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the workmen, while taking down the old church at Libberton, in this neigh bourhood. It appears from the inscription round the head, which bears a venerable and noble countenance, to have been struck in honour of St Alexander Nevsky or Nevskoy (usually spelled in this country Newsky.) Translated, it runs thus:

:

"The Grand Prince Alexander Yaroslavitch Neffvskoy."

On the reverse is the following inscription :

"He bravely conquered the Swedes,

and Livonian Germans, who attack- Account of the Grave of Louis XVI.

TO THE EDITOR.

ed Novogorod in the year 1252; he reigned 12 years, and lived 44 years.

""

This Alexander reigned at Novogorod in the 13th century, and was honoured with the sirname of Nevskoy, for his glorious victories over the Swedes on the banks of the river Neva. Pope Innocent sent two Cardinals to persuade him to embrace the Catholic faith, but they did not succeed. The Russian church numbers him among her saints, and Peter the Great built a magnificent church at St Petersburgh, which bears his name, and ordered his remains to be deposited within it. The church of St Alexander Nevsky stands on the banks of the Neva, where the decisive battle was fought, and, it is said, in the very spot where Alexander wounded the Swedish king. The 30th August (O. S.) is this Saint's day, on which the Emperor goes to the church in grand style, to attend divine service. Peter projected, and Catherine 1. founded an order of knighthood, called the order of St Alexander Nevsky, which is the third in rank among the Russian orders. This medal must have been struck after Alexander's death, and before he was canonized; but at what period he was thus honoured we have not ascertained. The church was built at the beginning of the last century, and, from the form of the letters, we do not think the

medal is of a much older date. The church of Libberton was very oldit existed in the 13th century, and was built probably long before.That part where the medal was found was more modern than the rest. It will puzzle the antiquarian to explain how this solitary Russian production came there, for the intercourse between this country and Russia is of a very recent date.

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SIR,

HAVING been much struck with
the following affecting and re-
markable circumstance, recorded in
a manuscript journal, lately put into
my hands, I am induced to transmit
it to you for publication, in the idea
that it will be perused with much in-
terest by many of your readers-the
lines, written on the spot, are not un-
worthy of the subject. I am, Sir,
your most obedient servant,
17th Jan. 1815.

M. S. S.

Paris, July 28th, 1814. "In the evening I went to visit a spot, which is certainly not the least. interesting object that Paris has to present to a stranger. In a small but neat garden, behind a house in Rue d'Anjou-at one corner of it, inclosed by a hedge of privet, &c., is seen a small turf hillock, which denotes the "narrow cell of humanity" beneath! It is kept with the nicest care, in a kind of hallow'd sanctity, cover'd with springing flowers, of the sweetest kinds, and overshadow'd by two weeping willows. In this simple cemetery are deposited the ashes of Louis, the unfortunate Louis, and his Queen !— in the space without the hedge, are interred those of the Swiss guard who defended with such bravery their Sovereign's cause.-I was impressed

with the utmost seriousness! and felt as if I had heard the words of the Herald of Heaven, "The place where"on thou standest is holy ground."

I was penetrated with admiration at the pious loyalty of the good old gentleman, to whom it belongs, and to whose politeness we were much indebted. The site of his garden was formerly the burying ground of the church of St Magdalene, where the bodies were interred, with quicklime, immediately after the execution: when the church and its cemetery were destroyed, he purchased the ground, dressed it up in the best manner, and has paid to the remains of his royal master this tribute of his veneration!"

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fibres capable of being dressed, and worked into cordage, canvas, and other sorts of cloth. Among our indigenous plants, the common nettle, Urtica dioica, has long been noted for affording a very tolerable fibre, although decidedly inferior to hemp. The hemp plant and the nettle, we may remark, belong to the same Natural Order, Urticea of Jussieu : and we have now to announce, that a new species of Urtica, possessing qualities which may, in some situations, entitle it to be considered as a valuable substitute for hemp, was discovered, five or six years ago, in the neighbourhood of the great lakes of Upper Canada. The discoverer was Mr CHARLES WHITLOW, a native of East Lothian, who in early life went to America, and settled in Canada, and who is at present on a visit to his native country. This new Urtica is a stronger and taller plant than our common nettle; it is equally hardy, and, being likewise a perennial, propagates as readily by the roots. Each stool sends forth from six to twelve stems yearly, and these grow to the height of five or six feet. On large well-established stools, from fifteen to twenty stems have been counted, rising from a space not more than six inches in diameter.

