By Author [ A  B  C  D  E  F  G  H  I  J  K  L  M  N  O  P  Q  R  S  T  U  V  W  X  Y  Z |  Other Symbols ]
  By Title [ A  B  C  D  E  F  G  H  I  J  K  L  M  N  O  P  Q  R  S  T  U  V  W  X  Y  Z |  Other Symbols ]
  By Language
all Classics books content using ISYS

Download this book: [ ASCII ]

Look for this book on Amazon

We have new books nearly every day.
If you would like a news letter once a week or once a month
fill out this form and we will give you a summary of the books for that week or month by email.

Title: Useful Knowledge: Vol. II. Vegetables - A familiar account of the various productions of nature
Author: Bingley, William
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.

*** Start of this LibraryBlog Digital Book "Useful Knowledge: Vol. II. Vegetables - A familiar account of the various productions of nature" ***

Transcriber's note: Text enclosed by underscores is in italics (_italics_).

       *       *       *       *       *

_Frontispiece to Vol. II._











_Illustrated with numerous Figures, and intended as a Work
both of Instruction and Reference._



















   1. Olive.
   2. Ginger plant.
   3. Black pepper.
   4. Cardamom plant.
   5. Sugar cane.
   6. Saffron.
   7. Scammony plant.
   8. Jalap plant.
   9. Coffee-tree.
  10. Peruvian bark tree.
  11. Tobacco plant.
  12. Annual capsicum.


  13. Wheat.
  14. Oats.
  15. Barley.
  16. Rye.
  17. Vernal grass.
  18. Cotton grass.
  19. Bull-rush.
  20. Meadow fox-tail grass.
  21. Cat's-tail grass.
  22. Fiorin, or Orcheston long grass.
  23. Canary grass.
  24. Purple melic grass.


  25. Meadow soft grass.
  26. Reed meadow grass.
  27. Smooth-stalked meadow grass.
  28. Annual meadow grass.
  29. Crested dog's-tail grass.
  30. Hard fescue grass.
  31. Flote fescue grass.
  32. Sheep's fescue grass.
  33. Common reed.
  34. Sea matweed.
  35. Rye, or Ray grass.
  36. Couch, or Squitch grass.



  37. Flax.
  38. Socotrine Aloe.
  39. Rice.
  40. Cinnamon-tree.
  41. Camphor-tree.
  42. Cashew Nut tree.
  43. Logwood-tree.
  44. Mahogany-tree.
  45. All-spice, or Pimento-tree.
  46. Almond-tree.
  47. Pomegranate.
  48. Caper plant.


  49. Tea-tree.
  50. Clove-tree.
  51. Tamarind-tree.
  52. Cotton plant.
  53. Cowhage plant.
  54. Chocolate-tree.
  55. Orange-tree.
  56. Lemon-tree.
  57. Bread-fruit-tree.
  58. Maize, or Indian corn.
  59. Cucumber.
  60. Indian rubber tree.


  61. Common elm.
  62. Broad-leaved elm.
  63. Alder.
  64. Beech-tree.
  65. Sweet chesnut.
  66. Horse chesnut.
  67. Hazel.
  68. Oak.
  69. Walnut-tree.
  70. Sycamore.
  71. Plane-tree.
  72. Mulberry-tree.


  73. Hornbeam.
  74. White poplar.
  75. Black poplar.
  76. Flowering ash.
  77. Lignum-vitæ tree.
  78. Quassia-tree.
  79. Ash-tree.
  80. Nutmeg-tree.
  81. Hop plant.
  82. Hemp.
  83. Fig-tree.
  84. Morell.

_Pl. 2._


_Pl. 3._


_Pl. 4._


_Pl. 5._


_Pl. 6._


_Pl. 7._

[Illustration] USEFUL KNOWLEDGE.





1. VEGETABLES or PLANTS are natural bodies endowed with organization and
life, but destitute of voluntary motion and sense; and BOTANY is that
branch of natural science which treats of their structure and functions,
the systematical arrangement and denomination of their several kinds, and
their peculiar properties and uses.

2. The principal parts of plants are the _root_; the _herb_ or plant
itself; and the _fructification_, or flower and fruit.

3.  As it is the sole object of this introduction to describe, in a concise
manner, the Linnæan arrangement of plants, for the purpose of explaining
the classification adopted in the present volume, the parts of
_fructification_ only will be mentioned. These are the calyx, corolla,
stamens, pistil, seed-vessel, seeds, and receptacle.

4. The CALYX, or flower cup, is the green part which is situated
immediately beneath the blossom. In some plants this consists of one, in
others of several leaves; and it is frequently tubular, as in the
polyanthus, and cowslip.

5. The COROLLA, or blossom, is that coloured part of every flower on which
its beauty principally depends. The leaves that compose it are denominated
_petals_. Some flowers, as the convolvolus and campanula, have only a
single petal; and others, as the rose and peony, have several petals.

6.  In the centre of the flower there are two kinds of organs on which the
fructification and re-production of the species more particularly depend.
These are the stamens, and the pistil. The STAMENS are slender,
thread-like, substances, which surround the pistil. They each consist of a
_filament_ or thread, and an _anther_ or summit: the latter contains, when
ripe, a fine dust or powder called _pollen_. This, though, to the naked
eye, it appears a fine powder, is so curiously formed, and is so various in
different plants, as to be an interesting object for the microscope. Each
grain of it is, commonly, a membranous bag, round or angular, rough or
smooth, which remains entire till it meets with any moisture; it then
bursts and discharges a most subtile vapour.

7.  The PISTIL is a prominent part, immediately in the centre of each
flower, which adheres to the fruit, and is destined for the reception of
the pollen. Some flowers have only one pistil; others have two, three,
four, &c. and others more than can be easily counted.

8. At the foot of the pistil is situated the _germen_. This, when grown to
maturity, has the name of pericarp or SEED-VESSEL, and is that part of the
fructification which contains the seeds: whether it be a _capsule_ as in
the poppy, a _nut_ as the filbert, a _drupe_ as the plum, a _berry_ as the
gooseberry, a _pome_ as the apple, a _pod_ as in the pea, or a _cone_ as of
the fir-tree.

9. That part of every vegetable, which, at a certain state of maturity, is
separated from it, and contains the rudiments of a new plant, is called the

10. The RECEPTACLE is the base which connects all the parts of
fructification together, and on which they are seated. In some plants this
is very conspicuous; and in none more so than the artichoke, of which it
forms the eatable part, called the bottom.

11. The Linnæan system of classification of plants is founded upon a
supposition that the stamens represent the _male_, and the pistils the
_female_ parts of fructification. The whole vegetable creation has been
distributed, by Linnæus, into twenty-four _classes_. These are divided into
_orders_, which are subdivided into _genera_ or tribes; and these genera
are further divided into _species_ or individuals.

12. Of the CLASSES the discriminating characters are taken from the number,
connexion, length, or situation of the stamens. In each of the first twenty
classes there are stamens and pistils in the same flower; in the
twenty-first class, the stamens and pistils are in distinct flowers on the
same plant; in the twenty-second, in distinct flowers on different plants;
in the twenty-third, in the same flower and also in distinct flowers; and
in the twenty-fourth class they are not at all discernible. Thus:

  The stamens considered according to their:

                                       {One                1. Monandria.
                CLASSES.               {Two                2. Diandria.
                                       {Three              3. Triandria.
                                       {Four               4. Tetrandria.
                                       {Five               5. Pentandria.
  {Number {Number only                 {Six                6. Hexandria.
  {       {                            {Seven              7. Heptandria.
  {       {                            {Eight              8. Octandria.
  {       {                            {Nine               9. Enneandria.
  {       {                            {Ten               10. Decandria.
  {       {                            {About twelve      11. Dodecandria.
  {       {
  {       {and their {Insertion  {On the calyx: more than
  {                  {           {  nineteen              12. Icosandria.
  {                  {           {Not on the calyx: more
  {                  {           {  than nineteen         13. Polyandria.
  {                  {
  {                  {Proportion {Four: two long andtwo
  {                  {  unequal  {  short                 14. Didynamia.
  {                              {Six: four long andtwo
  {                              {  short                 15. Tetradynamia.
  {Connexion by      {Filaments  {In one set              16. Monadelphia.
  {                  {  united   {In two sets             17. Diadelphia.
  {                  {           {In three or more sets   18. Polyadelphia.
  {                  {Anthers united                      19. Syngenesia.
  {                  {Stamens upon the pistil             20. Gynandria.
  {Separation of     {On the same plant                   21. Monoecia.
  { Pistils          {On two plants                       22. Dioecia.
  {                  {With flowers of both sexes          23. Polygamia.
  {Not being discernible                                  24. Cryptogamia.

13. The characters of the ORDERS are most commonly taken from the number of
the pistils; but sometimes from circumstances relative to the stamens,
pistils, or seed. Those of the _first thirteen classes_ are taken from the
number of pistils, thus:

  Monogynia               1 pistil.
  Digynia                 2 pistils.
  Trigynia                3 pistils.
  Tetragynia              4 pistils.
  Pentagynia              5 pistils.
  Hexagynia               6 pistils.
  Heptagynia              7 pistils.
  Octagynia               8 pistils.
  Enneagynia              9 pistils.
  Decagynia              10 pistils.
  Dodecagynia      about 12 pistils.
  Polygynia            many pistils.

The orders of the fourteenth class, _Didynamia_, are taken from the
situation of the seeds; and are

  Gymnospermia         naked seeds.
  Angiospermia         seeds in a capsule.

The orders of the fifteenth class, _Tetradynamia_, are formed from a
difference in the shape of the seed-vessel:

  Siliculosa           a broad pod.
  Siliquosa            a long pod.

In the classes _Monadelphia_, _Diadelphia_, _Polyadelphia_, and
_Gynandria_, the orders are taken from the number of stamens:

  Pentandria           5 stamens.
  Hexandria, &c.       6 stamens, &c.

In the nineteenth class, _Syngenesia_, the orders are taken from the
structure of the flower:

  Polygamia æqualis,--all the florets alike.

  Polygamia superflua,--the florets of the centre perfect or united; those
  of the margin with pistils only, but all producing perfect seeds.

  Polygamia frustranea,--the florets of the centre perfect or united; those
  of the margin, in general, without either stamens or pistils.

  Polygamia necessaria,--the florets of the centre with stamens only; those
  of the margin with pistils only.

The classes _Monoecia_ and _Dicoecia_ take their orders from the number and
other peculiarities of the stamens:

  Monandria          1 stamen.
  Diandria, &c.      2 stamens, &c.
  Polyandria         7 stamens.
  Monadelphia        stamens united into one set.
  Polyadelphia       stamens united into several sets.
  Gynandria          stamens upon the pistil.

In the class _Polygamia_ there are three orders:

  Monoecia.    Dioecia.    Trioecia.

The twenty-fourth class, _Cryptogamia_, has five orders:

  1. Ferns.
  2. Mosses.
  3. Liverworts.
  4. Flags.
  5. Mushrooms.

The Linnæan system is professedly artificial. Its sole aim (observes Sir J.
E. Smith) is to help any one to learn the name and history of an unknown
plant in the most easy and certain manner. This is done by first
determining its class and order; after which its genus is to be made out,
by comparing the parts of fructification with all the generic characters of
that order; and, finally, its species, by examining all the specific
definitions of the genus.





  14. _GINGER is the dried root of a somewhat reed-like plant_ (Amomum
  zingiber, Pl. 1. Fig. 2.) _which grows wild in several parts of Asia; and
  is much cultivated both in the East and West Indies._

  _The flowers of the ginger plant issue from stalks distinct from those
  which support the leaves, and form a kind of ear or spike, of beautiful
  colours and very fragrant smell._

The cultivation of ginger is nearly similar to that of potatoes. The land
is first well cleansed from weeds: it is then dug into trenches similar to
those which our gardeners make for celery; and the plants are set in these
trenches in March or April. They flower about September; and, in January or
February, when the stalks are withered, the roots are in a proper state to
be dug up.

These are prepared for use in two ways. When intended for what is called
_white ginger_ they are picked, scraped, separately washed, and afterwards
dried with great care, by exposure to the sun. For _black ginger_ they are
picked, cleansed, immersed in boiling water, and dried. This process is
much less laborious and expensive than the last, consequently the price of
the article is not so great. By boiling, the ginger loses a portion of its
essential oil; and its black colour is owing to this.

The uses of ginger, both in medicine, and as a spice, are numerous and well
known. In the West Indies this root is frequently eaten fresh in salads,
and with other food: and the roots when dug up young, namely, at the end of
three or four months after they have been planted, are preserved in syrup,
and exported as a sweet-meat to nearly all parts of the world. The ginger
which is brought into this country from the East Indies is much stronger
than any we have from Jamaica.

  15. _CARDAMOMS are the seeds of an East Indian plant[1]_ (_Fig. 4_),
  _which has shining reed-like stalks and spear-shaped glossy leaves. They
  are brought into Europe in their pods, which are small, oblong,
  triangular, and each divided into three cells._

  _The roots are thick, fleshy, and knotted. The stalks grow from seven to
  twelve feet high; and the flowers are of irregular shape, and, in colour,
  are green, pink, and white._

In those woody parts of India where cardamom plants spontaneously grow, the
inhabitants form plantations of them by a very simple process. They clear,
from particular spots, the greater number of the trees; and, towards the
close of the fourth rainy season afterwards, they look for the first crop
of cardamoms (raised from the scattered seeds which have lain dormant in
the ground), and they are seldom disappointed.

The cardamom harvest usually commences in October, and lasts till December.
Women or children pluck the fruit-stalks from the roots, carry them into
the houses, and there spread them upon mats to dry. The pods are then
separated from the stalks by stripping them with the fingers: they undergo
some further processes of drying; after which they are packed for
exportation, in large chests, which are well pitched at the joints and
seams, to prevent them from being injured by moisture. It is estimated that
about 15,000 pounds weight of these seeds are annually vended at the East
India Company's sales.

Cardamoms have a pleasant aromatic smell; and, when chewed, impart to the
mouth a warmth and pungency, which, to most persons, are extremely
grateful. The Indians use them, in considerable quantity, in their food;
and also mix them with betel (22), and chew them, under a belief that they
tend to facilitate digestion. They are sometimes used with us in medicine,
but more frequently for the purpose of concealing the nauseous taste of
other medicines.

  16. _TURMERIC is a thick, fleshy, and solid East Indian root, which is
  usually seen in pieces from half an inch to two inches and upwards in
  length; has a yellowish and rugged surface, and is of a shining saffron
  brown colour within._

  _The flowers of the turmeric plant_ (Curcuma longa) _are white, and form
  an ear or spike, which issues immediately from the root. The leaves are
  spear-shaped, and each eight or nine inches long._

This root, which has an aromatic smell somewhat resembling that of ginger,
is much cultivated in the East Indies, where it is in common use as a
seasoning for ragouts and other dishes. It constitutes a principal
ingredient in _curry powder_; and, under this form, is used, in great
quantities, both in India and Europe. Some years ago it had considerable
repute as a medicine for the removal of jaundice, diseases of the liver,
and other complaints: but the chief purpose for which it is now esteemed is
its imparting a rich yellow dye to silks, linen, or woollen; and for
heightening and rendering brighter the red colours dyed with cochineal and
vermilion. It is in much request by glovers, for dyeing yellow gloves. Some
of the Indian tribes use it in painting their bodies.

  17. _ARROW ROOT, in the state that we see it, is a kind of starch,
  manufactured from the root of a plant which is cultivated both in the
  East and West Indies._

  _This plant_ (Maranta arundinacea) _is about two feet high, has broad,
  pointed, and somewhat hairy leaves; small white flowers in clusters, and
  a nearly globular fruit about the size of a currant._

The arrow-root plant has its name from the Indians using its juice as a
remedy for wounds inflicted by poisoned arrows. They likewise consider it
efficacious against the stings of those venomous insects with which the
countries of nearly all hot climates abound.

The starch or powder of arrow-root is obtained by the following process.
The roots, when a year old, are dug up, washed, and beaten to a milky pulp,
in deep wooden mortars. This pulp is afterwards well washed in clean water,
and the fibrous parts, that are found amongst it, are carefully separated
and thrown away. It is next passed through a sieve, or coarse cloth, and
suffered to stand for some time to settle. The water that remains is
subsequently drawn off, and the white mass at the bottom is again washed.
After this the water is entirely cleared away, and the pulp, when dried in
the sun, is an extremely pure kind of starch; which requires only to be
reduced to powder to attain the state in which we import it.

There is no European vegetable, if we except the _salep_ or _orchis root_
(219), which yields so large a proportion of nutritive mucilage as this.
Consequently, as an article of diet for children, and persons recovering
from illness, it has of late years been found extremely valuable. Care,
however, should be taken to obtain it genuine, as the high price for which
it is sold is frequently the cause of its being adulterated. It is even
said that the article usually sold in London under the name of arrow-root,
consists chiefly of starch made from potatoes.





  18. _The OLIVE_ (Olea Europea) _is a low evergreen tree, which, in its
  general form and appearance, somewhat resembles a willow. It is
  cultivated in several parts of the continent, and has spear-shaped
  leaves, and clusters of small white flowers, that arise at the junction
  of the leaves and branches_ (_Fig. 1._)

The fruit of this tree has the name of _olives_. These are usually about
the size of a damson plum, and each contains a hard, rough stone. When
first gathered they have an acrid, bitter, and unpleasant taste; and it is
not until they have been steeped, for several days, in a ley of wood ashes,
and then pickled in salt and water, that they are in the state to be
introduced at table after dinner, in desserts. Lucca olives, being smaller
than any others, have the weakest taste. The larger ones are imported from
Spain, and are the strongest; but those most esteemed are the olives of
Provence, which are of middle size. If olives be eaten by persons of
delicate habits, especially after a solid or heavy dinner, they are
considered injurious, on account of the great quantity of oil they contain.

It is to this fruit that we are indebted for the _salad_ or _olive oil_,
which is so much in use throughout every part of Europe. The preparation of
it is as follows:--The olives, when sufficiently ripe, are carefully
picked, by hand, off the trees, and those that are bad are taken out and
thrown aside. After having been left a little while to wither, they are
first bruised, and then more completely crushed, by an upright millstone
rolling upon an horizontal plane. The paste thus formed is submitted to the
operation of the press. The finest oil flows first: when no more is found
to flow, the pulp is moistened with boiling water, and the mass is again
pressed. This done, the remaining oil is drawn from the surface of the
water, but it contains some impurities from which it cannot, without
difficulty, be cleared. What remains of the pulp is squeezed into lumps or
balls, and dried for fuel. If the olives be indiscriminately gathered and
heaped together, sound and unsound, without selection, the oil is always
bad. The wild trees yield a very small kind of fruit, which furnishes,
though in less quantity, a peculiarly excellent oil.

The olive tree has ever been considered the symbol of peace; and the
ancient poets have asserted that Minerva well merited the honour of giving
her name to the city of Athens for having planted it in Attica. As a
_wood_, this tree is in considerable request by cabinet makers, from its
being beautifully veined, and taking an excellent polish. In some parts of
Spain, ornamental boxes are made of the roots of the olive tree.

Olive oil is employed in various branches of culinary and domestic economy.
When united with soda, it is manufactured into soap. It is likewise used in
medicine; is adopted as a softening ingredient in almost all kinds of
ointments and plasters, and is supposed to be efficacious as a remedy
against the poison of the viper. Persons copiously anointed with oil are
said to have escaped the infection of the plague and yellow fever.


  19. _THE COMMON JASMINE_ (Jasminum officinale) _is a well known shrub,
  with white, salver-shaped flowers, and opposite, winged leaves, the
  leaflets somewhat pointed; and is a native of Malabar and other parts of
  the East._

As an ornamental shrub, jasmine has long been cultivated in Europe. It is
chiefly trained against walls and trellis-work, and is interesting, not
only from the elegance of its foliage, but also from the number of
beautiful white flowers with which it is adorned throughout the summer and
autumn. These exhale a sweet and penetrating odour, particularly after
rain, and in the night.

The Italians, by a very simple operation, prepare from the flowers of
jasmine a grateful perfume. They soak cotton-wool in some kind of scentless
vegetable oil, and then place, in glass vessels, alternate layers of this
and of the flowers. After having been left in this state some days, the
flowers are found to have given the whole of their fragrance to the oil in
the cotton: they are then separated, and the oil is pressed out and removed
into small glass bottles for use.

  20. _BLACK PEPPER is the dried berry of a climbing or trailing plant_
  (Piper nigrum, Fig. 3) _which grows in the East Indies, and in most of
  the islands of the Indian Sea._

  _Its stem has numerous joints, and throws out roots at every joint. The
  leaves, which are somewhat egg-shaped, and pointed, are of a brownish
  colour, and have each seven very strong nerves. The flowers are small and

In the cultivation of pepper it is customary to mark out the grounds into
regular squares of about six feet each, which is the usual distance allowed
for the plants. And, as these have not sufficient strength to support
themselves in an upright growth, they are generally placed near a thorny
kind of shrub, among the branches of which they creep like ivy. When they
have run to a considerable height, the twigs, on which the berries hang,
bend down, and the fruit appears in long slender clusters, of from twenty
to fifty grains, somewhat resembling, but much more compact than, bunches
of currants. The berries are green when young, but change to a bright red
colour when ripe. As soon as they begin to redden, they are in a fit state
to be gathered. When gathered, they are spread upon mats in the sun, where
they are suffered to remain till they become dry, black, and shrivelled, as
we see them. In this state they have the denomination of _black pepper_.

_White pepper_ is nothing more than the best and soundest of the berries,
gathered when they are fully ripe, and stripped of their external coat or
skin. To effect this they are steeped, for about a week, in salt water, by
the end of which time the skins burst. They are then dried in the sun,
rubbed between the hands, and winnowed. Thus cleared from their skins they
are rendered smaller and more smooth than black pepper.

As the acridity of pepper lies principally in the skin, this kind becomes,
of course, much less pungent than the other; but it has one recommendation,
that it can be made only of the best and soundest grains, taken at their
most perfect state of maturity.

Pepper is an article of considerable traffic betwixt this country and the
East Indies. That which is imported from Malabar is considered better than
any other. The quantity of pepper vended at the East India Company's sales
has, in some years, exceeded six millions of pounds' weight, of which seven
or eight hundred thousand pounds have been retained for home consumption.

Both black and white pepper are in daily use, not only as a spice, but also
in cookery. When coarsely ground, pepper is eaten with peas, cabbages,
cucumbers, and other flatulent and cold vegetables; and occasionally also
with fish. It is sometimes employed in medicine as a stimulant.

A singular imposition respecting pepper is occasionally practised in retail
shops in London: artificial pepper-corns, both black and white, are mixed
and sold with real pepper. The detection of this fraudulent mixture,
however, is easy. If a handful of the suspected pepper be thrown into
water, the artificial corns will fall to powder, or be partially dissolved,
while the true pepper-corns will remain whole. The fraudulent grains are
said to be made of peas-meal.

  21. _LONG PEPPER is the fruit of a slender climbing shrub_ (Piper longum)
  _which grows in the East Indies._

  _It is of cylindrical shape, about an inch and half in length, and a
  quarter of an inch in thickness; and is formed by the union of a great
  number of small rounded grains. The shrub that produces it has dark green
  and heart-shaped leaves, each with seven strong nerves._

A considerable quantity of long pepper is annually imported in this country
from Bengal and other parts of the East, for use, both in domestic economy
and in medicine.

The inhabitants of India drink water in which long pepper has been infused,
and esteem it a valuable remedy for some disorders of the stomach. They
also distil an ardent spirit from it; and they pickle this fruit in
vinegar, for use at table.

The fruit that is collected for exportation is gathered before it is quite

  22. _BETEL is the leaf of a climbing East Indian plant_ (Piper betel)
  _which belongs to the same tribe as pepper; and, in shape and appearance,
  is not much unlike that of ivy, but is more tender, and full of juice._

There is an almost incredible consumption of betel over the whole continent
of India. The inhabitants chew it almost incessantly, and in such quantity
that their lips become quite red, and their teeth black, a colour greatly
preferred by them to the whiteness which Europeans so much affect. They
carry it, in little white boxes, about their persons, and present it to
each other, by way of compliment and civility, in the same manner as the
Europeans do snuff. This is done by women as well as by men: and it would
be considered an offence if those to whom it was offered should refuse to
accept of, and chew it. The leaves are sometimes used alone, but much more
commonly covered with a kind of lime made of sea shells, and wrapped round
slices of the areca nut (245).





  23. _SAFFRON is the orange-coloured pistil, or centre part, of a purple
  species of crocus_ (Crocus sativus) _which flowers in the autumn, and is
  chiefly distinguished by having the three extremities of the pistil so
  long as to hang out of the flower_ (Fig. 6.)

In Cambridgeshire there is a town called Saffron Walden, that has its name
from the quantity of saffron which is annually produced in its

The roots of the saffron crocuses are planted at the distance of about five
inches from each other, and two inches deep in the ground. As soon as the
flowers appear, they are gathered by hand every morning, just before they
open; and, as they continue to open in succession for several weeks, the
saffron harvest of course continues so long. When the flowers are gathered,
they are spread on a table: the upper part of the pistil only is picked
out, and the rest of the flower is thrown away. As soon as a sufficient
quantity of the pistils have been collected, they are dried in a kind of
portable kiln; over this a hair cloth is stretched, and upon it a few
sheets of white paper. The saffron is scattered upon these to the thickness
of two or three inches, and is then covered with several sheets of paper,
over which is laid a coarse blanket five or six times doubled, or a canvas
bag filled with straw. As soon as the fire has heated the kiln, a board, on
which a weight is put, is placed upon the blanket to press the saffron into
a cake. By the end of the first hour, a strong fire being employed, the
cake is formed. This is then turned, and, for another hour, is subjected to
an equal degree of heat. It is then turned a second time, and a more gentle
heat is employed, till the cake becomes dry, during which time it is turned
every half hour.

A field of saffron will continue in perfection for three or four years,
yielding progressively, during this period, more numerous and larger
flowers, as well as an increase of the bulbous roots; after which the
offsets may be advantageously transplanted to other situations.

The saffron which is grown in England is considered superior to any that is
imported from other countries. The best saffron may be known by the breadth
of the blades. It ought not to be of too deep a red or orange colour, and
should be fresh and tough, and have a strong but pleasant aromatic odour.
Saffron should not be kept more than twelve months.

Saffron was much used by the ancients as a perfume, but, in this respect,
their taste was very different from ours. Not only were the halls,
theatres, and courts, through which they wished to diffuse an agreeable
smell, strewed with this substance, but it was used by them for a scent, in
vinous extracts. From saffron, with the addition of wax, the Greeks, as
well as the Romans, prepared scented salves. In our own country it was
formerly much used in medicine; having been esteemed an excellent remedy in
hysterical and other complaints. When taken in small doses, it tends to
exhilarate the spirits; but it ought to be used with great moderation. It
is sometimes used by bakers, to colour and flavour different kinds of cakes
and biscuits. With water or spirits it gives out a beautiful yellow colour;
but this is not useful as a dye, as, on exposure to the air, it soon fades;
and no means have hitherto been discovered by which it can be fixed and
rendered permanent.

  24. _ORRIS ROOT is the root of a white flowered kind of iris, called_
  Florentine Iris (Iris Florentina), _which is a native of Italy, and is
  distinguished by having two flowers on each stalk, the petals bearded,
  and the leaves sword-shaped._

In a dried state this root is well known on account of its grateful odour,
which somewhat approaches that of the violet. It is consequently much used
in the manufacture of hair-powder, and other articles for which an
agreeable scent is required. It is sometimes employed in medicine as a
pectoral or expectorant, and sometimes in dropsies. In a recent state the
root is extremely acrid; and, when chewed, it excites in the mouth a
pungent taste, which continues for several hours; but this acrimony is
almost wholly dissipated by drying.

Orris-root is chiefly imported from Leghorn.

  25. _The YELLOW WATER-FLAG, or COMMON IRIS_ (Iris pseudacorus) _is a very
  conspicuous plant in most of our marshes. It has sword-shaped leaves,
  and, about the middle of July, bears large and beautiful yellow flowers._

The roots of this plant possess qualities which render them capable of
being applied to many useful purposes. Their astringency is such that it is
supposed they might be employed with great advantage in the tanning of
leather. In the island of Jura, one of the Hebrides, they are used for
dyeing a black colour; and the inhabitants of some parts of Scotland adopt
them instead of galls in the making of ink. For this purpose they are cut
into thin slices, and boiled, or infused in water, till the liquid is
deeply tinged with blue. This is poured clear off, and the blade of a
knife, or some other piece of iron, is put into it, and rubbed hard with a
rough white pebble, by which process, after a little while, the liquor
becomes perfectly black.

A slice of the fresh root, if held between the teeth, will, it is said,
almost instantly remove the sensibility, and thus alleviate the pain, of
tooth-ache. The leaves of this plant are considered poisonous to all cattle
except sheep.

  26. _The PAPYRUS is a sedge-like plant_ (Cyperus papyrus), _which grows
  in watery places in Egypt, Syria, Sicily, and Madagascar._

  _It has a three-sided stem, many feet in height, which is terminated by a
  bushy head, consisting of a large and compound clustre of flowers._

From this plant the ancients made their paper; and the process of
manufacturing it is described by Pliny, the Roman naturalist, to have been
very simple. The inner rind of the stem was merely cut into strips, and
laid in parallel and transverse rows; and these, on being heavily pressed
with weights, adhered together. The substance thus formed, though of rude
texture, was capable of being written upon; and there are many manuscripts
still extant on paper of this description. The ancients also sometimes
employed the sword-shaped leaves of this plant for writing upon. With the
former a kind of ink was used; but on the latter the letters were formed by
a metallic, pointed instrument, called by the Romans a stylus.

But the papyrus plant was not merely useful for writing upon. The
inhabitants of the countries where it is found manufacture it, even to this
day, into sail-cloth, mattresses, ropes, and sometimes even into wearing
apparel. When the stems are compactly woven together, and plastered,
externally, with a kind of resinous substance, so as to prevent the
admission of water, they are made into boats. These, though they resemble
great baskets in appearance, are of considerable use to the inhabitants.
The "ark of bulrushes daubed with slime and pitch," in which the infant
Moses was placed, is supposed, by the best commentators, to have been a
boat made of this plant.

The floral _thyrsus_ which was used to adorn the temples and statues of the
gods, was a representation of the tuft of the papyrus.


  27. _SUGAR is the concrete or crystallized juice of the_ sugar cane
  (Saccharum officinarum, Fig. 5), _a plant, much cultivated both in the
  East and West Indies, which has a jointed stem eight or nine feet high,
  long and flat leaves of greenish yellow colour, and flowers in bunches._

The cultivation of the sugar-cane is pursued to great extent in the islands
of the West Indies, where, about three centuries ago, it was first
introduced from China, or some other parts of the East, and where it
flourishes with great luxuriance, particularly in moist and rich ground.

The season for planting it commences about the beginning of August. This
operation is performed by laying the canes in rows, in trenches formed for
the purpose. Roots issue from each joint; and, in the course of nine or ten
months, the stems which rise from these respective roots, and constitute
the sugar crop, attain their perfect state. The saccharine juice is
contained in a spongy pith with which the interior of the plant is filled.

When cut down, the leaves are thrown aside as of no use in the manufacture
of sugar, and the stems or canes are divided into pieces, each about a yard
in length. These are tied together in bundles, and conveyed to the
sugar-mill; where they are bruised betwixt three upright wooden rollers
covered with iron. The juice, which flows from them, is conducted, by
canals, into a large vessel formed for receiving it. The quantity of juice
prepared by some of these mills is upwards of ten thousand gallons in a

The next operation is called clarifying. For this purpose the juice is
conducted, along a wooden gutter lined with lead, to a place called the
boiling house, where it is received into copper pans, or caldrons, each
placed over a separate fire. A certain proportion of powdered lime is now
added to it, for the purpose of taking up any acid which the juice may
happen to contain. The heat is then increased until the liquor is nearly in
a boiling state. By this process the greatest part of the impurities that
were contained in the juice rise to the surface in a scum. The purified
liquor is then carefully drawn off, either by a syphon or a cock, leaving
the scum at the bottom of the pan.

From these pans it is conveyed, by another gutter, or channel, to the grand
copper, or evaporating boiler, where the scum, which rises to the surface,
is skimmed off as the liquor boils. After undergoing a similar process in
smaller boilers, with a farther mixture of lime, until it has attained a
certain degree of thickness, it is transferred into a large shallow wooden
vessel, where, as it cools, it granulates or runs into an imperfect
crystallization, by which it is in some degree separated from the
_molasses_ or _treacle_, an impure part of the juice, which is incapable of
being crystallized, and which, in large casks, is exported, for various
useful purposes, to the different countries of Europe.

From the cooler the sugar is removed to the curing-house. This is a large,
airy building, furnished with a capacious cistern, for the reception of the
molasses. Over the cistern is an open frame of strong joist-work; upon
which are placed several empty hogsheads, each open at the head, and having
a few holes at the bottom, closed by stalks of the plantain tree thrust
through them. The mass of saccharine matter is now put into these
hogsheads; the molasses are separated from the sugar, by draining, into the
cistern, through the spongy stalks of the plantain; and the remainder, thus
entirely crystallized, has the name of _muscovado_ or _raw sugar_.

The article denominated _clayed sugar_ undergoes a process somewhat
different. For the preparation of this, the sugar, when taken from the
coolers, is put into conical vessels of earthen-ware, each having, at its
bottom, a hole, about half an inch in diameter, which, at the commencement
of the process, is stopped with a plug. This plug, after the sugar has
become perfectly cool, is removed, and the molasses drain through the hole.
When these have ceased to run, the surface of the sugar, in the vessel, is
covered with fine clay, to a certain thickness, and water is poured upon
the clay. This, oozing through it, pervades the whole mass of sugar,
re-dissolves the molasses still remaining in it, with some parts of the
sugar itself, carries these off through the hole at the bottom, and renders
the sugar, that is left, much purer than that which is made the other way.

The further refining of sugar, or forming it into the white conical loaves
which are so much used in this country, is the business of the European
sugar-bakers. This is done by dissolving the raw sugar in water, boiling
the solution in lime water; and then clarifying it with bullock's blood, or
the white of eggs, and straining it through woollen bags. After due
evaporation it is suffered to cool to a certain degree. It is then poured
into conical moulds of unglazed earthen-ware, the summits of which are
perforated. Here it concretes into a hard white mass, leaving that part of
the syrup, which will not crystallize, to run off through the hole in the
point of the cone. The broad end of the cone is then covered with moist
clay, the water from which penetrates into the sugar, and displaces and
carries off the impurities which, otherwise, would be retained in and
discolour it. It is then carefully dried, and receives the name of _loaf_,
or _lump sugar_.

_Sugar-candy_ is formed by boiling down a solution of sugar till it becomes
thick; and then removing it into a very hot room, to crystallize upon
sticks or strings, placed across small tubs, or other vessels. It is
denominated brown or white sugar-candy, according to the quality of the
sugar of which it is made.

_Barley sugar_ is sugar boiled in barley water, but now more frequently in
common water, till it is brittle. It is then rolled on a stone anointed
with oil of sweet almonds, and formed into twisted sticks. To give it a
colour, a small quantity of saffron is sometimes mixed with it.

When sugar was first introduced into this country, it was employed only as
a medicine; but it has now become an essential article both of luxury and
use. It is the basis of syrups; and is used in cooking, and in confections,
preserves, sweetmeats, and liqueurs of every description. Sugar is also
sometimes employed in medicine.

The juice of the sugar-cane is so palatable, and at the same time so
nutritive, that, during the sugar harvest, every creature which partakes
freely of it, whether man or animal, appears to derive health and vigour
from its use. The meagre and sickly negroes exhibit, at this season, a
surprising alteration; they now become fat and healthy. The labouring
horses, oxen, and mules, being allowed, almost without restraint, to eat of
the refuse plants, and of the scummings from the boiling-house, improve now
infinitely more than they do at any other season of the year.

_Rum_ is a spirituous liquor distilled from molasses, scummings of the hot
cane juice from the boiling house, or raw cane liquor from canes expressed
for that purpose, lees (or, as it is called in Jamaica, _dunder_), and
water. The dunder answers the purpose of yeast for the fermentation.

Sugar-canes, as large and juicy as those of the West Indies, are cultivated
in several parts of Spain, but particularly in the country betwixt Malaga
and Gibraltar. They were originally introduced, by the Moors, several
centuries ago; and the sugar made from them is of excellent quality. There
are sugar mills, in more than twelve different places, on the coast of
Grenada, all of which are fully employed: in one village there are four,
which cost at least 5,000_l._ sterling each.

  28. _OATS are the seeds or grain of an annual plant_ (Avena sativa, Fig.
  14), _too well known, and too much cultivated throughout every part of
  Europe, to need any description._

  _The country from which they were originally imported is not known._

The principal use of oats in this country is for the feeding of horses. In
the northern parts of England, and in Scotland, they are applied also to
the nutriment of man. When simply freed from their husks they are called
_groats_ or _grits_; and, in this state, are much used in broths, and other
kinds of nutriment for sick and infirm persons. More frequently, however,
they are ground into _oatmeal_, which is made into cakes, biscuits, &c. The
husks, infused in water, and allowed to remain till the water becomes
somewhat acid, are boiled to a jelly called _sowins_. A grateful and
nutritive kind of jelly, which has the name of _flummery_, is also made of
oatmeal, boiled with water, and flavoured with a little orange-flower
water, and sugar.

Oats will thrive in almost any soil, but they are chiefly productive on
land that has been newly broken up. They are usually sown in February or
March, and the harvest commences about August. Several kinds or varieties
are cultivated in different parts of England, such as _white oats_, _black
oats_, _brown_ or _red oats_, _Tartarian_ or _reed oats_, _Friezeland
oats_, _Poland oats_, and some others, but, of these, the first are
considered the most valuable.

  29. _WHEAT is a well known kind of corn_ (Triticum hybernum, Fig. 13)
  _which is cultivated in most of the civilized countries of the world, and
  is supposed to have been originally introduced into Europe, from some
  part of Asia._

No grain is so valuable to the inhabitants of nearly all climates as this;
and, by a wonderful ordination of Providence, it is rendered capable of
sustaining, without injury, almost the two extremes of heat and cold. Not
only does it ripen in Egypt and Barbary, but it ripens equally well in
Scotland, Denmark, and Sweden.

It constitutes the chief food of the British nation; and its abundance or
scarcity regulates, in a great degree, the welfare and prosperity of the
inhabitants. The whole annual consumption of grain, in this island, amounts
to nearly 25,000,000 quarters; and in London alone, to more than 1,162,100
quarters. Of this by far the greatest proportion is wheat.

For the cultivation of this important grain the best lands are rich clays
and heavy loam; and, although light soils will produce wheat of excellent
quality, yet the crops on the other soils are by far the most abundant. The
best season for committing the seed to the ground is September, and the
earlier in the month the better. Some farmers consider it necessary to
steep the seed in brine or other pickle before it is used, to prevent it
from being devoured by vermin, and render the corn less liable to disease
than it would be without this process. In a good season the wheat harvest
commences in August, and is finished in the course of the ensuing month.
This species of corn is usually cut with instruments called reaping-hooks,
but in some parts it is mown with scythes.

The different kinds or varieties of wheat that are cultivated in this
country are too numerous to be particularized.

Wheat is liable to injury, not only from the attack of insects, but from
several kinds of disease, the principal of which are _blight_, _mildew_,
and _smut_. In the former the fibres and leaves of the plants are
contracted and enfeebled, and the grain is ultimately deprived of
sufficient nourishment: by mildew the straw and ear are affected: and by
smut the grains, instead of containing their proper substance, become
filled with a black or dark brown powder.

_Wheat flour_ consists of four distinct principles, gluten, starch,
albumen, and a sweet kind of mucilage. And it is a remarkable circumstance,
that the _gluten_, if not similar, has a very near alliance to animal

To enumerate the various ways in which preparations from wheat serve for
nutriment would be unnecessary, as they are known to every one.

_Starch_ is a substance frequently prepared from wheat, and is obtained by
the following process. The wheat is put into tubs of water, and exposed,
for some days, to the heat of the sun, in order to bring on a proper degree
of fermentation, the water being changed twice a day. Having now become
sufficiently soft, it is poured into large canvass bags, which are worked
or beaten, on a board over an empty vessel, to extract the farinaceous
particles. Fresh water is put to it, and after being considerably agitated,
it is allowed to subside. As the sediment increases, the water is gradually
drained off, and, at length, the starch is formed into small pieces, and
dried for use.

During the late war, when the intercourse betwixt France and the West
Indian islands was entirely cut off, several attempts were made in that
country to obtain _sugar_ from starch. The process was a long and intricate
one; and the success with which it was attended was not such as to render
it either practically or permanently useful.

_Bran_ is the husk of wheat, separated in grinding. Infusions of bran are,
not unfrequently, employed both externally and internally in medicine. They
are also sometimes used to cleanse the hands instead of soap. And, in times
of scarcity, bran has been advantageously employed in the making of
household bread.

_Wheat straw_, when chopped or cut small, forms a wholesome provender for
horses and oxen, especially when mixed with green food. It is also used as
litter for horses, and is employed as thatch for cottages, houses, and
barns. When cut into certain lengths, bleached by means of sulphur, and
split, it is plaited, and formed into hats and bonnets.

A nutritive substance called _Semolina_ is formed from wheat flour,
granulated by a particular process. A patent was granted in the year 1780
to Mr. Jacob Levy, for a method of making it. Previously to this, semolina
had been imported from Poland, under the name of _Cracow groats_. It
constitutes a light and wholesome food for invalids, being considered, in
this respect, preferable to sago; it may also be made into excellent

_Macaroni_ is a preparation from the finest wheat flour, mixed with eggs,
or other glutinous substance. It is chiefly imported from Italy, Sicily,
and Germany. Its name implies _cut paste_, and it is eaten in various ways;
on the continent with milk, and with us in soups and puddings, or served up
in a dish with grated cheese, milk, and other ingredients.

_Vermicelli_ is made by a mixture of flour, cheese, the yolks of eggs,
sugar and saffron. This, being reduced to a proper consistency, is formed
into long slender pieces or threads, like worms, by being forced, with a
piston, through a number of little holes, in the end of a pipe made for the
purpose. Vermicelli was first brought from Italy, and it is chiefly used in
soups and other culinary preparations.

  30. _BARLEY is a well known kind of corn_ (Hordeum distichon, Fig. 15.)
  _which grows wild in the island of Sicily, and some other parts of the
  south of Europe._

Next to wheat, this is, in Europe, the most valuable of all the species of
grain, especially for growth on light and sharp soils. The seed-time for
barley usually commences about the end of March or the beginning of April,
and sometimes lasts until the first week in June; and, for the produce,
four quarters per acre are considered a fair average crop, and eight
quarters a very extraordinary one.

Few instances of fecundity in corn are more remarkable than what has been
related of two grains of SIX-ROWED BARLEY (_Hordeum hexastichon_) which
were planted in a garden: they produced 113 stalks, nearly all of which
yielded ears; and these contained, in the whole, more than 2,500 grains.

The principal use to which barley is applied in this country is for the
making of _malt_, from which beer and ale are brewed. For this purpose it
is first steeped in water for three or four days. It is then taken out, and
suffered to lie, until it begins to sprout or germinate. As soon as the
germination has approached a certain state its further progress is
prevented by drying the barley in a kiln, heated with coke, charcoal, or
straw. The grain has now become mellow and sweet; and, after having been
crushed in a kind of mill contrived for the purpose, its saccharine
qualities are easily extracted by the boiling water, in brewing. The liquor
that is thus produced has the name of _wort_; and this, after having
undergone the process of fermentation, and having received a bitter flavour
by a mixture of hops, becomes ale or beer. Hence has originated the general
appellation of _malt liquor_. What remains of the malt after brewing is
called _grains_. These, in London, are employed for the feeding of horses,
cows, and swine.

Besides the use of barley in brewing, there is in some countries,
especially in Scotland and Germany, a great consumption of this grain, for
broths, soups, and other food. For this purpose it is freed from its husks
and formed into round granules, about the size of small shot, and of a
pearly whiteness, which thence have the name of _pearl-barley_. All except
the heart or best part of the grain is thus taken away. The barley, in this
state, when boiled, forms a nutritive food; and a decoction of it, properly
flavoured with acid, is said to be one of the best beverages that can be
adopted in acute diseases. The making of pearl barley is a German
invention. In Scotland the lower classes make it by means of hand-mills;
and many persons are satisfied with merely ridding the grain of its husks
by stamping it in mortars.

_Barley-meal_ is occasionally made into bread by the poor; and it is
likewise used for the fattening of poultry and swine. From _barley-straw_ a
yellowish coloured paper has been manufactured; the making of which was,
some years ago, attempted in this country upon a large scale, but without

  31. _RYE_ (Secale cereale, Fig. 16.) _is a kind of grain supposed to have
  been first introduced into the northern parts of Europe from the island
  of Crete._

As bread corn, sometimes alone, but more commonly mixed with wheat, rye was
formerly in great request, particularly in the northern counties of
England. This mixture, which is denominated _blend-corn_, or _maslin_, is
at present partially used, in certain districts, not only from motives of
economy, but also because the rye is supposed to render the bread more
moist and palatable than it would otherwise be. In some part of the
country, rye is much used by ginger-bread bakers, for the dark colour of
its flour is not perceptible, when mixed with treacle. This species of
grain is frequently used for the distillation of spirits.

It has been remarked, in some districts of France, that rye, from bad
seasons, or from other causes, has proved noxious and even poisonous. The
grains of the corn, thus degenerated, are black on the outside and
tolerably white within; and, when dry, are harder and closer than good
grain. Bread that is made of rye which contains even a great quantity of
this bad corn, is not distinguishable by the taste, from other rye bread;
and it seldom produces its ill effects till some time after it has been
eaten, it is then said to occasion gangrenes in the legs and other parts of
the body, and dangerous fevers. The poorer people, however, are those
chiefly who are subject to these diseases, as many of them have little
other substantial food to subsist upon than bread made of this species of

In several parts of England rye is sown either by itself, or mixed with
tares to be cut whilst green, for the feeding of sheep, cows, and horses.
Rye straw is used by brick-makers, and collar-manufacturers; and is
considered an excellent material for the thatching of cottages and barns.

  32. GRASSES.--_By grasses we are to understand such plants as have a
  round, jointed, and hollow stem, surrounded at each joint with a single
  leaf, long, narrow, and pointed; and the flowers of which are a kind of
  chaffy husk. According to this definition, wheat, barley, oats, and rye,
  properly belong to the grasses, although they are known by the peculiar
  appellation of corn or grain._[2]

To the grasses it is that the face of nature is indebted for a great
portion of its cheerful appearance, and its beauty. They constitute the
general herbage of every country, covering to an immense extent the whole
surface of the ground. They are very various in their kinds, the British
species alone being nearly a hundred and twenty in number. To many species
of animals their leaves afford an indispensable article of sustenance; and
their seed supply food to birds.

33. _SWEET-SCENTED VERNAL GRASS_ (_Anthoxanthum odoratum_, Fig.
17).[3]--This species is usually considered (though it perhaps ought not
exclusively to be so) as that to which the hay fields are indebted for
their well-known and delightful fragrance. When partially dried it is very
odorous; and, if chewed, in a recent state, its _stalks_ are highly
aromatic, tasting not unlike those of fresh lavender. The _root_ has an
odour somewhat resembling that of musk. A distilled water, which serves as
a vehicle for some perfumes, is occasionally prepared from the leaves and
flowers of the vernal grass. The dried flowers are employed in some parts
of the Continent for imparting an agreeable flavour to snuff and tobacco.

The vernal grass is not very productive, and by some farmers it is
considered not palatable for cattle. Others, however, esteem it an useful
addition in their meadows; and, from its being generally found in great
abundance on such pastures as sheep are fond of, and afford excellent
mutton, it is at least thought to be a good grass for them.

34. _COTTON GRASS_ (_Eriophorum angustifolium_, Fig. 18).--The seeds of
this grass are encompassed with long cottony or wool-like hairs; and so
abundant are the plants in many tracts of marshy land, particularly in the
northern parts of England, that the ground appears almost as if covered
with snow.

Poor people sometimes stuff their pillows with the down of the cotton
grass; but there is a prevailing opinion that it is not wholesome to sleep
on. This down is probably too brittle to be manufactured by itself into
thread, yet, in combination either with wool or cotton, it may be spun into
a strong and uniform yarn, from which gloves, stockings, and cloth, in
small quantity, have been made. Its brittleness has been much corrected by
a simple chemical process. Wicks for candles have sometimes been made of

35. _BULL-RUSH_ (_Scirpus lacustris_, Fig. 19).--Of the stems of this plant
the rush bottoms of chairs are made. Being of soft and pliant texture,
totally destitute of roughness, the bull-rush is also sometimes used for
the stuffing of pack saddles, making of mats, and thatching of cottages.

