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Title: A Catechism of Familiar Things; - Their History, and the Events Which Led to Their Discovery. - With a Short Explanation of Some of the Principal Natural Phenomena. For the Use of Schools and Families. Enlarged and Revised Edition.
Author: Anonymous
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.

*** Start of this LibraryBlog Digital Book "A Catechism of Familiar Things; - Their History, and the Events Which Led to Their Discovery. - With a Short Explanation of Some of the Principal Natural Phenomena. For the Use of Schools and Families. Enlarged and Revised Edition." ***


                           FAMILIAR THINGS;

                           THEIR DISCOVERY.


                          NATURAL PHENOMENA.


                     Enlarged and Revised Edition.

                           BENZIGER BROTHERS

                COPYRIGHT, 1881, BY BENZIGER BROTHERS.


This book, a reprint of a successful English publication, has been so
enlarged as to be to all intents and purposes new. It has been
carefully revised by a Reverend gentleman, who for some time filled
the chair of Physics and Chemistry in one of our colleges.

Recent inventions and improvements are described in a simple, popular
style, so as to be easily understood by all, and short notices are
given of prominent inventors and scientists. The paragraphs relating
to doctrinal matters conform in every respect to the teachings of the

A feature which will commend the book to every teacher is the
definitions of difficult words and terms, following the paragraphs in
which such words occur.

Technical language is avoided as much as possible, so as to enable
young pupils to become familiarly acquainted with the various
phenomena of nature, the leading characteristics and general history
of the objects of the animal, vegetable, and mineral kingdoms, and the
fundamental truths of the arts and sciences.

The illustrations are of a superior order, and a very complete Index,
which will be appreciated by every teacher, supplements the book. In a
word, no pains have been spared to enhance the value of the work, and
render it an important auxiliary in the dissemination of useful and
entertaining knowledge.

The publishers beg to acknowledge their obligations to the Sisters of
Mercy, Loretto, Pa., to whose kindness they are indebted for many
valuable suggestions.

In the hope that the book may be found suited to the accomplishment of
its aim, it is respectfully submitted to schools and instructors of
youth, who are the best judges of its merits.



    I. Dew, Water, Rain, Snow, Hail, Atmosphere, Wind, Lightning,
    Thunder, Electricity, Twilight, and the Aurora

    II. Corn, Barley, Pearl Barley, Oats, Rye, Potatoes, Tea,
    Coffee, and Chocolate

    III. Calico, Cotton, Cloth, Wool, Baize, Linen, Flax, Hemp,
    Diaper, Holland, Canvas, and Flannel

    IV. Cocoa, Toddy, Cherries, Bark, Cork, Cochineal, Cloves,
    Cinnamon, and Cassia

    V. Bombazine, Crape, Camlet, Cambric, Lace, Silk, Velvet,
    and Mohair

    VI. Currants, Raisins, Figs, Rice, Sugar, Sugar Candy, &c.,
    Sago, Millet, Ginger, Nutmeg, Mace, Pimento or Allspice,
    Pepper, and Cayenne Pepper

    VII. Glass, Mirrors, Earthenware, Porcelain, Needles, Pins,
    Paper, Printing, Parchment, and Vellum

    VIII. Capers, Almonds, Oranges, Lemons, Citrons, Limes, Olives,
    Oils, Melons, Tamarinds, and Dates

    IX. Hats, Stockings, Shoes, Gloves, Leather, Furs, and Ink

    X. Asbestus, Salt, Coal, Iron, Copper, Brass, Zinc, and Lapis

    XI. Yams, Mangoes, Bread-Fruit, Shea or Butter Tree, Cow
    Tree, Water Tree, Licorice, Manna, Opium, Tobacco,
    and Gum

    XII. Spectacles, Mariner's Compass, Barometer, Thermometer,
    Watches, Clocks, Telescope, Microscope, Gunpowder,
    Steam Engine, and Electro-Magnetic Telegraph

    XIII. Soap, Candles, Tallow Tree, Spermaceti, Wax, Mahogany,
    India Rubber or Caoutchouc, Sponge, Coral,
    Lime, Carbon, Oxygen, Nitrogen, Gas, Hydrogen,
    Chalk, and Marble

    XIV. Gold, Silver, Lead, Tin, Platina, Sulphur, Gems or
    Precious Stones--as Diamonds, Rubies, Emeralds,
    Turquois, Pearls, Mother-of-Pearl, and Ivory

    XV. Starch, Arrow-root, Tapioca, Isinglass, Caviare, the
    Vine, Wine, Gin, Rum, Brandy, Vinegar, Indigo,
    Gamboge, Logwood, Tar, Pitch, Camphor, Musk,
    Myrrh, Frankincense, and Turpentine

    XVI. Bricks, Mortar, Granite, Slate, Limestone, or Calcareous
    Rocks, Steel, Earths, Volcanoes, and Earthquakes

    XVII. Architecture, Sculpture, Use of Money, and Navigation

    XVIII. Music, Painting, Poetry, Astronomy, Arts and
    Sciences, Art of Writing, and Chemistry

    XIX. Attraction, Tides, Gravity, Artesian Wells, Air,
    Aneroid Barometer, Ear-Trumpet, Stethoscope,
    Audiphone, Telephone, Phonograph, Microphone,
    Megaphone, Tasimeter, Bathometer, Anemometer,

    XX. Light, Lime Light, Magnesium Light, Electric Light,
    Rainbow, Prism, Spectrum, Colors, Photography,
    Camera Obscura, Stereoscope, Kaleidoscope

    XXI. Electricity, Electric Currents, Electric Battery, Electrotyping,
    Stereotyping, Telegraph, Ocean Cable,
    Lightning Rod, The Gulf Stream, The Mt. Cenis
    Tunnel, The Suez Canal, Suspension Bridges, Eminent






What is Dew?

Moisture collected from the atmosphere by the action of cold. During
the day, the powerful heat of the sun causes to arise from the earth
and water a moist vapor, which, after the sun sinks below the horizon,
is condensed by the cold, and falls in the form of dew. Dews are more
copious in the Spring and Autumn than at any other season; in warm
countries than in cold ones: because of the sudden changes of
temperature. Egypt abounds in dews all the summer; for the air being
too hot to condense the vapors in the day-time, they never gather into
clouds and form rain.

     _Horizon_, the line which bounds the view on all sides, so
     that the earth and sky appear to meet. A Greek word, from
     the verb signifying to mark boundaries.

     _Temperature_, degree of heat or cold.

     _Condense_, to cause the particles of a body to approach or
     unite more closely.

What are its uses?

It cools and refreshes the vegetable creation, and prevents it from
being destroyed by the heat of the sun. All hot countries where there
is little or no rain are therefore blessed with this provision by the
all-bountiful Creator, to render them luxuriant and inhabitable; and
the dews which fall are so copious, that the earth is as deeply soaked
with them during the night as if a heavy rain had fallen. For this
reason also it is, that we so often read in the Bible of the "dew of
Heaven" being promised to the Israelites as a signal favor.

     _Luxuriant_, fertile, flourishing.

     _Signal_, remarkable, eminent.

From what does the vapor originate?

Vapor is water, combined with a still greater quantity of
caloric,--that is, an imponderable and subtile form of matter, which
causes the sensation of heat; and which, driving asunder the particles
of the water, renders it aëriform.

     _Imponderable_, without sensible weight.

     _Subtile_, thin, not dense, or compact.

     _Particle_, a small portion of matter.

     _Aëriform_, having the form of air.

What is Water?

The fluid which covers more than three-fifths of the surface of our
globe, and which is necessary for the life and health of the animal
and vegetable creation; for without water there would be neither rain
nor dew, and everything would perish. It is likewise a necessary
beverage for man and the inferior animals.

     _Beverage_, drink, liquor for drinking.

In how many states do we find Water?

In four: 1st, solid, as in ice, snow, hail, &c.; 2d, fluid, as in its
common form; 3d, aëriform, as in steam; and 4th, in a state of union
with other matter. Its most simple state is that of ice, which is
water deprived of a certain portion of its caloric: crystallization
then takes place, and the water becomes solid and is called ice.

     _Crystallization_, the process by which the parts of a solid
     body, separated by solution or fusion, are again brought
     into the solid form. If the process is slow, the figure
     assumed is regular and bounded by plane and smooth surfaces.

     _Solution_, the diffusion of a solid through some liquid.

     _Fusion_, melting, or rendering fluid by heat.

From what cause is the Water deprived of its caloric?

From the coldness of the atmosphere: underneath the poles of our globe
it is mostly solid; there it is similar to the hardest rocks, and may
be cut with a chisel, like stone or marble. This great solidity is
occasioned by the low temperature of the surrounding air; and in very
cold countries ice may be ground so fine as to be blown away by the
wind, and will still be ice.

     _Poles_, the extremities or ends of the axis, an imaginary
     line, supposed to be drawn through the centre of the earth;
     or when applied to the heavens, the two points directly over

Is ice the only instance of Water existing in a state of solidity?

No; it is found in a solid state in many minerals, as in marble, &c.,
and is then called _water of Crystallization_. It is essential, in
many cases, to their solidity and transparency.

     _Essential_, necessary.

     _Transparency_, clearness, the power of transmitting light.

Does Nature decompose Water in any of her operations?

Yes: every living vegetable has the power of decomposing water, by a
secret process peculiar to itself. Fish, too, and all cold-blooded
amphibious animals are gifted with the same power.

     _Decomposing_, separating a mixed body into its several

     _Amphibious_, able to live both in water and out of it.

Of what use is this power to vegetables?

The water which they decompose affords them nourishment for the
support of their vital juices, and enables them, by combining the
fluid gases which compose it with those of the air and the soil, to
form their different products; while the superfluous gas is abundantly
given out by their leaves, to refresh the spent air, and render it
wholesome for the animals that breathe it.

     _Vital_, belonging to life, necessary to existence.

     _Superfluous_, unnecessary, not wanted.

What is Rain?

The condensed aqueous vapors raised in the atmosphere by the sun and
wind, converted into clouds, which fall in rain, snow, hail, or mist:
their falling is occasioned by their own weight in a collision
produced by contrary currents of wind, from the clouds passing into a
colder part of the air, or by electricity. If the vapors are more
copious, and rise a little higher, they form a mist or fog, which is
visible to the eye; higher still they produce rain. Hence we may
account for the changes of the weather: why a cold summer is always a
wet one--a warm, a dry one.

     _Aqueous_, watery; consisting of water.

     _Collision_, a striking together, a clash, a meeting.

     _Electricity_, a natural agent existing in all bodies (see
     page 18).

What seasons are more liable to rain than others?

The Spring and Autumn are generally the most rainy seasons, the vapors
_rise_ more plentifully in Spring; and in the Autumn, as the sun
recedes from us and the cold increases, the vapors, which lingered
above us during the summer heats, _fall_ more easily.

     _Recede_, to fall back, to retreat.

What is Snow?

Rain congealed by cold in the atmosphere, which causes it to fall to
the earth in white flakes. Snow fertilizes the ground by defending the
roots of plants from the intenser cold of the air and the piercing

     _Congealed_, turned by the force of cold from a fluid to a
     solid state; hardened.

     _Fertilize_, to render fruitful.

     _Intenser_, raised to a higher degree, more powerful.

What is Hail?

Drops of rain frozen in their passage through cold air. Hail assumes
various figures according to the degrees of heat or cold through which
it passes, being sometimes round, flat, &c.

What is the Atmosphere?

The mass of aëriform fluid which encompasses the earth on all sides:
it extends about fifty miles above its surface. Air is the elastic
fluid of which it is composed.

     _Elastic_, having the power of springing back, or recovering
     its former figure after the removal of any external pressure
     which has altered that figure. When the force which
     compresses the air is removed, it expands and resumes its
     former state.

What are the uses of air?

It is necessary to the well-being of man, since without it neither he
nor any animal or vegetable could exist. If it were not for
atmospheric air, we should be unable to converse with each other; we
should know nothing of sound or smell; or of the pleasures which arise
from the variegated prospects which surround us: it is to the presence
of air and carbonic acid that water owes its agreeable taste. Boiling
deprives it of the greater part of these, and renders it insipid.

     _Variegated_, diversified, changed; adorned with different

     _Insipid_, tasteless.

What is Wind?

Air in motion with any degree of velocity.

What is Lightning?

The effect of electricity in the clouds. A flash of lightning is
simply a stream of the electric fluid passing from the clouds to the
earth, from the earth to the clouds, or from one cloud to another.
Lightning usually strikes the highest and most pointed objects, as
high hills, trees, spires, masts of ships, &c.

What is Thunder?

The report which accompanies the electrical union of the clouds: or
the echoes of the report between them and the earth. Thunder is caused
by a sudden discharge of electrical matter collected in the air, by
which vibrations are produced, which give rise to the sound.

What is Electricity?

One of those agents passing through the earth and all substances,
without giving any outward signs of its presence, when at rest; yet
when active, often producing violent and destructive effects. It is
_supposed_ to be a highly elastic fluid, capable of moving through
matter. Clouds owe their form and existence, probably, to it; and it
passes through all substances, but more easily through metals, water,
the human body, &c., which are called conductors, than through air,
glass, and silk, which are called _non_-conductors. When bodies are
not surrounded with non-conductors, the electricity escapes quickly
into the earth.

To what part of bodies is Electricity confined?

To their surfaces, as the outside may be electric, and the inside in a
state of neutrality. The heat produced by an electric shock is very
powerful, but is only accompanied by light when the fluid is
obstructed in its passage. The production and condensation of vapor is
a great source of the atmospheric electricity.

     _Condensation_, the act of making any body dense or compact;
     that is, of bringing its parts into closer union.

In what other sense is the term Electricity employed?

This term is also employed to designate that important branch of
knowledge which relates to the properties shown by certain bodies when
rubbed against, or otherwise brought in contact with, each other, to
attract substances, and emit sparks of fire.

     _Designate_, to point out by some particular token.

     _Emit_, to send forth, to throw out.


Whence is the word derived?

From _electron_, the Greek word for amber, a yellow transparent
substance, remarkable for its electrical power when rubbed: amber is
of a resinous nature, and is collected from the sea-shore, or dug from
the earth, in many parts of the world. It is employed in the
manufacture of beads and other toys, on account of its transparency;
is of some use in medicine, and in the making of varnishes.

     _Transparent_, clear, capable of being seen through.

     _Resinous_, containing resin, a gummy vegetable juice.

Name a few substances possessing this remarkable property.

Silks of all kinds; the hair and fur of animals, paper, sulphur, and
some other minerals; most of the precious stones; the paste of which
false gems are made; and many other substances used by us in the
common affairs of life, are susceptible of electrical excitement;
among domestic animals the cat furnishes a remarkable instance. When
dry and warm, the back of almost any full-grown cat (the darker its
color the better) can be excited by rubbing it with the hand in the
direction of the hair, a process which is accompanied with a slight
snapping noise, and in the dark by flashes of pale blue light. When a
piece of glass is rubbed with silk, or a stick of red sealing-wax with
woollen cloth, each substance acquires the property of attracting and
repelling feathers, straws, threads of cotton, and other light
substances; the substances just mentioned as highly electric are,
however, merely specimens. All objects, without exception, most
probably are capable of being electrically excited; but some require
more complicated contrivances to produce it than others.

     _Electric_, having the properties of electricity.

     _Susceptible_, disposed to admit easily.

     _Repelling_, the act of driving back.

     _Complicated_, formed by the union of several parts in one.

Is there not a machine by which we are enabled to obtain large
supplies of electric power at pleasure?

Yes; the electrical machine. It is made of different forms and sizes:
for common purposes those of the simplest form are the best. A common
form of the machine consists of a circular plate of glass, which can
be turned about a horizontal axis by means of a suitable handle. This
plate turns between two supports, and near its upper and lower edges
are two pairs of cushions, usually made of leather, stuffed with
horse-hair and coated with a mixture of zinc, tin, and mercury, called
an _amalgam_. These cushions are the rubbers for producing friction,
and are connected with the earth by means of a metal chain or rod. Two
large hollow cylinders of brass with globular ends, each supported by
two glass pillars, constitute the reservoir for receiving the
electricity. They are called the _prime conductors_, and are supplied
with U-shaped rods of metal, furnished with points along their sides,
called _combs_, for the purpose of receiving the electricity from the
glass plate, the arms of the U being held upon either side. The other
ends of the conductors are connected by a rod from the middle of which
projects another rod terminating in a knob, for delivering the spark.

On turning the plate, a faint snapping sound is heard, and when the
room is darkened, a spark is seen to be thrown out from the knob
projecting from the _prime conductors_.

Many curious and interesting experiments may be performed by means of
the machine, illustrating the general properties of electricity. For
instance: a person standing on an insulated bench, that is, a bench
with glass legs, or having the legs resting on glass, and having one
hand on the conductor, can send sparks, with the other hand, to
everything and everybody about. This illustrates communication of
electricity by contact. A wooden head, covered with long hairs, when
placed on the conductor, illustrates electrical repulsion, by the
hairs standing on end.

If the hand is held to the knob, sparks will pass from it in rapid
succession, causing in the hand a sensation of pain. This is called an
_electric shock_, and is caused by the electric fluid occasioning a
sudden motion by the contraction of the muscles through which it
passes. The force of the shock is in proportion to the power of the

What are the Muscles?

Bundles of thin fleshy fibres, or threads, fastened to the bones of
animals, the contraction and expansion of which move the bones or
perform the organic functions of life.

     _Organic_, relating to organs or natural instruments by
     which some process is carried on.

     _Functions_, employments or offices of any part of the body.

     _Contraction_, drawing in or shortening.

     _Expansion_, extending or spreading out.

What is Twilight?

The light from the first dawning of day to the rising of the sun; and
again between its setting and the last remains of day. Without
twilight, the sun's light would appear at its rising, and disappear at
its setting, instantaneously; and we should experience a sudden
transition from the brightest sunshine to the profoundest obscurity.
The duration of twilight is different in different climates; and in
the same places it varies at different periods of the year.

     _Instantaneously_, done in an instant, in a moment's time.

     _Obscurity_, darkness, want of light.

How is it produced?

By the sun's refraction--that is, the variation of the rays of light
from their direct course, occasioned by the difference of density in
the atmosphere.

     _Variation_, change.

     _Density_, closeness of parts, compactness.

What is the poetical name for the morning Twilight?

Aurora, the goddess of the morning, and harbinger of the rising sun:
whom poets and artists represent as drawn by white horses in a
rose-colored chariot, unfolding with her rosy fingers the portals of
the East, pouring reviving dew upon the earth, and re-animating plants
and flowers.

     _Harbinger_, a forerunner.

     _Portals_, gates, doors of entrance.

     _Reanimating_, invigorating with new life.

What remarkable phenomenon is afforded to the inhabitants of the polar

The Aurora Borealis, or Northern Lights, a luminous appearance in the
northern parts of the heavens, seen mostly during winter, or in frosty
weather, and clear evenings; it assumes a variety of forms and hues,
especially in the polar regions, where it appears in its perfection,
and proves a great solace to the inhabitants amidst the gloom of their
long winter's night, which lasts from one to six months, while the
summer's day which succeeds it lasts in like manner for the same
period of time.

Of what nature is the Aurora Borealis?

It is decidedly an electrical phenomenon which takes place in the
higher regions of the atmosphere. It is somehow connected with the
magnetic poles of the earth; and generally appears in form of a
luminous arch, from east to west, but never from north to south.

     _Phenomenon_, an extraordinary appearance. The word is from
     a Greek one, signifying, to show or appear.

     _Magnetic_, belonging to the magnet, or loadstone.

     _Luminous_, bright, shining.

In what country is it seen constantly from October to Christmas?

In Siberia, where it is remarkably bright. On the western coast of
Hudson's Bay, the sun no sooner disappears, than the Aurora Borealis
diffuses a thousand different lights and colors with such dazzling
beauty, that even the full moon cannot eclipse it.



What is Corn?

Corn signifies a race of plants which produce grain in an ear or head,
fit for bread, the food of man; or the grain or seed of the plant,
separated from the ear.

What is generally meant by Corn?

In this country, maize, or Indian corn, is generally meant; but, in a
more comprehensive sense, the term is applied to several other kinds
of grain, such as wheat, rye, barley, oats, &c.

Where was Corn first used?

It is uncertain. The Athenians pretend that it was amongst them it was
first used; the Cretans, Sicilians, and Egyptians also lay claim to
the same. From the accounts in the Bible, we find that its culture
engaged a large share of the attention of the ancient Hebrews.

     _Culture_, growth, cultivation. _Hebrews_, the children of
     Israel, the Jews

Who were the Athenians?

Inhabitants of Athens, the capital city of Greece.

Who were the Cretans?

The inhabitants of Crete, an island of the Archipelago.

Who were the Sicilians?

Inhabitants of Sicily, the largest island of the Mediterranean Sea,
now a part of Italy, and separated from the mainland by the Strait of

Where do the Egyptians dwell?

In Egypt, a country of Africa. It is extremely fertile, producing
great quantities of corn. In ancient times it was called the dry nurse
of Rome and Italy, from its furnishing with corn a considerable part
of the Roman Empire; and we are informed, both from sacred and
profane history, that it was anciently the most fertile in corn of all
countries of the world. The corn of Syria has always been very
superior, and by many classed above that of Egypt.

For what is Barley generally used?

It is very extensively used for making malt, from which are prepared
beer, ale, porter, &c.; in Scotland it is a common ingredient in
broths, for which reason its consumption is very considerable, barley
broth being a dish very frequent there.

     _Ingredient_, a separate part of a body consisting of
     different materials.

What is Pearl Barley?

Barley freed from the husk by a mill.

What are Oats?

A valuable grain, serving as food for horses. Oats are also eaten by
the inhabitants of many countries, after being ground into meal and
made into oat cakes. Oatmeal also forms a wholesome drink for
invalids, by steeping it in boiling water.

What are the uses of Rye?

In this and some other countries it is much used for bread, either
alone or mixed with wheat; in England principally as food for cattle,
especially for sheep and lambs, when other food is scarce in winter.
Rye yields a strong spirit when distilled.

     _Distilled_, subjected to distillation--the operation of
     extracting spirit from a substance by evaporation and

Of what country is the Potato a native?

Potatoes grew wild in Peru, a country of South America; whence they
were transplanted to other parts of the American continent, and
afterwards to Europe. The honor of introducing this useful vegetable
into England is divided between Sir Francis Drake, in 1580, and Sir
Walter Raleigh, in 1586, some ascribing it to the former, and others
to the latter. It is certain they were obtained from Virginia in the
time of Raleigh; they were cultivated only in the gardens of the
nobility, and were reckoned a great delicacy. They now constitute a
principal article of food in most of the countries of Europe and
America; in Ireland, they have long furnished nearly four-fifths of
the entire food of the people.

What part of the plant is eaten?

The root, which, when roasted or boiled, affords a wholesome and
agreeable meal.

What is Tea?

The leaves of an evergreen shrub, a native of China and Japan, in
which countries alone it is extensively cultivated for use. The
tea-plant was at one time introduced into South Carolina, where its
culture appears to have been attended with but little success. It may
yet become a staple production of some portions of the United States.

     _Evergreen_, retaining its leaves fresh and green through
     all seasons.

How is it prepared for use?

By carefully gathering the leaves, one by one, while they are yet
small, young, and juicy. They are then spread on large flat iron pans,
and placed over small furnaces, when they are constantly shifted by
the hand till they become too hot to be borne.

What is next done?

They are then removed with a kind of shovel resembling a fan, and
poured on mats, whence they are taken in small quantities, and rolled
in the palm of the hand always in one direction, until they cool and
retain the curl.

How often is this operation repeated?

Two or three times, the furnace each time being made less hot. The tea
is then placed in the store-houses, or packed in chests, and sent to
most of the countries in Europe and America.

Describe the appearance of the Tea-tree.

The Tea-tree when arrived at its full growth, which it does in about
seven years, is about a man's height; the green leaves are narrow, and
jagged all round; the flower resembles that of the wild rose, but is
smaller. The shrub loves to grow in valleys, at the foot of mountains,
and on the banks of rivers where it enjoys a southern exposure to the
sun; though it endures considerable variation of heat and cold, as it
flourishes in the northern clime of Pekin, where the winter is often
severe; and also about Canton, where the heat is sometimes very great.
The best tea, however, grows in a temperate climate, the country about
Nankin producing better tea than either Pekin or Canton, between which
two places it is situated.

What produces the difference between Green and Bohea, or Black?

There are varieties of the plant, and the difference of the tea arises
from the mode of preparation.

What nation first introduced it into Europe?

The Dutch in 1610; it was introduced into England in 1650

What is Coffee?

The berry of the coffee-tree, a native of Arabia. The coffee-tree is
an evergreen, and makes a beautiful appearance at all times of the
year, but especially when in flower, and when the berries are red,
which is usually during the winter. It is also cultivated in Persia,
the East Indies, Liberia on the coast of Africa, the West Indies,
Brazil and other parts of South America, as well as in most tropical

     _Tropical_, being within the tropics, that is, in the Torrid

Who was the original discoverer of Coffee, for the drink of man?

It is not exactly known: the earliest written accounts of the use of
Coffee are by Arabian writers in the 15th century; it appears that in
the city of Aden it became, in the latter half of that century, a very
popular drink, first with lawyers, studious persons, and those whose
occupation required wakefulness at night, and soon after, with all
classes. Its use gradually extended to other cities, and to those on
the eastern shores of the Mediterranean. Towards the end of the
seventeenth century, it was carried to Batavia where it was soon
extensively planted, and at last young trees were sent to the
botanical garden at Amsterdam.

Who introduced it into France and England?

Thevenot, the traveller, brought it into France, and a Greek servant
named Pasqua (taken to England by Mr. Daniel Edwards, a Turkey
merchant, in 1652, to make his coffee,) first set up the profession of
coffee-man, and introduced the drink among the English.

How is it prepared?

The berries are roasted in a revolving metallic cylinder, till they
are of a deep brown color, and then ground to powder, and boiled.

     _Metallic_, consisting of metal.

What is Chocolate?

A kind of cake or paste, made of the kernel of the cacao-nut.

Describe the Cacao-nut Tree.

It resembles the cherry tree, and grows to the height of fifteen or
sixteen feet. The cacao-nut tree bears leaves, flowers, and fruit, all
the year through.

Where does it grow?

In tropical regions, where it is largely cultivated.

Of what form is the fruit?

It is somewhat like a cucumber, about three inches round, and of a
yellowish red color. It contains from ten to forty seeds, each covered
with a little rind, of a violet color; when this is stripped off, the
kernel, of which they make the chocolate, is visible.

How do they make it into a drink?

By boiling it with water or milk. There are various newly-invented
ways of preparing chocolate, so that it may be made in a few minutes,
by only pouring boiling water upon it.



What is Calico?

A kind of printed cotton cloth, of different colors.

From what place did it take its name?

From Calicut, a city on the coast of Malabar, where it was first made;
much is now manufactured in the United States, England, and many other

What is Cotton?

A downy or woolly substance, enclosed in the pod, or seed-vessel, of
the cotton-plant. The commercial classification of cotton is
determined--1, by cleanliness or freedom from sand, dry leaf, and
other impurities; 2, by absence of color; both subject also to
character of staple, length, and strength and fineness of fibre. These
together determine relative value. There are two general
classifications, long-stapled and short-stapled. Of the former the
best is the sea island cotton of the United States. The _short staple
cotton_, grows in the middle and upper country; the long staple is
cultivated in the lower country near the sea, and on the islands near
the coasts.

How is it cultivated?

The seeds are sown in ridges made with the plough or hoe; when the
plants are mature, the pods open, and the cotton is picked from them.

Where did Cotton anciently grow, and for what was it used?

In Egypt, where it was used by the priests and sacrificers, for a very
singular kind of garment worn by them alone.

In what manufacture is it now used?

It is woven into muslins, dimities, cloths, calicoes, &c.; and is
also joined with silks and flax, in the composition of other stuffs,
and in working with the needle.

How is the Cotton separated from the seed?

By machines called _cotton gins_, of which there are two kinds; the
_roller-gin_, and the _saw-gin_. In the former, the cotton, just as
gathered from the plant, is drawn between two rollers, placed so
closely together as to permit the passage of the cotton, but not of
the seeds, which are consequently left behind. In the _saw-gin_, the
cotton is placed in a receiver, one side of which consists of a
grating of parallel wires, about an eighth of an inch apart; circular
saws, revolving on a common axis between these wires, entangle in
their teeth the cotton, and draw it from the seeds, which are too
large to pass between the wires.

How is it made into Calico, &c.?

The cotton having been separated from the seed, is spun by a machine
for the purpose. It is next woven, then dressed, and printed.

What is Cloth?

The word, in its general sense, includes all kinds of stuffs woven in
the loom, whether the threads be of wool, cotton, hemp, or flax.

To what is it more particularly applied?

To a web or tissue of woollen threads.

     _Web_, any thing woven.

What is Wool?

The covering or hair of sheep. To prepare it for the weaver, it is
first shorn, washed, and dried, then carded or combed by machinery
into fibres or threads: formerly this was always performed by the
hand, by means of an instrument, called a comb, with several rows of
pointed teeth; this, though not much used now, is still occasionally
employed, except in large factories. This combing is repeated two or
three times, till it is sufficiently smooth and even for spinning.
Spinning or converting wool, or cotton, silk, &c. into thread, was
anciently performed by the distaff and spindle: these we find
mentioned in sacred history, and they have been used in all ages, and
in all countries yet discovered. The natives of India, and of some
other parts of the world, still employ this simple invention.

What was the next improvement?

The invention of the hand-wheel. In 1767, a machine called the
spinning-jenny was invented by a weaver named Hargreaves; but the
greatest improvement in the art of spinning was effected by Mr.
Arkwright, in 1768: these two inventions were combined, and again
improved upon in 1776; so that by the new plan, the material can be
converted into thread in a considerably shorter space of time than in
the ancient mode; leaving to man merely to feed the machine, and join
the threads when they break. The sheep, whose wool forms the material
for nearly all woollen clothing, came originally from Africa.

Does weaving differ according to the material used?

The principle of weaving is the same in every kind of fabric, and
consists in forming any kind of thread into a flat web, or cloth, by
interlacing one thread with another; the various appearances of the
manufacture arise as much from the modes in which the threads are
interwoven, as from the difference of material.

Is not the employment of Wool in the manufacture of Clothing of great

In the earliest records we possess of the arts of mankind, wool is
mentioned as forming a chief article in the manufacture of clothing;
it is spoken of in the Bible, as a common material for cloth, as early
as the time of Moses. The ancient Greeks and Romans are well known to
have possessed this art. At the beginning of the thirteenth century,
the manufacture was established in many parts of Europe, particularly
in Spain, from which country it extended itself to France and Italy.
There is no doubt that it was introduced into England by its
conquerors the Romans, a manufactory being established at Winchester,
sufficiently large to supply the Roman army.

     _Manufactory_, a place where things are made or
     manufactured; derived from the Latin _manus_, a hand, and
     the verb _facio_, to do or make.

What circumstance contributed to the progress of this manufacture
among the English?

In 1330, the English, being desirous of improving their woollen
manufacture, invited over the Flemings, by the offer of various
privileges, to establish manufactories there. The skill of these
people soon effected a great improvement in the English fabrics, so
that there no longer remained any occasion for the exportation of
English wool into Flanders, to be manufactured into fine cloth; and a
law was passed by the government to forbid it. Both the cotton and
woollen manufactures have, of late years, arisen to great importance
in the United States.

What country affords the best Wool?

The wool of Germany is most esteemed at the present day: that of Spain
was formerly the most valuable, but the Spanish breed of sheep, having
been introduced into Germany, succeeded better there than in Spain,
and increased so rapidly, that the Spanish wool trade has greatly
diminished. Australia is one of the principal wool-growing countries
in the world, for the breed of sheep sent out to that country and
Tasmania has succeeded remarkably well.

What part of the world is meant by Australia?

A British Island in the South Pacific Ocean, comprising the Colonies
of Queensland, New South Wales, Victoria, South Australia, and Western
Australia. It is the principal of the group of large islands, in the
Oriental Archipelago. Tasmania is another of the same group, separated
from New South Wales by a channel called Bass's Strait, and also
belongs to Great Britain.

What is meant by an Archipelago?

A part of a sea studded with numerous islands; but the term is more
particularly applied to that lying between Europe and Asia, which
contains the Greek Islands. The word is a corruption from the Greek,
signifying the Ægean Sea.

Is the Wool of the sheep all of one quality?

No; it varies according to the species of sheep, the soil on which
they are fed, and the part of the animal from which it is taken: the
chief distinction is between the long and the short wool; the long
wool is employed in the manufacture of carpets, crapes, blankets, &c.;
and the finer and shorter sorts for hosiery, broadcloths &c.

Where were Carpets originally made?

Carpets are of oriental origin, and are made of different sorts of
stuffs; they are woven in a variety of ways. Persian and Turkey
carpets are most esteemed; they are woven in a piece, in looms of a
very simple construction. Formerly the manufacture of these carpets
was confined to Persia and Turkey; but they are now successfully made,
both in Europe and the United States, &c. Great Britain is the
principal seat of the carpet manufacture of the world. Brussels,
Wilton, and Kidderminster carpets derive their names from the places
where they were invented.

Is not the art of weaving very ancient?

It appears to have been known from a period as early as the time of
Abraham and Jacob; its inventor is not known, but it is possible that
men took a lesson from the ingenious spider, which weaves its web
after the same manner. The ancient Egyptians appear to have brought it
to great perfection, and were even acquainted with the art of
interweaving colors after the manner of the Scottish plaid.

What is Baize?

A coarse, open, woollen stuff, with a long nap. It is chiefly made in
the United States, England, France, &c.

What is Linen?

There are various kinds of linen, made from cotton, flax, and hemp;
but the term is chiefly applied to that woven with the two last
mentioned. Linen means cloth of flax; hence its derivation from the
Latin word _linum_, flax.

What is Flax?

An annual plant, the fibres of which are beaten into threads, spun,
and afterwards woven into linen; it is extensively cultivated in the
United States, Russia, and some other countries of Europe. Hemp is a
plant of a similar nature, equally used with flax, in the manufacture
of linens. Russian hemp is cultivated to a larger extent than that of
any other country, and is considered the best that is grown.

How long has the use of Hemp and Flax been known?

Those plants are said to be natives of Persia, and introduced from
some parts of the East into Europe, over which it is now widely
distributed: it existed both in a wild and cultivated state, in some
parts of Russia, as early as five centuries before Christ These
products form a considerable article of exportation, besides the
quantity used in Russia itself; a considerable part is wrought into
linens, diapers, canvas, and other manufactures; and even the seeds
are exported, both in their natural state and as oil. In various parts
of Russia, hemp-seed oil and flax-seed (or linseed) oil are prepared
in very large quantities.

What is Diaper?

A sort of linen cloth, woven in flowers, and other figures; it is said
to have received its name from d'Iper, now Ypres, a town of Belgium,
situated on a river of the same name, where it was first made.

What is Holland?

A fine, close, even, linen cloth, used for sheets, &c. It obtained its
name from being principally made in Holland.

What is Canvas?

A hempen cloth, so loosely woven as to leave interstices between the
threads, in little squares. It is used for working in patterns upon it
with wools, &c.; by painters for a ground work on which they draw
their pictures; for tents, sails, and many other purposes. There are
several sorts, varying in the fineness of their texture.

What is Damask?

A sort of silken stuff, having some parts raised on its surface to
represent flowers or figures. It took its name from Damascus, in
Syria, whence it was first brought.

Is there not another sort of Damask?

Yes, made from linen; and so called because its large flowers resemble
those of damask roses. It was first made in Flanders, and is used for
table linen, &c.

What is Flannel?

A slight, loose, woollen stuff, used for warm clothing; it was
originally made in Wales, where it still continues to be manufactured
in great perfection.



Of what form is the tree which bears those large nuts, called Cocoa

It is tall and straight, without branches, and generally about thirty
or forty feet high; at the top are twelve leaves, ten feet long, and
half a foot broad; above the leaves, grows a large excrescence in the
form of a cabbage, excellent to eat, but taking it off kills the tree.
The cocoa is a species of Palm.

Is not the Indian liquor called Toddy, produced from the Cocoa Tree?

Yes, between the leaves and the top arise several shoots about the
thickness of a man's arm, which, when cut, distil a white, sweet,
and agreeable liquor; while this liquor exudes, the tree yields no
fruit; but when the shoots are allowed to grow, it puts out a large
cluster or branch, on which the cocoa nuts hang, to the number of ten
or twelve.

     _Distil_, to let fall in drops.

     _Exude_, to force or throw out.


How often does this tree produce nuts?

Three times a year, the nuts being about the size of a man's head, and
of an oval form.

Of what countries is it a native?

Of Asia, the Indies, Africa, Arabia, the Islands of the Southern
Pacific, and the hottest parts of America.

What are the uses of this Tree?

The leaves of the tree are made into baskets; they are also used for
thatching houses: the fibrous bark of the nut, and the trunk of the
tree, are made into cordage, sails, and cloth; the shell, into
drinking bowls and cups; the kernel affords a wholesome food, and the
milk contained in the shell, a cooling liquor.

From what country was the Cherry Tree first brought?

From Cerasus, a city of Pontus, in Asia, on the southern borders of
the Black Sea; from which place this tree was brought to Rome, in the
year of that city 680, by Lucullus; it was conveyed, a hundred and
twenty-eight years after, into Great Britain, A.D. 55.

What is the meaning of A.D.?

A short way of writing Anno Domini, Latin words for _in the year of
our Lord_.

Who was Lucullus?

A renowned Roman general.

Is the wood of the Cherry Tree useful?

It is used in cabinet-making, for boxes, and other articles.

What is Bark?

The exterior part of trees, which serves them as a skin or covering.

     _Exterior_, the outside.

Does it not undergo some change during the year?

Each year the bark of a tree divides, and distributes itself two
contrary ways, the outer part gives towards the skin, till it becomes
skin itself, and at length falls off; the inner part is added to the
wood. The bark is to the body of a tree, what the skin of our body is
to the flesh.

Of what use is Bark?

Bark is useful for many things: of the bark of willows and linden
trees, ropes are sometimes made. The Siamese make their cordage of the
cocoa tree bark, as do most of the Asiatic and African nations; in the
East Indies, they make the bark of a certain tree into a kind of
cloth; some are used in medicines, as the Peruvian bark for Quinine;
others in dyeing, as that of the alder; others in spicery, as
cinnamon, &c.; the bark of oak, in tanning; that of a kind of birch is
used by the Indians for making canoes.

What are Canoes?

Boats used by savages; they are made chiefly of the trunks of trees
dug hollow; and sometimes of pieces of bark fastened together.

How do the savages guide them?

With paddles, or oars; they seldom carry sails, and the loading is
laid in the bottom.

Are not the savages very dexterous in the management of them?

Yes, extremely so; they strike the paddles with such regularity, that
the canoes seem to fly along the surface of the water; at the same
time balancing the vessels with their bodies, to prevent their

     _Dexterous_, expert, nimble.

Do they leave their canoes in the water on their return from a voyage?

No, they draw them ashore, hang them up by the two ends, and leave
them to dry; they are generally so light as to be easily carried from
place to place.

Were not books once made of Bark?

Yes, the ancients wrote their books on the barks of many trees, as on
those of the ash and the lime tree, &c.

Which part did they use?

Not the exterior or outer bark, but the inner and finer, which is of
so durable a texture, that there are manuscripts written on it which
are still extant, though more than a thousand years old.

Is it not also used in Manure?

Yes, especially that of the oak; but the best oak bark is used in

What is Cork?

The thick, spongy, external bark of the Cork Tree, a species of oak.
There are two varieties of this tree, the broad-leaved and the narrow:
it is an evergreen, and grows to the height of thirty feet. The Cork
Tree attains to a very great age.

Where is the Tree found?

In Spain, Italy, France, and many other countries. The true cork is
the produce of the broad-leaved tree.

What are its uses?

Cork is employed in various ways, but especially for stopping vessels
containing liquids, and, on account of its buoyancy in water, in the
construction of life boats. It is also used in the manufacture of life
preservers and cork jackets. The greatest quantities are brought from
Catalonia, in Spain. The uses of Cork were well known to the ancients.

To what particular use did the Egyptians put it?

They made coffins of it, lined with a resinous composition, which
preserved the bodies of the dead uncorrupted.

What is Cochineal?