This species, as already hinted, is not described in Willdenow's enlar

ged edition of the Species Plantarum, nor in any botanical work. It will fall to be placed between U. Canadensis and U. divaricata, to both of which it is nearly allied, and both of which, it may be added, are also indigenous to Canada. It belongs to the section Alternifolice of the genus, although the uppermost leaves are truly opposite. The following characters*

were

Descriptio.

Caulo 5-angulo simplici orgyali urente. Foliis alternis cordato-ovatis acutis ser

ratis trinerviis punctatis petiolatis, supremis oppositis.

were drawn up, we understand, by Dr Muhlenberg, clergyman at Lancaster in Pennsylvania,-the most distinguished botanist in the western world, and one of the few surviving pupils who studied under Linnæus at Upsala:

Description.

Stem quinquiangular, simple, 6 feet high, stinging.

Leaves the lower alternate, heartshaped ovate, acute, serrated, with 3 nerves or ribs, dotted, with footstalks; the uppermost leaves opposite. Stipules 2-cleft.

Panicles pedunculated, axillary, forked or divided by pairs, bristly; the panicle of male flowers longer than the leaf-stalks, (and inferior;) the female panicles terminal. Capsule circular, compressed, tipt with a rigid spine.

The root is not noticed in the above description. It may be described as It may be described as perennial, somewhat tuberous, and spreading horizontally.

The plant has been named, in honour of the discoverer, Urtica Whitlowi.

Its favourite habitat seems to be swampy ground on the banks of rivers. Mr Whitlow found it in great abundance on the banks of streams which fall into Lake Ontario. Lake Erie, and Lake Superior; and sparingly in low wet meadow ground near rivers and creeks, in Orange County, New York, and some other parts of the United States.

It may be propagated, either by parting the roots in autumn, or by sowing the seeds in the spring months. If the latter method be adopted, Mr Whitlow recommends raising the plants in small thickly-sown beds, and transplanting them into the field in

Stipula bifida.

Paniculis pedunculatis axillaribus dichotomis hirsutis; petiolo longioribus masculis, et terminalibus foemineis.

Capsula orbiculari compressa mucronata.

autumn. The soil best adapted to its cultivation is low wet meadow, such as is suitable for hemp. But it will succeed in soil that is too poor and clayey for that plant; and it will grow where hemp could not be cultivated on account of the excess of wet. Mr Whitlow has seen it thriving in situations where the ground was regularly covered with water for not less than six months in the year. It is, moreover, a plant not very nice in its choice of soil or situation; like the fiorin grass, it may be planted even in dry upland situations. It is not injured, while growing, by the heaviest continued rains, which sometimes prove destructive to hemp ; and it equally withstands the severest droughts, which are often exceedingly injurious to flax.

A week after the crop is cut, the stems may be handled freely, the hairs, or aculei, having by that time completely lost their stinging power. To facilitate the separation of the fibrous bark from the pith, the nettle may be water-rotted like hemp; or it may be dew rotted, as is sometimes done with hemp, and from this longcontinued exposure to the atmosphere, it suffers much less than hemp. But Mr Whitlow's practice has been, after drying it in the field, to bundle and stack it like hemp, till the winter snow covers the ground; he then spreads it out, and lets it remain till spring, when the bark not only freely separates from the cellular substance, but the fibre is pretty well bleached.

The fibre has been found, by experiments made both in America and in London, to be stronger than that either of hemp or flax, and capable of as great divisibility as the former. The loss of weight in manufacturing was found to be only 21 per cent. Mr A. Shirreff of Leith, now in the United States, mentions, that he "had seen some of the urtica collected in Genisee country, perfectly sound and fresh, after having been exposed to all

the

the vicissitudes of a winter in that climate; while hemp exposed in the same manner was completely destroyed. It has also been found to withstand the destructive rotting effect of the miasmata from the American marshes, which are said completely to destroy the fibres of hemp or flax. It may be added, that the nettle hemp was speedily rendered white by the bleaching liquor; and that it seemed to suffer less from the acid, on account of the greater strength of its fibre.

This urtica was first described in the Baltimore Medical and Physical Ly: cum, a periodical work scarcely known in this country. In the New York Herald newspaper, for 21st November 1812, there was published a short account of the plant, by Dr Eddy, a lecturer on botany; together with a report by a committee of the Corporation of New York, stating, that "a number of manufacturers of flax and hemp, linen and cotton, had examined the plant in its different stages of flax, tow, and thread, and were of opinion that it is far superior to any flax or hemp they had ever seen, as well in the quantity produced from a single stem, as in superior strength, beauty, and fineness of texture; and that from the experiments made, they think it will produce from 20 to 25 per cent. more from the heckle than any flax or hemp known to them."