36. _MEADOW FOX-TAIL GRASS_ (_Alopecurus pratensis_, Fig. 20) is a very
common but valuable kind, which grows freely in moist and fertile pastures
and meadows. It possesses, in a superior degree to any other grass, the
three great requisites of quantity, quality, and early growth. The best hay
which is brought to London is said to be from meadows where this grass
abounds; and, in many parts adjacent to the metropolis, it is extremely

37. _TIMOTHY GRASS, or MEADOW CATS-TAIL_ (_Phleum pratense_, Fig. 21), is a
grass much cultivated in several parts of North America, and particularly
in wet, loamy grounds, where, though coarse and hard, it is found extremely
productive and useful. Such has been the celebrity of Timothy grass, that a
gentleman (William Strickland, Esq.) was requested by the Board of
Agriculture to make inquiries concerning it; and, from his remarks, it
appears that this grass is the chief support of cattle wherever the meadows
of it abound. He saw extraordinary crops of Timothy grass growing, as
thickly as it could stand upon the ground, three or four feet high, and, in
some instances, as coarse as wheat straw. It is cut before it arrives at
maturity; and horses are said to prefer the hay that is made of it to every
other kind, and to thrive peculiarly well upon it.

Though a native and very common grass in our own country, it is doubtful
whether our climate be sufficiently warm to bring it to the same perfection
in which it is found in America. It has, however, been cultivated in
England with considerable success; and, when used for green food, for which
it is particularly calculated, it may be cut two or three times in one
season; but, when intended for hay, it should be cut at least a week before
it flowers.

38. _FIORIN, or ORCHESTON LONG GRASS_ (_Agrostis stolonifera_, Fig. 22), is
known as a troublesome weed in moist meadows and pastures, and also in cold
and stiff arable land, by name of _Black Squitch_ or _Bent-grass_. It grows
with such luxuriance, lying upon the ground, and taking root at the
different joints, that the stems are sometimes several feet in length; and,
when cultivated as a crop, it has been known to produce, at two cuttings,
betwixt seven and eight tons per acre. This grass was first brought into
notice as a grass for hay, by a small tract of meadow ground, in which it
was cultivated several years ago, at a village called Orcheston, in
Wiltshire. Horses, sheep, and cattle are said to be extremely partial to
it, and to prefer the hay which is made from it to any other. To be in
perfection, it requires a moist climate, or a wet soil; and it will grow on
cold clays, that are unfitted for other grasses.

In Ireland it is called fiorin grass, and, under this appellation, it was
first introduced to the public notice in that country, in the year 1810, by
the Rev. Dr. Richardson, of Clonfecle, in the county of Antrim.

39. _The MEADOW SOFT GRASS, or YORKSHIRE WHITE GRASS_ (_Holcus lanatus_,
Fig. 25), though it vegetates late in the season, produces an abundant
crop, and flourishes well in any moist situation. Both its foliage and
flowers are soft and woolly. It is chiefly calculated for the feeding of
sheep, and has answered extremely well, when close fed. The hay that is
made from it is said to be very injurious to horses, and it is not much
relished by cattle.

40. _CANARY GRASS_ (_Phalaris Canariensis_, Fig. 23).--This grass grows
wild in Worcestershire, and some other parts of England. It is, however,
often cultivated for the sake of its seeds, which are extensively used as
food for small birds.

41. _PURPLE MELIC GRASS_ (_Melica cærulea_, Fig. 24) is found in great
luxuriance on the turf moors, near Glastonbury, in Somersetshire. The
people of that neighbourhood make of its stalks a neat kind of besoms,
which are used as a cheap and tolerably good substitute for hair brooms.
This grass occurs in the most barren, sandy, and boggy situations; but,
more especially, about pools upon mountainous heaths.

42. _REED MEADOW GRASS_ (_Poa aquatica_, Fig. 26) is one of the most useful
of the British grasses, particularly if grown in wet meadows, or upon the
banks of rivers or brooks. In the fenny lands of Cambridgeshire and
Lincolnshire it not only affords a rich pasturage for cattle in summer, but
forms also the chief part of their winter sustenance. In situations
favourable to its growth it sometimes attains the height of five or six
feet, When cut for hay, it is first dried, then bound up into sheaves, and
formed into ricks, in which it undergoes a slight fermentation that much
improves it. Cows and sheep are both partial to this grass. As hay, it is a
valuable food for cattle, and particularly for milch cows.

43. _SMOOTH-STALKED MEADOW GRASS_ (_Poa pratensis_, Fig. 27) is a favourite
grass for cattle; and flourishes even on the driest soils, growing wild in
meadows, on dry banks, and even on walls. In rich meadows of Somersetshire
it forms a considerable part of the herbage; and, in those that have been
flooded during the winter, it flourishes with such luxuriance as nearly to
exclude every other grass. Notwithstanding this, it possesses the valuable
property of resisting excessive drought, and is frequently green in high
gravelly pastures, after almost every other grass has been withered. It
flowers early, and makes an extremely valuable hay.

44. _ANNUAL MEADOW GRASS_ (_Poa annua_, Fig. 28).--No grass is more common
than this, and none makes a finer turf. It occurs in almost every
situation, by the sides of roads, on open and extensive commons; and in
many parts of England there are whole meadows of it, without any mixture of
other grasses. In those districts of Suffolk which produce the best butter,
the annual meadow grass is found in great abundance.

It is a remarkable circumstance respecting this grass, that it does not
suffer injury, but that, on the contrary, it is improved by persons
frequently walking over it. Mr. Stillingfleet states that, on the hill near
Malvern, in Worcestershire, a walk which had been made for the convenience
of the water drinkers, was, in less than a year, nearly covered with it,
though no plant of it could be found about any part of the hill. This was
attributed, in a great measure, to the constant treading upon it, by
persons passing to and from the well.

45. _CRESTED DOG'S-TAIL GRASS_ (_Cynosurus cristatus_, Fig. 29) is
extremely common in meadows and pastures, and constitutes a principal part
of the turf, on high gravelly or chalky soils, in parks, lawns, and sheep
walks: and, from the close and thick turf which it makes, it affords good
nourishment to cattle and deer. Parks that are famous for excellent venison
contain a great proportion of this grass. In the summer time its seeds
afford sustenance to pigeons and small birds.

46. _SHEEP'S FESCUE GRASS_ (_Festuca ovina_, Fig. 32) has great celebrity
as food for horses and cattle, and, in particular, for sheep, which are
said to prefer it to all other grasses, and to become fat upon it sooner
than upon any other. Though of short growth, its leaves are numerous and
succulent. The Tartars are said generally to fix their habitations, during
the summer, in places where there is the greatest plenty of this grass,
from its yielding an abundant supply of excellent food for their cattle.
And it has been remarked that the sepulchral monuments of the ancient
Tartars are chiefly observed in situations where Sheep's Fescue Grass
abounds; this has been considered a test of the great value which that
people set upon it.

47. _HARD FESCUE GRASS_ (_Festuca duruscula_, Fig. 30) is common in
pastures, meadows, and waste grounds. It springs early, affords excellent
food for all kinds of cattle; and, in good ground, yields a plentiful crop.

48. _FLOTE FESCUE GRASS_ (_Festuca fluitans_, Fig. 31).--This plant, which
grows almost exclusively in wet ditches, and in ponds, is so favourite a
food of horses and swine, that they will sometimes even endanger their
lives to obtain it. A farmer, who resided some years ago at Ruscomb, in
Berkshire, assured Mr. Stillingfleet that he had known a field of four
acres (which was nearly always covered with water) afford sufficient
nutriment to maintain five farm horses, in good condition, from April to
the end of harvest, without any other food; and that it yielded even more
than they could eat. The Cottenham and Chedder cheeses are said, in a great
measure, to derive their celebrity from the cows feeding on this grass.

Its seeds are small, and are remarkable for their sweet flavour and
nutritious qualities. They are annually collected in Poland, and are
exported thence, into Germany, and other parts of the continent, under the
name of _manna seeds_. These are used in soups, gruel, and puddings, even
by persons of the first rank and consequence. When ground into flour, they
are convertible into bread, which is little inferior to that made of wheat.
The bran of these seeds is stated by Linnæus to be useful as a medicine for
horses that are troubled with worms. Geese are fond of the seeds, and well
know where to find them. It is remarkable that these seeds have hitherto
been entirely neglected in England; though without difficulty they might be
obtained in sufficient quantity to prove beneficial.

49. _The COMMON REED_ (_Arundo phragmites_, Fig. 33) grows in ditches,
ponds, and by the sides of rivers, attaining the height of six or seven
feet, and flowering about the month of July.

Reeds are frequently made into screens or fences for gardens, and they are
considered particularly eligible for sheltering tender plants from injury
by cold, or blighting winds. They likewise make excellent _weavers' combs_;
and, when nailed across a frame of wood-work, are frequently employed as a
foundation for plaster floors. They are sometimes made into chair bottoms;
and into thatch for cottages and out-buildings.

From the flowers of the reed the country people of Sweden extract a green
dye, which they occasionally use for woollen cloth; and we are informed
that, from the dried roots, a flour may be made, which is capable of being
converted into a wholesome and nutritive bread.

50. _SEA MATWEED_ (_Arundo arenaria_, Fig. 34) is an useful and common
plant on most of our sandy sea shores. Its cultivation has, at various
times, been much encouraged, and even acts of parliament have been passed
for its preservation, in consequence of its spreading roots giving
stability to the loose, blowing sand, and thus raising a bulwark against
the encroachments of the waves. The Dutch are said to have availed
themselves of the advantage of these plants in securing and rendering firm
several parts of their coasts, which would otherwise have suffered much

At Newborough, a town on the south coast of the island of Anglesea, the
inhabitants manufacture this plant into mats and ropes; and the Danes
employ the fibrous roots for making whisk brushes.

The common people of Iceland collect the seeds of the sea matweed for
making bread.

51. _RYE GRASS, or RAY GRASS_ (_Lolium perenne_, Fig. 35), has, of late
years, been cultivated in some countries, to considerable extent, as fodder
for cattle. Its agricultural merits were first discovered in Norfolk, and,
thence, the seeds have been distributed through the greater part of the
kingdom; those who purchase them little suspecting that the plant was a
weed in their own fields. In dry pastures, and by road sides, this kind of
grass is extremely common.

When sown in high or sandy lands, either alone or mixed with clover, it
yields an earlier crop than most other grasses; and thus affords food at a
season when it is sometimes difficult otherwise to be obtained. The ray
grass that grows wild is stated to be much superior to that which is
obtained by cultivation; and we are informed that, if sown in a rich and
fertile soil, it will dwindle in a few years to a poor and insignificant

52. _COUCH, or SQUITCH GRASS_ (_Triticum repens_, Fig 36), is, in general,
considered a troublesome and pernicious weed. The roots strike so deeply
into the ground, and extend so widely, that the eradicating of them is
frequently attended with difficulty. As the plant lies upon the ground it
strikes out fibres from every joint; and so luxuriant is it sometimes seen,
that a single joint, when transplanted, has, in the course of twelve
months, covered a square yard of land.

The roots of couch grass are collected in large quantities at Naples, and
sold in the market as food for horses. They have a sweetish taste, somewhat
resembling that of liquorice; and, in times of scarcity, when dried and
ground into meal, they have been converted into bread. A decoction of the
roots is sometimes used in medicine.





  53. _TEASEL_ (Dipsacus fullonem) _is a plant, with a somewhat egg-shaped
  head of flowers, and hard reflected scales, which is cultivated in
  several parts of England, to be used in the carding of woollen cloth._

  _The Fullers Teasel is distinguished from other plants of the same tribe
  by having its leaves connected at the base, the flower scales hooked, and
  the general calyx reflected or bent back._

The seeds of this plant are usually sown in strong rich land, about the
commencement of spring. The flowers appear in July, and the blossoms begin
to decay in the following month. Shortly after this the heads are cut off,
and exposed daily to the sun until they are perfectly dried.

In the clothing counties of England the fuller's teasel is an article of
considerable importance. The crooked scales accompanying the flowers are so
hard and rough that the heads are employed for raising the nap of woollen
cloths. For this purpose they are either set into flat boards like cards,
or are fixed round the circumference of a large and broad wheel. The former
are used with the hand; and the latter is turned round whilst the cloth is
held against it.

  54. _MADDER_ (Rubia tinctorum) _is a rough, trailing plant, that grows
  wild in several parts of the South of Europe, and is much cultivated in
  England and Holland on account of its roots, which are used by dyers and

The land best adapted for the cultivation of madder is a soft, sandy loam.
When the roots have attained sufficient growth, they are taken up,
carefully peeled, and dried in an airy shed. After this they are conveyed
to a kiln, where they undergo a kind of management somewhat similar to that
adopted in the drying of hops (260). The next process is to pulverize them,
which is done by pounding or grinding; a secret that was long exclusively
possessed by the Dutch.

Madder is extensively used in dyeing, not only on account of its yielding a
fine red colour, but also as forming a first tint for several other shades.
The madder used for dyeing cottons in the East Indies, is, in some
respects, different from that cultivated in Europe. And, in the
neighbourhood of Smyrna, and in the island of Cyprus, a kind of madder is
grown which affords a peculiarly bright and beautiful colour.

This root is sometimes employed in medicine, in obstructions of the bowels,
rickets, and a few other complaints. It tinges water a dull red colour, and
spirit of wine a deep bright red. When eaten by animals, it stains even
their most solid bones.

Cows are remarkably fond of the madder plant; and when they freely eat of
it their milk becomes red, yet the cream which it affords makes a yellow

  55. _SANDAL WOOD, or YELLOW SAUNDERS, is a yellowish, odoriferous wood,
  which is imported from the East Indies in logs or short pieces, chiefly
  as a perfume, or for the manufacture of ornamental articles._

  _The tree that produces it_ (Santalum album) _grows principally on the
  coast of Malabar, and in the island of Timor. It has somewhat the
  appearance of a large myrtle, with stiff branches, and smooth, shining,
  spear-shaped leaves, each about two inches long. The flowers grow in
  clusters, small and red, and are succeeded by berries about the size of

When the sandal wood trees are cut down they are stripped of their bark;
after which the wood is usually chopped into billets or small pieces, and
buried in a dry place for about two months. During this time the ants eat
the outer part of it, without penetrating to the heart, which is the
sandal. The billets are then taken up, smoothed, and sorted; and the deeper
the colour the higher is found the perfume.

In China this elegant wood, when cut into large planks, is sometimes made
into coffins for the principal persons; and such coffins are said to resist
the effects of air and moisture for many years. The Chinese also reduce the
wood to powder, and, with the addition of water, convert it into a paste,
which they apply to their bodies, their furniture, and about their houses,
as a perfume. The powder of sandal wood is likewise employed as an incense
in their idolatrous temples. Hence it is that a considerable trade in this
wood exists between the East Indies and China.

Besides the logs, the chips and cuttings of the roots of sandal wood are an
article of commerce. From these chips, and from the waste wood, an
odoriferous oil is sometimes prepared, which is considered nearly equal in
fragrance to oil of roses.

Sandal wood is at present seldom used in medicine; though, from its
powerful qualities, it might probably be applied to many medicinal purposes
with success. It has a bitterish aromatic taste, accompanied by a degree of
pungency which is by no means unpleasant,


  56. _HOLLY_ (Ilex aquifolium) _is a small evergreen tree, with shining,
  irregular, and spinous leaves, and white flowers which grow in clusters
  round the branches, and are succeeded by small red berries._

In those parts of the country where hollies are very abundant they afford a
cheerfulness to the scenery in winter which is extremely pleasing. It is on
this account principally that they are planted in gardens and shrubberies.
The barbarous taste of our ancestors was such that they frequently clipped
them into the shape of birds, quadrupeds, and other fantastic
representations of nature.

As a fence, holly is eminently serviceable. When formed into hedges, it
admits of being cropped, and retains its verdure and beauty, without
injury, even through the severest winters. Its growth is slow, and its
duration longer than that of most other trees. The _wood_, which is hard
and close-grained, is much used in veneering, and is frequently stained
black, to imitate ebony. It is likewise advantageously used in making
handles for knives, cogs for mill-wheels, and other articles. The _leaves_
in winter afford a grateful food to sheep and deer; and the _berries_ yield
a subsistence, during this inclement season, to the feathered tribes. In
some places, particularly in the island of Corsica, the inhabitants employ
the seeds of holly for making a beverage somewhat similar, but much
inferior, to coffee.

The _bark_ of the holly is smooth, and replete with a strong mucilaginous
substance, from which the article called _bird-lime_ is made. For this
purpose it is boiled ten or twelve hours; and, when the green rind is
separated, it is covered up in a moist place, to stand for a fortnight. It
is afterwards reduced to a tough paste, and washed in a running stream
until no impurities are left. The next part of the process is to suffer it
to ferment for four or five days; after which it is mixed, over the fire,
with a third part of nut-oil (241), or some other oily fluid, and is thus
rendered fit for use.

Bird-lime has a remarkably adhesive quality, particularly to feathers and
other dry substances. It is, on this account, employed for the smearing of
twigs to ensnare birds. In its elasticity and inflammable nature it has
much resemblance to Indian rubber; and, if any means could be adopted to
harden it, there is little doubt but it might be substituted for that

Holly deserves to be much more extensively cultivated than it is. Some
years ago a person who purchased a holly wood in Yorkshire, sold the
bird-lime prepared from the bark to a Dutch merchant, for nearly the whole
sum of his original purchase.

Among the ancient Romans it was customary to send branches of holly, to
their friends, with new years' gifts, as emblematical of good wishes. We
decorate our houses and churches with it at Christmas, to give, as it has
been observed, an air of spring in the depth of winter.





  57. _ALKANET is a dyeing drug, the bark of a root which produces a rough
  plant_ (Anchusa tinctoria), _with downy and spear-shaped leaves, and
  clusters of small purple or reddish flowers, the stamens of which are
  shorter than the corolla._

Though this plant is sometimes cultivated in England, by far the greater
portion of the alkanet which we use is imported either from the Levant, or
from the neighbourhood of Montpelier in France.

Alkanet imparts a fine deep red colour to all unctuous substances, and to
spirits of wine; but it tinges water with a dull, brownish hue. Its chief
use is for the colouring of oils, plasters, lip-salve, and other similar
articles. It is likewise employed in compositions for rubbing, and giving
colour to mahogany furniture. Wax tinged with alkanet, and applied to the
surface of warm marble, stains it flesh colour, and sinks deep into the

  58.  _The COWSLIP is a plant_ (Primula veris) _which grows in most
  meadows and pastures, and is too well known to require any description._

The _flowers_ of the cowslip, when picked and dried, are sometimes used as
a balsamic tea. When boiled, with a certain proportion of water and sugar,
and afterwards properly fermented, they may be made into a peculiarly
pleasant wine.

The _roots_ have a fine odour; and, when immersed in ale or beer, are said
to add considerably to the strength of the liquor. The _leaves_ are
sometimes eaten as a pot-herb, and in salads; and both the leaves and
flowers are an excellent food for silk-worms.

  59.  _BUCK-BEAN, or BOG-BEAN_ (Menyanthes trifoliata), _is a common plant
  in shallow ponds; and is distinguishable by its leaves growing in threes,
  and its pink and white flowers being shaggy on their inner surface._

There is no British plant the flowers of which are more beautiful than
those of buck-bean; and nothing but the difficulty of propagating it in dry
ground could prevent its having a place in every garden. The _leaves_ are
intensely bitter, and are occasionally used in the Highlands of Scotland as
a tea, to strengthen the stomach. The inhabitants of some parts of Sweden
employ them in place of hops, to impart a bitter taste to ale; two ounces
of them being considered equal in strength to a pound of hops. By some
persons the leaves of buck-bean are smoked instead of tobacco; and
different preparations of this plant have been found efficacious as a
remedy against agues, and in scorbutic and scrofulous diseases,
rheumatisms, and dropsy. There is an opinion that sheep, when compelled to
eat of buck-bean, are cured of the rot. In Lapland it is said that the
pounded roots, though very unpalatable, are sometimes converted into bread.

  60. _SCAMMONY is a concrete or dried juice obtained from the roots of a
  climbing plant of the convolvulus tribe_ (Convolvulus scammonia, Fig. 7,)
  _which is cultivated in Asiatic Turkey, Syria, and Persia._

  _This plant is known by having arrow-shaped leaves, notched in a
  particular manner at the base, and each flower-stalk bearing two or three
  large and somewhat purplish white flowers._

The roots of the scammony plant are thick, black on the surface, white
within, and full of an acrid milky juice, which, in a concrete state, is
frequently used in medicine. To obtain it, the earth, at a certain season
of the year, is removed from the upper part of the roots whilst they are
growing, and the tops are cut obliquely. The juice flows from the wound
into a small vessel sunk into the earth, at the lower end of the gash, to
receive it. But, as each root furnishes only a very small quantity, the
produce of several roots is usually mixed together for the greater
convenience of being exposed to the sun and dried. Still, however, the
quantity, thus obtained, is sometimes insufficient to supply the demand. In
this case an addition is made to it by the pressure of juice from the
leaves and stalks.

The best scammony is imported from Aleppo, in light, spongy, friable
pieces, of shining blackish grey colour, which have a faint, unpleasant
smell, and a bitterish, pungent taste. It is sometimes adulterated with
flour, and sometimes even with sand or earth.

In its medical effects, scammony, when administered alone, is an
efficacious, though violent purgative. But if triturated or ground down
with sugar, almonds, or gum-arabic, its operation becomes sufficiently mild
and safe.

  61. _JALAP is a dark-coloured root, which is usually imported, in
  transverse slices, from South America._

  _The plant that produces it_ (Convolvulus jalapa, Fig. 8) _belongs to the
  convolvulus tribe, and has generally somewhat heart-shaped leaves, and
  flowers that are reddish on the outside, and dark purple or yellowish

The name of jalap is derived from Xalapa, a town in South America, situated
betwixt Vera Cruz and Mexico, where the plant, of which it is the root, was
originally discovered, and whence it has been imported, in great
quantities, into Europe. The jalap plant is now cultivated in the botanical
garden at Charlestown, and in several other parts of America. When recent,
the root is large, whitish, and full of juice; but, when dried, the best
pieces are compact, hard, weighty, and of dark colour, with black circular
marks. Both in smell and taste it is very nauseous. It is frequently mixed
with slices of bryony root; but these are easily distinguished by their
paler colour and porous texture.

The only mode in which this root is of use is as a medicine; and it is
administered in substance, in a tincture, and an extract. It has been
advantageously employed in several disorders; but, as it is very powerful
in its effects, great caution is necessary in the use of it, particularly
with children.

  62. _PERUVIAN BARK is the produce of a tree which grows in South America,
  and chiefly in Peru, whence its name has been derived._

  _This tree_ (Cinchona officinalis), _in size and general appearance,
  somewhat resembles our cherry-tree. Its leaves are in pairs, oval,
  pointed, nerved, and smooth on the upper side; and the flowers hang in
  loose clusters, are fringed at the edges, and red in the inside_ (Fig.

Formerly this valuable medicine had the name of _Jesuit's bark_, from its
having been first introduced into Europe by some persons of the religious
order called Jesuits, that were settled in South America. They had been
instructed in the use of it by the inhabitants of Peru, to whom it had long
been known; and it continued, for many years, to be a lucrative article of
commerce to them. For its officinal name of cinchona it was indebted to the
lady of a Spanish Viceroy, the Countess del Cinchon, who, about 170 years
ago, derived great benefit from taking it.

The tree from which it is obtained grows spontaneously, and in great
abundance, in several of the mountainous forests of Quito and Peru. The
proper time for cutting it is from September to November, the only season
during which there is any considerable intermission from rain. The Indians,
as soon as they have discovered a spot where the trees are in sufficient
number, build a few huts for themselves, and one large hut for containing
the bark, to preserve it from wet. They then go forth, each furnished with
a large knife, and a bag which will hold about fifty pounds' weight of
bark. Each tree occupies two men. They first cut or slice down the bark as
far from the ground as they can reach. They then tie to the tree several
sticks a little distance apart, and each about half a yard in length, to
serve as a ladder by which they can ascend to the upper part, always
slicing off the bark as far as they can reach, before they fix a new step.
In this manner one of the two mounts to the top, whilst the man below
collects what his companion cuts. To relieve each other, they ascend the
different trees by turns; and they are generally able to fill their bags
once in the course of the day. When they return to their huts, they spread
out the bark to dry, and they are very careful to preserve it from wet,
which would greatly injure it.

There are three sorts of bark in use: the _pale_, the _red_, and the
_yellow_. Of these the two last have recently been discovered. The red is
now very scarce, and is seldom brought into Europe. The pale bark is
imported, from the Spanish Main, in large bundles, closely packed in goat
or other skins. The yellow is in much larger pieces, and flatter and
thicker than those of the pale bark.

We are informed, by some writers, that the Peruvians first learned the use
of this bark from observing certain animals, affected with intermittent
fevers, instinctively led to it. Others say that one of the inhabitants of
Peru, having an ague, was cured by drinking the water of a pool into which
some trees of this kind had accidentally fallen. On its first introduction
into Europe, its use was opposed by many eminent physicians; and, for a
long time afterwards, it was believed to be a very dangerous remedy. Its
character, however, in process of time, became perfectly established, and
it is now considered one of the most valuable medicines we possess.

Peruvian bark is used as a remedy in intermittent fevers or agues; and, by
some persons, is prescribed in other kinds of fevers, in confluent
small-pox, in gangrenous sore throat, and indeed in every species of
gangrene. It is given in powder, as an extract, a spirituous tincture, and
a decoction; but the most efficacious form is that of powder. In taste it
is bitter and astringent, leaving an impression upon the palate which
continues for some time afterwards; but its smell is rather agreeable than

  63. _COFFEE is the seed of an evergreen shrub which is cultivated in hot
  climates, and is chiefly imported from Arabia and the East and West

  _This shrub_ (Coffea Arabica, Fig. 9) _is from fifteen to twenty feet in
  height. The leaves are four or five inches long, and two inches broad,
  smooth, green, and glossy on the upper surface; and the flowers, which
  grow in bunches at the base of the leaves, are white and sweet-scented.
  The berries or fruit are of a somewhat oval shape, about the size of a
  cherry, and of dark red colour, when ripe. Each of these contains two
  cells, and each cell has a single seed, which is the coffee as we see it
  before it undergoes the process of roasting._

Coffee is an article of only late introduction. To the Greeks and Romans it
was wholly unknown. Its use appears to have originated in Ethiopia; and, in
1554, it is stated to have been first introduced into Constantinople,
whence it was gradually adopted in the western parts of Europe. In 1652 Mr.
Daniel Edwards, a Turkey merchant, brought with him to England a Greek
servant, whose name was Pasqua, and who understood the methods of roasting
coffee, and making it into a beverage. This man was the first who publicly
sold coffee in this country; and he kept a house for that purpose in George
Yard, Lombard Street. At Paris, coffee was nearly unknown until the arrival
of the Turkish ambassador, Solomon Aga, in 1669; about three years after
which the first coffee-house is said to have been established in that city.
The coffee shrub was originally planted in Jamaica in 1732.

Great attention is paid to the culture of coffee in Arabia. The trees are
raised from seed sown in nurseries, and afterwards planted out, in moist
and shady situations, on sloping grounds, or at the foot of mountains. Care
is taken to conduct little rills of water to the roots of the trees, which
at certain seasons require to be constantly surrounded with moisture. As
soon as the fruit is nearly ripe, the water is turned off, lest the fruit
should be rendered too succulent. In places much exposed to the south, the
trees are planted in rows, and are shaded from the otherwise too intense
heat of the sun, by a branching kind of poplar tree. When the fruit has
attained its maturity, cloths are placed under the trees, and, upon these,
the labourers shake it down. They afterwards spread the berries on mats,
and expose them to the sun to dry. The husk is then broken off by large and
heavy rollers of wood or iron. When the coffee has been thus cleared of its
husk, it is again dried in the sun, and lastly winnowed with a large fan,
for the purpose of clearing it from the pieces of husks with which it is
intermingled. A pound of coffee is generally more than the produce of one
tree; but a tree in great vigour will produce three or four pounds.

The best coffee is imported from Mocha, a town on the eastern bank of the
Red Sea. This, which in Europe is called _Mocha_ and _Turkey coffee_, bears
a higher price than any which our colonists are able to raise; owing, as it
is supposed, to the difference of climate and soil in which it is grown. It
is packed in large bales, each containing a number of smaller bales; and,
when good, it appears fresh, and of a greenish olive colour. The coffee
next in esteem to this is grown in Java and the East Indies, and that of
lowest price in the West Indies. When stowed in ships with rum, pepper, or
other articles, it is said that coffee contracts a rank and unpleasant
flavour, and this has been assigned as a reason of the inferiority of such
as is imported from our own plantations.

The quantity of coffee annually supplied by Arabia is supposed to be
upwards of fourteen millions of pounds. Before the commencement of the
French Revolution the island of St. Domingo alone exported more than
seventy millions of pounds per annum.

Almost all the Mahometans drink coffee at least twice a day, very hot, and
without sugar. The excellence of coffee depends, in a great measure, on the
skill and attention that are exercised in the roasting of it. If it be too
little roasted, it is devoid of flavour; and if too much, it becomes acrid,
and has a disagreeable burnt taste. In England the operation of roasting is
usually performed in a cylindrical tin box, perforated with numerous holes,
and fixed upon a spit which runs lengthwise through the centre, and is
turned by a jack.

In a medical view, coffee is said to be of use in assisting digestion,
promoting the natural secretions, and preventing or removing a disposition
to drowsiness. It has been found highly beneficial in relieving some cases
of severe head-ach.

The outer pulpy part of the berry, and the inner membrane, which
immediately invests the seeds, are used by the Arabians, and of these the
former is much esteemed, and constitutes what is called _coffee à la

  64. _STRAMONIUM, or THORN-APPLE_ (Datura stramonium), _is an annual
  plant, with thick round stalks, somewhat triangular leaves, jagged or
  toothed at the edges, large white and funnel-shaped flowers, and seed
  vessels large and beset with spines._

Although originally a native of America, stramonium is now a frequent weed
on dunghills, and in cultivated ground of our own country; and, when once
introduced into a garden, it is difficult to be eradicated. Its smell is
exceedingly unpleasant, and its qualities are so pernicious, when taken
internally, as to occasion giddiness, torpor, and sometimes even death. The
seeds are particularly injurious. Notwithstanding this, the inspissated or
dried juice of the leaves has been considered a valuable remedy in
epileptic and other convulsive disorders. An ointment prepared from them
affords relief in external inflammations; and smoking the dried leaves has
lately been recommended in asthmatic complaints.

The soporiferous and intoxicating qualities of stramonium are well known in
eastern countries, and have often occasioned the plant to be employed for
very improper uses.

  65. _TOBACCO, in the state that we see it, is a narcotic drug formed from
  the dried leaves of an annual plant_ (Nicotiana tabacum, Fig. 11) _that
  is principally cultivated in North America,_

  _The stalk of the tobacco plant is erect, strong, round, and hardy. The
  leaves are large, oblong, pointed, clammy, and of pale green colour. The
  flowers, which terminate the stem and branches in loose clusters, are of
  reddish colour, and funnel shaped, with a long hairy tube; and the seed
  vessel is oval, and divided into two cells, that contain many rounded

The cultivation of tobacco is carried on to great extent in several parts
of North America. The seed, mixed with ashes on account of its smallness,
is sown a little before the beginning of the rainy season;  and, in order
the better to cover it, the beds are raked over or trampled upon. In about
a fortnight the young plants begin to appear, and, as soon as they have
four leaves, they are drawn up and transplanted in lines, and about three
feet asunder, into the tobacco field. Here they are kept clear of weeds;
and, as soon as they have eight or nine leaves each, the tops are nipped
off to make the leaves grow thicker and longer. When the plants are full
grown, and the leaves are become somewhat brittle, they are cut with a
knife close to the ground. They are suffered to lie upon the ground for a
little while, after which they are carried to the drying shed, where they
are hung by pairs upon lines or ropes. When perfectly dry, the leaves are
stripped from the stalks, and made into small bundles tied round with
another leaf. These bundles are laid in heaps, and covered with blankets
for about seven days to heat; after which they are closely stowed in casks
for exportation.

The name of tobacco was given to this article from its having been
originally brought into Europe from Tobago, or Tabago, an island in the Bay
of Panama, near the coast of America.

To the American Indians the use of tobacco has been known for many
centuries; and the practice of _smoking_ it is common to almost all the
tribes. Tobacco forms a part of every entertainment; and, in the intervals
of hunting, sleeping, and eating, it occupies no small portion of their
time. In many of their religious ceremonies tobacco is used; and instances
have occurred in which they have taken it in such quantity that death has

The custom of smoking is understood to have been first introduced into
England, by Sir Walter Raleigh, during the reign of Queen Elizabeth, and a
ludicrous story has often been told respecting it: that Sir Walter having
directed a servant to bring him a jug of water, the man, at his return into
the room, found him smoking, and, alarmed at seeing his master apparently
on fire, threw the whole contents of the jug into his face to quench it.

So extensive has this nauseous practice now become, especially in Holland
and Germany, that it constitutes a daily luxury with nearly all the
peasantry of those countries, as well as with the more indolent and wealthy
classes of the inhabitants. To many constitutions it is very injurious.
When first begun, it occasions vomiting, intoxication, and other unpleasant
effects. These however, by repetition, are discontinued, though its
stupifying qualities are never entirely overcome.

Another form under which tobacco is used, is that of _snuff_. The basis of
snuff is tobacco powdered;  but many other matters are added, to give it a
peculiar smell, or to impart pungency to it. When first applied to the
nose, snuff excites sneezing, but, by repetition, this entirely ceases. The
practice of taking snuff has, in some instances, been found injurious to
the smell and the voice; it has been attended with loss of memory, and by
symptoms of a weakened or debilitated state of the nervous system.

But there is no mode of using tobacco so disgusting, to persons
unaccustomed to it, as chewing. By the labouring classes, and particularly
by mariners, this practice is chiefly followed, from a notion, though
apparently a very erroneous one, that it will prevent the return of hunger,
and, in some degree, supply a lack of food.

Though all these are disgusting as practices, there is no doubt, but,
medicinally, they may be attended with good effects. By smoking and
chewing, tooth-ach has often been relieved; and some persons consider the
former a means of guarding against contagion. The occasional and moderate
use of snuff has, in several cases, been found beneficial, particularly in
head-achs, and in diseases of the eyes and ears. Infusions of tobacco are
sometimes administered in medicine, but this drug is principally given in
the form of a vinous or watery infusion. Tobacco is a powerful medicine,
and requires to be used with great caution. The smoke of this herb, when
blown against noxious insects, destroys them, and is the means which
gardeners adopt for ridding hot-houses and green-houses of such as infest
their plants.

The tobacco plant is sufficiently hardy to sustain the rigour of an
European climate, and is cultivated in several parts of Spain and Portugal.
As however, on importation, it pays a heavy tax to government, the culture
of it in this country is restricted, by the legislature, to half a rod of
ground in _physic gardens_; and if this be exceeded the cultivator is
liable to a penalty of ten pounds for every rod.

The different kinds of tobacco and snuff are attributable rather to the
difference of climate and soil in which the plants have been grown, and to
the different modes of management and manufacture, than to any essential
distinction in the plants from which they are manufactured.

  66. _DEADLY NIGHTSHADE_ (Atropa belladonna) _is an extremely poisonous
  plant, which grows in hedges and waste grounds, in several parts of
  England, and has somewhat oval leaves of dull green colour, purple
  bell-shaped flowers, and shining black berries, each about the size of a
  small cherry._

There is no British plant so injurious in its effects on the human frame as
this; and the alluring appearance and sweetish taste of the _berries_ have,
in many instances, particularly with children, been succeeded by the most
fatal consequences. It is true that some persons have been known to eat
three or four of them without injury; but in others a single berry, and
even the half of one, has occasioned death. The _leaves_ are more powerful
than the berries. The usual symptoms of this poison are a deep and deadly
stupor, giddiness, delirium, great thirst, retching, and convulsions. A
draught of vinegar, and keeping the patient constantly in motion, are said
to be the best means of cure.

Some writers have supposed it was the deadly nightshade which produced
those strange and dreadful effects that are described by Plutarch to have
been experienced by the Roman soldiers, under the command of Antony, during
their retreat from the Parthians:--"Their distress for provisions was so
great that they were compelled to eat of plants unknown to them. Among
others, they found an herb of which many ate; these, shortly afterwards,
lost their memory and their senses, and wholly employed themselves in
turning over all the stones they could find; then, being seized with
vomiting, they fell down dead."

The _leaves_ of the deadly nightshade have sometimes been used externally,
and with good effect, in cases of cancer; and in ulcers and tumours of
different kinds. They are likewise given, internally, in infusion; but the
sufferings of the patient, however small the dose may be, are so dreadful
that few practitioners like to resort to them.

  67. _POTATOE_ (Solanum tuberosum) _is a well known edible root, which was
  originally imported into this country from America._

No root with which we are acquainted is so valuable to mankind in temperate
climates, as the potatoe. In some countries, particularly in Ireland, it
forms a most important article of food to the lower classes of inhabitants.
By the English peasantry the potatoe is by no means esteemed as it
deserves. In addition to its value for culinary uses, it might, in a very
essential degree, be made to serve as a substitute for bread. If duly
prepared, and mixed with a nearly equal portion of wheat flour, it may even
be made into loaves. A kind of cheese may be made, by reducing potatoes to
the consistence of paste, adding an equal quantity of the curd from which
cheese is made, with a little salt and some other ingredients, mixing the
whole together, and forming them in moulds. The Germans prepare a favourite
dish by slicing boiled potatoes and pouring over them the same kind of
sauce which is used for salads, and mixing anchovies with them.

These roots afford an excellent food for horses and cattle; and it is said
that bullocks will fatten on them more speedily than on cabbages or
turnips. Potatoes are likewise serviceable for the fattening of hogs; but,
for a little while before these are killed, it is requisite to use barley
meal in addition, as otherwise the fat of the bacon is liable to boil away
in the cooking. In the use of potatoes as food, it is requisite to prepare
them in some manner by heat, as otherwise they are both unpalatable and

A kind of brandy was formerly distilled from potatoes; but this has been
forbidden by the legislature. Starch may be made from potatoes, by the
simple process of scraping them in water, and well washing the pulp: the
starch settles to the bottom of the vessel, in a heavy and closely
connected sediment. This starch is of use for the same purposes as starch
prepared from wheat: it is also valuable as a size; which, unlike the size
produced from animal substances, does not easily putrefy, and has no
disagreeable smell. Bakers in Germany, by the addition of calcined oyster
shells and burnt hartshorn, convert the pulp of potatoes into yeast. The
_stalks_ or haulm of potatoes are capable of being made into paper. They
are also of considerable utility as manure. The _apples_, or seed-vessels,
may be usefully employed as a pickle: and, if properly prepared, they are
said to be even more palatable than cucumbers.

There are numerous varieties of the potatoe. Of these the most remarkable
are the different kinds of _kidney potatoes_, the _Aylesbury white_, and
_Altringham early white_, which are chiefly grown for the table; the _ox
noble_, _Irish purple_, and _red potatoes_, which are adapted for fodder.

This valuable root was originally imported from America, about the
beginning of the seventeenth century. The inhabitants of Ireland assert
that it was first introduced into that country, by the accidental wreck,
upon their coast, of a vessel which was laden with potatoes and freighted
for England.

The usual mode of planting potatoes is by cutting the roots into pieces,
reserving one eye or bud to each division, and setting these in the earth.
They will succeed in any tolerable soil; but they flourish most luxuriantly
in light sandy loams. The proper time for digging them up is during dry
weather in autumn, when the leaves and stems begin to decay. When
cultivated on a small scale, they are usually dug with a three pronged
fork; but when raised in fields, where this process would be too tedious,
they are turned up by a plough.

  68. _CAPSICUMS are South American and Indian plants easily known by their
  hollow pods, of shining red or yellow colour, which contain many small,
  flat, and kidney-shaped seeds._

  _The principal species are, Heart or Bell pepper_ (_Capsicum grossum_),
  _Guinea pepper_ (_Capsicum annuum_, Fig. 12), _and Bird pepper_
  (_Capsicum baccatum_).

All the species of capsicum possess the same general qualities. In hot
climates, but particularly in the East and West Indies, and some parts of
Spanish America, the fruit of these plants is much used for culinary
purposes. It is eaten in large quantities, both with animal and vegetable
food; and is mixed, in greater or less proportion, with almost all kinds of

_Cayenne pepper_ is made from the fruit of different species of capsicum.
This fruit, when ripe, is gathered, dried in the sun, and then pounded; and
the powder is mixed with a certain portion of salt, and kept, for use, in
closely stopped bottles. Of late years Cayenne pepper has been introduced
into most of the countries of Europe; and it is now very generally used as
a poignant ingredient in soups and highly seasoned dishes. Its taste is
extremely acrid, and it leaves a durable sensation of heat on the palate,
which is best removed by butter or oil. When taken in small quantity,
cayenne pepper is a grateful stimulant; and, in medicine it is used, both
externally and internally, to promote the action of the bodily organs when
languid or torpid; and it is said to be found efficacious in many gouty and
paralytic cases.

  69. _The GUINEA PEPPER, or ANNUAL CAPSICUM_ (Fig. 12), _is a slender
  herbaceous plant, with smooth leaves, white flowers, single flower
  stalks, and smooth, shining fruit of oblong shape, and usually of red and
  yellow colour._

This plant is a native both of the East and West Indies, and is considered
the most hardy of the whole tribe of capsicum. In many parts of the South
of Europe, its _fruit_ is eaten green by the peasants at their breakfasts,
and is preferred by them to onions or garlic. The fruit of all the species
may be rendered useful in domestic economy, either as a pickle, or as
cayenne pepper. For the latter, it may be dried before a fire, and ground
to powder in a common pepper-mill.

  70. _The BUCK-THORN_ (Rhamnus catharticus) _is a spinous shrub, which
  grows in thickets and hedges, and has clusters of small green flowers,
  globular black berries, and somewhat oval leaves, serrated at the edge._

About the month of September the berries of the buck-thorn begin to ripen;
and, if these are bruised when perfectly ripe, they yield a green tint.
They are made into the _sap-green_ which is used by painters in
water-colours, by evaporating their juice to the consistence of a gum. From
the juice of the unripe berries, mixed with alum, a yellow dye is obtained,
which is employed by dyers, and also for staining maps or paper. If the
fruit be gathered late in the autumn the juice is purple. The _syrup_ of
buck-thorn berries is sometimes used in dropsies and other complaints,
though there are objections to it from its occasioning sickness and
griping. The berries have a faint disagreeable smell, and a nauseous bitter
taste. It is not unusual to mix with, or substitute for them, the fruit of
the berry-bearing alder, and of the dog-berry tree. The fraud is, however,
easily detected on examination; for the buck-thorn berries have each four
seeds, which the others have not.

The _inner bark_ of the buck-thorn is said to yield a medicine preferable
to that afforded by the berries, but it is an extremely powerful one.

  71. _NUX VOMICA, or VOMIC NUT, is a round, flat seed, about an inch in
  diameter, of greyish brown colour, and horny consistence, the produce of
  a tree_ (Strychnos nux vomica) _which grows in the East Indies._

  _The tree is of large size, and has somewhat oval leaves, in pairs, each
  marked with three or five strong ribs. The young branches have swelled
  joints. The flowers are in a kind of umbels at the extremity of the

The _fruit_ which produces the vomic nut is a species of berry, about the
size of a small apple, and covered with a hard substance somewhat
resembling that of the pomegranate (154), and of beautiful orange colour
when ripe. This fruit is filled with a pulp which contains the seeds.

There is so great a consumption of nux vomica, that the quantity vended at
the East India Company's sales, in 1808, was about five tons' weight, and
its price about nineteen shillings per hundred weight, exclusive of the
duty. It is imagined that public brewers sometimes use this drug in the
adulteration of ale and porter, for the purpose of rendering it more
intoxicating than it otherwise would be.

It is employed for the destruction of vermin; and is said to be quickly
fatal to dogs, foxes, wolves, and most other quadrupeds. When pounded and
mixed with oatmeal, it is used for the killing of rats. Yet deleterious as
this drug is, it has lately been employed on the Continent, as a medicine
of great efficacy, in spasmodic affections of the bowels, and some other
complaints; but its administration ought only to be attempted by medical

An extract of nux vomica has lately been imported from India; but it is not
generally known for what purpose.

  72. _The TEAK-TREE_ (Tectonia grandis) _is a valuable species of timber,
  which grows in the forests of the East Indies._

  _This tree attains the height of fifty feet and upwards. Its leaves are
  somewhat oval, slightly scalloped, rough on the upper side, and clad with
  a white down beneath; and its flowers are in bunches, small, white, and

For the building of ships, teak-wood is esteemed superior to every kind of
timber except oak. It is said to be almost incorruptible in water; and its
bitterness preserves it from the attack of worms. For all the purposes of
carpentry, teak is the most useful timber that is produced in Asia. It is
easily wrought, and is peculiarly strong and durable. That which grows on
the coast of Malabar is considered the best; but the greatest quantity is
obtained from Pegu. The former is nearly all hill timber, whereas the
latter is the produce of a low and flat country. In India much of the
furniture is made of teak wood.

The attention of government has of late been called to the cultivation of
this timber; and great encouragement is now given to an extensive
propagation of it. In the present scarcity of oak timber in England, the
increase of teak in the East is become an object of importance to the
prosperity of our navy. Its culture has also been recommended in our West
Indian islands, the climate and soil of which are considered nearly similar
to those of its native country.

  73. _MANGOS, as they are imported into this country, are the unripe fruit
  of an East Indian tree_ (Mangifera Indica) _pickled in vinegar._

  _The mango tree grows to a great size, and has spear-shaped leaves, each
  eight or nine inches long, and two inches wide. The flowers spring, in a
  loose kind of bunch, from the extremity of the stems._

The _fruit_ of this tree, when ripe, is as large as a goose's egg, and is
much esteemed in India, on account of its invigorating odour; which, it is
imagined, will restore health to persons in a declining state. Beneath its
rough shell there is a kernel, similar to that of the almond, which may be
eaten either fresh or preserved. From the expressed juice of this fruit the
Indians prepare a kind of wine. When intended for pickling, the fruit is
gathered in an unripe state. An imitation of mangos is made in our own
country with a particular sort of melon. A small square piece is cut from
the side of the melon, through which the seeds are taken out. It is then
filled with mustard seeds and shred garlic, and afterwards pickled with
vinegar and spices. Large cucumbers are sometimes prepared as mangos.

  74. _RED CURRANTS are the fruit of a well known shrub_ (Ribes rubum),
  _which is cultivated, in gardens; and which also grows wild in woods or
  thickets of some of the northern parts of England. Its bunches are smooth
  and pendant; and its flowers are flattish._

The utility of this fruit in domestic economy has long been established.
Its _juice_, if boiled with an equal weight of loaf sugar, forms an
agreeable substance, called _currant jelly_, which is much employed in
sauces and for other culinary purposes; and also in the cure of sore
throats and colds. The French frequently mix currant jelly with sugar and
water, as a beverage; and, by many persons, this mixture is preferred to
orgeat or lemonade. The juice of currants is a valuable remedy in
obstructions of the bowels; and, in febrile complaints, it is useful on
account of its readily quenching thirst, and for its cooling effect on the
stomach. This juice, fermented with a proper quantity of sugar, becomes a
palatable wine, which is much improved by keeping; and which, with care,
may be kept for twenty years and upwards. Modes of making this, as well as
other British wines, are to be found in all the domestic receipt books.

The _inner bark_, boiled with water, is a popular remedy in jaundice; and,
by some medical men, it has been administered in dropsical complaints.

_White_ and _flesh-coloured currants_ have, in every respect, the same
qualities as the red species.

  75. _BLACK CURRANTS are the fruit of a garden shrub_ (Ribes nigrum)
  _which is distinguished by having its bunches hairy and its flowers

The berries of the black currant shrub are larger than those of the red;
and, in some parts of Siberia, are said to attain the size of a hazel nut.
They are occasionally made into wine, jelly, and rob or syrup. The two
latter are frequently employed in the cure of sore throats; and, from the
great use of black currants in quinsies, they have sometimes been
denominated _squinancy_ or _quincy berries_.

The leaves are fragrant, and have been recommended for their medicinal
virtues. An infusion of them, in the manner of tea, is very grateful, and,
by many persons, is preferred to tea. The tender leaves tinge common
spirits so as to resemble brandy; and an infusion of the young _roots_ is
useful in fevers of the eruptive kind.

Black currant trees grow wild in wet hedges, and near the banks of rivers,
in several parts of Norfolk. The _dried currants_ of the shops do not
belong to this family, but are a small kind of grape (79).

  76. _GOOSEBERRIES are the fruit of a prickly shrub_ (Ribes grossularia)
  _which grows wild in Cheshire, Lancashire, and several parts of

Few of the garden fruits are more esteemed for the table than gooseberries.
For culinary purposes, gooseberries are generally employed before they are
ripe; but this is founded on erroneous notions of their chemical
properties, since, either for sauces or wine, though they are more cool and
refreshing, they do not possess the delicate flavour and rich saccharine
qualities which are inherent in the ripe fruit. Wine made of gooseberries
has great resemblance to Champaigne. In the making of wine, after the juice
has been expressed, it is customary to throw away the _skins_ of the fruit.
These, however, may with advantage be employed in distillation, as they
afford an agreeable spirit somewhat resembling brandy. When kept a few
months, this spirit is said to be little inferior, either in strength or
flavour, to the best Cogniac brandy. Vinegar may be made from gooseberries.
Some of the kinds are bottled while green, and kept for winter use; and
others are, for the same purpose, preserved with sugar.

Gooseberries vary much in colour, size, and quality. Some are smooth, and
others hairy. Some are red, others green, and others yellow or amber
coloured. Wild gooseberries are greatly inferior, in size, to those which
are cultivated in gardens.

