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And after scandal them; or if you know
That I profess myself in banquetting
To all the rout, then hold me dangerous.

Act 1, Scene II. The difficulty occurred in the first line of the passage He had never seen any satisfactory explanation of wha Cassius meant by the term "a common laugher.” Som early copies had “common laughter,” which was sti] worse. It struck him that they ought to be bold enoug] to correct the text here, and he would submit a word which would at least be consistent with common sense as a substitute for the existing one, which certainly con veyed no sense at all. The word he would suggest wa “lover.” It was used in Shakspeare's time for friend. I occurred in the same play, as when Brutus addressed the people as “Romans, countrymen, and lovers." In the Psalms it was used in the same sense" Lover and friend hast thou put far from me, and mine acquaintance inti darkness." “My lovers and my friends stand aloof fron my sore." But it appeared, he thought, probable, tha; soon after Shakspeare's time, if not in his time, it was rather antiquated, and had quite lost its signification as friend, and hence the printer might have been misled. and substituted “ laughter” for “ lover.”'

Mr. Yates exhibited a portion of a Greek M.S. written by a community of Greek Monks in the Thebaid, in Egypt, giving an account of the Solar Eclipse of 1715.

The following papers were read at this meeting :

“On the Britisu HYMENOMYCETES." By the Rev. H. H Higgins, M.A.-See Appendix, page 1.

“ON THE LOCAL FUNGI—Part I. HYMENOMYCETES.” By the Rev. H. H. Higgins, M.A.-See Appendix, page 55.

Also, by the same gentleman,

ON THE DEATH OF THE COMMON HIVE BEE, SUPPOSED TO BE OCCASIONED BY A

PARASITIC FUNGUS.

BY THE Rev. H. H. HIGGINS, M.A. On the 12th of March last, Timpron Martin, Esq., of Liverpool, communicated to me some

some circumstances respecting the death of a hive of bees in his possession, which induced me to request from him a full statement of particulars. Mr. Martin gave me the following account:

“In October last I had three hives of bees, which I received into my house. Each door-way was closed, and the hive placed upon a piece of calico; the corners were brought over the top, leaving a loop by which the hive was suspended from the ceiling. The hives were taken down about the 14th of March, and two were healthy, but all the bees in the third were dead. There was a gallon of bees. The two hives containing live bees were much smaller, but in each there were dead ones. Under whatever circumstances you preserve bees through the winter, dead ones are found at the bottom in the spring. The room, an attic, was dry, and I had preserved the same hives in the same way during the winter of 1856. In what I may call the dead hive there was abundance of honey when it was opened, and it is clear that its inmates did not die from want. It is not a frequent occurrence for bees so to die, but I have known another instance. In that case the hive was left out in the ordinary way, and possibly cold was the cause of death. I think it probable that my bees died about a month before the 14th of March, merely from the circumstance that some one remarked about that tiine that there was no noise in the hive. They might have died earlier, but there were certainly live bees in the hive in January. I

understand there was an appearance of mould on some of the comb. There was an ample ventilation I think, indeed as the bees were suspended they had more air than through the summer when placed on a stand.”

When the occurrence was first made known to me, I suggested that the bees might probably have died from the growth of a fungus, and requested some of the dead bees might be sent for examination. They were transmitted to me in a very dry state, and a careful inspection with a lens afforded no indication of vegetable growth. I then broke up a specimen, and examined the portions under a compound microscope, using a Nachet, No. 4. The head and thorax were clean, but on a portion of the sternum were innumerable very minute, linear, slightly curved, bodies, shewing the well-known oscilating or swarming motion. Notwithstanding the agreement of these minute bodies with the characters of the genus Bacterium of the Vibrionia, I regarded them as spermatia, having frequently seen others indistinguishable from them, under circumstances inconsistent with the presence of confervæ, as in the interior of the immature peridia and sporangia of fungals.

In the specimen first examined were no other indications of the growth of any parasite, but from the interior of the abdomen of a second bee I obtained an abundance of well-defined globular bodies, resembling the spores of a fungus, .00012 to .00016 inch in diameter. Three out of four specimens subsequently examined contained within the abdomen similar spores. No traces of mycelium were visible; the plants had come to maturity, fruited, and withered away, leaving only the spores.

The chief question then remaining to be solved was as to the time when the spores were developed, whether before or after the death of the bees. In order, if possible, to determine this, I placed four of the dead bees in circumstances favourable for the germination of the spores, and in about ten days I submitted them again to examination. They were covered with mould, consisting chiefly of a species of mucor, and one also of botrytis or botryosporium. These fungi were clearly extraneous, covering indifferently all parts of the insects, and spreading on the wood on which they were lying. On the abdomen of all the specimens, and on the chypens of one of them, grew a fungus wholly unlike the surrounding mould. It was white and very short, and apparently consisted entirely of spores, arranged in a moniliform manner, like the filaments of a steniless pencilium. These spores resembled those found in the abdomen of the bees, and did, I think, proceed from them. The filaments were most numerous at the junction of the segments. The spores did not, I think, resemble the globules in sporendonema muscæ of the English flora, neither were they apparently enclosed.

The Rev. M. J. Berkeley, to whom I sent some of the bees, found, by scraping the interior of the abdomen with a lancet, very minute curved linear bodies, which he compares to vibrios. He also found mixed with them globular bodies, but no visible stratum of mould.

From the peculiar position of the spores within the abdomen of the bees, and from the growth of a fungus from them unlike any of our common forms of mucedines, I think it probable that the death of the bees was occasioned by the presence of a parasitic fungus.

At the conclusion of the paper, Mr. Higgins observed that other insects were subject to the attacks of fungi. A common instance was the small house fly, which was often to be seen attached by its proboscis to the window, and surrounded by a little white dewiness. This was the effect of fungus, which lodged in the body of the insect, and in the course of time made its way through the segments, shedding its spores, and producing the appearance to which he had referred.

The CHAIRMAN referred to an account which had been given of the destruction of silk-worms in the Sandwich Islands by something of the same kind. It was a very common disease in flies.

Mr. JAMES YATES, F.R.S., spoke of a caterpillar, from Australia, which had a fungus growing out of it.

Mr. Higgins remarked, that the same thing occurred in this country; and if people would only study nature around them they would see things quite as extraordinary and every whit as beautiful as those which excited so much surprise when they came from abroad. Returning to the subject, he would observe that the practical inference to be derived from his paper, was that bee-keepers should avoid placing bees again in a room where fungi had made their appearance; from the myriads of spores which they gave out, it would be certain destruction to the insects to do so.

Mr. YATES believed that essential oil was an effectual preservative. Virgil recommended it in the fourth Georgic.

The following paper was then read-On the

FLORA AND FAUNA OF GEOLOGICAL SYSTEMS.

BY GEORGE H. MORTON, F.G.S.

The intention of this communication is to present an epitome of the classes of the vegetable and animal kingdoms, as they occur through successive geological systems; and to bring under consideration those classes which occur in the most ancient deposits, with the subsequent introduction of others, in the strata of the British Islands.

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