societies, in common with the other sex, and that, at any rate, true policy demands at least their admittance to all the public exercises. We are glad to see by the Journal that the St. Clairsville Young Men's Lyceum not only permits ladies to become spectators, but partially to participate in its exercises-granting to those of them who feel disposed the privilege of handing in communications on any subject they may choose to write upon. We hope this policy will be adopted universally by the Lyceums of the west, as well as in the other states of the union.
MALAY.—This term, says Marsden, is like that of Moor, in India, and almost synonymous with Mahometan. These people, he further says, (the Malays) are supposed to have come from the Peninsula of Malacca, and to have spread thence over the adjacent islands ; whereas it is clearly proved that the Malays went from Sumatra to Malacca in the 12th century; and that the indiginous inhabitants, gradually driven by them to the woods and mountains, so far from being the stock from which the Malays were propagated, are an entirely different race of inen, nearly approaching in their physical character to the negroes of Africa.
Two NATIVE RACES IN MADAGASCAR.-The island of Madagascar, which is cooled by the mild breezes of the Indian Ocean, and ought, therefore, it would seem, to contain a white native population, has two kinds of people; one is olive-colored, with dark hair, and the other the coal black negro. We should like an explanation of this curious physiological circumstance, from some of our scientific friends.
Red Haired Mulatto.-Blumenbach saw a mulatto with red hair. A man of mulatto complexion, freckled, with strong red hair, disposed in wiry curls, and born of black parents, was seen by Dr. Winterbottom.
BARKING Dogs.-By a very slight puncture on the side of the neck of a dog, a skilful surgeon can divide a nerve which controls the vibrations of the vocal cords, and thus forever prevent the animal from uttering his characteristic voice.
Will some one inform us whether the doctrine which was promulgated by Capt. Symms, a few years since, has any supporters ? and, further, what has become of Mr. Reynolds, his pupil, who returned from an expedition the last season?
SCIENTIFIC AND LITERARY NOTICES.
Boston LYCEUM—The last Lecture before this popular institution was delivered by George S. Hillard, Esq. on Ancient and Modern Literature. It was listened to hy a crowded audience with profound attention and deep interest; and although it was perhaps better adapted, in its design, for the critics than for the multitude, there must have been few in such an auditory insensible to the justness of the orators's fine comparisons and the liberality of his general views, as well as the frequent elegance of both the expression and the delivery.
The Young Man's Guide, recently published by Messrs. Lilly, Waitt & Co. and the Child's ANNUAL, published by Messrs. Allen & Ticknor, we are glad to learn are justly appreciated as among the most valuable of the new year gifts of the season.
A society called the Lowell Debating Club, has lately been formed in Lowell, consisting of mechanics and others; and, as the Album of that place says, is likely to go on and prosper.'
Naval LYCEUM.—A Naval Lyceum has been established at the Brooklyn Navy Yard, and is now in full operation. A room is occupied for a Reading Room and Library, where newspapers and periodicals are taken, and where any books would be acceptable. We hope this example will be extensively followed.
THE Gloucester Telegraph says that an excellent lecture on the Moral, Intellectual and Social nature of Man, was delivered before the Gloucester Lyceum by Mr. Babcock at a recent meeting—a subject exceedingly important to be understood by the mass of community.
The Cavendish (Vt.) Academy appears from the last Catalogue to be in a flourishing condition. The course of instruction is designed to be liberal and thorough.' The lectures are illustrated by Chemical, Astronomical and Philosophical Apparatus, together with Maps, Charts, &c.
Dr. Davis gave a Lecture on Friday evening last, at the Athenæum, on the Physiology of the Voice. Those who know the doctor, must be satisfied of his ability to interest an audience with any subject.
Hon. MR. PICKERING's Lecture at the Athenæum last week, on Language, was a splendid effort. Mr. Pickering is one of the most learned philologists in American if not the first.
Prof. Farrar's lectures on Natural Philosophy, at the Temple, have been fully attended through the season.
LIEUT. PARK's Lectures, at Chauncy Hall, we hope will be extensively patronised.
THE MECHANICS LYCEUM of this city is in a far more flourishing condition this season than it has been before since its organization, three years ago. This rpeaks well for the persevering exertions of its members, they having had many difficulties to encounter, on account of adhering strictly to the mutual improveinent principle.