  77. _IPECACUANHA_ (Viola ipecacuanha) _is a medicinal root, small,
  wrinkled, bent, and contorted into a great variety of shapes; which is
  imported from the West Indies and South America, and is given as an

There are three kinds of ipecacuanha: ash-coloured or grey, brown, and
white. Of these, the ash-coloured is usually preferred for medicinal use,
from its being more efficacious than the white, and less violent than the
brown. Ipecacuanha was first brought into Europe towards the middle of the
seventeenth century; but it was not admitted into general use until about
the year 1686, when it was introduced into practice under the patronage of
Louis the Fourteenth of France. Its taste is bitterish and somewhat acrid;
and it seems to cover the tongue with a kind of mucilage. It is one of the
mildest and safest emetics with which we are acquainted; and is
administered in powder, as a wine, and as a tincture. It has this peculiar
advantage, that, if it do not operate as an emetic, it passes off without
injury by the skin or bowels. In very small doses it is efficacious in
obstinate coughs, and in several other complaints. The roots of a kind of
dogsbane (_Apocynum_) are not unfrequently substituted for those of
ipecacuanha; but, in some instances, this substitution has been attended
with fatal consequences.

  78. _VINES are a very important tribe of shrubs, to the fruit of which we
  are indebted for all our foreign wines, for raisins of every description,
  and for the dried currants of the shops._

  _Several species of vine are cultivated; but by far the most important of
  the whole is the common vine_ (Vitis vinifera _of Linnæus_).

The earliest introduction of the vine into the western parts of Europe is
stated to have been about the year 280, under the sanction of Probus, the
Roman Emperor, who, throughout his whole dominions, was a zealous
encourager of agricultural pursuits. There can be no doubt that vines were
anciently propagated in our own island for the purpose of wine, and that
there were vineyards of considerable extent in Gloucestershire, Hampshire,
and some other counties; but, as vines are principally found to flourish in
inland countries, lying betwixt the thirtieth and fifty-first degrees of
latitude, it is evident that there can be no part of Great Britain
sufficiently adapted to their successful cultivation.

Any person who has seen a hop garden, may easily form an idea of the
appearance of a _vineyard_. Vines are usually propagated by slips,
cuttings, or offsets from the roots. These, when they have obtained a
sufficiency of roots, are transplanted from the nursery-ground into the
vineyard, the soil of which ought to be light and rich. They are placed, in
this ground, in rows, and at regular intervals, leaving space sufficient
for the vine-dressers and the reapers to pass betwixt them; and as soon as
the rooted plants are three years old, they begin to bear fruit. The season
for pruning and dressing them is the early part of the year, before the sap
begins to rise; and about the time when the flowers appear, the plants are
fastened to poles, for the purposes of supporting them, of preventing them
from growing entangled with each other, admitting a free circulation of air
amongst them, and affording greater convenience for gathering the fruit.

The vintage, which is a season of mirth and delight to the whole country,
commences in the early part of autumn. The villagers assemble in the
respective vineyards under the direction of overseers. The reaping of the
grapes is, in general, performed in three distinct gatherings. The first of
these comprehends all the finest and ripest bunches, carefully clearing
away from them every grape that appears green or decayed: the second is
confined to the large and thick clusters which are not so ripe as the
others; and those which are nearly green, withered, or decayed, are
gathered last.

To obtain the juice from the grapes, they are subjected to the operation of
large presses of somewhat similar construction to the cyder presses of our
own country (the separate gatherings being still kept apart), and the juice
is received into vessels fixed for that purpose. Afterwards it undergoes
the necessary fermentation to convert it into wine. By the ancients the
juice was obtained by treading the grapes. This practice is alluded to in
various parts of Scripture, but perhaps in none are the characteristics of
the ancient vintage expressed more strongly than in the predictions of
Isaiah concerning Moab: "And gladness is taken away, and joy out of the
plentiful field; and in the vineyards there shall be no singing, neither
shall there be any shouting: the treaders shall tread out no wine in their
presses; I have made their vintage-shouting to cease." The treading of
grapes is still practised in several parts of the world. The ancients
frequently kept their wine in skins, or leathern bags, well secured at the
seams; hence the passage in the gospels; "neither do men put new wine into
old bottles; else the bottles break, and the wine runneth out, and the
bottles perish: but they put new wine into new bottles, and both are

The kinds of wine are extremely various. The difference which exists
betwixt them is not, however, so much owing to a distinction in the species
of grapes, as in the quality of the fruit, produced by the varieties of
soil, cultivation, and climate to which they are subject. This difference
likewise depends, in some instances, on the peculiar mode of fermentation,
and the state of the grapes from which the wine is produced.

(_a_) PORTUGUESE WINES.--Of all the kinds of wine that are consumed in
England, none are so much in request as _red port_. This has its name from
the city of Oporto, in the neighbourhood of which the vines that produce it
are chiefly cultivated. A great proportion, however, of the port that is
consumed in England, is said to be mixed with a Spanish red wine of
inferior quality, or to be otherwise adulterated. Red port is brought over
in casks called pipes, which measure 138 gallons each, and ought to fill
fifty-two dozen bottles of legal measure.

The difference in colour betwixt red wines and white does not so much
depend upon the quality of the grape, as upon the mode in which the wines
are prepared. The juice of red grapes, if carefully pressed, and fermented
separately from the skins, forms a white wine. If the skins be pressed so
as to discharge the colouring matter they contain, or, if they be allowed
to remain in the juice during the fermentation, the wine assumes a red

_White port_, and _Lisbon_, are two kinds of white wine which we receive
from Portugal. Of these, the former was much in demand some years ago, but
it is now seldom called for; the latter is still in use.

(_b_) FRENCH WINES.--Many excellent wines are produced in France. That
usually considered the best is _Burgundy_, a red wine of very delicate
flavour, which has its name from the province where it is made. The wines
of the neighbourhood of Orleans, however, after having been matured by age,
are much like Burgundy. _Claret_ is the only French red wine for which
there is any great demand in England. It is thin and highly flavoured, and
is chiefly supplied from the neighbourhood of Bourdeaux. Some of the red
wines of Champaigne are highly prized for their excellence and delicacy,
though they, occasionally, have a pungent and sourish taste. _Hermitage_ is
produced from vineyards, at a place so called, near the village of Thein,
on the eastern bank of the Rhone; and _Côte Rotie_ from vineyards on the
opposite side of the river.

No French white wine has so much celebrity as _Champaigne_. This is of two
kinds; one of which, called still or quiet Champaigne, has gone through the
whole process of fermentation; the other, which has the name of sparkling
Champaigne, has been bottled before the fermentation was complete: this,
consequently, proceeds slowly in the bottle, and causes the wine, on the
drawing of the cork, to sparkle in the glass. _Vin de Grave_ is produced in
the vicinity of Bourdeaux, and the lower parts of Gascoigne: _Pontac_ is
made in Guienne; and _Frontignac_ and _Muscadel_ are white wines, the
delicious productions of Languedoc.

(_c_) SPANISH WINES.--The country about Xeres, in Andalusia, is celebrated
for a grape which produces an excellent wine called _Sherry_. There are
several French and English houses at Xeres and Seville which trade, to
great extent, in this wine. It is very strong, and full-bodied, owing, in a
great degree, to the quantity of brandy with which it is mixed. In the
province of Valencia, some of the proprietors have wines of different
kinds, sixty, eighty, and even a hundred years old, the prices of which
differ according to their age. _Rota_, in Seville, produces a rich and
sweet white wine; and the country around _Malaga_, near Gibraltar, is
celebrated for white wine which is known by that name; and so assiduously
is the cultivation of the vine there pursued, that the export of the
produce of the vineyards yields to the inhabitants an annual revenue of
more than 200,000_l._ sterling per annum. We import from Spain a harsh and
inferior kind of _red wine_, which, duty free, sells for only 10_l._ or
15_l._ per pipe of 126 gallons; but the territory of Alicant produces a
very rich and excellent kind of red wine. The sweet red wine which we call
_Tent_ is a Spanish production; chiefly imported from Cadiz, and in
hogsheads of about sixty gallons each. It is made from the juice of a
particular kind of grapes, which are not used for this purpose until some
time after they have been perfectly ripe.

(_d_) ITALIAN WINES.--Notwithstanding the ancient celebrity of many of the
wines of Italy, by far the greater part of what are now manufactured in
that country are thin and bad. Certain vineyards on mount Vesuvius,
however, still have great celebrity for a luscious red wine called
_Lachryma Christi_.

(_e_) GERMAN WINES.--Germany produces many excellent wines, of which Tokay,
Hock, Rhenish, and Moselle, are the most celebrated. _Tokay_ has its name
from a town in Hungary, near which it is chiefly made. The quantity of this
wine is so small that, even on the spot where it is manufactured, it is
sold at a very high price. It is made by mixing with the common grapes a
portion of luscious, half-dried, and shrivelled grapes; the latter being
absolutely necessary to constitute the peculiar quality of the wine. The
two kinds of grapes are pressed separately, and the juice is afterwards
mixed, fermented, and strained through a cloth or sieve into the barrels in
which it is to continue. The best Tokay does not long remain in the place
where it is made, a great portion of it being sent into the cellars of the
nobility in other parts of Hungary. Tokay is certainly a fine wine, but is
no way adequate to the price for which it is sold. Several years ago it
could not be purchased, even in Hungary, for much less than half a guinea
of English money per bottle; and yet there are few Englishmen, who, except
on account of its scarceness, would prefer it to good Claret or Burgundy.
Of all the German wines, that which is in greatest demand in England is
_Hock_. This has its name from the town of Hochstadt in Suabia, celebrated
for a great battle which was fought in its neighbourhood by the French and
the allies in 1704. _Rhenish_ and _Moselle_ are produced chiefly on the
banks of the rivers Rhine and Moselle, and have a cool, sharp taste, and
considerable strength. Anterior to the late wars in Germany, there were
wines in the cellars of many of the noble and wealthy inhabitants of that
country which were more than a hundred years old, and of such body as to be
uninjured even by so great an age.

(_f_) MADEIRA and TENERIFFE WINES.--To the Madeira and Canary islands we
are indebted for some excellent white wines. Of these _Madeira wine_ is
considered by far the most valuable, particularly after it has been ripened
by conveyance into a hot climate. The number of pipes of Madeira annually
made is about 30,000. The grapes, when gathered, are put into wooden
vessels, and the juice is extracted by persons treading upon them.

The Canary Islands gave name to a rich white wine, which was formerly in
great esteem under the name of _Canary sack_, and is now usually called
_Malmsey Madeira_. The genuine _Malmsey_ wine, which is of sweet and
luscious flavour, and rich golden yellow colour, is the produce of
Malvesia, one of the Greek islands, and thence had originally its name, the
French merchants denominating it _Vin de Malvesia_: but so little is now
made that few persons can possess it. _Teneriffe wine_, when two or three
years old, has much the flavour of Madeira, but, after this age, it becomes
so sweet and mellow, as somewhat to resemble Malaga.

(_g_) CAPE WINES.--There are produced, at the Cape of Good Hope, two kinds
of peculiarly rich, sweet, and delicate wine, called _red_ and _white
Constantia_. The farm from which they have their name is situated about
eight miles from Cape Town. The grapes of this farm, owing, as it is
supposed, to some peculiarity in the soil, are superior to any other in the
whole country. The vintage commences about March or April; and great care
is taken in the manufacture of the wine, no fruit being used but such as is
fully ripe and in the highest perfection. The annual produce is considered
to be about sixty pipes of the red, and 100 pipes of the white wine.
Constantia is in perfection when about two years old; but, when kept six or
seven years, it sparkles in the glass somewhat like wine which has not
undergone a perfect fermentation. What is denominated _Cape Madeira_ is a
light kind of white wine, the produce of the Cape of Good Hope.
Considerable quantities of this wine are now consumed in England, in
consequence of the lowness of its price. This is owing to its paying to
government only one-third part of the duty which is imposed on most other

The juice of unripe grapes has a harsh, sour, and rough taste. This, under
the name of _verjuice_, was formerly much esteemed for culinary and other
purposes. The young twigs of the vine, when dried, cut into small pieces,
and moistened with water, afford a wholesome food for cattle and horses.
The _leaves_ and _tendrils_ have an astringent taste, which it is probable
they would impart to British made wines, and thus render them somewhat
similar to foreign wines. The _wood_ of the vine, reduced to charcoal, is
used by painters for drawing outlines; and, from the seeds or _stones_, a
kind of oil is sometimes made, which can scarcely be distinguished from
olive oil. These stones, when purified, moderately roasted, and ground to a
coarse powder, form a tolerable substitute for chocolate.

_Brandy_ is a spirituous liquor, produced by the distillation of wine; and
prepared in most of the wine countries of Europe. The principal
manufactories of this spirit are in France, particularly in Languedoc, and
Anjou, whence comes the well-known _Cognac brandy_. The distilleries of
brandy in Catalonia, in Spain, are so extensive as to yield more than
35,000 pipes per annum. When brandy first issues from the still, it is
colourless as water; and the colour, which is given to it by the merchants,
is produced partly by the oaken casks in which it is kept, but chiefly by
the addition of red saunders wood, burnt sugar, and other colouring
matters. These, however, do not in the least affect the quality of the

In addition to the preceding uses of the vine, we have to add those of its
fruit in a recent state, called _grapes_, as a delicious addition to our
desserts; and of this fruit, in a dried state, under the appellation of
raisins and currants.

_Raisins_ are grapes which have been suffered to remain on the trees until
they are perfectly ripe, and have been dried. They are occasionally dried
in ovens. Sometimes the clusters, being tied several together, are dipped
in a ley of the ashes of rosemary and vine branches, with a certain portion
of slaked lime, and are then dried by exposure to the sun. The best fruit
of this description are the _sun_, and _jar raisins_; both of which are
dried in the sun, without any preparation. These are imported from the
southern countries of Europe; and also from the Asiatic provinces of
Turkey. They are principally used for desserts, whilst _Malaga raisins_,
and some other kinds, are employed for culinary purposes and the making of

  79. _The CURRANTS of commerce are a small kind of raisins, or dried
  grapes, which are produced in the Grecian Archipelago, and particularly
  in the islands of Zante and Cephalonia._

The chief plantation of these grapes was anciently in the isthmus of
Corinth, whence they obtained the name of _Corinths_, since corrupted to
currants, Few, however, are now produced there, the vineyards having been
neglected in consequence of the jealousy of the Turks not allowing large
vessels to enter the gulf for their exportation. These grapes have no
stones, are usually either of a red or black colour, and when recently
gathered, are an extremely delicious fruit.

The harvest commences in the month of August, and as soon as the grapes are
plucked from the trees, they are spread to dry, upon a floor prepared for
the purpose by stamping the earth quite hard. This floor is formed with a
gentle rising in the middle, that the rain, in case any should fall, may
run off, and not injure the fruit. When sufficiently dry, the currants are
cleaned, and laid up in magazines, being poured into them through a hole,
and stowed so closely that it is necessary to dig them out with an iron
instrument. They are packed for exportation in large casks, and by persons
who have their feet greased in order to tread them close.

The principal consumption of currants is in England; but the inhabitants of
the islands whence they are brought know little of the use we make of them.
They imagine that we employ them only in the dyeing of cloth, and are
entirely ignorant of our luxury of Christmas pies, and plum puddings. A
small but inferior kind of currants are grown in some parts of Spain.


  80. _BEET_ (Beta vulgaris) _is a well known fleshy or succulent root,
  which is cultivated in our kitchen gardens, and grows wild in several
  countries of the south of Europe._

  _There are two principal varieties of beet, one of which is of deep red
  or purple colour, and the other is white, crossed with bands of red._

Red beet is principally used at table boiled and cut in slices: it is,
however, sometimes pickled, and sometimes stewed with onions; but, if eaten
in great quantity, it is said to be injurious to the stomach. The roots may
be taken out of the ground for use about the end of August, but they do not
attain their full size and perfection till the month of October. When good
they are large, and of deep red colour; and, when boiled, they are tender,
sweet, and palatable.

It has lately been ascertained that beet roots may be substituted for malt,
if deprived of the greater part of their juice by pressure, then dried, and
treated in the same manner as the grain intended for brewing. The beer,
made from beet, has been found perfectly wholesome and palatable, and
little inferior to that prepared from malt.

From _white beet_ the French, during the late war, endeavoured to prepare
sugar; that article, as a British colonial produce, having been prohibited
in France. For this purpose, the roots were boiled as soon as possible
after they were taken from the earth. When cold, they were sliced, and
afterwards the juice was pressed out, and evaporated to the consistence of
syrup. The sugar was obtained, from this syrup, by crystallization. From
110 pounds' weight of the roots, 41½ pounds of juice were obtained, which,
on further evaporation, yielded somewhat more than 4¼ pounds of brown
sugar; and these, by a subsequent operation, produced four pounds of well
grained white powder sugar. The residuum, together with the syrup or
molasses which remained, produced after distillation, 3½ quarts of
rectified spirit, somewhat similar to rum.

  81. _MANGEL WURZEL or ROOT OF SCARCITY, is a plant of the beet tribe_ (_a
  variety of_ Beta cicla) _with large and red veined leaves; those arising
  from the root being on footstalks, and those of the stem being without
  stalks, and the flowers growing in threes._

The farmers, in some parts of Germany, cultivate this plant as food for
cattle, and they are said to prefer it, for that use, to potatoes, turnips,
carrots, and indeed to most other vegetables. It was introduced to the
public notice in England, by the late Dr. Lettsom; and it has been strongly
recommended, not only for the feeding of cattle, but also for the use of
man. Both the _leaves_ and _root_ grow to very large size; and the former,
which may be eaten as spinach, continue in season long after that plant is
withered. The root is insipid and unpalatable; but the stalks, and the
stronger middle part of the leaves, may be stewed, or eaten plain-boiled,
as asparagus.

  82. _BARILLA is the Spanish name of a plant_ (Salsola soda) _from the
  ashes of which is produced the salt called_ kali _or_ soda.

  _Soda is also procured from the ashes of_ PRICKLY SALTWORT (Salsola
  kali), SHRUBBY SALTWORT (Salsola fructicosa), _and numerous plants of
  other tribes._

On the shores of the Mediterranean, where the preparation of soda is
pursued to considerable extent, the seeds of the plants from which it is
obtained are regularly sown in places near the sea. When at a sufficient
state of maturity, the plants are pulled up by the roots, dried, and
afterwards tied in bundles to be burnt. In some places, this is done in
ovens constructed for the purpose; and in others, in trenches dug near the
sea. The ashes, whilst they are hot, are continually stirred with long
poles, and the saline matter they contain forms, when cold, a solid mass,
almost as hard as stone. This mass is afterwards broken into pieces of
convenient size for exportation. The best sort of Spanish soda is in
dark-coloured masses of bluish tinge, very heavy, sonorous, dry to the
touch, and it externally abounds in small cavities. Its taste is sharp,
corrosive, and strongly saline.

Soda is chiefly employed in glass and soap manufactories. See the uses of
minerals, Vol. i. No. 200.

  83. _ELMS are forest-trees well known in almost every part of England.
  There are several species, of which, however, only three, the_ COMMON ELM
  (Ulmus campestris, Fig. 61,) WYCH HAZEL, _or_ BROAD-LEAVED ELM (Ulmus
  montana, Fig. 62,) _and_ DUTCH ELM (Ulmus suberosa), _grow in this
  country without cultivation_. _They are easily distinguishable from most
  other forest-trees, by their leaves being rough, and doubly serrated at
  the edge._

  _Of these trees the flowers of the first are four-cleft, and have each
  four stamens, and the fruit is oblong: those of the second are five or
  six cleft, and have each five or six stamens, the fruit is roundish, and
  the leaves are broad; those of the third are four-cleft, and have four
  stamens, and the bark of the branches has a corky appearance._

The Dutch elm is grown in most parts of England. The common elm, though
plentiful in Worcestershire, Middlesex, and some other southern counties,
is said to be rare further north than Grantham or Stamford. The wych hazel
is common in woods and hedges throughout the whole of South Britain.

The use of the elm as _timber_ is chiefly confined to rough and inferior
work. Implements of husbandry are almost wholly made of it; and it is
employed for waggons, carts, mill-wheels, water-pipes, low-priced chairs,
blocks for hat-makers, and various other purposes; and among the lower and
middling classes, almost exclusively, for coffins. The preference which it
has obtained for the latter purpose, is supposed to have originated in its
peculiar durability in moist situations.

Some of the northern writers state that, from the _inner bark_ of the elm,
if stripped off in the spring, and boiled in water, a very palatable kind
of beer may be brewed; and that this bark, dried and ground to powder, has,
in times of scarcity, been mixed with meal to make bread. It is
occasionally administered as a decoction for obstinate cutaneous
complaints; and it has been proposed for use in rheumatism, dropsy, and
other diseases. The young _leaves_ may be used for the feeding of

Few trees are better adapted than the elm for planting in hedge rows, along
the sides of roads, and along shady walks; but in the latter case the
numerous suckers which grow up from its roots give much trouble to keep the
ground clear.

  84. _GENTIAN is a bitter drug, the dried root of a plant_ (Gentiana
  lutea) _which grows wild amongst the Alps, and in other mountainous parts
  of the Continent._

  _The flower-stem of the gentian is two or three feet high, strong,
  smooth, and erect. The leaves which grow upon its lower part are
  spear-shaped and ribbed, and those on the upper part are concave, smooth,
  and egg-shaped. The flowers, which are large and yellow, grow round the
  upper part of the stem on strong footstalks, and are divided at the edge
  into five or more segments. The calyx is a kind of sheath._

Gentian is one of the principal bitters that are now used in medicine; and
is of considerable service in fevers, and in such complaints as arise from
weakness of the stomach. It is externally of a brown colour, and internally
yellowish or bright red. Its taste is at first sweetish, but immediately
afterwards bitter and pungent. As a simple bitter, it is rendered more
grateful to the stomach by the addition of some warm aromatic; and, for
this purpose, orange-peel is commonly employed. An extract of gentian root,
boiled with water till it has nearly the consistence of honey, is kept in
the shops.

  85. _GARDEN CARROT_ (Daucus carota) _is a plant too well known to need
  any description._

In few vegetable productions are the effects of cultivation more
conspicuous than in the carrot. The wild plants, which are common in most
parts of England, have a root so small and woody, that no one could suppose
they had any alliance whatever to the large and succulent root of the
garden carrot.

The various uses of the carrot in cookery are well known. But, although it
contains much nutriment, this root is difficult of digestion; particularly
if eaten raw, or imperfectly boiled. Carrots are an excellent fodder for
cattle and horses, either alone or mixed with hay; and, if given to cows,
in winter or the early part of spring, they are said to cause a great
increase of milk. If carrots be boiled with their wash, hogs will thrive
well upon them. In some parts of England this vegetable has been cultivated
as a winter food for deer; and the leaves have sometimes been made into
hay. Carrots contain a large proportion of saccharine matter, and various
but unsuccessful experiments have been made to extract sugar from them.
They have, however, been more advantageously employed in distillation. Ten
pounds' weight of carrots will yield about half a pint of very strong,
ardent spirit: and the carrots (twenty tons in weight) produced by an acre
of ground, have been known to produce 240 gallons of spirit. A syrup made
of these roots, and clarified with the white of eggs, has been found useful
for many purposes. An infusion of the _seeds_ and the expressed juice of
the roots, are said to afford relief in fits of the gravel. A marmalade of
carrots has been used with success in sea-scurvy, and a poultice prepared
from them is sometimes employed in cancerous ulcers. Crickets are so fond
of these roots that they may easily be destroyed by making a paste of
flour, powdered arsenic, and scraped carrots, and placing this near their

  86. _ROCK SAMPHIRE_ (Crithmum maritimum) _is an umbelliferous plant, with
  fleshy, spear-shaped leaflets, and small but regular-shaped white

The cliffs of Dover have long been celebrated for the production of this
vegetable, which has received an additional interest from the notice that
Shakspeare has taken of the gathering of it:

            "Half-way down
  Hangs one that gathers samphire; dreadful trade!"

It is also found on cliffs of other parts of the south of England, as well
as in Italy, France, and Spain; and generally in inaccessible situations.

In some parts of England the _leaves_ of samphire pickled in vinegar are in
use for the table: they are also used in salads, and for other culinary
purposes. But their place is frequently supplied by a much more common
plant, which grows in salt marshes, and has the name of _marsh samphire_
(_Salicornia_). This, however, is a very inferior substitute, and entirely
destitute of the fine aromatic flavour of the former species.

  87. _ASAFOETIDA is a resinous gum, procured from the root of a large
  umbelliferous plant_ (Ferula asafoetida) _which grows in the mountains of
  some parts of Persia._

  _The leaves of this plant are nearly two feet long, doubly winged, and
  have the leaflets alternate. The flowers are small, and the seeds oval,
  flat, and each marked with three longitudinal lines._

No one who has ever smelt the peculiarly powerful, and garlic-like odour of
asafoetida, can well forget it. If exposed to the air, but particularly
when heated, it will pervade every apartment of a house. Notwithstanding
this, it constitutes a favourite seasoning, for food, with the inhabitants
of many of the eastern countries of the world. The Banian Indians, who
never eat animal food, use it in almost all their dishes; and, before their
meals, they even rub their mouths with it, to stimulate their appetite. It
is sometimes used by our own cooks, but in very small quantity, in place of
garlic. In many parts of Arabia and Persia, asafoetida is much esteemed as
a remedy for internal diseases, and even as an external application to
wounds; and, with us, it is considered a powerful medicine in several
disorders. It has been applied with success, in the cure of hooping-cough
and worms; and in flatulent colics, it has, in many cases, afforded great
relief. It is imported in masses of various sizes and form, and of yellow,
brown, or bluish colour, sometimes interspersed with roundish white pieces.

The plant from the root of which asafoetida is produced grows in the
mountains which surround the small town of Disgnun, in Persia; and, at the
season when it is collected, the whole place smells of it. The upper part
of the roots, which are sometimes as thick as a man's leg, rises somewhat
above the surface of the ground. The harvest commences when the leaves
begin to decay; and the whole gathering is performed by the inhabitants of
the place, in four different journeys to the mountains. The demand for the
article in foreign countries being first ascertained to be sufficient for
the trouble of collecting, the persons employed proceed to the mountains in
companies of four or five each. The juice is obtained by cutting the roots
across, at the same time sheltering them by the leaves (which have been
previously twisted off) from the intense heat of the sun. Each party takes
into its care about 2000 plants. After the first incision has been made,
the roots are suffered to remain untouched for about a month, when they are
again visited, and the gum which has exuded is taken off. This operation is
repeated three times, a few days betwixt each; after which the plants are
exhausted and left to die. At the respective gatherings each party
generally brings away about fifty pounds' weight of asafoetida. It is
stated that a single ship is exclusively devoted to transporting the bulk
of this commodity to the ports in the Persian Gulf; and that, when smaller
parcels are carried, it is usual to tie them to the top of the mast.

In the year 1784, the asafoetida plant was introduced into the Botanic
garden at Edinburgh, from seeds which had been sent by Dr. Guthrie of
Petersburgh to Dr. Hope.

The _ferula tribe_ consists of nine or ten known species of plants, and it
is supposed that asafoetida is yielded by several of them.

In some parts of the Levant the sailors are said to use the _stalks_ of a
species of ferula to transport fire from one island to another. This custom
is of great antiquity, and explains a passage of Hesiod, who, speaking of
the fire stolen from heaven by Prometheus, says that he carried it in a
ferula. The foundation of this fable is undoubtedly owing to what Diodorus
Siculus informs us of Prometheus, that he was the inventor of the steel
with which fire is struck from flint; and in all probability that prince
made use of the pith of the ferula instead of tinder, to convey it from one
place to another.

  88. _CORIANDER is a small globular seed, produced by an annual
  umbelliferous plant_ (Coriandrum sativum), _with leaves in slender
  segments, and small whitish flowers, that grows wild in Suffolk and
  Essex, and is cultivated in several parts of England._

In several farms in Essex and Kent the cultivation of coriander is pursued
to considerable extent. This is done solely for the seed, which is used by
distillers, druggists, and confectioners. In some parts of the North of
Europe it is ground and mixed with dough, to give an aromatic flavour to

Coriander is usually grown with teasel (53) and caraway (91); but, as
neither of the latter come to perfection until the second year after they
have been sown, the coriander is harvested without interfering with the
other crops. In this labour, which usually commences about the beginning of
July, women and children are principally employed: and, to prevent the
seeds of the largest and best plants from being shed and lost, each stem is
cut separately. The stems are then carried into some convenient part of the
field, and threshed all together upon a sail cloth.

So luxuriantly, and, at the same time, so abundantly does this plant grow
in a wild state, in some of the southern parts of Europe, as almost to
choke the growth of wheat and other grain. Every part of it, except the
seed, has a fetid and disagreeable smell. The seeds, when taken in large
quantities, have been considered injurious; but Dr. Withering states, that
he has known six drams of them taken without any remarkable effect.

  89. _PARSNIP is the root of an umbelliferous plant_ (Pastinaca sativa),
  _with winged and serrated leaves, and small yellow flowers, which is
  cultivated in kitchen gardens, and which also grows wild on the borders
  of ploughed fields in several parts of England._

The wild and cultivated parsnips differ much from each other, but
particularly in the roots of the latter being large and succulent, and
those of the former being slender and woody.

Parsnips are propagated by seed sown in February or March, and the roots
are in perfection about October. These, besides their use as a vegetable
for the table, are of great value for the feeding of cattle, horses, sheep,
and hogs. Land in Guernsey, which lets for 7_l._ an acre, is sown with
parsnips to feed cattle; and the milk of the cows so fed is not only richer
than it would otherwise be, but yields butter of fine saffron colour and
excellent taste.

If parsnips be washed clean, and sliced among bran, horses will eat them.
They will fatten sheep and oxen in a short time; and for the feeding of
hogs they are at least equal if not superior to carrots. As food for
mankind they are considered extremely nutritive; and may, with great
advantage, be kept on board ships that are destined for long voyages. It
is, however, said that they should not be dug up for use in the spring,
because, at that season, the nutritive juices rising upward to produce the
seed, they are then unwholesome.

Parsnips abound in saccharine juice; and various experiments have, in vain,
been made with a view to extract sugar from them. In several parts of
Ireland they are used instead of malt in brewing; and, when properly
fermented, they afford an agreeable beverage. The _seeds_ are considered by
some practitioners as an efficacious remedy in intermittent fevers.

  90. _FENNEL_ (Anethum foeniculum) _is a well known plant, which is
  cultivated in gardens, and grows wild in several parts of England._

The _leaves_ of fennel, both boiled and raw, are used in sauce for several
kinds of fish. The tender buds are eaten in salads; and, in Italy, the
_stalks_ are sometimes blanched as winter salad. A distilled water,
prepared from the seeds, is occasionally administered as a medicine; and
there was formerly a notion that the _roots_ were peculiarly valuable, as a
remedy in several diseases, but they are now almost wholly disregarded.

  91. _CARAWAY is a small well known seed, produced by an umbelliferous
  plant_ (Carum carui), _with smooth and double winged leaves, narrow
  leaflets, and small white, or pale flesh-coloured flowers, of which the
  petals are bent inward, so as to become heart-shaped._

The _seeds_ of caraway have a pleasant spicy smell, and a warm aromatic
taste. They are much used by pastry-cooks and confectioners in cakes, and
for other purposes. Incrusted with sugar, they are called caraway comfits.
They are also distilled with spirituous liquors, to improve their flavour;
and are recommended as a medicine in several disorders. An essential _oil_
and a _spirit_ are also prepared from them. In the spring of the year the
_leaves_ are sometimes used in soups, or boiled with pot-herbs. The _roots_
may be converted into an agreeable pickle; and, if simply boiled, they are
said by Parkinson to be better than parsnips.

This plant grows wild in several parts of England, but particularly in
meadows and pastures near Bury St. Edmunds, in Suffolk. It is much
cultivated in Essex and Kent, sometimes alone, and sometimes mixed with
teasel (53) and coriander (88). The season for cutting it is about the
beginning of July; and it is threshed in the field on a cloth, in the same
manner as rape-seed (187).

  92. _ANISE-SEEDS are the production of an umbelliferous annual plant_
  (Pimpinella anisum), _which grows wild in Egypt, Syria, and other Eastern
  countries. They are roundish and striated, flatted on one side, and
  pointed at one end; and of pale colour, inclining to green._

Attempts were made more than two hundred years ago to cultivate anise in
this country, but the summers of our climate are seldom warm enough to
bring the plant to perfection. It has consequently been found necessary to
import the seed from Malta and Spain, where it is cultivated to
considerable extent.

Anise-seeds have an aromatic smell, and a pleasant warm taste, accompanied
with some degree of sweetness. They have long been employed in medicine,
and have been considered useful in diseases of the lungs and complaints of
the stomach. They give out all their virtue to rectified spirit; and a
spirituous water prepared from a mixture of equal parts of anise-seed and
angelica, is kept in the shops as a cordial.

  93. _PARSLEY_ (Apium petroselinum) _is an annual umbelliferous plant too
  common to need any description._

The uses of parsley, in our kitchens, both for sauce and garnish, are
numerous and well known. It is, however, poisonous to several kinds of
birds; and, although so commonly used at table, facts have been adduced
from which it would appear that, with some persons, it occasions epilepsy,
or at least aggravates the fits in those who are subject to that disease.
Inflammation in the eyes has also been attributed to the use of it. Parsley
is eaten with great avidity by sheep, and has been recommended for use in
several diseases of those animals, as well as in some diseases of horses.
Both the _roots_ and _seed_ are employed in medicine. The former have a
sweetish taste, accompanied with a slight warmth, and a flavour somewhat
resembling that of the carrot: the latter are warm and aromatic.

Parsley is a native of Sardinia, and propagated by seed, which is usually
sown about the month of March.

  94. _CELERY_ (Apium graveolens) _is a well known plant belonging to the
  same tribe as parsley._

In a wild state celery is found in ditches and marshes of several parts of
England, and is a small, acrid, and noxious plant, called _smallage_: but,
when cultivated, it entirely loses these properties.

It is grown in trenches, and is earthed up for the purpose of blanching or
whitening the lower parts. The seeds are sown in spring, and the plants may
be taken out for use towards the end of the autumn. Celery is eaten raw in
salads, boiled in soup, or stewed. The seeds are used, particularly at sea,
for the flavouring of soup, to which they give the same taste as the plant

  95. _COPAL is a somewhat resinous substance, obtained from a tree_ (Rhus
  copallinum) _the produce of America, which has winged and very entire
  leaves, the foot-stalks membranaceous and jointed._

We annually import considerable quantities of copal from the Spanish
colonies in America, in irregular masses, some of which are transparent, of
yellowish or brown colour, and others are whitish and semi-transparent.
When copal is dissolved in any volatile liquid, and thinly spread upon
wood, metal, or any other firm substance, so that the liquid may evaporate,
the copal remains perfectly transparent; and forms one of the most
beautiful and perfect varnishes that can be imagined. The varnish thus
formed has the name of _copal varnish_, and is said to have been first
discovered in France. One mode of preparing it is by melting the copal with
an equal quantity of linseed oil (97); another, by mixture with oil of
turpentine; and a third, by mixture with alcohol or spirit of wine. The
particular processes are described in the fourth volume of Dr. Thomson's
System of Chemistry, fifth edition; but they are too long and intricate for
insertion here.

Copal is the varnish which is chiefly used in the japanning of snuff-boxes,
tea-boards, and other similar articles.


  96. _The COMMON ELDER_ (Sambucus nigra) _is a wild English shrub,
  distinguishable by its winged leaves, with serrated and somewhat oval
  leaflets, its clusters of small white flowers divided into five principal
  branches, and the small black or purple berries by which these are

The uses of the elder are more numerous than those of most other shrubs.
There is scarcely any part of this shrub which has not been advantageously
employed in some way or other. The _wood_ is yellow, and, in old trees,
becomes so hard that it will take a polish almost as bright as that of box
(232); and, indeed, it is often used as a substitute for box-wood. Its
toughness also is such that it is made into skewers for butchers, tops for
fishing rods, and needles for the weaving of nets. It is likewise employed
by turners.

Sir J. E. Smith has remarked that this tree is, as it were, a whole
magazine of physic to rustic practitioners, and that it is not quite
neglected even by professional men. Ointments have been made of the green
_inner bark_, and of the _leaves_. The dried _flowers_, infused in water,
are used in fomentations, or as tea: and, mixed with butter-milk, they are
sometimes employed as a wash for the face; and the clusters of flowers,
before they open, may be made into a delicious pickle, to eat with boiled
mutton. The _berries_ are boiled into a rob, which is useful in sore
throats, colds, and hoarsenesses. In addition to their medicinal services,
the leaves are sometimes thrown into the subterraneous paths of moles,
under an impression that their smell will drive away those noxious animals.
If turnips, cabbages, fruit trees, or corn, all of which are subject to
blight from various kinds of insects, be strongly whipped with the green
leaves and branches of elder, insects will not attack them; and an infusion
of the leaves is sometimes sprinkled by gardeners over the buds of such
flowers as they wish to preserve from the devastation of caterpillars.
Elder flowers have an agreeable flavour, which they impart, in
distillation, to water: they are likewise used to give a flavour to
vinegar. The berries are poisonous to poultry, but their juice, properly
fermented, makes a pleasant and wholesome wine; and, in Germany, a very
pure and strong spirit is distilled from them. The juice of elder berries
is sometimes employed to give a red colour to raisin or other sweet wine.
The _young shoots_ of this shrub are filled with an exceedingly light
_pith_, which is cut into balls for electrical experiments; and is also
made into toys for the amusement of children.

The elder will grow and thrive in almost any soil and situation; but, as
every part of this shrub has an unpleasant narcotic smell, people ought to
be cautious not to sleep under its shade, as, in such case, it might prove
of serious injury to them.


  97. _FLAX is the produce of an annual plant_ (Linum usitatissimum, Fig.
  37), _with spear-shaped leaves, and blue flowers, which is cultivated in
  several parts of Great Britain, and grows wild in corn-fields and sandy
  pastures of some of the southern counties._

  _The stems of these plants rise to the height of about two feet. The seed
  vessels and leaves of the calyx are sharp pointed, and the flowers have
  each five scolloped petals._

It is supposed that we were originally indebted for this plant to those
parts of Egypt which are annually inundated by the Nile; but the time of
its introduction into this country is unknown. Its utility is incalculable.
To it we are indebted for the linen we wear, for our sheets, table-cloths,
and numerous other indispensable articles of clothing and domestic economy;
and although cotton might, in some degree, supply its place, those persons
who have been accustomed to the comforts of linen would be little desirous
of the exchange.

The cultivation of flax is pursued to considerable extent in some parts of
the British dominions. The seed imported from Riga and Holland is
generally, though perhaps erroneously, esteemed the best. It is sown in
March or April; and the plants, when nearly ripe, are pulled up by the
roots. These, if flax and not seed be the object of the crop, are either
placed in small parcels upon the surface of the land, for exposure to the
sun, to dry; or they are immediately conveyed to the place where they are
to undergo the process called watering. For this purpose they are loosely
tied in small bundles, placed in pools or ponds of soft and stagnant water,
and allowed to continue there several days. By the fermentation which takes
place, the bark or flaxy substance becomes separated. They are then taken
out, and thinly spread upon the grass, in regular rows. Here they are
occasionally turned until they have become so brittle, that, on being
rubbed between the hands, the flax easily and freely separates from the
stalks. They are taken up, and bound in sheaves, to be either sent to a
mill, or to be broken and scuttled, as it is called, by a machine contrived
for that purpose.

The flax, by the above process, having been separated from the stalks, it
subsequently undergoes various dressings, according to the purposes for
which it is to be used.

When the plants have been grown for _seed_, they are pulled as before, and
then laid together by handfuls upon the ground, with the seed ends towards
the south, that they may be the better exposed to the sun. The next
operation is to force off the seed vessels. For this purpose a large cloth
is usually spread on some adjacent and convenient spot of ground, and an
instrument, called a ripple, is placed in the middle of it. This is a sort
of comb, consisting of six, eight, or ten, long, triangular, upright teeth.
The seed ends of the flax are pulled repeatedly through the teeth of the
comb, by which the parts containing the seed are removed from the stalks.
After this the pods and seeds, which have the name of _line-seeds_, are
spread upon a cloth in the sun to dry, and subsequently are threshed,
sifted, winnowed, and cleansed. The best seed is generally preserved for
sowing, and the second sort yields considerable profit in the oil which is
obtained from it by pressure. This, which is called _linseed oil_, is
equally useful in the arts and in medicine. It is occasionally employed for
making the soap called green soap. If heat be applied during the pressure
of the seeds, the oil attains a yellowish colour and a peculiar smell, and,
in this state, it is used by painters and varnishers. An infusion of the
seed, in the manner of tea, is recommended in coughs; and from the seed is
also made an useful kind of poultice for external inflammations.

After the oil has been expressed, the remaining farinaceous part of the
seeds is squeezed together into large masses, called _oil-cake_ which is
given as food to oxen.

It must be remarked that the water in which flax has been macerated becomes
thereby poisonous to cattle; and, on this account, the practice of steeping
it in any running stream or common pond was prohibited by an act of
Parliament, passed in the reign of Henry the Eighth.





  98. _The PINE_ (Bromelia ananas) _is a rich and highly fragrant fruit, of
  large size, and yellow colour, with protuberances on its surface; and
  crowned by a tuft of strong and pointed leaves, edged with sharp spines._

This, the best and finest flavoured of all known fruits, was originally
imported into England from South America, about the year 1690. In that
country and the West Indies it has long been cultivated in the open ground;
and, from free access to a congenial atmosphere, it attains there a much
finer flavour than is possible in a forced state, in the hot-houses of
Great Britain.

Pines are planted in earth; and the pots which contain them are immersed in
beds of bark, after it has been used by the tanners. About the month of
April the young fruit begins to advance, but the usual season for ripening
does not commence till July, and the fruit is in greatest perfection from
the middle of August to the end of September. The ripening of pines is
discoverable by the fragrant odour which they emit, and by their
protuberances yielding to pressure with the hand; and their flavour
speedily dissipates if left uncut longer than three or four days after they
are fully ripe. When brought to table, their leafy crowns should be
reserved for planting. These, if placed in pots, and plunged in the
bark-bed, or in a hot-bed, and covered, for some time, with glass, will in
two years bear fruit.

There are several varieties of pine, of which the following are among the

(_a_) _White Pine._--This has a whitish and fibrous flesh, and the rind as
yellow as that of an orange. Its smell is highly fragrant, and it excels
most other kinds in size and beauty, although its flavour is inferior to
that of many. Its juice edges the teeth, and sometimes makes the lips

(_b_) _The yellow pine_ edges the teeth less; but both this and the
preceding variety are exceeded by

(_c_)  _The sugar-loaf pine_; which is distinguished by the purple stripes
on the outside of the leaves, and by its straw-coloured fruit.

(_d_) _The Montserrat pine_ is now rare in Europe, though in America it is
esteemed in preference to most others. It is principally known by the
protuberances of the fruit being longer and flatter than those of the
common sort.

In the West Indies an excellent liquid sweetmeat or confection is made from
pines. This fruit also is sometimes preserved whole, and, when taken out of
the syrup, is iced over with sugar. Sweetmeats of this kind were formerly
sent into Europe, in great quantity, from the Antilles. Wine made from
pines is almost equal to Malmsey: at the end of about three weeks it
becomes somewhat acid, but it recovers by longer keeping. Pines, in the
West Indies, are frequently put into rum to communicate to that liquor
their peculiar aromatic flavour.

  99. _GARLIC_ (Allium sativum) _is a plant with bulbous root, of irregular
  form, composed of many smaller bulbs, called cloves, which are all
  included within a white skin._

  _The stem leaves are flat and narrow; the upper part of the stem bears
  small bulbs, and the stamens are three pointed._

In warm climates, where _garlic_ is produced having considerably less
acrimony than in this country, it is much used, both as a seasoning and as
food. The lower classes of French, Spaniards, and Portuguese, consume great
quantities of it. The Jews also eat of it to excess. With us it is in
considerable estimation for culinary and other domestic purposes. It has an
acrid taste, and an highly offensive smell; and it differs from the onion
only by being more powerful in its effects. When bruised and applied to the
skin, it causes inflammation, and raises blisters.

The medical properties of garlic are various. In dropsical complaints,
asthmas, and agues, it is said to have been successfully used. Some
instances have occurred, in deafness, of the beneficial effects of wrapping
a clove of garlic in muslin and putting it into the ear. As a medicine
internally taken, garlic is administered as a bolus, or made into pills.
Its smell is considered an infallible remedy against vapours, and to be
useful in nearly all the nervous disorders to which females are subject. An
oil is sometimes prepared from garlic, which is so heavy as to sink in
water. But the virtues of this pungent vegetable are more perfectly and
more readily extracted by spirit of wine than in any other way. A syrup is
also made from it.

The juice of garlic is said to be the best and strongest cement that can be
adopted for broken glass and china, leaving little or no mark, if used with
care. Snails, worms, and the grubs, or larvæ of insects, as well as moles,
and other vermin, may all be driven away by placing preparations of garlic
in or near their haunts.

This plant grows wild in the island of Sicily.

  100. _LEEKS_ (Allium porrum) _belong to the onion or garlic tribe, and
  are known by their leaves growing out on each side, somewhat in the shape
  of a fan._

In some countries leeks are much esteemed for culinary uses, in soups,
broth, and for boiling as greens with meat.

They are considered the badge of the Welsh nation, and representations of
them are frequently worn by persons of that country on the day of their
patron saint, St. David. The origin of this custom was an occurrence,
during the Welsh wars, in which a party of Welshmen, wanting a mark of
distinction, and shortly afterwards passing through a field or garden of
leeks, seized and stuck the plants in their caps, and under this signal
were victorious.

Leeks are natives of Switzerland.

  101. _SHALOT_ (Allium ascalonicum) _is a kind of garlic, the bulbs or
  roots of which are oblong, irregular, and seldom of large size._

  _The stem is naked and round; the leaves are somewhat awl-shaped; the
  head of flowers is globular; and the stamens are three-pointed._

The uses of shalot, or echalotte, as it is denominated by the French, are
almost wholly confined to cookery. It has a strong, but rather pleasant
smell, on which account it is generally preferred to onions. It is employed
for the seasoning of soups, gravy, hashes, pickles, and for numerous other

This plant grows wild in several parts of the Continent.

  102. _The CANADIAN or TREE ONION_ (Allium Canadense) _is remarkable for
  producing a bulb or onion at the top of the stalk._

  _The stem is naked and round; and the leaves are flat and narrow._

These onions are well deserving of attention both as objects of curiosity,
from producing their bulb at the upper extremity of the stalk, and also for
their use. When pickled, they are generally thought superior in flavour to
the common onion.

They were originally imported from Canada; are perennial, and are
propagated by planting the bulbs in the spring or autumn. Either the bulbs
of the root or those on the stalk will grow.

  103. _CHIVES_ (Allium schoenoprasum) _are the smallest of the garlic
  tribe, seldom rising more than a few inches above the ground, and the
  bulbs not being larger than peas._

  _The stem is naked, as long as the leaves; and the leaves are round and
  somewhat awl-shaped._

Chives are natives of Italy, Switzerland, and several other parts of
Europe; and are so hardy, and at the same time so useful, that they merit a
place in every garden: yet, in the northern counties of England and in
Scotland, they are very rarely to be seen. The leaves, which are small and
are the principal parts that are used, appear early in the spring. They are
employed in salads, and for numerous culinary purposes; and often at a
season when other plants of the same tribe cannot be procured.

  104. _The COMMON ONION_ (Allium cepa) _is known by its round and hollow
  leaves, and its swelling pipy stalk, which is considerably thicker in the
  middle than either at the top or bottom._

The name of onion is derived from the Latin word _unio_, which, properly,
signifies a bulb that does not throw out offsets. Onions are propagated by
seed which are sown in spring; and the bulbs or roots arrive at perfection
in the autumn. The whole plant, when young, is eaten as salad. Onions
generally cease to grow towards the middle of August, the stalks and leaves
at that time shrinking and turning brown. Shortly after this they must be
drawn out of the earth; the tops and blades must be cut off; and the roots
dried, either in a warm place, or by exposure to the sun.

_Spanish onions_ are of large size, and flattened shape; and _Portugal
onions_ are large, handsome bulbs, of roundish form.

By the common people onions are frequently eaten raw with their food. This
has particularly been the case, and from time immemorial, with the
inhabitants of Egypt. By stimulating the stomach, they are supposed to
favour digestion. Some persons have imagined that they possess a large
portion of alimentary matter; but others say that they afford little or no
nourishment, and that, when eaten freely, they produce flatulencies,
occasion thirst, head-achs, and turbulent dreams. Onions have so much
acrimony as generally to affect the breath for many hours: but when boiled
or roasted, this is, in a great measure, dissipated, and they then exhibit
some sweetness, with a considerable portion of mucilaginous matter. Onions
are of great use in several culinary preparations, but particularly in soup
and pickles. They are employed in medicine chiefly as poultices for
swellings; and have been recommended by some persons, to be rubbed on bald
parts of the head, to promote the growth of the hair.

  105. _ASPARAGUS_ (Asparagus officinalis), _is a well known plant, the
  young shoots of which are a favourite culinary vegetable_.

