464 Zoological Society : — we may notice one of the means employed for opening the minds of the young: we mean the introduction of botany into the parish school. The study was optional, but was ultimately pursued by a considerable number of the elder children with very great suc-cess : they took an eager delight in their botanical lessons ; and one of the Inspectors of Schools states, " that the botanical lessons did draw largely upon the intelligent powers of his little pupils' minds there can be no question ; and that these children, who out of school were much more conversable than the generality of children in rural parishes, owed a considerable share of the general develop-ment of their minds to the botanical lessons and the self-exercise connected with them." "Neither," says another inspector, "had I any reason to think that the botanical lessons interfered with a due study of the usual subjects of a national school. Independently of the botany, the Hitcham school ranked well among the better class of rural schools in the district." But we must stop. We have no intention to give an abstract of this book, but to show that it is well deserving of perusal. As such we strongly recommend it to all our readers. PROCEEDINGS OF LEARNED SOCIETIES. ZOOLOGICAL SOCIETY. May 13, 1862.— John Gould, Esq., F.R.S., in the Chair. Narrative of Search after Birds of Paradise. By Alfred R. Wallace, F.Z.S. Having visited most of the islands inhabited by the ParadisecBy in the hope of obtaining good specimens of those extraordinary birds, and some knowledge of their habits and distribution, I have thought that an outline of my several voyages, with the causes that have led to their only partial success, might not prove uninteresting. At the close of the year 1856, being then at Macassar in the island of Celebes, I was introduced to the master of a prau trading to the Aru Islands, who assured me that two sorts of Birds of Paradise were abundant there, the large yellow and the small red kinds — the Para-disece apoda and I'egia of naturalists. He seemed to think there was no doubt but I could obtain them either by purchase from the natives or by shooting them myself. Thus encouraged, I agreed with him for a passage there and back (his stay being six months), and made all my preparations to start by the middle of December. Our vessel was a Malay prau of about 100 tons burthen, but dif-fering widely from anything to be seen in European waters. The deck sloped downwards towards the bows, the two rudders were hung by rattans and ropes on the quarters, the masts were triangles stand-ing on the decks, and the huge mat sail, considerably longer than the vessel, with its yard of bamboos, rose upwards at a great angle, so as to make up for the lowness of the mast. In this strange vessel.