A drug used by the dyers, for dyeing crimsons and scarlets; and for
making carmine, a brilliant red used in painting, and several of the

Is it a plant?

No, it is an insect. The form of the Cochineal is oval; it is about
the size of a small pea, and has six legs armed with claws, and a
trunk by which it sucks its nourishment.

What is its habitation?

It breeds in a fruit resembling a pear; the plant which bears it is
about five or six feet high; at the top of the fruit grows a red
flower, which when full blown, falls upon it; the fruit then appears
full of little red insects, having very small wings. These are the

How are they caught?

By spreading a cloth under the plant, and shaking it with poles, till
the insects quit it and fly about, which they cannot do many minutes,
but soon tumble down dead into the cloth; where they are left till
quite dry.

Does the insect change its color when it is dead?

When the insect flies, it is red; when it is fallen, black; and when
first dried, it is greyish; it afterwards changes to a purplish grey,
powdered over with a kind of white dust.

From what countries is the Cochineal brought?

From the West Indies, Jamaica, Mexico, and other parts of America.

What are Cloves?

The dried flower-buds of the Clove Tree, anciently a native of the
Moluccas; but afterwards transplanted by the Dutch (who traded in
them,) to other islands, particularly that of Ternate. It is now found
in most of the East Indian Islands.

Describe the Clove Tree.

It is a large handsome tree of the myrtle kind; its leaves resemble
those of the laurel. Though the Clove Tree is cultivated to a great
extent, yet, so easily does the fruit on falling take root, that it
thus multiplies itself, in many instances, without the trouble of
culture. The clove when it first begins to appear is white, then
green, and at last hard and red; when dried, it turns yellow, and then
dark brown.

What are its qualities?

The Clove is the hottest, and most acrid of aromatic substances; one
of our most wholesome spices, and of great use in medicine; it also
yields an abundance of oil, which is much used by perfumers, and in

     _Acrid_, of a hot, biting taste.

     _Aromatic_, fragrant, having an agreeable odor.

What is Cinnamon?

An agreeable, aromatic spice, the bark of a tree of the laurel kind;
the Cinnamon tree grows in the Southern parts of India; but most
abundantly in the island of Ceylon, where it is extensively
cultivated; its flowers are white, resembling those of the lilac in
form, and are very fragrant; they are borne in large clusters. The
tree sends up numerous shoots the third or fourth year after it has
been planted; these shoots are planted out, when nearly an inch in

How is the bark procured?

By stripping it off from these shoots, after they have been cut down;
the trees planted for the purpose of obtaining cinnamon, throw out a
great number of branches, apparently from the same root, and are not
allowed to rise higher than ten feet; but in its native uncultivated
state, the cinnamon tree usually rises to the height of twenty or
thirty feet.

How is the Cinnamon Tree cultivated?

By seed, sown during the rains; from shoots cut from large trees; and
by transplanting old stumps. The cinnamon tree, in its wild state, is
said to be propagated by means of a kind of pigeons, that feed on its
fruit; in carrying which to their nests, the seeds fall out, and,
dropping in various places, take root, spring up, and become trees.

     _Propagated_, spread, extended, multiplied.

What else is obtained from this tree?

The bark, besides being used as a spice, yields an oil highly
esteemed, both as a medicine and as a perfume; the fruit by boiling
also produces an oil, used by the natives for burning in lamps; as
soon as it hardens, it becomes a solid substance like wax, and is
formed into candles. Camphor is extracted from the root. Cassia is
cinnamon of an inferior kind.



What is Bombazine?

A stuff composed of silk and wool woven together in a loom. It was
first made at Milan, and thence sent abroad; great quantities are now
made in England and other countries.

Where is Milan situated?

In Italy, and is noted for its cathedral.

For what is Bombazine used?

For dresses. Black bombazine is worn entirely for mourning. The
original bombazine has, however, become much less used than formerly,
on account of the numerous newly-invented fabrics of finer or coarser
qualities, composed of the same materials mixed in various degrees, as
Mousselines de laine, Challis, &c.

What is Crape?

A light, transparent stuff, resembling gauze, made of raw silk very
loosely woven, or of wool; by raw silk is meant, silk in the state in
which it is taken from the silk worm.

Where was Crape first made?

At Bologna, a city of Italy.

What city of France was long celebrated for its manufacture?

Lyons, the second city of France, where there are large silk
manufactories. Great quantities are also made in England, principally
in the city of Norwich, which has long been distinguished for the
beauty of its crapes.

What is Camlet?

A stuff made sometimes of wool, sometimes of silk and hair, especially
that of goats. The oriental camlet is made of the pure hair of a sort
of goat, a native of Angora, a city of Natolia, in Turkey. The
European camlets are made of a mixture of woollen thread and hair.

What countries are most noted for them?

England, France, Holland, and Flanders; the city of Brussels, in
Belgium, exceeds them all in the beauty and quality of its camlets;
those of England are the next.

What is Cambric?

A species of linen made of flax; it is very fine and white.

From whence did it take its name?

From Cambray, a large and celebrated city of French Flanders, where it
was first made; it is now made at other places in France; and also in
England, Scotland, Ireland, the United States, &c.

What is Lace?

A work composed of many threads of fine linen or silk, interwoven one
with another according to some particular pattern. Belgium, France,
and England are the principal countries in which this manufacture is
carried on; vast quantities of the finest laces were formerly made in

From what is Silk produced?

From the silk-worm, an insect not more remarkable for the precious
matter it furnishes, than for the many forms it assumes before and
after it envelopes itself in the beautiful ball, the silken threads of
which form the elegant texture which is so much worn.

     _Texture_, a web or substance woven.

What are the habits of this insect, and on what does it feed?

After bursting from the egg, it becomes a large worm or caterpillar of
a yellowish white color, (which is its first state;) this caterpillar
feeds on the leaves of the mulberry tree, till, arriving at maturity,
it winds itself up in a silken bag or case, called a cocoon, about the
size and shape of a pigeon's egg, and becomes a chrysalis; in which
state it lies without signs of life; in about ten days it eats its way
out of its case, a perfect butterfly, which lays a number of eggs and
then dies. In the warmth of the summer weather, these eggs are
hatched, and become worms, as their parents did at first.

     _Maturity_, ripeness, perfection

How much silk is each ball said to contain?

Each ball consists of a very fine, soft, bright, delicate thread,
which being wound off, extends in length six miles.

What is meant by Chrysalis?

The second state into which the insect passes before it comes to be a
butterfly. The maggot or worm having ceased to eat, fixes itself in
some place till its skin separates, and discovers a horny, oblong
body, which is the chrysalis.

Where was Silk first made?

The culture and manufacture of silk was originally confined to China.
The Greeks, under Alexander the Great, brought home, among other
Eastern luxuries, wrought silks from Persia, about 323, B.C.
It was not long unknown to the Romans, although it was so rare, that
it was even sold weight for weight with gold. The Emperor Aurelian,
who died in 275, B.C. refused the Empress, his wife, a suit
of silk which she solicited with much earnestness, merely on account
of its dearness. Heliogabalus, the Emperor, who died half a century
before Aurelian, was the first who wore a _holosericum_ or garment all
of silk.

Who introduced the Silk Worm itself into Europe?

Two monks, engaged as missionaries in China, obtained a quantity of
silk worms' eggs, which they concealed in a hollow cane, and conveyed
in safety to Constantinople in 552; the eggs were hatched in the
proper season by the warmth of manure, and the worms fed with the
leaves of the wild mulberry tree. These worms in due time spun their
silk, and propagated under the care of the monks, who also instructed
the Romans in the whole process of manufacturing their production.
From the insects thus produced, proceeded all the silk worms which
have since been reared in Europe, and the western parts of Asia. The
mulberry tree was then eagerly planted, and on this, their natural
food, they were successfully reared in Greece; and the manufacture was
established at Thebes, Athens, and Corinth, in particular. The
Venetians, soon after this time commencing a trade with the Greeks,
supplied all the Western parts of Europe with silks for many

Where were the cities of Thebes and Athens situated?

Thebes was an ancient city of Beotia, in Greece, founded by Cadmus, a
Phenician, though of Egyptian parentage. Sailing from the coast of
Phenicia, he arrived in Beotia, and built the city, calling it Thebes,
from the city of that name in Egypt. To this prince is ascribed the
invention of sixteen letters of the Greek Alphabet. Athens was the
capital of Attica, founded by Cecrops, an Egyptian. It was the seat of
learning and the arts, and has produced some of the most celebrated
warriors, statesmen, orators, poets, and sculptors in the world. Since
the emancipation of Greece from the cruel bondage of its conquerors
the Turks, who had oppressed it for three centuries, Athens has been
chosen as its capital, and is still a considerable town adorned with
splendid ruins of the beautiful buildings it once possessed. Thebes
and Corinth, another celebrated city, are now only villages.

     _Warrior_, a soldier.

     _Statesmen_, men versed in the arts of government.

     _Orator_, a public speaker.

     _Poet_, one who composes poetry.

     _Sculptor_, one who cuts figures in stone, marble, or ivory.

Who were the Venetians?

Inhabitants of Venice, a city of Italy.

Did this manufacture continue to be confined to the Greeks and

By no means. The rest of Italy, and Spain, by degrees learnt the art
from some manufactories in Sicily; and about the reign of Francis the
First, the French became masters of it. It, however, long remained a
rarity; their King, Henry the Second, is supposed to have worn the
first pair of knit silk stockings. The Fourth Henry encouraged the
planting of mulberry trees; his successors also did the same, and the
produce of silk in France is now very considerable.

When was the manufacture of silk introduced into England?

There was a company of silk women in England as early as the year
1455; but they probably were merely employed in needlework of silk and
thread, for Italy supplied England with the broad manufacture during
the chief part of the fifteenth century. The great advantage this new
manufacture afforded, made King James the First very desirous for its
introduction into England, particularly in 1608, when it was
recommended, in very earnest terms, to plant mulberry trees for the
rearing of silk worms; but unhappily without effect. However, towards
the latter end of this reign, the broad silk manufacture was
introduced, and with great success. The revocation of the Edict of
Nantes contributed greatly to its promotion, by the number of French
workmen who took refuge in England; to them the English are indebted
for the art of manufacturing many elegant kinds of silks, satins,
velvets, &c., which had formerly been imported from abroad up to the
year 1718. The silk manufacture has also been successfully introduced
into some portions of the United States.

     _Revocation_, act of recalling, repeal.

     _Imported_, brought into.

What was the Edict of Nantes?

A law made in favor of the Protestants, the repealing of which drove
many of their most skilful workmen to take refuge in England. They
were kindly received, and settled in Spitalfields, and many other
parts of England as well as Ireland, where they carried on a
flourishing and ingenious manufacture.

Were the attempts to rear Silk Worms in England successful?

No; after many trials, all of which failed, attention was directed to
the establishments for procuring both raw and wrought silks, in the
settlements in India belonging to Britain; this was attended with
complete success, the climate being extremely favorable, and the price
of labor cheap. Raw silk is imported in quantities from India, China,
Italy, &c.

How is the Silk taken from the Worm?

The people who are employed in the care of these insects collect the
golden balls from off the mulberry trees, (to the leaves of which the
insects glue their silk) and put them into warm water, that the
threads may unfasten and wind off more easily; having taken off the
coarse woolly part which covers the balls, they take twelve or
fourteen threads at a time, and wind them off into skeins. In order to
prepare this beautiful material for the hand of the weaver to be
wrought into silks, stuffs, brocades, satins, velvets, ribbons, &c.,
it is spun, reeled, milled, bleached, and dyed.

     _Milled_, worked in a kind of mill.

     _Bleached_, whitened.

What is Velvet?

A rich kind of stuff, all silk, covered on the outside with a close,
short, fine, soft shag; the wrong side being very strong and close.
The principal number, and the best velvets, were made in France and
Italy; others in Holland; they are now brought to great perfection in
England. An inferior kind is made by mixing cotton with the silk.
Velvet has been known in Europe for some centuries, but its
manufacture was long confined to some of the chief cities of Italy.
From that country the French learned the art, and greatly improved it.

Whence is the word Velvet derived?

From the Italian word _velluto_, signifying velvet, which comes from
_vellus_, hair or fleece.

What is Mohair?

The hair of a kind of goat, common about Angora, in Turkey. It is used
in the manufacture of various kinds of stuffs, shawls, &c.

Is there not another animal much celebrated for the material it
furnishes in the making of shawls?

Yes; the Thibet goat. The wool is sent to Cashmere, where it is spun
and dyed. Cashmere is situated in the north-west extremity of India,
and has long been celebrated for the beautiful and valuable shawls
bearing its name which are manufactured there. The goats are beautiful
creatures, with long, fine, wavy hair, reaching nearly to the ground,
so as almost to conceal their legs. The material of which the shawls
are made is a fine silky down, which grows under the long hair, next
to the skin.



What are Currants?

A kind of small raisins or dried grapes.

Whence are they brought?

From several islands of the Archipelago, particularly Zante and
Cephalonia; and from the Isthmus of Corinth, in Greece.

Do they grow on bushes like our Currants?

No, on vines like other grapes, except that the leaves are somewhat
thicker, and the grapes much smaller: they have no pips, and are of a
deep red, or rather black color.

When are they gathered, and how are they dried?

They are gathered in August, and laid on the ground in heaps till dry;
they are then cleaned, and put into magazines, from which they are
taken and packed in barrels for exportation.

What do you mean by Exportation?

The act of conveying goods for sale from one country to another.

What are Raisins?

Grapes prepared by drying them in the sun, or by the heat of an oven.
Raisins of Damascus, so called from the capital city of Syria, near
which they are cultivated, are very large, flat, and wrinkled on the
surface; soft and juicy inside, and nearly an inch long. Raisins of
the sun, or jar raisins, so called from being imported in jars, are
all dried by the heat of the sun; they are of a reddish blue color,
and are the produce of Spain, whence the finest and best raisins are
brought. There are several other sorts, named either from the place in
which they grow, or the kind of grape of which they are made, as those
of Malaga, Valencia, &c.

In what manner are they dried?

The common way of drying grapes for raisins, is to tie two or three
bunches of them together while yet on the vine, and dip them into a
lye made of hot wood-ashes, mixed with a little olive oil. This makes
them shrink and wrinkle: after this they are cut from the branches
which supported them, but left on the vine for three or four days,
separated on sticks, in an upright position, to dry at leisure.
Different modes, however, are adopted, according to the quality of the
grape. The commonest kinds are dried in hot ovens, but the best way is
that in which the grapes are cut when fully ripe, and dried by the
heat of the sun, on a floor of hard earth or stone.

     _Lye_, a liquor made from wood-ashes; of great use in
     medicine, bleaching, sugar works, &c.

What are Figs?

A soft, luscious fruit, the produce of the fig-tree. The best figs are
brought from Turkey, but they are also imported from Italy, Spain, and
the southern part of France. The islands of the Archipelago yield an
inferior sort in great abundance. In this country they are sometimes
planted in a warm situation in gardens, but, being difficult to ripen,
they do not arrive at perfection. The figs sent from abroad are dried
by the heat of the sun, or in furnaces for the purpose.

     _Luscious_, sweet to excess, cloying.

What is Rice?

A useful and nutritious grain, cultivated in immense quantities in
India, China, and most eastern countries; in the West Indies, Central
America, and the United States; and in southern Europe. It forms the
principal food of the people of eastern and southern Asia, and is more
extensively consumed than any other species of grain, not even
excepting wheat.

     _Nutritious_, wholesome, good for food.

Does it not require a great deal of moisture?

Yes, it is usually planted in moist soils, and near rivers, where the
ground can be overflowed after it is come up. The Chinese water their
rice-fields by means of movable mills, placed as occasion requires,
upon any part of the banks of a river; the water is raised in buckets
to a proper height, and afterwards conveyed in channels to the
destined places.

What is Sugar?

A sweet, agreeable substance, manufactured chiefly from the Sugar
Cane,[1] a native of the East and West Indies, South America and the
South Sea Islands; it is much cultivated in all tropical countries.
The earliest authentic accounts of sugar, are about the time of the
Crusades,[2] when it appears to have been purchased from the Saracens,
and imported into Europe.

[Footnote 1: Most of the sugar in Europe is made from beets.]
[Footnote 2: See Chapter XVII., article Navigation.]

     _Authentic_, true, certain.

     _Crusades_, holy wars.

     _Saracens_, Turks or Arabs.

How is it prepared?

The canes are crushed between large rollers in a mill, and the juice
collected into a large vessel placed to receive it; it is then boiled,
and placed in pans to cool, when it becomes imperfectly crystallized,
in which state we use it. This is called raw or soft sugar: loaf
sugar, or the hard white sugar, is the raw brown sugar, prepared by
refining it till all foreign matter is removed.

Is the Sugar Cane the only vegetable that produces Sugar?

All vegetables contain more or less sugar, but the plant in which it
most abounds is the sugar-cane. In the United States, a large quantity
of sugar is prepared from the sap of the Sugar Maple Tree. The trees
are tapped at the proper season by a cut being made in the bark, and
the juice runs into a vessel placed to receive it; it is then prepared
in the same manner as the juice of the sugar cane.

What is Sugar Candy?

Sugar purified and crystallized.

What is Barley Sugar?

Sugar boiled till it is brittle, and cast on a stone anointed with oil
of sweet almonds, and then formed into twisted sticks.

What is Sago?

A substance prepared from the pith of the Sago Palm, which grows
naturally in various parts of Africa and the Indies. The pith, which
is even eatable in its natural state, is taken from the trunk of the
tree, and thrown into a vessel placed over a horse-hair sieve; water
is then thrown over the mass, and the finer parts of the pith pass
through the sieve; the liquor thus obtained is left to settle. The
clear liquor is then drawn off, and what remains is formed into
grains by being passed through metal dishes, with numerous small
holes; it is next dried by the action of heat, and in this state it is
exported. The Sago Palm also produces sugar.

What is Millet, and in what countries does it grow?

Millet is an esculent grain, originally brought from the Eastern
countries. It is cultivated in many parts of Europe, but most
extensively in Egypt, Syria, China, and Hindostan, whence we are
furnished with it, it being rarely cultivated among us, except as a

     _Esculent_, good for food.

For what is Millet used?

It is in great request amongst the Germans for puddings; for which it
is sometimes used amongst us. The Italians make loaves and cakes of

What is Ginger?

The root of a plant cultivated in the East and West Indies, and in
America; it is a native of South-eastern Asia and the adjoining

Describe its nature and use.

It is a warm aromatic, much used in medicine and cookery. The Indians
eat the root when green as a salad, chopping it small with other
herbs; they also make a candy of it with sugar. The ginger sold in the
shops here is dried, which is done by placing the roots in the heat of
the sun or in ovens, after being dug out of the ground. Quantities not
only of the dried root, but also of the candied sugar, are imported.

What are Nutmegs?

A delicate aromatic fruit or spice, brought from the East Indies. The
nutmeg tree greatly resembles our pear tree, and produces a kind
of nut, which bears the same name as the tree.


What is the appearance of the Nutmeg?

Its form is round, and its smell agreeable. The nutmeg is inclosed
in four different covers; the first, a thick fleshy coat, (like our
walnut,) which opens of itself when ripe; under this lies a thin
reddish network, of an agreeable smell and aromatic taste, called
mace; this wraps up the shell, which opens as the fruit grows. The
shell is the third cover, which is hard, thin, and blackish; under
this is a greenish film of no use; and in the last you find the
nutmeg, which is the kernel of the fruit.

What are its uses?

The nutmeg is much used in our food, and is of excellent virtue as a
medicine. It also yields an oil of great fragrance.

Is the Mace used as a spice?

Yes, it is separated from the shell of the nutmeg, and dried in the
sun. It is brought over in flakes of a yellow color, smooth and
net-like, as you see it in the shops. Its taste is warm, bitterish,
and rather pungent; its smell, aromatic. It is used both in food and
medicine, as the nutmeg, and also yields an oil.

     _Pungent_, of a hot, biting taste.

What is Pimento or Allspice?

The dried unripe berry or fruit of a tree growing in great abundance
in Jamaica, particularly on the northern side of that island, on hilly
spots, near the coast; it is also a native of both Indies. The Pimento
Tree is a West Indian species of Myrtle; it grows to the height of
twenty or thirty feet; the leaves are all of a deep, shining green,
and the blossom consists of numerous branches of small, white,
aromatic flowers, which render its appearance very striking; there is
scarcely in the vegetable world any tree more beautiful than a young
Pimento about the month of July, when it is in full bloom.

When is the time to gather the spice?

About the month of September, not long after the blossoms are fallen,
the berries are gathered by the hand; one laborer on the tree,
employed in gathering the small branches, will give employment to
three below (who are generally women and children) in picking the
berries. They are then spread out thinly, and exposed to the sun at
its rising and setting for some days; when they begin to dry, they are
frequently winnowed, and laid on cloths to preserve them better from
rain and dew; by this management they become wrinkled, and change from
green to a deep reddish brown color. Great quantities are annually

What are its uses?

It forms a pleasant addition to flavor food; it also yields an
agreeable essential oil, and is accounted the best and mildest of
common spices.

     _Essential_, pure; extracted so as to contain all the
     virtues of the spice in a very small compass.

Why is it called Allspice?

Because it has been supposed to combine the flavor of cloves, nutmegs,
and cinnamon; the French call it _round clove_, from its round shape,
and the taste being somewhat like that spice.

What is Pepper?

The product of a creeping shrub, growing in several parts of the East
Indies, Asia, and America.

In what manner does Pepper grow, and what part of the shrub is used?

Pepper is the fruit of this shrub, and grows in bunches or clusters,
at first green; as it ripens it becomes reddish, until having been
exposed for some time to the heat of the sun, (or probably gathered
before perfectly ripe,) it becomes black, as in the condition we have
it. There are two sorts, the black and the white.

What is the White Pepper?

The white pepper is merely the black deprived of its outside skin. For
this purpose the finest red berries are selected, and put in baskets
to steep, either in running water, or in pits dug for the purpose,
near the banks of rivers. Sometimes they are only buried in the
ground. In any of these situations, they swell and burst their skins,
from which, when dry, they are carefully separated by rubbing between
the hands, or fanning.

What is Cayenne Pepper?

The dried fruit of a plant called bird pepper, a native of both
Indies. It is more pungent than the other sorts.



What is Glass?

A transparent, solid, brittle, factitious body, produced by fusing
sand with an alkali. The essential ingredients of glass are silex and
potash, or soda; a few other substances are sometimes added. Silex is
found nearly pure in rock crystal, flint, and other varieties of
quartz; for the manufacture of the better kinds of glass in this
country, it is generally obtained from sand, especially the white sand
of New Jersey.

     _Factitious_, made by art, not found in a state of nature.

What is Potash?

The saline matter obtained from the ashes of wood, by causing water to
pass through them; the water imbibes the salt, which is then obtained
from it by evaporation. When purified by calcination, it is termed
pearlash. In countries where there are vast forests, as in America and
Russia, it is manufactured on a very large scale.

What can you say of the origin of Glass?

The period of its invention is quite unknown. Pliny relates that some
merchants, driven by a storm to the coast of Phenicia, near the river
Belus, made a large fire on the sand to dress some food, using as
fuel some of the plant Kali, which grew there in great abundance; an
imperfect glass was thus formed by the melting of the sand and ashes
together. This production was picked up by a Syrian merchant, who,
attracted by its great beauty, examined the cause of its origin, and,
after many attempts, succeeded in its manufacture.

Who was Pliny?

A celebrated Roman naturalist and historian.

At what place was Glass first made?

Some authors mention Sidon in Syria, which became famous for glass and
glass-houses; but others maintain that the first glass-houses noticed
in history were built at Tyre; which, they add, was the only place
where glass was made for many ages. It is certain that the art was
known to the Egyptians.

What is Phenicia?

A sub-division of Syria in Asia.

What is an author?

A person who writes a book.

What is signified by a glass-house?

A building erected for the making and working of glass.

What countries had glass windows first?

Italy, then France and England; they began to be common about the year

In what year, and where, was the making of glass bottles begun?

In 1557, in London. The first glass plates for mirrors and
coach-windows were made at Lambeth, in 1673.

What is a Mirror?

A body which exhibits the images of objects presented to it by
reflection. The word mirror is more peculiarly used to signify a
smooth surface of glass, tinned and quicksilvered at the back,[3]
which reflects the images of objects placed before it.

[Footnote 3: See Chapter XII., article Mercury.]

Are they a modern invention?

The use of mirrors is very ancient; mention is made of brazen mirrors
or looking-glasses in Exodus, the 38th chapter and 8th verse. Some
modern commentators will not admit the mirrors themselves to have been
of brass, but of glass set or framed in brass; but the most learned
among the Jewish rabbins say that in those times the mirrors made use
of by the Hebrew women in dressing their heads were of metal, and that
the devout women mentioned in this passage made presents to Moses of
all their mirrors to make the brazen laver for the Tabernacle. It
might likewise be proved that the ancient Greeks made use of brazen
mirrors, from many passages in the ancient poets.

     _Commentators_, explainers of passages in the Bible, &c.

     _Rabbins_, doctors among the Jews, their learned men or

What nation invented the large looking-glass plates now in use?

The French.

What city of Italy excelled all Europe for many years in the making of
fine glass?

Venice. The manufacture of fine glass was first introduced into
England by Venetian artists in 1078.

Of what is Earthenware composed?

Of clay, and those earths which are capable of being kneaded into a
paste easily receiving any form, and acquiring solidity by exposure to
fire: sand, chalk, and flint are likewise mixed with clay.

In what manner is it formed into such a variety of shapes?

The flint or sand, and soft clay, are mixed together in various
proportions for the different kinds of ware; this paste is afterwards
beaten till it becomes fit for being formed at the wheel into plates,
dishes, basins, &c. These are then put into a furnace and baked; after
which they are glazed.

What nation so greatly excelled in the manufacture of a beautiful
species of Earthenware?

The Chinese,--who, as far as can be ascertained, were its inventors.
Porcelain is a fine sort of earthenware, chiefly made in China, whence
it was called China or China-ware; it is also brought from many parts
of the East, especially from Japan, Siam, Surat, and Persia. The art
of making porcelain was one of those in which Europe had been excelled
by oriental nations; but for many years past earthenwares have been
made in different parts of Europe, so like the oriental, that they
have acquired the name of porcelain. The first European porcelains
were made in Saxony and France, and afterwards in England, Germany,
and Italy, all of which differed from those of Japan and China, but
each possessing its peculiar character. They are now brought to great
perfection in Europe, particularly in England, France and Prussia.

Before the invention of Earthenware, what supplied its place to the
early inhabitants of the world?

The more civilized the inhabitants of any country became, the more
they would perceive the convenience of possessing vessels of various
descriptions for holding or preparing their food; some of the objects
which first presented themselves would be the larger kinds of shells;
and, in hot climates, the hard coverings of the cocoa-nut or gourd. In
some cases the skins of beasts were used, as they still are in the
East, where they are sewed together, and formed into a kind of bottle
to hold milk, wine, &c.; but the people of colder climates would not
be able to avail themselves of these natural productions, and would be
obliged to make use of other substances.

What, then, would they employ?

Clay, which in many countries is found in great abundance, from its
adhesive property, and its retaining its form when dry, and becoming
insoluble in water after having been baked in the fire, would
naturally attract the attention of an improving people: from this it
arises that the early remains of culinary and other vessels which have
been discovered have been formed of this material. Among the remains
of ancient Egypt, numerous vessels have been found formed of common
clay baked in the fire; and, though of rude workmanship, extremely
elegant in form.

     _Adhesive_, sticky; apt or tending to adhere.

     _Insoluble_, not capable of being dissolved.

     _Culinary_, belonging to cooking or domestic purposes.

Of what are Needles made?

Of steel; and though exceedingly cheap, they go through a great number
of operations before they are brought to perfection. It was in the
reign of Queen Elizabeth that the English learnt the art of making

Of what are Pins made?

Of brass wire, blanched with tin. They are manufactured in England,
France, the United States, and other countries. Though there is
scarcely any commodity cheaper than pins, there is no other which
passes through the hands of a greater number of workmen; more than
twenty persons being successively employed in the manufacture of each,
from the drawing of the brass wire to the sticking of the pin in the
paper. Pins are supposed to have been made in England about 1543, or
even earlier. Before this art was invented, the ladies made use of
wooden skewers.

     _Blanched_, whitened.

Of what is Paper made?

Of linen and cotton rags beaten to a pulp in water; also from straw,
wood, and many plants.

What materials were used for writing, before the invention of Paper?

Various were the materials on which mankind in different ages and
countries contrived to write: stones, bricks, the leaves of herbs and
trees, and their rinds or barks; tablets of wood, wax, and ivory;
plates of lead, silk, linen rolls, &c. At length the Egyptian paper
made of the papyrus, was invented; then parchment; and lastly, paper
manufactured of cotton or linen rags. There are few sorts of plants
which have not at some time been used for paper and books. In Ceylon,
for instance, the leaves of the talipot; in India, the leaves of the
palm (with which they commonly covered their houses,) were used for
books. In the East Indies, the leaves of the plantain tree, dried in
the sun, were used for the same purpose. In China, paper is made of
the inner bark of the mulberry, the bamboo, the elm, the cotton, and
other trees.

What is Papyrus?

A large rush, chiefly growing in Egypt, on the banks of the Nile. The
ancient Egyptians made sails, ropes, mats, blankets, and canvas, of
the stalks and fibres of the papyrus. Their priests also wore shoes
made of it; and even sugar was extracted from this plant. Moses, the
deliverer raised by God to rescue the Israelites from the bondage of
Egypt, was exposed to the Nile in a basket of papyrus. The plant is
now, however, exceedingly scarce.

Where was the first Paper Mill erected in England?

At Dartford, by a German named Spilman, in 1588. The only sort made,
however, was the coarse brown; and it was not till 1690, when the
French protestant refugees settled in England, that their own
paper-makers began to make white writing and printing paper. The
manufacture has been brought to great perfection, both for beauty and
substance, in England and the United States.

     _Protestant_, a name given in Germany to those who adhered
     to the doctrines of the apostate monk, Martin Luther,
     because they protested against a decree of Charles V. and
     applied to a general council.

     _Refugee_, from refuge, a place of safety from danger; an
     asylum. Here it more particularly means those French
     Protestants who quit their homes and sought other countries,
     after the revocation of the Edict of Nantes, which deprived
     them of their religious liberty.


Is it known to whom we are indebted for the invention of Linen Paper?

Not exactly. It has long been disputed among the learned when, and
by whom, it was invented; some authors say it was discovered by the
Germans, others by the Italians; others ascribe it to some refugee
Greeks at Basil, who took the idea from the making of cotton paper in
their own country; some, that the Arabs first introduced it into
Europe. Perhaps the Chinese have the best title to the invention,
inasmuch as they have for many ages made paper, and in some provinces
of the same materials as are now used by us in its manufacture.

In what place was the art of Printing first practised?

Who were the inventors of Printing, in what city, and in what year it
was begun, has long been a subject of great dispute. Mentz, Harlem,
and Strasburg, cities of Germany, all lay claim to the invention, but
Mentz seems to have the best title to it.

What was the first Book that was printed from metal types?

A copy of the Holy Scriptures, which made its appearance between the
years 1450 and 1452.

Who introduced Printing into England?

William Caxton, a merchant of London, who had acquired a knowledge of
it in his travels abroad.

Of what does Printing consist?

Of the art of taking impressions with ink, from movable characters and
figures made of metal, &c., upon paper or parchment.

What is Parchment?

Sheep or goat's skin, prepared after a peculiar manner, which renders
it proper for several uses, especially for writing on, and for the
covering of books. The ancients seem to have used the skins of animals
as a writing material, from a remote period.

From what is the word Parchment taken?

From Pergamena, the ancient name of this manufacture, which it is said
to have taken from the country of Pergamus; and to Eumenes, king of
that country, its invention is usually ascribed, though in reality,
that prince appears to have been the improver, rather than the
inventor of parchment; since some accounts refer its invention to a
still earlier period of time. Herodotus, an ancient Greek historian,
who lived about 450 years before Christ, relates that the ancient
Ionians made use of sheep and goat-skins in writing, many ages before
the time of Eumenes; the Persians of old, too, wrote all their records
on skins, and probably such skins were prepared and dressed for that
purpose, after a manner not unlike our parchments, though not so

Who were the Ionians?

The inhabitants of Ionia, an ancient country in the western part of
Asia Minor.

In what manner is Parchment now prepared?

The sheep-skins are smeared over with lime[4] on the fleshy side,
folded, laid in heaps, and thus left for some days; they are next
stretched very tight on wooden frames, after having been washed,
drained, and half dried. The flesh is then carefully taken off with
iron instruments constructed on purpose, and the skin cleansed from
the remaining hairs that adhere to it. After having gone through
several operations till it is perfectly clean and smooth, it is fit
for writing upon.

[Footnote 4: See Chapter XVI., article Lime.]

What are the uses of Parchment?

Parchment is of great use for writings which are to be preserved, on
account of its great durability; the writing on it remaining perfect
for a great number of years. It is also used for the binding of books,
and various other purposes.

What is Vellum?

A finer sort of parchment than the former, but prepared in the same
manner, except that it is not passed through the lime-pit. It is made
of the skins of very young calves: there is also a still finer sort
made of the skins of sucking lambs, or kids; this is called _virgin_
parchment, and is very thin, fine, and white, and is used for
fancy-work, such as ladies' fans, &c.



What are Capers?

The full-grown flower-buds of the Caper Tree, a small shrub, generally
found growing out of the fissures of rocks, or among rubbish, on old
walls and ruins, giving them a gay appearance with its large white
flowers. It is a native of Italy: it is also common in the south of
France, where it is much cultivated.

How are they prepared, and for what are they used?

They are gathered, and dried in the shade; then infused in vinegar, to
which salt is added; after which they are put in barrels, to be used
as a pickle, chiefly in sauces.

What are frequently substituted for Capers?

The buds of broom pickled in the same manner, or the berries of the
nasturtium, an American annual plant, with pungent fruit.

What are Almonds?

The nut of the Almond Tree, a species of the peach, growing in most of
the southern parts of Europe; there are two kinds, the bitter and the

What are their qualities and use?

The sweet almonds are of a soft, grateful taste, and much used by the
confectioner in numerous preparations of sweet-meats, cookery, &c.
Both sorts yield an oil, and are useful in medicine.

Of what country is the Orange a native?

It is a native of China, India, and most tropical countries; but has
long been produced in great perfection in the warmer parts of Europe
and America. Oranges are imported in immense quantities every year,
from the Azores, Spain, Portugal, Italy, &c. They are brought over in
chests and boxes, packed separately in paper to preserve them. The
oranges in common use with us are the bitter or Seville, the China or
sweet orange, and those from Florida.

Where are the Azores situated?

In the Atlantic Ocean, about 800 miles west of Portugal. These islands
are very productive in wine and fruits.

Where is Seville?

In Spain; it is an ancient and considerable city, the capital of the
province of Andalusia. The flowers of the Seville orange are highly
odoriferous, and justly esteemed one of the finest perfumes. Its fruit
is larger than the China orange, and rather bitter; the yellow rind or
peel is warm and aromatic. The juice of oranges is a grateful and
wholesome acid.

     _Odoriferous_, sweet-scented, fragrant; having a brisk,
     agreeable smell which may be perceived at a distance.

Who first introduced the China Orange into Europe?

The Portuguese. It is said that the very tree from which all the
European orange trees of this sort were produced, was still preserved
some years back, at the house of the Count St. Laurent, in Lisbon. In
India, those most esteemed, and which are made presents of as
rarities, are no larger than a billiard ball. The Maltese oranges are
said by some to be the finest in the world.

Who are the Maltese?

The inhabitants of Malta, an island of the Mediterranean, situated
between Africa and Sicily.

Whence are Lemons brought?

The Lemon is a native of Eastern Asia, whence it was brought to
Greece, and afterwards to Italy; from Italy it was transplanted to
Spain, Portugal, and the South of France, whence lemons are imported
in great plenty.

What is the Citron?

The fruit of the Citron Tree, resembling the lemon, but somewhat
larger, and having a finer pulp. The citron was also brought
originally from the East of Asia, but has since been produced in the
warm parts of Europe, like the orange and lemon; Genoa especially is
the greatest nursery for them. Its rind is principally brought to this
country in a candied state, and is applied by confectioners to various

Where is Genoa?

A city of Northern Italy, on the Mediterranean, between the rivers
Bisagno and Polcevera.

What is the Lime?

The Lime is by some thought to be a species of lemon, by others not;
it is a smaller fruit, and in the West Indies is greatly preferred to
the lemon. It is cultivated in the South of Europe, the West Indies,
and the warm parts of America. The agreeable scent called Bergamot is
prepared from the rind of a small species of lime.

What are Olives?

The fruit of the Olive Tree, an evergreen, now common in the woods of
France, Spain, and Italy; but in the wild state producing a small
fruit of no value; when cultivated, however, (which it is extensively,
both for the fruit and the quantity of oil which it yields,) it forms
one of the richest productions of Southern Europe. The olive came
originally from Asia. Its use is very ancient; it is frequently spoken
of in the Bible, both as in a wild and cultivated state. The promised
land of the Israelites was "a land of oil, olive, and honey." From the
time that the dove returned to Noah in the Ark with an "olive leaf
plucked off," in all ages and countries, wherever this tree is known,
down to the present day, has an olive-branch been the favorite emblem
of peace.

What nation holds the olive in great repute?

This tree was a great favorite with the ancient Greeks, and scarcely
an ancient custom existed in which the olive was not in some way
associated: at their marriages and festivals, all parts of their
dwellings, especially the doors, were ornamented with them, and the
same custom prevails at the present day, both in public and private
rejoicings. It was also scarcely less a favorite with the Romans,
although it was not held in the same sacred light as amongst the
Greeks. The olive-branch has likewise been universally considered the
emblem of plenty, and as such, is found on the coins of those
countries of which it is _not_ a native. Two centuries after the
foundation of Rome, both Italy and Africa were strangers to this
useful plant; it afterwards became naturalized in those countries, and
at length arrived in Spain, France, &c. Olive trees sometimes attain a
great age.

How are the Olives eaten?

The olives while on the tree are intolerably bitter, without any of
that peculiar taste which gains them admittance at the richest tables;
to fit them for which they are pickled. Ripe olives are eaten in the
Eastern countries, especially amongst the Greeks, as an article of
food, particularly in Lent. The oil, which they yield in great
quantities, is very highly esteemed; being that chiefly used for
salads, &c., in medicine, and in various manufactures.

     _Lent_, a time of fasting; the time from Ash-Wednesday to

How is the Oil drawn from the Olive?

By presses or mills made for the purpose. The sweetest and best olive
oil comes from the South of France, from Naples, Florence, and Lucca;
quantities are also brought from Spain and the Ionian Islands.

Where is Naples?

In the South of Italy.

Where are Florence and Lucca situated?

In Italy. Florence is a very ancient, large, and celebrated city, the
capital of Italy; Lucca, formerly a republic, belongs now to the
kingdom of Italy.

     _Republic_, a state in which the supreme power of government
     is lodged in representatives chosen by the people, instead
     of being vested in an emperor or king.

You said that the olive is an Evergreen: to what plant or shrub is the
term particularly applied?

To any shrub or tree whose leaves continue fresh and green all the
year round, winter and summer, as the laurel, pine, cedar, holly, &c.,
which do not shed their leaves in autumn as other trees.

Is oil a production confined to the Olive alone?

By no means. Oil is a fatty, inflammable matter, drawn from many
vegetable and animal bodies. The oils in common use are of three
different kinds. The first are mere _oily_ or fatty bodies, extracted
either by pressure, or by decoction: of the first kind are those of
almonds, nuts, olives, &c.; and of the other, those of different
berries, &c., which are procured by boiling the substance in water,
which causes the oil to collect on the top.

     _Decoction_, act of boiling--a chemical term.

What are the second and third kinds of Oils?

The second are those drawn from vegetables by common distillation in
the alembic, with the aid of water; these contain the _oily_ and
volatile part of the plant, and are called _essential_ oils. The third
sort are those produced by distillation, but of a different kind in an
open vessel, and without the help of water. They are likewise divided
into _vegetable_ oils, _animal_ oils, and _mineral_ oils; which last
are those drawn from amber, and a few other substances partaking both
of the vegetable and mineral natures, as Petroleum, commonly known as
kerosene or coal oil.

     _Alembic_, a chemical vessel used in distilling. It consists
     of a vessel placed over a fire, containing the substance to
     be distilled; the upper part, which receives and condenses
     the steam, is called the head; the beak of this is fitted to
     a vessel called a receiver.