Few circumstances in the phenomena of vegetation are more remarkable than
the gradual enlargement of size, and improvement of quality, which have
taken place in the cultivation of asparagus. It grows wild on the pebbly
beach near Weymouth, and in the island of Anglesea: but its stem, in these
situations, is not usually thicker than a goose's quill, and its whole
height does not exceed a few inches; whereas in gardens its stem is
sometimes near three quarters of an inch thick, and its height, when at
maturity, is four or five feet.

Asparagus is one of the greatest delicacies which our kitchen gardens
afford, and it is particularly estimable from the early season at which it
is produced. Even in the open ground, it is in perfection for the table
about the end of April; and when forced, by being planted in hot-beds under
glass, it may be cut much earlier. Asparagus continues in season till about
the end of June.

It is usually raised from seed, in beds formed for the purpose: and the
plants should remain three years in the ground before they are cut: after
which, for several years, they will continue to afford a regular annual
supply. During the winter, they are secured from the effects of frost by
the beds being covered some inches thick with straw or litter.

In the cutting of asparagus, the knife is passed three or four inches
beneath the ground. The plants are cut by sloping the blade upward; and the
white part that we see, is that which had not previously been exposed to
the air. The smallest plants are suffered to grow for the purpose of
producing berries to re-stock the beds, and keep them continually in a
state of supply.

  106. _ALOES are an extensive tribe of plants, some of which are not more
  than a few inches, whilst others are thirty feet and upwards, in height.
  All the leaves are fleshy, thick, and more or less spinous at the edges
  or extremity._

  _These plants, which are chiefly inhabitants of hot climates, have
  flowers of a single petal, the mouth expanded, the base nectariferous,
  and the filaments of the stamens inserted into the receptacle._

Some of the larger kinds of aloes are of great importance to the
inhabitants of countries in which they grow. Beset as the _leaves_ are with
strong spines, they form an impenetrable fence. The negroes of the western
coast of Africa make ropes and weave nets of the fibrous part of these
leaves. The Hottentots hollow out the _stems_ of one of the kinds into
quivers for their arrows. In Jamaica, there is a species of aloe which
supplies the inhabitants with bow-strings, fishing lines, and materials
from which they are able to weave stockings and hammocks. An aloe which
grows in the kingdom of Mexico is applied by the inhabitants to almost
every purpose of life. It serves as hedges for enclosures: its trunk
supplies the place of timber for the roofs of houses, and its leaves the
place of tiles. From this plant the Mexicans make thread, needles, and
various articles of clothing and cordage: whilst from its juices they
manufacture wine, sugar, and vinegar. Some parts of it they eat, and others
they apply in medicine.

The _juice_ of aloes was formerly used in Eastern countries in embalming,
to preserve dead bodies from putrefaction; and, as the resinous part of
this juice is not soluble in water, it is sometimes adopted in hot climates
as a preservative to ships' bottoms against the attack of marine worms. One
ounce of it mixed with turpentine, tallow, and white lead, is considered to
be sufficient for covering about two superficial feet of plank; and about
twelve pounds are sufficient for a vessel of fifty tons' burthen. In proof
of the efficacy of this method, two planks of equal thickness, and cut from
the same tree, were placed under water, one of them in its natural state,
and the other smeared with the composition above described. They were
suffered to continue in the water eight months, and when, at the end of
that time, they were taken out, the former was perforated in every part,
and in a state of absolute decay; whilst the latter was as perfect as at
first. In the East Indies, the juice of these plants is used as a varnish,
to preserve wood from the attacks of destructive insects: and skins, and
even living animals, are sometimes smeared with it for the same purpose.

There is a tract of mountains, about fifty miles north of the Cape of Good
Hope, which is wholly covered with aloes. Among the Mahometans, and
particularly in Egypt, the aloe is a kind of symbolic plant: it is
dedicated to the offices of religion; and pilgrims, on their return from
Mecca, suspend it over their doors, as a declaration that they have
performed that holy journey.

  107. _SOCOTRINE ALOES are the dried juice of a large species of aloe_
  (Aloe perfoliata, Fig. 38) _which grows in great abundance in the island
  of Socotra, near the mouth of the Red Sea._

  _The leaves are sword-shaped, fleshy, smooth, full of juice, of
  bluish-green colour; and beset at the edges with strong spines. The
  flower-stems rise to the height of three or four feet, are smooth, erect,
  and have at the top a spike of flowers of purple or reddish colour, the
  stamens of which have oblong orange-coloured anthers._

The true Socotrine aloes are imported into this country wrapped in skins;
and when pure have a bright surface, and are in some degree pellucid. In
the lump they have a yellowish red colour, with a purplish cast; and, when
reduced to powder, are of a golden yellow. Their taste is bitter and
disagreeable, but somewhat aromatic; and their smell is not unpleasant.

_Barbadoes aloes_, _common aloes_, or _hepatic aloes_, are the dried juice
of a variety of the Socotrine aloes, which is cultivated in Barbadoes and
Jamaica. Of this we import three kinds: one in gourd shells; an inferior
kind, in pots; and another, still worse, in casks.

In the cultivation of aloes it is requisite that the plants should grow for
two or three years before the juice is procured from them. The operation of
collecting the juice is performed in different ways. Dr. Browne tells us
that labourers go into the field with knives and tubs; and that cutting off
the largest and most succulent leaves close to the stalk, they immediately
put them into the tubs in an upright position, that the liquor may drain
from the wounds. When this is nearly all discharged, they take the leaves
out singly, and clear them of any juice that may adhere to them; and the
liquor is then put into shallow flat-bottomed vessels, and dried gradually
in the sun, until it acquires a proper thickness to be poured out or ladled
into the gourd shells which are to contain it. What is thus obtained is
called _Socotrine aloes_, and is the clearest and most valuable of any. An
additional quantity of juice is obtained by pressing the leaves.

In some places the plants are pulled up by the roots, and, after having
been carefully cleansed from earth or other impurities, they are sliced and
cut in pieces, into small hand-baskets or nets. In these the pieces are
boiled, for a little while, in water, by which the juice is extracted; and
successive basketfuls are boiled in the same liquor, until it becomes thick
and of dark colour. The fluid part is subsequently evaporated, and what
remains is put into gourd shells for sale.

Other methods of inspissating or drying the juice are to pour it into
bladders left open at the top, and suspended in the sun; or to place it in
broad shallow trays of wood, pewter or tin, exposed to the sun every dry
day, until the fluid parts are exhaled, and a perfect resin is formed,
which is then packed up for sale.

There is a kind called _Caballine_ or _horse aloes_, which has a rank and
unpleasant smell, but in taste is not much more disagreeable than either of
the others. In its properties it agrees nearly with hepatic aloes, but it
is chiefly employed by farriers in horse medicines.

The medical properties of aloes have long been known and established: and
their extensive application in medicine is, perhaps, the best proof that
can be adduced of their utility. In the arts aloes are, in several
respects, useful. But, particularly, the leaves of the Socotrine aloes
afford a beautiful violet colour which does not require the aid of any
mordant to fix it; the same also is capable of being formed into a fine
transparent colour for painting in miniature.

  108. _The GREAT, or AMERICAN ALOE_ (Agave Americana), _is a large plant,
  the leaves of which are thick, fleshy, and spinous at the edge, and the
  stem branched and of great height._

  _The flowers of this plant are distinguished by having the tube of the
  corolla narrowed in the middle, the stamens longer than the corolla, and
  the style longer than the stamens._

This magnificent native of North America is by no means an uncommon plant
in our gardens, but, with us, it is seldom seen in flower. There is indeed
a notion, but it is an erroneous one, that the American aloe does not bloom
until it is a hundred years old. The fact is, that the flowering depends
almost wholly on its growth. In hot countries it will flower in a few
years; but in colder climates, the growth being slower, it is necessarily
longer in arriving at maturity. The stem which bears the blossoms rises
from the centre of the leaves, and, when the plant is in a vigorous state,
it frequently exceeds the height of twenty feet. An American aloe in the
garden of the king of Prussia was forty feet high. Branches issue from
every side, and in such manner as to form a kind of pyramid, composed of
greenish yellow flowers, which stand erect, and are seen in thick clusters
at every joint. When in full flower, the appearance of this aloe is
extremely splendid; and if the season be favourable, and the plant be
sheltered from the cold in autumn, a succession of blossoms will sometimes
be produced for near three months.

In the warmer parts of Europe, American aloes are cultivated as objects of
considerable utility. They are frequently grown in rows, as fences, for
enclosures, particularly in Spain, Portugal, and Italy. In Algarvia the
leaves are employed for scouring pewter and other kitchen utensils, and
floors; and, cut into slices, are used for the feeding of cattle.

By a certain preparation, the juice of the leaves is made into cakes, which
are employed for washing, and which will lather with salt water as well as
with fresh. The fibres of the leaves, when properly prepared, may be
separated into threads that are useful in various ways. This separation is
sometimes effected by bruising and steeping them in water, and afterwards
beating them. The process, in some parts of Portugal, is, after plucking
the largest and best leaves, to place them on a square board, which a
person presses obliquely between his breast and the ground, and then
scrapes with a square iron bar held in both hands. By this operation all
the juices are pressed out, and only the fibres and some of the membranous
parts of the leaves remain, which are then easily detached. The fibres are
employed for all the purposes to which thread can be applied, but they are
neither strong nor durable; and if exposed to moisture, they soon decay.

  109. _The FAN PALM is a very remarkable tree_ (Corypha umbraculifera)
  _that grows in the East Indies, but particularly in Malabar, and the
  island of Ceylon; its leaves, eight or ten in number, rise out of the
  summit of the trunk, are winged and somewhat fan-shaped, and have their
  segments connected by a thread or fibre._

The stem of the fan palm is straight, cylindrical, smooth, and as tall as a
ship's mast. Its _leaves_ are upwards of six yards in length, and four
yards wide; and form altogether a head of twelve or thirteen yards in
diameter. These leaves, which, when dry, fold up somewhat like a fan, are
used for the covering of huts and cottages; and not unfrequently by
soldiers, instead of canvas, for the construction of tents. One of them is
sufficiently large to shelter twenty persons from the rays of the sun. They
are also a kind of natural paper on which the inhabitants write, by means
of a sharp-pointed iron instrument, which leaves indelible marks upon them.
Many of the books which are shown in Europe for those of Egyptian papyrus
(26) are said to be formed of parts of these leaves.--The _pith_ of the
trunk, beaten into a kind of paste and mixed with water, is formed into
cakes, and constitutes a species of bread, very serviceable to the
inhabitants in times of scarcity. The _juice_ of some parts of the tree is
used as an emetic.

The fan palms are said not to bear fruit until they are near forty years
old; but after this period, when in perfection, they produce annually more
than twenty thousand _berries_ each. These are each about 1½ inch diameter,
of globular shape, smooth, green, and fleshy; but are not known to be of
any use.

  110. _The ROTANG or DRAGON'S BLOOD TREE, is a species of cane_ (Calamus
  rotang) _which grows to the length of more than a hundred feet, is about
  as thick as a man's arm, and is closely beset with erect prickles._

  _This cane has at the top a tuft of leaves which are several feet in
  length, and alternately winged, and of which the leaflets are
  sword-shaped, and armed with sharp spines._

In consequence of its great length and slender form, the rotang tree (which
is usually found in woods near rivers, and in morassy places) does not grow
entirely upright; but, after having attained the height of five or six
yards, it depends, for support, upon other trees, which it sometimes
overruns, in nearly an horizontal direction to the extent of sixty or
eighty feet. The flowers are produced in upright spikes that separate into
long spreading branches, and are succeeded by a red and somewhat egg-shaped
fruit, which to the taste is pleasantly acid.

The drug called _Dragon's Blood_[4] is obtained from this fruit, in Japan,
and several other countries of the East. The Japanese expose the fruit of
the Rotang tree to the steam of boiling water, by which the external shell
is softened, and a resinous fluid is forced out, that is afterwards
enclosed in leaves and suspended in the air to dry. In Sumatra the external
surface of the fruit is observed to be covered with the resin: this is
rubbed off, melted in the sun, and formed into grains or globules, which
are folded in leaves, and are considered the purest kind of dragon's blood.
In some countries the fruit is boiled in water, and the resin, which floats
upon the surface, is skimmed off and subsequently purified, and formed into
the requisite shape for sale. An inferior kind of dragon's blood is made up
into large masses, which contain the membranous parts of the fruit and
other impurities. When this substance is tolerably pure, it breaks smooth,
and appears internally of a dark red colour; melts readily, and easily
catches fire. Its principal use is in medicine.

The _stem_ of the rotang furnishes the inhabitants of the countries where
it grows with shafts for pikes or spears; and the inner part of the young
shoots is boiled or roasted for food.

  111. _The COMMON WALKING CANES_ (Calamus scipionum) _have a smooth and
  glossy stem, usually marked with dark spots: and the knots or joints are
  sometimes three or four feet asunder._

These canes grow, very abundantly, in Sumatra and other Eastern islands, as
well as on the continent of India, whence they appear to have been
originally exported to Europe by the Dutch. There is a considerable trade
in them to China. The long spaces between the knots, their shining surface,
and lightness, have rendered them preferable to most other articles for
walking canes.

  112. _The RATTAN or TRUE CANE_ (Calamus verus), _is remarkable for
  growing to the great length of a hundred feet, and upwards, and, at the
  same time, not being thicker than a man's finger._

A trade in rattans to considerable extent is carried on from several of the
islands of the east to China, which is the principal market for them. These
canes are extremely tough and flexible, of yellowish brown colour, and,
when cut into thongs, are sometimes used to make cables and other ropes.
Our cane-bottomed chairs are made of split rattans, the outer or smooth
surface of which is always kept uppermost. For this work the canes are
chosen by their great length, pale yellow colour, and bright gloss. They
are purchased in bundles, each of which contains a hundred canes, neatly
tied in the middle, and the ends bent together. When perfectly dry, they
are so hard as to yield sparks of fire when struck against each other. The
word rattan, in the Malay language, signifies a staff or walking stick.

  113. _The BAMBOO CANE_ (Bambusa arundinacea) _has a hollow, round,
  straight, and shining stem; and sometimes grows to the length of forty
  feet and upwards: it has knots at the distance of ten or twelve inches
  from each other, with thick, rough, and hairy sheaths, alternate
  branches, and small, entire, and spear-shaped leaves._

There is scarcely any plant so common in hot climates as this, and few are
more extensively useful. It occurs within the tropical regions both of the
eastern and western hemispheres, throughout the East Indies and the greater
part of China, in the West Indies, and America. In England, it can only be
cultivated in a hot-house; and its growth is so rapid, even there, that a
strong shoot has been known to spring from the ground and attain the height
of twenty feet in six weeks.

The inhabitants of many parts of India build their houses almost wholly of
bamboo; and make nearly every description of furniture with it, in a very
ingenious manner. They likewise form with it several kinds of utensils, for
their kitchens and tables; and, from two pieces of bamboo rubbed hard
together, they produce fire. The masts of boats, boxes, baskets, and
innumerable other articles, are made of bamboo. After having been bruised,
steeped in water, and formed into a pulp, the _sheaths_ and _leaves_ may be
manufactured into paper. The stems are frequently bored, and used as pipes
for conveying water; and the strongest stems serve to make the poles with
which the slaves or servants carry those kind of litters so common in the
East, called palanquins. The stems of the bamboo serve also as the usual
fence for gardens and other enclosures: and the leaves are generally put
round the tea which is sent in chests from China to Europe. The Chinese
make, of the external _bark_ of the bamboo, a kind of cordage, which has
the advantage of united lightness and durability. For this purpose the bark
is cleft in strips several feet in length; and these are twisted together
according to the thickness that is required. For the tow lines of their
vessels, eight or nine bands or strips are sufficient; but, for cables, a
much greater number is requisite. Some of the Malays preserve the small and
_tender shoots_ of bamboo in vinegar and pepper to be eaten with their
food. Many of the walking canes which we see in Europe are formed of the
young shoots of this plant.

The Chinese make a kind of frame-work of bamboo, by which they are enabled
to float in water; and the Chinese merchants, when going on a voyage,
always provide themselves with this simple apparatus to save their lives in
case of shipwreck. It is formed by placing four bamboos horizontally across
each other, so as to leave, in the middle, a square place for the body;
and, when used, this frame is slipped over the head, and secured by being
tied to the waist.

  114. _The COMMON RUSH_ (Juncus effusus) _is known by its green, smooth,
  stiff, upright, leafless and pointed stem; having a loose bunch of small
  flowers at the side, and the seed-vessels blunt at the extremity._

Although the rush is generally considered by farmers a noxious weed in wet
meadows and pastures, it is applicable to a variety of useful purposes; but
particularly for making the wicks of rushlights. For this purpose it is
usually cut a little after Midsummer; and is immediately afterwards thrown
into water, and kept there, that it may not become dry, and that it may be
the more easily peeled.

At first a person would find it no easy matter to divest a rush of its
rind, so as to leave on each side, from top to bottom, one regular, narrow,
and even rib, that may support the pith. But this, by practice, soon
becomes familiar even to children.

When rushes are thus far prepared, they are spread on the grass to be
bleached; and, afterwards, they are dried in the sun for use.

If only one rib of peel be left, instead of two, rushes will supply the
place of cotton wicks for candles. In some parts of Hampshire the labouring
people form wicks of this description; they dip them into scalding fat or
grease, and use them in place of candles.

Rushes are sometimes manufactured into a slight kind of baskets. In the
vicinity of Farnham, in Surrey, they are cut about Midsummer, and dried in
the same manner as hay. After this they are formed into a kind of rick, and
sheltered till the succeeding spring. They are then usefully employed, for
bands or ties, in fastening hop-binds to the poles. In a fresh state they
are sometimes made into brooms or besoms for blacksmiths, and other
artisans working in metals.

  115. _BARBERRIES are a beautiful red and oblong-shaped fruit, produced,
  in small bunches, by a shrub_ (Berberris vulgaris) _which grows wild in
  many parts of England. This shrub has somewhat oval, serrated, and
  pointed leaves; thorns growing three together upon the branches; and
  pendent clusters of yellow flowers._

So great is the acidity of this beautiful _fruit_ that even birds refuse to
eat it. In this respect it nearly approaches the tamarind. When boiled with
sugar, however, it makes an agreeable preserve, rob, or jelly, according to
the different modes of preparing it. Barberries are also used as a dry
sweetmeat, and in sugarplums or comfits; are pickled with vinegar, and are
used for the garnishing of dishes. They are likewise well calculated to
allay heat and thirst in persons afflicted with fevers. The _bark_ of this
barberry shrub is said to have been administered with effect in cases of
jaundice, and in some other complaints; and the inner bark, with the
assistance of alum, dyes linen a fine yellow colour. The _roots_, but
particularly their bark, are employed, in Poland, in the dyeing of leather.

A very singular circumstance has been stated respecting the barberry shrub;
that corn, sown near it, proves abortive, the ears being in general
destitute of grain; and that this influence is sometimes extended to a
distance of three or four hundred yards across a field. A similar opinion,
on this subject, prevails in France, as well as in England, but there is
reason to suppose it is without foundation.


  116. _RICE_ (Oryza sativa, Fig. 39) _is a well-known kind of grain, which
  is much cultivated in the East Indies, America, and some parts of Spain;
  and which, previously to its being sold for use, is freed from a brownish
  husk that covers it._

  _The rice plant has an erect, simple, round, and jointed stem. Its leaves
  are narrow and pointed; and its flowers appear in a kind of bunch, at the
  extremity, somewhat resembling, but more compact than, an ear of oats._

We are, at present, chiefly supplied with rice from America; and it is said
that the Americans were indebted for this grain to a small bag of it which
was formerly given as a present from a Mr. Dubois, treasurer of the East
India Company, to a Carolina merchant.

A wet and morassy soil, appears in general necessary to the cultivation of
rice. The parts of the farms or plantations in which it is grown are
usually so situated as to admit of being flooded; and, in many places,
reservoirs of water are formed for this purpose. These reservoirs have
sluices, by which the rice fields may be inundated at pleasure. In reaping
the crop, the labourers generally work knee deep in water and mud. As the
rice is cut, the sheaves are put on drays, and carried out to be spread on
dry ground. The rice thus produced has the name of _marsh rice_, and is
that which is chiefly imported into Europe.

In some of the mountainous parts of the East Indies rice is cultivated on
the sides of hills, where it can only be watered by rain. It is sown,
however, at the beginning of the rainy, and reaped in the beginning of the
dry season; so that, in fact, it has nearly all the advantages of being
watered, which the marsh rice possesses. The general appellation of rice,
in the East Indies, is _paddy_; but the kind just mentioned is denominated
_paddy gunung_, or _mountain rice_, and is little known in Europe, though
of late years it has been cultivated with success in Tuscany. Its grains
are whiter, finer, and more palatable than those of the marsh rice.

After the harvesting of rice, the next process is to free the grains from
the husk in which they are enveloped. There are several ways of doing this.
In some places they are pounded in large mortars, and afterwards winnowed.
In others large cylindrical pestles are lifted by a wheel worked by oxen;
and between these one person sits and pushes forward the rice to be beaten,
whilst another carries it off to be winnowed, and supplies fresh parcels.
The inhabitants of several parts of the East throw it into hot water, by
which the grains are slightly swelled, and thus burst through the husk. In
the island of Ceylon, and in some parts of America, a hollow place, about a
foot in depth, and nine or ten yards in diameter, is dug in the ground.
This is filled with corn, which is trodden by oxen driven round it until
the grain is cleared. The Sacred and other writings inform us that this was
the mode which the ancients adopted with other species of grain.

In Spain, when the rice is ripe, it is gathered into sheaves, and put into
a mill, where the lower grinding stone is covered with cork; and, by this
means, the grain is separated from the husk, without being bruised.

Rice is said to have been lately cultivated, with success, in some parts of
Scotland; and it is not improbable, that, by degrees, this species of grain
may be naturalized to our climate.

No kind of grain is so generally adopted for food in hot climates as this.
The inhabitants of many parts of the East subsist almost wholly upon it;
and large quantities are annually imported into Europe, where it is highly
esteemed for puddings and numerous culinary preparations. It is considered
very nutritive, but it should not be eaten in too large quantities by
languid or debilitated persons. In a scarcity of other grain, rice may be
used with considerable advantage as an ingredient in bread. Indeed, on
account of its excellence and its cheapness, it claims attention as a
general article of sustenance for the poorer classes of society; as it is
well known that a quarter of a pound of rice, slowly boiled, will yield
more than a pound of solid and nutritive food. For the fattening of
poultry, boiled rice has been adopted with success, and it would be more
generally adopted than it is, were it not for an unfounded and very
extraordinary notion that it tends to make them blind.

The inhabitants of the East obtain from rice a vinous liquor, which is more
intoxicating than the strongest wine; and an ardent spirit, called
_arrack_, is also partly made from it. The latter is chiefly manufactured
at Batavia, and at Goa on the coast of Malabar; and is said to be distilled
from a mixture of the wort or infusion of rice, and of toddy, or the juice
of the cocoa-nut tree (233), to which other ingredients, and particularly
spices, are added.

There is only one species of rice; but the varieties of it, according to
the soil, climate, and culture, are very numerous.





  117. _The HORSE-CHESNUT_ (Æsculus hippocastanum, Fig. 66) _is a very
  common tree in parks and pleasure grounds, bearing leaves each composed
  of seven large lobes; and having large and elegant clusters of
  light-coloured flowers._

  _Each flower consists of five petals of white colour, irregularly spotted
  with red and yellow; and roundish, but undulated or waved at the edges.
  The fruit, which is of bitter and unpleasant taste, is enclosed in a
  roundish capsule or seed vessel, beset with spines, and divided into
  three cells._

There is no tree of British growth more admired, or more deserving of
admiration on account of its brilliant appearance at a very early season of
the year than the chesnut. Its beautiful flowers, in upright conical
spikes, terminate the branches on all sides, in such manner that sometimes
almost the whole tree appears as if it were covered by them.

The _fruit_ of the horse-chesnut has been found of considerable use in the
fattening of cattle, the tallow of which it is said to render peculiarly
firm. For this purpose, however, as well as for the feeding of sheep, it
has been considered advantageous to macerate the nuts in lime water, or in
caustic alkali, to deprive them of their bitterness; and, afterwards, to
wash them in water, and boil them into a paste. Goats and deer are partial
to these nuts; but they are said to be unwholesome for swine. In Turkey
they are ground and mixed with provender for horses; and, if they could be
wholly divested of their bitterness and acrimony, it is supposed they might
be converted into bread. A patent was granted, in the year 1796, to Lord W.
Murray for his discovery of a method of extracting starch from
horse-chesnuts; and a paste or size has been made from them, which is
preferred by book-binders, shoe-makers, and paper-hangers, to that made
from wheaten flower. They contain a soapy quality, and are used, in some
parts of France and Switzerland, for cleaning woollens, and for the washing
and bleaching of linen; and, if ground and made into cakes or balls, it is
supposed they might answer the purpose of soap, both in washing and
fulling. If a small portion of horse-chesnut, in a state of powder, be
snuffed up the nostrils, it excites sneezing; and even an infusion or
decoction of it has been said to produce a similar effect. These have
consequently been administered in some complaints of the head and eyes, and
have been productive of considerable benefit. The prickly _husks_ may be
advantageously employed in the tanning of leather.

The _wood_ of the horse-chesnut tree is white, soft, and of little value.
It however serves occasionally for water-pipes, for mill-timber, and
turners' ware. And if it be dipped into scalding oil, and well pitched, it
becomes extremely durable. In some parts of the Continent the _bark_ of
this tree is used in the cure of intermittent and other fevers; and some
writers have been of opinion that it might, with advantage, be substituted
in several complaints for Peruvian bark.

This tree was first brought into Europe, from the northern parts of Asia,
about the year 1550; and its growth is so rapid, that trees, raised from
nuts, have, in twelve or fourteen years, attained nearly their full
dimensions. It is further remarkable, in the growth of the horse-chesnut
tree, that the whole of the spring shoots are said to be completed in
little more than three weeks from the first opening of the buds.





  118. _BALSAM, or BALM OF GILEAD, is the dried juice of a low tree or
  shrub_ (Amyris gileadensis), _which grows in several parts of Abyssinia
  and Syria._

  _This tree has spreading crooked branches, small bright green leaves,
  growing in threes, and small white flowers on separate footstalks. The
  petals are four in number, and the fruit is a small egg-shaped berry,
  containing a smooth nut._

By the inhabitants of Syria and Egypt, this balsam, as it appears from the
authority of the Scriptures, was in great esteem in the highest periods of
antiquity. We are informed by Josephus, the Jewish historian, that the
balsam of Gilead was one of the trees which was given by the Queen of Saba
to King Solomon. Those Ishmaelitish merchants, who were the purchasers of
Joseph, are said to have been travelling from Gilead, on the eastern side
of Canaan, to Egypt, having their camels laden with "spicery, balm, and
myrrh." It was then, and it still is, considered one of the most valuable
medicines that the inhabitants of those countries possessed. The virtues,
however, which have been ascribed to it, exceed all rational bounds of

The mode in which it is obtained is described by Mr. Bruce. He says that
the bark of the trees is cut, for this purpose, with an axe, at a time when
the juices are in their strongest circulation. These, as they ooze through
the wound, are received into small earthen bottles; and every day's produce
is gathered, and poured into a larger bottle, which is closely corked. When
the juice first issues from the wound, it is of light yellow colour, and
somewhat turbid appearance; but, as it settles, it becomes clear, has the
colour of honey, and appears more fixed and heavy than at first. Its smell,
when fresh, is exquisitely fragrant, and strongly pungent, not much unlike
that of volatile salts; but, if the bottle be left uncorked, it soon loses
this quality. Its taste is bitter, acrid, aromatic, and astringent.

The quantity of balsam yielded by one tree never exceeds sixty drops in a
day. Hence its scarcity is such that the genuine balsam is seldom exported
as an article of commerce. Even at Constantinople, the centre of trade of
those countries, it cannot, without great difficulty, be procured. In
Turkey it is in high esteem as a medicine, an odoriferous unguent, and a
cosmetic. But its stimulating properties upon the skin are such that the
face of a person unaccustomed to use it becomes red and swollen, and
continues so for some days afterward. The Turks also take it in small
quantities, in water, to fortify the stomach, and excite the animal

  119. _ROSE-WOOD_ (Amyris balsamifera) _is an odoriferous tree, with
  smooth oval leaves, which grows in the Island of Jamaica._

The _wood_ of this tree is much used by cabinet-makers in this country for
the covering or veneering of tables and other furniture. Its grain is of
dark colour, and very beautiful. This tree yields an odoriferous _balsam_,
which is much esteemed, both as an external application for the cure of
wounds, and an internal medicine in various diseases.

  120. _The COMMON MAPLE_ (Acer campestre) _is a low kind of tree, common
  in woods and hedges, which has its leaves in lobes, blunt, and notched,
  and green flowers in upright clusters._

By the Romans, the maple _wood_, when knotty and veined, was often highly
prized for furniture. The poet Virgil speaks of Evander sitting on a maple
throne. The knots of this wood were considered to resemble the figure of
birds, beasts, and other animals: and when boards, large enough for tables,
were found of this curious part of it, the extravagance of purchasers is
said to have been incredible. Indeed its value, in that madly luxurious
age, is stated to have been such, that, when, at any time, the Romans
reproached their wives for their extravagance in pearls, jewels, or other
rich trifles, the latter were accustomed to retort, and turn the _tables_
upon their husbands. Hence our expression of "turning the tables" upon any
person is said to have been derived.

With us the maple tree is used by turners, particularly for making cups,
which may be rendered so thin as to be almost transparent. This wood, where
it is devoid of knots, is remarkably white, and is sometimes used for
domestic furniture. On account of its lightness it is frequently employed
for musical instruments, and particularly for those of the violin kind.

  121. _SUGAR MAPLE_ (Acer saccharinum) _is a North-American tree, which
  grows to the height of fifty or sixty feet, and has somewhat hand-shaped
  leaves, in five divisions, notched at the edges, and downy underneath._

This large and beautiful tree is much cultivated in America on account
chiefly of the _juice_ which it yields, and which is made into sugar. The
process of obtaining the juice is, in the spring of the year, to bore holes
about two inches deep into the tree, and to put into each of these holes a
projecting spout, by which it may be conveyed into troughs placed to
receive it. Each tree will afford from twenty to thirty gallons of juice,
from which may be obtained five or six pounds of sugar. The juice is clear,
of pleasant flavour; and, in its simple state, is sometimes drunk as a
remedy against the scurvy. The sugar, which is obtained from it by
evaporation, is clean to the eye, and very sweet, but it has a peculiar,
though not unpleasant taste. It may be clarified and refined in the same
manner as the common sugars. The juice of the maple furnishes also a
pleasant wine, and a very excellent vinegar.

The _wood_ of this tree is valuable as timber, and is also well adapted for
turnery and cabinet ware, more particularly as it is said not to be liable
to suffer by the depredations of insects.

Possessing these properties, and being sufficiently hardy to sustain the
rigours even of a cold climate, its culture, in our own country, would be
attended with great advantage, and cannot be too strongly recommended.

  122. _The SYCAMORE_ (Acer pseudoplatanus, Fig. 70) _is a handsome tree of
  British growth, which has leaves in five lobes unequally serrated; and
  green flowers in pendant clusters._

It is peculiarly deserving of remark concerning this tree, that it grows
better near the sea than in any other situation, and that plantations of
sycamores may be so made as even to defend the herbage of the adjacent
country from the spray, and consequently from the injurious effects of the
sea. Its growth is quick, yet it will increase in size until it is two
hundred years old. The soil in which it best flourishes is a loose black
earth. The only inconveniences attending it in plantations is the early
shedding of its leaves.

In the spring of the year the inhabitants of some parts of Scotland bore
holes through the bark of the sycamore, at the distance of about twelve
inches from the root, and suffer the _juice_ to drain into vessels, to the
amount of eight or nine quarts a day from each tree. This liquor they
convert into a kind of wine; and, if the watery part were evaporated, a
useful sugar might be obtained from it.

The _wood_ of the sycamore is soft and white, and was formerly much in
request by turners, for making trenchers, dishes, bowls, and other
articles; but, since the general introduction of earthen-ware for all these
purposes, its value has greatly decreased.

  123. _CRANBERRIES are a small red fruit with purple dots, produced by a
  slender wiry plant_ (Vaccinium oxycoccos), _which grows in the peaty bogs
  of several parts of the north of England, and also in Norfolk,
  Lincolnshire, and Cambridgeshire._

  _The leaves are small, somewhat oval, and rolled back at the edges, and
  the stem is thread-shaped and trailing. The blossoms are small, but
  beautiful, each consisting of four distinct petals rolled back to the
  base, and of deep flesh colour._

The collecting of cranberries is a tiresome and disagreeable employment, as
each berry, which seldom exceeds the size of a pea, grows on a separate
stalk, and the morasses in which they grow are frequently very deep.
Cranberries are much used in the northern counties, and great quantities of
them are bottled and sent to London. So considerable a traffic in this
fruit is carried on, that, at Longtown in Cumberland, the amount of a
market day's sale, during the season for gathering it, is stated by Dr.
Withering to be from 20_l._ to 30_l._ Cranberries begin to ripen about the
month of August, and continue in perfection for some weeks.

They are much used in confectionary, but particularly in tarts; their rich
flavour being very generally esteemed. The usual mode of preserving them is
in dry bottles, corked so closely as to exclude all access of the external
air: some persons, however, fill up the bottles with spring water. Others
prepare this fruit with sugar. From the juice of cranberries, mixed with a
certain portion of sugar, and properly fermented, a grateful and wholesome
wine may be made. The inhabitants of Sweden use this fruit only for the
cleaning of silver plate.

A considerable quantity of cranberries is annually imported, into this
country, from North America and Russia. These are larger than our own, of a
different species, and by no means of so pleasant flavour.

124. There are three other species of fruit belonging to the cranberry
tribe, which grow wild in this country, on heaths or in woods. These are
BILBERRIES, or BLEA-BERRIES (_Vaccinium myrtillus_), which are occasionally
eaten in milk, and in tarts, and which afford a violet-coloured dye: GREAT
BILBERRIES (_V. uliginosum_), which, in France, are sometimes employed to
tinge white wines red: and RED WHORTLE-BERRIES (_V. vitis idæa_), which,
though not of very grateful flavour, are occasionally used in tarts, rob,
and jelly.

  125. _The COMMON HEATH, or LING_ (Erica vulgaris), _is a well-known
  plant, with numerous small rose-coloured flowers, which grows wild on
  heaths and mountainous wastes, in nearly every part of England._

The principal use to which the heath is applied is for making brooms or
besoms. It is likewise bound into fagots, and employed as fuel,
particularly for ovens; and is, not unfrequently, employed in the filling
up of drains, and the morassy parts of roads, previously to their being
covered with earth, stones, and other durable materials. In the Highlands
of Scotland, the poorer inhabitants make walls, for their cottages, with
alternate layers of heath and a kind of mortar made of black earth and
straw: they likewise thatch their cabins with it, and make their beds of
it. The inhabitants of Islay, one of the western islands of Scotland, are
said to brew a wholesome kind of beer from one part of malt, and two parts
of the young tops of heath. The _stalks_ and _tops_ may be rendered of
considerable service in the tanning of leather; and in dyeing woollen cloth
an orange colour. Bees are partial to the _flowers_; but the honey which
they form, after having fed upon these flowers, acquires a reddish tint.
The _leaves_ and _seeds_ of heath afford a grateful food to grouse, and
other animals.


  126. _BUCKWHEAT, or BRANK, is a black and triangular grain, produced by a
  plant of the persicaria tribe_ (Polygonum fagopyrum), _with somewhat
  arrow-shaped leaves, and purplish white flowers._

Although buckwheat may now be considered as in some degree naturalized in
this country, and as growing wild near our fields and dunghills, it was
originally introduced from the northern parts of Asia, and was first
cultivated here about the year 1600. The flowers appear about July, and the
seeds ripen in October; and so tender are the plants, that a single night's
sharp frost will destroy a whole crop.

As a grain, buckwheat has been principally cultivated for oxen, swine, and
poultry; and although some farmers state that a single bushel of it is
equal in quality to two bushels of oats, others assert that it is a very
unprofitable food. Mixed with bran, chaff, or grains, it is sometimes given
to horses. The flower of buckwheat is occasionally used for bread, but more
frequently for the thin cakes called crumpets. In Germany it serves as an
ingredient in pottage, puddings, and other food. Beer may be brewed from
it; and, by distillation, it yields an excellent spirit.

The best mode of harvesting this grain is said to be by pulling it out of
the ground like flax, stripping off the seeds by the hand, and collecting
these into aprons, or cloths tied round the waist.

Buckwheat is much cultivated in the domains of noblemen and gentlemen
possessed of landed property, as a food for pheasants. With some farmers it
is the practice to sow buckwheat for the purpose only of ploughing it into
the ground, as a manure for the land. Whilst green, it serves as food for
sheep and oxen; and, mixed with other provender, it may also be given, with
advantage to horses. The _blossoms_ may be used for dyeing a brown colour.

The principal advantage of buckwheat is, that it is capable of being
cultivated upon land which will produce scarcely any thing else, and that
its culture, comparatively with that of other grain, is attended with
little expense.





  127. _CINNAMON is the under bark of the branches of a tree of the bay
  tribe_ (Laurus cinnamomum, Fig. 40,) _which is chiefly found in the
  island of Ceylon, but which also grows in Malabar and other parts of the
  East Indies._

  _This tree attains the height of twenty or thirty feet. Its leaves are
  oval, each from four to six inches long, and marked with three principal
  nerves. The flowers stand on slender footstalks, and are of pale yellow
  colour; and the fruit is somewhat shaped like an acorn._

There are two principal seasons of the year in which the Ceylonese enter
their woods for the purpose of barking the cinnamon trees. The first of
these commences in April, and the last in November: but the former is that
in which the great crop is obtained. In this operation the branches of
three years' growth are cut down, and the outside pellicle of the bark is
scraped away. The twigs are then ripped up lengthways with a knife, and the
bark is gradually loosened till it can be entirely taken off. It is then
cut into slices, which, on being exposed to the sun, curl up in drying. The
smaller pieces or quills, as they are called, are inserted into the larger
ones, and the whole are afterwards tied into bundles.

Cinnamon is examined and arranged, according to its quality, by persons
who, for this purpose, are obliged to taste and chew it. This is a very
troublesome and disagreeable work; and few persons are able to continue it
more than two or three days successively, as the cinnamon deprives the
tongue and lips of all the mucus with which they are covered. After this
examination, the bundles are made up to the length of about four feet, and
weight of eighty-eight pounds each.

From the roots of the trees numerous offsets shoot up. These, when they
have attained the height of about ten feet, are cut down and barked, being
then about the thickness of a common walking-stick. The cinnamon which they
yield is much finer than any other.

A French ship, bound in 1782, from the island of Bourbon, to Cape François
in St. Domingo, and having on board various oriental productions, the
cinnamon tree among the rest, was taken by the late Admiral Rodney, who
presented the trees to the assembly of Jamaica; and, from this parent
stock, different parts of that island were afterwards supplied. In Ceylon
the cinnamon trees are said to be so common as to be used for fuel and
other domestic purposes.

The smell of cinnamon, particularly of the thinnest pieces, is delightfully
fragrant; and its taste is pungent and aromatic, with considerable
sweetness and astringency. If infused in boiling water in a covered vessel,
it gives out much of its grateful flavour, and forms an agreeable liquid.
An oil is extracted from cinnamon, which is heavier than water. This is
prepared in Ceylon, and almost wholly from the small and broken pieces. It
is, however, obtained in such small quantity that the oil of cassia (128)
is generally substituted for it. Indeed the cassia bark is often
substituted for cinnamon, to which it has considerable resemblance,
although, in its qualities, it is much weaker, and although it is
immediately distinguishable by its slimy taste.

The virtues of cinnamon are not confined to the bark. The _leaves_, the
_fruit_, and the _root_ all yield oil of considerable value. That from the
fruit is highly fragrant, of thick consistence, and, in Ceylon, was
formerly made into candles for the exclusive use of the king.

  128. _WILD CINNAMON, or CASSIA, is the bark of a tree of the bay tribe_
  (Laurus cassia), _which grows in the East Indies and China, and is
  distinguished by having spear-shaped leaves, each with three nerves._

This _bark_ was well known to the ancients, and highly esteemed by them:
but, since the use of cinnamon has been generally adopted, the cassia bark
has fallen into disrepute on account of its inferiority. It is thicker and
more coarse than cinnamon, of weaker quality, and abounds more with a
viscid mucilaginous matter. For many purposes, however, cassia, as being
much less expensive, is substituted for cinnamon, but more particularly for
the preparation of what is called oil of cinnamon: and nearly the whole of
what is at present sold under the name either of simple or spirituous
cinnamon water is prepared from cassia.

The _buds_, as well as the _bark_, of this tree are used in culinary
preparations, and for several other purposes. They are chiefly imported
from China.

  129. _CAMPHOR is a white resinous production of peculiar and powerful
  smell, which is extracted from two or three kinds of trees of the bay
  tribe that grow in the islands of the East Indies, and in China._

  _Of these the principal is_ Laurus camphora (Fig. 41). _It is of
  considerable height, much branched, and has spear-shaped leaves, with
  nerves, of pale yellowish green colour on the upper side, and bluish
  green beneath. The flowers are small and white, and stand on stalks which
  issue from the junction of the leaves and branches._

Camphor is found in every part of the trees; in the interstices of the
perpendicular fibres, and in veins of the wood; in the crevices and knots,
in the pith, and in the roots. The modes by which it is extracted differ in
different countries. In Borneo and Sumatra, the largest pieces are picked
out with sharp instruments; and the smaller ones are procured by rasps, to
which, along with bits of wood and other impurities, they adhere. The
Chinese cut off the branches, chop them very small, and place them in
spring water for some days. They then put them into a kettle, and boil them
for a certain time, during which they keep constantly stirring them with a
stick. As soon as the camphor, in a white and frosted appearance, is
observed to adhere to the stick, the whole is strained. The liquor is
subsequently poured into a basin, and, after some hours, the camphor
coagulates into a solid mass.

In Japan it is usual to obtain camphor by cutting the roots and extremities
of the branches into chips, and exposing them to the steam of water in
close vessels. In other countries the roots, wood, and leaves, are all
boiled in large iron pots, having a kind of tubular apparatus, which is
stuffed with straw, and leads to certain large vessels called receivers. In
this operation most of the camphor becomes condensed in a solid form
amongst the straw; and the remainder passes with the water into the

In a crude state camphor is formed into irregular lumps of yellowish grey
colour, somewhat resembling nitre, or saltpetre. It is imported into Europe
in canisters; and the refining of it was long kept a secret by the
Venetians. The Dutch have since performed this work; and large quantities
of camphor are now also refined by some of the English chemists. The best
camphor is imported from Sumatra.

The principal use of this drug is in medicine; and it was formerly in high
repute. Dr. Cullen says that it has been employed with advantage in fevers
of almost all kinds: but, since the free use of opium has been introduced,
camphor has been little employed in this country, though its utility has
been fully established by some of the most eminent practitioners of the
Continent. It has often been found to relieve tooth-ache and rheumatism.
Several preparations of camphor, in combination with other substances, are
used in medicine, of which, perhaps, the most common is that with spirit of
wine. To insects the effluvium of camphor is so disagreeable that they
quickly avoid it. Hence it is customary to place pieces of it in
collections of natural history, to prevent their destruction by these
voracious little creatures.

For carpenters' work the _wood_ of the camphor tree is much in request. It
is light and durable; and, in consequence of long retaining its aromatic
smell, is not liable to be injured by insects.

Plants of the camphor and cinnamon trees were captured, from the French, in
1782, by Admiral Rodney, and afterwards conveyed to Jamaica, and propagated

Several shrubs and plants of our own country contain camphor in
considerable quantity. The principal of these are _rosemary_, _sage_,
_lavender_, and _marjoram_.

  130. _The COMMON SWEET BAY_ (Laurus nobilis) _is an evergreen shrub,
  which grows in Italy and other southern parts of Europe, and is
  principally celebrated as that which was anciently used to form the crown
  of victory among poets._

  _Its leaves are of shining green colour, somewhat spear-shaped, and often
  waved towards the edge. The flowers appear in April and May, in clusters
  of three or four together on short footstalks. The corolla is in four
  segments of yellowish white colour, and is succeeded by an oval berry
  covered with a dark green rind._

This handsome shrub is common in our gardens and shrubberies. Its _leaves_
afford, by distillation, an useful oil, which is occasionally employed in
medicine. They are also employed, in cookery, to flavour custards,
puddings, stews, and pickles; and Dr. Woodville assures us that they may
thus be used not only with safety, but even with advantage, as assisting

The _berries_ or fruit of the bay tree, which have an aromatic smell, and a
warm, bitterish, and pungent taste, were much used by the ancient Romans
for culinary purposes. We import them chiefly from the coasts of the
Mediterranean. From the berries, in a recent state, the people of Spain and
Italy obtain, by pressure, a green aromatic oil, which is employed in
medicine, externally, as a stimulant in nervous, paralytic, and other

  131. _The ALLIGATOR PEAR is a pear-shaped fruit, produced by a species of
  bay tree_ (Laurus persea), _that is much cultivated in the West Indies._

  _This tree, which is an evergreen, has a straight stem, and grows to a
  considerable height. Its leaves are somewhat oval, leathery, transversely
  veined, and of beautiful green colour; and the flowers grow in bunches._

To the inhabitants of the West Indian islands, particularly the negroes,
this _fruit_, which ripens in the months of August and September, is an
agreeable, and, in some respects, an important article of diet. When ripe
the pulp is of yellow colour, of consistence somewhat harder than that of
butter, and, in taste, not much unlike marrow. The negroes frequently make
their meals of these pears, a little salt, and plantains; and they are
occasionally served up at the tables of the white people as fruit.

Their exterior surface is covered with a green skin; and in the centre
there is a large round seed or _stone_, extremely hard and woody, with an
uneven surface. This stone is used for the marking of linen. The cloth is
held or tied over the stone; and the letters are pricked by a needle,
through the cloth, into the outer covering of the stone. By this means it
is stained of an indelible reddish brown colour, in the direction along
which the needle has passed. The _leaves_ are used by the negroes

  132. _SASSAFRAS is the wood of a North American tree of the bay tribe_
  (Lauras sassafras), _and is imported into Europe in long straight pieces,
  which are of light and porous texture, and covered with a rough fungous

  _This tree is sometimes twenty or thirty feet high. The branches are
  crooked, and the leaves various, both in form and size, some of them
  being oval and entire, and others having two or three lobes. They are
  pale green, and downy beneath. The flowers, which are of a dingy yellow
  colour, appear in pendant spikes._

This _wood_ has a fragrant smell, and an aromatic and somewhat acrid,
though sweetish taste, that are also observable in the _bark_, the smaller
_twigs_, and the _roots_, all of which are imported into this country as
well as the wood. Infusions and decoctions of sassafras are frequently
taken as a medicine for improving the tone of the stomach and bowels, in
persons whose humours are in a vitiated state. Soon after its introduction
into Europe, in the year 1560, this medicine was in such high repute as to
be sold, on the Continent, at the rate of fifty livres per pound; and its
virtues were extolled in numerous publications that were written on the
subject. It is, however, now considered of little importance; and sassafras
is seldom employed but in conjunction with other medicines, which, in their
nature, are more powerful. Infusions of sassafras are sold in the streets
of London, under the name of _saloop_.

We are informed that, in many parts of America, where the sassafras trees
not only grow in great numbers in the woods, but are planted along the
fences of enclosures, it is not unusual to make bed-posts of the wood, for
the purpose of expelling bugs. Its powerful scent drives away these
disagreeable insects; and some persons put chips of sassafras into their
wardrobes and chests, to prevent the attack of moths. This wood serves for
the posts of enclosures, to which, by its lasting nature in the ground, it
is peculiarly adapted.

The _bark_ of the sassafras tree is used by the American women for dyeing
worsted, which it does of a permanent and beautiful orange colour.

  133. _The CASHEW NUT is a small kidney-formed nut, which grows at the
  extremity of a somewhat pear-shaped Indian fruit._

  _The tree which produces it_ (Anacardium occidentale, Fig. 42) _somewhat
  resembles a walnut tree in shape, as well as in the smell of its leaves,
  which are leathery, somewhat oval and shining. The flowers are red, and

The size of this _fruit_ is nearly that of a large pear, and the colour of
its pulp is sometimes yellow and sometimes red. The singularity of its
form, with a nut or stone at the extremity, instead of the centre,
generally excites the surprise of persons when they first see it. In a ripe
state the fruit is sometimes roasted, cut in slices, and used as an
agreeable acid in punch. Its juice, when fermented, is made into wine; and,
on distillation, yields a spirit which some persons prefer even to rum.

The _nuts_ are each enclosed in two shells, connected together by a
cellular substance, which contains a thick, inflammable, and very caustic
oil. The kernels of these nuts have a peculiarly sweet and pleasant
flavour, and are eaten either raw or roasted, and sometimes even pickled.
It is said that the negroes of Brazil, who eat of these nuts as part of
their sustenance, find them peculiarly wholesome, and that they are
relieved, by the use of them, from various disorders of the stomach. They
are also used in medicine, as almonds; and, when ground with the chocolate
nut, they greatly improve its flavour. Cashew nuts may be kept, without any
great alteration of their quality, for many years. If the shells be broken,
and the nuts be laid for a little while on the fire, they open of
themselves; and the kernels being taken out, the thin brown skin which
covers them must be removed previously to their being eaten. It is
necessary to be cautious, respecting the oil, that it do not come in
contact with the mouth or lips; as, in such case, it would inflame and
excoriate them.