Mr Whitlow obtained at New York a patent right for his discovery, to endure for fourteen years; and about two years ago, we are told, he sold one half of this patent, for the sum of 12,000 dollars, to a company of merchants there, who began to plant fields of the urtica in autumn 1813. He has brought a quantity of the seeds and roots to London, and we understand that it is his intention to send some of both to the Royal Botanic Garden of Edinburgh.

It seems evident, that if this new urtica possess advantages over hemp,

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these must consist chiefly in its affording a stronger fibre or staple, and one which,along with superior strength, offers the additional quality of being less liable to rot from alternate exposure to wetness and driness. For cordage and canvas to the navy, these properties are invaluable. If the plant is to be cultivated by the British, however, it must be in its native land of Upper Canada, or perhaps in New South Wales: in both of these places, indeed, it may prove an object well worthy of attention. In England and Ireland, its culture is not likely soon to be adopted. Being a perennial plant, and propagating itself at root in the manner of our common nettle, it is evident that a field once planted with it could not easily be reclaimed. It is well known to agriculturists that the tufted vetch (Vicia cracca) would yield a heavier crop than any other sort of tare or clover, and that it is excellent for cattle; but it has been found impossible to eradicate the plant where it has once got established, and for this reason it is never cultivated. The same objection holds with regard to the fiorin-grass (Agrostis stolonifera and A. alba), or at least to the cultivation of fiorin on corn lands.

None of these perennial plants, therefore, can enter into a rotation of crops, or be planted on land with the view of being ploughed up in two or three years. In Lincolnshire, Suffolk, and other places where hemp is cultivated, the hemp crop is alternated with turnip, clover, or wheat. When the seeds are wanted for sale, or for the oil to be expressed from them, hemp is considered as rather a scourging crop; bat when cut before seeding, it is reckoned a cleansing crop, as it rises so thick as effectually to choke all weeds, and, being itself an annual, perishes completely during the winter, and leaves the ground very clean.

In former days, a small quantity of hemp

hemp was raised by every farmer in Scotland, for the use of his own farm; for, hempen ropes made by the ploughmen in the winter nights, then supplied the place of leather harness manufactured by a saddler. At present, hemp is scarcely cultivated in Scotland. Some small fields have, indeed, of late years, been sown in the island of Islay, under the special directions of the patriotic Mr Campbell of Shawfield, the proprietor. In the Hebrides, we may remark, it is very possible that the urtica might be cultivated with greater advantage than hemp. It would be less liable to be destroyed by heavy rains, and squally weather. Hemp must be sown in April, at the very time that the insular husbandman is preparing for his other crops; but the roots of the urtica might be planted late in the autumn. Hemp must be pulled when it begins to change colour or approaches ripeness, even if this should happen in the midst of the bear or oat harvest; while the urtica could be left uncut for weeks, without detriment. The rent of moist land in the islands is low; and there would be little motive for wishing for a change of crop for a series of years, during which, with a very little cleaning and care, the urtica would annually afford a cutting. The price of seed and labour would thus be saved; and to most of the Hebridean farmers, the saving of the price of seed would be an object. If Mr Whitlow's nettlehemp, therefore, is ever to be cultivated in Scotland, it ought to be in some of its numerous islands.

In concluding, we think it right to add, that, along with many more competent judges, we have seen, in this city, specimens of the staple afforded by this new urtica, in different stages of its dressing, which seemed fully to authorize the praises bestowed on it. If it would be a desirable thing to see this country more independent on the Baltic for the import

ant article of hemp, than she has been for many years past, this substitute certainly deserves attention, as one which might be produced to some extent, within our territories at home, without interfering with the rich arable lands on the produce of which the sustenance of the people depends; while might be reared in any quantity in our trans-atlantic and Australasian possessions. If the fibre be stronger and more durable, the motive for trying the cultivation of the plant is evidently greatly increased. CANONMILLS, N. 28th Jan. 1815.J

Improvements and new Institutions throughout SCOTLAND. AN institution has been formed un

der the patronage of the most distinguished characters in this country, for the important purposes of life-insurance and provision for widows.It is to be entitled, The Scottish Widows Fund, and Life-Assurance Society. It was at first intended only to have embraced the former object; but on considering that this country contained yet no institution for the purposes of Life Assurance on a general plan, it appeared advisable to extend the original design so as to embrace it. The laws and regulations of the Society have therefore been drawn up, and the rates fixed by a person long experienced in the management of such concerns, and also by eminent legal and mathematical advice. The calculations are made at four per cent. instead of three, which last is the rate adopted by the London and other societies so that though an additional contribution is made for the purpose of management, the rates are unusually low. An investigation is to take place at the end of every ten years; and if the funds of the society are found to admit, an increase is to be made in the provisions secured upon

;

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