     _Volatile_, easily escaping, quickly flying off.

Whence is the word Oil derived?

From the Latin _oleum_, formed from _olea, olive-tree_, the fruit of
which abounds in oil.

What immense fish is it that furnishes us with a quantity of _animal_

The Whale, the largest and noblest inhabitant of the waters. It is
protected from the cold by a case or coating of blubber, that is, a
thick oily fat from which the oil is made; numbers of them are caught
for the sake of that. Ambergris, highly prized in perfumery, is a
product of the sperm whale.

In what seas are they found?

Chiefly in the Northern Seas: extensive whale fisheries are carried on
by the Americans, English, Dutch, &c., and numbers of vessels are sent
out for the purpose of taking the fish: they usually sail in the
latter end of March, and begin fishing about May. The whale fishery
continues generally from that time till the latter end of June or
July. There are also other fishes and animals which afford us oils of
different kinds, which are used for various purposes in medicine and
the arts.

Is the oil called _castor_, which is so much used in medicine, the
product of an animal or a plant?

Castor oil is expressed from a West Indian shrub, called Palma
Christi; and especially from the ripe seeds, which are full of this
oil. It is prepared by collecting these ripe seeds, and freeing them
from the husks; then bruising and beating them into a paste; they are
next boiled in water, when the oil rising to the surface is skimmed
off as it continues to appear. The Castor-oil plant is found growing
abundantly in Sumatra, particularly near the sea-shore.

Where is Sumatra situated?

In the Oriental Archipelago, off the south eastern part of the
continent of Asia.

In what other countries is this plant found?

In some parts of Africa, Syria, and Egypt. It was anciently cultivated
in the two last-mentioned countries in large quantities, the seeds
being used for the oil they yielded, which was burnt in lamps.


Is not the Palma Christi much affected by soil and situation?

Greatly so. In some places it attains the stature of a tree, and is
not a biennial plant, but endures for many years, as in the warm
plains of Irak, Arabia, and some parts of Africa.

     _Biennial_, lasting for the space of two years only.

What are Melons?

A species of the Cucumis, a genus of plants to which the cucumber
belongs. There are great varieties of this fruit cultivated in
different parts of the world; that sort called the Cantaleup (so named
from being cultivated at a place of that name in the neighborhood of
Rome, whither it was brought from Armenia,) is a species of
musk-melon; the mature fruit is juicy, and delicately flavored.

Where is Armenia situated?

Armenia is a large country situated in Asiatic Turkey, to the west of
the Caspian Sea.

What species of Melon is that which almost makes up for a scarcity of
good water in hot countries?

The water-melon, which affords a cool, refreshing juice, and quenches
the thirst produced by the excessive heats. It requires a dry, sandy
soil, and a warm climate; the pulp of the fruit is remarkably rich and

What are Tamarinds?

The fruit of the Tamarind Tree, a native of both the Indies, Asia,
Africa, &c. It is of a roundish form, and composed of two pods
inclosed one within the other, between which is a soft pulpy
substance, of a tart but agreeable taste; the inner pod contains the
seeds or stones.

     _Tart_, sharp, acid.

For what are they used?

We use them only as medicine; but the Africans, and many of the
Oriental nations, with whom they are common, make them into a kind of
preserve with sugar, which they eat as a delicacy, and which cools
them in the violent heats of their climate.

From what nation was the knowledge of their use in medicine obtained?

From the Arabians.

What does the word Oriental signify?

Belonging to the East; therefore those countries of the globe situated
in the East are called Oriental, those in the West, Occidental, from
_Oriens_, signifying East, and _Occidens_, West.

What are Dates?

The fruit of the Palm, a beautiful and graceful tree, peculiar to the
warmer regions of the globe; the growth of the palm is extremely
singular, for although some species attain to the height of the
largest forest trees, their structure differs materially from that of
a tree, properly so called. The leaves of the young plant arise
directly from the surface of the ground, and there is no appearance of
any stem for several years; this stem once formed, never increases in
size, the growth of the plant being always upward, so that the stem
itself is formed by the prior growth of the green portions of the

     _Structure_, the manner of formation.

How often does this tree cast its circle of leaves?

Every year; so that the number of years a palm has existed is known by
the scars which are left by their falling off. The palm is an

What are the uses of this Tree?

The Palm is of the utmost importance to the inhabitants of the
tropical regions; the fruit and sap providing them with food, the
fibrous parts with clothing, and the leaves forming the greater part
of their slightly-constructed huts; the leaves of some species are
formed into fans, hats, and parasols; others are written on, in the
same manner that we write on paper; artificial flowers are made of
the pith of some; the light and supple rattan walking-cane is the
slender shoot of another kind; and solid and useful utensils are made
of the shell of the cocoa-nut. The fibres of the Date Palm are formed
into ropes and twine; a liquor is drawn from the trunk, called palm
wine; the trunks of the old trees furnish a hard and durable wood; and
even the nuts or stones of the fruit are useful for feeding cattle; a
wholesome flour is also made of the fruit, when dried and reduced to

     _Constructed_, put together.

Whence is its name derived?

From the Latin word _palma_, a hand, given to these productions of the
vegetable world, from the supposed resemblance of their broad leaves
to the human hand. The Date, the fruit of the Date Palm, derives its
name from the Greek _dactylus_, a finger, from its mode of growing in
clusters spreading out like the fingers of the hand. The Palm
sometimes forms impenetrable forests; but more frequently is found in
small groups of two or three, or even singly, beside springs and
fountains of water, affording a kindly shade to the thirsty traveller.

     _Impenetrable_, not easily penetrated or got through.

From what countries are Dates brought?

From Egypt, Syria, Persia, Africa, and the Indies. Among the Egyptians
and Africans, they make a principal article of food. Dates, when ripe,
are of a bright coral red, of an oblong form, and possess a sharp
biting taste: they are usually gathered in autumn, before being
perfectly ripe.



Of what are Hats made?

Of felt and wool. Dress hats for men's wear, were formerly made of
beaver-fur, but the increasing scarcity of this article led to the
introduction of silk plush as a substitute, and the result is that
beaver is entirely superseded, and plush is used altogether. They
possess many advantages over the beaver hat, as they are light,
glossy, and durable. Hats are also made of straw, plaited and sewed

When did Hats come into general use?

The first mention made of hats is about the time of the Saxons, but
they were not worn except by the rich. Hats for men were invented at
Paris, by a Swiss, in 1404. About the year 1510, they were first
manufactured in London, by Spaniards. Before that time both men and
women in England commonly wore close, knitted, woollen caps. They
appear to have become more common in the reign of Queen Elizabeth. It
is related, that when Charles the Second made his public entry into
Rouen, in 1449, he wore a hat lined with red velvet, surmounted with a
plume or tuft of feathers; from which entry, or at least during his
reign, the use of hats and caps is to be dated; and from that time
they took the place of chaperons and hoods, that had been worn before
in France.

Where is Rouen?

In the province of Lower Seine, in France; it was formerly the capital
of Normandy.

Describe the Castor, or Beaver, and its habits.

The Beaver has a broad, flat tail, covered with scales, serving as a
rudder to direct its motion in the water; the toes of its hind feet
are furnished with membranes, after the manner of water-fowl; the fore
feet supply the place of hands, like those of the squirrel. The
Beaver has two kinds of hair, of a light brown color, one long and
coarse, the other short and silky. The teeth resemble those of a rat
or squirrel, but are longer, and admirably adapted for cutting timber
or stripping off the bark from trees.

     _Membranes_, thin, flexible, expanded skins, connecting the
     toes of water-fowl and amphibious animals, and thus enabling
     them to swim with greater ease.

Where do Beavers usually fix their habitations?

Their houses are always situated in the water; they are composed of
clay, which they make into a kind of mortar with their paws: these
huts are of an oval figure, divided into three apartments raised one
above the other, and erected on piles driven into the mud. Each beaver
has his peculiar cell assigned him, the floor of which he strews with
leaves or small branches of the pine tree. The whole building is
generally capable of containing eight or ten inhabitants.

On what does the Beaver feed?

Its food consists of fruit and plants; and in winter, of the wood of
the ash and other trees. The hunters and trappers in America formerly
killed vast numbers for their skins, which were in great demand, as
they were used in making hats, but as the only use they are now put to
is for trimming, and for men's gloves and collars, the demand has
fallen off.

Of what are stockings made?

Of cotton, silk, or wool, woven or knitted. Anciently, the only
stockings in use were made of cloth, or stuff sewed together; but
since the invention of knitting and weaving stockings of silk, &c.,
the use of cloth has been discontinued.

From what country is it supposed that the invention of silk knitted
stockings originally came?

From Spain, in 1589. The art of weaving stockings in a frame was
invented by William Lee, M.A., of St. John's College, Cambridge,

Explain the signification of M.A.

Master of Arts, a degree of honor conferred by the Universities.

What are Shoes?

A covering for the foot, now usually made of leather. In different
ages and countries, shoes have been made of various materials, as raw
skins, rushes, broom, paper, silk, wool, iron, silver, and gold.

What nation wore Shoes made of the bark of the papyrus?

The Egyptians. The Turks always take off their shoes, and leave them
at the door, when they enter Mosques or dwelling-houses. The same
custom also prevails in other Eastern nations.

What is a Mosque?

A Mahomedan church or temple.

What is meant by Mahomedan?

Belonging to the religion of Mahomed, the warrior and prophet of
Arabia and Turkey, who was its founder. He was born at Mecca, a city
of Arabia, in 571; and died in 631, at Medina, a city situated between
Arabia Felix and Arabia Deserta. His creed maintains that there is but
one God, and that Mahomed is his Prophet; it enjoins the observance of
prayers, washings, almsgiving, fasting, sobriety, pilgrimage to Mecca,

What do the appellations of Felix and Deserta signify?

Arabia, a country of Asia, lying on the borders of the Red Sea, is
divided into Petræa, Deserta, and Felix; Petræa, signifying the Stony;
Deserta, the Desert; and Felix, the fortunate or fruitful.

What is Leather?

The skins of various animals, as oxen, cows, calves, &c., dressed and
prepared for use.

How is the Leather prepared?

By tanning; that is, steeping the skins in an infusion of tan, by
which they are rendered firm, durable, and, in a great degree,
impervious to water.

     _Infusion_, a liquor made by steeping anything in water, or
     other liquids, without boiling.

What is Tan?

The bark of the oak-tree, &c., ground by a mill into a coarse powder.

What is Lime?[5]

A white, soft, friable, earthy substance, prepared from marble, chalk,
and other lime-stones, or from shells, by burning in a kiln.

[Footnote 5: For a further account of it, see Chapters XIII. & XVI.]

     _Friable_, easily powdered.

For what is it used?

Its greatest use is in the composition of mortar for building; it is
also much used by tanners, skinners, &c., in the preparation of
leather; by soap-boilers in the manufacture of soap; and by
sugar-bakers for refining sugar.

What is a Kiln?

A fabric of brick or stone, formed for admitting heat in order to dry
or burn materials placed in it.

Of what are Gloves made?

Of leather, silk, thread, cotton, worsted, &c.

What skins are generally used for Gloves?

Those of the chamois, kid, lamb, dog, doe, and many other animals.

What are Furs, and how are they prepared?

Furs are the skins of wild animals, dressed with the hair on, and used
as apparel, either for warmth, ornament, or distinction of rank or

Name a few of the principal furs in use.

The fur of the ermine, an animal inhabiting the cold regions of Europe
and America, is highly valued, and much used for ornamental purposes.
In summer, the upper part of the body is of a yellowish-brown color;
the under parts white, slightly tinged with yellow. It is then called
a _stoat_. In winter, the fur is closer and finer, and is of a snowy
white color; the tip of the tail is black throughout the year. In
Europe the fur is much used for ornamenting the state robes of
sovereigns and nobles. The sable is another animal much prized for its
rich fur; it is a native of Northern Europe and America. The skins of
the marten, found in North America, as well as in Northern Asia and
the mountains of Kamtschatka; and also of the bear, fox, raccoon,
badger, lynx, musk-rat, rabbit, hare, and squirrel, which are all
procured in North America, are valuable. One of the most valuable
descriptions of fur is that of the seal.

How is it procured?

By hunting the animals, which is the employment both of natives and
settlers from other countries; the hunters sell the skins for money,
to a company established for the purpose of trading in furs, or more
frequently exchange them for clothes, arms, and other articles. The
Alaska Commercial Company of San Francisco is granted by the United
States Government the exclusive privilege of catching the fur seal.

What is Alum?

A kind of mineral, of a strong, sharp taste. It dissolves both in cold
and boiling water, but best in the latter. It is of some use in
medicine; a principal ingredient in dyeing and coloring, neither of
which can be well performed without it, as it sets and brightens the
colors, and prevents them from washing out. It is also extremely
useful in many arts and manufactures.

Are there not different sorts of this material?

The principal kinds are native alums: _viz._ those prepared and
perfected underground by the spontaneous operations of nature; as the
roch, commonly called rock alum, from Rocha, in Syria, whence it is

     _Spontaneous_, unassisted by art.

     _Orientals_, inhabitants of the Eastern parts of the world.

What is Ink?

A liquor used in writing on paper or parchment, made of copperas,
galls; and gum arabic[6] mixed together. There are likewise several
plants that may serve for the making of ink, as oak-bark, red roses,
log-wood, &c. It is also made from an infusion of oak galls and iron
filings: there are also many other ways, as well as materials,
employed in the making of this useful article. Ink is the name applied
to all liquids used in writing, of whatever color they may be, as red,
blue, &c., though black is the most used for common purposes. The ink
of the ancients seems to have been of a thick, oily nature, unlike the
modern ink; it consisted of nothing more than a species of soot, or
ivory black, mixed with one fourth of gum.

[Footnote 6: See Chapter XI.]

What is Copperas?

A kind of vitriol. Copperas is the name given to green vitriol, which
is a preparation from iron. The blue vitriol is a sulphate of copper,
and the white vitriol a sulphate of zinc.

For what is Vitriol used?

In the making of glass, to color it; in many arts and manufactures;
and in medicine.

What are Galls?

Excrescences formed on a kind of oak tree in certain warm climates;
perforations are made by an insect into the bark of the tree, whence
issues a liquid which hardens by exposure. They are used in dyeing,
making ink, and other compositions. There are two sorts of oak galls
in our shops, brought from the Levant, and the southern parts of

What does the word Levant signify?

A country to the eastward. It is applied to the countries of Turkey,
Greece, Asia Minor, Syria, Egypt, &c., which are washed by the eastern
part of the Mediterranean.

Is the Ink used in Printing the same as writing Ink?

No; it is more of the nature of paint, being thicker and more
glutinous: it chiefly consists of a mixture of oil and lamp-black, or
some other ingredient, according to the color required; and is
remarkable for the ease with which it adheres to paper that is

     _Glutinous_, gummy, resembling glue.

What is Indian, or Chinese Ink?

An admirable composition, not liquid like our ink, but solid, and made
into cakes somewhat like the mineral colors we use in painting. It is
made into all sorts of figures, usually long, and about an inch thick;
sometimes gilt with the figures of birds, flowers, &c. To use this
ink, it must be rubbed with water, on stone or earthenware, till it
produces a beautiful, liquid, shining black. It is used in drawing,
&c., and is brought from China. It is composed of lamp-black and size,
or animal glue, or gum, to which perfumes and other substances are
sometimes added.



What is the name of the remarkable stone of which a cloth has been
made, that resists the action of fire?

The Asbestus, a mineral substance of a whitish or silver color. There
are several species of this mineral, which are distinguished by
different names, according to the appearance of each, as fibrous
asbestus, hard asbestus, and woody asbestus; it is the fibrous sort
which is most noted for its uses in the arts. It is usually found
inclosed within very hard stones; sometimes growing on their outside,
and sometimes detached from them.

     _Fibrous_, full of fibres or threads.

What are its qualities?

It is insipid; will not dissolve in water; and exposed to the fire, it
neither consumes nor calcines. The industry of mankind has found a
method of working upon this untoward mineral and employing it in
making cloth and paper; the process is, however, difficult.

     _Insipid_, without taste.

Was not this curious mineral better known to the ancients than it is
at present?

The linen made from it was highly esteemed by them; it was not only
better known, but more common, than among us, being equally valuable
with the richest pearls; but the superiority of all other cloths to
this in every respect, except the resistance to fire, has caused
incombustible cloth to be regarded in modern times merely as a
curiosity, but it is still employed in chemical preparations.

     _Incombustible_, remaining undestroyed in fire.

To what use did they put it?

In royal funerals, it formed the shroud to wrap the body in that its
ashes might be prevented from mingling with the wood, &c., that
composed the pile. Some of the ancients made themselves clothes of it,
particularly the Brahmins among the Hindoos; it formed wicks for their
perpetual lamps; thread, ropes, nets, and paper were also made of it.
Pliny, the Roman naturalist, says he has seen napkins of asbestus
taken soiled from the table after a feast, which were thrown into the
fire, and by that means better scoured than if they had been washed
with water.

     _Naturalist_, a person who studies nature, especially in
     what relates to minerals, vegetables, and animals.

     _Brahmins_, Hindoo priests.

Where is the Asbestus found?

This mineral is found in the greatest quantity in the silver mines of
Saxony; at Bleyburg, in Carinthia; in Sweden, Corsica, and sometimes
in France, England, and the United States; also in Tartary and

What method is used in preparing the Asbestus?

The stone is laid in warm water to soak, then opened and divided by
the hands, that the earthy matter may be washed out. This washing is
several times repeated, and the flax-like filaments collected and
dried; these are easily spun with the addition of flax. The cloth when
woven is best preserved by oil from breaking or wasting; on exposure
to the fire, the flax and the oil burn out, and the cloth remains of a
pure white. The shorter threads, which separate on washing the stone,
may be made into paper in the usual manner.

What is Salt?

A saline crystallization of a sharp, pungent taste, and cleansing
quality, used to season flesh, fish, butter, &c., and other things
that are to be kept. It is distinguished, with reference to the
general sources from which it is most plentifully derived, into three
different sorts, namely, fossil, or rock salt; sea, or marine salt;
and spring salt, or that drawn from briny springs and wells.

     _Marine_, belonging to the sea.

     _Saline_, consisting of salt.

     _Briny_, consisting of brine; which means water tasting of
     salt; it is used to signify the waters of the sea, or any
     salt water.

What is Fossil or Rock Salt?

That which is found in large beds in the bowels of the earth, and
which has not undergone any artificial preparation; it is sometimes
colorless, but more frequently red, yellow, or blue, and mixed with
earthy impurities; this salt was entirely unknown to the ancients, who
by rock salt meant that which adheres to the rocks above high-water
mark, being lodged there by the spray of the sea, which is evaporated
by the heat of the sun; this is the purest salt, and is to be found on
the rocks of Sicily, and several islands of the West Indies.

     _Artificial_, produced by art, and the labor of man.

     _Evaporated_, converted into vapor and dissipated.

What is Marine Salt?

That which is made from sea-water, concentrated by repeated
evaporations, and at length crystallized.

What is Spring Salt?

That salt which is not made from sea-water, but from the water of salt
wells or springs; large quantities of this salt are made in the United
States, in some parts of which saline springs are numerous.

In what manner is it obtained?

The means employed for extracting the salt from the water vary
according to circumstances. In hot countries, the water is merely
exposed to the action of the sun, until the water is evaporated; the
salt procured in this manner is considered the best.

What method is usually employed in countries where the sun's heat is
not sufficiently powerful?

In climates where the rays of the sun do not afford sufficient heat,
the water, which has been partly evaporated in large shallow
reservoirs formed in the earth, called salt-pans, is poured into
enormous coppers and boiled for four or five hours: when the contents
of the copper are wasted to half the quantity, the liquid begins to be
crystallized; the vessel is again filled up, and the brine again
boiled and purified: this is repeated three or four times. After the
last purifying the fire is kept very low for twelve or fourteen hours,
and when the moisture is nearly evaporated the salt is removed, and,
after the remaining brine has drained off, is placed in the

In what countries is Salt generally found?

This substance, so necessary to the comfort of mankind, is widely
distributed over the face of the earth, and nothing, except, perhaps,
the air we breathe, is more easily placed within our reach. The ocean
is an exhaustless store-house of this valuable article. Those nations
of the earth which are placed at a distance from the sea, find
themselves provided with magazines of salt, either in solid masses, or
dissolved in the waters of inland lakes, or issuing from the solid
rocks in springs of brine. At Salina, Syracuse, and other places in
Onondaga Co., New York, salt springs are remarkably abundant, and
yield annually several millions of bushels; immense quantities are
also obtained from the salt-wells on the Great and Little Kanawha, and
other places in Western Virginia; it is also extensively manufactured
in the western part of Pennsylvania, and throughout the Western

Name the countries most noted for mines of Salt.

Poland, Upper Hungary, and the mountains of Catalonia, have extensive
salt mines; those in the village of Wieliczca, in Poland, about five
leagues from Cracow, are of a surprising depth and size. In the
interior of Hindostan, there is a remarkable salt lake; and in several
parts of the globe there are spots of ground impregnated entirely with
this substance: an island of the East Indies contains a singular kind
of fossil, or native dry salt; the soil there is in general very
fruitful, but in certain parts of the island, there are spots of
ground entirely barren, without the appearance of anything vegetable
upon them; these spots taste very much of salt, and abound with it in
such quantities, as to supply not only the whole island, but the
greater part of the adjacent continent. In Utah Territory, especially
in the neighborhood of the Mormon city, at the Great Salt Lake, are
found extensive plains thus impregnated with salt, which is procured
in great abundance.

     _Fossil_, the remains of minerals or shells dug from the

     _Impregnated_, filled, saturated.

     _Catalonia_, a considerable province of Spain, situated to
     the north-east.

     _Adjacent_, adjoining, lying near, or contiguous.

To what use did the ancient inhabitants of Africa and Arabia put this

The large slabs of rock salt, with which their country abounds, were
employed by them instead of stones, in building their dwellings, the
pieces being easily cemented together by sprinkling the joints with
water, which, melting the parts of the two surfaces that opposed each
other, formed the whole, when dry, into one solid block.

Does Rock Salt undergo any preparation before it is used?

Yes; when taken from the earth it is dissolved in cold water, and
afterwards drawn off into salt-pans, and refined in the same manner as
the sea salt.

What is Coal?

A hard, black, sulphurous and inflammable substance, dug out of the
earth, serving in many countries as fuel. It is common in most of the
countries of Europe and America. In some parts of the United States,
it is found in beds having an area of several thousand square miles.

From what is Coal supposed to have originated?

Its origin is supposed to be derived from gigantic trees which
flourished in the swamps and forests of the primeval earth. These
having been torn away from their native bed, by storms and
inundations, were transported into some adjacent lake, river, or sea.
Here they floated on the waters until, saturated with them, they sank
to the bottom, and being buried in the lower soil of adjacent lands,
became transformed into a new state among the members of the mineral
kingdom. A long interment followed, during which a course of chemical
changes, and new combinations of their vegetable elements, converted
them to the mineral condition of coal.

     _Primeval_, original, existing before the flood.

     _Gigantic_, extremely large, greater than the usual size.

     _Interment_, burial under the ground.

     _Elements_, the several parts or principles of which bodies
     are composed.

What is a Coal Mine?

A subterraneous excavation, from which coal is obtained.

Do the terms Coal and Charcoal signify the same substance?

No; Charcoal is an artificial fuel, made in imitation of coal, by
burning wood covered with earth so as partially to exclude the air. It
is used for various purposes, as the making of gunpowder,[7] polishing
brass and copper, &c., and when a clear and bright fire is required,
as it burns with little or no smoke; it is dangerous, however, for one
to remain many hours in a close room with a charcoal fire, as the
fumes it throws out are hurtful, and would destroy life. Charcoal, in
fact, is the coaly residuum of any vegetables burnt in close vessels;
but the common charcoal is that prepared from wood, and is generally
black, very brittle, light, and destitute of taste or smell. It is a
powerful antiseptic, unalterable and indestructible.

[Footnote 7: See Chapter XII.]

     _Residuum_, the remaining part, that which is left.

     _Antiseptic_, that which prevents putrefaction.

What is Iron?

One of the most useful and abundant metals; being found in all mineral
earths, and stones; in plants, and animal fluids; and is the chief
cause of the varieties of color in all. Iron is found in great masses,
in various states, in the bowels of the earth; it is usually, however,
compounded with stone, from which it is separated by the action of
fire. In some parts of the world, whole mountains are formed of iron;
among these may be mentioned the Pilot Knob and the Iron Mountain, in
Missouri, being unsurpassed by anything of the kind found elsewhere.

What are its characteristics?

It is hard, fusible, not very malleable, but extremely ductile, and
very tenacious; it is of a greyish color, and nearly eight times
heavier than water. Without iron, society could make no progress in
the cultivation of the ground, in mechanical arts or trades, in
architecture or navigation; it is therefore of the greatest use to
man. Iron tools have been used in all European countries as long as
their histories have existed; this metal appears likewise to have been
known and used by the inhabitants of the world in the earliest ages,
being frequently mentioned in the Holy Scriptures. In the fourth
chapter of Genesis, Tubalcain is spoken of as "a hammerer and
artificer in every work of brass and iron," and thus their existence
was evidently known at that early period of the world.

     _Artificer_, one who works or makes.

     _Fusible_, capable of being melted by fire.


What do you mean by Metals?

Useful substances dug from the bowels of the earth, being sometimes
found pure, but mostly combined with other matter. They are
distinguished by their weight, tenacity, hardness, opacity, color, and
peculiar lustre, known as the metallic lustre; they are fusible by
heat, and good conductors of heat and electricity; many of them are
malleable, and some extremely ductile. Those which were first known
are gold, silver, iron, copper, mercury, lead, and tin.

     _Tenacity_, the firmness with which one part adheres to

     _Opacity_, want of transparency or clearness.

What are Metals called in their natural state?

Ores; so named because the metal contained in them is either mixed
with other metals, or with mineral earths, from which they are
separated and purified by various means: such as washing, roasting,
&c., but the method is always regulated by the nature of the ore.

What is Copper?

A hard, heavy, ductile metal, found native, and in many ores; of these
the most important is _copper pyrites_, which is a sulphuret of
copper. Next to gold, silver, and platinum, copper is the most
malleable and ductile of metals; it may be drawn into wires as fine as
hair, or beaten into leaves as thin as those of silver. The rust of
copper is very poisonous. Copper, mixed with a certain quantity of
tin, forms bell-metal. With a smaller proportion, it forms bronze, a
substance used in sculpture for casting figures and statues. It is an
abundant metal, and is found in various parts of the world. Native
oxides of copper are found in Cornwall, Siberia, and in North and
South America.

     _Oxide_, a substance combined with Oxygen,[8] in a
     proportion not sufficient to produce acidity.

     _Sulphuret_, a combination of sulphur with a base.

[Footnote 8: See Chapter XIII., article Oxygen.]

What are the uses of Copper?

They are too various to be enumerated. In sheets it is much used to
sheathe the bottoms of ships, for boilers, and other utensils. Copper
coin was the only money used by the Romans till the 485th year of
their city, when silver began to be coined. In Sweden, houses are
covered with this metal.

What is a Mine?

A cavity under ground, formed for the purpose of obtaining metals,
&c.; mines are often very deep and extensive. The descent into them is
by a pit, called a shaft; the clues by which mines are discovered,
are, mineral springs, the discoloration of vegetables, the appearance
of pieces of ore, &c.

     _Clues_, signs or means by which things hidden are brought
     to light.

What is Brass?

A factitious metal, consisting of copper and zinc. Brass is lighter
and harder than pure copper, and less subject to rust; owing to these
properties, together with its beautiful color, it is extremely useful
in the manufacture of many utensils.

     _Factitious_, made by art, not found in a natural state.

What is Zinc?

A metal of a brilliant bluish white color. Its name was unknown to the
ancient Greeks and Arabians. It is mixed with other substances in the
ore, from which it is obtained by smelting in the furnace. It has
never yet been found native or pure.

For what is Zinc used?

From its readiness to dissolve in all acids, and unite with other
metals, it is used in alloy with them in the composition of brass, &c.
Thin sheets of zinc are also used to cover roofs of houses, and in the
manufacture of various household utensils.

What is Lapis Calaminaris?

Lapis Calaminaris, or calamine stone, is a native carbonate of zinc,
of some use in medicine, but chiefly in founding. It is, sometimes
brownish, as that found in Germany and England, or red, as that of
France. It is dug out of mines, usually in small pieces; generally out
of those of lead. Calamine is mostly found in barren, rocky soils.

_Founding_, the art of casting metals.



What are Yams?

The roots of a climbing plant growing in tropical climates. The root
of the yam is wholesome and well-flavored; nearly as large as a man's
leg, and of an irregular form. Yams are much used for food in those
countries where they grow; the natives either roast or boil them, and
the white people grind them into flour, of which they make bread and
puddings. The yam is of a dirty brown color outside, but white and
mealy within.

What are Mangoes?

The fruit of the Mango Tree, a native of India and the south-western
parts of Asia; it also grows abundantly in the West Indies and Brazil.
It was introduced into Jamaica in 1782; where it attains the height of
thirty or forty feet, with thick and wide-extended branches. The
varieties of the mango are very numerous,--upwards of eighty are
cultivated; and the quality of these varies according to the countries
and situations in which they grow. The mangoes of Asia are said to be
much better than those of America.

Describe the appearance of the Mango Tree.

The flowers of this tree are small and whitish, formed in pyramidal
clusters. The fruit has some resemblance to a short thick cucumber,
about the size of a goose's egg; its taste is delicious and cooling;
it has a stone in the centre, like that of a peach. At first this
fruit is of a fine green color, and some varieties continue so, while
others change to a fine golden or orange color. The mango tree is an
evergreen, bearing fruit once or twice a year, from six or seven years
old to a hundred.

_Pyramidal_, resembling a pyramid.

How is this fruit eaten?

When ripe, it is eaten by the natives either in its natural state, or
bruised in wine. It is brought to us either candied or pickled, as the
ripe fruit is very perishable; in the latter case, they are opened
with a knife, and the middle filled up with fresh ginger, garlic,
mustard, salt, and oil or vinegar. The fruit of the largest variety
weighs two pounds or upwards. The several parts of this tree are all
applied to some use by the Hindoos: the wood is consecrated to the
service of the dead; from the flour of the dried kernels different
kinds of food are prepared; the leaves, flowers, and bark, are

_Medicinal_, fit for medicine, possessing medical properties.

_Consecrated_, separated from a common to a sacred use.

Is there not a tree which bears a fruit that may be used for bread?

Yes; the Bread-fruit Tree, originally found in the southeastern parts
of Asia and the islands of the Pacific Ocean, though introduced into
the tropical parts of America. It is one of the most interesting, as
well as singular productions of the vegetable kingdom, being no less
beautiful than it is useful. This tree is large and shady; its leaves
are broad and indented, like those of the fig tree--from twelve to
eighteen inches long, rather fleshy, and of a dark green. The fruit,
when full-grown, is from six to nine inches round, and of an oval
form--when ripe, of a rich, yellow tinge; it generally hangs in
clusters of two or three, on a small thick stalk; the pulp is white,
partly farinaceous, and partly fibrous, but when ripe, becomes yellow
and juicy.

     _Indented_, toothed like the edge of a saw.

     _Farinaceous_, mealy, consisting of meal or flour; from
     _farina_, flour.

How is the Bread-Fruit eaten?

It is roasted until the outside is of a brown color and crisp; the
pulp has then the consistency of bread, which the taste greatly
resembles; and thus it forms a nourishing food: it is also prepared in
many different ways, besides that just mentioned. The tree produces
three, sometimes four crops in a year, and continues bearing for fifty
years, so that two or three trees are enough for a man's yearly
supply. Its timber, which at first is of a rich yellow, but afterwards
assumes the color of mahogany, is used in the building of houses and
canoes; the flowers, when dried, serve as tinder; the sap or juice
serves for glue; the inner bark is made, by the natives of some of the
islands of the Pacific Ocean, into a kind of cloth; and the leaves are
useful for many purposes. One species of the bread-fruit, called the
Jaca tree, grows chiefly on the mainland of Asia.

     _Mainland_, the continent.

Describe the Jaca Tree.

This kind grows to the same, if not a larger size than the bread-fruit
of the islands, but is neither so palatable nor so nutritious; the
fruit often weighs thirty pounds, and contains two or three hundred
seeds, each four times as large as an almond. December is the time
when the fruit ripens; it is then eaten, but not much relished; the
seeds are also eaten when roasted. There are also other trees in
different parts of the world, mostly of the palm species, which yield
bread of a similar kind.

Is there not a tree which produces a substance resembling the Butter
which we make from the milk of the cow?

The Shea, or Butter Tree, a native of Africa: it is similar in
appearance to the American oak, and the fruit, (from the kernel of
which the butter is prepared,) is somewhat like an olive in form. The
kernel is inclosed in a sweet pulp, under a thin, green rind.

How is the Butter extracted?

The kernel, being taken out and dried in the sun, is boiled in water;
by which process a white, firm, and rich-flavored butter is produced,
which will keep for a whole year without salt. The growth and
preparation of this commodity is one of the first objects of African
industry, and forms a principal article of their trade with one

You have given me an account of a useful Butter prepared from a plant;
is there not also a tree which can supply the want of a cow?

In South America there is a tree, the juice of which is a nourishing
milk; it is called the Cow Tree. This tree is very fine; the leaves
are broad, and some of them ten inches long; the fruit is rather
fleshy, and contains one or two nuts or kernels. The milk is very
abundant, and is procured by incisions made in the trunk of the tree;
it is tolerably thick, and of a glutinous quality, a pleasant taste,
and agreeable smell. The negroes and people at work on the farms drink
it, dipping into it their bread made of maize.

     _Glutinous_, having the quality of glue,--an adhesive, gummy
     substance, prepared from the skins of animals: it is used in
     joining wood, &c., and for many other purposes.

What time of the day is the best for drawing the juice?

Sunrise; the blacks and natives then hasten from all quarters with
large bowls to receive the milk; some drink it on the spot, others
carry it home to their families.

What island possesses a remarkable substitute for the want of springs
of Water?

Ferro, one of the Canary Isles, situated in the Atlantic Ocean. In
this island there is no water, except on a part of the beach which is
nearly inaccessible; to supply the place of a fountain, Nature has
bestowed on the island a particular kind of tree, unknown in other
parts of the world. It is of a moderate size, with straight, long,
evergreen leaves; on its top a small cloud continually rests, which so
drenches the leaves with moisture, that it perpetually distils upon
the ground a stream of clear water. To these trees, as to perennial
springs, the inhabitants of Ferro repair, and are supplied with
abundance of water for themselves and cattle.

     _Perennial_, lasting through the year, perpetual.

What is Licorice?

A plant, the juice of which is squeezed from the roots, and then
boiled with sugar, and used as a remedy for coughs, &c. Great
quantities are exported from Spain, Italy, &c. The dried root is of
great use in medicine, and makes an excellent drink for colds and
other affections of the lungs by boiling it with linseed.

What are the Lungs?

The organs of respiration in man and many other animals. There are two
of these organs, one on each side of the chest.

     _Respiration_, breathing; the act of inhaling air into the lungs,
     and again expelling it, by which animal life is supported.

What is Manna?

A sweet, white juice, oozing from the branches and leaves of a kind of
ash tree, growing chiefly in the southern parts of Italy, during the
heats of summer. When dry, it is very light, easily crumbled, and of a
whitish, or pale yellow color, not unlike hardened honey.

Is Manna peculiar to the Ash Tree of Southern Italy?

No. Manna is nothing more than the nutritious juices of the tree,
which exude during the summer heats; and what confirms this is, that
the very hot summers are always those which are most productive of
manna. Several different species of trees produce a kind of manna; the
best and most used is, however, that of Calabria, in Italy.

What are its uses?

It was much esteemed formerly in medicine, but it has now gone nearly
into disuse. The peasants of Mount Libanus eat it as others do honey.
The Bedouin Arabs consume great quantities, considering it the
greatest dainty their country affords. In Mexico, they are said to
have a manna which they eat as we do cheese. At Briançon, in France,
they collect it from all sorts of trees that grow there, and the
inhabitants observe, that such summers as produce the greatest
quantities of manna are very fatal to the trees, many of them
perishing in the winter.

Is there not another tree which produces Manna?

Yes: the Tamarisk, a tree peculiar to Palestine and parts of Arabia.
This remarkable substance is produced by several trees, and in various
countries of the East. On Mount Sinai there is a different species of
Tamarisk that yields it. It is found on the branches of the tree, and
falls on the ground during the heat of the day.

Where is Mount Libanus?

Mount Libanus, or Lebanon, is situated in Asiatic Turkey; it was
anciently famous for its large and beautiful cedar trees. The "Cedars
of Lebanon" are frequently mentioned in Holy Writ. There are now
scarcely any remaining of superior size and antiquity, but they vary
from the largest size down to mere saplings; and their numbers seem to
increase rather than diminish, there being many young trees springing

How is Manna gathered?

From August to September, the Italians collect it in the following
manner, _viz._: by making an incision at the foot of the tree, each day
over that of the preceding, about four inches from one another: these
cuts, or incisions, are nearly two inches long, and half an inch deep.
When the cut is made, the manna directly begins to flow, at first like
clear water, but congealing as it flows, it soon becomes firm: this
they collect in baskets. Manna has been found to consist of two
distinct substances one nearly resembling sugar, the other similar to
a gum or mucilage.

What nation was fed with a kind of Manna?

The Children of Israel, when wandering in the desert wilderness, where
no food was to be procured, were fed by a miraculous supply of manna,
showered down from Heaven every morning on the ground in such
quantities as to afford sufficient food for the whole host.

What is Opium?

A narcotic, gummy, resinous juice, drawn from the head of the white
poppy, and afterwards thickened; it is brought over in dark, reddish
brown lumps, which, when powdered, become yellow.

     _Narcotic_, producing sleep and drowsiness.

In what countries is it cultivated?

In many parts of Asia, India, and even the southern parts of Europe,
whence it is exported into other countries. The Turks, and other
Eastern nations, chew it. With us it is chiefly used in medicine. The
juice is obtained from incisions made in the seed-vessels of the
plant; it is collected in earthen pots, and allowed to become
sufficiently hard to be formed into roundish masses of about four
pounds weight. In Europe the poppy is cultivated mostly for the seeds.
Morphia and laudanum are medicinal preparations of opium.

What is Tobacco?

An herbaceous plant which flourishes in many temperate climates,
particularly in North America; it is supposed to have received its
name from Tabaco, a province of Mexico; it is cultivated in the West
Indies, the Levant, on the coast of Greece, in the Archipelago, Malta,
Italy, France, Ceylon, &c. It was not known in Europe till the
discovery of America by the Spaniards; and was carried to England
about the time of Queen Elizabeth, either by Sir Francis Drake or Sir
Walter Raleigh. Tobacco is either taken as snuff, smoked in pipes or
in the form of cigars, or chewed in the mouth like opium. There are
many different species of this plant, most of them natives of America,
some of the Cape of Good Hope and China. Tobacco contains a powerful
poison called nicotine.

     _Herbaceous_, like an herb or plant, not a shrub or tree.

What part of the plant is used?

The leaves, which are stripped from the plant, and after being
moistened with water, are twisted up into rolls; these are cut up by
the tobacconist, and variously prepared for sale, or reduced into a
scented powder called snuff.

Who was Sir Francis Drake?

Sir Francis Drake was a distinguished naval officer, who flourished in
the reign of Elizabeth. He made his name immortal by a voyage into the
South Seas, through the Straits of Magellan; which, at that time, no
Englishman had ever attempted. He died on board his own ship in the
West Indies, 1595.

Who was Sir Walter Raleigh?

Sir Walter Raleigh was also an illustrious English navigator and
historian, born in 1552. He performed great services for Queen
Elizabeth, particularly in the discovery of Virginia, and in the
defeat of the Spanish Armada; he lived in honor and prosperity during
her reign, but on the accession of James the First, was stripped of
his favor at court, unaccountably accused of high treason, tried, and
condemned to die; being reprieved, however, he was imprisoned in the
Tower of London many years, during which time he devoted himself to
writing and study. Receiving, at last, a commission to go and explore
the gold mines at Guiana, he embarked; but his design having been
betrayed to the Spaniards, he was defeated: and on his return to
England, in July, 1618, was arrested and beheaded, (by order of the
King, on his former attainder,) October 29; suffering his fate with
great magnanimity.