The _oil_ of the cashew nut is sometimes applied, by the inhabitants of the
West Indies (though much caution is requisite in the use of it) as a means
of corroding cancerous ulcers, corns, and ring-worms; and some of the West
Indian ladies, when they imagine themselves too much tanned by the
scorching rays of the sun, cut off the outer shell of the nut, and rub the
oil upon their faces as a cosmetic. The immediate consequences of this
extraordinary operation are swelling and blackness of the parts; and, in
five or six days, the whole skin peels off, leaving the face so sore and
tender, that it is impossible for the person using it to appear abroad in
less than a fortnight; by which time the new skin is sufficiently hardened,
and is as fair as that of a newly-born infant. There are, however, few
British females who would consent to be thus flayed alive for the sake of
rendering themselves fair. This oil tinges linen a permanent rusty iron

From the Cashew nut tree a milky _juice_ is obtained, by tapping or
incision, which stains, of a deep black colour, whatever it touches. The
fine black varnish so much used in China and Japan is the resinous juice of
a tree called _fsi-chu_, which is conjectured to be the cashew nut tree.


  134. _The TRUE or OFFICINAL RHUBARB_ (Rheum palmatum) _is a medicinal
  root which grows wild in various parts of Asia._

  _The leaves which issue from this root are large, and deeply cut into
  lobes; and the whole plant has a general resemblance to what in our
  country are called docks. The stem is erect and six or seven feet high.
  The leaves stand on footstalks, that are somewhat grooved above, and
  rounded at the edge. Those which proceed from the stalk supply at the
  joints a kind of membraneous sheaths. The flowers terminate the branches
  in clusters._

The importance and the properties of this _root_ in medicine are
universally known. Rhubarb is usually imported from Turkey, but it is
occasionally also brought from Russia, China, and the East Indies. Dr.
Woodville states that the _Turkey rhubarb_ is brought over in oblong
pieces, flattish on one side, and rounded on the other; and that it is
compact, hard, heavy, and internally of a dull colour, variegated with
yellow and white. The _Chinese rhubarb_ is in roundish pieces, each with a
large hole through the centre. It is softer than the former, and exhibits,
when broken, many streaks of bright red colour.

In some of the mountains of Tartary, rhubarb plants are found in great
abundance. The roots, when first dug out of the ground, are thick, fleshy,
externally of yellowish brown colour, and internally of bright yellow
streaked with red veins. When they have attained sufficient size, they are
dug up and cleansed; and the small fibres and the rind being cut off, they
are divided into pieces of proper size. Each piece is then perforated in
the middle, and they are strung on cords in such manner as not to touch
each other, and are suspended to dry, either upon adjacent trees, or in the

The sum expended for the importation of this drug is said to exceed
200,000_l._ per annum, a great proportion of which, it is presumed, might
be saved to the country by cultivation of the plants in Great Britain. This
was first attempted, about sixty years ago, by Dr. Hope, in the botanic
garden at Edinburgh, and with such success as to prove that the climate
even of Scotland would be no obstacle to its increase. In 1791, Sir William
Fordyce received from the Society for Encouragement of Arts, Manufactures,
and Commerce, a gold medal, for having raised more than 300 plants of the
true rhubarb from seed. And, in 1783, Mr. Davis, of Minehead, in
Somersetshire, brought to perfection as many plants as yielded three
hundred pounds' weight of dried rhubarb. Since this period, rhubarb has
been grown, in different parts of England, to great extent; and has so far
flourished, that some of the roots have weighed seventy pounds and upwards.
The principal difficulty has attended the curing of it; but this, after
numerous experiments, has at length been performed in such manner, that the
English drug has been found equal, or nearly equal, to that which is
imported from Turkey and China.

The _bark_ of rhubarb has been used for tinctures, and found, in every
respect, as efficacious as the best part of the roots: and the _seeds_
possess nearly the same qualities. The _leaves_ impart an agreeable
acidity, somewhat similar to that of sorrel; and a marmalade, which may,
with advantage, be adopted for children, is made from the fresh _stalks_,
by stripping off the bark, and boiling the pulp with an equal quantity of

  135. _The COMMON RHUBARB_ (Rheum rhaponticum), _is a plant which is
  cultivated in kitchen gardens, and has large, blunt and smooth leaves,
  and the leaf-stalks furrowed on the upper side, and rounded at the edge._

This species of rhubarb grows wild on the mountains of Rhodope, in Thrace,
whence it was first propagated in other parts of Europe, about the year
1630. It is chiefly in request for the _footstalks of the leaves_, which
are used, (in the early part of the year, when there is little fruit) for
pies and tarts. The _root_ has some of the qualities of the true rhubarb,
and has occasionally been imposed upon purchasers for that drug.





  136. _SENNA is a drug, the dried leaves of an annual plant_ (Cassia
  senna) _which grows in various parts of Africa and Asia._

  _The stems of this plant are woody, and not unlike those of a shrub. The
  leaves are winged, and the leaflets oval, smooth, and pointed. The
  flowers, which grow in lengthened clusters, and are of pale yellow
  colour, are succeeded by oblong, compressed, and kidney-shaped pods._

The cultivation of senna is carried on to considerable extent in Ethiopia,
Arabia, Persia, and Upper Egypt, from several of which countries it has,
from time immemorial, been brought by the caravans to Alexandria, as the
most convenient port whence it could be shipped or sold into Europe. From
this circumstance, it is sometimes denominated _Alexandrian senna_. The
process of stripping and drying the leaves is perfectly simple. When dried,
they are of a yellowish green colour, have a faint, though not unpleasant
smell, and a somewhat acrid, bitterish, and nauseous taste.

These leaves have long been in use in Eastern countries as a medicine; and
their repute, though not so great as in the East, is very considerable in
Europe. They are administered in various ways; and the _pods_ have the same
effect as the leaves.

A kind of senna has of late been cultivated, with success, in Italy and
some of the southern parts of France.

  137. _The OFFICINAL CASSIA is a somewhat cylindrical pod, about an inch
  in diameter, and a foot or more in length, the fruit of a tree_ (Cassia
  fistula) _which is cultivated in Egypt, the East and West Indies, and
  South America._

  _This tree is forty or fifty feet high, and much branched. Its leaves are
  winged, with five pair of leaflets, somewhat oval, pointed, smooth, and
  of pale green colour. The flowers are large, yellow, and grow in oblong
  clusters. The pods are divided, by transverse partitions, into numerous
  cells, each containing one seed._

These pods are in request on account of the black, sweetish, but somewhat
acid _pulp_, which is contained in their cells, and which is used, in many
cases, as a mild opening medicine. It is customary in Egypt to pluck the
pods before they are quite ripe, and to place them in a house, from which
the external air is, as much as possible, excluded. They are then laid in
beds about six inches deep, having palm leaves interposed betwixt them. On
the two following days the whole are sprinkled with water; and, in the
course of about six weeks, they are in a fit state to be packed for sale.

The East Indian and West Indian cassia somewhat differ, both in appearance
and qualities. Of the former the pods are smoother, smaller, and have a
thinner rind; and the pulp is of a deeper shining black colour, sweeter,
and more agreeable to the taste. In choosing cassia, those pods should be
selected which are the heaviest, and in which the seeds do not rattle on
being shaken.

  138. _LIGNUM VITÆ and GUIACUM are the wood and resin of a large West
  Indian tree_ (Guiacum officinale, Fig. 77) _which has winged leaves in
  two sets upon one footstalk, and regular flowers of five petals._

  _The usual height of this tree is between thirty and forty feet. The
  leaves consist of two, three, and sometimes four pairs of leaflets, which
  are somewhat oval, and of shining dark green colour. The flowers spring,
  in clusters, from the division of the smaller branches; the petals are of
  a rich blue colour, and the stamens are crowned with yellowish anthers._

The _wood_, resin, bark, and even the flowers of this tree, are all of use
either in the mechanical arts or in medicine. The former, which is yellow
towards the outside, of deep blackish brown colour in the centre, and so
compact and heavy as to sink, when immersed in water, is chiefly employed
in the West Indies for the wheels and cogs of sugar mills. It is also
formed into mortars, bowls, and domestic utensils of various kinds, for
which, on account of its hardness, and not being liable to warp, it is
peculiarly valuable. Lignum vitae is chiefly imported into this country
from Jamaica, in logs or pieces of four or five hundred pounds' weight
each, and is in great request for school-boys' rulers, and numerous
articles of turnery ware. A decoction of the wood, when rasped, is
occasionally administered as a medicine in rheumatic and gouty affections.

The _resin_ of this tree is sometimes obtained by wounding the bark in
different parts. It exudes through the wounds; and, when sufficiently
hardened by exposure to the sun, is taken off, and packed in small kegs for
exportation. Sometimes it is obtained by sawing the wood into billets, each
about three feet in length, which are then bored with an augur
longitudinally, and laid upon a fire, in such position that the melted
resin, which flows through the hole as the wood burns, may be received into
a vessel placed for the purpose of containing it. This resin, which is
frequently called _gum guiacum_, is of a greenish colour, but has sometimes
a reddish hue. Its taste is pungent and acrid. From the bark of the tree
there is frequently a spontaneous exudation: this has the name of _native
gum_, and is imported in small, irregular, bright pieces, which are much
more pure than the gum obtained in any other way. Guiacum is used as a
strengthening medicine, and a warm aromatic; it is employed as a remedy
against rheumatic and other pains, and as an ingredient in many officinal
preparations. On its first introduction, which was soon after the discovery
of America, it was in such repute as to have been sold for seven crowns a

In the West Indies, the _bark_, _flowers_, and _fruit_, are each employed
in medicine; and of these the former is frequently used instead of soap for
washing, in which process it gives a good lather.

  139. _BALSAM OF TOLU is a reddish yellow, thick, and pellucid substance,
  of fragrant odour, which is obtained from a tree_ (Toluifera balsamum)
  _which grows in South America._

  _This tree is of considerable height; and has somewhat oval leaves, each
  on a short foot-stalk. The flowers are numerous, and in lateral branches;
  and the fruit is a round berry._

The name of this balsam has been obtained from its being chiefly procured
from the province of Tolu, on the north coast of South America, near the
isthmus of Panama. Incisions are made in the bark of the trees, at a
particular season of the year, and a resinous fluid of yellowish white
colour oozes out. This is collected in small gourd shells. At first it is
about the consistence of treacle, but it thickens by being kept; and by age
it becomes hard and brittle. Its smell is peculiarly grateful, somewhat
resembling that of lemons; and its taste is warm and sweetish. On being
chewed, it adheres to the teeth.

This balsam is used in medicine both in the form of a tincture, and a
syrup; and, in its medicinal virtues, it agrees with most other balsams.
The syrup of Tolu is used in several medicines; and is also made into
lozenges, which may be procured of almost any chemist, and which are
considered serviceable in appeasing the irritation occasioned by severe

  140. _BENZOIN or GUM BENJAMIN, is a concrete or solid and fragrant
  balsamic substance, the produce of a tree_ (Styrax benzoe) _which grows
  chiefly in the island of Sumatra._

  _This tree has oblong leaves which taper to a pointy and are smooth on
  the upper surface, and downy beneath. The flowers are in loose bunches;
  they usually hang all on the same side; and are generally closed, which
  gives them the appearance of buds._

In some of the northern parts of Sumatra, particularly near the sea coast,
there are several extensive plantations of Benzoin trees. The seeds or nuts
are sown in the rice fields, and they afterwards require no other attention
than that the surrounding shrubs should be cleared away from about the
young plants.

When the trees have attained the age of six or seven years, incisions are
made into the bark; and from these the balsam exudes, in the form of a
thick, whitish, resinous juice. By exposure to the air, this juice soon
hardens; it is then pared from the bark with a knife or chisel. For the
first three years the trees yield the purest resins: this is of a white
colour inclining to yellow, is soft and fragrant. Afterwards, for the next
seven or eight years, an inferior sort is yielded; this is of reddish
yellow colour, degenerating to brown. At length the trees, unable to bear a
repetition of the process, are cut down, and split into pieces. From these
is procured by scraping, a still worse sort of benzoin, which is
dark-coloured, hard, and mixed, more or less, with parings of the wood and
other impurities.

The inferior sorts of benzoin are exported to Arabia, Persia, and some
parts of India, where they are burned, to perfume, with their smoke, the
temples and the houses of the inhabitants; to expel troublesome insects,
and obviate the pernicious effects of unwholesome air or noxious

Benzoin is brought for sale to the mercantile parts of Sumatra, in large
cakes, covered with mats. In order to pack it in chests, it is necessary to
break these cakes, and to expose it to the heat of the sun. The greater
part of the benzoin which is brought to England is re-exported to countries
where the Roman Catholic and Mahometan religions prevail; to be there
burned as incense in the churches and temples. The annual exportation of
benzoin from London to Mogadore only has been estimated at 30,000 pounds'
weight per annum.

That which is consumed in England is chiefly employed in medicine, in
perfumes, and as cosmetics. It constitutes the basis of what are called
_Turlington's_ or _Friar's balsam_, and _Jesuit's drops_; the salutary
effects of which, particularly in healing recent wounds, is well known.
This balsam is composed of benzoin, balsam of Tolu (139), Socotrine aloes
(107), and rectified spirit of wine. Benzoin is also used in the
preparation of what is called _ladies' court plaster_; but in this it is
supposed to be unnecessary if not prejudicial; not only as it renders the
plaster more difficult to be moistened, previously to its application, but
as the irritating quality of the benzoin may in some instances dispose a
fresh wound to fester. The mode of making court plaster is very simple.
Five ounces of isinglass are dissolved in a pint of water. A quantity of
thin black sarsnet being then stretched on a frame, a warm solution of the
isinglass is applied with a brush equally over the surface; and, when dry,
this is repeated a second or third time. It is finally brushed over with a
weak solution of benzoin in spirits of wine, which communicates to it a
pleasant aromatic smell.

If powdered benzoin be put into an earthen vessel over a slow fire, and the
fumes of it be made to sublime into a paper cone fixed to the top of the
pot, the substance thus formed is the _flowers of benzoin_ of the shops, or
_Benzoic acid_, as it is termed, by chemists.

  141. _STORAX is a fragrant, concrete, or solid balsam, that is obtained
  from a tree_ (Styrax officinalis) _which grows in the Levant, and in some
  parts of Italy._

  _This tree grows to the height of twenty feet and upwards: it is much
  branched, and has broad, alternate, oval leaves, somewhat pointed, smooth
  above, and downy beneath. The flowers are large, white, in clusters on
  short footstalks, and terminate the branches._

The best storax is obtained from Asiatic Turkey, in small transparent
masses, of pale red or yellowish colour, and generally abounding in whitish
tears, resembling those of benzoin. The drug, however, which is commonly
sold in the shops as storax, consists of large, light pieces, very impure,
from the saw-dust with which it is mixed.

The mode of obtaining this balsam is similar to that employed for benzoin
(140): incisions are made in the trees, and, on its oozing from the wound,
it is scraped off, and collected together to be packed for sale. It was
formerly customary to enclose it in reeds.

Storax is one of the most fragrant of the balsams, and is much used in some
countries in perfumes, and for fumigation. It is also compounded in various
ways with other substances, for medicinal use.

  142. _LOG-WOOD is a dark red wood, chiefly used in dyeing; and imported
  from Honduras, and some of the islands of the West Indies._

  _The log-wood tree_ (Hæmatoxylon campechianum, Fig. 43) _is from sixteen
  to twenty-four feet high, and, both in the trunk and branches, is
  extremely crooked. The branches are spinous, and the leaves winged, with,
  in general, four or five pair of leaflets, which are somewhat
  heart-shaped. The flowers are if a reddish yellow colour, small, and

The district of Honduras in North America has long been celebrated for the
production of log-wood, which grows wild chiefly in forests where the soil
is moist, or near the banks of rivers and lakes. The cutting of it occupies
a great number of hands, and is an unpleasant and very unhealthy pursuit.

In the year 1715 some seeds of the log-wood tree were introduced into the
island of Jamaica; and this wood is now chiefly employed in that island as
a fence against cattle. As an article of commercial export, it does not
appear to answer so fully as could have been wished; yet, in morassy parts
of the island, it grows in considerable luxuriance.

Few kinds of wood are of more solid texture than this. Hence arises its
weight, which is so great that it will sink in water. Its predominant
colour is red, tinged with orange and black; and its hardness such that it
is capable of being polished, and is scarcely susceptible of decay. For
exportation to Europe, it is cut into billets or logs, each about three
feet in length.

The chief use of log-wood in this country is for dyeing green, purple,
blue, and black colours, according to the different ingredients with which
it is employed. It gives a purplish tinge to watery and spirituous
infusions; but all the colours which can be prepared from it are fugitive,
and cannot, by any art, be rendered so durable as those prepared from other

Independently of its use as a dyeing drug, log-wood possesses considerable
utility as an astringent medicine, chiefly under the form of a decoction,
or of an extract boiled down to a proper consistence.

The price of logwood at Honduras is so low as not usually to exceed 12_l._
or 14_l._ Jamaica currency per ton.

  143. _MAHOGANY is the wood of a well-known tree_ (Swietenia mahagoni,
  Fig. 44) _of large dimensions, with winged leaves, and small white
  flowers, which grows in Jamaica and Honduras._

  _The branches of this tree are numerous and spreading. Its leaves are
  alternate and winged, with four or five pair of leaflets, which are
  somewhat spear-shaped. The flowers are numerous, small, white, and in
  spikes or clusters, which arise at the junction of the leaves with the

The cutting of mahogany constitutes a principal occupation of the British
settlers in the vicinity of Honduras. The gangs of negroes employed in this
work consist of from ten to fifty each, one of whom is styled the
"huntsman." He is generally selected from the most intelligent of his
companions, and his chief employment is to search for these trees in the
woods, the principal of which lie adjacent to the river Balize. About the
beginning of August, the huntsman is despatched into the woods, and he cuts
his way through the thickest parts, to the highest spots he can find. Here
he climbs the loftiest tree, and thence attentively surveys the surrounding
forest. At this season the leaves of the mahogany trees are of a yellow
reddish hue, and an eye accustomed to them can discover, at a great
distance, the places where they are most abundant. He now descends, and to
such places directs his steps; and, having well marked the way, returns to
his companions, to point out the places to them.

Here they assemble, and erect, against each tree to be felled, a stage so
high as to allow of the tree being cut down at the height of about twelve
feet from the ground. The last day of felling the trees is appropriated to
festivity; and these people have then a short interval of leisure for
comforts in which they seldom can indulge at any other time.

After the branches are lopped, and the useless parts of the wood are cut
off, the operation commences of conveying the trees, by cattle and trucks,
to the water's side, a task of infinite and laborious difficulty. A
sufficient number of pieces to form a raft being here collected, they are
shoved from the bank into the water, and suffered to float singly upon the
current to large cables which are placed across the river at some distance
below. As numerous gangs of mahogany cutters are usually employed near the
banks of the same river, their trees also float to the same spot. Here
therefore the whole are collected, amounting sometimes to more than a
thousand immense logs; and, each party claiming his own, the trees are
formed into separate rafts for their final destinations.

In some instances the profit of cutting mahogany at this settlement has
been very great. A single tree has occasionally been known to contain
12,000 superficial feet, and to have produced upwards of 1000_l._ sterling.

The body of the tree is of course the most valuable; but, for ornamental
purposes, the limbs or large branches, are generally preferred, their grain
being much closer, and their veins being more rich and variegated than
those of the other parts.

The Honduras mahogany is considered inferior to that produced in Jamaica.
In this island mahogany was formerly much more abundant, and consequently
much less expensive than it is now, because the low lands have gradually
been thinned of such trees as could readily be carried to market, or
conveyed on board vessels for exportation.

The date of the introduction of mahogany wood into England is 1724. Since
this period it has been in very general request for making the more
valuable kinds of household furniture. It admits of a high polish, and is
excellently adapted for tables, chairs, desks, and other similar articles.
In Jamaica, mahogany is employed as a strong and durable timber for beams,
joists, planks, boards, &c. Many attempts have been made to stain other
kinds of wood so as to resemble it, but none of these have been attended
with success.

It has been lately discovered that the _bark_ of the mahogany tree may be
advantageously employed in medicine, as a substitute for Peruvian bark

  144. _QUASSIA is a drug, the root of a tree_ (Quassia amara, Fig. 78)
  _which grows in the West Indies and South America, but particularly in
  the colony of Surinam._

  _The leaves of the quassia tree are winged, with two pair of oval and
  somewhat pointed leaflets, and an odd one at the end: these are smooth,
  deep green above and pale below; and the common footstalk is edged on
  each side with a leafy membrane. The flowers are bright red, and
  terminate the branches in long clusters._

This drug was first brought into use in Surinam, by a negro whose name was
Quassia, and who employed it with great success in the cure of intermittent
and other malignant fevers, which prevail in that flat and marshy country.
The offer of a valuable consideration induced him to reveal the secret to
Daniel Rolander, a Swede, who carried specimens of the wood, together with
a branch of the tree, the flower, and fruit, to Stockholm, in 1756.

Since this period the drug has been generally employed in Europe; and its
efficacy in the removal of many diseases has been perfectly ascertained.
Dr. Cullen, however, observes, that though it is an excellent bitter, and
that it will do all that any pure or simple bitter can do, yet his
experience of it had not led him to think it would do more. Quassia is said
to possess antiseptic properties, and consequently to have considerable
influence in retarding a tendency to putrefaction. It is also sometimes
used instead of hops in the brewing of malt liquor.

The _root_, _wood_, and _bark_ of the quassia tree are all occasionally
employed in medicine, and the bark is said to be more intensely bitter than
either of the other two.





  145. _GAMBOGE is a yellow resinous gum obtained from a tree_ (Garcinia
  cambogia) _which grows in several parts of Camboga or Camboya in the
  empire of Tunkin._

  _The leaves of this tree are oval, but acute. The flowers have each five
  petals, and fifteen stamens: they are solitary, terminate the branches,
  and have scarcely any stalks. The fruit is a berry about the size of an

The name of this gum has been derived from that of the country whence it is
brought. The mode of obtaining it is by puncturing or cutting the branches
of the trees. It issues from the wounds in a fluid state, but soon becomes
hardened by the heat of the sun. After this it is formed into large cakes
or rolls, in which state we receive it.

Gamboge is chiefly used as a pigment. When good, it is of a fine orange
colour; and on being softened with water, is bright yellow, requiring no
preparation previously to being used. It is also given as a medicine; but
its operations being very violent, it should be administered with great

The dried fruit of the gamboge tree is not unfrequently sent to our
colonies in the East Indies, where it is used in sauces, and with several
kinds of food.

  146. _WELD_ (Reseda luteola) _is a plant of the mignionette tribe, used
  in dyeing: it grows wild, in barren and uncultivated places, particularly
  on coal-pit banks, in several parts of England._

  _The leaves are spear-shaped, and entire, with a tooth-like process on
  each side of the base. The flowers are yellow, and in long spikes; and
  the calyx is divided into four segments._

In some parts of England, particularly in the clothing counties, weld is
cultivated to great extent; and it flourishes in sandy soils that could be
turned to little advantage in any other way. When the plants are ripe, they
are pulled up by the roots, dried, and tied into bundles for use.

The tinging quality of weld resides both in the stems and roots. This
imparts to wool, cotton, mohair, and silk, a very bright and beautiful
yellow colour; and blue cloths, dipped in a decoction of it, become green.
The yellow colour of the paint called _Dutch pink_ is obtained from this





  147. _The GUAVA, or BAY PLUM, is a West Indian fruit, of which there are
  two kinds, one white and round, and the other red and pear-shaped. The
  former is produced by a tree_ (Psidium pomiferum) _which has
  sharp-pointed and highly ribbed leaves, and flowers three on each stalk;
  and the latter by a tree_ (Psidium pyriferum) _with oval leaves and
  single-stalked flowers._

Equally delicious and wholesome, these _fruits_ are in the highest
estimation in the countries where they are produced. The rind or skin is
lined with an apple-like substance, which is used for tarts and other sweet
preparations. It is also stewed and eaten with milk; and, in this form, is
generally thought better than any other stewed fruit; from the same part a
marmalade is made. This rind encloses an agreeable pulp, mixed with
innumerable small seeds. The whole fruit is eaten raw, or prepared as a
sweetmeat in various ways; the most common form in which we see it is that
of a jelly.

The _wood_ is used for fuel, and also makes excellent charcoal.

  148. _The COMMON MYRTLE_ (Myrtus communis) _is a well-known ornamental
  evergreen shrub, which is cultivated chiefly in greenhouses in this
  country, but grows wild in the countries of the South of Europe._

Although this shrub is cultivated with us chiefly for ornament, it is of
considerable utility to the inhabitants of the South of Europe. Its _young
shoots_ are used for tanning leather; and both its _leaves_ and _berries_
are employed in medicine. From the former a distilled water is obtained,
which is sometimes used in gargles. The berries are likewise distilled; and
an oil prepared from them has considerable repute as a means of thickening
the hair.

  149. _ALL-SPICE, or PIMENTO, is the dried berry of a West Indian species
  of myrtle_ (Myrtus pimenta, Fig. 45.)

  _This tree grows to the height of twenty feet and upwards, and has
  somewhat oval leaves about four inches long, of deep shining green
  colour, and numerous bunches of white flowers, each with four small

In the whole vegetable creation there is scarcely any tree more beautiful
or more fragrant than a young pimento about the month of July. Branched on
all sides, richly clad with deep green leaves, which are relieved by an
exuberance of white and strongly aromatic flowers, it attracts the notice
of all who approach it.

Pimento trees grow spontaneously, and in great abundance, in many parts of
Jamaica; but they cannot be propagated without great difficulty. The usual
method of making a new pimento walk, or plantation, is to appropriate for
this purpose a piece of woody ground in the neighbourhood of an already
existing walk, or in a part of the country where the scattered trees are
found in a native state. The other trees are cut down; and, in a year or
two, young pimento plants are found to spring up in all parts, supposed to
have been produced from berries scattered there by birds, which eagerly
devour them.

About the month of September, and not long after the blossoms have fallen,
the berries are in a fit state to be gathered. At this time, though not
quite ripe, they are full grown, and about the size of pepper-corns.

They are gathered by the hand; and one labourer on a tree will strip them
off so quickly as to employ three below in picking them up; and an
industrious picker will fill a bag of seventy pounds' weight in a day. The
berries are then spread on a terrace, in the sun, for about seven days, to
be dried; but this is an operation which requires great care, from the
necessity of keeping them perfectly free from moisture. By the drying they
lose their green colour, and become reddish brown; and the process is known
to be completed by their colour, and by the rattling of the seeds within
the berries. They are then packed into bags or hogsheads for the market.
When the berries are quite ripe, they are of a dark purple colour, and
filled with a sweet pulp.

Pimento is thought to resemble in flavour a mixture of cinnamon, nutmegs,
and cloves, whence it has obtained the name of "all-spice." It is much
employed in cookery; and is chiefly used in whole grains. It is also
employed in medicine, as an agreeable aromatic; and forms the basis of a
distilled water, a spirit, and an essential oil. The _leaves_ of the
pimento trees yield in distillation an odoriferous oil, which is not
unfrequently used in medicinal preparations, instead of oil of cloves.

  150. _The PEACH is a large, downy, and well-known garden fruit_
  (Amygdalus Persica), _which is supposed to have been originally
  introduced into Europe from Persia, and was first brought into England
  about the year 1562._

This rich and delicious fruit is highly and deservedly esteemed at table,
as an article in our desserts; and, when ripe and fresh, is grateful and
wholesome, seldom disagreeing with the stomach, unless this organ be not in
an healthy state, or the fruit be eaten to excess. When preserved in wine,
brandy, or sugar, it loses its good properties. The _kernels_ yield a
salubrious bitter. The _flowers_, which are very beautiful, and appear
early in the spring, emit an agreeable odour, have a bitterish taste, and
are used for medical purposes. The _leaves_ are occasionally employed in
cookery, but they ought not to be used without great caution, on account of
their injurious properties.

There are many varieties of the peach, some of which are much more esteemed
than others. The mode in which the trees are usually propagated is by a
process termed budding, or grafting upon the stock of some other tree (see
p. 147); and, by this process, those of any favourite kind may be exactly

151. The NECTARINE is a smooth-skinned variety of the peach, but of richer
and more delicious flavour. The culture and management of the two kinds are
exactly the same; and in all the circumstances of their growth, wood,
leaves, and flowers, they precisely resemble each other.

  152. _The COMMON or SWEET ALMOND is a soft and pleasant-flavoured kernel,
  contained in a nut which is of flattish shape, and has a tender shell
  with numerous small holes on the outside._

  _The almond tree_ (Amygdalus communis, Fig. 46) _is usually twelve or
  fourteen feet high. Its beautiful pink flowers of five petals grow in
  pairs, and appear early in the spring. The leaves are somewhat oval,
  pointed, and delicately serrated at the edges._

Our shrubberies contain no tree the flowers of which are more beautiful
than those of the almond; and these flowers appear in March and April, a
season when few other parts of the vegetable creation have recovered from
their wintry state. Though known to the ancients from the most remote
periods of antiquity, the almond tree has only been cultivated in England
since the year 1562, and this almost wholly on account of the elegant
appearance of its flowers; as the climate of Great Britain is not
sufficiently warm for the fruit to be perfected with us.

The almonds that are consumed in this country are imported, sometimes in
the shell, but much more commonly without, from France, Spain, Italy, and
the Levant; and they are packed in casks, boxes, and bales. The province of
Valencia had formerly great celebrity for its almonds; but the cultivation
of the trees in that part of Spain has for several years been much

The chief uses of sweet almonds are in confectionary and cooking. They are
also eaten with raisins in desserts after dinner; but they should be well
chewed, as every piece that is swallowed entire is indigestible. By
pressure, they yield a considerable proportion, sometimes nearly half their
weight, of _oil_. Indeed this is so plentiful that it may even be squeezed
out of the kernel with the fingers. Some preparations of almonds are used
in medicine, particularly that called _milk of almonds_, which is formed of
pounded almonds, loaf-sugar, and water, well mixed together. In some parts
of the East Indies, it is said that almonds supply the place of small

  153. _BITTER ALMONDS are in no respect different from sweet almonds,
  either as to the appearance of the kernels themselves, or the trees which
  produce them, except somewhat in the size of the flowers and fruit._

Like sweet almonds, they yield a large portion of _oil_. This has no
bitterness; but the substance which remains after the pressure is intensely
bitter. If these almonds be eaten freely, they occasion sickness and
vomiting; and, to many quadrupeds and birds, they are a fatal poison. There
was formerly a notion, but it is an erroneous one, that the eating of them
would prevent the intoxicating effects of wine. They are frequently used,
instead of apricot kernels, in ratafia, and sometimes are employed in
making a counterfeit cherry-brandy. The oil and emulsions of bitter almonds
are used in medicine: and a powder and paste, for washing the hands is made
both from them and from sweet almonds. By confectioners they are much in
request for flavouring biscuits and other articles.

  154. _The POMEGRANATE is an apple-shaped fruit with thick rind, and
  crowned with the leaves or teeth of the calyx. It is the produce of an
  evergreen shrub_ (Punica granatum, Fig. 47) _which grows wild in the
  southern parts of Europe._

  _This shrub is usually from fifteen to twenty feet high. The branches are
  armed with spines; and the leaves are oblong, pointed, and dark green.
  The flowers, which are of a rich scarlet colour, have five rounded

By the Greeks and Romans almost every part of the pomegranate tree (the
root, leaves, flowers, and fruit) was considered to possess medical
properties of a very remarkable and even marvellous description; and the
country then chiefly celebrated for the production of it was that adjacent
to the city of Carthage. The pomegranate is now, however, in little esteem,
except on account of its fruit; the pulp or juice of which is pleasant to
the palate, and, in common with other summer fruits, allays heat and
mitigates thirst, but has a slightly astringent flavour. This pulp is red,
is contained in transparent membranes, and included in nine distinct cells.
The tough _rind_ of the fruit, which is of a bitter and astringent nature,
was employed by the ancients in the dressing of leather; and it is still
used in some parts of Germany, together with the _bark_ of the tree, in the
preparation and dyeing of red leather in imitation of what is called
Morocco leather.

Pomegranates were first cultivated in England about the year 1596; but the
fruit grown in this country seldom attains a delicacy of flavour equal to
that which is imported from Spain, Italy, and other warm climates.

  155. _The CHERRY is a fruit of the prune or plum tribe, the original
  stock of which is the wild cherry_ (Prunus cerasus) _of our woods._

The gradual effects of cultivation, as they regard the cherry, have been
the production of several kinds, which, both in size and flavour,
infinitely exceed the fruit of the parent stock, or wild cherry of the
woods. The kinds that are best known are the _May Duke, Early Kentish
Cherry, White Heart, and Black Heart Cherries_. The trees are propagated by
grafting (see p. 147) them usually upon the stocks of wild black and red
cherry trees, which are reared for that purpose.

This agreeable _fruit_ is eaten either fresh or dried. It is sometimes
preserved with sugar as a sweetmeat; is made into jam; used in preparations
of the liqueur called cherry-brandy: and made into wine. From wild black
cherries the Swiss distil an ardent spirit, by the sale of which to the
French and Germans they derive considerable profit.

The _wood_ of the cherry-tree, which is hard and tough, is much used,
particularly by turners and cabinet-makers on the Continent, for the
manufacture of chairs and other furniture. The _gum_ that exudes from the
bark is, in many respects, equal to gum arabic (273); and is considered
very nutritive. Hasselquist informs us that, during a siege, more than 100
men were kept alive for nearly two months, without any other sustenance
than a little of this gum, which they occasionally took into their mouths
and suffered gradually to dissolve.

  156. _The APRICOT_ (Prunus Armeniaca) _is a fruit of the plum tribe,
  which grows wild in several parts of Armenia and was first introduced
  into this country about the middle of the sixteenth century._

Some persons are inclined to consider the apricot as the most delicate of
all our hardy fruits. For pastry certainly none is more excellent. It is
used for tarts, both green and when ripe; it is also preserved with sugar
in both these states, and is sometimes dried as a sweetmeat. Care, however,
should be taken to gather it before it becomes soft and mealy. The
_kernels_ of apricots have a pleasantly bitter flavour, and answer much
better for several purposes in confectionary than bitter almonds, which are
usually applied. They likewise contain a sweet oil, which, like that of
almonds, was formerly used in emulsions.

The _gum_ that issues from the apricot tree is nearly similar to that of
the cherry (152). The _wood_ is coarse-grained and soft, and consequently
is seldom used in carpentry.

Apricot trees are chiefly grown against walls, and are propagated by
grafting upon plum-tree stocks.

  157. _The COMMON or DOMESTIC PLUM, in all its varieties, has been derived
  from a wild species of plum-tree_ (Prunus domestica), _which grows in
  hedge-rows and thickets in several parts of England; and is distinguished
  by its branches being without thorns, and its fruit-stalks being single._

Were it not a well-established fact, few persons would suppose that the
_magnum bonum_, or _egg plum_, the _green gage_, and several others, which
are now common in our gardens, are indebted, for their parent stock, to the
wild plum above-mentioned. These are all used at table; and, when
sufficiently ripe, and eaten in moderate quantity, are pleasant and
wholesome fruits, but, in an immature state, they are very unwholesome.

_Prunes_ and _French plums_ are the dried fruit of different kinds of
plum-trees. They are usually packed in boxes, and are imported from the
Continent, but particularly from the neighbourhood of
Marseilles.--Brignolles, a town of Provence, about thirty miles from
Marseilles, is one of the most famous places in France for dried prunes.
_Prunes_ or _St. Catherine's plums_, constitute a lucrative branch of
traffic, which is almost exclusively carried on in Tours and Chatelherault.
Prunes are sometimes employed in medicine, but French plums are chiefly
used at table.

The _wood_ of the plum-tree is of little value; but the _bark_ is in
occasional request as affording a yellow dye.

  158. _The BULLACE PLUM is a small violet-coloured fruit of globular
  shape, produced by a shrub_ (Prunus insititia) _which grows wild in our
  hedges, and is known by its branches being thorny, and its fruit-stalks
  in pairs._

The plum has a rough, but not unpleasantly acid taste, especially after it
has been mellowed by the frost. A conserve, called _bullace cheese_, is
sometimes prepared by mixture of the pulp of the bullace with about thrice
its weight of sugar. In several parts of Germany this fruit is preserved in
vinegar and spice; and is occasionally used, in the manner of cherries, for
the flavouring of brandy. An infusion of the _flowers_, sweetened with
sugar, is sometimes used medicinally for children. The _wood_ is pleasingly
veined, and is much valued by turners.

  159. _The SLOE is a small, round, and nearly black kind of plum_ (Prunus
  spinosa), _of extremely austere taste, which is common in thickets and
  hedges throughout nearly every part of England._

  _The shrub that produces it has thorny branches, and the fruit-stalks are

The harshness and austerity of the sloe are proverbial. Its _juice_, if
mixed with British made wines, communicates to them a red colour, and an
astringent flavour, somewhat resembling that of port wine; a fact too well
known to some of the dealers in that favourite liquor. The juice of unripe
sloes, dried over a gentle fire, so nearly resembles the Egyptian acacia
(273), that it has in many instances been substituted for that substance;
it is, however, harder, heavier, of darker colour, and somewhat sharper
taste than the genuine kind. A conserve of this fruit, made with three
times its weight of double-refined sugar, has been used with success as a
gargle for sore throats.

An infusion of the _flowers_ in water, or the flowers boiled in milk, are
sometimes employed medicinally; and the _bark_, reduced to powder, has been
efficaciously administered in agues. If boiled in ley, the bark yields a
red dye. The young and tender _leaves_ of the sloe afford a substitute for
tea, but some persons consider them unwholesome. The juice of the fruit,
mixed with green vitriol, becomes an indelible black fluid, either for
dyeing linen, or as writing-ink. The _wood_, being extremely tough, is
converted into walking-sticks, and made into the teeth of rakes; it is also
sometimes used by turners. Dr. Withering has remarked, that, from certain
effects which he observed to follow the prick of the _thorns_ of the sloe,
he was inclined to consider they had some poisonous quality, especially in


  160. _The MEDLAR_ (Mespilus germanica) _is usually considered a native
  English fruit, having been remarked, more than a century ago, to grow
  wild in hedges about Minshull in Cheshire. It is distinguished by being
  depressed and concave at the top, the leaves of the calyx continuing upon
  it; and by its containing several hard, compressed, and angular nuts._

It is the property of the medlar, which is cultivated in most large
gardens, to be hard, and remarkably austere and disagreeable to the taste,
until it has, in part, undergone the putrefactive fermentation, when it
becomes a soft, mellow, and, to many palates, a pleasant fruit. Medlars are
usually gathered from the trees about the end of October, or beginning of
November. To facilitate their becoming fit for the table, they may be
placed in moist bran; but such as require to be kept for subsequent use
should be deposited on dry straw. In a fortnight or three weeks those in
the bran will be eatable, and the others will more gradually ripen. After
they are perfectly ripe, they, however, soon become mouldy and decay.

The _wood_ of the medlar-tree somewhat resembles that of the pear-tree, but
is of no great value.

  161. _The COMMON PEAR is a well-known garden fruit, derived from an
  English stock, the wild pear-tree_ (Pyrus communis), _which grows in
  hedges and thickets in Somersetshire and Sussex._

It would be an endless task to describe the different known varieties of
the cultivated pear. Some of these are very large, and others extremely
small; some have a rich and luscious flavour, and others, as the iron pear,
are so hard and disagreeable to the taste, as to be absolutely unfit to
eat. Pears are chiefly used in desserts; and one or two of the kinds are
stewed with sugar, baked, or preserved in syrup.

The fermented _juice_ of pears is called _perry_, and is prepared nearly in
the same manner as that of apples (162) is for cider. The greatest
quantities of perry are made in Worcestershire and Herefordshire. The
_Squash_, the _Oldfield_, and the _Barland perry_ are esteemed the best.
Many of the dealers in Champaigne wine are said to use perry in the
adulteration of it; and, indeed, really good perry is little inferior,
either in flavour or quality, to Champaigne.

Of the _wood_ of the pear-tree, which is light, smooth, compact, and of
yellowish colour, carpenters' and joiners' tools are usually made, as well
as the common kinds of flat rulers, and measuring scales. It is also used
for picture frames that are to be stained black. The _leaves_ impart a
yellow dye, and are sometimes employed to communicate a green colour to
blue cloth.

  162. _The APPLE, in all its numerous varieties, has been derived from
  the_ Crab-tree (Pyrus malus), _which grows wild in almost every thicket,
  and in hedges of all parts of the kingdom._

The uses of apples are very extensive, and even the _crab-tree_ is not
without its use. The _fruit_ is indeed small, and bad to the taste; but its
fermented juice, which is called _verjuice_, is sometimes employed in
cookery, occasionally in medicine, and frequently by wax-chandlers, for the
purifying of wax. Dr. Withering conceives that, with a proper addition of
sugar, a grateful liquor might be made from the juice of crabs, little
inferior to hock. Hogs and deer are particularly partial to this fruit. The
_wood_ is tolerably hard, and, when made into the cogs of wheels, acquires
a polish, and is very durable.

Apple-trees are all produced in an artificial manner, by a process termed
_grafting_. This is performed by inserting young shoots of such trees as
bear valuable fruit, on stocks that have been raised from the seeds of
crabs. Thus the shoot of an apple-tree, inserted into a crab stock,
occasions the crab-tree, from that time, to produce apples of nearly the
same kind and quality with those of the tree from which the shoot was
taken. Other stocks might be used, but those of the crab are considered the
best. The same process is adopted in the propagation of nearly every kind
of fruit-tree; since, by experience, it has been ascertained that such as
are produced from seed all partake of the nature of wild fruits, and have
little resemblance to the fruit from which they spring.

There are several kinds of apples, and the varieties are every day
increasing, through the attention that is paid, by different individuals,
to the culture of this valuable fruit. Those best known as eating apples
are the American apple called _Newtown pippin_, the _non-pareil_, _golden
pippin_, _ribstone pippin_, _golden rennet_, and _lemon pippin_; for the
kitchen, the _codlin_ and _russet_; and for cider, the _golden pippin_,
_coccagee_, and _red streak_. Of these the non-pareil and golden pippin,
from some unaccountable causes, are beginning to fail; the trees of late
production not affording fruit of excellence equal to what has formerly
been produced in this country.

It would be impossible in this place to enumerate all the uses of apples.
They are employed in culinary preparations of several kinds, particularly
in puddings and pies: they are a constant article in desserts; and are
dried, baked, and made into jelly and marmalade. But by far the most
important application of them is for the making of _cider_. The mode in
which this is done in Herefordshire is very simple. After the apples have
been gathered, they are sorted according to their different degrees of
ripeness, and laid together, for a little while, to heat, by which those
which are not perfectly ripe are greatly improved in flavour. The fruit is
then ground in a mill, till even the kernels and rind are well bruised. It
is allowed to stand, for a day or two, exposed in a large open vessel;
after which it is pressed between several hair cloths. The liquor that
issues from it is received into a vat, to be fermented; it is subsequently
removed into casks till it becomes fine; it is then racked off into other
vessels, leaving the lees behind. As soon as the fermentation has ceased,
the casks are filled up with other cider, and the bung-holes are closed.

Cider is a more acid liquor than perry, and, generally speaking, is a
wholesome and pleasant drink during the heats of summer; but the harsher
kinds, or those which are prepared in leaden vessels, if freely drunk, are
the cause of colics and other painful complaints. By distillation from
cider an ardent spirit may be obtained. This has an unpleasant flavour, of
which, however, it may be deprived by a certain process with charcoal. By
boiling the fresh juice of apples, and afterwards fermenting it, a _wine_
may be made, which, when three or four years old, is said to acquire both
the colour and flavour of Rhenish wine.

  163. _The QUINCE is a somewhat pear-shaped fruit, which is supposed to
  have been originally imported into this country from the island of

  _The quince-tree_ (Pyrus cydonia), _is low and bushy. Its leaves are
  oval, entire, and whitish beneath. The flowers are large, of pale red or
  white colour, and do not grow in bunches, but each on a separate stalk._

Though quinces have an austere taste, and are not eatable when raw, they
lose a considerable portion of their harshness if prepared in any manner by
heat; and, when mixed with other fruit in cookery, they communicate a very
pleasant flavour. Hence it is that they are often mixed with apples in
pies. Quinces are also boiled and eaten with sugar; made into marmalade,
and preserved in syrup either whole or in halves. The _juice_ of quinces,
boiled with sugar, was formerly used as a medicine, but of late years it
has been nearly discontinued. A proportion of one quart of the juice, mixed
with a pound of sugar, and fermented, yields a delicious wine. On the
Continent, a celebrated liqueur is prepared from this juice, in combination
with sugar and brandy. A mucilage of the _seeds_ is kept by apothecaries,
and used in medicine, as more pleasant, but it is not so efficacious, as
that of the simple gums.

Quince-trees grow wild on the banks of the Danube, but, with much less
luxuriance than in a state of cultivation.


  164. _The HUNDRED LEAVED, or COMMON GARDEN ROSE_ (Rosa centifolia), _is a
  shrub too well known to need any description._

This, the queen of flowers, is one of the most elegant and fragrant of the
vegetable productions. Its _petals_ yield, on distillation, a small portion
of aromatic _oil_, together with a _water_ which possesses both the odour
and taste of the flowers. This oil congeals in the common temperature of
our atmosphere, and in that state is of white colour; but, when liquefied
by heat, it appears yellow. So small, however, is the quantity that can be
obtained, that an hundred pounds' weight of the flowers will scarcely yield
half an ounce of oil. It is in much request as a perfume, under the name of
_ottar_ or _essence of roses_; and, though chiefly manufactured in the East
Indies, is seldom imported from thence for sale, but considerable
quantities of it are brought from Turkey, at the price of from three to
four pounds per ounce, exclusive of the duty. That from the East Indies,
when genuine, has been sold at a much more exorbitant rate than this; but
it is not unfrequently adulterated with oil of sandal-wood (55). The fraud,
however, is easily detected by those who are accustomed to the smell of the
latter, and also by the fluidity of the compound. The true ottar of roses
is undoubtedly the most elegant perfume that is known.

From the petals of this rose are also prepared a _conserve_ and _syrup_,
which are used in medicine. The simple distilled _rose-water_ has little to
recommend it beyond its fragrance: it is occasionally used to impart an
agreeable flavour to culinary preparations, and also to some kinds of
cordials. It should be remarked that, although, from their fragrance, roses
are much used for nosegays, their odour has sometimes produced very
alarming symptoms in persons sitting or sleeping with such nosegays in
confined apartments.

  165. _The WILD BRIER, or HEP-ROSE_ (Rosa canina), _is a common wild
  flower in hedges, and is distinguished by having a somewhat egg-shaped
  fruit, smooth flower-stalks, the prickles of the stem hooked, and the
  leaves oval, pointed, smooth, and shining._

We possess no wild shrub more ornamental to the country, in its flowers,
its foliage, or its fruit, than this; and its sweet and delicate scent,
though less powerful, is perhaps as grateful as that of any rose that is
known. The _flowers_, when distilled, afford a pleasant perfumed water. The
_fruit_, or heps, contain an acid yet sweetish pulp, with a rough prickly
matter enclosing the seeds. Of the pulp, when carefully separated from this
substance, and mixed with sugar, is prepared the _conserve of heps_ of the
shops, which, though of little medicinal virtue itself, is used to give
form to more active medicines. In the north of Europe, the fruit of the
rose, with the addition of sugar, is sometimes employed in the preparation
of domestic wines; and the pulp, in a dried state, affords a grateful
ingredient in sauces: but it is supposed that a still greater advantage
might be derived from the fruit by distillation. The _leaves_ of this, and
indeed of every kind of rose, have been recommended as a substitute for
tea. On the Continent they are employed in currying the finer kinds of

On the branches of this tree a singular moss-like and prickly excrescence
is frequently found. This, which is caused by an insect (_Cynips rosæ_),
and forms the habitation of its offspring, was formerly in great medicinal
repute; but it is now seldom used.

  166. _The RED OFFICINAL ROSE_ (Rosa gallica) _differs from the
  hundred-leaved rose in having the leaf-stalks more rough and prickly. The
  petals are of deep crimson colour, large, spreading, and not numerous._

In the period of its flowering, this rose, which is a native of the south
of Europe, succeeds the common garden rose. It is used in several medicinal
preparations. Of its _petals_, in conjunction with sugar, a conserve is
made, an infusion, and a syrup; and the dried _buds_, with water and honey,
are made into what is called _honey of roses_.

  167. _The RASPBERRY_ (Rubus idæus) _is a well-known garden fruit, which
  grows wild in woods and thickets of several parts of England._

To most persons the flavour of the raspberry is peculiarly grateful; and
its perfume very delightful. Raspberries are much used in cookery and
confectionary, as well as to eat in desserts. With sugar they are made into
jam and jelly, and also into cakes. The juice, mixed with a certain portion
of sugar and of brandy, constitutes the liqueur called _raspberry-brandy_.
This juice is much in request for ice-creams, and is sometimes manufactured
into wine. A grateful syrup is obtained from raspberries, which is
occasionally used in medicine. The _leaves_ are said to be a grateful food
to kids.

