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communities whose every-day actions were, to say, so saturated with religious feelings that no betrothal took place without the concurrence and sanction of the elders. That this ecclesiastic or rather religious concurrence took place more at the betrothal than at the wedding itself, is a fact which manifests the conviction that the real union of the persons commenced with their mutual consense to belong to each other, and that the marriage, in'a mere religious point of view, is completed by that con
With this view, the contemporary heathen world of Rome entirely agreed, as we have shewn. That which was an internal religious want in the earlier times of Christianity, became a habit in the later ages. Every betrothal was then regularly announced to the Christian clergy, and every marriage blessed by them. This explains the absence of any law, civil or ecclesiastic, that commanded the sanction of religion for the marriage for some time after Justinian, as the bishops had no need to enforce by laws what was voluntarily and heartily given to them; and the civil authorities were too much accustomed to consider matrimony as a mere private contract, based upon conditions which lie beyond the civil power. When, after a further development of the worldly organization of the church, marriage and its relations came under the ecclesiastic jurisdiction, a far greater importance was still laid upon the publication of the bann and the consecration of the betrothed, than upon the wedding itself. If I am not mistaken, it is first in the weddingliturgies of the fifteenth century that we read the words "ego vos conjugo in matrimonium in nomine Dei," when the priest performed the proper act of copulation as proxy of God, a long time after matrimony had been considered as a sacrament in the church, though it was only legally raised to that dignity in the Council of Trent.
The Rev. H. Higgins, M.A., Sen. V.P., in the Chair.
Professor ARCHER referred to recent valuable gifts to the library of the Royal Institution.
Mr. HIGGINSON exhibited a specimen of aluminum, and referred to the process of its manufacture.
The following paper was then read :
ON THE FOSSILS OF PERIM ISLAND, IN THE
GULF OF CAMBAY.
PERIM is a small island in the Gulf of Cambay, ten miles S.S.E. of Gogo, in lat. 21° 33' N., and long. 72° 28' E. It is one and a half to two miles in length, and a half to three quarters of a mile in breadth. The most elevated point is about sixty feet above high-water mark.
From the Kattiawar shores it is separated by a channel five hundred feet in width, and seventy-five fathoms deep. The average depth of the Gulf to the north and elsewhere, is about fifty-five fathoms. There is a tradition current among the inhabitants of Gogo that Perim was originally united to the main land by means of a stone bridge. This would seem hardly probable, if we take into consideration the width and depth of the intervening channel at the present day; though certainly there are appearances which, independently of the geological evidence hereafter to be adduced, and which I think conclusive, would justify the supposition that at some very distant period there may have been a natural, if not an artificial, connection. The beach on the western side shelves very gradually, and at the lowest ebb of spring tides the island appears as if separated from the continent by a mere stream only. That the sea, too, has been encroaching on all sides, is proved, I think, by the fact that on the shore have been discovered two figures of elephants, eight or nine feet in height, carved out of the solid rock, and which, except at the very lowest tides, are completely covered. There are also remains of a stone structure running out into the sea, and somewhat resembling a pier; but whether they have any connection with the apparently mythical bridge, it is impossible
The island is inhabited by four or five lascars, and a few coolies; the former have charge of the lighthouse, which stands on the highest ground, on the western side; the latter live in a valley on the eastern coast, open to the sea, and the only fertile spot: here they have formed a settlement, and plant grain during the monsoon, and manage, somehow or other, to exist in this dreary land. Good fresh water is found about twenty feet below the surface.
The only other living creatures besides human beings, are, I think, peafowl, which abound, and are wonderfully tame and fearless: no man's hand is against them, for they are deities. To kill a peacock were sacrilege-not a breach of the game-laws.
The low muddy beach on the northern end is covered with clumps of the melancholy mangrove tree; the opposite coast of Kattiawar I observed to be also fringed with it. Remains of a temple with an image of Buddha in it, a ruined fort and water tanks are to be seen, from which it would appear that the island had been a considerable stronghold some twelve or thirteen centuries ago.
GEOLOGY OF PERIM.
The various sandstones, clays, and conglomerates of which Perim is composed, are to be referred to the Miocene period of the Tertiary epoch. They are identical in general character with the ossiferous beds of the Siválik hills or Sub-Himmalayan range, with those of Attock, on the banks of the Indus in the Punjab, and with the Irrawaddi beds in Ava. We find their equivalents in the Red Crag of Suffolk, in England; in the Faluns of Touraine; the Orleannais and Sub-Pyrenees in France; the Vienna Basin on the Danube; and Eppelsheim on the Rhine.
Major Fulljames, who seems thoroughly to have explored the island some twenty years ago, was the first to classify its various strata, and he has made them out thus,* commencing from the surface :
1. Loose sand and earth.
8. Conglomerate, the principal ossiferous bed. It is curious to observe how the conglomerates occur alternately with the other strata. The deepest beds of conglomerate are about three feet, but they do not run more than eighteen inches to two feet, and for the most part lie horizontally. The strata on the western side are much disturbed, being fractured, and dipping at an acute angle to the east. On the southern end of the island,
. “Journal Asiatic Society of Bengal," vol. v. page 289.
below the stratum in which the fossils occur, sandstone appears, dipping to the north at an angle of 25o.
Through the decomposition of these rocks, dunes, or sandhills, covering the whole island, appear to have been formed. They are for the most part of very peculiar shape and aspect. Dr. Lush seems to think that they have proved a barrier to the further encroachment of the sea *
The lowest beds of conglomerate are composed of nodules of sandstone, indurated clay, and a small proportion of silex, cemented together with a yellow clay. On the western side of the island it is entirely denuded through the action of the sea, and it can, therefore, be examined narrowly. The fossils and nodules imbedded in this formation are constantly being washed out of the matrix, and consequently are to be found lying loose in the thick beds of mud and silt, exposed to view when the tide is out. These nodules, rolled by the waves, have been worn into the most strange and fantastic shapes. The fossil remains, through the same cause, suffer severely, and this accounts for the very few perfect and clear specimens that have hitherto been discovered.
We should naturally expect, that if Perim was ever united to the main land in past ages, we should be able to detect its clays, sandstones, conglomerates, and bone beds on the opposite shores of Kattiawar-and such is the case; and this is the evidence to which I referred at the beginning of this paper, as being so strong in favour of the idea that such a connection did once exist. Major Fulljamest found that similar formations lay along the whole line of coast from Gogo to Gossnath Point; and in the conglomerates discovered fossils of the same age
• Dr. Lush, “ Journal of the Asiatic Society of Bengal,” vol, v. p. 767.
+ " Journal of the Asiatic Society," Bengal, vol. vi. p. 787.