     _High Treason_, in England, means an offence committed
     against the sovereign. In the United States it consists in
     levying war against the government, adhering to its enemies,
     and giving them aid and comfort.

     _Reprieved_, respited from sentence of death.

     _Magnanimity_, greatness of mind, bravery.

What is Gum?

A mucilaginous juice, exuding from the bark of certain trees or
plants, drawn thence by the warmth of the sun in the form of a
glutinous matter; and afterwards by the same cause rendered firm and
tenacious. There are many different gums, named after the particular
tree or plant from which they are produced.

     _Mucilaginous_, consisting of mucilage.

     _Tenacious_, adhering closely.

What is the character of Gum?

Gum is capable of being dissolved in water, and forming with it a
viscid transparent fluid; but not in vinous spirits or oil; it burns
in the fire to a black coal, without melting or catching fire; and
does not dissolve in water at boiling heat. The name of _gum_ has been
inaccurately given to several species of gum-resins, which consist of
resin and various other substances, flowing from many kinds of trees,
and becoming hard by exposure to the air. These are soluble in dilute
alcohol. Gum is originally a milky liquor, having a greater quantity
of water mixed with its oily parts, and for that reason it dissolves
in either water or oil. Another sort is not oily, and therefore
dissolves in water only, as gum Arabic, the gum of the cherry-tree,

     _Viscid_, thick, ropy.

     _Vinous_, having the qualities of wine.

Are the last-mentioned sorts properly called Gums?

No, though commonly called gums, they are only dried mucilages, which
were nothing else than the mucilaginous lymph issuing from the vessels
of the tree, in the same manner as it does from mallows, comfrey, and
even from the cucumber; the vessels of which being cut across, yield a
lymph which is plainly mucilaginous, and if well dried, at length
becomes a kind of gum, or rather, a hardened mucilage.

     _Lymph_, transparent fluid.

What is Gum Arabic?

The juice of a small tree of the Acacia tribe, growing in Egypt,
Arabia Petræa, Palestine, and in different parts of America.

Are there other plants or trees which produce Gum, besides those
already mentioned?

A great number, though not all commonly in use. The leaves of rhubarb,
the common plum, and even the sloe and the laurel, produce a clear,
tasteless gum; there are also a number of different gums, brought from
foreign countries, of great use in medicine and the arts. Most of the
Acacias produce gums, though the quality of all is not equally good.

What is Rhubarb?

A valuable root growing in China, Turkey, and Russian Tartary.
Quantities of it are imported from other parts of the world: that from
Turkey is esteemed the best. Rhubarb is also cultivated in our
gardens, and the stalks of the leaves are often used in tarts; but the
root, from the difference of climate, does not possess any medicinal



When were Spectacles invented, and who was their inventor?

It is supposed that they were first known about the thirteenth
century, and invented by a monk of Pisa, in Italy, named Alexander de
Spina. Spectacles are composed of two circular pieces of glass set in
a frame.

What are these glasses called?

Lenses. They are either convex or concave, according to the kind of
sight requiring them. Old people, and those who can only see things at
a distance, from the flatness of the eye, which prevents the rays of
light converging so as to meet in the centre, require convex lenses.
People who can only distinguish objects when viewed closely, from the
eye being too convex, require concave lenses to counteract it by
spreading the rays, and thus rendering vision distinct.

     _Convex_, rising outwardly in a circular form; opposite to

     _Concave_, hollow; round, but hollow, as the inner curve of
     an arch, &c.

     _Converging_, tending to one point from different parts.

     _Vision_, the faculty of seeing.

What is the Mariner's Compass?

A most useful and important instrument, by the aid of which the
navigator guides his ship on the sea, and steers his way to the place
of his destination. The inventor of the Mariner's Compass is not
known, nor the exact time of its introduction; it was employed in
Europe in navigation about the middle of the thirteenth century, and
has been in use more than five hundred years. The Chinese are said to
have been acquainted with it much earlier, but no reliance can be
placed on their dates. The power of the loadstone to attract iron was
known to the ancient Egyptians, but it was not applied to any
practical purpose.

     _Navigator_, one who guides a ship.

     _Steer_, to direct or guide a vessel in its course.

     _Destination_, the place to which a person is bound.

     _Practical_, capable of practice, not merely speculative.

What is the Loadstone?

An ore of iron which possesses the peculiar property of attracting
iron, namely, of drawing it in contact with its own mass, and holding
it firmly attached by its own power of attraction. A piece of
loadstone drawn several times along a needle, or a small piece of
iron, converts it into an artificial magnet; if this magnetized needle
is carefully balanced, it will turn round of itself, till its end
points towards the North. The magnetized needle also possesses the
power of attracting iron, and of communicating this power to another
piece of iron or steel, similar to that of the loadstone itself.

     _Contact_, touch.

     _Magnetized_, rendered magnetic.

Describe the Mariner's Compass.

The Mariner's Compass consists of a circular box, enclosing a
magnetized bar of steel, called the _needle_, carefully balanced on an
upright steel pivot, and having that end which points to the North
shaped like the head of an arrow; attached to this needle, and turning
with it, is a card on which are printed the divisions of North, South.
East, and West; called the points of the compass. By simply looking at
the position of the needle, the mariner can see the direction in which
his vessel is sailing, and regulate his helm accordingly.

     _Helm_, the instrument by which a ship is steered,
     consisting of a rudder and tiller.

What is a Barometer?

An instrument for measuring the weight of the atmosphere, which
enables us to determine the changes of the weather, the height of
mountains, &c. It consists of a glass tube hermetically sealed at one
end, filled with mercury, and inverted in a basin of mercury;
according to the weight of the atmosphere, this mercury rises or

How is the Hermetic seal formed?

By heating the edges of a vessel, till they are just ready to melt,
and then twisting them closely together with hot pincers, so that the
air may be totally excluded. The word is taken from Hermes, the Greek
name for Mercury, the heathen god of arts and learning, and the
supposed inventor of chemistry,[9] which is sometimes called the
hermetical art; or perhaps from Hermes, an ancient king of Egypt, who
was either its inventor, or excelled in it.

[Footnote 9: See Chapter XVIII., article Chemistry.]

What is Mercury?

Quicksilver, or mercury, is a white fluid metal, the heaviest except
platina and gold; it readily combines with nearly all other metals,
and is used in the manufacture of looking-glasses, barometers,
thermometers, &c.; in some of the arts, and in the preparation of
several powerful medicines. It is found in California, Hungary,
Sweden, Spain, China, and Peru. The quicksilver mine of Guança Velica,
in Peru, is one hundred and seventy fathoms in circumference, and four
hundred and eighty deep. In this profound abyss are seen streets,
squares, and a chapel, where religious worship is performed. The
quicksilver mines of Idria, a town of Lower Austria, have continually
been wrought for more than 300 years. The vapor which is continually
arising from the mercury is very hurtful to the miners, who seldom
survive many years.

     _Abyss_, a gulf, a depth without bottom.

In what state is Mercury usually found?

Either native, or in the form of ore; it is often found mixed with
silver, but more frequently with sulphur in the form of sulphuret,
which is decomposed by distillation. Running mercury is found in
globules, in America, and is collected from the clefts of the rocks.
Mercury has the appearance of melted silver; it is neither ductile nor
malleable in this state; it is a substance so volatile, when heated,
that it may be evaporated like water; it is always seen in a fluid
state, even in temperate climates, as a very small portion of heat is
sufficient to preserve its fluidity. It is used to separate gold and
silver from the foreign matter found with those metals. Calomel, a
valuable medicine, and vermilion, a color, are both preparations of

     _Globules_, small particles of matter having the form of a
     ball or sphere.

What is a Thermometer?

An instrument for measuring temperature. It consists of a fine glass
tube, terminated at one end in a bulb, usually filled with mercury,
which expands or contracts according to the degree of heat or cold. On
the scale of the Fahrenheit thermometer, the freezing point of water
is marked 32° and the boiling point at 212°. In both the Centigrade
and the Reaumur scales the freezing point is at 0, and the boiling
point at 100° in the Centigrade and at 80° in Reaumur's. The invention
of this instrument dates from about the close of the sixteenth
century; but it is not known by whom it was first brought into use.

     _Terminated_, finished, ended.

When and by whom were Watches and Clocks invented?

Watches were invented about the year 1500, but who was the inventor is
disputed. They were, however, of little value as time-keepers, before
the application of the spiral spring as a regulator to the balance;
the glory of this excellent invention lies between Dr. Hooke and M.
Huygens; the English ascribing it to the former, the Dutch, French,
&c., to the latter. Some assert that pocket-watches were first made
about 1477, at Nuremberg, in Germany. The most ancient clock of which
we possess any certain account, was made in 1634 by Henry de Wycke, a
German artist; it was erected in a tower of the palace of Charles V.,
king of France. The pendulum was applied by Huygens, in 1656.

What is a Pendulum?

A weight so suspended from a fixed point that it may easily swing
backward and forward; its oscillations are always performed in equal
times, provided the length of the pendulum and the gravity remain the
same. It is said that the idea of employing the pendulum for the
measurement of time, was first conceived by Galileo, while a young
man, upon his observing attentively the regular oscillations of a lamp
suspended from the roof of a church in Pisa. It was not, however, till
the time of Huygens that a method was devised of continuing its
motions, and registering the number of its oscillations.

     _Oscillation_, a swinging backward and forward.

     _Gravity_, the tendency of a body toward the centre of the

     _Registering_, recording.

[Illustration: CHARCOAL BURNING.]


To whom is the invention of Gunpowder ascribed?

Most authors suppose it was invented by Bartholdus Schwartz, a monk of
Goslar, a town of Brunswick, in Germany, about the year 1320; it
appears, however, that it was known much earlier in many parts of the
world, and that the famous Roger Bacon, who died in 1292, knew its
properties; but it is not certain that he was acquainted with its
application to fire-arms.

Who was Roger Bacon?

A learned Franciscan, born at Ilchester, England, in 1214. He studied
at Oxford, and afterwards became professor at that great University.
He was familiar with every branch of human knowledge, but was
especially distinguished for his extraordinary proficiency in the
natural sciences. To him we owe the invention of the telescope; that
of gunpowder is ascribed to him, as stated above, although we have no
evidence to show whether he discovered its ingredients himself, or
whether he derived the knowledge from some ancient manuscripts. Bacon
suffered some from the ignorance of the age in which he lived, many of
his experiments being looked upon as magic. He died at Oxford in the
year 1294.

What is understood by Magic?

Magic is a term used to signify an unlawful and wicked kind of
science, depending, as was pretended, on the assistance of superhuman
beings and of departed souls. The term was anciently applied to all
kinds of learning, and in particular to the science of the Magi or
Wise Men of Persia, from whom it was called magic. _Natural_ magic is
no more than the application of natural active causes to passive
things or subjects, to produce effects apparently supernatural.

     _Supernatural_, beyond the powers of nature; miraculous.

Of what is Gunpowder composed?

Of saltpetre,[10] sulphur, and charcoal, mixed together and powdered;
its explosive force when fired, is owing to the instantaneous and
abundant liberation of gaseous matter by the intense heat resulting
from the action of the combustibles upon the saltpetre. It is not
known by whom it was first applied to the purposes of war, but it is
certain that it was used early in the fourteenth century. Cannons were
used at the battle of Cressy, in 1346; small guns, or muskets, were
introduced into the Spanish army in 1521.

[Footnote 10: See Chapter XIII.]

     _Explosive_, bursting out with violence and noise.

     _Liberation_, a setting at liberty.

Is not Gunpowder highly combustible?

So combustible is gunpowder, that a single spark of fire, lighting
upon any of it, will cause it to explode with immense force; and
instances have occurred, when any store or magazine of it has taken
fire, that have been attended with the most fatal effects. It is
useful to the miner and engineer as a ready means of overcoming the
obstacles which are presented in their search for mineral treasures,
and in procuring materials for building. From many passages in the
ancient authors, there is reason to suppose that gunpowder, or a
composition extremely like it, was known to them; but it does not
appear to have been in general use, and the invention of fire-arms is
comparatively modern. Dynamite, a recent invention, has a still
greater explosive force than gunpowder.

     _Engineer_, one who works or directs an engine.

     _Obstacles_, hinderances, obstructions.

What is Saltpetre?

A bitter kind of salt, called by the ancients nitre, but more commonly
among us saltpetre. It is composed of nitric acid and potassa.[11] It
is found in earthy substances; sometimes native or pure, in the form
of a shapeless salt. Vast quantities are found in several of the
marly earths of the East Indies, China, Persia, and also in South
America. In India it is found naturally crystallized, and forming thin
crusts upon the surface of the earth. It is especially abundant in the
United States, being found in immense quantities in the limestone
caves in the south-western States.

[Footnote 11: See Potash, Chapter VII., article Glass.]

What do you mean by _Marly_?

Consisting of marl, a kind of earth composed of different proportions
of clay and carbonate of lime; it is much used for manure. There are
several different-colored marls, each possessing different qualities.
The most common are the red and the white, though there are grey,
brown, blue, and yellow colored marls.

What is a Telescope?

An optical instrument, which serves for discovering and viewing
distant objects, either directly by glasses, or by reflection. The
invention of the telescope is one of the noblest and most useful of
which modern ages can boast, since by means of this instrument the
wonderful motions of the planets and fixed stars, and all the heavenly
bodies, are revealed to us. The honor of the invention is much
disputed; it is certain, however, that the celebrated Galileo was the
first who improved the telescope so as to answer astronomical
purposes. The name is formed from two Greek words, one signifying
_far_, the other _to observe_.

     _Optical_, relating to Optics, the science of vision.

     _Astronomical_, relating to Astronomy.

Who was Galileo?

A most eminent astronomer and mathematician, born at Florence, in
Italy. His inventions and discoveries in Astronomy, Geometry, and
Mechanics, contributed much to the advancement of those sciences. He
died in 1642.

     _Astronomer_, one versed in Astronomy.

     _Mathematician_, one versed in Mathematics; a science which
     treats of magnitude and number.

What is Astronomy?[12]

That science which teaches the knowledge of the heavenly bodies, with
the nature and causes of their various phenomena.

[Footnote 12: See Chapter xviii.]

What is Geometry?

An ancient, perfect, and beautiful science, which treats of the
relations and properties of lines, surfaces, and solids.

What is meant by Mechanics?

The science which investigates the laws of forces and powers, and
their action on bodies, either directly or by machinery. When the term
_mechanic_ is applied to a _person_, it means one skilled in
mechanics, accustomed to manual labor.

     _Investigate_, to search, to inquire into.

     _Manual_, performed by the hand.

What is a Microscope?

An optical instrument, by means of which very minute objects are
represented exceedingly large, and viewed very distinctly according to
the laws of refraction or reflection. Nothing certain is known
respecting the inventor of microscopes, or the exact time of their
invention, but that they were first used in Germany, about 1621.

     _Minute_, small, diminutive.

     _Refraction_, a change in the direction of a ray of light,
     when it passes through transparent substances of different

     _Reflection_, a turning back of a ray of light after
     striking upon any surface.

What is the Steam Engine?

A machine that derives its moving power from the force of the steam
produced from boiling water, which is very great, especially when, as
in the steam engine, it is confined within a limited compass: this
useful machine is one of the most valuable presents that the arts of
life have received from the philosopher, and is of the greatest
importance in working mines; supplying cities with water; in working
metals; in many mechanical arts; and in navigation. By the aid of
steam, vessels are propelled with greater swiftness than those which
are wholly dependent on the winds and tides; and thus trade is
facilitated, and we are enabled to communicate with distant lands in a
much shorter space of time than was formerly consumed. On land,
railroads are constructed, on which steam carriages run with
astonishing rapidity, so that a journey which by coach and horses
formerly required two or more days, may now be performed in four or
five hours.

     _Mechanical_, belonging to Mechanics.

To whom are we indebted for its invention?

Its invention is by most writers ascribed to the Marquis of Worcester,
an Englishman, about 1663; but it does not appear that the inventor
could ever interest the public in favor of this, or his other
discoveries. The steam engine of Captain Savery, also an Englishman,
is the first of which any definite description has been preserved. It
was invented in 1698. Since that period it has been successively
improved by various persons, but it is to Mr. Watt and Mr. Boulton, of
England, that it is indebted for much of its present state of

By whom was the Steam Engine first applied to the purposes of

By John Fitch, of Pennsylvania. From papers in the historical
collections of Pennsylvania, it appears that the first successful
experiments were made at Philadelphia, in 1785, three years before the
attempts at Falkirk, and on the Clyde, in Scotland. The boat made
several trips on the Delaware and Schuylkill rivers, but owing to
repeated accidents to her machinery, and the want of funds and
competent mechanics for the necessary repairs, she was abandoned. In
1807, Robert Fulton, also of Pennsylvania, made his first experimental
trip on the Hudson River, with complete success. To this distinguished
and ingenious American justly belongs the honor of having brought
navigation by steam to a state of perfection. In 1819, the first
steamship crossed the Atlantic from Savannah to Liverpool; and in
1838, a regular communication by steamship was established between
Great Britain and the United States. Since that period, ocean
navigation by steam-vessels has made rapid progress, and, at the
present time, numbers of steamers connect our various seaports with
those of other nations, and with each other.

What is the Electro-Magnetic Telegraph?

An instrument, or apparatus, by means of which intelligence is
conveyed to any distance with the velocity of lightning. The electric
fluid, when an excess has accumulated in one place, always seeks to
transfer itself to another, until an equilibrium of its distribution
is fully restored. Consequently, when two places are connected by
means of a good conductor of electricity, as, for instance, the
telegraphic wire; the fluid generated by a galvanic battery, if the
communication be rendered complete, instantaneously traverses the
whole extent of the wire, and charges, at the distant station, an
electro-magnet; this attracts one end of a lever, and draws it
downward, while the other extremity is thrown up, and, by means of a
style, marks a slip of paper, which is steadily wound off from a
roller by the aid of clock-work. If the communication is immediately
broken, only one wave of electricity passes over, and a _dot_ is made
upon the paper; if kept up, a _line_ is marked. These dots and lines
are made to represent the letters of the alphabet, so that an operator
employed for the purpose can easily read the message which is
transmitted.--The Electro-Magnetic Telegraph was first introduced upon
a line between Baltimore and Washington, by Professor Morse, in 1844;
at the present time, it is in successful operation between nearly all
the important cities and towns of the United States and of Europe.

     An _Electro-Magnet_ is a piece of soft iron, rendered
     temporarily magnetic by being placed within a coil of wire
     through which a current of electricity is passing.



Of what is Soap composed?

Of soda or potash, and various oily substances; it is so useful for
domestic and other purposes, that it may be regarded as one of the
necessaries of life; immense quantities of it are consumed in all
civilized countries. Soft soap is generally made of a lye of
wood-ashes and quicklime, boiled up with tallow or oil; common
household soap of soda and tallow, or of potash and tallow; when
potash is used, a large portion of common salt, which contains soda,
is added to harden it. The finest white soaps are made of olive oil
and a lye consisting of soda and quicklime; perfumes are sometimes
added, or various coloring matters stirred in to give the soap a
variegated appearance. The ancient Greeks and Hebrews appear to have
been acquainted with the art of making soap, or a composition very
similar to it; and also the ancient Gauls and Germans. A soap-boiler's
shop, with soap in it, was found in the city of Pompeii, in Italy,
which was overwhelmed by an eruption of Mount Vesuvius, A.D. 79.

What is Soda?

Soda, or barilla, is obtained from the ashes of marine plants, and by
the decomposition of common salt; its great depository is the ocean,
soda being the basis of salt. The marine plants from which the soda is
obtained, are endowed with the property of decomposing the sea-salt
which they imbibe, and of absorbing the soda which it contains. It is
found native in Egypt, and is there called _natron_; a name similar to
that which it bore among the Jews and Greeks.

     _Depository_, store-house, place where anything is lodged.

     _Imbibe_, to drink in, to absorb.

Of what are Candles made?

Of Tallow, which means animal fat melted and clarified, that is,
cleansed or purified from filth. Tallow is procured from many animals,
but the most esteemed, and the most used, is that made from oxen,
sheep, swine, goats, deer, bears, &c.; some of which tallows or fats
are used in medicine, some in making soap, and dressing leather;
others in the manufacture of candles, &c. For the last-mentioned
article, that of sheep and oxen is most used; candles of a better sort
are likewise made of wax and spermaceti. Candles are kept burning by
means of a wick of cotton or rush, placed in the centre of the tallow,
which is moulded into a cylindrical form.

     _Cylindrical_, having the form of a cylinder.

Is there not a tree which yields a vegetable Tallow?

Yes; China possesses a tree producing a substance like our tallow, of
which the Chinese make their candles; this tallow is extracted from
the stone of the fruit, the tallow being a white pulp which surrounds
it. In America, likewise, there is a shrub, a native of the temperate
parts, especially towards the sea-side, the seeds of which contain a
waxy substance used for the same purpose, and which is extracted by
boiling; this shrub is a species of myrtle, and does not attain to any
great size.

     _Extracted_, drawn from.

What is Spermaceti?

A whitish, flaky, unctuous substance, prepared from an oil of the same
name, drawn from a particular kind of whale, distinguished from the
common whale by having teeth, and a hunch on its back.

     _Flaky_, having the nature of flakes.

What is Wax?

A soft, yellow, concrete matter, collected from vegetables by the
bee, of which this industrious and useful insect constructs its cell.
Wax forms a considerable article of trade; it is of two kinds, the
yellow and the white; the yellow is the native wax as it is taken from
the hive, and the white is the same washed, purified, and exposed to
the air.

     _Concrete_, grown together, solid.

What Tree produces the beautiful and well-known wood so much used in
making the various articles of household furniture?

The Mahogany Tree, growing in America, and the East and West Indies;
it frequently grows in the crevices of rocks, and other places of the
same description. This wood was not used for making furniture till
near the end of the seventeenth century. A London physician had a
brother, the captain of a West India ship, who, on his return to
England, having on board several logs of mahogany for the purpose of
ballast, made him a present of the wood, he being engaged in a
building project; his carpenter, however, threw it aside, observing
that it was too hard to be wrought. Some time after, the lady of the
physician being in want of a box to hold candles, the cabinet-maker
was directed to make it of this wood; he also made the same objection,
and declared that it spoiled his tools. Being urged, however, to make
another trial, he at length succeeded; when the box was polished, the
beautiful color of the wood was so novel, that it became an object of
great curiosity. Before this time, mahogany had been used partially in
the West Indies for ship-building, but this new discovery of its
beauty soon brought it into general use for making furniture.

     _Crevice_, a rent, a crack.

     _Ballast_, the heavy matter placed in the hold of a vessel
     to keep it steady.

What is India Rubber or Caoutchouc?

An elastic, resinous substance, produced from a tree, growing
abundantly at Cayenne, Quito, and other parts of South America; and
also in some parts of the Indies. The tree which produces it is
large, straight, and about sixty feet high. There is, however, a small
species found in Sumatra and Java, and some of the neighboring

How is the Caoutchouc obtained from the Tree?

By making incisions in the trunk of the tree, from which the fluid
resin issues in great abundance, appearing of a milky whiteness at
first, but gradually becoming of a dark reddish color, soft and
elastic to the touch.

To what use is this substance put?

The Indians make of it boots, shoes, bottles, flambeaux, and a species
of cloth. Amongst us it is combined with sulphur, forming the
vulcanized rubber of commerce, which is used for many purposes. A
greater proportion of sulphur, produces vulcanite, a hard black
substance, resembling jet.

     _Flambeaux_, torches burnt to give light.

What is Sponge?

A marine substance, found adhering to rocks and shells under the
sea-water, or on the sides of rocks near the shore. Sponge was
formerly imagined by some naturalists to be a vegetable production; by
others, a mineral, or a collection of sea-mud, but it has since been
discovered to be the fabric and habitation of a species of worm, or

What do you mean by Polypus?

A species of animals called Zoophytes, by which are meant beings
having such an admixture of the characteristics of both plants and
animals, as to render it difficult to decide to which division they
properly belong. They are animal in substance, possessed indeed of a
stomach, but without the other animal characteristics of
blood-vessels, bones, or organs of sense; these creatures live chiefly
in water, and are mostly incapable of motion: they increase by buds or
excrescences from the parent zoophyte, and if cut off will grow again
and multiply; each part becoming a perfect animal. Myriads of the
different species of zoophytes reside in small cells of coral, sponge,
&c., or in forms like plants, and multiply in such numbers as to
create rocks and whole islands in many seas, by their untiring
industry. Polypus signifies having many feet, or roots; it is derived
from the Greek.

     _Myriads_, countless numbers.

Whence are the best and greatest number of Sponges brought?

From the Mediterranean, especially from Nicaria, an island near the
coast of Asia: the collection of sponges forms, in some of these
islands, the principal support of their inhabitants. They are procured
by diving under water, an exercise in which both men, women, and
children are skilled from their earliest years. The fine, small
sponges are esteemed the best, and usually come from Constantinople;
the larger and coarser sorts are brought from Tunis and Algiers, on
the coast of Africa. Sponge is very useful in the arts, as well as for
domestic purposes.

What is Coral?

A substance which, like sponge, was considered as a vegetable
production, until about the year 1720, when a French gentleman of
Marseilles commenced (and continued for thirty years,) a series of
observations, and ascertained that the coral was a living animal of
the Polypus tribe. The general name of zoophytes, or plant animals,
has since been applied to them. These animals are furnished with
minute glands, secreting a milky juice; this juice, when exuded from
the animal, becomes fixed and hard.

     _Series_, a course or continued succession.

     _Glands_, vessels.

     _Exuded_, from exude, to flow out.

Is this substance considered by naturalists as the habitation of the

Not merely as the habitation, but as a part of the animal itself, in
the same manner that the shell of a snail or an oyster is of those
animals, and without which they cannot long exist. By means of this
juice or secretion, the coral insects, at a vast but unknown depth
below the surface of the sea, attach themselves to the points and
ridges of rocks, which form the bottom of the ocean; upon which
foundation the little architects labor, building up, by the aid of the
above-mentioned secretion, pile upon pile of their rocky habitations,
until at length the work rises above the sea, and is continued to such
a height as to leave it almost dry, when the insects leave building on
that part, and begin afresh in another direction under the water. Huge
masses of rocky substances are thus raised by this wonderful little
insect, capable of resisting the tremendous power of the ocean when
agitated to the highest pitch by winds or tempests.

     _Architect_, one who builds.

How do these Coral Rocks become Islands?

After the formation of this solid, rocky base, sea-shells, fragments
of coral, and sea-sand, thrown up by each returning tide, are broken
and mixed together by the action of the waves; these, in time, become
a sort of stone, and thus raise the surface higher and higher;
meanwhile, the ever-active surf continues to throw up the shells of
marine animals and other substances, which fill up the crevices
between the stones; the undisturbed sand on its surface offers to the
seeds of trees and plants cast upon it by the waves, a soil upon which
they rapidly grow and overshadow the dazzling whiteness of the
new-formed land. Trunks of trees, washed into the sea by the rivers
from other countries and islands, here find a resting-place, and with
these come some small animals, chiefly of the lizard and insect tribe.
Even before the trees form a wood, the sea-birds nestle among their
branches, and the stray land-bird soon takes refuge in the bushes. At
last, man arrives and builds his hut upon the fruitful soil formed by
the corruption of the vegetation, and calls himself lord and master of
this new creation.

     _Surf_, the white spray or froth of the sea waves.

Where is the Coral Insect found?

In nearly all great seas; but particularly in the Mediterranean, where
it produces Corallines of the most beautiful forms and colors: it is
in the Pacific Ocean, however, where these tiny workmen are effecting
those mighty changes, which exceed the most wonderful works of man.

What is that part of the Pacific called, where the Coral Rocks are
most abundant?

The Coral Sea, from the number of coral reefs and sunken islands, with
which it abounds; it includes a region of many miles in extent, the
whole of which is studded with numberless reefs, rocks, islands, and
columns of coral, continually joining and advancing towards each
other. All navigators who have visited these seas, state that no
charts or maps are of any service after a few years, owing to the
number of fresh rocks and reefs which are continually rising to the
surface. The wonderful instinct of these animals leads them to
continue working without ceasing, until their labors are finished, or
their lives extinct.

     _Reef_, a chain or line of rocks lying near the surface of
     the water.

     _Extinct_, at an end, dead.

What are the names of the principal islands of Coral formation?

The New Hebrides, the Friendly Isles, the Navigator's Isles, the
Society Islands, the Marquesas, the Gambier group, and others. These
groups are separated from each other by channels or seas, wider than
those which divide the individual islands which form the respective
groups; but all these waters abound with shoals and minor islets,
which point out the existence of a common base, and show that the work
by which they will afterwards be united above the level of the sea is
continually going forward.

     _Shoals_, shallows; places where the water is of little

     _Minor_, less, smaller than others.

     _Existence_, being.

What is a singular characteristic of the Coral Islands?

On all of them a plentiful supply of sweet and fresh water may be
obtained by digging three or four feet into the coral; and even within
one yard of high-water mark such a supply is to be found. They are
mostly covered with a deep rich soil, and well wooded with trees and
evergreens of different kinds. These islands vary in extent, as well
as in the degree of finish to which they have arrived; some of the
largest being about 30 miles in diameter, and the smallest something
less than a mile;--all of various shapes, and all formed of living

     _Diameter_, a straight line through the middle of a circle.

Is Coral put to any use by man?

White Coral, which is nowhere so abundant as about the shores of
Ceylon, and others of the neighboring Indian coasts, is employed as
lime by the inhabitants of that part of the world, for building
houses, &c., by burning it after the manner of our lime. This coral
lies in vast banks, which are uncovered at low water. Coral,
particularly the beautiful red sort, is likewise made into various
ornaments, as necklaces, &c.

Of what is our Lime composed?

Of a useful earth, which absorbs moisture and carbonic acid, and
exists as limestone, or in marble and chalk, which, when burnt, become
lime: in its native state it is called carbonate of lime, and is burnt
to disengage the carbonic acid; when made into a paste, with one part
water and three parts lime,[13] and mixed with some other mineral or
metallic substances, it forms plastic cements and mortars; and
afterwards, imbibing carbonic acid from the atmosphere, it becomes
again carbonate of lime, as hard as at first; and hence its use in

[Footnote 13: See Chapter XVI., article Lime.]

     _Plastic_, yielding, capable of being spread out or moulded.

What do you mean by Carbon?

A simple substance, whose most common form is purified charcoal: it
is, in fact, the base of charcoal, divested of all impurities;
combined with oxygen, it forms _carbonic acid_ gas, formerly called
fixed air. It is diffused through all animal and vegetable bodies; and
may be obtained by exposing them to a red heat. In its pure,
crystallized state, it constitutes the diamond, and as graphite, is
used in making the so-called lead-pencils.[14]

[Footnote 14: See Chapter XIV., article Diamond.]

What is Oxygen?

Air, mentioned in the first chapter of this work as the gaseous
substance which composes the atmosphere, is formed by a mixture of two
distinct elements, one called Nitrogen, or Azote, the other Oxygen.
Oxygen is, therefore, an element or simple substance diffused
generally through nature, and its different combinations are essential
to animal life and combustion. It is, in fact, the most active agent
in nature, and the principle of acidity and combustion. So wholesome
and necessary is oxygen to life, that it is often called vital air.

     _Agent_, an actor; a person or thing possessing the faculty
     of action.

     _Essential_, necessary.

What are the properties of Nitrogen or Azote?

Nitrogen is a substance also generally diffused through nature, and
particularly in animal bodies, and causes great changes in those
absorbing or exposed to it. This gas, combined with oxygen and
hydrogen, produces neither light, heat, nor combustion, but serves to
dilute the others: of itself, it is hurtful to animal life. Nitrogen
makes the principal part of the salt we call _nitre_.

What is meant by Combustion?

The decomposition of bodies by the action of fire; the union of
combustible bodies with the oxygen of the atmosphere. The greater
access the air has to a burning body, the more rapid and complete is
the process.

     _Combustible_, capable of taking fire.

     _Access_, the means or liberty of approach to anything.

Are all bodies equally combustible?

No; some are more so than others, and burn with a bright flame; as
wood, dry vegetables, resins, oils, fats, &c.; others with difficulty,
and without any sensible flame, as soot, coal, the ashes of plants,
&c. There are bodies, also, which are incombustible--that is,
incapable of taking fire, as some alkalies, earths, &c.

What is Caloric?

Caloric is that invisible agent which produces the sensation of heat.
It exists in all bodies; it is a force we are ever in want of, and
thus it is hid in everything around us, and penetrates all matter,
however different may be its nature or properties.

What is meant by Gas?

All highly elastic fluids are called gases. Some are salutary, but
many extremely noxious, especially such as those arising from the
putrefaction of animal bodies; the burning of charcoal; corrupted air
at the bottom of mines, cellars, &c. The inflammable gas, which lights
our streets, churches, shops, &c., is procured chiefly from coal,
burnt in furnaces for the purpose the gas being passed through metal
pipes, conveyed underground to the places where the light is required:
escaping at the orifice prepared for it, it is lighted when wanted,
and burns with, a brilliant flame. This gas consists of hydrogen and
carbon; and the oxygen of the air, combined with the hydrogen, causes
light as long as hydrogen and oxygen exist and combine.

     _Salutary_, wholesome, healthful.

     _Noxious_, hurtful, unwholesome.

     _Putrefaction_, decay.

     _Orifice_, opening, hole.


What is Hydrogen?

One of the most abundant principles in nature; one part of it, and
eight of oxygen, form water. It is only met with in a gaseous form;
it is also very inflammable, and is the gas called the fire-damp, so
often fatal to miners; it is the chief constituent of oils, fats,
spirits, &c.; and is produced by the decomposition of water.

     _Constituent_, that which forms an essential part of

What is Chalk?

A white fossil substance, by some reckoned a stone, but of a friable
kind, which cannot, therefore, be polished as marble; by others, more
properly ranked among the earths. It is of two sorts, one a hard dry
chalk, used for making lime; the other a soft, unctuous kind, used in
manuring land, &c. Chalk always contains quantities of flint-stone,
and the fossil remains of shells, coral, animal bones, marine plants,
&c.; from which circumstance there can be no doubt that _chalk is the
deposited mud of a former ocean_. The chemical name of chalk is
carbonate of lime. It effervesces strongly with an acid.

     _Effervesce_, to froth or foam up.

     _Deposited_, placed on anything.

Where is Chalk found?

In large beds or strata in the earth. Chalk, on account of its
abundance in England, forms an important feature in the scenery and
geology of that country; it causes the whiteness of its sea-cliffs.
Scotland and Wales are entirely without chalk. The white chalk is
found, with interruptions, over a space above eleven hundred miles
long, extending from the north of Ireland, through England, France,
Belgium, Germany, Poland, and Southern Russia, to the Crimea, with a
breadth of more than eight hundred miles. The Island of Crete, now
called Candia, situated in the Mediterranean, was formerly noted for
its chalk. This substance is very useful in many of the arts and

Where is the Crimea?

The peninsula of the Crimea is a part of Russia, lying on the Black
Sea, by which it is bounded on the west and south.

Are there any other kinds of this earth besides the common white

Yes; there are various kinds of chalk, distinguished by their
different colors, as white, black, red, &c., found in various parts of
the world, of great use to the painter, both in oil and water colors,
and for drawing on paper, &c.

What is Marble?

A kind of stone remarkable for its hardness and firm grain, and for
being susceptible of the finest polish. It is dug in great masses from
pits or quarries; and is much used in ornamental buildings, and for
statues, altars, tombs, chimney-pieces, &c. The word is derived from
the French _marbre_, marble. Marble is supposed to be formed, deep
within the bowels of the earth, from a loose and porous carbonate of
lime, subjected to enormous heat and pressure.

     _Susceptible_, easily admitting anything additional.

     _Porous_, full of holes, or interstices.

Are there different sorts of this Stone?

Marbles are of many different kinds, usually named either from their
color or country; some of one simple color, as white, or black; others
streaked or variegated with different colors. They are classified as
ancient and modern: the ancient are those found in quarries now lost
or inaccessible to us, and of which there are only some wrought pieces
remaining;--the modern, those from quarries still open, and out of
which blocks of marble continue to be taken.

In what countries is Marble found?

The United States, Great Britain, France, Spain, Italy, Africa, Egypt,
and many other countries, produce marbles of different colors and
qualities; some more beautiful, valuable, and more highly esteemed
than others, as those of Egypt, Italy, &c. Those, also, of different
places in the same country frequently differ from each other in
quality and appearance Of the European marbles, that of Italy is the
most valuable.

What kind appears to have been held in the greatest esteem by the

A beautiful white marble, called the Parian; of which the Grecian
statues were mostly made. By some, it is supposed to have taken its
name from the Isle of Paros, in the Mediterranean; but by others from
Parius, a famous statuary, who made it celebrated by cutting in it a
statue of Venus. Parian marble is often mentioned by ancient authors.

     _Statues_, figures of men, animals, &c., cut in stone or

     _Statuary_, one who makes statues.

Who was Venus?

The goddess of love and beauty, who was an object of adoration in the
idolatrous ages, when men ignorantly knelt down and worshipped stocks
and stones, which their own hands had fashioned after the likeness of
things on the earth, or imaginary creations of their fancy;--or,
again, the sun, moon, and stars, instead of the one and only true God.
In those times, every nation had its peculiar deities, to whom were
paid divine rites and honors, and to whose names costly temples were
dedicated: these deities were divided into two classes, superior and
inferior. Venus was one of the Grecian goddesses, supposed by them to
have sprung from the froth of the sea. Kings and celebrated warriors,
and sages too, after death, frequently received divine honors; as
Confucius, the founder of the Chinese empire, who, after death, was
worshipped by that people as a god. Romulus, the first king of Rome,
likewise, was thus adored by the Romans; and many similar instances of
the same species of idolatry amongst other nations might be recorded.

     _Deities_, fabulous gods or goddesses.

     _Idolatrous_, given to the worship of idols.

     _Superior_, higher in rank.

     _Inferior_, of a lower rank.

     _Sage_, a wise man.



What is Gold?

The purest and most precious of metals: it is sometimes found in solid
masses, as in California, Peru, Hungary, &c.; in a shape resembling
the branches of plants; in thin plates covering other bodies, as in
Siberia; sometimes in a crystal form. It, however, generally occurs in
a metallic state, and most commonly in the form of grains.

What is it called when found in a perfect metallic form?

Native gold: it is, however, seldom met with perfectly pure, being
frequently alloyed with silver, copper, iron, or platina; sometimes
concealed in other minerals; from which, if sufficiently abundant, it
is extracted by art.

Where and in what manner is Gold generally found?

All parts of the earth afford gold; though with great difference in
point of purity and abundance. It is chiefly obtained from mines. Many
rivers contain gold in their sands, especially those of California and
Guinea. Gold mines are of rare occurrence in Europe, but the metal is
found in some of its rivers; among its mines, those of Upper Hungary
are the most considerable. China and Japan are rich in this metal;
many parts of Asia also possess it. Australia produces quantities of
the metal. It is also found in the eastern parts and interior of
Africa, where gold dust is collected in great quantities from earth
deposited by the rivers. But it is in America that gold is found in
the greatest abundance, particularly in the State of California, and
in some parts of South America, as Brazil, Peru, Chili, &c.

     _Guinea_, a country of Western Africa.

What are the uses of Gold?

It is used for money, jewelry, plate, &c. It is also employed in
various ways in the arts.

What is the character of Gold?

Gold is so ductile and malleable, that an ounce of it may be drawn
into a thread of 73 leagues in length; or beaten into 160 leaves of 9
inches square, and thin enough to be carried away by the slightest
wind. It readily assumes any form that human art can bestow upon it:
its color is unalterable, and the beautiful polish of which it is
susceptible, renders it the best of all metals for ornamental
purposes. It is indestructible by air, water, or fire. Gold is the
heaviest of all metals, except platina; it is neither very elastic,
nor very hard.

     _League_, a measure of length containing three miles.

     _Indestructible_, incapable of being destroyed.

Is not the use of Gold quite ancient?

Yes; it appears to have been very early known to the inhabitants of
the world. In the 13th Chapter of Genesis, Abram is spoken of as very
rich in silver and gold; and in the 2d Chapter of the same book, the
"land of Hevilath" (now in the eastern part of Arabia Felix,) is
pointed out as having gold. Arabia was famed for the fineness and
quality of its gold. In the time of Solomon, the gold of Ophir seems
to have been much esteemed, as it is recorded that the gold used in
the building of the Temple was brought from that place by the
merchant-vessels of Hiram, King of Tyre. Ophir is supposed to have
been situated somewhere in the East Indies.