White raspberries are sweeter than the red ones.

168. Our wild hedge fruit, called BLACKBERRIES (_Rubus fruticosus_), belong
to the same tribe as the raspberry. These are much eaten by children, and
sometimes, when taken in too great quantities, produce very violent
effects, and have caused fever, delirium, and other unpleasant symptoms. In
Provence blackberries are employed for the colouring of wine. A syrup and
jelly, and sometimes also wine, are prepared from them. The _twigs_ are
sometimes used in dyeing a black colour. Silkworms are occasionally fed
upon the _leaves_ of the blackberry.

  169. _The STRAWBERRY_ (Fragaria vesca) _is a British wood fruit which has
  been long cultivated in gardens._

By cultivation the strawberry has been greatly increased in size, but its
flavour continues much the same as that of the wild fruit. The varieties of
the strawberry are very numerous.

None of our fruits are more wholesome than these, and, even when eaten in
large quantities, they seldom disagree with the stomach. They abound in
juice, have a grateful, cooling, somewhat acid taste, and a peculiarly
fragrant smell; and are either eaten alone, or with sugar, milk, or wine. A
palatable jam, wine, and vinegar, are prepared from strawberries. This
fruit is sometimes preserved whole in syrup, and sometimes in wine.





  170. _CAPERS are the unopened flower-buds of a low shrub_ (Capparis
  spinosa, Fig. 48), _which grows from the crevices of rocks and walls, and
  among rubbish, in the southern parts of France, in Italy, and the

  _The stems of the caper bush are trailing, and two or three feet in
  length. The leaves are alternate, of somewhat oval shape, veined, and of
  bright green colour: and the flowers are large and beautiful, with four
  petals, and white with a tinge of red._

In the south of France, the caper bush is as common as the bramble is with
us. It grows wild upon the walls of Rome, Sienna, and Florence; and when
trained against a wall, it flourishes even in the neighbourhood of Paris:
notwithstanding which it is almost unknown in English gardens, where it
cannot be made to flower without the aid of artificial heat. This shrub is
cultivated on a large scale, between Marseilles and Toulon, and in many
parts of Italy.

In the early part of the summer it begins to flower, and the flowers
continue successively to appear till the commencement of winter. The buds
are picked, every morning, before the petals are expanded: and, as they are
gathered, they are put into vinegar and salt. When a sufficient quantity is
collected, they are distributed, according to their size, into different
vessels, again put into vinegar, and then packed up for sale and
exportation. This pickle is much used in sauce for boiled mutton. To
persons unaccustomed to it, the taste of capers is unpleasant; but, after a
little while, the palate becomes reconciled to it.

The bark of the _root_ cut into slices, and dried in small rolls or quills
like cinnamon, is sometimes used in medicine in cases of obstruction of the

The flower-buds of the marsh marygold (_Caltha palustris_), and of
nasturtiums, are frequently pickled and eaten as a substitute for capers.

  171. _The WHITE POPPY_ (Papaver somniferum) _is a naturalized English
  plant, with smooth calyx and seed-vessels, and with leaves embracing the
  stem, which grows wild in neglected gardens, and some corn-fields, and to
  which we are indebted for two important medicines_, opium _and_ laudanum.

Although the white poppy has long been naturalized in this country, it is
supposed that we were originally indebted for it to some of the northern
parts of Asia. Throughout nearly the whole of that quarter of the world it
is cultivated with great attention, on account of the _opium_ which is
obtained from it. Opium is the dried juice of the seed-vessels, and is thus
procured:--After the petals have fallen off, and the seed-vessels are about
half grown, the latter are wounded on one side, with an instrument having
four or five teeth, the gashes being made about an inch in length. A
glutinous, milky fluid exudes from the wounds: this is carefully scraped
off, on the ensuing day, by a person who, in similar manner, wounds the
opposite side of the head; the juice issuing from which is afterwards
similarly collected. The whole is then put into earthen vessels, where it
is worked by the hand, in the open sunshine, until it attains sufficient
consistence to be formed into balls, cakes, or loaves; after which it is
covered over with poppy or tobacco leaves, and further dried, till it is in
a proper state for exportation.

_Opium_ is of reddish brown colour, inclining to black; and has a strong
and very peculiar smell. It is adulterated in various ways; by an extract
of the plant, obtained by boiling; by a powder of the dried leaves and
stalks, mixed with some kind of gum; by rice flour, and by other substances
not quite so agreeable as these.

The cultivation of opium is so extensively pursued in the East Indies that
nearly 600,000 pounds' weight of it are annually exported from the Ganges.
But there is no necessity for us to import, at a great expense from abroad,
that which might be advantageously prepared in our own country. It is true
that the seed-vessels of the white poppy do not attain so large size in
this as in warmer climates; but the opium procured from it is of
sufficiently excellent quality. From the seed-vessels of a single plant
more than forty grains of this drug have been obtained; and, under very
disadvantageous circumstances of weather, upwards of twenty-one pounds'
weight have been procured from plants grown upon five acres of land. It has
been calculated that, in favourable seasons, the produce of a single acre
ought to be near fifty pounds. It is recommended that the seed be sown in
autumn rather than in spring. When the seed-vessels have attained a
sufficient state of maturity, they may be wounded, and the opium may be
collected by children from eight to twelve years of age. The only proper
time for collecting it is in the morning, and seven children and two men
have been able to collect 1½ pound in one morning, betwixt five and nine
o'clock. The best mode of reducing the opium to a proper consistence
appears to be to spread it thinly in shallow dishes, and expose it, under
glasses, to the rays of the sun.

We possess few medicines so valuable as this. It is used as a powerful
antidote, but chiefly as a remedy for procuring sleep and mitigating pain,
which it does in a very remarkable manner. In the latter respects, however,
it is too often abused; and, if taken in large doses, it proves a deadly
poison. But so much are the effects of opium diminished by the habit of
taking it, that, although four grains have, in some instances, proved fatal
to grown persons, fifty times that quantity have been taken daily by
others. The bad effects of too great a dose are best counteracted by making
the patient drink freely of acids and coffee, and not permitting him to
yield to the desire of sleeping, with which he is oppressed. The habitual
use of opium, which is much indulged in by the Asiatics, is attended with
the same bad effects as the habit of drinking ardent spirits: it brings on
tremors, palsy, stupidity, and general emaciation; and, when once acquired,
it can scarcely ever be relinquished.

Possessing the above properties, it is remarkable that opium, combined in a
certain proportion with vegetable acids, instead of inducing, will prevent
sleep. In consequence of which it has often, though injuriously, been used
by persons who are obliged to devote their nights to sedentary or active
pursuits. It is likewise deserving of remark, that the _seeds_ of the poppy
have none of the narcotic qualities of the opium. They are mild, sweet, and
nutritive; and yield, by pressure, an oil little inferior to that of
almonds. So numerous are these seeds that more than 30,000 have been
counted from a single seed-vessel.

_Laudanum_ is a liquid preparation from opium and spirit of wine; and is
used for most of the same purposes to which opium is applied. Its effects,
as a poison, may be counteracted in the same manner as those of opium.

  172. _ARNATTO, or ANNOTTA, is a red dyeing drug, generally imported in
  lumps wrapped up in leaves, and produced from the pulp of the
  seed-vessels of a shrub_ (Bixa orellana) _which grows spontaneously in
  the East and West Indies._

  _This shrub is usually seven or eight feet high, and has heart-shaped and
  pointed leaves. The flowers, which have each ten large peach-coloured
  petals, appear in loose clusters at the ends of the branches, and produce
  oblong and somewhat hairy pods._

The seed-vessels of the arnatto shrub are, in appearance, somewhat like
those of the chesnut (235). They each contain from thirty to forty seeds,
enveloped in a kind of pulp (of red colour and unpleasant smell), which is
not much unlike the paint called red lead, when mixed with oil. In the West
Indies the method of extracting the pulp, and preparing it for sale, is to
boil it, and the seeds which are mixed with it, in clear water, until the
latter are perfectly extricated. They are then taken out, and the pulp is
allowed to subside to the bottom of the water; this is drawn off, and the
sediment is distributed into shallow vessels, and gradually dried in the
shade until it is sufficiently hard to be worked into lumps or masses for

Arnatto, though made in the West Indies, is an object of no great
commercial importance; the demand for it not being sufficient to give much
encouragement to its culture. It is now chiefly prepared by the Spaniards
in South America, and for the purpose principally of mixing with chocolate,
to which, in their opinion, it gives a pleasing colour and great medicinal
virtue, as well as an improved flavour. The chief consumption of arnatto in
England depends upon painters and dyers; and it is supposed that _Scott's
nankeen dye_ is nothing but arnatto dissolved in alkaline ley. This drug is
sometimes used by the Dutch farmers to give a rich colour to butter; and
the double Gloucester and several other kinds of cheese are coloured with
it. Poor people occasionally use it instead of saffron.

In countries where the arnatto shrubs are found, the _roots_ are employed
by the inhabitants in broth; and they answer all the purposes of the pulp,
though in an inferior degree. The _bark_ is occasionally manufactured into
ropes; and pieces of the _wood_ are used by the Indians to procure fire by

  173. _The LIME or LINDEN-TREE is a British forest tree_ (Tilia europæa),
  _distinguished by its heart-shaped and serrated leaves of bright green
  colour, and by its berries or seed-vessels, having each four cells and
  one bud._

  _The blossoms are whitish, in small clusters, and have a yellowish green
  floral leaf nearly as long as the fruit-stalk, and attached to it for
  about half its length._

No one can have passed a grove of lime-trees, in the month of July, without
having been charmed with the perfume which, at this season, is emitted by
the _flowers_. They are a great resort of bees, and supply those insects
with materials for their best honey. Whether fresh or dried, they easily
ferment, and a fine flavoured spirit may be distilled from them. The _wood_
is close-grained, though soft, light, and smooth. It is much used by
carvers and turners; and is in great request for the boards of
leather-cutters. When properly burnt it makes an excellent charcoal for
gunpowder, and for painters.

If the _bark_ be softened in water, the fibrous inner part may be
separated: of this the Russians manufacture fishing-nets, mats, shoes, and
rustic garments; and ropes and other cordage, made from it, are stated to
be so remarkably strong and elastic, that, in this respect, they are
superior to iron chains. In some countries the _leaves_ are dried as a
winter food for sheep and goats; and, from these and the bark, a smooth but
coarse brown paper may be manufactured. An inferior kind of sugar may be
made from the _sap_; and the _seeds_, by pressure, yield a sweet and
pleasant oil.

The lime is an eligible tree to form shady walks and clipped hedges: but
its leaves fall very early in the autumn. In rich soils it attains a
prodigious size; and instances have been mentioned of these trees having
existed during more than six centuries.

  174. _TEA, both black and green, consists of the dried leaves of an
  evergreen shrub_ (Thea bohea _and_ Thea viridis, _of Linneus_, Fig. 49),
  _with indented and somewhat spear-shaped leaves and white flowers with
  six petals or more, which is much cultivated in China._

  _The tea shrub attains the height of five or six feet, and is much
  branched. The leaves, when full grown, are about 1½ inch long, narrow,
  tapering, and of dark glossy green colour, and firm texture. The flowers
  are not much unlike those of the white wild rose, but smaller; and they
  are succeeded by a fruit about the size of a sloe, which contains two or
  three seeds._

The tea-tree flourishes, with great luxuriance, in valleys, on the sloping
sides of mountains, and on the banks of rivers, in a southern exposure,
betwixt the thirtieth and forty-fifth degrees of north latitude. It is
chiefly cultivated near Pekin, and around Canton, but it attains the
greatest perfection in the mild and temperate climate of Nankin.

The collecting of the leaves is conducted with great care: they are picked
singly, and, for the most part, at three different times of the year; about
the end of February, the beginning of April, and the end of May. The drying
and preparation of them, for use, are processes too long to admit of minute
detail respecting them in this place. It may, however, be observed, that
for these purposes buildings are erected, which contain from five to ten,
and some of them even twenty, small furnaces, each having, at the top, a
large iron pan. There is also a long table covered with mats, on which the
leaves are laid, and rolled by persons who sit round it. The iron pan being
heated by a fire in the furnace beneath, a few pounds of the leaves are put
upon it, and frequently turned and shifted. They are then thrown upon the
mats to be rolled betwixt the palms of the hands: after which they are
cooled as speedily as possible. That the moisture of the leaves may be
completely dissipated, and their twisted form be better preserved, the
above process is repeated several times with the same leaves, but with less
heat than at first. The tea, thus manufactured, is afterwards sorted,
according to its kind or goodness. Some of the young and tender leaves are
never rolled, but are merely immersed in hot water, and dried.

How long the use of tea has been known to the Chinese we are entirely
ignorant; but we are informed that an infusion of the dried leaves of the
tea shrub is now their common drink. They pour boiling water over them, and
leave them to infuse, as we do in Europe; but they drink the tea thus made
without either milk or sugar. The inhabitants of Japan reduce the leaves to
a fine powder, which they dilute with water, until it acquires nearly the
consistence of soup. The tea equipage is placed before the company,
together with a box in which the powdered tea is contained: the cups are
filled with warm water, and then as much of the powder is thrown into each
cup as the point of a knife can contain, and it is stirred about until the
liquor begins to foam, in which state it is presented to the company.

It was formerly imagined that black and green tea were the production of
different species of shrubs; but the Chinese all assert, that both are
produced from the same species, and that the sole difference which exists
betwixt them arises from the seasons when the leaves are gathered, and the
modes of curing them. The teas principally consumed in Europe are four
kinds of black, and three of green.

_Black Teas._

(_a_) _Bohea_, or _Voo-yee_, so called from the country in which it is
produced, is sometimes collected at four gatherings. As the leaves are
picked, they are put into flat baskets, which are placed on shelves or
planks, in the air or sun, from morning till night; after which they are
thrown, by small quantities at a time, into a flat cast-iron pan, which is
made very hot. They are twice stirred quick with the hand: then taken out,
again put into the baskets, and rubbed between men's hands to roll them.
After this they undergo another roasting in larger quantities, over a
slower fire: and are then sometimes put into baskets over a charcoal fire.
When the tea is, at last, sufficiently dried, it is spread on a table; and
the leaves that are too large, and those that are unrolled, yellow, broken,
or otherwise defective, are picked out, and the remainder is laid aside to
be packed.

The best bohea tea is a small blackish leaf, is dusty, smells somewhat like
burnt hay, and has a rough and somewhat harsh taste. The average annual
importation of bohea into this country, in the ten years from 1791 to 1800,
was 3,310,135 pounds.

(_b_) _Congo_, or _Cong-foo_, derived from a word which implies much care
or trouble, is a superior kind of bohea, less dusty, and with larger
leaves. These are gathered with peculiar care, and there is some little
difference in the preparation of congo and bohea. The leaves of the latter,
of souchong, hyson, and the fine single teas, are said to be beaten, with
flat sticks or bamboos, after they have been withered by exposure to the
sun or air, and have acquired toughness enough to keep them from breaking.

Of congo the annual average quantity imported in the above years amounted
to 9,564,202 pounds.

(_c_) _Souchong_, from a Chinese word which signifies small good thing, is
made from the leaves of trees three years old; and, where the soil is good,
even of the leaves of older trees. Of true souchong very little is
produced; what is sold to Europeans for this is only the finest kind of
congo, and the congo usually purchased by them is but the best sort of
bohea. Such is the delicacy of this tea that, upon a hill planted with
tea-trees, there may only be a single tree, the leaves of which are good
enough to be called souchong, and even of these, only the best and youngest
are taken. The others make congos of different kinds, and bohea.

(_d_) _Pekoe_ is distinguished by having the small white flowers of the
tree intermixed with it. This, which is chiefly consumed in Sweden and
Denmark, is usually made from the tenderest leaves of trees three years
old, gathered just after they have been in bloom, when the small leaves
that grow between the first two that have appeared, and which altogether
make a sprig, are white, and resemble young hair or down.

_Green Teas._

It has been asserted that green teas are indebted for their qualities and
colour to a process of drying them upon plates of copper. This is certainly
incorrect. The leaves for green tea are gathered, and immediately roasted,
or _tached_, as it is called, upon cast-iron plates, and then are very much
rubbed betwixt men's hands, to roll them. They are afterwards spread out
and separated, as the leaves in rolling are apt to adhere to each other:
and are again placed over the fire, and made very dry. After this they are
picked, cleansed from dust, several times tached or roasted, and finally
put hot into the chests in which they are to be packed.

The principal kinds of green tea are singlo, hyson, and gunpowder.

(_a_) _Singlo_, or _Song-lo_, is so named from the place where it is
chiefly cultivated. Of this tea there are three or more sorts; but the
leaves of the best are large, fine, flat, and clean. It is gathered at two
seasons, the first in April, and the second in June. As we see it, the leaf
is flattish, and yields, on infusion, a pale amber-coloured liquor.

(_b_) _Hyson_, or _Hee-chun_, has its name from that of an Indian merchant
who first sold this tea to the Europeans. There are two gatherings of
hyson. It should have a fine blooming appearance, be of a full-sized grain,
very dry, and so crisp that, with slight pressure, it will crumble to dust.
When infused in water the leaf should appear open, clear, and smooth, and
should tinge the water a light green colour; the infusion ought to have an
aromatic smell, and a strong pungent taste.

(_c_) _Gunpowder_ tea is a superior kind of hyson, gathered and dried with
peculiar care. This tea should be chosen in round grains, somewhat
resembling small shot, with a beautiful bloom upon it which will not bear
the breath: it should have a greenish hue, and a fragrant pungent taste.
Gunpowder tea is sometimes adulterated; an inferior kind being dyed and
glazed in such manner as to resemble it; but, on infusion, this is found in
every respect very inferior.

Tea, both black and green, is sometimes imported in balls from the weight
of two ounces to the size of peas.

The dried leaves of the tea plant are a commodity which, a century and a
half ago, were scarcely known as an article of trade. The earliest
importation of tea into Europe is said to have been by a Dutch merchant in
1610; but the time of its first introduction into England has not been
correctly ascertained. So scarce an article was it, for many years after
the above period, that, in 1666, twenty-two pounds and three quarters of
tea, estimated at fifty shillings a pound, were presented, as a valuable
gift, to King Charles the Second. The first importation of tea by the East
India Company was in 1669, and this consisted only of two canisters,
weighing 143lb. 8oz. So rapidly, however, has the consumption of this
article since increased, that, notwithstanding the immense distance from
which it is brought, it now amounts to more than twenty millions of pounds'
weight per annum. Such is, at present, the extent of the tea trade, that it
affords constant employment for at least 50,000 tons of shipping, and 6,000
seamen; and its importance to us is the greater since it has been the means
of opening, in China, a market for the sale of woollen goods, one of the
most essential articles of our manufacture, to the amount of more than one
million of pounds sterling per annum.

If good tea be taken in moderate quantity it is considered by medical men
to be beneficial, by exhilarating the spirits and invigorating the system;
but, when taken too copiously, it is apt to occasion weakness, tremor, and
other bad symptoms.

The tea plant may be propagated in the temperate climates of Europe, as
well as in the Indies; under the shelter of a south wall it will even
flourish in our own gardens. It is, however, somewhat remarkable that the
fresh leaves, if used for tea, produce giddiness and stupefaction; but
these noxious properties are capable of being dissipated by the process of

In some of the southern parts of England there are smugglers who have
reduced to a regular process the management of the leaves of the ash, the
sloe, and some other trees, for the adulteration of tea. The article thus
prepared has the name of _smouch_, and is sometimes mixed in the proportion
of about one-third, with the ordinary teas. The preparation of it, however,
if discovered, is subject to very heavy penalties.

  175. _CLOVES are the unexpanded flower-buds of an East Indian tree_
  (Caryophyllus aromaticus, Fig. 50), _somewhat resembling the laurel in
  its height, and in the shape of its leaves._

  _The leaves are in pairs, oblong, large, spear-shaped, and of bright
  green colour. The flowers grow in clusters, which terminate the branches,
  and have the calyx divided into four small and pointed segments. The
  petals are small, rounded, and of bluish colour; and the seed is an oval

In the Molucca islands, where the preparation of different spices was
formerly carried on by the Dutch colonists to great extent, the culture of
the clove-tree was a very important pursuit. It has even been asserted
that, in order to secure a lucrative branch of commerce in this article to
themselves, they destroyed all the trees growing in other islands, and
confined the propagation of them to that of Ternate only. But it appears
that, in 1770 and 1772, both clove and nutmeg trees were transplanted from
the Moluccas into the islands of France and Bourbon; and, subsequently,
into some of the colonies of South America, where they have since been
cultivated with great success.

At a certain season of the year the clove-tree produces a vast profusion of
flowers. When these have attained the length of about half an inch, the
four points of the calyx being prominent, and having in the middle of them
the leaves of the petals folded over each other, and forming a small head
about the size of a pea, they are in a fit state to be gathered. This
operation is performed betwixt the months of October and February, partly
by the hand, partly by hooks, and partly by beating the trees with bamboos.
The cloves are either received on cloths spread beneath the trees, or are
suffered to fall on the ground, the herbage having previously been cut and
swept for that purpose. They are subsequently dried by exposure for a while
to the smoke of wood fires, and afterwards to the rays of the sun. When
first gathered they are of reddish colour, but, by drying, they assume a
deep brown cast.

This spice yields a very fragrant odour, and a bitterish, pungent, and warm
taste. It is sometimes employed as a hot and stimulating medicine, but is
more frequently used in culinary preparations. When fresh gathered, cloves
will yield on pressure a fragrant, thick, and reddish oil; and, by
distillation, a limpid essential oil. The latter is imported into Europe,
but is frequently adulterated, and sometimes even to the amount of nearly
half its weight. Oil of cloves is used by many persons, though very
improperly, for curing the tooth-ache, since, from its pungent quality, it
is apt to corrode the gums, and injure the adjacent teeth. When the tooth
is carious, and will admit of it, a bruised clove is much to be preferred.

  176. _LADANUM, or LABDANUM, is a resinous drug which exudes, and is
  collected, from the leaves and branches of a beautiful species of cistus_
  (Cistus Creticus), _which grows in Syria and the Grecian islands._

  _The height of this shrub seldom exceeds three or four feet. Its leaves,
  which stand in pairs on short foot-stalks, are oblong, wrinkled, rough,
  and clammy. The flowers appear in June and July, and consist of five
  large rounded petals of light purplish colour, each marked with a dark
  spot at the base._

The ancient mode of collecting ladanum, if the accounts which have been
stated respecting it may be credited, was not a little curious. Goats,
which delight in grazing upon the leaves and young branches of the shrubs
that produce it, were turned loose into the plantation, and the resin that
adhered to the long hair of their beards and thighs was afterwards detached
by combing them.

The present method is different, and is a laborious and troublesome
employment. Tournefort informs us that he saw seven or eight country
fellows, in their shirts and drawers, and in the hottest part of the day,
drawing over the shrubs a kind of whip, or rake, with numerous long straps
or thongs of leather. From these they collected the resin, by scraping it
off with a kind of knife; after which it was made into cakes of different
sizes for sale. As loose sand generally adheres, in considerable quantity,
to the viscous leaves of the shrub, it is not unusual for dealers in this
drug to adulterate it with sand.

We import ladanum principally from the Levant and the Persian Gulf; and it
comes to us in cakes or masses of different size, dark colour, and about
the consistence of soft plaster; and also in rolls, lighter-coloured and
much harder, which are twisted up so as somewhat to resemble the rolls of
wax tapers.

The smell of ladanum is strong, but not disagreeable; and its taste is
warm, aromatic, and somewhat unpleasant. This drug was formerly much used
as an internal medicine; but it is now employed only externally, as an
ingredient in plasters.

  177. _The TULIP-TREE_ (Liriodendron tulipifera) _is an American
  production which yields a very beautiful and valuable kind of wood._

  _It sometimes grows to the height of sixty or seventy feet; and has lobed
  leaves, and tulip-shaped flowers._

While young, the _wood_ of the tulip-tree is white; but at an advanced age,
it assumes a fine yellow colour, or a streaked appearance of different
shades of red. This wood is equally useful in ornamental furniture, and as
a timber for building. It is occasionally employed in the construction of
light vessels; and the trunks of tulip-trees are frequently hollowed by the
Indians into canoes. When they have been grown in a favourable soil and
climate, one of them is sufficiently large to be made into a canoe capable
of containing several people.

On account of its quick growth and easy culture, this noble tree well
deserves the attention of planters in our own country.





  178. _LAVENDER is a well-known perennial garden plant_ (Lavandula spica)
  _which grows wild in the south of Europe, and the flowers of which yield
  a grateful perfume._

Such is the fragrance of this delightful flower, and so easy is its
culture, that we can now scarcely enter a garden in which it is not found.
It will grow in almost any soil, but it flourishes most luxuriantly in
clayey ground; and in situations whence, without inconvenience, it can be
conveyed to the metropolis, it is a very valuable crop.

When cultivated to any extent, lavender should be planted in rows two or
three feet apart, and the sets should be about two feet from each other. It
is usually propagated from slips. During dry weather, in the month of July,
the flowers should be gathered, by cutting off the heads close to the stem;
after which they must be tied in bundles to be distilled.

When distilled with water, the _flowers_ of lavender, if in a mature state,
yield an essential _oil_; generally in the proportion of about one ounce of
oil to sixty ounces of flowers. This oil is of a bright yellow colour, and
possesses the perfect fragrance of the lavender. But, if distilled with
rectified spirit, the virtues are more completely extracted. From the
leaves a very small proportion of oil can be obtained.

The preparations of this plant that are used in medicine are, the essential
oil, a simple _spirit_, and a compound tincture. Lavender, however, is much
more frequently and more extensively employed as a perfume than
medicinally. The flowers are deposited in chests and wardrobes among linen,
not only on account of their fragrant smell, but also from an opinion that
their odour will prevent the depredations of moths and other insects. The
perfume called _lavender water_ may be prepared by mixing three drachms of
oil of lavender, and one drachm of essence of ambergris, with one pint of
spirit of wine.

Lavender is supposed to have been first cultivated in England about the
year 1558.

  179. _COMMON or SPEAR-MINT_ (Mentha viridis), _one of our most frequent
  garden herbs, is a native British plant, and grows wild in watery places,
  and near the banks of rivers, in several parts of England._

The ancients ascribed many virtues to different kinds of mint, but it is
not now possible to ascertain correctly the respective species, though
there can be little doubt that spear-mint was one of the most important of
them. Its flavour is to many persons peculiarly agreeable, and, on this
account, it is employed for several culinary purposes, both in a green and
dried state.

The _leaves_ are used in spring salads, are boiled with peas, and put into
soup. In conjunction with vinegar and sugar they form a sauce for lamb; and
prepared with sugar, they are made into a grateful conserve. Spear-mint is
occasionally used in medicine, and the officinal preparations of it are the
conserve, an essential oil, a simple distilled water, a spirit, and a
tincture, or extract. In drying, the leaves lose about three-fourths of
their weight, but without suffering much either in taste or smell.

  180. _PEPPER MINT_ (Mentha piperita) _is a British plant, which grows in
  watery places, and is cultivated chiefly on account of an oil and
  distilled water which are prepared from it._

This is the strongest and most aromatic of all the mints; and, on this
account, is more used in medicine than any other species. When distilled
with water it yields a considerable quantity of essential oil, of pale
greenish yellow colour. The well-known liquor called _pepper mint water_,
prepared from this plant, is an excellent stomachic: but is too often used
in cases of impaired appetite, and for the relief of various imaginary


  181. _The FOX-GLOVE_ (Digitalis purpurea) _is a stately British plant,
  with long, erect spikes of large, purple, and somewhat bell-shaped
  flowers, marked internally with dark spots in whitish rings, and
  containing four stamens, with large yellow anthers._

  _The calyx, or flower-cup, has five pointed divisions. The extremity of
  the blossom is divided into five segments; and the seed-vessel is
  egg-shaped, and contains many seeds. The leaves are large, wrinkled, and
  somewhat downy beneath._

The gravelly or sandy hedge-banks or hills of all the midland counties of
England are adorned, in the later months of summer, with this, one of the
most beautiful, most dangerous, and yet, if properly applied, one of the
most useful of all our wild plants. For its medicinal virtues it has long
been esteemed. The Italians have an adage which implies that "the fox-glove
heals all sores:" hence it is said, that they apply the bruised leaves, and
the juice of the leaves, in the healing of different kinds of wounds, and
particularly for the removal of scrophulous swellings.

The _juice_ of this plant has a bitter and nauseous taste; and, when taken
internally, acts violently on the stomach and bowels, and brings on stupor
and drowsiness; notwithstanding which, in careful hands, it may be rendered
a valuable medicine in dropsy, consumption, and epilepsy. It is given in
powder, tincture, and infusion of the dried leaves; and such is its
strength, that Dr. Woodville states, the dose of the dried leaves, in
powder, should not exceed from one to three grains per day.

  182. _The CALABASH-TREE_ (Crescentia cujeta) _is a production of the West
  Indies and America, about the height and dimensions if an apple-tree,
  with crooked horizontal branches, wedge-shaped leaves, pale white flowers
  on the trunk and branches, and a roundish fruit, from two inches to a
  foot in diameter._

The uses to which the _fruit_ of the calabash tree is applied are very
numerous. Being covered with a greenish yellow skin, which encloses a thin,
hard, and almost woody shell, it is employed for various kinds of domestic
vessels, such as water cans, goblets, and cups of almost every shape and
description. So hard and close-grained is the calabash, that, when it
contains any kind of fluid, it may even be put on the fire without injury.
When intended for ornamental purposes, the vessels that are made of the
shell of this fruit are sometimes highly polished, and have figures
engraven upon them, which are variously tinged with indigo and other
colours. The Indians make musical instruments with the calabash.

The calabash contains a pale, yellow, juicy _pulp_, of unpleasant taste,
which is esteemed a valuable remedy in several disorders, both external and





  183. _SEA KALE_ (Crambe maritima) _is a well-known plant in our
  kitchen-gardens, the early shoots of which are blanched, and eaten in the
  same manner as asparagus._

This plant grows wild on sandy sea-coasts in various parts of England; and
has been transplanted thence into the gardens. The mode of management is,
in the autumn, to place large inverted garden-pots over the plants, and to
cover the whole bed and the pots with dung and litter. The heat of the
fermenting dung causes the plants to shoot early in the spring; and the
pots protect them and keep them clear of the litter. By this means also, as
they have no access to the light, they become blanched, tender, and of
extremely sweet and delicate flavour.

Sea kale is ready for use some time before asparagus appears; and, for the
table, it is preferred by most persons to that favourite vegetable. If the
leaves of sea kale be eaten when full grown, they are said to occasion
giddiness; but horses, cows, swine, and other animals, feed upon them
without injury.

  184. _WOAD is a dyeing drug, produced by a British plant_ (Isatis
  tinctoria), _with arrow-shaped leaves on the stem, yellow cruciform
  flowers, and oblong seed-vessels, each containing one seed._

This plant is believed to have been the same that was adopted by the
ancient Britons for staining, or painting their bodies a blue colour, to
render them, in appearance, at least, more terrible to their enemies. It
grows wild on the borders of corn-fields, in some parts of Cambridgeshire,
Somersetshire, and Durham: and is cultivated in several of the clothing
districts of England.

As soon as the plants are in a sufficient state of maturity, they are
gathered. The leaves are picked off, and submitted to the action of mills,
somewhat similar to the mills that are used for the grinding of oak-bark.
In these they are reduced to a pulp. The woad is then laid in small heaps,
which are closely and smoothly pressed down. After continuing about a
fortnight in this state, the heaps are broken up, and their substance is
formed into balls, which are exposed to the sun to be dried. When the balls
are perfectly dry, they are ready for use; and are employed, not only in
dyeing blue, but also as the basis of several other colours.

  185. _HORSE-RADISH_ (Cochlearia armoracia) _is a well-known
  kitchen-garden plant, which grows wild by the sides of ditches and the
  banks of rivers, in several parts of the north of England._

The _root_ of horse-radish is much used for culinary purposes. It is
remarkable for great pungency both of smell and taste. When scraped, it is
mixed with pickles to heighten their flavour, and is eaten with roast beef,
fish, and several other kinds of food. Whenever more of the roots are dug
out of the earth at once than are immediately wanted, they may be preserved
for some time, in a juicy state, by putting them into dry sand.

Horse-radish is also in considerable repute as a medicine, and is a
powerful stimulant, whether externally or internally applied.
Notwithstanding this, we are informed by Dr. Withering, that an infusion of
horseradish in cold milk is one of the best and safest cosmetics that are


  186. _COMMON MUSTARD is made from the powdered seeds of a plant_ (Sinapis
  nigra), _which grows wild in corn-fields and by road sides, in most parts
  of England, and is known by its yellow cruciform flowers, with expanding
  calyx, and its pods being smooth, square, and close to the stem._

In light and otherwise barren lands mustard is cultivated to great
advantage. That which is produced in the county of Durham has much
celebrity; though the powdered seeds of charlock have, in many instances,
been substituted, and sold in place of it. Mustard is in daily use at our
tables, and the _seeds_, whole or bruised, are employed in pickles, and for
numerous other culinary purposes. These seeds yield, on pressure, a
considerable quantity of oil, which is soft and insipid to the taste, and
partakes but little of the acrimony of the plant.

Different preparations of mustard are sometimes used in medicine. The
seeds, taken internally, are serviceable in asthma, rheumatism, and palsy.
Cataplasms of mustard are employed, on account of its stimulating
properties, on benumbed or paralytic limbs. An infusion of the powdered
seeds, taken in considerable quantity, operates as an emetic, and, in
smaller quantity, is an useful aperient and diuretic.

  187. _RAPE and COLE SEED_ (Brassica napus) _are different varieties of a
  plant with yellow cruciform flowers and, spindle-shaped root, which grows
  wild upon ditch banks, and amongst corn._

  _This plant is distinguished from others of the same tribe by its roots
  being a regular continuation of the stem._

In several parts of England rape and cole seed are sown intermixed, the
plants being distinguishable in their growth by the cole exceeding the rape
in height, being more soft and tender, and less branched and bushy. When
sown separately the cole is usually, though not always, consumed as food
for sheep and cattle; and the rape is allowed to stand for seed. For the
cultivation of rape the soil ought to be rich and deep.

The harvest commences about the month of August; and as the seed, when in a
state of maturity, is easily shed, it is customary, in some places, to
thresh the plants on a large cloth in the field. Rape-cloths are sometimes
so large as to measure twenty yards square, and to weigh more than half a
ton. The threshing is almost always considered a sort of festival, at which
a great portion of the neighbours attend, in order to expedite the work;
and they are repaid by the good cheer of their brother farmer. In other
places the rape is carried on a cloth, in a low kind of waggon, to be
threshed out of the field.

_Oil_ is obtained from rape-seed by pressure. This is used, in large
quantities, by clothiers and others. It is also used in medicine; and for
making the soap called green soap. It is likewise useful for various
purposes in domestic life, and particularly for burning in lamps; but it is
apt to become rancid, though there are means of purifying it. After the oil
has been extracted, the refuse is called _oil-cake_, and is employed for
the fattening of oxen; and, in Norfolk, is sometimes broken to pieces, and
strewed upon the land as manure. The _roots_ of rape plants may be eaten
like turnips, but they have a stronger taste. The _stalks_, or haulm, if
strong, may be advantageously employed in the formation of the enclosing
fences of farm-yards. They are, however, generally burnt; and in some parts
of the country, the ashes, which are equal in quality to the best
pot-ashes, are collected together and sold.

  188. _The TURNIP_ (Brassica rapa) _is a well-known edible root, which is
  cultivated to great extent in almost every part of England._

To the farmer turnips are, in various particulars, a most valuable crop.
They afford a profitable intervening crop with corn. Both the _tops_ and
_roots_ are eaten by sheep. Horses and cattle may be advantageously fed
upon the roots during winter; but the milk of cows receives an unpleasant
flavour from them. This flavour is also communicated to the butter; but it
may be taken off by dissolving a little nitre in spring water, and putting
a small tea-cupful of it into about eight gallons of milk, when warm from
the cow. Turnips also serve as food for mankind, either boiled or roasted.
In the years 1629, 1636, and 1693, during the pressure of a severe famine,
bread is stated to have been made of turnips in several parts of England,
particularly in the county of Essex. The process was to put the turnips
into a kettle over a slow fire, till they became soft; they were then taken
out, squeezed as dry as possible, mixed with an equal quantity of flour,
and, after having been kneaded with yeast, salt, and a little warm water,
were made into loaves and baked. In bread thus made the peculiar taste of
the turnip is said to be scarcely perceptible.

These roots have been much recommended as sea store, from the possibility,
with care, of preserving them for a great length of time uninjured, and
from their furnishing an agreeable and wholesome food for sailors, on long
voyages. The young and tender _tops_ of turnips, when boiled, afford an
agreeable substitute for greens.

For the cultivation of turnips a light soil, particularly such as consists
of a mixture of sand and loam, is found preferable to rich and heavy land.
Turnips are raised from seed, which it has long been the established custom
to sow in the month of June. As soon as the young plants have attained a
tolerable size, they are hoed, for the purpose of thinning them. In their
growth they suffer much by the attacks of slugs, caterpillars, and insects
of different kinds, particularly of a small, dark beetle with two
longitudinal yellowish stripes (_Chrysomela nemorum_), which is called by
farmers the _turnip-fly_. For the destruction of this insect many plans
have, at different times, been devised.

Turnips are either eaten on the land by cattle, or are drawn out and
stacked, or preserved under ground for winter use; and, in this state, they
may be kept sound till April.

There are several kinds of turnips; but of these the _common white_, or
_Norfolk turnips_, and the _Ruta-baga_, or _Swedish turnips_, are the
principal. The latter, which indeed constitute a distinct species, are
generally of a yellowish colour, and are so hardy as to suffer no injury
even from the most intense cold; but their substance is so compact as
sometimes to break the teeth of sheep which feed upon them.

  189. _The COMMON CABBAGE_ (Brassica oleracea) _is a well-known plant, the
  original stock of which grows on cliffs by the seaside, in Kent,
  Cornwall, Yorkshire, and Wales._

  _This wild plant is likewise the original of the various kinds of_
  colewort, borecole, cauliflower, _and_ brocoli.

The effects of cultivation on the cabbage are very remarkable. In the wild
plants the leaves are extended: but in the common garden cabbage they are
set so close together as to lie upon each other, almost like the scales of
a bulb, and, increasing in compactness as they increase in size: those in
the interior being excluded from the effects of the light, do not assume a
green, but are of yellow colour.

Other plants of this species form their stalks into a head, as the
_cauliflower_ and _brocoli_; and others grow, in a natural way, without
forming either their leaves or stalks into heads, as the _coleworts_, or
_Dorsetshire kale_, the _borcoles_, _turnip-rooted cabbage_, and others.

In some parts of England, cabbages of different kinds are much cultivated
as food for cattle, and they succeed well in rich and finely prepared land.
The seed is sown in February or March. In April or May the young plants are
taken out, and set in rows, at a little distance from each other; and, in
the ensuing autumn and winter, the cabbages afford a valuable stock of

All the kinds of cabbage are useful for domestic purposes; and some of them
afford a peculiarly sweet and delicate food. An agreeable pickle is made of
them, and the Germans, and people of other northern countries of the
Continent, prepare from them a favourite food called _sour-crout_. These
plants were known to, and much used by, the ancient Greeks and Romans.

Cabbages are biennial plants, or are sown one year, produce seed in the
ensuing year, and then die.





  190. _TAMARINDS are the pulp and needs produced by the pods of a large
  tree with winged leaves_ (Tamarindus Indica, Fig. 51), _which grows in
  the East and West Indies, America, and several parts of Asia._

  _This tree is from thirty to forty feet in height; and its leaves consist
  usually of fourteen pairs of leaflets. The flowers are formed in
  clusters, from the sides of the branches, and have each three yellowish
  petals, beautifully marked with red veins._

  _The fruit of the tamarind-tree is a roundish but somewhat compressed
  pod, four or five inches in length, the external part of which is very
  brittle. Each pod contains three or four hard seeds, enveloped in tough
  skins, surrounded by a dark-coloured, acid pulp, and connected together
  by numerous tough and woody fibres._

Previously to the exportation of tamarinds, the pulp, with the seeds and
fibres, are freed from their shell: and those which we receive from the
West Indies are usually preserved in syrup. In Jamaica the fruit is
gathered about the month of July. When fully ripe, and after the pods are
cleared away, the remainder is placed in layers, in small casks: and
boiling syrup, just before it begins to granulate, is poured upon them
until the casks are filled, after which the heads are put in and fastened
up for exportation.

The East Indian tamarinds are generally packed without any admixture. They
are more esteemed than the others; and, when in the pods, are easily
distinguished from them by their being longer, and containing six or seven
seeds; the pulp also is drier and of darker colour.

It is said that we are indebted to the Arabians for a knowledge of the use
of tamarinds. In hot climates they are a most refreshing and delicious
fruit; and, dissolved in water, are much used as a cooling and agreeable
beverage, particularly by persons suffering under fever. They also give
great relief in sore throats, and other complaints.


  digitata) _is probably the largest of all vegetable productions. The
  trunk, although not usually more than twelve or fifteen feet high, is
  frequently from sixty to eighty feet in girth. The lowest branches extend
  almost horizontally; and, as they are sometimes near sixty feet in
  length, they bend, by their own weight, to the ground; and thus the whole
  tree forms an hemispherical mass of verdure, which measures from 120 to
  130 feet in diameter._

  _The fruit is oblong, about ten inches in length, pointed at both ends,
  and covered with a greenish down, under which there is a blackish and
  woody rind. Its interior consists of a whitish, spongy, and juicy
  substance, with several brown seeds._

  _This tree is a native of Senegal and other parts of Africa._

The virtues and uses of the sour-gourd tree and its fruit are numerous and
of great importance to the inhabitants of the countries in which it is
found. The _bark_ and _leaves_ are dried, powdered, and preserved in bags,
to be employed as a seasoning for food. Two or three pinches of this powder
are put, by the negroes, into their messes, under an impression that it
promotes perspiration and moderates the heat of the blood.

The pulp of the _fruit_ has an agreeably acid flavour. This is not only
eaten when fresh, but is dried and powdered for medicinal uses; a kind of
soap is also prepared from it.

In Senegal, when the trees are decayed, the _trunks_ are hollowed, by the
negroes, into burying-places for their poets, musicians, and buffoons.
These persons are much esteemed whilst they live, although they are
supposed to derive their superior talents from sorcery or an alliance with
demons. When dead, however, their bodies are regarded with horror, and are
not allowed the usual burial, under a notion that the earth would, in such
case, refuse to produce its accustomed fruits. The bodies inclosed in these
trees are said to become perfectly dry without decaying, and thus to form a
kind of mummies, without the process of embalming.

  192. _COTTON is a soft vegetable down, which is contained in the seed
  vessels, and envelopes the seeds of the cotton-plant_ (Gosypium
  herbaceum, Fig. 52), _which is cultivated in the East and West Indies,
  and numerous other countries of hot climates._.

  _This, though an annual plant, grows to a considerable heights It has
  leaves of bright green colour, marked with brownish veins, and each
  divided into five lobes. The flowers have only one petal, in five
  segments, with a short tube, and are of pale yellow colour, with five red
  spots at the bottom._

The cotton pods are of somewhat triangular shape, and have each three
cells. These, when ripe, burst, and disclose their snow-white or yellowish
contents, in the midst of which are contained small black seeds, in shape
somewhat resembling those of grapes.

We are informed, by Mr. Edwards, that the plants are raised from seed, the
land requiring no other preparation for them than to be cleared of its
native incumbrances. The seeds are usually sown in rows six or eight feet
asunder, and the holes in which they are put are about four feet apart. At
the end of five months the plants begin to flower, and in two months more
the pods are formed. After the cotton is gathered, it is freed from the
seeds to which it is attached, by a very simple machine, consisting of two
small rollers that are close and parallel to each other, and move in
opposite directions. The cotton is next hand-picked, to free it from
decayed leaves, broken seeds, and other impurities; after which it is
packed, for sale, in bags of about two hundred pounds each.

Though the cotton plant flourishes best in tropical climates, it is capable
of cultivation in such as are not so hot; and it is now an object of
attention in several of the southern parts of Europe.

We receive great quantities of cotton from America, and the East and West
Indies. The whole quantity imported into this country, in the year 1802,
exceeded 60,000,000 pounds' weight; whilst the average annual importation,
anterior to 1780, did not amount to one tenth part of this; so rapid has
been the increase and prosperity of our cotton manufactories. Calicoes and
muslins of all kinds are made of cotton; fustians, corderoys, and
innumerable other articles. Nankeens, which are manufactured in India, are
made of a kind of cotton which is naturally of a reddish buff colour.

After the cotton is imported into England, the first process which it goes
through is that of _carding_. Some years ago, this was performed by the
hand, upon the knee, with a single pair of cards; but it is now performed
with cylindrical cards, worked by machinery. The next and most important
improvements in the manufacture of cotton, were made at Cromford, in the
county of Derby, by the late Sir Richard Arkwright; who, in 1768, first
introduced the method of _spinning_ cotton by machinery. By this
contrivance cotton was _carded_, _roved_, and _spun_, with the utmost
expedition, correctness, and equality. Other machines have, at different
subsequent periods, been invented by various mechanics and manufacturers,
particularly that called a _jenny_, by which one person is able to spin a
hundred hanks of cotton yarn a-day, containing, in the whole, near a
million of yards. The concluding operation is that of weaving, which is
performed with a machine called a loom, in the same manner as flax (97) and
hemp (259).

Cotton is capable of being manufactured into paper, which is little
inferior to that made from linen rags.





  193. _The COMMON BROOM_ (Spartium scoparium) _is a shrub common on sandy
  pastures and heaths in nearly all the southern parts of England; and is
  distinguished by having large, yellow, butterfly-shaped flowers, leaves
  in threes, and single, and the branches angular._

Few of our wild plants are applicable to more numerous purposes of domestic
utility than this. Its _twigs_ are tied in bundles, and formed into brooms.
Some persons roast the _seeds_, and make them into a kind of coffee. The
fibrous and elastic parts of the _bark_, after having been separated by
soaking in water, may be manufactured into cordage, matting, and even into
a coarse kind of cloth. The twigs and young branches have been successfully
employed as a substitute for oak bark, in the tanning of leather. They may
also be rendered serviceable as thatch for houses, and corn ricks; and some
persons mix them with hops in brewing; but it is doubtful whether, in this
respect, they are wholesome. The _flower buds_, when pickled, have
occasionally been used as a substitute for capers.

The _wood_, where the dimensions are sufficient for the purpose, is
employed by cabinet-makers for veneering; and it is stated by Dr. Mead,
that a decoction of the green tops, in conjunction with mustard, has been
found efficacious in the cure of dropsy.

  194. _SPANISH BROOM, or SPART_ (Spartium junceum), _is a well-known
  ornamental flowering shrub in our gardens, which has opposite, round
  branches, that flower at the top, and spear-shaped leaves._

In the province of Valencia, and other parts of Spain, great attention is
paid to this manufacture of various articles from the _twigs_ and _bark_ of
this shrub. They are plaited into mats, carpets, coverings for plants,
baskets, ropes, and even shoes. A great portion of these twigs was formerly
exported to different French ports in the Mediterranean, particularly to
Marseilles; but, in 1783, on account of the employment of which it deprived
the Spanish people in working them, their exportation was prohibited by the

  195. _FURZE, GORZE, or WHIN_ (Ulex Europæus), _is a well-known thorny
  shrub, which is common on heaths and waste ground in almost every part of

The chief use to which furze is applied, is for the heating of ovens; and,
in this respect, it is valuable, from its burning rapidly, and emitting a
great degree of heat. Its _ashes_ are used for a ley, which is of
considerable service in the washing of linen.

In some parts of the country, furze is sown on banks, round fields, for the
purpose of a fence; and it will flourish even close to the sea side, where
the spray of the sea destroys almost every other shrub. But it will not
bear severe cold, and it is often destroyed by intense frost. Furze does
not often occur in the northern parts of our island.

Horses, sheep, and cattle may be fed on this shrub; and, in several places,
the seeds of it are sown, either by themselves, or with barley, oats, or
buck-wheat (126). The plants are mown a year afterwards. They will grow for
several years, and produce from ten to fifteen tons per acre of food, which
is equal, in quality and excellence, to the same quantity of hay. They are
bruised before they are eaten, either in a machine, or by heavy mallets on
blocks of wood. This operation is requisite, in order to break the
prickles, and prevent these from being injurious to the mouths of the
animals that eat them.

  196. _COWHAGE, or COW-ITCH, is a sharp and barbed kind of down or hair,
  which thickly clothes the pods of a bean-like climbing plant_ (Dolichos
  pruriens, Fig. 53), _that grows in the West Indies, and other countries
  of warm climates._

  _This is an herbaceous plant, which entwines round the adjacent trees or
  shrubs, and often rises to a considerable height. The leaves grow in
  threes upon long foot-stalks; and the flowers are large, butter-fly
  shaped, of purplish colour, and form long and pendant spikes, which have
  a very beautiful appearance._

It is the property of cowhage, when rubbed upon the skin, immediately to
penetrate it, and to cause an intolerable itching. Hence it is sometimes
wantonly employed for mischievous purposes; and hence also it is found very
troublesome to cattle and domestic animals, in places where the plants
grow. Notwithstanding this, it may be swallowed in safety, and, if taken
into the stomach and intestines, is said to be an useful remedy for the
destruction of worms. As a medicine, it is mixed with syrup or treacle into
the form of an electuary.