What is Silver?

A beautiful white shining metal, next to gold in value, and, like that
precious substance, of great antiquity. It is found in Sweden, Norway,
and the polar latitudes: when it occurs in hot climates, it is
generally amidst mountains, covered with perpetual snow.

     _Latitude_, breadth, width; in Geography, the distance of a
     place in degrees, north or south, from the Equator.

Where are the richest Silver Mines found?

In South America, especially among the Andes; the mines of Mexico, and
those of Nevada, also, are rich in this metal. The richest and most
important silver mines in Europe are those of Königsberg, in Norway,
and of Andalusia, in Spain. With the exception of gold, silver is the
most ductile of all metals: a single grain may be extended into a
plate 126 inches long, and half an inch broad. It is capable of still
further extension, but its tenacity is inferior even to that of iron
or copper. A silver wire one-tenth of an inch thick will scarcely bear
a weight of 290 pounds, whilst a gold wire of the same thickness will
support nearly double that weight. Like some other metals, it is
unalterable by air or moisture, but by an intense heat may be
volatilized, being sometimes found in the soot of chimneys where large
quantities are melted.

     _Volatilized_, made to fly off by evaporation.

In what state is Silver usually found?

It is rarely found in a state of purity, being generally mixed with
other metals, as gold, lead, &c. Masses of native silver are of no
determinate form; being found sometimes in small branches, sometimes
in threads, or very frequently in leaves, as in the Siberian mines.
Native, or pure silver is chiefly found in the mines of Potosi. Silver
was used as money in commerce 1100 years before the foundation of

     _Commerce_, trade of one nation with another, or different
     persons, &c. with each other.

What is Tin?

A white metal, softer than any other excepting lead, more elastic, and
more sonorous. Though tin is the lightest of all metals, its ore is,
when rich, the heaviest of all metallic ores. It has both smell and
taste; is less ductile than some harder metals, though it may be
beaten into very thin leaves; and it fuses so quickly, that it
requires a heat much less than is sufficient to make it red-hot.

Was not the use of Tin very early known?

Tin was found in Britain from the earliest ages; the Phenicians traded
to Cornwall for this metal 600 years before Christ.

Where are the principal Tin Mines?

In Saxony, Cornwall, and Bohemia. Tin is also found in Spain, Sumatra,
Siam, Mexico, and Chili. A few specimens have been found at Goshen, in

     _Specimens_, samples.

In what state is Tin generally found?

Tin is sometimes found native or pure, but most frequently alloyed
with other metals: the working of tin mines is attended with much
difficulty, on account of their great depth, and the hard rocks which
obstruct the progress of the miners, who are often obliged to cut
through them. This metal is very useful in the making of domestic
utensils, for coating the inside of copper and iron vessels, and for
various other purposes.

     _Obstruct_, to stand in the way.

What is Lead?

A coarse, heavy metal, of a bluish grey color: it is so soft and
flexible, that it is easily cut with a knife, and rolled out into
sheets, &c.; it is very fusible and inelastic, but less ductile and
sonorous, than any other metal. Next to gold, platina, and mercury, it
is the heaviest of the metals, being eleven times heavier than an
equal bulk of water. This metal loses its malleability in proportion
as it is heated: as soon as it melts it calcines, and greyish-colored
ashes are formed on its surface; when returning from a fluid to a
solid state, it is easily divided into small grains or powder, or
formed into shot, &c. Lead was in common use among the ancients.

     _Flexible_, yielding, easily bent.

     _Sonorous_, giving sound when struck.

Where is Lead found?

In various countries; but it abounds principally in Great Britain and
Spain; the lead mines of Illinois, Wisconsin, and Iowa, are among the
richest in the world. Lead is a metal of great utility; it easily
melts and mixes with gold, silver, and copper; hence it is employed in
refining gold and silver, as it separates all the dirt and impurities
from them; it is much used in building, particularly for covering
gutters, pipes, &c.; lead is also used in varnishes and oil-painting,
and makes the basis of the glazing of all the earthen and pottery

     _Refining_, cleansing, purifying.

     _Varnishes_, preparations for beautifying and preserving
     various articles.

What is peculiar to the ore of Lead?

The ore of this metal is so poisonous, that the steam arising from the
furnaces in which it is smelted infects the grass of all the
neighboring places, and kills the animals which feed on it: culinary
vessels lined with a mixture of tin and lead, are apt to convey
pernicious qualities to the food prepared in them. There are various
preparations of lead, serving for different purposes.

     _Infects_, corrupts.

     _Culinary_, adapted to the purposes of cooking.

     _Pernicious_, hurtful, dangerous.

     _Ore_, the mineral soil, earth, or stone dug out of the
     mines, which contains the metal.

What is Black Lead?

It is a kind of mineral, of a deep shining black or bluish color, soft
and unctuous to the touch; it is insoluble in acids, and infusible by
fire. Black lead has been found in many parts of the world, in a state
of greater or less purity, but it is the English black lead which is
the most esteemed.

     _Insoluble_, incapable of dissolving.

     _Infusible_, not capable of being melted.

Is Black Lead a proper term for this mineral?

No; because, in reality, there is not a particle of lead in it. On the
spot where it is procured, it is called by two or three different
names, but the most usual is Plumbago.

Where is the best Black Lead found?

The best and greatest quantity is found in England, in a mine near
Keswick, in Cumberland. It is much used for pencils or crayons, for
writing, drawing, &c.; for this purpose it is sawn into slips, and
fitted into a groove in a strip of soft wood, as cedar, &c., over
which another is placed and fastened with glue.

What is Platina?

A metallic substance, more recently discovered than the metals already
described; and analogous to the perfect metals, especially gold,--many
of whose properties it possesses.

     _Analogous_, bearing a resemblance.

Whence is its name derived?

It is the diminutive of _plata_, silver, to which it appears very
similar; platina being a silver-colored metal, in small grains.

     _Diminutive_, a word lessening the meaning of the original.

Whence is it obtained?

Mostly from Russia, and, also from South America. Its color does not
tarnish by exposure to the air, and appears to be equally permanent
with that of pure gold; the metal is indestructible by fire. Platina
is capable of being alloyed with all metals; is fused with difficulty,
but by great labor may be rendered malleable: it is also the heaviest
metal, being 21 times heavier than water.

     _Permanent_, lasting.

Are there any other Metals besides those already mentioned?

In addition to the metals known and used by the ancients, the chemical
science of later ages has, by decomposing other earths, added more
than thirty to the number of metals, some of them more curious than
useful; several of these are lighter than water. All the metals
possess different and distinct properties from each other. They are
divided into two classes, the malleable and the brittle metals. These
last may be again divided into two others,--namely, those which are
easily, and those which are with difficulty fused.

What do you mean by Metallurgy?

The art of obtaining metals from their ores, comprising the processes
of assaying, refining, smelting, &c. By assaying is meant, the
particular manner of examining an ore or mixed metal, according to its
nature, so as to discover not only what metals and what proportions of
metal may be obtained from it, but also what other mineral substances
or earths may be contained in it.

What do the terms Refining and Smelting signify?

Refining is the art of rendering the metal free from all impurities.
Smelting means the melting of a metal from its ore in a smelting
furnace, in order to separate the metallic parts from the sulphur,
arsenic, and the earthy and stony substances with which they may be

What is Sulphur?

An inflammable, fossil substance, of a dry, solid, friable nature,
melting with a small proportion of heat;--when fired in the open air,
burning almost entirely away with a blue flame and noxious vapor. It
is abundantly diffused in many places, especially where metallic
minerals are found; but more particularly in those districts where
subterranean fires and volcanoes exist. It is also found combined with
many different substances.

Describe the nature of Sulphur, and the places where it is mostly

Sulphur almost pure, called native or virgin sulphur, is found in
volcanoes and grottoes, in the form of transparent crystals; but the
greatest quantity which exists naturally is combined with metals in
ores. Sulphur is both fusible and volatile,--which qualities enable us
to procure it from those minerals by the process of sublimation: it
unites easily, in different degrees, with all metallic matters,
excepting gold, platina, and zinc.

     _Sublimation_, the act of bringing a solid substance into
     the state of vapor by heat, and condensing it again by cold.

Are not its uses very extensive?

Yes, both in the arts and in chemistry: it is well known to be a
principal ingredient in the preparation of gunpowder and fire-works;
it is also used for whitening wool, straw, silk, &c.; many other
matters exposed to the vapors of sulphur when burning, quickly lose
their color, which no other substance had been able to destroy.
Sulphur is also frequently found in mineral waters.

Whence are the greatest quantities of Sulphur brought?

The largest quantities are brought from Saxony, in irregular masses,
which are afterwards melted and cast into small rolls. There are about
four species of sulphur; namely, the yellow native sulphur, which in
its purest state is clear, and of a pale straw color, found in the
gold mines of Peru; in Hungary, and some other places: the green
native sulphur, which is harder than the other, is found in small
crust-like masses; this sort is chiefly confined to Mount Vesuvius:
and the grey native sulphur, common in Iceland and many other places.
Native sulphur is also found at the coal mines, near Richmond,
Virginia; in Connecticut, Pennsylvania, and other parts of the United

Which is the most rare and beautiful of all the kinds?

The red native sulphur; it is mostly of a fine glowing red, very
bright and transparent; it is found, like the first-mentioned sort, in
the gold mines of Peru. Common sulphur, such as is used in trade and
the arts, is of a pale yellow color; and possesses a peculiar and
disagreeable smell, particularly when heated or rubbed. This is mostly
extracted from the metallic sulphurets, and is commonly called
brimstone. It is the sort employed in making matches.

Is there not another substance also employed in the manufacture of

Yes: Phosphorus, a peculiar substance, chiefly of animal origin. It is
mostly procured by the decomposition of the phosphoric acid which is
found in bones. It was accidentally discovered at Hamburgh, in 1669,
by an alchemist named Brandt.

     _Alchemist_, one skilled in Alchemy.[15]

[Footnote 15: See Chapter XVIII., article Chemistry.]

What is the nature of Phosphorus?

It is a solid, inflammable substance, which burns when in contact with
atmospheric air. It is used in various chemical experiments, and for
making matches; for various kinds of fire-works, &c. It will combine
with all metals except gold and zinc; and also with some earths. Some
animals, as the glow-worm, possess very peculiar phosphorescent

     _Phosphorescent_, having a phosphoric property, emitting
     peculiar light like phosphorus.

What is Arsenic?

A heavy metallic substance, very volatile, and highly inflammable; so
caustic or corrosive to animals, as to become a violent poison in all
its states. In its metallic state it is used in several of the arts:
it is employed in the manufacture of factitious metals: it is of use
to the dyer in forming some of his colors; and for that purpose is
generally combined with potassa. It is used in the making of small
shot, and also in the manufacture of glass, to which it gives
transparency; in whitening copper; in calico printing; in the
preparation of colors for the painter; and in the working of platina,
and some other metals, to render them more easily fusible.

     _Caustic_, dry, burning.

     _Corrosive_, apt to corrode, to eat away, to penetrate.

How is the white powdered arsenic prepared?

By submitting the ore to a strong heat in a peculiar kind of furnace;
this produces a dark grey powder, which is again heated in close iron
vessels; this separates it from its impurities, and the arsenic is
obtained in thick, solid masses; these, by exposure to the air, fall
into a fine, white powder.

From what is the word Arsenic derived?

From a Greek word, signifying _masculine_--powerful (as a poison).
Arsenic is dug out of mines in Saxony, near Goslar; in Bohemia; in
England, in the Mendip Hills, in great quantities. It has so strong a
corrosive quality as sometimes to burn the hands and feet of the
miners; it is a deadly poison for all known animals. This poisonous
mineral is not found native in its perfect form, being generally
united with metallic ores.

What do you mean by Gems?

The word gem is used as a common name for all precious stones or
jewels; they consist of the siliceous earths; and are much valued for
their lustre, transparency, color, hardness, and rarity. There are
many different kinds of precious stones, each distinguished by its
peculiar character.

How are they divided?

Into the pellucid gems, which are of great lustre, and extremely hard,
as the diamond; the semi-pellucid, those which are not so transparent,
but yet of great beauty; those of one color, as the emerald or
turquois; and those variegated or veined with different colors. Gems
are sometimes found of regular shapes, with a natural polish, near the
beds of rivers after great rains; these are of the pebble kind.
Sometimes they are found of irregular shapes, with a rough coat, in
mines and the clefts of rocks. Pearls, though not stones, are also
ranked among the number of gems.

     _Pellucid_, clear as a drop of water.

     _Semi-pellucid_, half pellucid.

Describe the Diamond.

The diamond is a precious stone, the first in rank of all the gems,
and valued for its beautiful lustre; it is the hardest of all stones,
as well as the most valuable. The most esteemed are colorless. A
diamond in its natural state as it comes out of the mine, and before
it is cut, is called rough, because it has no brilliancy, but is
covered with an earthy crust. The diamond is the Adamant of the
ancients; hence the expression "hard as adamant," from its being the
hardest substance in nature. The cutting of diamonds is a work of
labor, and requires great skill; the polishing is performed by a mill
of simple construction.

Where are they mostly found?

In yellow ochreous earths; in mines; and likewise in torrents, which
have torn them from their beds. In former times, all the diamonds that
were known were brought from the famous mines of Golconda, in
Hindostan; the islands of Molucca and Borneo have also produced many
valuable stones. The diamond mines of Golconda are now so exhausted,
that they are not thought worth the expense of working; these gems are
now brought chiefly from Brazil, in South America.

What is meant by Ochreous?

Consisting of ochre, a kind of earth with a rough and dusty surface,
composed of fine, soft, clayey particles, which readily separate in
water. There are various colored ochres, as red, yellow, blue, green,
&c.; they are very useful in many of the arts.

What term is used to denote the quality of the Diamond?

In speaking of the value of diamonds, we distinguish them as "diamonds
of the first water," meaning those which possess the greatest
perfection and purity, which ought to be that of the clearest drop of
water: when they fall short of this perfection, they are said to be
"of the second or third water," and so on till the stone may be
properly called a colored one.

What is the Ruby?

A beautiful gem of a red color; in its perfect state it is of great
value. The ruby is often found perfectly pure and free from all spots
or blemishes; but its value is much more frequently lessened by them,
especially in the larger stones. It is very hard, being second only to
the diamond in this respect; and is often naturally so bright and pure
on the surface as to need no polishing; it is often worn in rings,
&c., in its rough or native state. The color of rubies varies from the
deepest to the palest red, all having more or less of a purplish
tinge, which is more plainly perceived in the deeper colored specimens
than in the paler ones.

Where are Rubies found?

They are mostly found in gold mines. We have the true rubies only from
the East. The Isle of Ceylon has long been celebrated for these gems;
they are found in a river which descends from the mountains; they are
brighter and more beautiful than those obtained in other parts, but
are very rare. Some crystals are frequently found tinged with the true
color of the ruby, but these want its lustre and hardness.

Describe the Emerald.

It is a precious stone of a beautiful transparent green color, and,
when in a state of perfection, nearly equal to the ruby in hardness.
The finest and best are found in America, especially among the
mountains of Peru; they are also obtained from a few places in the
East. These gems are often counterfeited, as are most of the precious
stones, there being even false diamonds; the genuine may be known by
their extreme hardness and brilliancy.

     _Counterfeited_, imitated with a view to defraud.

     _Genuine_, true, real.

What is the Turquois?

A beautiful blue stone; it is one of the softest of the gems, and some
varieties are often used for seals, as they admit of being engraved
upon. The turquois is easily imitated, and that often so perfectly as
to render it very difficult to distinguish the counterfeit from the
true gem.

In what countries are they found?

The Oriental Turquois comes from Persia, the Indies, and some parts of
Turkey; the turquois is also found in various parts of Europe, as
Germany, Spain, and France.

What is Engraving?

The art of cutting metals or precious stones, and representing thereon
figures, letters, and devices; the term is, however, more particularly
applied to the art of producing figures or designs on metal, &c., for
the purpose of being subsequently printed on paper. The ancients are
well known to have excelled in engraving on precious stones; many
specimens have been preserved, which surpass anything of the kind
produced by the moderns. This art is frequently alluded to in the
Bible. Engraving on wood, according to some authors, was introduced
into Europe from China by Venetian merchants; it is certain the art
was practised in eastern and northern Italy as early as the thirteenth
century. The invention of copper-plate engraving has been ascribed to
a goldsmith of Florence, about the year 1460.

     _Device_, that which is formed by design.

     _Design_, a representation of a thing by an outline; a

Describe Wood Engraving.

The subject is drawn on a block of box or pear-tree wood with a
black-lead pencil, or with a pen and Indian ink; the wood is then cut
away, so as to leave the lines which have been drawn, as raised parts.
The ink is next applied, and by pressing damp paper upon the block,
the impressions are obtained. Albert Durer, a celebrated painter of
Germany, brought the art of engraving on wood and metal, and taking
off impressions on paper, &c., to great perfection.

How is engraving on copper, steel, &c., performed?

This sort of engraving is performed with a sharp-pointed instrument
called a _graver_, by means of which figures, landscapes, &c., are
traced upon a flat surface of the metal: the lines are then filled
with ink or a similar composition, and the paper pressed on the plate.
When taken off, an exact copy of the plate is impressed upon its


What is Lithography?

A species of engraving on stone, from which impressions can be taken
much more expeditiously and economically than from metal. The process
depends upon the following principles:--First, the facility with which
calcareous stones imbibe water; second, the power of oily substances
to repel water. When drawings are executed upon the stone with crayons
composed of oily materials, and the surface of the stone is washed
over with water, the moisture is imbibed by the stone, but repelled
from the engraving; and when the ink, which also contains oily
substances, is applied, it adheres only to the drawing, and not to the
other portions of the stone. The block is then passed through a press,
and the impressions are taken off; as many as 70,000 perfect copies
have been obtained from a single stone.

     _Expeditiously_, with celerity or dispatch.

     _Economically_, with economy; with frugality.

You describe Pearls as being ranked among the number of Gems, although
they are not Stones; what kind of substance are they?

Pearls are excrescences found in the shells of a large species of
oyster, which are supposed to be produced by a disease of the fish.
The best pearls are generally taken from the most fleshy part of the
oyster, near the hinge of the shell, but inferior kinds are found in
all parts of the fish, and adhering to the shells. Pearls, from many
allusions made to them in the Old Testament, were not only known to
the ancients, but were regarded by them as costly and precious gems.

How do they get the Oysters which contain them?

By diving under water and picking the oysters from the large beds at
the bottom of the sea; or the rocks to which they adhere. The divers
cast all the oysters they take into their boats, and carry them
ashore, where they deposit them in heaps; they are then left till they
become putrid, this being necessary in order to remove the pearls
easily from the rough matter by which they are surrounded.

What sea produces the best and greatest number of Pearls?

The finest and greatest quantities are obtained off the coast of
Ceylon; the pearl oyster is also found in the seas of the East Indies;
in those of America, and in some parts of the European seas; but these
last are much inferior. The Oriental pearls are the finest on account
of their size, color, and beauty, being of a silvery white; while the
Occidental pearls are smaller, and frequently tinged with a yellow or
blackish hue.

     _Tinged_, slightly colored.

Does not the Pearl Oyster produce a substance called Mother-of-Pearl?

No; the beautiful substance so much used for inlaying boxes, and for
ornamental knife-handles, &c., is produced from the shell, not of the
pearl oyster, but of another sea-fish of the oyster kind.

What is Inlaying?

The art of ornamenting a plain surface of wood, or other material,
with thin slices or leaves of a finer wood, of a different kind; as
mahogany inlaid with ebony, &c., or with ivory, and other substances.
There are two kinds of inlaying; one, of the more ordinary sort, which
consists only of compartments of different kinds of wood, inlaid with
one another; the other, requiring greater skill, represents flowers,
birds, and other figures. The thin plates of wood or other substance,
being sawed into slips, and cut into the required forms, are carefully
joined, and afterwards strongly glued down on the block of wood, &c.,
intended to be thus ornamented.

     _Compartment_, a division, a separate part.

What is Ebony?

A hard, black-colored wood, growing in the countries of the Levant,
&c.; there are, however, several black woods of different kinds which
are also called ebony.

What is Ivory?

The tooth or tusk of the Elephant, which grows on each side of his
trunk; it is somewhat like a horn in shape. Ivory is much esteemed for
its beautiful white color, polish, and fine grain when wrought. It has
been used from the remotest ages of antiquity; in the Scriptures we
read of Solomon's ivory throne, and also of "vessels of ivory," and
"beds of ivory:" by which it appears to have been a chief article of
luxury, as well as of trade.

     _Remotest_, most distant.

Of what countries is the Elephant an inhabitant?

Of many parts of Asia and Africa. The elephant is the largest
quadruped now in existence; it is extremely sagacious, docile and
friendly: in the countries where they live they are trained to useful
labor, and by their great strength are enabled to perform tasks which
a man or horse could not accomplish: among the native princes they
were, and even still are, used in war: with them the inhabitants are
able to hunt and destroy the lion, tiger, and other beasts of prey.
With their long trunk, or proboscis, they can perform almost
everything which man can with his hands.

     _Quadruped_, an animal with four feet.



What is Starch?

A white, powdery sediment procured from the bottom of vessels in which
flour or meal has been steeped in water. Pure starch is of a fine
white color, without taste or smell; it will not dissolve in cold
water, but with warm forms a jelly, in which form it is generally
used; it is made by crushing, soaking, and fermenting the grains of
the cereals, and then washing in pure water; the water is then
evaporated, leaving behind the starch.

     _Sediment_, matter subsided to the bottom of liquors.

For what is Starch used?

To stiffen linen after washing; to make hair powder; and for other
purposes in the arts.

From what vegetables is Starch obtained?

All farinaceous vegetable substances afford it, as the potato,
horse-chestnut, &c. Starch being the nutritive part of the vegetable,
forms an excellent food for invalids, and constitutes the principal
part of arrow-root, tapioca, &c.; the different flavor of these
substances being derived from the mixture of a small portion of
foreign matter peculiar to the plants which yield them. Starch is
procured from potatoes by crushing them to powder, and then proceeding
as in the manufacture of wheat starch.

What is Arrow-root?

The starch obtained from the root of an American plant by
pulverization. It is often adulterated with potato starch, and the
latter is even sold instead of it, for the two kinds resemble each
other so closely that they can hardly be distinguished.

     _Pulverization_, the act of reducing to powder.

     _Adulterated_, corrupted by foreign mixture.

What is Tapioca?

Tapioca is another kind of starch, obtained from the root of the
manioc plant, which is cultivated in most hot climates, in Asia,
Africa, and America. A flour is also prepared from it, which is used
for making bread. It is particularly cultivated in the tropical parts
of America, and in the West India islands, where it forms a very
important article of food for the Negro population.

     _Negro_, a name given to the black inhabitants of Africa and
     their descendants.

     _Population_, inhabitants of a place or country.

What is Isinglass?

One of the purest and finest of _animal_ glues. It is the produce of
several kinds of fish, but especially of the sturgeon, which inhabits
the seas of Northern Europe and America.

From what part of the fish is it prepared?

From the air-bladder, and certain parts of the entrails; these are
taken out while fresh, cut open, washed, and exposed to the air a
short time to stiffen; the outside skin is then taken off, and the
remaining part formed into rolls, fastened together with pegs, and
hung up to dry. The isinglass is then separated into threads of
different sizes, or formed into flakes. Immense quantities are
annually prepared in this manner in Russia.

What are its uses?

Dissolving readily in water or milk, it yields a mild nutriment for
the sick, and enters into the composition of many delicacies for the
table, such as jellies, &c. It is mixed with gum to give lustre to
silk and satin; it is also used in making court plaster, and for
clarifying various liquors. Gelatine, now much used on account of its
being less expensive, is a similar preparation, but of an inferior

What else does the Sturgeon supply?

Its roe furnishes the delicacy called Caviare, which is in fact merely
that part of the fish separated from the membranes and washed in
vinegar and white wine, and dried in the air. It is then well salted,
and packed up in barrels ready for sale. This is the method of
preparing it in Russia, where large quantities of it are consumed. It
is largely exported to Italy, where it is highly esteemed. It is
unwholesome, and at present the demand for it, except in Russia and
Italy, is very limited. The best is dry and of a brown color, and is
eaten with lemon juice on bread.

To what other uses is the fruit of the Vine applied besides drying it
for raisins, as described in the sixth chapter?

The well-known plant, called the Vine, has been an object of culture
from the earliest ages of the world, for the sake of the fermented
liquor obtained from its fruit; soon after the flood, Noe, who appears
to have been the first "husbandman," is mentioned as having "planted a
vineyard," and drank of the juice of the grape; in all those countries
where it flourishes, it is inseparably connected with their religious
rites, and wine, like corn, formed one of the principal articles which
they offered on their altars to the gods whom they worshipped.

     _Husbandman_, one who cultivates the fruits of the earth.

     _Altar_, the place where sacrifices were anciently offered
     to some deity.

What countries produce the best Wines?

The wines of France are generally admitted to be the finest; the
principal ones are Champagne, Burgundy, and Claret. Of each of these,
there are several varieties, celebrated for their peculiar flavor;
they are generally named after the places where they are made. Spain,
Portugal, Italy, Germany, Hungary, Sicily, Greece, and California,
also produce their various sorts of wine, each esteemed in its kind.

May Wine be extracted from other vegetable bodies?

The word is appropriated in a more particular manner to the fermented
juice of the grape; but nearly all vegetable productions may be made
to afford wine. That produced from Apples is called Cider; that from
Pears, Perry. A kind of wine, called Mead, is prepared from honey and

     _Appropriated_, applied to.

What is Honey?

A sweet vegetable juice, collected from the flowers of various plants
by the bees.

What Honey was reckoned by the ancients the best in the world?

The honey of Hybla, on the east coast of Sicily, and of Hymettus, a
mountain of Greece, near Athens.

What other fluid is drawn from Wine?

Spirits; by this term is understood, a volatile fluid called spirits
of wine, or alcohol, obtained by distillation from wine, beer, and all
fermented liquors. It is colorless, and of a strong penetrating taste
and smell. It is of great use in chemistry; in dyeing to prepare the
stuff for receiving colors; and in many of the arts.

What is the vessel called which is used in Distilling?

A Still. It is a vessel so formed as to collect the vapor, which is
the spirit, or alcohol, separated from the liquid from which it is
drawn. This liquid product is itself returned to the still; and the
same process is several times repeated, till the alcohol or spirit is
sufficiently strong and pure. There are three principal spirits used
in this country, as gin, rum, and brandy.

     _Product_, thing produced.

What is Gin?

A spirit procured from raw barley, oats, and malt, mixed together in
certain proportions: there are several varieties of this spirit, all
obtained from grain. The peculiar flavor of gin is given by infusing a
few hops and some of the berries of the juniper fir.

What is Malt?

Malt is barley prepared by being steeped in water and fermented, and
then dried in a kiln. It is used for making beer, &c.

Of what are Hops the produce?

Of a graceful climbing plant, the blossoms of which are used in making
beer, to preserve it and improve its flavor.

What is Rum?

A spirit obtained from molasses, the fluid which drains from sugar
while it is crystallizing.

What is Brandy?

A spirit distilled from any wine; but the best is procured from weak
French wines, which are unfit for exportation. Brandy, from whatever
wine it has been obtained, is at first colorless; different methods
are employed to give it the color by which it is distinguished.

     _Exportation_, the act of sending articles from one country
     to another.

What is Vinegar?

An agreeable, acid, penetrating liquor, prepared from wine, beer, &c.
To make vinegar, the wine or beer is made to undergo a second
fermentation, called the _acid_ or _acetous_ fermentation; the first
which the vegetable juice had to undergo, in order to convert it into
wine or beer, being called the _vinous_ fermentation. Vinegar is of
great use in cookery and medicine; the word is derived from the French
for wine, _vin_, and _aigre_, sour. The ancients had several kinds of
vinegar, which they used as drinks; but it is most likely that these
vinegars were different from that so called among us, and were more
probably a kind of wine.

     _Acetous_, sour.

     _Vinous_, wine-like.

What materials are used for the dyeing and coloring of our

There are many mineral and vegetable earths which furnish mankind with
different colors for beautifying their various manufactures, and
assisting them in the arts, &c. Some species of insects also come to
their aid, as for instance, the cochineals; these insects are killed
by the application of heat, and thus form the drug used for giving red
colors, especially crimson and scarlet, and for making carmine. The
beautiful and permanent blue called Indigo, is the produce of a small
shrub, two or three feet in height.

From what part is the Dye obtained?

From the leaves; the color is produced by soaking them some hours in
water, in large vessels constructed for the purpose; the sediment of
the blue liquor drawn from them is afterwards dried and sold in the
form of small grains For the painter, they are mixed with oil, or
diluted and made up into small cakes with gum water.

In what countries is Indigo cultivated?

It is native in both Indies, and in South America, where its
cultivation affords employment to many of the inhabitants. It also
grows wild in parts of Palestine, and is much cultivated both in Syria
and Egypt. It once formed one of the staples of the Southern States,
but has in a great measure given way to the cultivation of cotton.

Has Indigo been long known?

The culture and preparation of indigo were known to the Oriental
nations long before it was introduced into Europe. The inhabitants of
ancient Britain painted their bodies with the blue dye which they
obtained from woad, a plant which grows wild in France and along the
shores of the Baltic, and which greatly resembles indigo in all its
properties, except its brilliancy of color.

     _Brilliancy_, brightness.

What is Gamboge?

The concrete resinous juice of a species of gum-tree, growing in
Cambodia, and other parts of the Indies. It is brought over in large
cakes or rolls of a yellowish brown color outside, and inside of a
deep yellow or orange, which changes to a pale bright yellow on being

What are the uses of Gamboge?

Dissolved in water, it forms a beautiful and useful color for the
painter. It is also used in medicine. Gamboge is soluble in either
water or spirits of wine. Mixed with a blue color, it forms green, in
various shades according to the different proportions of the

What is Logwood?

The wood of a tree which grows in parts of America and the West
Indies. It is imported in great quantities, and employed in dyeing
purple and the finest blacks.

What is Tar?

A coarse, resinous liquor issuing from the wood and bark of pine or
fir-trees; it is in fact the oily juices of the sap thickened and
colored by the heat of the sun or by age; it is extracted for use by
burning the wood of the trees under a heavy covering of turf or earth;
the tar exudes during the slow combustion, and is collected into a
cavity dug in the ground for the purpose. Tar is exported in great
quantities from Norway, Sweden, and our Southern States.

What are its uses?

It is applied to the sides of ships and boats and their rigging, to
preserve them from the effects of the weather; it is used instead of
paint for palings, &c.; and sometimes also in medicine. A kind, called
_mineral_ tar, is also drawn from coal by the process of distillation.
Mineral tar is also found native in some parts of the earth.

What is Pitch?

A kind of juice or gum, likewise drawn from unctuous woods, chiefly
those of the pine and fir; it is used for nearly the same purposes as
tar in shipping, medicine, and various other arts. Pitch is properly a
juice of the wild pine, or pitch tree; it is of a glossy black color,
dry brittle, and less bitter and pungent than the liquid tar.

What is Camphor?

A vegetable substance, chiefly procured from a kind of laurel, (Laurus
Camphora,) growing in Borneo, Japan, and many East Indian islands; it
is also produced from other plants and shrubs, though in very small

How, and from what part of the tree is it taken?

All parts of the tree are impregnated with camphor; but it is
principally extracted from the roots and trunk, by distillation; it is
white, and of a crystal form: its odor is extremely fragrant. In this
state it is called _rough_ camphor, and is thus exported. The Greeks
and Romans do not appear to have been acquainted with this valuable
drug; and we are indebted to the Arabians for a knowledge of it.

What are the properties and uses of Camphor?

It is a firm, dry, crystal matter, with a hot, sharp, aromatic taste.
It is highly odorous, and so inflammable as to burn and preserve its
flame in water; it totally vanishes or evaporates in the open air, and
in Spirits of Wine it entirely dissolves. Camphor has various uses--as
in fire-works, &c.; it is an excellent preservative of animal and
vegetable bodies, as it resists worms and other insects. In the courts
of Eastern princes it is burnt at night with wax. Its principal use
with us is in medicine.

     _Preservative_, a preventive of decay.

What is Musk?

A dry, friable substance of a dark color, taken from a little bag
under the belly of a small animal called the Thibet Musk, which is a
native of the Indies, Tonquin, and China. It inhabits the woods and
forests, where the natives hunt it down. Musk is so strong a perfume
as to be agreeable only in the smallest quantities, or when mingled
with some other scent; it is used in perfumery, &c.

Is there not another Animal which produces a similar scent?

Yes; an animal of Arabian origin produces an odoriferous substance
called Civet, from which it takes its name of Civet Cat; there are
several species of this animal which produce it, but it is from the
Civet Cat that it is most commonly taken. Civets are found in all the
warm parts of Asia and Africa, in Madagascar, and the East Indian
Islands. It was formerly in high esteem, but is at present very little
used, except to increase the power of other perfumes.

What is Myrrh?

A kind of gum-resin, issuing from the trunk of a tree growing in
Arabia, Egypt, and Abyssinia; it flows either naturally, or by
incision; and is sent to us in small lumps of a reddish brown or
yellow color. Its smell is strong, but not disagreeable. Our myrrh is
the same drug that was used by the ancients under the above name. Its
chief use now is in medicine. The ancient Egyptians employed it as an
ingredient in the embalming of dead bodies.

     _Embalming_, preserving the bodies of the dead from decaying
     or putrefying, by impregnating them with aromatics and other
     substances which resist putrefaction.

Where is Abyssinia?

Abyssinia is a large kingdom situated in Eastern Africa.

What is Frankincense?

An odoriferous, aromatic gum-resin, which distils, in the heat of
summer, from incisions made in the bark of the tree which produces it:
notwithstanding the great use of the gum, both in ancient systems of
religious worship and in modern medicine, authors have been much
divided in opinion with regard to the kind of tree from which it is
obtained; it is a species of turpentine tree belonging to an order of
resinous and fragrant trees and shrubs inhabiting the tropical parts
of the world.

For what was it formerly used?

The ancients burnt it in their temples as a perfume, and to do honor
to the divinities that were worshipped in them: it appears to have
been applied to the same purposes by people of all religions. Myrrh
and Frankincense were reckoned by the Eastern nations amongst their
most costly perfumes. We are informed by St. Matthew's Gospel in the
New Testament, that the wise men who came to Bethlehem to worship our
Saviour at his birth, brought gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh.
Many of the primitive Christians were put to death because they would
not offer incense to idols. In the Catholic Church we still retain its
use in many ceremonies.

     _Primitive_, early.

     _Incense_, perfumes burnt in religious rites, or as an
     offering to some deity.

What is the appearance of Frankincense?

It is generally imported in white or yellowish pieces, or drops,
which possess a bitter, disagreeable taste; it is very inflammable,
and burns with a strong, and pleasant odor. That brought from the
Indies is inferior to that from Arabia, and inclines to a reddish
color. The common frankincense is softer, more resinous, and possesses
less value than the former.

What is Turpentine?

The resinous juice of many trees, as the pine, larch, fir, &c.; it is,
in fact, the juice that renders them evergreen, and when in an
over-abundant quantity, bursts through their bark, and oozes out.
Common turpentine is that procured by incisions from the wild pine;
there are several kinds of turpentine procured from various resinous
trees; some are of use in medicine, and most of them in making
different kinds of varnishes, for preserving and beautifying boxes,
paintings, &c.

     _Ooze_, to flow gently.

Is there not a tree more particularly designated the Turpentine Tree?

Yes, the Terebinth or Turpentine Tree of Palestine and the East. It is
one of the most common forest trees of those regions, and is regarded
with respect and distinction similar to that awarded to the oak in

What part of it produces the Gum?

The gum, or rather the resin, distils from the trunk. It is called
Cyprus or Chian Turpentine, much of it being brought from the isles of
Cyprus and Scio, or Chios, and is procured, by incision, about the
month of July. This turpentine, owing to its superior quality, as well
as its scarcity, each tree seldom yielding over two or three pounds,
is very costly.

     _Incision_, a cutting.

     _Costly_, expensive.



Of what are Bricks composed?

Of clay, dried by the heat of the sun, or burnt in kilns; their color
varies with the different degrees of heat to which they are subjected
in burning. In the East, bricks were baked in the sun; the Romans used
them crude, only laying them to dry in the air for a long space of

     _Crude_, in the rough, unbaked state, just as they were

How long have Bricks been in use for building?

Bricks appear to have been in use at a very remote period of
antiquity, both from the account of them in the Holy Scriptures, and
from the remains of them which have been found; the Tower of Babel and
the walls of Babylon were built of them. They were in early use among
the Egyptians, as appears from the history of the Jews before their
deliverance by Moses. In the book of Exodus, we are told that this
captive people were compelled to make bricks for that nation. The
Romans, under their first kings, built with massive square stones; but
towards the end of the Republic they began to use brick, borrowing the
practice from the Greeks; and the greatest and most durable buildings
of the succeeding Emperors were composed of them, as the Pantheon, &c.

     _Massive_, bulky and heavy.

By whom was the Tower of Babel erected, and why?

By the descendants of Noe's three sons, Sem, Cham, and Japheth; they
were extremely numerous, and dwelt in the land of Sennaar; becoming
ambitious of distinguishing themselves, they set about building a
tower whose summit might reach to heaven. Sennaar was the original
name of the country about Babylon.

     _Descendants_, those descended from a particular person or

What remarkable event followed their foolish pride?

The Almighty suddenly frustrated their purpose by confusing their
language and causing them all to express their words by different
sounds; hence arose the numbers of different languages spoken by the
nations of the earth; and thus what they imagined would be a monument
of glory, was made an awful memento of their pride and folly.

     _Frustrated_, prevented.

     _Monument_, anything by which the memory of persons or
     things is preserved.

     _Memento_, a hint to awaken the memory of anything; that
     which reminds.

What good effect did this event produce?

God, who at all times can bring good out of evil, by this means caused
the other parts of the earth to be peopled; for this visitation having
effectually broken up their scheme, they emigrated in parties, and
dispersed themselves over different parts of the world.

     _Scheme_, plan, intention.

     _Emigrated_, removed from one country to another.

     _Dispersed_, separated.

Where was Babylon?

This celebrated city, so often mentioned in Holy Writ, (and remarkable
for the minuteness with which its destruction was foretold by the
Prophets,) was the capital of the Assyrian Empire, and situated on the
river Euphrates. After the destruction of Nineve, the ancient capital
of this empire, Babylon became the most famous city of the East.

     _Minuteness_, particularity.

What is meant by the Assyrian Empire?

The country of Assyria, in Asia.

For what was this city particularly celebrated?

For its hanging gardens, palaces, temples, and walls, the latter of
which are said to have been three hundred and fifty feet high, and so
broad that six chariots could go abreast upon them. The city was so
strongly fortified, both by nature and art, as to be thought

     _Fortified_, defended.

     _Impregnable_, incapable of being taken or destroyed by an

By whom was it destroyed, and when?

By Cyrus, 538 years before the birth of Christ, just fifty years after
Nabuchodonosor had destroyed the city of Jerusalem and its temple.

Who was Cyrus?

The founder of the Persian Empire.

Who was Nabuchodonosor?

The King of Babylon.

What was the Pantheon?

A temple of a circular form which was dedicated to all the Gods, or
all the Saints. That of all others the most celebrated, is the
Pantheon of ancient Rome, and its remains are the most perfect amongst
the wonders of that city at the present day.

     _Circular_, having the form of a circle, round.

By whom was it built?

By Agrippa, the Consul of Rome, twenty-five years before Christ; it
was dedicated by him to Jupiter: the name Pantheon was given on
account of the great number of statues of the Gods ranged in niches
all round it; and because it was built in a circular form to represent
heaven, the residence of the Gods. It was afterwards converted into a
church by Pope Boniface IV, and dedicated to the Blessed Virgin and
all the Martyrs, under the title of "Our Lady of the Rotunda." Agrippa
likewise built the Pantheon at Athens, which was but little inferior
to that of Rome. The Greek Christians afterwards converted it into a
church, dedicating it to the Blessed Virgin; but the Turks, when they
subdued Greece, changed it into a mosque.

     _Dedicated_, appropriated to a particular person, or to a
     sacred use.

     _Residence_, dwelling, habitation.

     _Martyr_, one who is put to death for the cause of religion.

     _Mosque_, a Mahommedan temple.

[Illustration: A SLATE QUARRY.]

What is understood by a Consul?

The chief magistrate of the Roman republic or commonwealth. After the
Romans had expelled their kings, they were governed by two Consuls;
these were established in the year of Rome 245. The Consuls were the
head of the senate; they commanded the armies of the republic, and
judged all the differences between the citizens: they held their
office for the space of a year; at the end of which time, new ones
were elected. Consuls were even continued under the Emperors after the
republic was destroyed; but it was then little more than an honorary
title, and at last was totally abolished.

     _Expelled_, turned out.

     _Abolished_, annulled, made void.

To what is the term Consul applied at the present time?

To an officer established by a commission from a king or state, to
reside in foreign countries of any considerable trade, to facilitate
and despatch business, protect the merchants of the state, &c.

     _Commission_, a trust imposed, command, authority.

     _Facilitate_, to render easy.

What is meant by a Senate?

An assembly or council of senators, that is, of the principal
inhabitants of a state, who have a share in the government.

What is the government of the United States?

It is one of limited and definite powers, defined by a written

How are the legislative powers, granted to the government, vested?

In a Congress, consisting of a Senate of two Senators from each state,
chosen by the legislature thereof; and a House of Representatives,
consisting of one or more members from each state, elected by the
people in equal electoral districts.

     _Legislative_, giving or enacting laws

How are our laws made?

Bills passed by the House of Representatives and the Senate, on
receiving the sanction of the President, become laws; or, if vetoed by
the President, may be passed by two-thirds of both Houses.

     _Vetoed_, withheld assent to.

Who was Jupiter?

The principal deity of the Pagan world.

What is used to cement bricks firmly together?

Mortar; a composition of lime, sand, gravel, &c., mixed up with water;
the ancients had a kind of mortar so very hard and binding, that, even
to this day, it is next to impossible to separate the parts of some of
their buildings.

What is Granite?

A rock which has been formed by the union of three different minerals
in a state of fusion; these, on cooling, have crystallized and become
distinct from each other in the mass. It is remarkable for the beauty
of its colors, its hardness and durability. There are granites of many
different colors, as red or rose-colored, grey, green, variegated, &c.

     _Fusion_, a melted state.

     _Mass_, a body, a lump.

What form does it bear?

Granite does not, generally, form one extensive mass, but remains in
separate and large fragments, rudely compacted together; besides the
three minerals of which it is composed, particles of other stones, or
metallic earths, are often accidentally mixed with it. It is called
granite from its granulous structure.

     _Compacted_, joined together.

     _Granulous_, consisting of small grains.

Where is Granite found?

Granite occurs in all the larger mountain ranges, and in isolated
masses in every country; not being a stratified rock, and being
excessively hard, it is difficult to get it out in manageable masses.
In Arabia Petræa, the whole country abounds in masses of different

     _Isolated_, alone, separated, detached.

     _Stratified_, consisting of strata or beds.

What mode is usually employed in this country in obtaining it?

Blasting, or blowing up with gunpowder; the force of which detaches
pieces from the rock, which are hewn roughly into forms on the spot by
a small pickaxe. Granite is also quarried by cutting a deep line some
yards long, and placing strong iron wedges at equal distances along
this line; these wedges are struck in succession with heavy hammers,
till the mass splits down. Another method of detaching masses of rock,
is by driving wooden wedges into a deep artificial or natural crack,
or fissure; the wedges are then wet, and, in consequence of swelling,
burst the rock asunder.

     _Quarried_, from _to quarry_, a term used for the getting of
     stone from a quarry, or place where stones are dug from the
     earth, or detached from a large mass of rock.

     _Detach_, to separate.

For what is this Rock used?

On account of its great hardness, it is used for large public
structures, as bridges, churches, &c. The ancient temples and other
buildings in Egypt, Asia, and Italy, were built of different colored
granites, especially the beautiful Oriental red granite.

What is Slate?

The common name for a bluish fossil stone, very soft when dug out of
the quarry, and easily cut or split into thin plates,--a property
which renders it invaluable for a variety of purposes.

     _Invaluable_, extremely valuable.

For what is it used?

Slate has superseded the use of lead for covering roofs, even of the
largest buildings; being lighter and more durable, it is preferable to
tile: it is also employed for slabs to form cisterns, shelves for
dairies, and other purposes, on account of its strength, coolness, and
the ease with which it can be cleaned; the latter quality renders it
also of great value in the business of education, as a cheap
substitute for paper. The ancients were unacquainted with the use of

What other kinds of stone are used in building?

Limestone, or the calcareous rocks of the geologist: of these there
are many varieties. Those which are easily cut and polished are termed
marbles, and are used in sculpture and in ornamental architecture. The
coarser marbles are used for the common purposes of building.

     _Calcareous_, partaking of the nature of calx or lime,--a
     term employed to describe chalk, marble, and all other
     combinations of lime with carbonic acid.

     _Geologist_, one who studies the science of Geology.

Of what do Calcareous Earths or Stones consist?

Calcareous earths, stones, or rocks consist of lime, or pure
calcareous earth, carbonic acid, and water.

What is Quick-Lime?

Limestone deprived of its carbonic acid and water by being subjected
to an intense heat in a kiln.

How are these Stones wrought?

To whatever purpose the stones are to be applied, the larger blocks
obtained from the quarry must be cut into smaller and more manageable
pieces by sawing: the saw used is a long blade of steel, without
teeth, fixed in a heavy wooden frame. These huge saws are worked by
one or two men who sit in boxes to shelter them from the weather;
water is caused to drip constantly into the cut, to facilitate the
motion of the saw, and keep it cool, so as to prevent it from losing
its temper.

     _Huge_, very large.

     _Temper_, hardness; in speaking of metals it signifies the
     state to which they are reduced, especially with regard to
     their hardness.

What is Steel?

Iron combined with a small portion of carbon; its chemical name is
_Carburet of Iron_. It is not so malleable as iron in its ordinary
state; but is much harder, more elastic, and susceptible of a higher
polish. Of this material are manufactured knives, swords, and all
kinds of cutting instruments and edge tools, used for domestic
purposes and in the arts, from the ponderous pit-saw to the finest
lancet. Good steel is much more ductile than iron; and a finer wire
may be drawn from it than from any other metal. The excellence of
edge-tools depends upon their temper.

     _Ponderous_, heavy.

You say that a Geologist is one who studies Geology: what is meant by
this term?

A science which enables us to read, in the simple language of nature,
the changes which have taken place on the surface of the earth, in its
structure and mineral constitution. It describes the different
materials and the strata of which the crust of the earth is composed,
and investigates the causes of its physical features.

     _Simple_, easily read.

What are Strata?

Layers of rocks and other substances of which the whole earth seems to
be composed. These rocks are found lying one above another in regular
order; beneath them are the _unstratified_ rocks, which seem to form
the basis or foundations upon which the others have been deposited.
The various layers seem to have been formed during progressive stages
of vegetable and animal organization. These rocks and strata are
divided into five classes or formations.

     _Progressive_, moving forwards.

     _Organization_, formation or structure of bodies.

Name them.

The Primitive, or lower formations, supposed to have been formed in
the chaotic state of the earth, because they have no trace of
organized beings or petrifactions; they are chiefly composed of
silicious and argillaceous earths, as granite, slate, &c.--Transition
rocks, supposed to have been formed during the transition of the earth
into a habitable state; they differ from the primitive, in containing
the remains of marine animals:--the Secondary rocks, containing the
remains of animals and vegetables, and consequently formed after their
creation;--the Tertiary formation, composed of layers of clay, sand,
gravel, and marl, and containing peculiar organic remains;--and the
Alluvial formation, constituted of parts of previous rocks separated
by water, &c., and deposited in beds.

     _Petrifaction_, an animal or vegetable substance turned to

     _Silicious_, consisting of flint.

     _Transition_, change from one state to another.

     _Argillaceous_, clayey, consisting of clay.

     _Chaotic_, resembling chaos, confused.

     _Chaos_, confusion, a mingled heap; a term used in speaking
     of the world while yet without form; a Greek word,
     signifying a confused mass.

     _Alluvial_, deposited from water.

Of what is this last compounded?

The Alluvial formation is composed of sand, gravel, loam, clay, turf,
&c., and contains plants, roots, moss, bones, petrified wood, and
skeletons of animals. It is distinguished from the Tertiary formation
chiefly by its superior position, and by extending over regions where
existing streams or other causes now in action could have produced it.
Some geologists mention another formation called the Volcanic, because
composed of minerals thrown from the crater of a volcano, such as
pumice stones, lava, &c.

     _Crater_, the mouth or opening of a volcano.

     _Petrified_, hardened into stone.

You mentioned Silicious and Argillaceous Earths: is not, then, the
earthy covering of our globe of one common character?

No; by earth is understood a combination of many distinct bodies.
Chemists, by separating earths from each other, and from foreign
matters connected with them, have discovered nine or ten primitive
earths; all of these, except silex, are compounds of oxygen with
metallic bases.

     _Chemist_, one who understands the science of chemistry.

Of which of these Simple or Primitive Earths are the solid portions of
the globe principally composed?

Of flint or silex, lime or calcareous earth, and clay or argil, in
various degrees of combination, the greatest parts of the mountains
and plains, and the whole of what we commonly understand by soil,
mould, earth, &c. are composed. These, however, though forming nearly
all of the solid portions of the world, are constantly mixed with
foreign matters, as metals, (particularly iron,) and acids, (as
carbonic acid.)

What are the properties of Silex?

Silex, or pure flint, will not dissolve in water, nor can it be melted
by itself in any heat; but combined with alkalies, as soda or potash,
it forms glass. It is the principal ingredient of most of the precious

What are the chief uses of Silex?

It is the most durable article for the formation of roads; a necessary
ingredient in earthenware, porcelain, and cements; and the principal
material of glass and vitreous substances. The making of pastes or
artificial gems is a branch of the art of glass-making; the basis used
is a very hard and pure silex.

     _Basis_, that part of any mixture which is the ground or
     base; the first principle or element of a substance.

Describe the properties of Lime.

It is of a white color, and possesses a hot, caustic taste. It forms
peculiar salts with acids; changes vegetable blues to green; will not
fuse; gives out a quantity of caloric when united with water; and
absorbs carbonic acid when exposed to air. Lime is very useful in the
arts and manufactures, in medicine, &c. The farmers use it as manure
to fertilize land.

     _Caustic_, burning, corroding: a term applied to substances
     which eat away and burn any thing with which they are
     brought in contact.

In what state is Lime found in nature?

Never native, but combined with other substances;--generally with an
acid, and most plentifully with carbonic acid, as in chalk, marble,
&c. It is also found in vegetables, and is the basis of animal bones;
it likewise occurs in the water of the ocean, and in that of all
springs and rivers. The method of procuring _lime_, from chalk,
marble, limestone, oyster-shells, &c., has already been described in a
former chapter.

What are the properties of Clay?

Argil, or pure clay, also called _alumina_, from its being the basis
of alum, is soft to the touch, adhesive, and emits a peculiar odor
when moistened;--forms a paste with water, and hardens in the fire.
Its uses are so various and important, that it would have been almost
impossible for man to have attained his present degree of
civilization, if it had not been given him by nature in such
abundance. Its uses have already been described in the arts of
brick-making, pottery, &c. Besides these three principal primitive
earths just described, there are seven others, having several
properties in common, yet each possessing its different and specific
properties, and evidently designed by nature for different purposes of

     _Specific_, belonging to its particular species.

     _Utility_, usefulness.

What is a Volcano?

An opening in the surface of the earth, or in a mountain, from which
are ejected smoke, flames, stones, lava, &c. Beneath the outer crust
of the earth inflammable materials appear to exist, which different
causes excite into combustion. Volcanoes are supposed to owe their
origin to the metals and minerals which form the basis of earths and
alkalies; and which, when ignited, expand,--shake the rocky
foundations,--and sometimes, bursting through, produce all the
destructive effects of earthquakes. They break forth under the sea, as
well as the land, and throw up mountains which rise above the level of
the water. During an eruption of Vesuvius, A.D. 79, three cities,
Herculaneum, Pompeii, and Stabiæ, were overwhelmed, and lay buried
beneath the matter ejected from the volcano until within a few years,
when excavations were made and many relics discovered;--streets,
houses, papyri, (manuscripts,) grain, fruit, bread, medicines, &c.
&c., all in a remarkable state of preservation, have been found just
as they were left by the terrified inhabitants at the time of the

     _Eruption_, an issuing or breaking forth with violence.

     _Ejected_, thrown out.

Are there many Volcanoes?

There are upwards of two hundred volcanoes upon the globe; more than
one half of them are in America and Oceanica The most noted volcanoes
in America are Cotopaxi (the highest in the world), near Quito;
Popocatapetl, in Mexico; Cosiguina, and the Water Volcano, in
Guatemala. In France, Spain, Portugal, and many other countries, there
are districts which show the former existence of volcanoes, which have
long been extinct; near Naples, in an area of two hundred square
miles, there are sixty craters, some of them larger than Vesuvius; in
one of these, the town of Cumea has stood for three thousand years.

What can you say of new islands formed by Volcanic Agency?

Many examples of new islands rising out of the sea by volcanic action
are on record. Some of them are permanent, but others, after a time,
disappear. Teneriffe, Iceland, Sicily, St. Helena; part of Sumatra,
Java, Japan; and the Sandwich Islands, seem to have been upheaved by
volcanic agency; Hawaii, the largest of the last-named group, contains
an area of four thousand square miles, and rises eighteen thousand
feet above the ocean.

What are Earthquakes?

Shakings or vibrations of the ground; sometimes accompanied by rents,
and rockings or heavings of the surface, so as to overthrow buildings,
and swallow up towns and large tracts of country. They are attended
with a terrible subterranean noise, like thunder, and sometimes with
an eruption of fire or water, or else of smoke or winds.

     _Subterranean_, underground.

What is supposed to cause them?

An electrical action between the atmosphere and some deep sub-strata;
or the sudden formation of gaseous matter beneath the surface of the
earth by internal volcanic fires. Many hot countries, where much
electrical disturbance takes place, are very subject to them:
earthquakes almost always precede volcanic eruptions; an open volcano,
also, probably diminishes the force of earthquakes, by the vent which
it affords. Earthquakes, at different times, have been productive of
the most terrific effects: towns and cities have been swallowed up,
and thousands of people destroyed by them. The island of Jamaica is
remarkable for the earthquakes which frequently happen there.

     _Precede_, to go before.

     _Vent_, opening.

     _Terrific_, full of terror, dreadful.

Where is Jamaica situated?

In the West Indies,--a large group of fertile islands which lie
between North and South America. Jamaica is the principal one of those
which belong to the English.



What is meant by Architecture?

The art of building or erecting edifices fit for the habitation of
man, to defend him from the weather, and for his domestic comfort and
convenience; for devotion, trade, and other purposes, and for the use
of civilized life in every capacity.

     _Capacity_, state, condition.

Is not this an art of great antiquity?

It is almost as ancient as human society; the changes of the seasons
first led men to build themselves huts or cabins, into which they
might retire for shelter; in process of time, their manner of building
gradually improved, and habitations were constructed of more stately
forms and elegant proportions, and greater skill and variety were
displayed in their ornaments Hence arose the Five Orders or manners of

Of what were the first huts composed?

Probably of the branches of trees driven into the ground, and covered
with mud and stubble; at length, as men became more expert, they
placed trunks of trees upright, and laid others across them to sustain
the outer coverings; from this they took the hint of a more regular
architecture, and built edifices of brick and stone; the trunks of
trees which supported their dwellings gave them a notion of pillars or
columns, which they afterwards erected of more durable materials.
Among uncivilized tribes at this day, some reside underground, having
their dirty dwellings entirely closed during the winter months; in
warmer regions, their habitations are built of stakes, leaves, and
turf, in the shape of a soldier's tent. In Africa, their kraals or
huts are constructed in this manner, but of a circular form, with a
hole at the top to let out the smoke. In many of the South Sea
Islands, the natives, when first discovered, had progressed still
further, having learnt to elevate the roofs on poles, and to fill in
the sides of their houses with boughs or rushes, mud or sods.

     _Probably_, most likely.

     _Edifice_, a building.

     _Notion_, idea.

     _Durable_, lasting.

What people are represented by the ancient writers as having brought
the art of Building to a greater state of perfection?

The inhabitants of the city of Tyre, to whom Solomon had recourse for
workmen to build the Temple. Isaias, in his twenty-third chapter,
speaks of the Tyrians and Egyptians, as having brought it to a great
degree of magnificence; as may be drawn from the various accounts
handed down to us, and the remains of their obelisks, pyramids, &c.

What is an Obelisk?

A very high and slender four-sided pyramid, raised as an ornament in
some public place; and frequently covered with inscriptions and
hieroglyphics.[16] This kind of monument appears to be very ancient;
they were first made use of to declare to posterity the principal
precepts of philosophy; to mark the hours of the day by the shadows
which they cast on the ground; and, in after-times, to immortalize the
actions of heroes, and perpetuate the memory of persons beloved.

[Footnote 16: See Chapter XIV.]

     _Inscription_, something written or engraved.

     _Hieroglyphics_, emblems by which words were implied. They
     were used before the invention of alphabets.

     _Implied_, signified, denoted.

     _Posterity_, succeeding generations, descendants.

     _Immortalize_, to render immortal,--which means never-dying;
     to perpetuate the memory of anything.

What is a Pyramid?

A solid, massive edifice, rising from a square, triangular, or other
base, gradually diminishing in size till it ends in a point at the
top. Like the obelisk, pyramids were sometimes erected to preserve the
memory of singular events, or to transmit to future ages the glory and
magnificence of princes; but oftener as funeral monuments and
receptacles for the dead, particularly kings.

     _Triangular_, three-sided, having three angles.

     _Diminishing_, growing smaller.

     _Receptacle_, the place in which a thing is deposited.

Is it known who were the erectors of these Buildings?

No; it is a curious fact that the Egyptian pyramids, so celebrated for
their size and great antiquity, should have the time of their erection
and the names of their founders wrapt in such complete mystery. All
the different authors who have written concerning them, disagree in
their accounts of those who built them, and nothing certain is known
of their history.

     _Founder_, one who establishes or erects.

     _Mystery_, profound secresy.

What other nations excelled in the art of Building?

The Greeks and Romans, from whom we derive it, also greatly excelled
in this art. Grecian architecture was in its highest glory under
Pericles. Among the Romans, it arrived at its greatest perfection
under the Emperor Augustus. The five orders of ornamental architecture
invented by the ancients, at different times, and on different
occasions, are of Grecian and Italian origin. They are the Tuscan, the
Doric, the Ionic, the Corinthian, and the Composite; each possessing
its peculiar form and beauty, and found in all the principal buildings
of the Christian world.

     _Christian_, professing the religion of Christ; the term is
     applied to those who believe our Lord Jesus Christ to be the
     only true God and Saviour of the world.

Who was Pericles?

A celebrated Athenian statesman, orator, and general, who gained
several victories over the Lacedemonians and other enemies of his

Are all the species of ornamental building confined to those nations
already mentioned?

By no means; besides the Grecian and Roman orders, other civilized
nations possess their separate styles; as the Hindoos, Chinese, Moors,
&c.; and nothing can be more grand, harmonious, and picturesque, than
each of these in the beautiful specimens which are to be seen in their
several countries. The Saxons, also, had a simple style of
architecture, distinguished by semi-circular arches, and massive plain
columns; the Normans, too, invented a beautiful kind called the
Gothic, distinguished by its lightness and the number of its
ornaments, and by its pointed arches and pillars carved to imitate
several combined together; the Gothic style is found in many old

     _Hindoos_, inhabitants of Hindostan, in India.

     _Moors_, inhabitants of Morocco, a kingdom of Barbary, in

     _Harmonious_, corresponding in all its parts with equal
     beauty and elegance.

     _Picturesque_, like a picture.

     _Saxons_, inhabitants of Saxony, a portion of Germany.

     _Semi-circular_, only half circular.

Describe the Five Orders of Architecture.

The Tuscan (from Tuscany,) is the most simple and devoid of ornament,
and its columns or pillars are plain and massive. The Doric (from the
Dorians, in Greece,) is durable and noble in appearance, having its
columns plain like the Tuscan, but the upper parts more ornamental.
The Ionic, (from Iona, in Greece,) is neither so plain as the Doric,
nor so richly elegant as the Corinthian; but is distinguished from the
first two orders by having its columns or pillars fluted instead of
plain, and the upper part of them (called the capitals,) adorned by
the figures of rams' horns carved on them. The Corinthian is very rich
and delicate, with fluted pillars, and the tops beautifully ornamented
with leaves, &c. The invention of this order is ascribed to
Callimachus, a Corinthian sculptor. The Composite is compounded of the
other four; it is very much like the Corinthian, and is also called
the Roman or Italian order.

     _Devoid_, free from, destitute.

What is Sculpture?

The art of cutting or carving wood, stone, and other materials; and
forming of them various figures or representations of men, beasts and
other objects. The term is mostly limited to carving images or statues
in stone. This art is of great antiquity; the sacred writings inform
us of it in many passages, as for instance in those in which are
mentioned Laban's images, carried away by Rachel; the golden calf of
the Israelites, &c. Sculpture as an art is probably more ancient than

What country was the most highly celebrated for its sculpture?

Greece, which produced many celebrated sculptors, of whom the most
eminent were Phidias, an Athenian, the great master of this art, who
lived in the time of Pericles, 408 years before Christ; Lysippus, a
native of Sicyon, near Corinth; and Praxiteles, a native of Magna

What event proved fatal to this art?

The death of Alexander the Great was followed by a visible decline in
all the fine arts; but the fatal blow to their existence was given by
the success of the conquering Romans, who reduced Greece to a Roman

Was Sculpture always performed in Stone?

No; at first statues and other figures were formed of wood or baked
clay, afterwards of stone, marble and metals; though these last were
not brought to any degree of perfection, till about three hundred
years before Christ. The Greeks were famous for their works in ivory;
the great master of the art of carving statues in it was Phidias.

What progress did the Romans make in Sculpture?

Sculpture, during their early history, existed rather as a plant of
foreign growth, partially cultivated by them, than as a native
production of their own land. They collected, indeed, some of the most
exquisite samples of Grecian sculpture, and invited to their capital
the yet remaining sculptors of Greece, by whose labors not only Rome
itself was embellished, but also many of the cities of Asia Minor,
Spain, and Gaul, then under the Roman dominion; yet the taste for
sculpture does not appear to have been cultivated in any measure
corresponding with the advantages thus afforded them in the study of
the best models of the art. The best works were produced by Greek
artists, and chiefly Athenian, while the attempts of the Romans were
unskilfully executed.

     _Gaul_, the ancient name of France.

     _Model_, pattern.

Did it always continue thus?

No; from the time of the Emperor Constantine, sculpture, and the rest
of the fine arts, gradually revived. While inspired, perhaps, with a
taste for sculpture by means of the scattered remains of Grecian art,
the Roman artists drew, at the same time, from their own resources,
and were by no means servile copyists of the sculptors of a former
age. The first academy of the art was founded at Florence, in 1350,
and at the close of the same century, sculpture was firmly established
in Italy, and itinerant sculptors, not unskilful in their art,
wandered from thence to Germany, France, and even to England. The most
eminent master of the art was Michael Angelo, born in 1474, who was
also a painter and architect; from his time, to the latter end of the
last century, sculpture again gradually declined, but under Canova, a
native of Possagno, in the Venetian Alps, it revived. He was born in
1757. Besides the above mentioned, were a number of others of various
degrees of talent, as well as some still living.

     _Servile_, slavish, mean.

     _Itinerant_, wandering.

When was the knowledge of Sculpture introduced into England?

At the time of its conquest by the Romans; but the art appears to have
been very rude and imperfect. From the time of the Norman invasion,
and still further in the time of the Crusades, an improvement,
however, began to show itself in British sculpture. But it is probable
that most of their best architectural and sculptural works were
executed by foreigners, members of those societies of wandering
sculptors before mentioned. Under Edward the Third, the art appears to
have been much cultivated by Englishmen. It is well known that two
Italian sculptors were employed in England during the sixteenth
century. John of Padua, a pupil of Michael Angelo, was master of works
to Henry the Eighth. In the reign of Charles the First, English
sculptors flourished, although their works are of a very low order.

     _Invasion_, hostile entrance upon the rights or possessions
     of another.

     _Architectural_, belong to Architecture.

     _Sculptural_, belonging to Sculpture.



With whom may the School of British Sculptors be considered as

With Banks, born in 1738, and Bacon, born in 1740; these were in every
respect English artists. But the most eminent worker in the art which
that country has yet produced, was John Flaxman, born in 1755. Our own
country also may boast of sculptors of superior talents, and from the
beautiful specimens of the art which have appeared, the attainment of
a high degree of excellence in it is to be anticipated.

     _Attainment_, the act of arriving at or reaching.

     _Anticipated_, expected, foreseen.

Give me a short account of this art in Germany, France, and Spain.

In these countries, as in England and the United States, during their
early history, many of the best works were executed by Italians.
Germany appears to have made little progress in sculpture before the
seventeenth century; since that period, it has produced sculptors of
some eminence, although it is more celebrated for its writers on the
art, than for artists of eminence in its practice. In France,
sculptors of some talent are mentioned as early as the sixteenth
century. Girardon and Puget were the most celebrated artists of this
period. Spanish history gives a long list of native sculptors, from
the commencement of the same century, but many of them are but little
known beyond their own country. Berruguete, a pupil of Michael Angelo,
appears to have founded the first regular school of the art. Paul de
Cespides, and in the eighteenth century, Philip de Castro, were the
most eminent among them.

When was the use of Money first introduced?

It is not known with certainty: there is, however, reason to believe
that both gold and silver were very early used as money in Egypt and
Asia: it was afterwards introduced into Carthage and Greece; whence it
was brought to Rome; and from that city spread gradually westward,
through all the Roman dominions. Before the use of money was
introduced, the only means of trade was by barter, or the exchange of
one commodity for another, a custom long retained by uncivilized
nations. In time, however, men discovered the necessity of something
which would enable them to trade with greater facility; the first
mention of money is in the time of Abraham, who, we are told in the
Bible, paid "four hundred sides of silver of common current money,"
for a burying place.

     _Current_, generally received, passing from hand to hand.

Where was Carthage?

Carthage, now Tunis, was a commercial city, situated on the Northern
Coast of Africa, which long contended for the dominion of the
Mediterranean with the Romans; but, after three wars, it was taken and
destroyed by the Roman general, Scipio Africanus, in the year 251
before Christ.

     _Commercial_, carrying on commerce or trade.

Of what substances was Money usually made?

Of metals, especially the precious metals, because they possess great
value in small bulk; may be kept for any length of time without loss;
and their value, although not altogether invariable, yet, generally
speaking, changes only by slow degrees, and is less susceptible of
fluctuation than that of most other articles. At different times, and
amongst various nations, however, other things, in the scarcity of
metal, have been substituted for it, as shells, wood, leather, paper,
or even pasteboard on extraordinary occasions.

     _Fluctuation_, unsteadiness; a wavering.

Of what form was money generally made?

The form of money has been more various than its materials; the
ancient Britons used as money, rings or bars of iron or tin; the
Lacedemonians used iron bars quenched with vinegar. The money of most
nations usually bore an impression peculiar to themselves, as, for
instance, the sicle of the Jews was marked with the golden pot of
manna on one side, and Aaron's rod on the other; other coins with the
figures of animals, &c.; in shape, coins were either round, irregular,
or square.

Have the terms Money and Coin the same signification?

Not exactly; by money is understood any matters, such as metal, wood,
leather, glass, horn, paper, fruits, shells, &c., which have currency
as a medium in commerce. Coin is a particular species always made of
metal, and struck off according to a certain process called coining;
it is not of equal antiquity with money. In fact, the very commodities
themselves were the first moneys, that is, were current one for
another by way of exchange. Coin is a piece of metal converted into
money, by the impression of certain marks or figures thereon. The
first coining of silver took place at Rome, two hundred and
sixty-nine, and of gold, two hundred and six years before Christ: the
Romans, after the commonwealth, stamped their coins with the image of
the reigning emperor, which custom was followed by most civilized
nations. Coins were, and are, frequently, struck in commemoration of a
particular event or celebrated person.

When was the use of stamped coin introduced into Britain?

After the arrival of the Romans in that island, the natives imitated
them, coining both gold and silver with the images of their kings
stamped upon them; but the Romans, when they subdued the nation,
suppressed also their coins, and obliged them to use their own; hence
the number of Roman coins found among the relics of antiquity in that

     _Suppressed_, put aside, hindered from circulation.

     _Relics_, remains.

What does the first coined money in ancient Britain appear to have

Copper money; but after the arrival of the Saxons in England, scarcely
any copper money was used for many centuries, nor did it become common
till 1672; it was first used in Scotland and Ireland in 1340.

What is a Mint?

A place established by public authority for coining money. In the
United States, the first mint was in Philadelphia; branches have been
established in other parts of the Union. In most countries, the
privilege of coining money is regarded as a prerogative of the
sovereign power. Formerly, in Great Britain, cities, towns, and even
individuals, were allowed to coin money for the convenience of trade;
but now this is forbidden, except at the Mint in the Tower of London.

What is meant by Navigation?

The science or art by which the mariner is taught to conduct his ship
from one place to another. Some, perhaps, will consider the formation
and use of the Ark, as a first step towards the invention of this art;
but it is an erroneous idea, because the direction and means for
accomplishing this immense work were afforded by God, for the
preservation of righteous Noe and his family. Besides, nothing is
recorded of any means or of any necessity for its occupants
_navigating_ it to any particular place, or from one place to another;
no intention of this sort is apparent, the ark being merely a vast
shelter, rendered capable of floating on the water.

     _Erroneous_, wrong, in error.

     _Apparent_, manifest, made to appear.

What probably gave the first idea of Navigation?

Accident most likely showed that wood always floats; and on the fallen
trunk of a tree, perhaps, some one ventured beyond his depth, away
from the land. The trunk of a tree, hollowed out, for a more
convenient position of the body, formed the canoe, usually found among
uncivilized nations to this day. From this rude beginning, at great
intervals of time, and a slow pace of improvement, the art has at
length arrived at its present state of advancement.

What nation first applied this art to the purposes of Trade?

The Phenicians (especially those of Tyre, their capital city, and
Sidon,) were the first who adapted it to the purposes of commerce,
and constructed vessels fit to make voyages to foreign countries; the
poverty and narrowness of their land, as well as their vicinity to two
or three good ports, and their natural genius for traffic, urging them
to seek foreign supplies. We hear of them trading to Arabia, India,
Persia, Greece, Africa, Spain, and even as far as Britain.

     _Vicinity_, nearness, neighborhood.

     _Traffic_, Trade, commerce.

Who were the Phenicians?

The inhabitants of Phenicia, a country of Syria, in Asia.

Which was the more ancient city, Tyre or Sidon?

Sidon,--having been built, as is supposed, soon after the Flood, by
Sidon, the eldest son of Chanaan. Tyre, about 25 miles to the south,
was built about the year 1252 before Christ, by a colony from Sidon.
The Phenicians planted numerous colonies on the shores of the
Mediterranean and the Atlantic, and diffused, to a great extent, among
their uncivilized neighbors the arts and improvements of civilized
life. One of their most celebrated colonies was that founded by them
on the northern coast of Africa; and it was this colony that built the
famous city of Carthage.

     _Diffused_, spread abroad, scattered.

Did not Carthage afterwards become as flourishing as the parent city
of Tyre?

In time, Carthage not only equalled Tyre itself, but surpassed
it,--pursuing the course the Phenicians had begun, and sending its
merchant fleets through Hercules' Pillars, (now the Straits of
Gibraltar,) along the western coast of Africa, and northwards, along
the coast of Europe, visiting particularly Spain, Gaul, &c. They even
undertook voyages, the sole object of which was to discover new
countries and explore unknown seas. The Carthaginians appear to have
been the first who undertook voyages solely for the sake of

Were not both these celebrated cities destroyed?

Tyre, whose immense riches and power were the subject of many ancient
histories, was destroyed by the Grecian Emperor Alexander the Great,
and its navigation and commerce transferred by him to Alexandria, a
new city which he meditated making his capital. Alexandria, in a short
time, became the most important commercial city in the world. Thus
arose navigation among the Egyptians; it was afterwards so
successfully cultivated by them, that Tyre and Carthage (which last,
as before mentioned, was subdued by the Romans,) were quite forgotten.

     _Transferred_, removed.

     _Capital_, chief city or town in a state or kingdom.

Who was Alexander the Great?

The son of Philip, King of Macedonia, in Greece; he was celebrated for
his great ambition, and the number of his conquests; he overturned the
Persian empire, and subdued many cities and provinces in the East.

Did not Alexandria undergo the same fate as Tyre and Carthage?

Egypt was at last reduced to a Roman province, after the battle of
Actium, and its trade and navigation fell into the hands of the
Emperor Augustus, in whose time Alexandria was little inferior to
Rome; and the magazines of the capital of the world were supplied with
merchandise from the capital of Egypt. Alexandria, however, at last
underwent the fate of Tyre and Carthage, being surprised by the
Saracens, who overran the northern parts of Africa; and though it
continued, for a while, to enjoy a considerable portion of the
commerce of the Christian merchants, it afterwards remained in a
languishing condition: but still, even at this day, it is a place of
considerable trade.

Who were the Saracens?

A Mahommedan nation, occupying a portion of what is now called Arabia.
They extended their conquests over a large portion of Asia, northern
Africa, and Spain. Their name is derived from the word _Sara_, a

What effect had the Fall of the Roman Empire on Navigation?

The fall of the Roman empire not only drew along with it its learning
and the polite arts, but also the art of navigation; the Barbarians,
into whose hands the empire fell, contenting themselves with enjoying
the spoils of those whom they had conquered, without seeking to follow
their example in the cultivation of those arts and that learning which
had rendered Rome and its empire so famous.

What other people, about this period, distinguished themselves in the
art of Navigation?

The Saracens or Arabians, whose fleets now rode triumphant in the
Mediterranean; they had taken possession of Cyprus, Rhodes, and many
of the Grecian islands, and extended their commerce and their
discoveries in the East, far beyond the utmost knowledge of their

What other circumstance also prevented commercial intercourse from
ceasing altogether?

Constantinople, though often threatened by the fierce invaders, who
spread desolation over Europe, was so fortunate as to escape their
destructive rage. In this city, the knowledge of ancient arts and
discoveries was preserved; and commerce continued to flourish there,
when it was almost extinct in every other part of Europe.

     _Desolation_, destruction, ruin.

Did the citizens of Constantinople confine their trade to the Islands
of the Archipelago, and the adjacent coast of Asia?

No, they took a wider range; and, following the course which the
ancients had marked out, imported the productions of the East Indies
from Alexandria. When Egypt was torn from the Roman Empire by the
Arabians, the industry of the Greeks discovered a new channel by which
the productions of India might be conveyed to Constantinople.

Did not the Barbarians, after a while, turn their attention to
Navigation and Commerce?

No sooner were the brave among these nations well settled in their new
provinces--some in Gaul, as the Franks; others in Spain, as the Goths;
and others in Italy, as the Lombards,--than they began to learn the
advantages of these arts, and the proper methods of managing them,
from the people they had subdued; and that with so much success, that
they even improved upon them, and set on foot new institutions for
their advantage. To the Lombards, in particular, is usually ascribed
the invention and use of banks, book-keeping, and exchanges. Thus the
people of Italy, and particularly those of Venice and Genoa, have the
glory of restoring to Europe the advantages that had been destroyed by
their own ravages.

     _Institutions_, laws, regulations.

     _Exchange_, a species of mercantile transactions by which
     the debts due to persons at a distance are paid by order,
     draft, or bill of exchange, without the transmission either
     of money or goods.

Who were the Franks?

A people who settled in Gaul; from them it took the name of Franconia,
or France.

Who were the Goths?

An ancient people, who inhabited that part of Sweden called Gothland;
and afterwards spread themselves over great part of Europe.

Who were the Lombards?

The Lombards, or Longobardi, were, like the Franks, a nation of
Germany; who, upon the decline of the Roman Empire, invaded Italy,
and, taking the city of Ravenna, erected a kingdom.

Where is Ravenna?

In Central Italy. It is the capital of a province of the same name; it
is an ancient town, and the see of an archbishop.

     _See_, the seat of episcopal power; the diocese of a bishop.

     _Episcopal_, belonging to a bishop.

     _Archbishop_, the presiding bishop of a province.


What was the origin of the city of Venice?

In the Adriatic Sea were a great number of marshy islands, separated
only by narrow channels, but well screened and almost inaccessible,
inhabited by a few fishermen. To these islands the people of Veneti (a
part of Italy, situated along the coasts of the gulf,) retired when
Alaric, King of the Goths, ravaged Italy. These new Islanders, little
imagining that this was to be their fixed residence, did not, at
first, think of forming themselves into one community, but each of the
72 islands continued a long while under its respective masters, and
formed a distinct commonwealth.

     _Adriatic Sea_, a name given to the Gulf of Venice.

     _Commonwealth_, a republic, a government in which the
     supreme power is lodged in the people.

What circumstance caused them to unite?

Their commerce becoming considerable enough to awaken the jealousy of
their neighbors, they united in a body for their mutual protection:
this union, first begun in the 6th century and completed in the 8th,
laid the foundation of the future grandeur of the state of Venice.
From the time of this union, fleets of their merchantmen sailed to all
the ports of the Mediterranean; and afterwards to those of Egypt,
particularly to Cairo, a new city, built by the Saracen princes, on
the banks of the Nile, where they traded for spices, &c. The Venetians
continued to increase their trade by sea and their conquests on land
till 1508, when a number of jealous princes conspired against them to
their ruin; which was the more easily effected in consequence of their
East Indian commerce, of which the Portuguese and French had each
obtained a share.

     _Conspired_, united together in a plot.

What is the signification of Mediterranean?

Inclosed within land, or remote from the ocean. It is more
particularly used to signify the sea which flows between Europe and

Had not Venice a formidable rival in a neighboring republic?

Genoa, which had applied itself to navigation at the same time with
Venice, and with equal success, was long its dangerous rival, disputed
with it the empire of the sea, and shared with it the trade of Egypt,
and other parts, both of the East and West. Jealousy soon broke out;
and, the two republics coming to blows, there was almost continual war
between them for three centuries: at length, towards the end of the
14th century, the strife was ended by the fatal battle of Chioza; the
Genoese, who till then had usually the advantage, lost all, and the
Venetians, almost become desperate, at one decisive blow, beyond all
expectation, secured the empire of the sea and their superiority in

     _Decisive_, final, conclusive.

Where is Genoa situated?

In the north-western part of Italy. It was formerly a flourishing
republic, but belongs now to Italy.

What event likewise contributed to the more rapid progress and
diffusion of Navigation and Commerce?

The Crusades: for the Genoese, Pisans, and Venetians, furnished the
fleets which carried those vast armies, composed of all the nations of
Europe, into Asia, upon this wild undertaking, and also supplied them
with provisions and military stores. Other travellers, also, besides
those whom religious zeal sent forth to visit Asia, ventured into
remote countries, from motives either of commercial advantage, or
those of mere curiosity.

     _Zeal_, devotion, enthusiasm.

Who were the Pisans?

Inhabitants of Pisa, an ancient town of Tuscany; it was once a great
independent republic, and is still adorned with noble edifices. Pisa
has long been celebrated for its remarkable leaning tower. Tuscany is
a beautiful and fruitful territory of Italy; its capital, until the
year 1859, was Florence.

What were the Crusades?

Holy wars, or expeditions, undertaken by the Christians against the
Turks and Saracens, to recover Palestine, between the years 1100 and

What causes led to these wars?

Many circumstances contributed to give rise to them. They were
undertaken, first, with a view to protecting the devout Christian
pilgrims, who were in the habit of frequenting the venerable places
where our Saviour had lived, taught, suffered, and triumphed, from the
fury and avarice of the heathens; secondly, with a view to getting
possession of the Holy Land itself, and of annexing it to Christendom;
and thirdly, to break down the power of Mohammedanism, and to elevate
the Cross in triumph and victory over Palestine.

     _Avarice_, an excessive desire of gain.

     _Annexing_, adding, joining.

What badge or sign was worn by those who engaged in the Crusades?