  197. _SOY is a dark-coloured sauce, which is prepared from the seeds of a
  Chinese plant_ (Dolichos soja), _that has an erect and hairy stem, erect
  branches of flowers, and pendulous bristly pods, each containing about
  two seeds._

There is a joke amongst seamen, that soy is made from beetles or
cockroaches. This probably originates in the seeds of the plant from which
the sauce is manufactured having some fancied resemblance, in shape and
colour, to a beetle. These _seeds_ are used in China and Japan as food.
They are made into a kind of jelly or curd, which is esteemed very
nutritious, and which is rendered palatable by seasoning of different

The liquid which we know by the name of _soy_ is thus prepared:--After the
seeds have been boiled until they become soft, they are mixed with an equal
weight of wheat or barley meal, coarsely ground. This mixture is fermented;
and a certain proportion of salt and water being added, the whole is
allowed to stand for two or three months, care being taken to stir it every
day; and, by the end of that time, it is ready for use.

Soy is chiefly prepared in China and Japan; but that imported from Japan is
considered preferable to any other. The quantity annually vended at the
East India Company's sales is from eight hundred to two thousand gallons,
at an average price of sixteen or eighteen shillings per gallon.

  198. _BEANS_ (Vicia faba) _are well-known seeds, originally introduced
  from Persia, of which there are several kinds or varieties; some of these
  are cultivated in fields, and others in gardens._

_Field_, or _horse-beans_, as they are frequently called, are small and
somewhat round. The cultivation of them is pursued to a considerable
extent. They are esteemed, in many respects, an advantageous crop to the
farmer, and will thrive on any land where the soil is sufficiently stiff.
They are usually sown in the month of February; sometimes in the autumn;
but, in case of severe frost, all the plants that are not well and deeply
covered with snow will perish. There is also much uncertainty in the crop,
owing to the state of the weather in the spring and summer; and
particularly to the ravages of small black insects, myriads of which are
frequently seen to crowd the tender tops of the plants.

The bean-harvest is seldom completed till nearly the end of September,
owing to the bulk and succulence of the plants; and the produce is from two
and a half to five quarters per acre.

There are several varieties of field-beans; but the fine and very small
ones usually bear the highest price. Bean flour is not only thought more
nutritive, but is found to be more abundant than that of oats. Beans are
chiefly applied to the feeding of horses, hogs, and other domestic animals;
and it is supposed that meal-men often grind them amongst wheat, the flour
of which is to be made into bread. By some persons they are roasted, and
adopted as a substitute for coffee. With the Roman ladies bean-flour was in
much repute as a cosmetic.

_Garden-beans_ are almost wholly confined to culinary uses. What are called
_French-beans_, and _Kidney-beans_, belong to a different tribe from the

Bean _stalks_, if subjected to a certain process, are capable of being
converted into paper.

  199. _VETCHES are a small species of beans_ (Vicia sativa) _which grow
  wild in dry meadows, pastures, and cornfields, and are also cultivated in
  most parts of England._

  _The pods are generally in pairs; and the leaves winged, having each
  about six pairs of leaflets, with a branched tendril at the extremity. At
  the bases of each of the leaves there is a small stipule, marked with a
  dark spot._

The principal use of vetches is as provender for horses and cattle. They
are grown so early as to allow of being fed off, or cut for this purpose,
in sufficient time for turnips to be sown the same year. When the land is
to be prepared for a wheat crop it is sometimes customary to plough in the
vetches as manure. The _seeds_ afford a grateful food for pigeons.

  200. _PEAS_ (Pisum sativum) _are a kind of seeds too well known to need
  any description._

There are several kinds of peas, some of which are cultivated in gardens,
and others in fields. The former are principally used for culinary
purposes. In the early part of the year, gardeners in the neighbourhood of
London raise them on hot-beds. The kind they select for this purpose are
the dwarf peas. These are sown about the middle of October in warm borders;
and afterwards, towards the end of January, they are removed into the
hot-beds. The inducement, of course, is the enormous prices that are paid
for the earliest peas brought into the market. The podding or picking of
green peas for the London market is also a valuable branch of the business
of some farms within a few miles of the metropolis. Many attempts have been
made to preserve green peas for use in winter; one of these is by bottling
them, and another by drying them in an oven, and afterwards keeping them in
paper bags; but none of the modes have been attended with complete success.

Field peas are sown about March or April, and succeed best in light, rich
soils. They are generally considered an uncertain crop; but this is owing,
in a great degree, to want of due attention to their culture.

In common with most other seeds of this class, peas yield a nutritive food
to persons of strong stomachs. When boiled in a fresh or green state, they
are both wholesome and agreeable; and, when ripe and ground into meal, they
are peculiarly serviceable for the fattening of swine. The flour of peas is
not unfrequently mixed by bakers amongst that of wheat for bread; but bread
made of this flour alone is heavy and unwholesome. Three parts of rye-flour
and one of ground peas are said to yield a palatable and nourishing bread.
Peas that are freed from their husks, and split in mills constructed for
the purpose, are used for soup. The haulm or _straw_ of field peas, if
saved in favourable seasons, affords not only an excellent fodder for
working horses, but is also an useful food for horses, cattle, and sheep.

It has been presumed that the _everlasting pea_, which is commonly grown as
an ornamental flower in our gardens, would be an advantageous green food
for horses and cattle.

  201. _LIQUORICE is the root of a perennial plant_ (Glycyrrhiza glabra),
  _with winged leaves, and purplish butterfly-shaped flowers, which grows
  wild in the south of Europe, and is cultivated near Pontefract in
  Yorkshire, Worksop in Nottinghamshire, and Godalming in Surrey, and by
  many gardeners in the vicinity of London._

  _The stalks of the liquorice-plant are usually four or five feet high.
  The leaves are winged, and the leaflets egg-shaped, with an odd one at
  the extremity. The flowers grow in long spikes from the junction of the
  leaves and branches. The roots are long, round, tough, of brown colour
  externally, and yellow within._

The principal use of liquorice is in medicine. It contains much saccharine
matter, joined with some portion of mucilage; and is one of the few sweet
substances which tend to allay thirst. Liquorice is an excellent medicine
in coughs and hoarsenesses. When boiled in a little water, it gives out
nearly all its sweetness; and this, when the moisture is evaporated,
produces, by different processes, what are called _Spanish liquorice_,
_liquorice cakes_, _liquorice lozenges_, and _Pontefract cakes_. The former
of these is used to great extent in the brewing of porter. It is said that
more than two hundred tons' weight of it are annually manufactured in
Spain, a considerable portion of which is sold to the London brewers for
this purpose. Liquorice powder, which is used in medicine, is often
adulterated with flour, and probably also with less wholesome articles. The
root itself may be employed as stopples for beer or wine bottles.

The soil in which liquorice is cultivated should be deep, light, and sandy;
and the roots, which strike deeply into the ground, should be planted in
rows, at the distance of a foot and half or two feet from each other. Three
years elapse, after the roots are planted, before the liquorice is in

  202. _SAINT-FOIN_ (Hedysarum onobrychis) _is a British perennial plant
  with winged leaves, somewhat pyramidal bunches of butterfly-shaped
  flowers, marked with red, white, and purple; and oblong, hairy pods, each
  containing a single seed._

This plant is cultivated in several of the farming districts of England, as
food for horses and cattle; and it succeeds best on dry and chalky lands,
in high and exposed situations. The seed should be sown in February or
March, and, during the first year, the plants should remain untouched. In
the ensuing summer a crop of hay may be obtained from them; and after this
the saint-foin may regularly be mown twice every year, for ten or fifteen
years. When intended for hay, saint-foin should not be cut before it is in
full bloom, about the beginning of July, as otherwise the quality of the
hay would be much injured. Some farmers assert that saint-foin, when cows
are fed with it, both increases the quantity and improves the quality of
their milk; but, in the opinion of others, the quality is rather injured
than improved by it. No pasture is considered more excellent for sheep than
this. Saint-foin is also sometimes sown with clover, and sometimes with

  203. _COMMON RED or BROAD CLOVER_ (Trifolium pratense) _is a well-known
  field plant, much cultivated in this country._

Clover is chiefly grown in firm and good soils, either as green food for
horses and cattle, or to be cut for hay. On grass farms it is sometimes
sown in conjunction with spring corn, and sometimes with ray-grass (51);
and its utility in the fattening of cattle is well known. This species of
clover grows wild, in meadows and pastures of most parts of Europe; and, in
some countries, during a scarcity of provisions, the flowers have been made
into a kind of bread. In Sweden the heads are used as a green dye.

  204. _LUCERN_ (Medicago sativa) _is a perennial plant with small purple
  butterfly-shaped flowers, twisted pods, the stem erect and smooth, and
  the leaves in threes._

Although a wild plant in nearly every country of the temperate parts of
Europe, this useful vegetable has only of late years been introduced into
cultivation. It flourishes most luxuriantly in deep, rich, and friable
loams, and cannot be too strongly recommended as food for cattle. The value
of lucern may be considerably increased by sowing it with oats; and, though
an expensive crop, it yields great profit.

  205. _INDIGO is a blue dye prepared from a plant_ (Indigofera tinctoria)
  _with a shrubby stem, oblong, smooth, and winged leaves, bunches of
  flowers shorter than the leaves, and cylindrical pods slightly curved,
  which grows in America and the West Indies._

The culture of indigo is an object of considerable importance in the West
Indian islands, and in some parts of America. The grounds appropriated to
it are sown about the middle of March, in rows fifteen inches asunder. The
plants come into flower about three months afterwards, and are in a state
to be cut about the month of August. They are cut with a kind of reaping
hook, a few inches above the root. The plants are then laid in strata, in a
vat or cistern constructed of strong mason-work, and so much water is
poured in as will cover them. In this state they are left to ferment, and
the fluid or pulp, which is first green, afterwards becomes of deep blue
colour. It is now drawn off into another vat, where it is strongly and
incessantly beaten and agitated, until the colouring matter is united into
a body. The water is then let off by cocks in the sides of the vat; and the
indigo, after undergoing some further preparations, is cast, in boxes or
moulds, into small pieces, each about an inch square, and packed up for
sale. The vapour which issues from the fermented liquor is extremely
injurious to the negroes who attend the process; and as peculiar attention
is requisite both to this and the granulating of the pulp, many
indigo-planters have failed in the manufacture of this article.

Indigo is employed by dyers, calico-printers, and paper-stainers, to an
extent so great that nearly 500,000 pounds' weight of it are annually
imported into this kingdom. The _stone-blue_ used by laundresses, and the
colours called _Saxon-blue_, and _green_, are made from indigo. Painters
use it as a water-colour. This article is frequently adulterated with
earth, ashes, and pounded slate. The genuine drug ought to be of rich, dark
blue colour, approaching to black; and, when broken, should display the
lustre of copper. It ought not to sink in water, nor to leave any sediment
when dissolved.





  206. _CHOCOLATE is a kind of cake or hard paste, sometimes made of
  different ingredients, but the basis of which is the pulp of the cacao or
  chocolate nut, a produce of the West Indies and America._

  _The chocolate tree_ (Theobroma cacao, Fig. 54,) _both in size and shape,
  somewhat resembles a young cherry tree, but it separates near the ground
  into four or five stems. The leaves are each about four inches in length,
  smooth but not glossy, and of dull green colour. The flowers are
  saffron-coloured, and very beautiful._

The _fruit_ of the chocolate-tree somewhat resembles a cucumber in shape,
but is furrowed deeper on the sides. Its colour, while growing, is green;
but, as it ripens, this changes to a fine bluish red, almost purple, with
pink veins; or, in some of the varieties, to a delicate yellow or lemon
colour. Each of the pods contains from twenty to thirty nuts or kernels,
which in shape are not much unlike almonds. These are arranged in rows,
surrounded by a sweet pulpy substance, and are called _cacao_ or

Plantations of chocolate trees are numerous on the banks of the river
Magdelana, in South America, and in the Caraccas; but, at present, there
are very few in our own colonies. They are usually formed in morassy
situations; and are sheltered from the intense heat of the sun by larger
trees which are planted among them. There are two principal crops of
chocolate-nuts in the year; the first in June, and the second in December.
As soon as the fruit is ripe, it is gathered, and cut into slices; and the
nuts, which at this time are in a pulpy state, are taken out with the hand;
for the thinness of their husk precludes the possibility of using a
machine. They are then laid in skins, or on leaves, to be dried in the sun.
They have now a sweetish acid taste, and may be eaten like any other fruit.
When perfectly dry they are put into bags, each containing about a hundred
weight; and, thus packed, are exported to foreign countries.

Previously to the preparation of these nuts into the substance which we
call chocolate, they are gently roasted, or parched over the fire, in an
iron vessel, after which process their thin external covering is easily
separated. The kernel is then pounded in a mortar, and subsequently ground
on a smooth warm stone. Sometimes a little arnatto (173) is added; and,
with the aid of water, the whole is formed into a paste. This, whilst hot,
is put into tin moulds, where in a short time it congeals; and in this
state it is the chocolate of the shops. In South America and Spain other
modes are adopted; the chocolate is mixed with sugar, long pepper (21),
vanilla, cinnamon, cloves, almonds, and other ingredients, according to the
taste of the respective inhabitants. Mr. Edwards was of opinion, that the
cakes of chocolate used in England were made of about one half genuine
chocolate, and the remainder of flour, or Castile soap.

Chocolate was first introduced into Europe by the Spaniards, and that from
the Caraccas is considered the best. It should be used whilst new, as
neither the seeds nor the cakes will keep well more than two years. The
chocolate used in this country must be manufactured in England, for, by an
Act of the legislature, the importation of chocolate paste is prohibited,
under heavy penalties. The mode in which this substance is immediately
prepared for use is well known.

By the natives of South America chocolate _nuts_ are used for food, and
also as a circulating medium instead of coin: about 1200 of them being
considered equal in value to a dollar.

A white oily matter, about the consistence of suet, is obtained by bruising
these nuts, and boiling the pulp. The oil is by this means liquefied, and
rises to the surface, where it is left to cool and congeal, that it may the
more easily be separated. This, which is called _butter of cacao_, is
without smell, and, when fresh, has a very mild taste. Its principal use is
as an ingredient in pomatums. From the nuts, when slightly roasted, an oil
is sometimes obtained by pressure, which is occasionally used in medicine.


  207. _The CITRON, LIME, and LEMON, are different varieties of the fruit
  of a small evergreen shrub, the original or parent stock of which_
  (Citrus medica) _was imported from Asia into the southern parts of

  _The_ citron _is oblong, with a very thick rind; the_ lemon _is oblong
  with a small lump or protuberance at the end; and the_ lime _has no
  protuberance, has a very thin rind, and is about the size of a small egg.
  These are the principal marks of discrimination betwixt these fruits, but
  they are not quite constant._

  _The lemon shrub_ (_Fig. 56_) _has large and slightly indented shining
  leaves, of somewhat oval shape, but pointed; and on the footstalks of the
  leaves there is no remarkable appendage. The flowers are large and white,
  but purplish on the outside of the petals._

It is generally supposed that the _citron-tree_ was first introduced from
Assyria and Media into Greece, and thence into the Southern parts of
Europe, where it is now cultivated to considerable extent. It is also grown
in the islands of the West Indies. The fruit, partaking of the same quality
as the lemon, with the exception of being somewhat less acid, is seldom
eaten raw; but, preserved in sugar as a sweetmeat, it is much used by
confectioners and others. The principal consumption of citron is on the
Continent, where it is also occasionally employed in medicine.

The _lemon-tree_ is a native of Upper Asia, whence, like the citron, it was
brought into Greece, and afterwards transplanted into Italy. The _juice_,
which is one of the sharpest and most agreeable of all acids, is used in
cookery, confectionary, medicine, and in various other ways. By
calico-printers it is very extensively employed, as a discharger of colour,
to produce, with more clearness and effect, the white figured parts of
coloured patterns that are dyed with colours formed from iron. Its juice is
procured by simply squeezing the fruit, and straining it through linen or
any loose filter; and in Sicily, and other parts of the Mediterranean, it
forms an important article of commerce. Being one of the most valuable
remedies for the scurvy, with which we are acquainted, it generally
constitutes part of the sea store of ships that are destined for long

Several modes have been recommended for preserving lemon juice. One of
these is to put it into bottles, with a small quantity of oil, which,
floating on the surface, prevents the immediate contact of the air, and
retards the decomposition of the acid; though, in this case, the original
fresh taste soon gives place to one which is less grateful. In the East
Indies lemon juice is sometimes evaporated, by a gentle heat, to the
consistence of a thick extract. Sometimes it is crystallized into a white
and acid salt; but what is sold in the shops, under the name of _essential
salt of lemons_, for taking out ink-stains and iron-mould spots from linen,
is only a preparation from the juice of sorrel.

The external part of the _rind_ has a grateful aromatic and bitter taste,
which renders it useful in cookery. When dried it is considered a good
stomachic, promotes the appetite, and is otherwise serviceable as a
medicine. It is often candied and made into a sweetmeat, under the name of
_lemon chips_. When distilled it yields a light and almost colourless oil,
which, in smell, is nearly as agreeable as the fresh peel, and is
frequently employed as a perfume.

Lemons are sometimes preserved in syrup. Small ones with thick rinds are
converted into a grateful pickle; and a marmalade and syrup are also made
of them. For the purpose of keeping the fruit, it is recommended that a
fine packthread about a quarter of a yard long, should be run through the
protuberance at the end of the lemons: the ends of the string are to be
tied together, and suspended on a hook in an airy situation, and in such
manner that each lemon may hang perfectly free and detached.

The cultivation of the _lime_ is much attended to in several parts of North
America and the West Indies. Its juice affords a more grateful acid than
that of the lemon, which is there in little repute, and is, comparatively,
but seldom seen. A plate of limes is said to be a constant dish at
entertainments in the West Indies; and the juice is used for all the same
purposes as that of lemons is with us.

  208. _ORANGE_ (Citrus aurantium, Fig. 55). _The difference betwixt orange
  and lemon-trees is immediately known by the former having a kind of
  winged appendage on the leafstalks, of which the latter are destitute._

We are informed that the first orange-tree introduced into Europe was sent
as a present, from some part of Asia, to the Conde Mellor, prime minister
of the King of Portugal. It was the only one of a great number which were
contained in the same chest that survived; and it became the parent stock
of multitudes of subsequent trees.

The delightful perfume of an orange grove is such as to scent the air for
miles, and the _flowers_ appear in succession during the whole summer; and
flowers and ripe fruit are found on the same tree. Orange flowers are
valued as a perfume, and yield their flavour to rectified spirits; and, in
distillation, both to spirits and water. In Portugal and Italy a fragrant
red-coloured oil is obtained from them, which, by some persons, is
considered of more delicate and agreeable perfume than even ottar of roses.

The _juice_ of the orange, when ripe and of good kind, is extremely sweet,
grateful, and wholesome. In fevers, and other complaints, it is of
considerable use for allaying heat and quenching thirst; and, in scurvy, it
has been found a very valuable remedy. The _rind_, which yields a grateful
aromatic bitter, is sometimes used in medicine, and, in particular, has
obtained notice for the cure of intermittent fevers or agues. It is
frequently preserved in syrup, and also in sugar, under the name of
preserved _orange-peel_, and _orange-chips_; and is much esteemed in

In cookery and by confectioners, oranges are used in numerous ways; for
marmalade, in biscuits, cheesecakes, jelly, puddings, and tarts; and an
agreeable wine is prepared from oranges, with water, sugar, and some other

_Seville_, or _bitter oranges_ are a large, dark-coloured, and
rough-skinned variety of the common species. These are much used in
medicine and cookery.

_Bergamot_ is a well-known perfume, obtained from the rind of a variety of
orange much cultivated near the town of Bergamo in Italy, whence it has
obtained its name. The rind is cut into small pieces, and the oil is
pressed out into glass vessels. Sometimes a fragrant water is distilled
from the peel.

  209. _The SHADDOCK_ (Citrus decumana) _is a yellowish green fruit, of the
  orange kind, as large as the head of a child, with twelve or more cells,
  and contains a red or whitish pulp. It is very common in many parts both
  of the East and West Indies._

In hot climates the shaddock is much esteemed on account of its agreeable
flavour, which is a pleasant mixture of sweet and acid. It is safely eaten,
even in considerable quantities, and is esteemed very salubrious. The rind
is thick, and has a disagreeable bitterish taste. This fruit is indebted,
for its name, to a Captain Shaddock, who is said to have first brought it
from China, or, as some say, from Guinea, and transplanted it into one of
the West Indian islands.

  210. _CAJEPUT is a greenish coloured oil produced from the fruit of a
  tree_ (Melaleuca leucodendron) _which grows in the East Indies._

  _This tree has a long flexible trunk; with linear spear-shaped, alternate
  leaves, which are smooth, ash-coloured, and each with five nerves. The
  flowers are white, and in long, terminal spikes._

The _leaves_ of the cajeput tree have an aromatic odour, somewhat
resembling that of cardamom seed (15); and they yield, by distillation, an
essential oil, which manifests this aromatic principle still more strongly.

Among the Malays cajeput oil is a medicine in great repute; but its uses
are so little known in this country that it is rarely kept even in the
shops of the metropolis. In acute rheumatism and gout, however, it has been
known to afford immediate relief by being rubbed on the part affected; but
it ought not to be applied without great care, as it is very powerful in
its effects. Cajeput oil is one of the most valuable remedies which have
hitherto been discovered for the toothache. From whatever cause this
affection of the face may proceed, whether from a carious or hollow tooth,
rheumatic acrimony, or cold, this oil has generally been found efficacious
in removing it. It is best applied by being dropped on lint, and placed in
the cavity of the tooth, or round the gum. Hence it deserves a place in the
medicine chest of every private family.

If taken internally, in a dose of five or six drops, it heats and
stimulates the whole system; and it is said to have had a beneficial effect
in dropsies and intermittent fevers. In India it is used, both internally
and externally, in palsies, deafness, gout, rheumatism, and several other

Its odour is remarkably destructive to insects. A few drops of it, in a
cabinet or drawer in which animal or vegetable specimens of natural history
are kept, in a dried state, have, on this account, been found useful.

Cajeput oil is chiefly prepared in the island of Bouro, one of the
Moluccas; and it is imported into Europe from the East Indies. But, from
its high price, it is so frequently adulterated, that it is seldom to be
had genuine in Europe.





  211. _The ARTICHOKE_ (Cynara scolymus) _is a well-known plant which is
  grown chiefly for culinary purposes, and was originally imported into
  this country from the south of Europe._

This plant was cultivated with us as early as the year 1580. The parts that
are eaten are the receptacle of the flower, which is called the _bottom_,
and a fleshy substance on each of the scales of the calyx. The _choke_
consists of the unopened florets, and the bristles that separate them from
each other: these stand upon the receptacle, and must be cleared away
before the bottom can be eaten. Its name has doubtless been obtained from a
notion that any one unlucky enough to get it into his throat must certainly
be choked.

With us artichokes are generally plain boiled, and eaten with melted butter
and pepper; and they are considered both wholesome and nutritious. The
bottoms are sometimes stewed, boiled in milk, or added to ragouts, French
pies, and other highly-seasoned dishes. For winter use they may be slowly
dried in an oven, and kept in paper bags in a dry place. On the Continent
artichokes are frequently eaten raw, with salt and pepper.

By the country people of France the _flowers_ of the artichoke are
sometimes used to coagulate milk, for the purpose of making cheese. The
_leaves_ and _stalks_ contain a bitter juice, which, mixed with an equal
portion of white wine, has been successfully employed in the cure of
dropsy, when other remedies have failed. The juice, prepared with bismuth,
imparts a permanent golden yellow colour to wool.

  212. _The CARDOON_ (Cynara cardunculus) _is a species of artichoke which
  grows wild in the south of France, and has smaller flowers than the
  common artichoke, and the scales of the calyx terminated by long, sharp

  _The stems rise to the height of four or five feet, and are upright,
  thick, and cottony. The leaves are large and winged, and the flowers of
  blue colour._

The parts of the cardoon that are eaten are not those belonging immediately
to the flower, as of the artichoke, but the roots, stalks, and middle ribs
of the leaves; and chiefly the latter, which are thick and crisp. But, as
all these are naturally very bitter, the plants, previously to being used,
are blanched, by being tied up like lettuces, about the month of September,
and having earth thrown upon their lower parts, to the depth of eighteen
inches or two feet.

Cardoons come into season for the table about the end of November; and are
either eaten alone, or as a sauce to animal food, particularly to roasted
meat; or are introduced as a dish in the second course. They are, however,
not so much used in England as on the Continent; and this in consequence
chiefly of the trouble attending their cultivation, and their preparation
for the table, so as to render them palatable.

  213. _LETTUCE_ (Lactuca sativa) _is an esculent vegetable, that is
  cultivated in nearly every kitchen garden in the kingdom._

The different kinds or varieties of lettuce are extremely numerous: but
those best known are the _cos lettuce_, and _cabbage lettuce_, the former
having upright leaves, and the latter having its leaves folded over each
other like those of a cabbage. Their culture is very simple. The seeds are
sown at various seasons of the year, that the plants may be ready, in
succession, for the table. After a while, they are planted out from the
seed-bed into another part of the garden, at a certain distance from each
other, to allow of room for their expansion and growth. When the cos
lettuces have attained a sufficient size, their leaves are tied together
with strings of matting, to blanch them for use. From seeds that are sown
towards the end of summer, lettuces may, with care, be obtained in
perfection during the ensuing winter and spring.

Lettuces have an odour somewhat resembling that of opium; and they also
possess somewhat similar narcotic properties, which reside in the milky
juice. The properties of this vegetable as a salad, if eaten without oil,
are considered to be emollient, cooling, and wholesome.

  214. _ENDIVE_ (Cichorium endivia) _is a common vegetable in kitchen
  gardens, having curled or crisped leaves._

We are supposed to have been originally indebted to the East Indies for
this useful winter salad. It is chiefly cultivated in the south of England;
being sown generally about June or July, and afterwards planted out, like

The chief excellence of endive consists in the whiteness of its inner
leaves. It is, therefore, adviseable, either to cover the plants with
flower-pots, or, when full grown, to tie them loosely together, for two or
three weeks. By so doing, they will become perfectly blanched; and, in
winter, they may be preserved, either by covering them with straw and mats,
or by putting them in sand in a dry cellar.

The French consume a great quantity of endive at their tables. They either
eat it raw in salads, boiled in ragouts, fried with roast meat, or as a
pickle. It is a wholesome vegetable which seldom disagrees with the


  215. _CAMOMILE_ (Anthemis nobilis) _is a well-known plant, the dried
  daisy-like flowers of which are frequently used in medicine._

The principal use to which camomile _flowers_ are applied is to excite
vomiting, and promote the operation of emetics. They have likewise
occasionally been substituted for Peruvian bark, in the case of
intermittent fevers or agues, particularly on the Continent, but not with
much success; and are used as a valuable stomachic. Both the _leaves_ and
flowers are employed in fomentations and poultices. They each, but
particularly the flowers, have a powerful, though not an unpleasant smell,
and a bitter taste.

They are administered in substance, as a powder or electuary, in infusion
as tea, in decoction or extract, or in the form of an essential oil
obtained by distillation.

So fragrant is the camomile plant, that the places where it grows wild, on
open gravelly commons, may easily be discovered by the somewhat
strawberry-like perfume which is emitted by treading on them. This quality
alone has sometimes induced the cultivation of camomile for a green walk in

  216. _TARRAGON_ (Artemisia dracunculus) _is a hardy plant of the wormwood
  tribe, which grows wild in India and the southern parts of Europe, and is
  cultivated with us in gardens for culinary uses._

  _It has a somewhat shrubby stem; smooth, spear-shaped, leaves tapering at
  each end; and flowers roundish, erect, and on footstalks._

This is a hot and bitter vegetable, which is sometimes eaten with lettuces,
or other salad herbs: and sometimes used as an ingredient in soup. Its
_seeds_ are pungent; and may be advantageously substituted for the more
costly spices obtained from the Indies. The Indians frequently eat the
_leaves_ of the tarragon plant with bread.

The sauce called _tarragon vinegar_ is made by infusing for fourteen days,
one pound of the leaves of tarragon, gathered a short time before the
flowers appear, in one gallon of the best vinegar: straining this through a
flannel bag, and fining it by means of a little isinglass.

A distilled water is sometimes prepared from the leaves of tarragon.


  217. _The JERUSALEM ARTICHOKE is a somewhat potatoe-shaped root, produced
  by a species of sunflower_ (Helianthus tuberosus) _which grows wild in
  several parts of South America._

  _This plant bears single stalks, which are frequently eight or nine feet
  high, and yellow flowers, much smaller than those of the common

So extremely productive are these valuable roots, that betwixt seventy and
eighty tons' weight of them are said to have been obtained, in one season,
from a single acre of ground. They succeed in almost any soil; and, when
once planted, will continue to flourish in the same place, without
requiring either much manure, or much attention to the culture. The season
in which they are dug up for use is from about the middle of September till
November; when they are in greatest perfection. After that they may be
preserved in sand, or under cover, for the winter.

The roots are generally eaten plain boiled; but they are sometimes served
to table with white fricassee-sauce, and in other ways. Their flavour is so
nearly like that of the common artichoke, that it is difficult to
distinguish them from each other. We are informed that Jerusalem artichokes
are a valuable food for hogs and store pigs; and that if washed, cut, and
ground in a mill, similar to an apple-mill, they may also be given to

  218. _The COMMON or ANNUAL SUNFLOWER_ (Helianthus annuus) _is a Peruvian
  plant, with large yellow flowers, that is well known in our gardens._

The uses to which this plant may be applied are such as to render it well
deserving of attention in rural economy. Its _stalks_ contain a white,
shining, fibrous substance, which might be advantageously employed in the
manufacture of paper; and the woody part of them makes excellent fuel. Its
ripe _seeds_, when subjected to pressure, yield a great proportion of sweet
and palatable oil. These seeds may also be used for the feeding of poultry.
The _receptacles of the flowers_, it is said, may be boiled and eaten like





  219. _SALEP is the powder of the dried roots of several well-known
  field-plants of the orchis tribe_ (Orchis morio, O. mascula, &c.)

As an article of diet, salep is supposed to contain the largest portion of
nutriment, in an equal compass, of any known vegetable production: even
arrow root (17) is, in this respect, inferior to it. The orchises from
which it is manufactured flourish in great abundance in meadows and
pastures of several parts of England, flowering about the months of May and
June. As soon as the flower-stalks begin to decay, the roots should be dug
up, and the newly-formed bulbs, which have then attained their perfect
state, should be separated. When several roots are collected, they should
be washed in water, and have their external skin removed by a small brush,
or by dipping them in hot water, and rubbing them with a coarse linen
cloth. The next process is to place them on a tin plate, and put them into
an oven for about ten minutes, by which time they will have lost the milky
whiteness which they before possessed, and will have acquired a
transparency like horn. They are then to be spread in a room, where, in a
few days, they will become dry and hard.

Although salep might be procured in great abundance in our own country, we
import nearly the whole of what we use from the Levant, and generally in
oval pieces of yellowish white colour, somewhat clear and pellucid, and of
almost horny substance. When these, or the powder prepared from them, are
put into boiling water, they dissolve into a thick mucilage.

With the Turks, salep has great celebrity, on account of the restorative
qualities which it is supposed to possess. It is much recommended as
nutritive food for persons recovering from illness; and, in particular, as
a part of the stores of every ship about to sail into distant climates. It
not only possesses the property of yielding an invaluable nutriment, and,
in a great measure, of concealing the saline taste of sea-water, but is
likewise of essential service against the sea-scurvy. When it is stated
that one ounce of this powder and an ounce of portable soup, dissolved in
two quarts of boiling water, will form a jelly capable of affording
sustenance to one man for a day, the utility of salep will be further seen
as a means of preventing famine at sea for an infinitely longer time than
any other food of equal bulk.





  220. _The BREAD FRUIT is a large globular berry of pale green colour,
  about the size of a child's head, marked on the surface with irregular
  six-sided depressions, and containing a white and somewhat fibrous pulp,
  which, when ripe, becomes juicy and yellow._

  _The tree that produces it_ (Artocarpus incisa, Fig. 57) _grows wild in
  Otaheite and other islands of the South Seas, is about forty feet high,
  has large and spreading branches, and large bright green leaves, each
  deeply divided into seven or nine spear-shaped lobes._

We are informed, in Captain Cook's first voyage round the world, that the
edible part of this fruit lies between the skin and the core; and that it
is white as snow, and somewhat of the consistence of new bread. It is
generally used immediately when gathered; if it be kept more than
twenty-four hours it becomes hard and chokey. The inhabitants of the South
Sea Islands prepare it as food, by dividing the fruit into three or four
parts, and roasting it in hot embers. Its taste is insipid, with a slight
tartness, and somewhat resembles that of the crumb of wheaten bread mixed
with Jerusalem artichoke (217). Of this fruit the Otaheitans make various
messes, by putting to it either water or the milk of the cocoa-nut (233),
then beating it to a paste with a stone pestle, and afterwards mixing it
with ripe plantains (270), bananas (271), or a sour paste, made from the
bread fruit itself, called _mahié_.

It continues in season eight months of the year; and so great is its
utility in the island of Otaheite, that (observes Captain Cook), if, in
those parts where it is not spontaneously produced, a man plant but ten
trees in his whole life-time, he will as completely fulfil his duty to his
own and to future generations, as the natives of our less temperate climate
can do by ploughing in the winter's cold, and reaping in the summer's heat,
as often as these seasons return; even if, after he has procured bread for
his present household, he should convert the surplus into money, and lay it
up for his children.

Not only does this tree supply food, but clothing, and numerous other
conveniences of life. The _inner bark_, which is white, and composed of a
net-like series of fibres, is formed into a kind of cloth. The wood is
soft, smooth, and of yellowish colour; and is used for the building of
boats and houses. In whatever part the tree is wounded, a glutinous milky
_juice_ issues, which, when boiled with cocoa-nut oil (233), is employed
for making bird-lime, and as a cement for filling up cracks in such vessels
as are intended for holding water. Some parts of the _flowers_ serve as
tinder in the lighting of fire; and the leaves are used for wrapping up
food, and for other purposes.

As the climate of the South Sea Islands is considered not much to differ
from that of the West Indies, it was (about thirty years ago) thought
desirable that some of the trees should be transferred, in a growing state,
to our islands there. Consequently, his Majesty's ship the Bounty, in 1787,
sailed for this purpose to the South Seas, under the command of Lieutenant,
afterwards Admiral Bligh. But a fatal mutiny of the ship's crew prevented
the accomplishment of this benevolent design. The commander of the vessel,
however, returned in safety to his country; and a second expedition under
the same person, and for the same purpose, was fitted out in the year 1791.
Captain Bligh arrived in safety at Otaheite, and, after an absence from
England of about eighteen months, landed in Jamaica with 352 bread
fruit-trees, in a living state, having left many others at different places
in his passage thither. From Jamaica these trees were transferred to other
islands; but the negroes, having a general and long established
predilection for the plantain (270), the bread fruit is not much relished
by them. Where, however, it has not been generally introduced as an article
of food, it is used as a delicacy; and whether employed as bread, or in the
form of pudding, it is considered highly palatable by the European

  221. _The JACK FRUIT is a species of bread fruit that is grown in Malabar
  and other parts of the East Indies._

  _The tree which produces this fruit_ (Artocarpus integrifolia) _differs
  from the common bread fruit-tree, in having the leaves entire, each about
  a span in length, oblong, blunt, serrated at the edges, bright green, and
  very smooth on the upper surface, paler beneath, and clad with stiff

Few of the fruits even of eastern climates are so large as this. Its weight
is sometimes upwards of thirty pounds; and it generally contains betwixt
two and three hundred nuts or seeds. These are each about three times as
large as an almond, of somewhat oval shape, blunt at one end, sharp at the
other, and a little flatted on the sides. Some varieties of the fruit,
however, contain no nuts.

The season in which the jack fruit is in perfection is about the month of
December. Though esteemed by many persons, it is so difficult of digestion,
that great caution is requisite in eating it. The unripe fruit is sometimes
pickled; it is sometimes cut into slices, and boiled as a vegetable for the
table; and sometimes fried in palm-oil. The _nuts_ are eaten roasted, and
the _wood_ serves for building materials.


  222. _MAIZE, or INDIAN CORN_ (Zea mays, Fig. 58), _is a species of grain
  much cultivated in America and other climates: the grains are of yellow
  colour, somewhat shaped like flattened peas, and grow closely set round
  the upper part of high perpendicular stalks._

To the inhabitants of many countries of warm climates the cultivation of
maize is a very important pursuit. These plants are propagated by sowing
the seed in rows, in March, April, or May: they generally produce two crops
in the year, and yield, according to the soil, from fifteen to forty
bushels per acre. As soon as they are ripe, the ears are gathered. They are
shortly afterwards threshed, and the grain, when separated, is spread out
to dry in the sun; for, if it were heaped together in this state, it would
ferment, and sprout or grow.

The American Indians parch this kind of corn over a fire, in such manner as
not to burn it. Afterwards they pound it, sift the meal and preserve it for
their chief food. They make it into puddings and cakes, or bread, the
quality of which is extremely nutritive. Maize is useful for poultry and
cattle of every kind; and, if converted into malt, a wholesome beverage may
be brewed from it. Of the leafy _husk_ which surrounds the ear of the maize
a beautiful kind of writing paper is manufactured at a paper-mill near
Rimini in Italy; and a greyish paper may be manufactured from the whole
plant. The _stalks_ are said to afford an excellent winter food for cattle.
When the _young ears_ are beginning to form, they have a sweet and
agreeable taste. If, in this state, the leaves be stripped off, and the
ears be subjected to pressure, a pleasant and palatable milky juice may be
obtained from them.

It is supposed that maize might, with advantage, be cultivated in England.

  223. _The COMMON CUCUMBER_ (Cucumis sativus, Fig. 59.) _is an oblong,
  rough, and cooling fruit, which is cultivated in our kitchen gardens, and
  is supposed to have been originally imported into this country from some
  part of the Levant._

Cucumbers are always eaten before they are ripe, and usually with vinegar,
oil, pepper, and salt. They are sometimes stewed; and when young (under the
name of _gerkins_), are pickled with vinegar and spices, or preserved in
syrup as a sweetmeat.

As the cucumber plants are too tender to sustain the coldness of our
climate exposed to the open air, it is necessary to sow the seed in
hot-beds, or under hand-glasses; though, in the beginning of summer, the
glasses may, without danger, be removed. The fruit is much improved by
putting a piece of slate or a tile under each, instead of allowing it to
lie upon the naked ground.

  224. _The COMMON MELON, or MUSK MELON, is a species of cucumber, produced
  by a creeping herbaceous plant_ (Cucumis melo), _which has leaves with
  rounded angles, and grows wild in Tartary._

In hot climates this fruit attains great perfection and a peculiarly fine
flavour; and even in England, where it is cultivated in hot-beds, and
sheltered by glass frames, it is one of the coolest and most delicious
summer fruits that we possess. Its size and form vary beyond description.
Sometimes it is smooth, and only three or four inches in length: sometimes
its whole surface is rugged, or netted, and is many pounds in weight.
Melons are, in colour, grey, yellowish, or green, externally; whilst their
flesh is white, yellow, reddish, or green.

They are usually eaten with sugar; sometimes with pepper or ginger, and
salt; and sometimes alone. In France, they are often eaten as a sauce to
boiled beef. The smaller kinds are pickled; and one particular sort of
melons are filled with mustard seeds and shred garlic, and pickled under
the name of _mangos_ (73).

The propagation of melons is by seed, sown in February or March; and the
cultivation is somewhat similar to that of the cucumber, but is attended
with considerably more trouble and expense.

  225. _The PUMPKIN, or POMPION, is a species of gourd which grows to an
  enormous size, contains several cells, and numerous seeds with tumid
  margins, and is produced by a creeping plant, with lobed leaves_
  (Cucurbita pepo).

  _The shape of the pumpkin is generally globular, or flatted at top and
  bottom, and ribbed. The rind is glossy, and of yellow or green colour.
  The flesh is firm, but melting, and the whole weight is sometimes more
  than thirty pounds._

The Germans cultivate this plant in extensive fields, for various
economical purposes, but particularly for the feeding of swine, and other
animals. They cut it into pieces, and throw it into fish-ponds, as food for
carp. Little trouble is required in its culture; and it will flourish on
any tolerable soil, in a warm and sheltered situation. The pulp is served
at table in various forms, but particularly in pies, and as an ingredient
in puddings and pancakes. The Americans frequently gather pumpkins when
half grown, and eat them boiled as a sauce to meat. If the _seeds_ be
subjected to pressure, they will yield a proportion of oil so great as
nearly to amount to their own weight; and, when ground with water, they
afford a cooling and nutritious kind of milk.

  226. _The BOTTLE GOURD is an American fruit with woody rind, and of very
  various shape, belonging to the same tribe as the pumpkin, and produced
  by a creeping plant_ (Cucurbita lagenaria) _with somewhat angular and
  downy leaves, each having two glands at the base underneath._

This fruit is at first green, but when ripe, it assumes a dull yellow
colour; and the flesh is spongy and very white. Its size and shape are so
varied, that it would be impossible to describe them; sometimes it has a
long slender part next the stalk, like the neck of a bottle; sometimes it
is swollen, and sometimes of great length, and of form so curved as to be
shaped almost like a bugle horn, or the musical instrument called a

So hard and strong is the _rind_ of the bottle-gourd, that this, when freed
from the pulp, is frequently converted by the Americans, as well as the
inhabitants of the West Indies, into drinking cups, flagons, bottles, and
other domestic utensils; but, on being first used, it communicates a
disagreeable taste to the juices contained in it. The _pulp_, boiled with
vinegar, is sometimes eaten.

  227. _The WATER MELON_ (Cucurbita citrullus) _is a roundish or oblong
  species of gourd, with thin smooth rind, marked with star-like spots, the
  leaves deeply divided into lobes, and the flowers somewhat resembling
  those of the cucumber._

Persons who have visited hot climates know well how to appreciate the
grateful coolness and delicious flavour of the water melon, the flesh of
which is so succulent that it melts in the mouth; and the central pulp of
which is fluid, like that of the cocoa-nut, and may be sucked, or poured
out through a hole in the rind, and thus made to afford a most refreshing

To the inhabitants of Egypt, China, the East Indies, and other countries,
where they are cultivated to a great extent, water melons are extremely
valuable, both as food and physic. They are allowed to be eaten in fevers,
and other inflammatory complaints. Their flesh or pulp is, in general, of
reddish colour; one kind, however, called by the French _pastèque_, has a
whitish green pulp. The latter are frequently pickled in vinegar, like
gerkins; and are eaten in fricassees, or baked in sweet wine.

Both these varieties may be grown in our gardens, under hot-bed frames, in
the same manner as cucumbers.


  228. _The BIRCH_ (Betula alba) _is a forest-tree, easily known by the
  smooth appearance and silvery colour of its bark, by its leaves being
  somewhat triangular, but acute, their smallness in comparison with those
  of other timber trees, and by the small branches being slender and

Although the birch is by no means considered a valuable timber tree, yet
its _wood_ is used for numerous purposes. Being of white colour, and firm
and tough in texture, it is variously employed by hoop-benders and
wheel-wrights. Turners use it for trenchers, bowls, ladles, and other
wooden ware. Ox yokes, small screws, women's shoe-heels, pattens, and, in
France, wooden shoes are made of it. The North American Indians use the
wood of the birch-tree for canoes, boxes, buckets, baskets, kettles, and
dishes, curiously joining it together with threads made of roots of the
cedar-tree. Birch-trees are not unfrequently planted with hazels, for the
purpose of the wood being converted into charcoal for forges. This charcoal
is much esteemed; and the soot which is formed on burning the wood
constitutes a good black substance for printers' ink.

Nearly all the other parts of the birch-tree are applicable to useful
purposes. The inhabitants of Sweden employ the _bark_ in the tanning of
leather; and, after burning it to a certain degree, they also use it as a
cement for broken china and earthen ware. The navigators of the river Volga
construct of it portable boats, cradles, &c. It is serviceable in dyeing a
yellow colour. In Norway it is dried, ground, mixed with meal, and boiled
with other food for swine. Houses or huts, in many parts of the north of
Europe, are covered with the outward and thicker part of the bark, instead
of slates, or tiles. It is spun into a coarse kind of rope, woven into
shoes and hats; and, in Kamschatka, even made into drinking cups. The
Laplanders fasten together large pieces of it as outer garments to keep off
the rain. Abounding with much resinous matter, slices of the bark are
sometimes twisted together to make torches. During a scarcity of corn the
bark of the birch-tree has, in several instances, been ground with bread
corn, and successfully used as food by mankind.

In most parts of England the _twigs_ of this tree are made into besoms.
They are also made into the tops of fishing rods; and, when smeared with
bird-lime (56), are used by bird-catchers. The Norwegians frequently employ
them as fodder for their horses. The _leaves_ afford a yellow dye.

A wholesome wine is made from the _sap_ or juice of the birch-tree. The
juice is obtained by boring holes in the trunks of the trees, about the
beginning of March, before the leaves appear. Into each of these holes a
piece of elder stick, hollowed through the middle, by clearing out the
pith, is placed. This conducts the juice, as it flows from the wound, into
a vessel put to receive it. If a tree be large, it may be tapped in four or
five places at once; and, from several trees, many gallons of juice may be
obtained in a day. The juice thus procured is to be boiled with sugar, in
the proportion of four pounds to a gallon, and treated in the same manner
as other made wines. A good spirit might no doubt be obtained from the
juice of the birch-tree by distillation.

  229. _The ALDER, or OWLER_ (Betula alnus, Fig. 63), _is a tree which
  grows in wet situations, and is distinguished by its flower-stalks being
  branched, and its leaves being roundish, waved, serrated, and downy at
  the branching of the veins beneath._

There are few means of better employing swampy and morassy grounds than by
planting them with alders; for although the growth of these trees is not
rapid, the uses to which they are applicable are such as amply to repay the
loss of time requisite before they come to perfection.

The _wood_ of the alder, which is in great demand for machinery, is
frequently wrought into cogs for mill-wheels, and is peculiarly adapted for
all kinds of work which are to be constantly kept in water. It is
consequently used for pumps, sluices, pipes, drains, and conduits of
different description, and for the foundation of buildings situated in
swamps. The water pipes which are laid under the streets of many of our
large towns are made of alder; and, for its utility in the formation of
sluices, it is much cultivated in Holland. It is commonly used for bobbins;
and women's shoe-heels, ploughmen's clogs, and numerous articles of turnery
ware, are formed of it. This wood serves also for many domestic and rural
uses, for spinning-wheels, troughs, the handles of tools, ladders,
cart-wheels; and, as coppice wood, it is planted to be cut down every ninth
or tenth year, for poles. The roots and knots furnish a beautifully veined
wood, nearly of the colour of mahogany; and well adapted for cabinet work
and furniture.

The _bark_ may be advantageously used in the operations of tanning and
leather-dressing; and by fishermen, for staining their nets. This, and the
young twigs, are sometimes employed in dyeing, and yield different shades
of yellow and red. The Laplanders chew the bark of the alder, and dye their
leather garments red with the saliva thus produced. With the addition of
copperas, it yields a black dye, which the dyers of cotton use to
considerable extent; and, for this purpose, it is purchaseable in some
countries, at the rate of seven pence or eight pence per stone.

In the highlands of Scotland, we are informed that _young branches_ of the
alder, cut down in the summer, spread over the fields, and left during the
winter to decay, are found to answer the purpose of manure. The fresh
gathered _leaves_, being covered with a glutinous moisture, are said to be
sometimes strewed upon floors to destroy fleas, which become entangled in
it, as birds are with bird-lime. But these agile and troublesome insects
must be numerous indeed to render the setting of traps for them of any
avail towards their destruction.

  230. _The COMMON NETTLE. There are two kinds of nettle common in England,
  one of which_ (Urtica dioica) _has heart-shaped leaves, and the other_
  (Urtica urens) _has oval leaves._

Although generally considered a noxious weed, the nettle is a plant of
extensive utility. By the country people the young and tender _leaves_ and
_tops_ are boiled for food, and are eaten as a substitute for greens and
other pot-herbs. Asses eagerly devour the leaves of nettles; and if these
be boiled, and mixed with other food for poultry, they are said to promote
their laying of eggs. A kind of rennet is made in the Highlands of
Scotland, by adding a quart of salt to three pints of a liquor produced by
the boiling of nettles. A tablespoonful of this is said to be sufficient to
coagulate a bowl of milk. From the fibrous _stalks_ of the nettle, dressed
in the manner of flax or hemp, cloth and paper may be made. The manufacture
of these has been pursued with success in some parts of the Continent; and
in our own country a coarse kind of canvass has been produced from them.
The _roots_, when boiled, communicate a yellow colour to woollen cloth,
linen, and cotton.

It must be remarked that the _stings_ of nettles, when examined by a
microscope, are shown to be extremely curious objects. They consist of a
slender, tapering, sharp, and hollow substance, with a minute hole at the
point, and a bag at the base. When the sting is pressed, it perforates the
skin, and the same pressure forces up from the bag, into the wound, a
corrosive liquor, which forms there a blister, and excites a burning and
painful inflammation. If the nettle be suddenly and strongly grasped, the
stings are bent or broken, and, in this case, occasion no pain.