They distinguished themselves by crosses of different colors, worn on
their clothes; from which they took the name of Croisés, or
Cross-bearers; each nation wore different colors: for instance, the
English had white crosses, the French red, and so on.

To what invention is the art of Navigation much indebted?

To that of the Mariner's Compass, in the beginning of the 14th
century; and from this period may be dated the present perfection of
this useful art.

You have given me an account of the restoration of Navigation in
Southern Europe: did not the inhabitants of the North also turn their
attention to it?

Yes: about the same time, a new society of merchants was formed in the
northern parts, which not only carried commerce to the greatest
perfection of which it was capable, till the discovery of the Indies,
but also formed new codes of useful laws for its regulation.

     _Codes_, books or writings setting forth certain laws or
     rules respecting particular subjects; books of civil laws.

Are Navigation and Commerce inseparably connected with each other?

It may be considered as a general maxim, that their union is so
intimate, that the fall of one inevitably draws after it that of the
other; and that they will always either flourish or decline together
may be seen, by examining the reason of their passing successively
from the Venetians, Genoese, &c., to the Portuguese and Spaniards, and
from them to the English, Dutch, &c.

     _Maxim_, rule, an established principle.

     _Intimate_, close.

     _Inevitably_, without possibility of escape, unavoidably.



What are the earliest accounts of Musical Instruments on record?

The earliest accounts of music which we possess are to be found in the
Bible, in which the state of the world before the flood is noticed.
Jubal is said to have been "the father of them that play upon the harp
and organ;" but it is not to be supposed that these instruments at all
resembled the harp and organ of modern times. Musical instruments, in
the times of David and Solomon, were used in religious services; and
music was certainly employed by the Jews on many other occasions, as
at funerals and weddings, at harvest home, and at festivals of all

     _Modern_, opposed to ancient, pertaining to the present
     time, or time not long past.

     _Festival_, a rejoicing, a feast, a season dedicated to

What nation was particularly celebrated for musical talents?

The ancient Egyptians; who were so celebrated for their talents in
music, that the distinguished philosophers of Greece braved many
dangers, in order to study the science in Egypt; and this, at a period
when the Egyptians were far from being in the same high state of
civilization as their forefathers had been in earlier times. The
history and monuments of ancient Egypt have many accounts and
representations of musical instruments, and remains of these have
lately been discovered, so that we have ocular demonstration both of
their existence and form.

     _Civilization_, freedom from barbarity, polish, politeness,
     possession of knowledge and the arts of life.

     _Ocular_, known or seen by the eye.

     _Demonstration_, the act of proving with certainty.

In how many divisions may musical instruments be arranged?

There are three kinds, namely, _wind_ instruments, as the trumpet, and
the organ;--_stringed_ instruments, as the harp or lyre, violin, &c.;
and instruments of _concussion_, in which the sound is produced by
striking a sonorous body, as for instance the drum, bells, &c.

Which of these three kinds was the first invented?

It is impossible, at the present day, to decide which; but it is most
probable that instruments with strings were the last invented of the
three kinds; and it is most likely, that of those in which sound is
produced by the application of wind, the trumpet or horn was first
used. This instrument, in its rudest form, was ready fashioned to the
hand of man; the horn of a ram or of an ox, or some of the larger
kinds of sea-shells, were soon discovered to possess the power of
producing sound, by being blown into through a small hole at the
pointed end.

What improvement in this instrument would naturally follow?

Mankind having discovered the property possessed by a hollow tube of
producing a certain sound, soon found that the note varied according
to the length and capacity of the tube. A much greater improvement
soon after took place; it was discovered that one tube answered the
purpose of many by boring holes in the course of its length, and
producing various musical sounds by stopping with the fingers certain
of these holes. Most of our modern wind instruments are but
improvements on the ancient inventions.

     _Tube_, a pipe; a long hollow body.

Was not Vocal Music used before the invention of Instrumental?

_Vocal_ music, namely, that produced by the human voice, (so called to
distinguish it from _instrumental_, that produced by instruments,) was
undoubtedly the first: for man had not only the various tones of his
own voice to make his observations on, before any art or instrument
was found out; but the various natural strains of birds to give him a
lesson in improving it, and in modulating the sounds of which it is

     _Modulating_, forming sound to a certain key.

To what circumstance did an ancient poet ascribe the invention of
stringed instruments?

To the observation of the winds whistling in the hollow reeds. As for
other kinds of instruments, there were so many occasions for cords or
strings, that men were not long in observing their various sounds,
which might give rise to stringed instruments. Those of concussion, as
drums and cymbals, might result from the observation of the naturally
hollow noise made by concave bodies when struck.

What are the most ancient stringed instruments?

The most ancient instruments of this kind, whose form is known, are
those of the ancient Egyptians; among these the harp stands
pre-eminent. One of the most celebrated representations of an Egyptian
harp was drawn from a painting discovered in one of the caverns in
the mountains of Egyptian Thebes, by some travellers: it is called the
Theban harp, and has thirteen strings; its form is extremely elegant.
This harp is supposed to be one of the kind in use before and at the
time of Sesostris. Remains of Egyptian harps of a more simple
construction, with only four strings, have likewise been discovered.
Among the monuments of ancient Rome, there are representations of
stringed instruments resembling the harp, but not equal in beauty of
form to the famous Egyptian harp already mentioned.

     _Pre-eminent_, surpassing others.

Who was Sesostris?

A King of Egypt, who is said to have reigned some ages before the
siege of Troy. He appears to have been celebrated for his conquests,
and for the number of edifices he erected to perpetuate his fame.

     _Perpetuate_, to preserve from extinction; to continue the
     memory of a person or event.

Where was Troy?

Troy, anciently called Ilium, was the capital of Troas, in Asia. It
became famous for the ten years' siege it sustained against the
Greeks; the history of this event is commemorated in the poems of
Homer and Virgil.

Is not the harp an instrument of high antiquity in Great Britain?

Yes: it was a favorite instrument with the ancient Saxons in Great
Britain. The celebrated Alfred entered the Danish camp disguised as a
harper, because the harpers passed through the midst of the enemy
unmolested on account of their calling. The same deception was
likewise practised by several Danish chiefs, in the camp of Athelstan,
the Saxon. The bards, or harpers of old, were the historians of the
time; they handed down from generation to generation the history of
remarkable events, and of the deeds and lineage of their celebrated
chiefs and princes. The harpers of Britain were formerly admitted to
the banquets of kings and nobles: their employment was to sing or
recite the achievements of their patrons, accompanying themselves on
the harp. No nations have been more famous for their harps and harpers
than the Welsh and Irish.

     _Recite_, to repeat or chant in a particular tone or manner.

     _Achievement_, a great or heroic deed.

     _Patron_, benefactor, one who bestows favors.

What instrument was famous among the ancient Greeks?

The Lyre: the invention, or rather discovery, of this instrument is
ascribed by them to their most celebrated deities. It is supposed to
have originated from the discovery of a dead tortoise, the flesh of
which had dried and wasted, so that nothing was left within the shell
but sinews and cartilages: these, tightened and contracted, on account
of their dryness, were rendered sonorous. Some one, Mercury or Apollo,
they affirm, in walking along, happening to strike his foot against
the tortoise, was greatly pleased with the sound it produced: thus was
suggested to him the first idea of a lyre, which he afterwards
constructed in the form of a tortoise, and strung with the dried
sinews of dead animals. The stringed instruments already described
were made to give out musical sounds, by causing a vibratory motion in
their strings by means of the fingers.

     _Sinew_, a tendon; that which unites a muscle to a bone.

     _Cartilage_, a gristly, smooth, solid substance, softer than

     _Vibratory_, shaking.

Who was Mercury?

The heathen god of eloquence, letters, &c., and the messenger of the
other gods.

Who was Apollo?

The god of music, poetry, medicine, and the fine arts.

[Illustration: PICKING COTTON.]

[Illustration: GATHERING TEA.]

What is a Tortoise?

A well-known animal, with a thick shelly covering, belonging to the
order of reptiles; there are two species, the sea and the land
tortoise; the first named is called a turtle, and affords delicious
food; land tortoises live to a very great age. It is only one sort
which furnishes the beautiful shell so much prized. Tortoises are
found in many parts of the world. The turtles on the Brazilian shore
are said to be so large as to be enough to dine fourscore men: and in
the Indian sea, the shells serve the natives for boats.

Of what are the strings of the Lyre, &c., composed?

Sometimes of either brass or silver wire, &c., but most commonly of

What is Catgut?

The intestines of sheep or lambs, dried or twisted, either singly or
several together. Catgut is also used by watch-makers, cutlers, and
other artificers, in their different trades. Great quantities are
imported from France and Italy.

Are there no other kind of Instruments besides those already

Yes, music and musical instruments have progressively improved; and it
would be a needless task to enumerate the numbers of instruments of
each kind now in use; many, as for instance the organ, the piano,
musical boxes, &c., are exceedingly complex and ingenious in their
construction, as well as remarkable for the sweetness of their various
sounds; some, as the two first-named, are played with the fingers, and
produce any melody or combination of sound at the will of the
performer; others, as the musical-box, barrel-organ, &c., produce a
particular melody, or a certain number of melodies, by means of
machinery. In the use of the last-named the performer is not at all
indebted to his own musical skill, as he has only to turn the handle
which sets the machinery in motion, and the musical box, or
barrel-organ, will continue playing till it has finished the tunes to
which it is set.

Upon what principle do these last-mentioned instruments perform?

The barrel-organ and musical box both play on nearly the same
principle, though the former is turned by a handle, and the latter
only requires a certain spring to be touched, in order to set it off
or to stop it. Their machinery consists of a barrel pricked with brass
pins; when the barrel revolves, these ping lift a series of steel
springs of different lengths and thicknesses, and the vibration of
these springs when released, produces the different notes.

What is Painting?

The art of representing objects in nature, or scenes in human life,
with fidelity and expression, either in oil or water colors, &c.

     _Fidelity_, truth, faithfulness.

     _Oil Colors_, those colors which are mixed up with oil, as
     the others are with water.

Is not this art of great antiquity?

There is not the slightest doubt of it; but to name the country where
it was first practised, or the circumstances attending its origin, is
beyond the power of the historian. About a century after the call of
Abraham, Greek and Egyptian tradition tells us of a colony planted at
Sicyon, by an Egyptian, who brought with him the knowledge of painting
and sculpture, and founded the earliest and purest school of Greek
art. The walls of Babylon were adorned with paintings of different
kinds of animals, hunting expeditions, combats, &c. Allusions to this
custom of the Babylonians, of decorating their walls with paintings,
are found in the Bible.

     _Tradition_, a history or account delivered from mouth to
     mouth without written memorials; communication from age to

     _Allusion_, reference.

     _Decorating_, ornamenting.

     _Sicyon_, a kingdom of Peloponnesus, in ancient Greece.

Were the Egyptians acquainted with this art?

It is now little doubted that, although painting and sculpture existed
in Egypt, and were probably at their highest condition, eighteen
centuries before the Christian era, yet, at a still earlier period,
these arts were known in the kingdom of Ethiopia; and it is considered
likely, that the course of civilization descended from Ethiopia to
Egypt. There is, however, no record of any Egyptian painter in the
annals of the art; and it does not appear that it ever flourished in
that country, or that other nations were much indebted to Egypt for
their knowledge of it.

     _Era_, age, period.

     _Ethiopia_, the ancient name of the kingdoms of Nubia and
     Abyssinia, in Africa.

     _Annal_, record, history.

     _Exploit_, action, achievement, deed of valor.

Have we any notice of this art among the Hebrews?

There is no allusion made to the existence of painting among this
people, and no proof that it was cultivated among them: it is supposed
that the neglect of this art arose from their not being permitted to
represent any object by painting.

What progress did the generality of the Eastern nations make in this

The art of painting among the Phenicians, Persians, and other Eastern
nations, advanced but slowly. The Chinese appear, until a very recent
period, to have contented themselves with only so much knowledge of
the art as might enable them to decorate their beautiful porcelain and
other wares; their taste is very peculiar, and though the pencilling
of their birds and flowers is delicate, yet their figures of men and
animals are distorted, and out of proportion; and of perspective they
seem to have but little idea. Latterly, however, a change has taken
place in Chinese art, and proofs have been given of an attempt to
imitate European skill. The Japanese figures approach more nearly to
beauty of style than Chinese productions of a similar kind.

     _Distorted_, having a bad figure.

     _Perspective_, the science by which things are represented
     in a picture according to their appearance to the eye.

Who are the Japanese?

The inhabitants of Japan, an empire of Eastern Asia, composed of
several large islands. They are so similar in feature, and in many of
their customs and ceremonies, to the Chinese, as to be regarded by
some, as the same race of men. The Japanese language is so very
peculiar, that it is rarely understood by the people of other
nations. Their religion is idolatrous; their government a monarchy,
controlled by the priesthood. The people are very ingenious, and the
arts and sciences are held in great esteem by them. In all respects,
Japan is an important and interesting empire.

     _Monarchy_, a government in which the power is vested in a
     king or emperor.

By what nations was the art of painting practised with great success?

By the Greeks and Romans. Greece produced many distinguished painters,
among whom Apelles was one of the most celebrated; he was a native of
Cos, an island in the Archipelago, rather north of Rhodes; he
flourished in the time of Alexander the Great, and witnessed both the
glory and the decay of ancient art: the leading features of his style
were beauty and grace. But painting was not at any period so
completely national in Greece, as sculpture, its sister art; the names
of one hundred and sixty-nine eminent sculptors are recorded, while
only fifteen painters are mentioned. Zeuxis, of Heraclea, was another
famous Greek painter, who flourished 400 years before Christ. The
Romans were not without considerable masters in this art, in the
latter times of the republic, and under the first emperors.

What nation is supposed to have known and practised this art even
before the foundation of Rome?

The Etruscans, inhabitants of Etruria, whose acquaintance with the
arts has excited great astonishment among those who have most deeply
searched into their history, and traced their progress by means of the
beautiful specimens of their works still extant. Their early works
were not superior to those of other nations; but either from their
intercourse with Greece, or the original genius of the people, they
had attained considerable eminence in the arts of painting, sculpture,
&c., before Rome was founded. Pliny speaks of some beautiful pictures
at Ardea and Lanuvium, which were older than Rome: and another author
also says that before Rome was built, sculpture and painting existed
among them.

Where was Etruria situated?

In Italy, on the west of the Tiber, which separated it from the
territory of ancient Rome, to which it was afterwards annexed by
conquest. Etruria was the ancient name of Tuscany.

     _Annexed_, united.

Was not the art greatly obscured for some centuries?

The irruption of Barbarians into Italy and Southern Europe, proved
fatal to painting, and almost reduced it to its primitive state; it
was not until after a long period that it was fully restored. The
first certain signs of its revival took place about the year 1066,
when Greek artists were sent for to adorn several of the cities of
Italy. Cimabue, a native of Florence, in the thirteenth century,
caught the inspiration of the Greek artists, and soon equalled their
works. He was both a painter and an architect.

     _Irruption_, inroad, invasion.

To what did this revolution in its history give rise?

It caused it to be distinguished into ancient and modern. The ancient
painting comprehends the Greek and Roman: the modern has formed
several schools, each of which has its peculiar character and merit.
The first masters who revived the art were greatly surpassed by their
scholars, who carried it to the greatest state of perfection, and
advanced it not only by their own noble works, but also by those of
their pupils.

Who were the principal masters of the Italian school?

Raphael and the celebrated Michael Angelo Buonarotti; the former is
regarded as the prince of modern painters, and is often styled "the
divine Raphael;" he was born at Urbino, in 1483. Michael Angelo was
born at Florence, in 1564, and united the professions of painter,
sculptor, architect, poet, and musician. Besides these there were many
other illustrious Italian painters, the principal of whom were
Leonardo da Vinci, Titian, Correggio, the three Caracci, Guido,
Parmegiano, Salvator Rosa, &c.

Was not Raphael also reckoned as excellent an architect as he was a

He was not only esteemed the best painter in the world, but also the
best architect; he was at least so admired for skill and taste in
architecture, that Leo the Tenth charged him with the building of St.
Peter's Church at Rome.

Who was Leo the Tenth?

A great Pope, who was an ardent lover and patron of learning and the
arts. He was born at Florence, in 1475, and died in 1521.

Give me a list of some of the most celebrated painters besides those
already mentioned.

The great painters of the _German_ school were Albert Durer, Holbein,
Kneller and Mengs, with several others.

Of the _Dutch_ school, were Rembrandt, Gerard Dow, Mieris, Ostade,
Polemberg, Berghem, and Wouvermans.

Of the _Flemish_, Rubens, Teniers, Jordaens, and Vandyck.

The admired painters of the _French_ school, were Claude, Poussin, Le
Brun, and many others.

The _Spaniards_ also have had their Murillo, Velasquez, &c.

The _English_, Hogarth, Wright, Reynolds, Wilson, Northcote,
Gainsborough, Morland, Barry, and others.

The _Americans_, Washington Allston, Benjamin West, Gilbert Stuart,
John Singleton Copley, John Trumbull, G. Stuart Newton, Thomas Cole,
Henry Inman, and a number of others; besides many now living, or but
recently deceased.

Upon what materials did the ancients paint their works?

Principally upon wood; the boards or tables were prepared with a thin
ground of chalk and size of some kind. Linen cloth or canvas was also
employed, but there is no evidence of its use before the reign of
Nero. Parchment, ivory and plaster were the other materials.

     _Evidence_, testimony, record.

Who was Nero?

One of the Roman Emperors, a monster of cruelty, extravagance, and
debauchery; he raised a dreadful persecution against the Christians,
in which St. Paul was beheaded, and St. Peter crucified. At last,
being deserted by his army and the senate, he destroyed himself, after
a reign of fourteen years.

     _Debauchery_, wickedness.

What is Poetry?

The glowing language of impassioned feeling, generally found in
measured lines, and often in rhyme. Most ancient people had their

     _Glowing_, warm, energetic.

     _Impassioned_, full of passion, animated.

     _Rhyme_, the correspondence of the last sound of one verse
     to the last sound or syllable of another.

Name a few of the ancient poets.

David was an inspired poet of the Hebrews: Homer, one of the earliest
poets of the Greeks: Ossian, an ancient poet of the Scots: Taliesen,
an ancient poet of the Welsh: and Odin, an early poet of the

Who were the Scandinavians?

The inhabitants of Scandinavia, the ancient name of Denmark, Sweden,
and Norway.

What people are regarded as the Fathers of Poetry?

The Greeks. Homer was the first and the prince of poets; he celebrated
the siege of Troy in the Iliad and Odyssey, two epic poems which have
never been surpassed. In the same kind of composition he was followed,
nine hundred years after, by Virgil, in the Eneid; by Tasso, after
another fifteen hundred years, in the 'Jerusalem Delivered.' The
Greeks also boasted of their Pindar and Anacreon in lyric poetry; and
of Aristophanes, Euripides, Sophocles, and Eschylus, in dramatic

Did the Romans possess any distinguished Poets?

Yes; among the epic poets were Ovid and Tibullus; among dramatists,
Plautus and Terence; of didactic and philosophic poets, Lucretius,
Virgil, Horace, and Silius Italicus. All these were so many miracles
of human genius; and their works afford the models of their respective
species of composition. Most of the works of the ancients have in
sentiment, if not in spirit, been translated into English.

     _Miracles_, wonders.

     _Genius_, natural talent.

     _Respective_, particular.

     _Sentiment_, thought, meaning.

Did not the same revolution which undermined the Greek and Roman
empires, and destroyed learning, the arts and sciences, and the taste
for elegance and luxury, also prove fatal to Poetry?

It did; the hordes of barbarians who overran Europe wiped out
civilization in their progress, and literature, art, and science fled
before the wild conquerors to find a refuge in the monastery and the
convent. Here knowledge was fostered with the love and ardor which
religion alone can impart. Finally, when the rude barbarians were
converted, it was to the religious Orders that the world turned for
the establishment of schools, and it is to the Church alone, in the
person of her popes, her bishops, and her monks that we are indebted
for the preservation of learning, and its revival in the fifteenth

What celebrated Poets marked this revival?

In Italy, Dante, Ariosto, Petrarch and Tasso. These were followed, in
France, by Racine, Corneille, Boileau, Voltaire, La Fontaine and
Delille; in England, by Chaucer, Spenser, Shakspeare, Milton, Dryden,
Pope, Thomson, Young, Collins, Gray, Byron, Coleridge, &c; in
Scotland, by Sir Walter Scott; in Ireland, by Thomas Moore; in
Germany, Klopstock, Goethe and Schiller.

Name some of the distinguished poets of our own country.

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, William Cullen Bryant, James Russell
Lowell, John G. Whittier, Fitz-Greene Halleck, and many others whose
meritorious works will be impartially judged by a future age.

     _Impartially_, justly, without prejudice.

Name the different kinds of Poetry.

Epic, or historical; dramatic, or representative,--from drama, the
name of all compositions adapted to recitation on the stage--in which
are displayed, for instruction and amusement, all the passions,
feelings, errors, and virtues of the human race in real life; lyric
poetry, or that suited to music, as songs, odes, &c; didactic, or
instructive; elegiac, or sentimental, and affecting; satirical, or
censorious; epigrammatic, or witty and ludicrous; and pastoral, or
descriptive of country life.

     _Historical_, relating to history.

     _Lyric_, pertaining to a lyre.

     _Didactic_, doctrinal; relating to doctrines or opinions.

     _Elegiac_, relating to elegy; mournful, sorrowful.

     _Elegy_, a mournful song: a funeral composition; a short
     poem without points or affected elegance.

     _Satirical_, severe in language; relating to satire.

     _Satire_, a poem in which wickedness or folly is censured.

     _Epigrammatic_, relating to epigram,--a short poem ending in
     a particular point or meaning, understood but not expressed.

     _Pastoral_, from _pastor_, a shepherd; relating to rural
     employments and those belonging to shepherds.

What is Astronomy?

The science which treats of the heavenly bodies, their arrangement,
magnitudes, distances and motions. The term Astronomy is derived from
two Greek words, signifying the _law_ of the _stars_; _astron_ being
the Greek for star.

What can you say of its origin?

Its origin has been ascribed to several persons, as well as to
different nations and ages. Belus, King of Assyria; Atlas, King of
Mauritania; and Uranus, King of the countries situated on the shores
of the Atlantic Ocean, are all recorded as the persons to whom the
world is indebted for this noble science. Its origin is generally
fixed in Chaldea. Some choose, however, to attribute it to the
Hebrews; others to the Egyptians,--from whom, they say, it passed to
the Greeks.

What country is meant by Mauritania?

Mauritania is the name formerly given to a country in the northern
part of Africa. Chaldea is the ancient name for Babylonia, now called
Irak Arabi, a district of Asiatic Turkey.

By whom were the heavenly bodies first divided into Constellations or

By the ancients. The phenomena of the heavens were studied in very
early ages by several nations of the East. The Chaldeans, the Indians,
the Chinese and the Egyptians have all left evidence of the industry
and ingenuity with which their observations were conducted.

     _Phenomena_, appearances.

     _Ingenuity_, skilfulness.

What progress did they make in Astronomy?

They built observatories,--invented instruments for observing and
measuring with correctness,--separated the stars into different groups
or constellations, for the more easily finding any particular
star,--gave particular names to most of the moving stars or planets,
and noted the periods which each took to move through its apparent
path in the heavens; and in many other ways the ancients helped to lay
the foundations of that mass of astronomical knowledge which men of
later ages have brought to more maturity.

     _Constellation_, a cluster of fixed stars; an assemblage of

     _Observatory_, a place so built as to command a view of the

Who first taught the true system of the Universe?

Pythagoras, one of the most distinguished philosophers of antiquity.
He is thought to have been a native of Samos, an island in the
Archipelago; he flourished about 500 years before Christ, in the time
of Tarquin, the last King of Rome. Pythagoras was the first among the
Europeans who taught that the Earth and Planets turn round the Sun,
which stands immovable in the centre;--that the diurnal motion of the
Sun and Fixed Stars is not real, but apparent,--arising from the
Earth's motion round its own axis, &c. After the time of Pythagoras,
Astronomy sunk into neglect.

     _Philosopher_, one who studies philosophy.

     _Philosophy_, all knowledge, whether natural or moral. The
     term is derived from the Greek, _philos_, lover, and
     _sophia_, wisdom.

By whom was it revived?

By the family of the Ptolemies, kings of Egypt, who founded a school
of astronomy at Alexandria, which produced several eminent
astronomers, particularly one named Hipparchus. The Saracens, on their
conquest of Egypt, became possessed of the knowledge of Astronomy,
which they carried with them out of Africa into Spain; and thus, after
a long exile, it was introduced afresh into Europe.

Did not Astronomy from this time make great progress?

Yes; it made considerable advances, being cultivated by the greatest
geniuses, and patronized by the greatest princes. The system of the
Ptolemies, called the Ptolemaic, had hitherto been used, with some
slight alterations; but Copernicus, an eminent astronomer, born at
Thorn, in Polish Prussia, in 1473, adopted the system which had been
taught by Pythagoras in Greece, five or six hundred years before the
time of Ptolemy. About the same time with Copernicus flourished Tycho
Brahe, born in Denmark, 1546.

     _Geniuses_, men gifted with superior mental faculties.

     _Mental_, belonging to the mind.

     _Faculties_, powers of doing anything, whether menial or
     bodily; abilities; powers of the mind.

What next greatly forwarded this interesting science?

The introduction of telescopes by Galileo, who by their means
discovered the small stars or satellites which attend the planet
Jupiter; the various appearances of Saturn; the mountains in the Moon;
the spots on the Sun; and its revolution on its axis.

     _Satellites_, attendants.

What celebrated Astronomer arose in England?

The immortal Sir Isaac Newton, born in 1642, at Woolsthorpe, in
Lincolnshire, who has, perhaps, contributed more to the advancement of
this science than any one who had before existed. Dr. William
Herschel, a native of Hanover, in Germany, born in 1738, likewise
made many useful discoveries in Astronomy: it was he who first
discovered the seventh primary planet, which he named, in honor of
King George the Third, the Georgium Sidus. George the Third took him
under his especial patronage, and constituted him his astronomer, with
a handsome pension. He resided at Slough, near Windsor, where he died,
in 1822.

     _Patronage_, support, favor.

     _Constituted_, appointed to any particular office or rank.

     _Pension_, yearly allowance of money.

What other circumstance contributed to the advancement of Astronomy?

The increasing perfection of our astronomical instruments,--by means
of which, the most important and interesting discoveries with regard
to the heavens have been made. It is now supposed that the myriads of
the heavenly bodies are all distinct worlds; it is certain, from
observations made by the aid of the telescope, that the moon has its
mountains, valleys, and caverns. One of the greatest astronomers of
our day was the eminent Father Secci.

What are generally meant by the Arts?

Systems of rules designed to facilitate the performance of certain
actions; in this sense, it stands opposed to science. The terms _art_
and _science_ are often incorrectly used. Science relates to
principles, and art to practice. The word art is derived from a Greek
word signifying utility, profit. Arts are divided into liberal and

What are the Liberal Arts?

The liberal arts are those that are noble and ingenious, or which are
worthy of being cultivated without any immediate regard to the
pecuniary profit arising from them. They are Poetry, Music, Painting,
Sculpture, Architecture, Grammar, Logic, Rhetoric, Astronomy, and
Navigation. The arts which relate more especially to the sight and
hearing are also called Fine Arts.

     _Pecuniary_, relating to money.

     _Military_, belonging to soldiers, or to arms.

What do the Fine Arts usually include?

All those which are more or less addressed to the sentiment of taste,
and whose object is pleasure; these are more especially Music,
Painting, Sculpture, and Poetry.

What are the Mechanical Arts?

Those in which the hand and body are more concerned than the mind, and
which are chiefly cultivated for the sake of the profit attending
them. To this class belong those which furnish us with the necessaries
of life, and which are commonly called trades, as carpentry, weaving,
printing, &c. There are also many other arts, as the art of writing,

When was the art of Writing invented?

It is supposed that the art was invented before the Deluge: it was
certainly practised long before the time of Moses. There were,
doubtless, many steps taken in slow succession before the invention of
alphabetic writing. Perhaps the earliest method might have been that
which is still employed among the untutored tribes of North American
Indians, who record events by picture-painting of the rudest
description. Picture-painting was afterwards gradually converted into
the hieroglyphical system, which is still the only kind of writing
among the Chinese. It is not known who invented the alphabetic system
of writing.

     _Deluge_, a flood: the term used in particular to denote
     that mighty flood of water with which God swept away the
     first nations of the earth for their wickedness.

     _Alphabetic_, from alphabet, the series of written signs of
     language called letters. The word is formed from _alpha_,
     _beta_, the names of the first two letters of the Greek

     _Untutored_, ignorant, unlearned.

Were not the Egyptians quite early acquainted with this art?

Yes, they were acquainted with two or three kinds of writing, as well
as the one in which symbolical characters were employed, which was not
used for common purposes. On the contrary, such symbols had something
of a sacred character about them, being unknown to the common people,
and only to be deciphered by the priests. Obelisks and pyramids were
the great national records; and on these the hieroglyphics were
constantly used, because unintelligible to the people, until expounded
by those who had the exclusive office of explaining them.

     _Symbolical_, having the nature of signs or symbols--that
     is, representations of different things.

     _Deciphered_, read, understood, made out.

     _Unintelligible_, that cannot be understood.

     _Expounded_, explained, interpreted.

Were Hieroglyphics employed before or after Alphabetic Writing?

They were undoubtedly employed at first from necessity, not from
choice or refinement; and would never have been thought of, if
alphabetical characters had been known. This style of writing must be
reckoned as a rude improvement upon picture-writing, which had
previously been used. Hieroglyphics were employed by the Egyptian
priests in after times, as a kind of sacred writing, peculiar to
themselves, and serving to give an air of mystery to their learning
and religion, though fallen into disuse for other purposes.

What materials were employed by ancient nations in Writing?

The Eastern nations used tables of stone, brass, and wood, so that the
characters were engraved instead of being written in the usual manner.
The instrument used in writing on wood, was made of metal, and called
a _style_. For stone, brass, &c., a chisel was employed. When the bark
and leaves of trees, skins, and other materials of a more pliant
nature, superseded the above-named tables, the chisel and the style,
or stylus, gave way to the reed and cane, and afterwards to the quill,
the _hair_ pencil (as now used by the Chinese,) and the convenient
lead pencil.

     _Engraved_, inscribed with the graver, a tool used in
     engraving on stone, &c.

     _Pliant_, yielding, easily bent.

Have not the various nations among whom this useful art has been
cultivated, adopted different ways of arranging their written

Yes. The Hebrews, Chaldeans, Syrians, Arabians, and Egyptians, begin
each line on the right side, and write towards the left. The Greeks,
Latins, and all European nations, write from left to right. The
natives of China, Japan, Cochin China, Corea, &c., write from the top
to the bottom of the page.

Where are Cochin China, and Corea?

Cochin China is a country situated in Eastern Asia. Corea is a
peninsula of Asia, subject to China.

What is meant by Science?

A clear and certain knowledge of anything founded on self-evident
principles, or demonstration. The term is, however, more particularly
applied to a systematic arrangement of the principles relating to any
branch of knowledge, and is employed in this sense in opposition to
art: thus the theoretical knowledge of chemistry is ranked as a
science, but the practical part is called an art; thus it is sometimes
spoken of as a science, sometimes as an art.

     _Practical_, relating to action, not merely speculative.

What is Chemistry?

A science which enables us to discover the peculiar properties of
natural bodies, either in their simple or compound state, and the
elementary or first principles of which they are composed, by the
processes of analysis and combination. Chemistry treats of those
changes in natural bodies which are not accompanied by _sensible_

     _Compound_, mixed.

     _Analysis_, a separation of a compound body into the several
     parts of which it consists.

Is not the knowledge of Chemistry very ancient?

Chemistry, as far as it regards the separating of metals from foreign
matters in the ore, smelting and refining them, is of the highest
antiquity; it is even supposed to have been understood and practised
in the antediluvian world.

     _Antediluvian_, before the flood.

What nation appears to have excelled in Chemistry in early times?

The Egyptians were no mean proficients in many chemical operations,
especially in the arts of working metals, softening ivory, vitrifying
flints, and imitating precious stones. Chemistry, however, experienced
the common fate of all the arts, at the decline of the Eastern empire.

     _Proficients_, those who have made great progress in any art
     or science.

By whom was it revived?

After having long lain buried, the famous Roger Bacon revived it; and
from his time to the present day it has gradually progressed to a
state of perfection. In former times, the art of chemistry consisted
only in the knowledge of working metals, &c.; but in latter ages, its
bounds have been greatly enlarged. The knowledge of Chemistry leads to
many interesting and important discoveries, and the arts and
manufactures are greatly indebted to its aid; indeed, it is requisite
to be a good chemist, in order to attain to perfection in many of

     _Requisite_, necessary.

By what other name has Chemistry been known?

It was sometimes called _Alchemy_; by which is properly understood a
refined and mysterious species of chemistry, formerly much practised.

What were its objects?

The discovery of the art of converting metals into gold, including the
search after the "Philosopher's Stone," by which this change was to be
effected; and the discovery of a panacea or medicine for the cure of
all diseases.

What was the Philosopher's Stone?

A substance, for numbers of years eagerly sought for, which was to
convert metals, such as lead, copper, &c. into gold. This unknown
substance was called the Philosopher's Stone, probably on account of
the number of learned men who engaged in the search after it.


Was this search successful?

No; but the delusion lasted several centuries, notwithstanding the
failures, losses, and disappointments of those engaged in it. Indeed,
so severe and ruinous were these, in many instances, that laws were
passed to forbid the study. In Germany, many of the alchemists who had
the unfortunate reputation of possessing this wonderful stone were
imprisoned and furnished with apparatus till they should purchase
their liberty by making an ounce of gold.

     _Delusion_, an error arising from false views.

     _Apparatus_, a complete set of instruments or tools, by
     which anything is made, or any operation performed.

Was any gold ever produced by this method?

Not a particle; the story of a stone having the property of converting
the baser metals into gold being merely an absurd fable: yet, although
the pursuits of Alchemy were the most preposterous that can be
conceived, the ardor with which they were followed, and the amazing
number of experiments made in consequence, led to the discovery of
many facts to which Chemistry is highly indebted.

     _Preposterous_, absurd, foolish; contrary to nature or

You inform me that Chemistry enables us to discover the properties of
bodies by means of _analysis_ and _combination_: what do these terms

If a chemist wishes to examine the properties of a compound body, he
proceeds by analysis--that is, by a separation of the substance to be
examined into its constituent parts. The chemical examination of
bodies is generally effected by producing a change in the _nature_ or
_state_ of the body under examination. This change is frequently
brought about by the addition of some _other_ substance which forms a
combination with a part of the substance examined, and leaves the
remainder in a detached state.

By what _means_ do Chemists effect a change in the qualities or states
of natural bodies?

It is generally effected by means of _heat_, which has a tendency to
separate the particles of bodies from each other; or by the _mixture_
or _combination_ of some other matter with the matter intended to be
examined. The mixture of two or more compounds often produces a
decomposition by means of chemical _affinity_, a property which
different species of matter have to unite with each other; and which
is sometimes called _elective affinity_. Thus it may be observed,
chemists have not only the power of decomposing natural bodies, but of
producing by combination various other substances, such as are not
found in the kingdom of nature.

What do you mean by _decomposition_?

In chemical language, it means the separation of a compound body into
its simple elements.

Give me an example.

Water may be decomposed, and reduced into oxygen and hydrogen,--both
of them simple substances incapable of further decomposition.

Is not the work of decomposition perpetually going forward?

Yes; and _combustion_ is one of the great agents in this work. By it
animal and vegetable substances are converted into water and carbonic
acid, by the union of their hydrogen and carbon with the oxygen of the
air. These, in time, are again absorbed by vegetables, and again
decomposed to set the oxygen at liberty to produce fresh combustions.

Of what use are the two remaining substances, Hydrogen and Carbon?

These are appropriated by the vegetative organs to their growth and
nourishment, while the oxygen with which the carbon was combined is
abundantly given off to purify the air and render it fit for the
respiration of animals.

Give me an idea of the mode in which Chemists ascertain the _affinity_
of bodies, by relating an experiment.

Dissolve a tea-spoonful of sugar of lead in water, and pour the clear
solution into a decanter or large glass bottle. Then take a small
piece of zinc, and twist round it some brass or copper wire, so as to
let the ends of the wire depend from it in any agreeable form. Suspend
the zinc and wire in the solution which has been prepared; in a short
time, metallic lead will deposit itself on the zinc and along the
wire. This is a beautiful illustration of chemical affinity; the acid,
which constitutes a part of the sugar of lead, has a stronger affinity
for the zinc than for the lead, and, consequently, will combine with
the zinc, and form a compound which remains in solution, while the
lead is precipitated on the zinc and wire in the form of a brilliant
tree of metal.

     _Affinity_, in chemistry, that attraction which takes place
     between the elements of bodies, and forms compounds.

What does the word Nature signify?

In the above sense, the system of the universe; the creation, the
works of God. By the kingdom of nature is meant the world and all
things in it: nature is divided into three kingdoms, the animal,
vegetable, and mineral.

What are the different states of natural bodies?

All bodies are either solid, liquid, or aeriform. By solid bodies are
meant those whose parts unite so firmly as to resist the impression or
penetration of other bodies; by liquid, those substances whose parts
do not unite firmly, but have free motion among themselves; by
aeriform, fluid substances, having the form or nature of air. Liquid
substances are nothing more than solids converted into liquids by
heat, a certain increase of which would convert the liquids into

What other name is given to Liquids?

They are likewise called fluids: we call the air, also, a fluid,
because it flows like a fluid, and light substances will float in it.

What is the cause of bodies floating on liquids?

It is an established law of nature, that all substances which weigh
less than an equal bulk of any liquid, will float on the surface of
this liquid. Thus a cork will float on water, while a stone sinks to
the bottom. The cork will not float in the air, though lighter than
water; and the stone is not heavier than the _whole_ of the water, but
more so than a portion of water of its _own bulk_,--and thus it sinks
in it. Stones also differ in their weight or gravity: for instance,
some of the asbestus kind are _lighter_ than water. Iron, brass,
indeed, nearly all substances, except gold and platina, will float
upon mercury, because they are lighter than this liquid.

What is the cause of bodies being either solid, liquid, or aeriform?

When the principle of _attraction_ prevails, it causes them to become
solid; when caloric prevails, they become aeriform. Fluidity is,
apparently, a medium between the two.

How is the state of Solidity in bodies accounted for?

The particles of all bodies are subject to two opposite powers,
_repulsion_ and _attraction_; between which they remain in
equilibrium. While the _attractive_ force remains strongest, the body
remains in a state of solidity; but if heat destroys this force, the
particles lose their cohesion, and the body ceases to be solid.

     _Cohesion_, act of sticking together, union of the
     constituent parts of a body.

Which is supposed to be the most natural state of all bodies?

Solidity; for by the _combination_ of caloric with them we can reduce
most substances to the fluid state; while the greatest number of
_liquid_ substances take a _solid_ form by the loss of caloric. Thus,
water congeals and forms ice; and even the gases show this disposition
to become solid, when they lose their _elasticity_ by forming some

Explain the terms _Repulsion_ and _Attraction_.

Repulsion is a peculiar property in the particles of matter, which
gives them a constant tendency to recede from each other. Attraction
is an unknown force, which causes bodies or their particles to
approach each other. The particles of all bodies possess this
property, which causes them to adhere, and preserves the various
substances around us from falling in pieces.

What different kinds of Attraction can you mention?

Attraction may be distinguished into that which takes place between
bodies at sensible distances, and that which manifests itself between
the _particles_ of matter at insensible distances.

Give an example of the first kind of attraction.

One of the most familiar instances of attraction at sensible distances
is seen in the descent of heavy bodies to the ground. When a stone is
lifted up in the hand, the earth's attraction, which previously caused
it to remain at its surface, is overcome; but, as soon as the hand is
withdrawn, the stone falls to the earth. The force which causes this
is called the _attraction of gravitation_, or simply _gravitation_.

How is the second kind of attraction, or that between the particles of
bodies, subdivided?

Into the _attraction of aggregation_, or _cohesion_; and _chemical
attraction_, or _affinity_. The former takes place between particles
which are _similar_, and the latter between those which are
_dissimilar_. All the operations of chemistry are founded upon the
force of affinity which Nature has established between the particles
of different kinds of matter, and which enables the chemist to produce
_new_ compounds differing more or less from the substances by whose
union they were formed.

Is it, then, necessary for chemists to understand the relative nature
of all substances?

Yes; because the basis of this science consists in an _analytical_
examination of the works of Nature; an investigation of the properties
and uses of all substances we are acquainted with; and the study of
the effects of _heat_ and _mixture_, in order that we may find out
their general and subordinate laws.

     _Analytical_, relating to analysis.

     _Investigation_, act of searching, or tracing out.

     _Subordinate_, inferior in nature, dignity or power.

Relate a few more of the advantages obtained by a knowledge of

Many of the wonderful operations of Nature, and the changes which take
place in substances around us, are, by its means, revealed to us. In
every manufacture, art, or walk of life, the chemist possesses an
advantage over his unskilled neighbor. It is necessary to the farmer
and gardener, as it explains the growth of plants, the use of manures,
and their proper application: and indispensable to the physician, that
he may understand the animal economy, and the _effects_ which certain
_causes_ chemically produce; and the nature of animal, vegetable, and
mineral poisons. The study is, therefore, an invaluable branch in the
education of youth: it is useful, not only in the active, but the
_moral_ life, by laying the foundation of an ardent and inquiring
mind. Even an everyday walk in the fields can be productive of
instruction, by a knowledge of it;--and let us always remember, that
"Knowledge is Power."

     _Indispensable_, necessary, not to be done without.



What is Attraction?

By attraction is meant that property or quality in the particles of
bodies which makes them tend toward each other.

Are there several kinds of attraction?

Yes. Attraction has received different names, according to the
circumstances under which it acts: The force which keeps the particles
of matter together to form bodies or masses, is called attraction of
_cohesion_; that which makes bodies stick together only on their
surfaces, is called _adhesion_; that which inclines different masses
toward each other, as the earth and the heavenly bodies, is called
_gravitation_; that which forces the particles of substances of
different kinds to unite, is known under the name of _chemical
attraction_; that which causes the needle of the compass to point
constantly toward the poles of the earth, is _magnetic attraction_;
that which is excited by friction in certain substances, is known as
_electrical attraction_.

How do you know that attraction exists through the whole universe?

This great universal law was first discovered by Sir Isaac Newton. The
sun and planets and other heavenly bodies are only guided in their
path by gravitation.

Do we experience this attraction upon our earth?

Yes; because our earth is carried around the sun by it; and, further,
the tides show it very clearly.

What are the Tides?

The ebbing and flowing of the sea, which regularly takes place twice
in twenty-four hours. The cause of the tides is the attraction of the
sun, but chiefly of the moon, acting on the waters of the ocean.

What is Gravity?

Gravity is the attraction between the earth and the bodies on the
earth, which makes what we call weight of bodies.

What do you understand by specific weight or gravity?

It means the weight of a body as compared with the weight of an equal
bulk of some other body taken as a standard--commonly water.

Why do we say that certain metals--as, for example, platina or
gold--are heavier than others, say, lead or iron?

Because the former have a greater specific gravity.

But is not a pound of gold as heavy as a pound of lead?

Yes; but a lump of gold will be heavier than a lump of lead of equal

Can we explain by this what we call floating?

A body will float in water if its gravity is less than that of water;
for example, wood floats for this reason in water, and a balloon in
the air.

Why does a portion of the floating body sink below the surface of the

Because the body in order to float must displace a portion of water
equal in weight to the whole floating body.

But why do iron steamers float--iron being heavier than water?

Because the steamer is not a solid piece of iron, but is hollow, and
so increased in bulk; for that reason the weight of the vessel and its
contents is less than that of an equal bulk of water.

How can you ascertain that air has weight?

We can do it by the barometer and by very many experiences in daily
life. If one end of a straw be dipped into a vessel of water and the
other end be sucked, the liquid will rise to the mouth. There we see
the pressure of the outside air forces the liquid through the straw
where the air was removed by sucking.

Can you show the same by another instrument?

Yes; the common water pump demonstrates the same as the straw. A tube
is placed into the water, the air is sucked out from the tube by the
movement of the pump, and the outside air presses the water through
the tube.

What are Artesian wells?

Wells so named because they were made first at Artois, in France. They
work on the principle that every liquid seeks its level. Of the rain
which falls, a part soaks into the soil of mountains, until, coming to
a layer of rocks or clay through which it cannot pass, it will collect
and be stored up. If a hole be bored into this reservoir the water
will rise in it.

Do you know some other properties of air?

It is the most necessary substance for our life; it is the vehicle of
all odors and smells; it is the medium of all sounds, and brings to
our ear and so to our mind an immense knowledge of the outside world;
it is the cause of the beauty of the blue firmament or sky, of the
aurora and twilight; it is the great nurse of the whole vegetable
kingdom by clouds, rain, and dew.

What is an Aneroid Barometer?

It is a barometer in the construction of which no quicksilver or other
liquid is used. It consists of a metal box, exhausted of air, the top
of which is of thin metal, so elastic that it readily yields to
alterations in the pressure of the atmosphere. When the pressure
increases, the top is pressed inwards; when, on the contrary, it
decreases, the elasticity of the lid, aided by a spring, tends to move
it in the opposite direction. These motions are transmitted by
delicate levers to an index which moves on a scale. This barometer has
the advantage of being portable.

What is the Ear-trumpet?

A trumpet-like instrument used to aid deaf persons in hearing. Its
form is conical, and the larger end is of a bell shape; the small end
is placed in the ear, and the person talks in the large end. It acts
by concentrating the voice on the listener's ear.

What is a Stethoscope?

An instrument used by physicians for ascertaining the action of the
lungs, judging by the sound of their motion whether they are healthy
or not.

Describe the Audiphone.

It is a fan-shaped instrument to help deaf people, and is made of
flexible carbonized rubber. Fine silk cords attached to the upper edge
bend it over, and are fastened by a wedge in a handle. The top edge of
this fan rests upon the upper teeth, and the sound waves strike its
surface; the vibrations are thus conveyed by the teeth and the bones
of the face to the acoustic nerve in the ear.

Describe the Telephone.

It is an instrument by which conversation may be carried on at a
distance, and is composed of three parts--a thin disk of soft metal, a
small coil or bobbin of silk-covered copper wire, and a small bar
magnet about four inches long. The bobbin is placed on one pole of the
magnet, so that the wire is as it were steeped in the magnetic space
round the pole. The metal disk is placed face close to the pole and
bobbin, so that when it vibrates in front of the pole a series of wave
currents will be set up in the coil of wire on the bobbin. The whole
is encased in wood, and a mouth-piece is provided for speaking against
the disk. The coil of wire on the bobbin is of course connected by its
two ends into the circuit of a telegraph line.

Who invented the Telephone?

It was invented, almost simultaneously, by Alex. Graham Bell, a
native of Scotland, and Professor of Vocal Physiology in the Boston
University, and Elisha Gray, of Chicago.

What is a Phonograph?

It is an instrument for recording the vibrations of sounds, and
consists of a revolving cylinder covered with tin-foil. To this
cylinder is attached a mouth-piece, fitted with a thin plate or disk,
on the outer side of which, next to the cylinder, is a needle or
point. The cylinder runs on a screw, so that the whole length of it,
from end to end, may pass under the point. On speaking into the
mouth-piece the voice causes the disk to vibrate, and the point to
trace marks corresponding to these vibrations on the tin-foil. By
turning the cylinder so that the point again passes into the marks in
the tin-foil, the sounds that entered at the mouth-piece can be
reproduced at any time.

By whom was the phonograph invented?

By Thomas A. Edison, who was born in Ohio in 1847. Mr. Edison is the
inventor of many improvements in telegraphy, which have been adopted
into general use, and are to him the source of a large income. To him,
also, we are indebted for the megaphone, microphone, tasimeter, an
improvement in the telephone, a system of electric lighting, and many
other inventions.

What is a Microphone?

This instrument is a variety of telephone by means of which faint
sounds can be heard at a very great distance. It consists of a small
battery for generating a weak current of electricity, a telephone for
the receiving instrument, and a speaking or transmitting instrument.
The last is a small rod of gas carbon with the ends set loosely in
blocks of the same material. The blocks are attached to an upright
support, glued into a wooden base board. This instrument is connected
with the battery and the telephone. So wonderfully sensitive is it,
that the ticking of a watch, the walking of a fly across a board, or
the brush of a camel's-hair pencil can be heard even though it be
hundreds of miles distant.

Will you describe the Megaphone?

It is a substitute for the ear and speaking trumpet. It consists of
three paper funnels placed side by side. The two larger ones are about
6 feet 8 inches long and 27-1/2 inches in diameter, and are each
provided with a flexible tube, the ends of which are held to the ear.
The centre funnel, which is used as a speaking-trumpet, does not
differ materially from an ordinary trumpet, except that it is larger
and has a larger bell mouth. Two persons, each provided with a
megaphone, can, without other apparatus, carry on a conversation at a
distance of one and a half or two miles.

What is the Tasimeter?

It is an instrument, sensitive to the smallest degree of heat, and is
mostly used in astronomy. Attached to a telescope it will show the
heat coming from the stars.

What is a Bathometer?

This ingenious instrument, the invention of Prof. Siemens of London,
enables those on board of ships to read from an index the depths of
the ocean beneath them. It consists of a highly sensitive steel spring
to which a heavy piece of metal is attached. The changes in weight to
which the latter is subject in consequence of the variations of
attractive force (the deeper the ocean the smaller the latter, and
vice versa) are registered on a scale by the indicator that is in
connection with the steel spring.

What is an Anemometer?

An instrument for measuring the velocity and force of the wind, and by
which storms, at a distance, can be predicted.

What is a Chronometer?

A time-piece of delicate and exact construction, chiefly employed by
astronomers and navigators. It differs only from an ordinary watch in
its delicate springs, in not being so much influenced by heat and
cold, and consequently in its accuracy in giving the time.



Do you know something about the nature of Light?

Light is a mere form of vibration like sound, and like sound it
requires some source to set this vibration going, and some medium to
carry this vibration as air carries sound.

Is not the air this medium?

No, it is supposed that there is an elastic fluid called "ether" which
pervades all space and matter, and if the molecules of a body are in
motion they have the power of setting this ether in motion. The
movement thus produced will appear either as heat or light according
to its velocity.

What sources of light do you know?

We are told that the principal source of light on earth is the sun,
either directly with its own beams or indirectly by supplying us with
combustibles to produce light; for oil, gas, candles, and most of the
substances used for producing light and heat when burning are but
sending forth in another form the rays of the sun which were stored up
in nature's economy.

Another source of light is the result of chemical action, such as the
lime, magnesium, and electric light. A third source of light is
phosphorescence, as we see it in the glow-worm and fireflies.

What is the Drummond or Lime Light?

It is one of the most brilliant of artificial lights. When a stream of
oxygen and one of hydrogen under pressure are brought together and
mixed within a few inches of the end of a blowpipe, the mixture on
lighting burns with a colorless flame possessing intense heat. If this
flame be made to play upon a ball of carbonate of lime, the lime on
becoming white hot gives off a powerful incandescence.

     _Incandescence_, the glowing whiteness of a body caused by
     intense heat.

What is a Blowpipe?

A tube, usually bent near the end, terminated with a finely-pointed
nozzle, for blowing through the flame of a lamp or gas-jet, producing
thereby a small conical flame possessing intense heat. It is used in
soldering silver, brass, etc. A mixture of oxygen and hydrogen when
ignited constitutes the hydrogen blowpipe, invented by Dr. Hare of

What is Magnesium Light?

When the metal magnesium is rolled out into a fine ribbon and heated
to red heat it burns with a dazzling light.

Which is the most powerful artificial light?

The so-called Electric light. This light, whether produced by a series
of galvanic cells or by dynamic power, is the most brilliant and

What is a Rainbow?

The rainbow is that beautiful semi-circular band or arc of different
colors in the clouds during the occurrence of rain in sunshine. When
the clouds opposite the sun are very dark and rain is falling from
them, the rays of the sun are divided by the raindrops as they would
be by a prism. There are often two rainbows at the same time, because
the primary bow is again reflected to another layer of clouds.

What is a Prism?

A triangular solid piece of glass, on which if a ray of light be cast
it will be distinctly divided into the seven colors we see in a
rainbow. By this fact we see that white light is composed of different
rays which have different reflective susceptibilities.

What is a Spectrum?

It is this beautiful band of seven colors obtained by the refraction
of a ray of light through the prism.

Whence come the colors in the objects we see in nature?

They all come from light; every object has a power to absorb certain
rays and to reflect others. A red cloth, for example, absorbs all the
other colored rays except red, and this it gives off, thus appearing

Why are the leaves of plants green?

Because a peculiar chemical substance called chlorophyl, formed within
their cells, absorbs all other rays of light, reflecting only blue and
yellow--which mixture produces the different green tints.

What is Photography?

The word means "light drawing." It is a mode of fixing on certain
substances the lights and shades of any object by means of a lens
inserted in a camera obscura. This process was first called
Daguerreotype from the name of the inventor, Daguerre. A plate of
copper thinly coated with silver is exposed to the vapor of iodine,
then placed in a camera obscura, where an image of the object to be
presented through a lens is cast upon it. Ambrotype is the same
application to glass. There are now different variations of method in
the use of the same agents. Now photography consists in taking the
images on what is called a negative--that is, a glass coated with a
silvered collodion (gun-cotton dissolved in alcohol and ether) film.
From this plate another image is taken on silvered paper, which we
call the positive image. There are also other chemicals used instead
of silver.

What is a Camera Obscura?

A small box or dark room into which the light is admitted through a

What is a Stereoscope?

It is an instrument exhibiting the effects and advantages of seeing
with two eyes. The instrument is so constructed that from a flat
picture we may see the solid body in its reality in nature.

What is a Kaleidoscope?

An instrument invented by Sir David Brewster, consisting of a tube
with slips of reflecting glass so arranged in the interior that small
beads, bits of colored glass, and similar things are, by revolving the
tube, thrown into an endless variety of beautiful shapes.



What is the nature of Electricity?

A form of energy into which all other forms can readily be converted.

What is an Electric current?

Electricity manifests itself in a variety of ways, but all may be
arranged under two heads, _viz._, 1, as a charge; 2, as a current. By
means of friction, many bodies become electrified--that is, have
acquired an electrical charge. If this charge is in great quantity we
call it high tension. When a body containing an electrical charge is
brought in contact with other bodies through which electricity is
capable of passing, there ensues a current of electricity. Such bodies
are called conductors.

What are the sources of currents?

There are currents produced by chemical action called voltaic
currents; by the action of heat, or thermo-electric currents; by the
motion of magnets, or magneto-electric currents.



What is positive and what negative electricity?

No difference in electricity in itself. When a body has more than its
natural amount of electricity, it is said to be charged positively;
when it has less than its natural amount it is negatively charged.

What is a Cell; what a Battery?

If a piece of zinc and copper joined by a wire be dipped in a
liquid--generally weak sulphuric acid--which will act chemically on
the metals, a current is produced. Such an arrangement is called a
couple, or cell. If many cells are connected, then it is called a

What is Thermo-electricity?

If two bars of any unlike metal--for example, antimony and bismuth--be
soldered together at one end, and the other ends be connected by a
wire and then the soldered end heated, a current will flow.

What effects are produced by currents?

They produce heat, light, decomposition and combination in liquid
chemical compounds; they melt all metals, excite magnetism, and in the
animal body excite movements of the muscles.

Can you specify these effects?

A strong battery produces heat in such a degree that all metals can be
melted. Light is produced in flashes, or if the end of the leading
wires are connected with two pencils of hard carbon, and brought very
near together, then a brilliant light, or arc, called the voltaic arc,
is produced. This is the dazzling bright light which we call electric
light. The chemical effect of a current in decomposing compound
substances is called electrolysis. In this way water can be decomposed
into its compounds, hydrogen and oxygen; copper sulphate into sulphur
and metallic copper, etc. In this way we can deposit strong adherent
films of metal on the surface of any conductor; for if the article to
be coated be attached to the negative electrode of a battery, and
dipped into a solution of the metal with which we desire to coat the
article, say copper or silver, and the positive electrode be attached
to a plate of copper and also dipped into a liquid, when the current
passes, the metal will be decomposed and deposited in a uniform layer
over the article at the negative electrode. This process is called

What is Electrotyping?

It is the process of copying medals, type, wood-cuts, engraved copper
and steel plates, etc., by means of electrical deposition. It is
chiefly used for making, from the ordinary movable types, plates of
fixed metallic types, for printing books.

Describe the process.

The article to be copied is first covered with black-lead, and then a
mould is made of it in wax or gutta-percha. This mould is placed in a
solution of sulphate of copper, and attached to the negative pole of
the battery, while a plate of copper is hung from the positive pole.
The electric current decomposes the copper, which is deposited in a
thin film upon the mould. This film is removed and stiffened by being
backed with metal.

What is the difference between Electrotyping and Stereotyping?

In stereotyping, a plaster of Paris mould is taken from the types, and
upon this mould melted type-metal is poured, which, when hardened,
makes a solid plate.

Is there any other method of stereotyping?

Yes; that known as the paper process. A uniform sheet of soft matter
is formed by pasting together sheets of thin, tough tissue paper. The
types are oiled, and the soft, moist sheet is placed on them and
beaten down with a stiff brush until it receives an impression of the
type-form. Both are then run through a press, and on being taken out
the paper is found to form a perfect mould. Into this mould the
type-metal is poured and the plate formed.

Can you tell me some magnetic effects of the current?

All conductors become magnetic during the passage of a current through
them, and thereby acquire all the properties of a magnet. There are
bodies which are natural magnets, and they are called permanent
magnets. Those which become magnets only during the passage of a
current are called electro-magnets.

Do you know any application of those magnets?

They are employed in a great variety of electrical apparatus,
principally in telegraphy.

When was the first telegraph established?

It was made in 1836, being invented by Prof. Steinheil, of Munich, and
adopted by the government of Bavaria. It was 12 miles long, and the
signals were made by small bells.

Who was the inventor of the telegraph in this country?

Samuel F.B. Morse, who was born at Charlestown, Mass., April 27, 1791.
He began life as a painter, but did not give his whole attention to
art--chemistry and experiments in electricity and galvanism claiming
much of his time. He first conceived the idea of the telegraph in
1832, and exhibited his invention to Congress in 1837. He struggled on
with scanty means, and was about to give up in despair when Congress
appropriated $30,000 for an experimental line, which was opened on May
12, 1844, between Washington and Baltimore. Prof. Morse died in 1872,
but not before he had reaped honors and fortune from his invention.

How rapidly does the electric current travel through the wires?

From experiments made it appears to be about 15,400 miles in a second.

Can more than one message be sent at the same time on the same wire?

Yes; it is possible now to send several messages at the same time.

What is a Cable?

It is a telegraph wire under water. Prof. Morse, in 1842, laid a wire
insulated by a covering of hemp coated with pitch-tar and India-rubber
between Governor's Island and the Battery, New York. Several attempts
were made in other countries.

What was the greatest telegraphic undertaking?

That of connecting Europe with America by a submarine cable spanning
the ocean, which was commenced in 1857 and completed August 5, 1858.

To whom do we owe this grand undertaking?

This honor is entirely due to Mr. Cyrus W. Field. Mr. Field was born
at Stockbridge, Mass., on November 30th, 1819. In 1853 he became
interested in ocean telegraphy, and after many reverses succeeded in
laying the first cable in August, 1858. The message sent by Queen
Victoria to the President of the United States, consisting of 99
words, occupied 67 minutes in transmitting. In September of the same
year this cable ceased to work, but the energy of Field restored
confidence, and another cable was made and laid down in July, 1865,
but after 1200 miles were deposited it was lost. In 1866 another was
made and successfully laid in July. In August the lost cable was found
and spliced, and carried to the western shore.

What is a Dynamo-electric machine?

A machine by which very powerful currents can be obtained directly
from mechanical power. In these, by means of a steam-engine or other
power, a number of coils of wire called the armature are set into
rapid revolution between the poles of powerful electro-magnets. All
currents are caused to flow from the armature in one direction by
means of a contrivance called the commutator. Very successful machines
of this sort are the Gramme machine, the Siemens, and, principally,
the so-called Brush machine. By these the electric light is now
generally produced.

What is a Lightning Rod?

It is a rod of iron placed against a building to protect it from
lightning. Three or four feet of one end is in the moist ground or in
water, while several feet of the other end extend above the highest
part of the building. The upper end of the rod is pointed with copper
or some other metal which will not easily corrode.

By whom was it invented?

By Benjamin Franklin, and first announced by him in his "Poor
Richard's Almanac" for 1753. Franklin was born at Boston, Mass., in
1706. By his talents, prudence, and honesty he rose from humble
beginnings to be one of the foremost men of his time. He was one of
the committee of five chosen by Congress to prepare the "Declaration
of Independence" which he with other patriots afterwards signed.
Towards the close of the year 1776 he was sent as ambassador to the
French Court, and remained in Europe some time. He returned home in
1785, and died at Philadelphia on the 17th of April, 1790.

What is the Gulf Stream?

It is a warm current in the Atlantic Ocean.

What is its origin?

It may be considered as beginning on the west coast of Africa, within
the region of the trade winds. These cause a westward flow, known as
the equatorial current. On reaching the coast of Brazil, the greater
portion of this current bends northward, carrying with it the waters
of the Amazon and Orinoco, and passes through the Caribbean Sea into
the Gulf of Mexico. Here it is further heated, and rushes out through
the only outlet, the Straits of Florida.

Describe its course.

Deep and narrow, it runs by Florida with a velocity varying from two
to five miles an hour, and pressed by the cold current between it and
the shore, flows parallel to the coast as far as Cape Hatteras.
Meeting shoals near this point, the banks of sand extending as far as
Newfoundland, it there turns abruptly to the east, and with diminished
speed and increased width, rolls onward towards the coast of Europe.
Before long it divides into two great branches--the northern and
southern. The former extends as far as Spitzbergen; the latter,
sweeping along by the Madeira and Canary Islands, returns to the
equator, completing the circuit.

What influence has the Gulf Stream on the climate of Europe?

Various opinions have been expressed as to this. It has been estimated
that the amount of heat arising from the stream on a winter's day, is
sufficient to raise the atmosphere over the British Isles from the
freezing point to a summer temperature.

How may the Gulf Stream be distinguished?

It can be distinctly traced in the ocean by its dark indigo color, its
temperature, and the swiftness of its waters.

Which is the largest tunnel in the world?

The Mt. Cenis Tunnel, or the tunnel of Col de Frejus, by both of which
names it is known. It is the longest subterranean route for commerce
and travel yet constructed, being 7-1/4 miles in length. It is on the
crest of the Cottian Alps, about 16 miles south-west of the summit of
Mt. Cenis Pass. It was begun in 1857, and finished in 1871.

     _Col_, a defile.

What other great engineering work can you mention?

The Suez Canal, a ship canal running across the Isthmus of Suez, and
connecting the Mediterranean with the Red Sea. The canal is 100 miles
in length, and through it an uninterrupted communication is
established whereby large sailing vessels and steamers may pass from
sea to sea, and thus avoid the long and dangerous voyage around the
Cape of Good Hope.

To whom is the world indebted for this canal?

This great work owes its inception and completion to the enterprise
and indomitable energy of Ferdinand de Lesseps, who was born at
Versailles, France, on the 19th November, 1805. In January, 1856, he
obtained a charter from the Egyptian Government for a company to
construct the canal, and began work in 1859. Though beset by many
difficulties, the persistent energy of De Lesseps fought its way to
success, and in 1869 he had the satisfaction of seeing the waters of
the Mediterranean and the Red Sea mingle in the Bitter Lakes. He has
since been engaged in many engineering projects, the latest being a
canal across the Isthmus of Panama to connect the Atlantic and Pacific

     _Inception_, beginning.

     _Indomitable_, not to be subdued.

     _Persistent_, inclined to hold firm.

What is a Suspension Bridge?

A bridge supported by wires, ropes, or chains, which usually pass over
high piers or columns at each end, and are secured in the ground

Name some of the largest bridges of this kind.

That at Niagara, those over the Allegheny at Pittsburg and the Ohio at
Cincinnati, and the great East River bridge, which connects New York
and Brooklyn.

Who planned these bridges?

John A. Roebling, who was born at Mulhausen, Prussia, June 12, 1806.
In 1831 he emigrated to this country, and to his genius we are
indebted for the bridges above named. The reports, plans, and
specifications of the East River bridge were completed, and the work
begun, when Roebling was severely injured in the foot while directing
his work. Lockjaw succeeding amputation, he died in Brooklyn, July 22,

To what great Civil Engineer has the West given birth?

James B. Eads. Born at Lawrenceburg, Indiana, May 28, 1820, he began
life as a clerk on a Mississippi river steam-boat. In 1842 he entered
a firm engaged in recovering sunken property, and with such success
that he retired with a fortune in 1857. During the civil war he
devised a plan for the defence of the Western waters, and constructed
several iron gun-boats with many novel features of his own invention.
He has since acquired reputation as projecting and constructing
engineer of the Illinois and St. Louis bridge, and by building jetties
at the South Pass of the Mississippi, by which the depth of the river
is increased, and it is made more navigable. These jetties are
projecting dikes of brush, fascines, and stone.

     _Fascines_, bundles of rods or of small sticks of wood,
     bound at both ends and at intermediate points, used in
     filling ditches, etc.

Give the names of some distinguished American inventors.

Eli Whitney, the inventor of the Cotton Gin, born in Westborough,
Mass., 1765; died 1825. Jethro Wood, the inventor of the modern
cast-iron plow, born at White Creek, N.Y., 1774; died 1834. Cyrus H.
McCormick, inventor of the mowing machine, born at Walnut Grove,
Virginia, in 1809.

Who was the inventor of the Sewing Machine?

Elias Howe. He was born at Spencer, Mass., July 9, 1819. When a boy he
worked in a cotton mill at Lowell, but afterwards entered a machine
shop in Boston. Here he conceived the idea of the sewing machine, and
after long days of labor, part of which time he and his family lived
on the kindness of a friend, he completed his invention. After many
struggles, his talent, industry, and perseverance were rewarded, and
long before his death, which occurred in October, 1867, he had
acquired a large fortune.


    Abyssinia, 142

    Adhesion, 201

    Affinity, Chemical, 197, 199

    Air, 17
      fixed, 112

    Albert Durer, 130

    Alchemy, 194

    Alcohol, 137

    Alexander, 161

    Alexandria, 168

    Allspice or Pimento, 51

    Alluvial formations, 152

    Almonds, 61

    Alphabet, invention of, 43

    Alum, 74

    Alumina, 154

    Amalgam, 20

    Amber, 18

    Ambergris, 66

    Analysis and Combination, 195

    Anemometer, 206

    Angelo, Michael, 162

    Anno Domini, 35

    Apelles, 182

    Apollo, 178

    Arabic, gum, 94

    Arabia, Felix and Deserta, 72

    Archipelago, 32

    Architecture, 156
      orders of, 159, 160

    Argil, 154

    Armenia, 67

    Arrow-root, 134

    Arsenic, 126

    Artesian Wells, 203

    Arts, 190
      liberal, 190
      fine, 191
      mechanical, 191

    Art of writing, 191

    Asbestus, 76, 78

    Astronomy, science of, 187

    Athenians, 23

    Atmosphere, 17

    Attraction, 201

    Audiphone, 204

    Aurora, the, 21

    Aurora Borealis, 22

    Australia, 31

    Author, 54

    Azores, islands of, 62

    Azote gas, 113

    Babel, tower of, 144

    Babylon, 145

    Bacon, Roger, 99

    Baize, 32

    Barbarians, 170, 183

    Barilla or Soda, 105

    Bark, 35
      Peruvian, 36

    Barley, 24
      sugar, 49

    Barometer, 96
      Aneroid, 203

    Barrel organ, 179

    Bathometer, 206

    Beaver, 70, 71, 74

    Bell, A.G., 204

    Black lead, 122

    Blowpipe, 208

    Bodies, natural, 197

    Bombazine, 40

    Books first printed, 59

    Books, of what made, 37, 57

    Bottles, 54

    Box, musical, 179

    Brandy, 137

    Brass, 84

    Bread-fruit, 86

    Bricks, 144

    Butter, vegetable, 87
      tree, 87

    Cable, 214

    Cacao-nut tree, 27

    Cadmus, 43

    Calaminaris, Lapis, 84

    Calcareous rocks, 150

    Calico, 28

    Caloric, 14, 114

    Calomel, 97

    Cambray, 41

    Cambric, 41

    Camera Obscura, 209

    Camlet, 41

    Camphor, 140

    Candles, 106

    Candy, Sugar, 49

    Cannon, 100

    Canoe, 36

    Cantaleup, 67

    Canvas, 33

    Caoutchouc, 107

    Capers, 61

    Carbon, 112

    Carbonic acid, 112

    Carmine, 138

    Carpets, 32

    Carthage, 164

    Cashmere shawls, 46

    Cassia, 40

    Castor or beaver, 70

    Castor oil, 66

    Cat, civet, 141
      domestic, singular property of its fur, 19
      gut, 179

    Caviare, 135

    Cayenne pepper, 53

    Chaldea, 187

    Chalk, 115

    Charcoal, 81

    Chemistry, 193-200

    Cherry-tree, 35

    Chinese or India ink, 76

    China orange, 62

    Chocolate, 27

    Chronometer, 206

    Chrysalis, 42

    Cider, 136

    Cinnamon, 39

    Citrons, 62

    Clay or argil, 154

    Clocks, 98

    Cloth, 29

    Cloves, 38, 39

    Coal, 81

    Cochineal, 37, 38, 138

    Cocoa-nut tree, 34

    Coffee, 26

    Cohesion, 201

    Coin, 165

    Combustion, 113

    Compass, Mariners', 95

    Commerce, 170

    Constellations, 188

    Consul, Roman, 147

    Copernicus, 189

    Copper, 83

    Copperas, 75

    Coral, 109-112

    Cork, 37

    Corn, 23

    Cotton, 28
      gins, 29

    Cow-tree, 88

    Crape, 40

    Cretans, 23

    Crimson, 138

    Crusades, 172, 173

    Crystallization, 14

    Currants, 46

    Cyrus, 146

    Damask, 34

    Dates, 68, 69

    Decomposition, 196

    Deluge, 191

    Dew, 13, 14

    Diamond, 127

    Diaper, 33

    Distillation, process of, 137

    Drake, Sir Francis, 92

    Dyeing, things used in, 138

    Dynamite, 100

    Dynamo-electric machine, 214

    Eads, Jas. B, 218

    Earths, 151
      argillaceous, 152
      calcareous, 150
      silicious, 152

    Earthenware, 55

    Earthquakes, 155

    Ear-trumpet, 204

    Ebony, 132

    Edison, Thos. A., 205

    Egyptian Pyramids, 158

    Egyptians, 23

    Electrical machine, 19
      properties in bodies, 19

    Electricity, 18, 210

    Electric Battery, 211
      Current, 210

    Electro-Magnet, 104
      Magnetic Teleg'ph., 104, 213

    Electron, 18

    Electrotyping, 212

    Elephant, 133

    Emerald, 129

    Engraving, 130

    Ermine, 73

    Etruscans, 182

    Evergreen, 65

    Fermentation, acetous, 138
      vinous, 138

    Ferro, 88

    Field, Cyrus W., 214

    Figs, 48

    Fine arts, 191

    Fitch, John, 103

    Flannel, 34

    Flax, 33

    Flint, 153

    Floating, 202

    Florence, 64

    Fossil or rock salt, 78

    Franks, 170

    Frankincense, 142

    Franklin, Benj., 215

    Fulton, Robert, 103

    Fur, 73

    Galileo, 101, 189

    Galls, 75

    Gamboge, 139

    Gas, 114
      hydrogen, 114
      nitrogen or azote, 113
      oxygen, 113

    Gelatine, 135

    Gems, 127

    Genoa, 63, 172

    Geologist, 151

    Geology, 151

    Geometry, 102

    Gin, 137

    Ginger, 50

    Glass, 53
      house, 54
      windows, 54
      looking, 55

    Gloves, 73

    Goat, Angora, 41

    Gold, 118

    Goths, 170

    Granite, 148, 149

    Gravitation, 201

    Gravity, 202

    Gray, Elisha, 205

    Gulf Stream, 215

    Gum, 93
      arabic, 94

    Gunpowder, 99, 100

    Guns, 100

    Hail, 16

    Harp, 176

    Hats, 70

    Hemp, 33

    Herculaneum, 154

    Hermetic Seal, 96

    Herschel, Sir William, 190

    Hieroglyphics, 191

    Holland, 33

    Honey, 136

    Hops, 137

    Howe, Elias, 218

    Hybla, 136

    Hydrogen, 114

    Hymettus, 136

    Ice, 15

    Idria, quicksilver mines of, 97

    India rubber, 107
      or Chinese ink, 76

    Indigo, 138

    Ink, 74
      used by the ancients, 75

    Inlaying, 132

    Insect, coral, 109-111

    Ionians, 60

    Iron, 82

    Isinglass, 132

    Islands, Volcanic, 155

    Ivory, 135

    Jaca tree, 87

    Japanese, 181

    Jetties of the Mississippi, 218

    Jupiter, 148

    Kaleidoscope, 210

    Kiln, 73

    Lace, 41

    Lapis calaminaris, 84

    Laudanum, 91

    Laws, How made, 148

    Lead, 121
      black, 122

    Leather, 72

    Legislative Powers, 147

    Lemon, 62

    Lenses, 95

    Leo the Tenth, 184

    Lesseps, Ferd. de, 217

    Levant, 75

    Libanus, Mount, 90

    Licorice, 89

    Light, 207
      Drummond, 207
      Electric, 208, 211
      Lime, 207
      Magnesium, 208

    Lightning, 17
      Rod, 215

    Lime, a fruit, 63

    Lime, an earth, 73, 112
      quick, 150

    Linen, 32

    Liquids, 197, 198

    Lithography, 131

    Loadstone, 95

    Logwood, 139

    Lombards, 170

    Lucca, 64

    Lucullus, 35

    Lungs, 89

    Lyre, 178

    McCormick, Cyrus H., 218

    Mace, 51

    Magic, 99

    Mahogany, 107

    Malt, 137

    Maltese orange, 62

    Mangoes, 85

    Manioc plant, 134

    Manna, 89, 90

    Marble, 116
      Parian, 117

    Mariners' compass, 95

    Marine salt, 78

    Marl, 101

    Mathematics, 101

    Mead, 136

    Mechanics, 102

    Mediterranean, 171

    Megaphone, 206

    Melons, 67

    Mercury, 97
      the god, 178

    Metals, primitive, 83

    Metallurgy, 123

    Microphone, 205

    Microscope, 102

    Milan, 40

    Millet, 50

    Mineral oil, 65
      tar, 140

    Mines, 84
      coal, 81

    Mint, 166

    Mirrors, 54, 55

    Mohair, 46

    Mahomed, 72

    Money, 163

    Morphia, 91

    Mortar, 148

    Morse, S.F.B., 213

    Mosque, 72

    Mother-of-pearl, 132

    Mt. Cenis Tunnel, 216

    Muscles, 21

    Music, vocal, 176

    Musical instruments, 174
      boxes, 179

    Musk, 141

    Myrrh, 141

    Nantes, Edict of, 45

    Natron, 105

    Nature, kingdom of, 197

    Navigation, 166-174

    Nabuchodonosor, 146

    Needles, 57

    Nero, 185

    New South Wales, 31

    Newton, Sir Isaac, 189

    Nicotine, 92

    Nitre, 100

    Nitrogen, 113

    Northern Lights, 22

    Nutmegs, 50

    Oats, 24

    Obelisk, 158

    Oils, 65

    Oil, olive, 64

    Oil, castor, 66
      mineral, 65

    Olives, 63, 64

    Olive branch, the emblem of Plenty, 64

    Opium, 91

    Orange, 61

    Ore, 83

    Organ, barrel, 179

    Oxide, 83

    Oxygen, 113

    Painters, celebrated, 184

    Painting, art of, 180

    Palm, 68, 69

    Palma Christi, 66, 67

    Pantheon, 146

    Paper, invention of, 57
      mill, 58
      linen, 58

    Papyrus, 58

    Parchment, 59

    Pearls, 131

    Pearl oyster, 131
      barley, 24

    Pendulum, 98

    Pepper, 52
      cayenne, 53

    Pericles, 159

    Perry, 136

    Petroleum, 65

    Phenicia, 54

    Philosopher's stone, 194, 195

    Phonograph, 205

    Phosphorus, 125

    Photography, 209

    Pins, 57

    Pimento, 51

    Pisa, 172

    Pitch, 140

    Platina, 123

    Pliny, 54, 182

    Plumbago, 122

    Poetry, 185-187

    Poets, celebrated, 186

    Polypus, 108

    Pompeii, 154

    Porcelain, 56

    Potash, 53

    Potatoes, 24

    Primitive Earths, 153

    Printing, 59

    Prism, 208

    Protestant, 58

    Ptolemies, 189

    Pyramid, 158

    Pythagoras, 188

    Quicksilver, 97

    Rabbins, 55

    Rain, 16

    Rainbow, 208

    Raisins, 47

    Raleigh, Sir Walter, 92

    Raphael, 183, 184

    Refugee, 58

    Republic, 65

    Resin, gum, 93

    Rhubarb, 94

    Rice, 48

    Rock or fossil salt, 78
      calcareous, 150
      transition, 151

    Roebling, John A., 217

    Rubies, 128

    Rum, 137

    Rye, 24

    Sable, 74

    Sago, 49
      palm, 50

    Salt, 78, 79
      marine, 78
      rock, 78
      spring, 79

    Saltpetre, 100

    Saracens, 168

    Scarlet, 138

    Schools of painting, 184

    Sciences, Arts and, 190

    Sculpture, 160

    Seal, an animal, 74

    Senate, 147

    Sesostris, 177

    Seville orange, 62

    Shoes, 72

    Sicilians, 23

    Sidon, 167

    Silex, 153

    Silicious earths, 152

    Silk, 41, 45
      worm, 42-43

    Silver, 119

    Slate, 149

    Snow, 16

    Soap, 105

    Soda, 105

    Specific Weight, 202

    Spectacles, 94

    Spectrum, 208

    Spermaceti, 106

    Spinning-jenny, 30

    Spirits of wine, 137

    Sponge, 108

    Starch, 133

    Steam engine, 102
      navigation, 103

    Steel, 150

    Stethoscope, 204

    Stereoscope, 209

    Stereotyping, 212

    Still, 137

    Stockings, 71

    Strata, 151

    Suez Canal, 216

    Sugar, 48
      candy, 49
      barley, 49
      maple, 49

    Sulphur, 124

    Sumatra, 66

    Suspension Bridges, 217

    Tallow, 106
      tree, 106

    Tamarinds, 67

    Tan, 73

    Tapioca, 134

    Tar, 139

    Tasimeter, 206

    Tasmania, 31

    Tea, 25

    Telegraph, 104, 213

    Telephone, 204

    Telescope, 101

    Thebes, 43

    Thermometer, 97

    Thermo-Electricity, 211

    Thibet Goat, 46

    Thunder, 17

    Tides, 201

    Tin, 120

    Tobacco, 91

    Toddy, 34

    Tortoise, 178

    Tower, leaning of Pisa, 172

    Troy, 177

    Turpentine, 143

    Turquois, 129

    Tuscans, 182

    Twilight, 21

    Tyre, 167

    United States Government, 147

    Vapor, 14

    Vellum, 60

    Velvet, 45

    Venice, 171

    Venus, 171

    Vine, 136

    Vinegar, 138

    Vitriol, 75

    Volcanic formations, 152

    Volcano, 154

    Vulcanite, 108

    Watches, 98

    Water, 14
      melon, 67
      decomposition of by vegetables, 15
      tree, 88

    Wax, 106

    Weaving, 30-32

    Whale, 66

    Whitney, Eli, 218

    Wieliczca, 80

    Wind, 17

    Windows, 54

    Wine, 136

    Woad, 139

    Wood, Jethro, 218

    Wood engraving, 130

    Wool, 29-31

    Writing, art of, 191

    Yams, 85

    Zinc, 84

    Zoophytes, 108


*** End of this LibraryBlog Digital Book "A Catechism of Familiar Things; - Their History, and the Events Which Led to Their Discovery. - With a Short Explanation of Some of the Principal Natural Phenomena. For the Use of Schools and Families. Enlarged and Revised Edition." ***

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