In consequence of their stinging quality, nettles have been employed, with
advantage, in restoring sensation to paralytic limbs, by whipping them with
these plants. They were formerly much used as a styptic; and are said to
have been found useful in jaundice, scurvy, gout, and other complaints; but
most of the accounts that have been given of their great medicinal virtues
have now little credit. The _flowers_ and _seeds_ are said to have been
tried in Italy, and found an efficacious substitute for Peruvian bark (62)
in agues and other complaints. A leaf of the nettle put upon the tongue,
and then pressed against the roof of the mouth, is stated to be a remedy
for bleeding at the nose.

  231. _The MULBERRY-TREE_ (Morus nigra, Fig. 72) _is a native of Italy,
  and is known by its heart-shaped and rough leaves, and its large juicy
  berries, each consisting of several smaller ones._

The flowers of the mulberry appear in June, and the _fruit_ becomes ripe in
September, the berries continuing to ripen in succession for about two
months. These, if eaten before they are ripe, are astringent; but, when
ripe, are pleasantly acid, though of very peculiar flavour. An agreeable
syrup, made from the _juice_ of the ripe fruit, is kept in apothecaries'
shops for medicinal uses. The juice itself is employed to impart a dark
tinge to liquors and confections; and, when properly fermented, it becomes
a pleasant wine. In cider counties it is not unusual to mix mulberries with
the apples destined for cider, by which is made a delicious beverage called
_mulberry cider_. Mulberries stain the fingers, as well as linen, cotton,
or woollen, of a red colour, which is difficult to be extracted; but which
may be removed by verjuice, or the acid of lemons.

In Italy, and other countries where silkworms are bred, the _leaves_ of the
mulberry-tree, but particularly those of the WHITE MULBERRY, which is
distinguished by its having obliquely heart-shaped and smooth leaves, are
requisite for the feeding of these insects; and they are very extensively
cultivated for this purpose. The _wood_ is hard and of yellow colour; and
is applied to numerous uses in carving and turnery. The _bark_ is so
fibrous that it may be manufactured into cordage, ropes, and coarse paper;
and that of the root has an acrid and bitter taste, is powerful in its
effects, and has been successfully used as a remedy against worms,
particularly the tape-worm. Mulberry-trees flourish best in a light and
rich soil, and in open situations.

  232. _The BOX-TREE_ (Buxus sempervirens) _is a shrubby evergreen tree,
  twelve or fifteen feet high, which has small, oval, and opposite leaves,
  and grows wild in several parts of Britain._

It has been remarked that this tree was formerly so common in some parts of
England, as to have given name to several places, particularly to Box-hill
in Surrey, and Boxley in Kent; and, in 1815, there were cut down at
Box-hill as many of these trees as were sold for upwards of 10,000_l._, a
circumstance perhaps unparalleled in their history. The box-tree was much
admired by the ancient Romans, and also by our own ancestors, on account of
its being easily clipped into the form of animals, and other fantastic
shapes. In the South of Europe it is cultivated in gardens, and kept in
flower-pots, with as much attention as we bestow upon myrtles.

The _wood_ is of yellowish colour, close-grained, very hard and heavy, and
admits of a beautiful polish. On these accounts it is much used by turners,
by engravers on wood, carvers, and mathematical instrument makers. Flutes
and other wind instruments are formed of it; and furniture made of box-wood
would be valuable were it not too heavy, as it would not only be very
beautiful, but its bitter quality would secure it from the attacks of
insects. In France it is much in demand for combs, knife-handles, and
button-moulds; and it has been stated that the quantity of box-wood
annually sent from Spain to Paris is alone estimated at the value of more
than 10,000 livres.

An oil distilled from the shavings of box-wood has been found to relieve
the tooth-ache, and to be useful in other complaints; and the powdered
_leaves_ destroy worms.


  233. _The COCOA-NUT is a woody fruit, produced in nearly all the
  countries of hot climates; of oval shape, from three or four, to six or
  eight inches in length, covered with a fibrous husk, and lined internally
  with a white, firm, and fleshy kernel._

  _The tree_ (Cocos nucifera) _which produces the cocoa-nut is a kind of
  palm, from forty to sixty feet high. It has, on its summit only, a kind
  of leaves, which appear almost like immense feathers, each fourteen or
  fifteen feet long, three feet broad, and winged. Of these the upper ones
  are erect, the middle ones horizontal, and the lower ones drooping. The
  trunk is straight, naked, and marked with the scars of the fallen leaves.
  The nuts hang down from the summit of the tree, in clusters of a dozen or
  more together._

The external rind of the cocoa-nut has a smooth surface, and is of somewhat
triangular shape. This encloses an extremely fibrous substance of
considerable thickness, which immediately surrounds the nut. The latter has
a thick and hard shell, with three holes at the base, each closed by a
black membrane. The kernel lines the shell; and is sometimes nearly an inch
in thickness, and encloses a considerable quantity of watery liquid, of
whitish colour, which has the name of _milk_.

Food, clothing, and the means of shelter and protection, are all afforded
by the cocoa-nut-tree. The kernels of the _nuts_, which somewhat resemble
the filbert in taste, but are of much firmer consistence, are used as food
in various modes of dressing, and sometimes are cut into pieces and dried.
When pressed in a mill, they yield an oil, which, in some countries, is the
only oil used at table; and which, when fresh, is equal in quality to that
of almonds. It, however, soon becomes rancid, and, in this state, is
principally used by painters. The Indians prepare an oil from cocoa-nuts,
by steeping the kernels in water till they putrefy, and then boiling the
pulp. In this operation the oil rises to the surface, and is skimmed off.
This oil is used for anointing the hair, in cookery, for burning in lamps,
and for various other purposes. The _milk_, or fluid, contained in the
nuts, is an exceedingly cool and agreeable beverage, which, when good,
somewhat resembles the kernel in flavour.

Cocoa-nut-trees flourish best in a sandy soil, and first produce fruit when
six or seven years old; after which each tree yields from fifty to a
hundred nuts annually.

The fibrous coats or _husks_ which envelope the cocoa-nuts, after they have
been soaked for some time in water, become soft. They are then beaten, to
free them from the other substances with which they are intermixed, and
which fall away like saw-dust, the stringy part only being left. This is
spun into long yarns, woven into sail-cloth, and twisted into ropes and
cables, even for large vessels. The cordage thus manufactured is valuable
in several respects, but particularly for the advantages that are derived
from its floating in water. The woody _shells_ of the nut are so hard as to
be capable of receiving a high polish; and they are formed into drinking
cups, and other domestic utensils, which are sometimes expensively mounted
in silver.

On the summit of the cocoa-nut-tree the tender _leaves_, at their first
springing up, are folded over each other, so as somewhat to resemble a
cabbage. These are occasionally eaten in place of culinary greens, and are
a very delicious food; but, as they can only be obtained by the destruction
of the tree that produces them, and which dies in consequence of their
being removed, they are considered too expensive a treat for frequent use.
The larger leaves are employed for the thatching of buildings, and are
wrought into baskets, brooms, mats, sacks, hammocks, and many other useful

The _trunks_ are made into boats, and sometimes constitute timber for the
construction of houses; and, when their central pith is cleared away, they
form excellent gutters for the conveyance of water. If, whilst growing, the
body of the tree be bored, a white and sweetish liquor exudes from the
wound, which has the name of _toddy_. This is collected in vessels of
earthen-ware, and is a favourite beverage in many countries where the trees
grow. When fresh it is very sweet; in a few hours it becomes somewhat acid,
and, in this state, is peculiarly agreeable; but in the space of
twenty-four hours it is complete vinegar. By distillation this liquor
yields an ardent spirit, which is sometimes called _rack_, or _arrack_; and
is more esteemed than that obtained by distillation from rice or sugar, and
merely fermented and flavoured with the cocoa-nut juice. If boiled with
quick-lime, it thickens into a syrup, which is used by confectioners in the
East Indies, though it is much inferior to syrup produced from the


  maculatum), _is a well-known plant, which grows in shady hedge bottoms;
  and has, about the month of May, a club-shaped spike, frequently of
  purple colour at the top, issuing from a green sheath with which it is

The acridity of every part of this common plant, whilst in a recent state,
is such that, if tasted, there is left upon the tongue an intolerably
disagreeable burning and pricking sensation, which continues for a long
time afterwards; and which no one, who has once tasted it, will be inclined
to experience a second time. If bruised and applied to the skin, a blister
will shortly afterwards be raised.

It was from this property that the _roots_, which are whitish, and each
about the size of a nutmeg, were formerly used internally in medicine, as a
powerful stimulant, and externally for blisters. In some parts of France
they are employed in bleaching, from an opinion that, by their corrosive
quality, they render the linen white. Their acrimony is wholly dissipated
by drying; and, in a dried state, they afford an almost tasteless
farinaceous powder, which may even be made into bread. The powdered roots
of the common arum are converted, by the French, into an harmless cosmetic,
which is sold at a high price under the name of _Cyprus powder_.

In consequence of a premium which was offered by the Society for
Encouragement of Arts, Manufactures, and Commerce, for discovering a method
of preparing starch from materials not used as food for man, an experiment
was made, by Mrs. Jane Gibbs, of Portland, in Dorsetshire, upon the roots
of the common arum. A peck of the roots was found to produce about four
pounds' weight of starch; and she prepared, in the whole, about two hundred
weight. The process was to clean the roots, and pound them in a mortar with
water: the pulp thus formed was strained, and after being allowed to
settle, the water was poured off, and the starch remained at the bottom.

Whilst speaking of the arum, it may be stated that the flowers of some of
the foreign species (_Arum crinitum_ and _A. dracunculus_) have so strong a
smell, like carrion, that even flesh-flies are attracted to deposit their
eggs in them: and that the structure of the flowers is such that, when the
insects attempt to retreat, they are prevented by the reversed hairs which
are there found, and are destroyed. Some of the species are considered
wholesome food; one (_Arum esculentum_) is much cultivated for this purpose
in the West Indies and South America. The leaves of this plant, when
boiled, are much esteemed as potherbs, and the roots are eaten either baked
or boiled.

  235. _The SWEET CHESNUT_ (Fagus castanea, Fig. 65) _is a stately tree,
  which grows wild in some of the southern and western parts of England,
  and is distinguished by having spear-shaped and pointed leaves, with
  tapering serratures at the edge._

  _The flowers appear in long hanging spikes or clusters, about the month
  of May; and the fruit, which is ripe in September, is enveloped in a husk
  defended by a great number of complicated prickles._

Notwithstanding the known durability of the oak, there does not appear any
well-authenticated instance of the age of an oak being equal to that of the
celebrated chesnut-tree, at Tortworth, in Gloucestershire, which was known
as a boundary mark in the reign of King John. This tree is supposed to have
then been more than 500 years old, making its age at this time to exceed
1100 years. The diameter of its trunk is fifteen feet, and it still
continues to bear fruit.

Few of our forest trees are more beautiful than the chesnut. It is true
that the generality of painters prefer the oak for its picturesque form;
but in the landscapes of Salvator Rosa, and other celebrated masters,
chesnut-trees are very conspicuous.

The _timber_ of this tree was formerly much in use. The beams and rafters
of many of our most ancient churches are formed of it; and its appearance
so nearly resembles that of the oak, that it requires the eye of a good
judge to distinguish them from each other. For the heads and staves of
casks, the wood of the chesnut is considered peculiarly excellent; and
pipes, made of it for the conveyance of water under ground, are said to be
more durable than those either of elm or oak. For furniture it may be
stained so as somewhat to resemble mahogany. Hop-poles, and poles for
espaliers and dead fences, made of young chesnut-trees, are preferred to
most others.

Much of the _fruit_ of the chesnut is consumed as food by the poorer
classes of people on the Continent, but particularly by those of Spain and
Italy; and, when dried and powdered, it is no mean substitute for flour, in
bread and puddings. Chesnuts are imported into this country in considerable
quantities, both from France and Spain, and are roasted and eaten in
desserts: those which are grown here being much smaller than what we
receive from abroad. On the Continent they are sometimes used for making
starch, and in the bleaching of linen.

  236. _The BEECH_ (Fagus sylvatica, Fig. 64) _is a forest tree known by
  its waved and somewhat oval leaves, and its triangular fruit, consisting
  of three cells, and enclosed, by pairs, in a husk which is covered with
  simple prickles._

There are beech woods in many parts of England, but the trees flourish best
in rich, calcareous soils. These woods, it has been observed, are
peculiarly dry and pleasant to walk in; and, under their shade, afford to
the botanist many interesting plants, such as the bird's nest
(_monotropa_), winter green (_pyrola_), and some rare _orchideæ_.
Beech-trees bear lopping well, and may be trained so as to form lofty
hedges, which are the more valuable for shelter, as the leaves, though
faded, remain through the winter, and the twisted branches may be formed
into a very strong fence.

The _wood_ is hard and brittle, and, if exposed to the air, is liable soon
to decay. It is, however, peculiarly useful to cabinet-makers and turners.
Carpenters' planes, tool-handles, and mallets, are made of it. When split
into thin layers, it is used to make scabbards for swords. Chairs,
bedsteads, and other furniture, are occasionally formed of beech.

The fruit of this tree, which has the name of _beech-mast_, and is ripe in
September, is palatable to the taste; but, if eaten in great quantity, it
occasions giddiness and head-aches. When, however, it is dried and
powdered, it may be made into a wholesome bread. The inhabitants of Scio,
one of the Ionian Islands, were once enabled to endure a memorable siege by
the beech-mast which their island supplied. This fruit has, occasionally,
been roasted and used as a substitute for coffee. When subjected to
pressure, it yields a sweet and palatable _oil_, which, if properly made,
is equal, in quality, to the best olive-oil, and has the advantage of
continuing longer than that without becoming rancid. Beech-oil is
manufactured in several parts of France; and is used by the lower classes
of Silesia instead of butter. The cakes which remain after the oil is
extracted are a wholesome food, and may also be advantageously employed for
the fattening of swine, poultry, and oxen.

In some countries the _leaves_ of the beech-tree are collected in the
autumn, before they have been injured, by the frosts, and are used instead
of feathers for beds; and mattresses formed of them are said to be
preferable to those either of straw or chaff.

  237. _The OAK_ (Quercus robur, Fig. 68) _is a well-known timber tree, of
  native growth in this country, as well as other countries in northern
  temperate climates._

It is to this valuable tree that our navy is indebted for its existence;
and without it this invincible barrier of the country could not be
supported. _Oak timber_ being hard, tough, tolerably flexible, and not very
liable to splinter, is, in Europe, preferred to every other kind for the
construction of ships of war. It is also well adapted to every purpose of
rural and domestic economy, particularly for staves, laths, and the spokes
of wheels. Until the introduction of mahogany, it was very generally used
for furniture; and, in large mansions, it was customary even to line the
walls of rooms with _wainscot_, or panelling of oak.

This tree is remarkable for the slowness of its growth, for its great
longevity, and the dimensions to which it attains. It has, however, been
remarked that the trunk of the oak seldom increases to a greater
proportionate diameter than about fourteen inches in eighty years. As to
its dimensions, it is stated that an oak belonging to Lord Powis, and
growing, in 1764, in Bromfield Wood, near Ludlow, measured sixty-eight feet
in girth and twenty-three feet in height, and contained in the whole 1455
feet of timber.

Before oak timber is in a state to be used it is requisite that the trees
should be barked, and suffered to stand uncut for three or four years, that
they may become perfectly dry. The _bark_ thus obtained is extensively used
in the tanning of leather; and afterwards it serves as fuel, and for making
hot-beds for the growth of pines, and some other plants. The astringent
properties of oak-bark render it of use for medical purposes. The
_saw-dust_ of this tree, and even the _leaves_, though much inferior to the
bark, have been found useful in tanning. The former of these is the
principal vegetable production of this country, which is used in the dyeing
of fustian.

On the leaves and buds of the oak certain excrescences are formed, in
consequence of the puncture of insects, as the lodgment for their eggs and
a habitation for their future young. These are termed _galls_, and if, when
arrived at a certain state, they are infused in a weak solution of vitriol,
they impart to it a purple or violet tinge; and, after the whole colouring
matter is extracted, this becomes perfectly black. Considerable quantities
of galls are used in dyeing, and for other purposes.

_Acorns_, or the seeds of the oak, possess an astringent quality, and have
a bitter taste, both of which may be extracted by steeping them, for some
time, in cold water, or by boiling them. After this simple process, they
are not an unpalatable fruit. With the ancient Britons they were an article
in great request, and even constituted an important part of their food; and
there can be little doubt that, carefully prepared, dried, and reduced to
powder, they might, in times of scarcity, be adopted as a substitute for
bread-corn. By pressure an oil is obtained from them which may be used for
lamps; and a kind of coffee is prepared from them in some parts of the

The branches of the oak, as well as those of several other kinds of trees,
are burned for the formation of _charcoal_; and it is a remarkable
circumstance that the properties of charcoal, from whatever wood it may be
made, are nearly the same. One of the most remarkable of these is, that it
is not liable to decay by age. Hence it was customary, with the ancients,
to char or burn the outside of stakes, or other wood, which were to be
driven into the ground, or placed in water. Charcoal may be preserved
without injury for an almost indefinite length of time; and, in the ancient
tombs of the inhabitants of northern nations, entire pieces of charcoal are
at this day frequently discovered.

Besides the great use of charcoal in the composition of gunpowder, and to
artists and manufacturers of different kinds, it has lately been employed,
with considerable success, in correcting the rancid and disagreeable smell
of train oil, so as to render it fit to be burned in chamber lamps; and
several manufactories of this oil have been established in the
neighbourhood of London. Newly-made charcoal, if rolled up in clothes which
have contracted a disagreeable odour, will effectually destroy it; and if
boiled with meat beginning to putrefy will take away the taint.

This substance is used by artists in the polishing of brass and
copper-plates, for the drawing of outlines, and numerous other purposes.
When purified, it forms perhaps the best tooth-powder that is known. The
mode of purifying it is to reduce it to powder, wash it repeatedly with
water, and then dry it by means of a strong heat in close vessels. This
heat expels the foreign contents with which it is impregnated; but however
intense, if the vessels are closed, it in no respects alters the quality of
the charcoal. The vapour of burning charcoal is extremely pernicious; and
persons exposed to it in confined rooms are liable to be suffocated in a
very short time. The best remedy is immediately to take them into the
strongest draught of cold air that can be obtained, to loosen all their
garments, and apply volatile spirits to their nostrils.

  238. _CORK is the external bark of a species of oak_ (Quercus suber)
  _which grows in Spain, Portugal, and other southern parts of Europe, and
  is distinguished by the fungous texture of its bark; and by its leaves
  being evergreen, oblong, somewhat oval, downy underneath, and waved._

The principal supply of the cork that is consumed in Europe, is obtained
from Catalonia in Spain; and the culture and the preparation of it yield to
the inhabitants of that province near 250,000_l._ per annum.

In the collecting of cork, it is customary to slit it with a knife, at
certain distances, in a perpendicular direction from the top of the trees
to the bottom; and to make two incisions across, one near the top and the
other near the bottom of the trunk. For the purpose of stripping off the
bark, a curved knife with a handle at each end is used. Sometimes it is
stripped in pieces the whole length, and sometimes in shorter pieces, cross
cuts being made at certain intervals. In some instances the perpendicular
and transverse incisions are made, and the cork is left upon the trees
until, by the growth of the new bark beneath, it becomes sufficiently loose
to be removed by the hand.

After the pieces are detached they are soaked in water; and, when nearly
dry, are placed over a fire of coals, which blackens their external
surface. By the latter operation they are rendered smooth, and all the
smaller blemishes are thereby concealed: the larger holes and cracks are
filled up by the artful introduction of soot and dirt. The pieces are next
loaded with weights to make them even; and lastly they are dried, stacked,
or packed in bales for exportation.

Many of the uses of cork were well known to the ancients. Its elasticity
renders it peculiarly serviceable for the stopping of vessels of different
kinds; and thus preventing either the liquids therein contained from
running out, or the external air from passing in. The use of cork for
stopping glass bottles is generally considered to have been introduced
about the fifteenth century. The practice of employing this substance for
jackets to assist in swimming is very ancient; and it has lately been
applied in various ways towards the preservation of life, when endangered
by shipwreck. The floats of nets used for fishing are frequently made of
cork: pieces fastened together make buoys, which, by floating on the
surface of the water, afford direction for vessels in harbours, rivers, and
other places. In some parts of Spain it is customary to line the walls of
houses with cork, which not only renders them warm, but prevents the
admission of moisture. The ancient Egyptians sometimes made coffins of it.
On account of its lightness, cork is used for false legs; and, from its
being impervious by water, it is sometimes placed betwixt the soles of
shoes to keep out moisture. When burned, it constitutes that light black
substance known by the name of _Spanish black_.

In the cutting of corks for use, the only tool employed is a broad, thin,
and sharp knife; and, as the cork tends very much to blunt this, it is
sharpened upon a board by one whet, or stroke on each side, after every
cut; and, now and then, upon a common whet-stone. The corks for bottles are
cut in the length way of the bark, and consequently the pores lie across.
Bungs, and corks of large size, are cut in a contrary direction: the pores
in these are therefore downward, a circumstance which renders them much
more defective in stopping out the air than the others. The parings of cork
are sold to the makers of Spanish black.

  239. _The WALNUT is a well-known shell fruit, produced by a tree_
  (Juglans regia, Fig. 69), _which grows wild in the northern parts of
  China and Persia, and has winged leaves; the leaflets, about nine in
  number, large, oblong, smooth, thick; and the end one with a stalk._

Although greatly admired, both for the beauty of its foliage, and for the
excellence of its fruit, the cultivation of the walnut-tree in England is
by no means attended to so much as it was formerly, when its _wood_ was
considered the most ornamental timber produced in our island. It is
pleasingly veined, and admits of a fine polish, but its colour is much less
rich than that of mahogany; and consequently, except for the making of
gunstocks, it has, of late, been wholly superseded by that more favourite
wood. On the Continent, however, the walnut-tree is still in request for
furniture of various kinds.

The _fruit_ of the walnut-tree is covered externally with a thick and
smooth green husk, the juice of which stains the fingers black. In an
unripe state, before the shells are formed, the whole fruit may be made
into a pickle, and also into ketchup. In medicine the unripe fruit is
considered of use for the destruction of worms, and is usually administered
in the form of an extract.

Walnuts become ripe about the beginning of October; and, as they grow in
clusters, generally at the ends of the branches, it is customary to beat
them down with long poles. The kernel, which is covered with a tough,
yellow, and bitter skin, is more esteemed than that either of the hazel-nut
or filbert. It yields, on pressure, a sweet kind of oil, which, in
quantity, amounts to about half the weight of the kernel.

There are several varieties of walnut, which are well known to the
cultivators of that tree.

  240. _The HICKORY-NUT_ (Juglans alba) _is a North American species of
  walnut, the shell of which is very hard, does not split asunder like that
  of the walnut, and is of smoother and lighter colour than that_.

Its kernel is sweet and well tasted, and affords a considerable portion of

  241. _The HAZEL-NUT and FILBERT are well-known fruits, the former of a
  shrub_ (Corylus avellana, Fig. 67) _which grows in hedges and thickets;
  and the latter of a somewhat similar shrub, which is cultivated in
  orchards and kitchen gardens._

Each of these kinds of _nuts_ is much esteemed, but particularly the
latter; the flavour of its kernels being very delicious. They are, however,
difficult of digestion, and, when eaten in considerable quantity, sometimes
produce very unpleasant effects. The oil which is obtained from hazel-nuts
by pressure is little inferior in flavour to that of almonds, and, under
the name of _nut-oil_, is often used by painters. Chemists employ it as the
basis of fragrant oils artificially prepared, because it easily combines
with and retains odours. This oil is found serviceable in obstinate coughs.

If nuts be put into earthen pots and well closed, and afterwards buried
eighteen inches or two feet deep in the earth, they may be kept sound
through the winter.

In many parts of the country _hazels_ are planted in coppices and
hedge-rows for several useful purposes; but particularly to be cut down,
periodically, for charcoal, for poles, fishing-rods, &c. Being extremely
tough and flexible, the branches of the hazel are used for making hurdles,
crates, withs or bands, and springles to fasten down thatch. They are
formed into spars, handles for implements of husbandry; and, when split,
are bent into hoops for casks. Charcoal made from hazel is much in request
for forges; and, when prepared in a particular manner, is used by painters
and engravers to draw their outlines.

In countries where yeast is scarce, it is not unusual to twist loosely
together the slender branches of this shrub, and to steep them in ale-yeast
during its fermentation. They are then hung up to dry; and, at the next
brewing, are put into the wort instead of yeast. The _roots_ are used by
cabinet makers for veneering: and, in Italy, the _chips_ of hazel are
sometimes put into turbid wine for the purpose of fining it.

  242. _The HORNBEAM_ (Carpinus betulus, Fig. 73) _is a forest tree which
  grows to the height of sixty or seventy feet, yet seldom exceeds fifteen
  or eighteen inches in diameter, has smooth white bark, marked with grey
  spots, and leaves about three inches long and two broad, oval, pointed,
  and serrated._

As a timber-tree the hornbeam is more esteemed on the Continent than in
this country. It grows readily in stiff soils, particularly on the sides of
hills; and is easily transplanted. The _wood_, which is white, hard, and
tough, is used by turners; and is wrought into cogs for mill-wheels,
screw-presses, the heads of beetles, handles of working tools, and other
instruments and machinery in which great strength is required. As fuel it
is preferred, on account of its readier inflammability, to most other kinds
of wood. The _inner bark_ is used, in some countries, for dyeing yellow.

From the foliage of the hornbeam being luxuriant, and admitting of being
clipped, without injury, into any of those forms which the old French
garden style required, this tree was formerly much more planted in England
than it is at present. It preserves a great portion of its withered leaves
through the winter; and, if properly planted as a hedge, it forms an
excellent fence. The German husbandman, when he erects a fence of hornbeam,
throws up a parapet of earth, with a ditch on each side, and plants his
sets (which he raises from layers) in such a manner that every two plants
may be brought to intersect each other, in the form of a St. Andrew's
cross. In that part where the plants cross, he scrapes off the bark, and
bends them closely together with straw. In consequence of this operation
the two plants consolidate into a sort of indissoluble knot, and push, from
the place of junction, horizontal slanting shoots, which form a living
palisado or _chevaux de frise_; so that such a protection may be called a
rural fortification. These hedges, being annually and carefully pruned,
will, in a few years, become impenetrable in every part. It is not uncommon
in Germany, to see the high roads thus guarded for many miles together; and
great advantage might be derived from adopting the same plan in many parts
of our own kingdom.

  243. _The PLANE-TREE_ (Platanus orientalis, Fig. 71) _is distinguished by
  having broad leaves, each with about five principal divisions, and these
  subdivided into smaller ones._

By the ancient Greeks and Romans the plane-tree was highly valued, on
account of its grateful shade; and the latter were much delighted by
training it in such manner as to admit of their sitting beneath its
branches. Wherever they built their magnificent colleges for the exercise
of youth, in the gymnastic arts, as riding, wrestling, running, leaping,
throwing the discus, &c. and where also the gravest philosophers met to
converse together and improve their studies, they planted avenues and walks
of plane trees for refreshment and shade.

Though now frequently planted in parks and pleasure grounds, the sycamore
(122) is, in many instances, preferred to it. The plane, though a native of
Asia and the southern parts of Europe, is very hardy, grows rapidly, and
will flourish in any common soil, and in any aspect.

Its _wood_, at a certain age, becomes much veined; and, consequently, is
valuable for many kinds of domestic furniture, but particularly for tables.

  244. _The CABBAGE-TREE_ (Areca oleracea) _is an American species of palm,
  which grows to the height of a hundred feet and upwards, and is destitute
  of leaves until within a few feet of the summit. The leaves, sometimes
  near twenty feet long, are winged, and the leaflets are entire._

Such is the general elegance of this tree that it is frequently denominated
the queen of woods. Its _fruit_, which grows in bunches from the top, is an
oblong and obtuse kind of berry, of bluish purple colour, and about the
size of an olive. The sheaths of the flowers, and the floral leaves, when
first developed, are folded round each other, enclosed in a thin, green,
and spongy bark, eight or nine inches in circumference, and constitute the
part which is denominated the _cabbage_. This is white, and, when boiled,
is esteemed a great luxury. It is also eaten raw as a salad, and fried with
butter; and its taste is said to resemble that of an artichoke. This part
is likewise frequently made into a pickle with vinegar and spices.

We are informed that the cabbage-tree was first introduced into Jamaica by
Admiral Knowles, when governor of that island; and that it has since been
cultivated there with great attention. But it is chiefly planted for its
beauty, being considered too valuable to be often cut down for the small
portion of food which it thus affords, however delicious that may be.

In the _leaves_ of this tree there is a thread-like substance, which is
sometimes spun, like hemp, and made into different kinds of cordage. The
sockets or grooves formed by the broad part of the footstalks of the leaves
are used by the negroes as cradles for their children; and on the inner
sides of the very young footstalks there are tender pellicles, which, when
dried, may be converted into paper. The _trunks_, when cleared of the pith,
serve as water pipes and gutters. Of the _pith_ a kind of sago is made; and
in this pith, after the trees are felled, there is bred a large species of
caterpillar which the inhabitants of some of the West Indian islands eat as
a great delicacy.

  245. _The CATECHU, ARECA, or BETEL-NUT-TREE_ (Areca catechu), _is a
  species of palm which grows in the East Indies._

  _It is generally from thirty to forty feet high, and its trunk is six or
  eight inches in diameter. The leaves, which grow on the summit, are
  winged, having the leaflets folded back; and the fruit is a pulpy berry
  with thin skin, containing a nut about an inch in length, and of a
  rounded conical form._

The _kernel_ of the areca-nut, which is covered by a thin, smooth, and
yellowish shell, is somewhat like a nutmeg, but contains, in the centre, a
white, soft, greyish, and almost liquid substance, which becomes hard as
the nut ripens. This fruit is in general use by the Indians, who cut it
into slices, mix it with other substances, wrap it in the leaves of betel
(22), and chew it much in the same manner as the common people of our
country chew tobacco. The consumption of these nuts in India is almost
beyond calculation. They are an article of considerable trade, from port to
port; and also from India to China, but they are seldom brought into
England, though they might be of use in some of our manufactures.

The drug called _catechu_, and formerly _terra japonica_, was supposed to
be an extract prepared from the above nuts; but it is now ascertained to be
made from the wood of a species of mimosa.


  246. _The SCOTS FIR_ (Pinus sylvestris), _which has its name from growing
  wild in different parts of Scotland, is known from other trees of the
  same tribe by having its slender and somewhat needle-shaped leaves in
  pairs; its cones or seed-vessels somewhat egg-shaped, mostly in pairs, as
  long as the leaves, and the scales blunt._

This useful tree flourishes with greatest luxuriance on the north and
north-east sides of hills, in a poor and sandy soil, especially where this
is mixed with loam. If planted among rocks, or in bogs, it seldom attains a
large size; in black soil it becomes diseased; and in chalky land it
frequently pines away and dies.

Its _timber_, under the name of _deal_, is employed as the wood-work of
houses; for rafters, flooring, doors, the frames of windows, tables, boxes,
and other purposes, infinitely too various to be enumerated. Frigates, and
other ships of large size, have sometimes been constructed of deal but
these are by no means so durable as vessels that are built of oak. Much of
the deal which we use is imported from Norway, and other northern parts of
Europe. That from Christiana, which is called _yellow deal_, or _red deal_,
is frequently brought over in planks, but more commonly in boards, each
about ten inches and half in width. The wood of such trees as are raised in
England is equal to the foreign wood in weight and durability, but its
grain is generally coarser.

The _outer bark_ of the fir-tree may be used in the tanning of leather; and
it is said that, in the northern parts of Europe, the soft, white, and
fibrous _inner bark_ is, in times of scarcity, made into a kind of bread.
For this purpose it is dried over a fire, reduced to powder, kneaded with
water, and a small portion of corn-flour, into cakes, and baked in an oven.
Children in Norway are very fond of the fresh bark, in the spring of the
year, either shaved off with a knife, or grated with a rasp.

_Common Turpentine_ is the resinous juice chiefly of the Scots fir,
obtained by boring holes into the trunks of the trees, early in spring, and
placing vessels beneath for its reception. It is of brown colour; and has a
strong odour, and disagreeable taste. In the distillation of turpentine an
essential oil is produced, called _oil of turpentine_, which is extremely
pungent. When the distillation is continued to dryness, the substance which
remains is known by the name of _common resin_ or _rosin_; but, if water be
mixed with it, while yet fluid, and incorporated by violent agitation, a
substance is formed called _yellow resin_.

Common turpentine is mostly employed as an ingredient in the plasters used
by farriers. The oil is occasionally used in medicine; and, lately, it has
been considered efficacious in cases of worms. It is much employed by
painters for rendering their colours more fluid; as well as in the
composition of different kinds of varnish used in floor-cloth, umbrella,
and other manufactures. The noxious spirit called gin was formerly
flavoured with juniper berries; but as these are now too expensive, oil of
turpentine, the taste of which in a slight degree resembles that of
juniper, is applied to the same purpose; and considerable quantities of
turpentine are thus consumed. The common resin is used in plasters, for
which its great adhesiveness renders it peculiarly applicable. It is also
of considerable importance in the arts; and musicians rub the bows and
strings of violins with it, to take off the greasy particles which are
there collected, as well as to counteract the effects of moisture. Yellow
resin is used in plasters, and for other purposes in medicine.

_Tar_ is obtained from the roots and refuse parts of the fir-tree, by
cutting them into billets, piling these, in a proper manner, in pits or
ovens formed for the purpose, covering them partly over, and setting them
on fire. During the burning, a black and thick matter, which is the tar,
falls to the bottom, and is conducted thence into vessels which are placed
to receive it, and from which it is afterwards poured into barrels for

Tar is an article of great utility in manufactures, and for various
economical purposes. It is much employed for smearing the rigging, and
other external parts of ships, to prevent their receiving injury from
moisture. It has been used in medicine both internally and externally; and
particularly _tar-water_, or water impregnated with tar, was, some years
ago, a popular remedy in various disorders, but its virtues have been too
much extolled. Although considerable quantities of tar are prepared in this
country, these are insufficient to supply the demand; consequently we,
every year, import great quantities of it from Russia, Sweden, America, and
other countries.

_Pitch_ is usually made by melting together coarse hard resin and an equal
quantity of tar; or, as some writers state, by boiling tar with a certain
portion of water, until it becomes so thick that, on cooling, it forms a
hard black mass.

By the ancients pitch was much employed for giving flavour and fragrance to
their wines. With us it is of extensive use to mechanics, and in numerous
manufactures; but the principal demand for it is in ship-building, to
secure the joints and crevices of the planks and timbers, and for other
purposes. When mixed with a certain quantity of oil and suet, it is made
into _shoe-makers' wax_; and, in conjunction with whale fat, forms
_carriage-grease_, or the substance with which the wheels of carriages are
smeared. The best pitch is imported from Sweden and Norway: and, is of a
glossy black colour, perfectly dry, and very brittle.

_Lamp-black_ is a soot formed by burning the dregs and coarser parts of tar
in furnaces constructed for that purpose. The smoke is conveyed through
tubes into boxes, each covered with linen, in the form of a cone. Upon this
linen the soot is deposited: and it is, from time to time, beaten off into
the boxes, and afterwards packed in barrels for sale. This substance is
employed in printing and dyeing; and has its name from the practice that
was formerly adopted of making it by means of lamps.

  247. _The WEYMOUTH PINE is chiefly distinguished by its leaves growing in
  fives, and its cones being smooth, cylindrical, and longer than the

This species of fir-tree grows wild in North America, and succeeds well in
strong land in England. Its _timber_ is white, of more open grain than
Scots fir, and not so heavy as that. In America it is principally used for
the masts of ships, for which, by its toughness, it is peculiarly

  248. _The SPRUCE FIR_ (Pinus abies), _a native of Norway, and other
  Northern parts of Europe, is known by its short, and four-sided leaves
  growing singly, and surrounding the branches; its cones being
  cylindrical, the scales somewhat square, flattened, and notched at the

The _wood_ of the spruce fir is what the English carpenters usually
denominate _white deal_. It is considered next in value to that obtained
from the Scots fir; and is remarkable for having few knots. On account of
its lightness it is peculiarly adapted for packing-cases and musical

From incisions made into the trunk of the spruce fir-tree, a fine and clear
_turpentine_ oozes, which, after being boiled in water, and strained
through a linen cloth, acquires a somewhat solid consistence, and reddish
brown colour; and is called _Burgundy pitch_. This is employed as an
ingredient in several kinds of ointments and plasters: and is principally
manufactured in Saxony.

The article called _essence of spruce_, which is used in making spruce
beer, is prepared from the branches of this tree, and from those of a
species nearly allied to it which grows in America.

  249. _The LARCH_ (Pinus laryx), _a native of the Alps, and the mountains
  of Germany, is a species of fir, which has its leaves in tufts, and its
  cones oblong, and of somewhat oval shape, the margins of the scales bent
  back, and jagged._

The cultivation of larch-trees has of late been much recommended for
adoption in this country, on account of the value of their _timber_, which
for strength and durability, is equal to most kinds of deal. It is well
calculated for masts, and the framework of vessels, being capable of
sustaining much greater pressure even than oak. For wood-work constantly
immersed in water, it is peculiarly calculated, as, in such situations, it
is asserted to become almost as hard as stone. In Petersburg larch timber
is applied to no other use than that of ship-building. Line-of-battle ships
are constructed of it in Archangel, and these generally last about fifteen
years; though, in milder climates, it is imagined that they would last much

For gates, pales, and similar work, exposed to the vicissitudes of weather,
they are admirably serviceable; and for flooring and other internal
purposes are at least equally durable. Buildings constructed of larch
timber are said to have continued sound for 200 years; and, in some of the
old palaces in Venice, there are beams of larch yet existing that are as
sound as when they were first placed. But the very combustible nature of
this wood renders it objectionable for such uses. No wood with which we are
acquainted affords more durable staves for casks than larch; and, in the
opinion of many persons, it is further valuable by improving the flavour of
the wine contained in them. The wood is of delicate colour, not unlike the
cedar used for black-lead pencils, but is knotty almost throughout.

From the _inner bark_ of the larch the Russians manufacture a soft and fine
kind of white gloves. The trunk, if tapped betwixt the months of March and
September, yields an extremely pure turpentine, which has the name of
_Venice turpentine_; and is of considerable use in medicine. It is usually
thinner than any other kind of turpentine, and of clear, whitish, or
yellowish colour. The drug of this name, which is generally met with in the
shops, is now imported from New England, but was formerly brought from
Venice. A brown gummy substance, known in Russia by the name of _Orenburgh
gum_, is obtained by a curious process from the sap of the tree. On the
large branches of the larch are produced small, sweetish grains, somewhat
resembling sugar; which are frequently substituted for the drug called
manna (275).

The cultivation of the larch was first introduced into Britain towards the
conclusion of the seventeenth century. The trees will grow in almost any
soil; and the proper season for felling them is the month of July. They,
however, seldom attain any large size in this country; and they are said to
decay and become covered with moss, when about forty years old.

  250. _The CYPRESS-TREE_ (Cupressus sempervirens) _is a dark-coloured
  evergreen, a native of the Levant, the leaves of which are extremely
  small, and entirely cover all the slender branches, lying close upon them
  so as to give them a somewhat quadrangular shape._

  _In some of the trees the branches diminish gradually in length from the
  bottom to the top, in such manner as to form a nearly pyramidal shape._

In many of the old gardens in this country cypress-trees are still to be
found, but their generally sombre and gloomy appearance has caused them, of
late years, to be much neglected. They are, however, very valuable on
account of their _wood_, which is hard, compact, and durable, of pale or
reddish colour, with deep veins, and pleasant smell. We are informed by
Pliny that the doors of the famous temple of Diana, at Ephesus, were of
cypress wood, and that, although they were 400 years old at the time when
he wrote, they appeared to be nearly as fresh as new. Indeed this wood was
so much esteemed by the ancients, that the image of Jupiter in the capitol
was made of it. The gates of St. Peter's church at Rome are stated to have
been of cypress, and to have lasted more than 1000 years, from the time of
the Emperor Constantine until that of Pope Eugenius the Fourth, when gates
of brass were erected in their stead. As this wood, in addition to its
other qualities, takes a fine polish, and is not liable to suffer from the
attacks of insects, it was formerly much esteemed for cabinet furniture. By
the Greeks, in the time of Thucydides, it was used for the coffins of
eminent warriors; and many of the chests which enclose Egyptian mummies are
made of it. The latter afford very decisive proof of its almost
incorruptible nature.

The name of this tree is derived from the island of Cyprus, in the
Mediterranean, where it still grows in great luxuriance. Its gloomy hue
caused it to be consecrated by the ancients to Pluto, and to be used at the
funerals of people of eminence. Pliny states that, in his time, it was
customary to place branches of the cypress-tree before the houses in which
persons lay dead.

  251. _The CASSAVA, or CASSADA_ (Jatropha manihot) _is a South American
  shrub, about three feet in height, with broad, shining, and somewhat
  hand-shaped leaves, and beautiful white and rose-coloured flowers._

It is a very remarkable circumstance, that the _roots_ of the cassava, if
eaten raw, are a fatal poison both to man and beast, and that, when
prepared by heat, they yield a safe and valuable food; on which, indeed,
many both of the Indian and European inhabitants of South America almost
wholly subsist. The roots are the only edible parts of the plant. These,
which are white, soft, and farinaceous, from one to two feet in length, and
five or six inches in circumference, are dug out of the earth, at a certain
season of the year, washed, stripped of their rind, and ground to a pulp.
The juice, or poisonous part, is pressed out, and carefully thrown away; as
cattle, and other animals, which have accidentally drunk of it, have almost
instantly died. The flour that remains, after pressure, is formed into thin
round cakes and baked. To an European, accustomed to other bread, these,
though sweetish, and not unpalatable, have an insipid taste. If placed in
close vessels, and preserved from the attacks of insects, cassava bread may
be kept for several months without injury.

With the natives of South America, it is not unusual to throw a great
number of cakes of cassava together to heat, after which they soak them in
water, which causes a rapid fermentation to take place; and from the liquor
thus obtained, they make a very sharp and disagreeable, but intoxicating
beverage, which will not keep longer than twenty-four hours without

From the pure flour of cassava is formed the substance called _tapioca_,
which is frequently imported into this country, and is used for jelly,
puddings, and other culinary purposes. It is prepared from the fibrous part
of the roots by taking a small quantity of the pulp, after the juice is
extracted, and working it in the hand till a thick white cream appears on
the surface. This, being separated, and washed in water, gradually subsides
to the bottom. After the water is poured off, the remaining moisture is
dissipated by a slow fire, the substance being constantly stirred, until at
length it is formed into grains about the size of sago (266). These become
hard by keeping, and are the purest and most wholesome part of the cassava.

The roots of another species of this shrub, called _sweet cassava_, are
usually eaten with butter, and merely after being roasted in hot ashes.
They have much the flavour of chesnuts, and are an agreeable and nutritive

  252. _The TALLOW TREE_ (Croton sebiferum) _is a native of China, and in
  habit somewhat resembles a cherry-tree, but has shining egg-shaped, and
  pointed leaves, that form tufts at the extremity of the branches._

The _fruit_ of this tree, from which the Chinese obtain a kind of tallow
for the manufacture of candles, is enclosed in a husk, not much unlike that
of the chesnut, and consists of three round white kernels. All the
preparation that is requisite is to melt these kernels, adding a little
oil, to render them softer and more pliant than they would otherwise be.
The candles made from this substance are very white, but are sometimes
coloured by adding a little vermilion. They are more firm than those of
tallow, but not equal in quality to candles either of wax or spermaceti.
The wicks that are used are not, like ours, made of cotton, but consist of
little rods of light, dry wood, with the pith of a rush entwined round

  253. _INDIAN RUBBER, or CAOUTCHOUC, is the dried juice of a large and
  much branched tree_ (Siphonia elastica, Fig. 60), _which grows in Guiana,
  and other parts of South America._

  _This tree has somewhat oval leaves, entire, veined, and smooth, arranged
  in threes, and on long foot-stalks._

  _The flowers are small, in bunches, near the ends of the branches, and
  the fruit is triangular._

It was not until about the year 1736, that this very extraordinary natural
production was made known in Europe. It is obtained by making incisions
through the bark of the tree, chiefly in wet weather. From the wounds thus
formed the juice flows abundantly. It is of milky-white colour, and is
conducted by a tube or leaf, supported by clay, into a vessel placed to
receive it. Some writers assert that, on mere exposure to the air, it
gradually hardens; and others that, for this purpose, it goes through a
certain process, which the Indians keep a profound secret. It is usually
brought to Europe in the shape of pear-shaped bottles, which are formed by
spreading the juice over a mould of clay. These are exposed to a dense
smoke, or to a fire, till they become so dry as not to stick to the
fingers; and then, by certain instruments of iron or wood, they are
ornamented on the outside with various figures. This done, the clay in the
inside is moistened with water and picked out.

Indian rubber is remarkable for the flexibility and elasticity which it
acquires on attaining a solid state; and also for the numerous useful
purposes to which it is capable of being applied. By the Indians it is
sometimes formed into boots, which are impenetrable by water, and which,
when smoked, have the appearance of leather. Bottles are made of it, to
whose necks are fastened hollow reeds, through which the liquor contained
in them can be squirted at pleasure. One of these, filled with water, is
always presented to each of the guests at their entertainments. Flambeaux
are likewise formed of this substance, which give a very brilliant light;
and it is said that a torch of Indian rubber, an inch and a half in
diameter, and two feet long, will burn twelve hours. The inhabitants of
Quito prepare a species of oil-cloth with the hardened juice of this tree.

The principal uses to which Indian rubber is applied by us are, for the
effacing of black-lead marks; for flexible syringes, tubes, and other
instruments used by surgeons and chemists; and for the formation, by means
of turpentine or linseed oil, of a varnish for air-balloons.

Various experiments have been made to dissolve this substance, so that it
may assume its naturally elastic state, under any figure that may be
required. This has been effected by means of ether, but the process is too
expensive for common use. A simple method of forming tubes of it is to
split a piece of cane and to put between the pieces a slip of whalebone. If
the Indian rubber be cut into slips, and twisted closely round the cane,
and the heat of boiling water be applied, the whole will become united into
one piece or tube, from which the whalebone first, and afterwards the cane,
may easily be separated.

It has been proved that cloth of all kinds may be made impenetrable by
water, if impregnated with the fresh juice of the Indian rubber tree; and
that boots, gloves, and other articles, made of cloth thus prepared, may be
joined without sewing, and only by moistening the edges with the juice.
These are not only more durable, but retain their shape better than such as
are made of the juice without any connecting substance.

It has lately been ascertained that, in Prince of Wales's Island, and also
in Sumatra, there are trees of a class and order totally different from
that above described, which yield a juice similar to this, and applicable
to all the same purposes.

  254. _The CASTOR-OIL PLANT_ (Ricinus palma christi) _is a native both of
  the East and West Indies, and has a stem from five to fifteen or sixteen
  feet in height, and large bluish-green leaves, divided into seven lobes,
  serrated and pointed, the footstalks long, and inserted into the disk._

  _The flowers are produced in a terminating spike, and the seed-vessels
  are covered with spines, and contain each three flattish oblong seeds._

It is to the seeds of this plant that we are indebted for the drug called
_castor-oil_. This is sometimes obtained by pressing the seeds, in the same
way as is practised with respect to oil of almonds (152). But the mode
chiefly adopted in the West Indies, whence we principally import it, is
first to strip the seeds of their husks or pods, and then to bruise them in
a mortar; afterwards they are tied in linen bags, and boiled in water until
the oil which they contain rises to the surface; this is carefully skimmed
off, strained to free it from any accidental impurities, and bottled for
use. The oil which is obtained by boiling is considered more mild than that
obtained by pressure, but it sooner becomes rancid. The mildest and finest
of the Jamaica castor-oil is limpid, nearly colourless, and has scarcely
more taste or smell than good olive-oil.

The uses of castor-oil in medicine are well known.

The plant is sufficiently hardy to grow and ripen its seeds in the open
ground of gardens, in the south of England.





255.  _WILLOW, OSIER, or WITHY._--Of this very extensive tribe nearly fifty
distinct species have been discovered in our own island. The slender
branches of many of these are applied to useful purposes, but particularly
for making baskets, bird-cages, and what is called wicker-work; springles
for fastening down thatch, wheels or traps for catching lobsters and eels;
hoops and crates. The _wood_ is useful for the handles of hatchets, prongs,
spades, and other rural implements; and also furnishes shoemakers with
cutting and whetting boards, on which they cut leather and sharpen the
edges of their knives.

As willows generally flourish in wet situations, some of the species are
planted with a view to prevent the banks of rivers and brooks from being
washed away by floods.

The _bark_ of some kinds of willow has been applied, with effect, as a
substitute for Peruvian bark, in the cure of intermittent fevers. It has
also been esteemed useful in the tanning of leather; and, in combination
with alder, for striking a deep black colour, in the dyeing of linen.

The bark of other species may be manufactured into paper. In the year 1788,
Mr. Greaves of Milbank, near Warrington, Lancashire, made fifteen reams of
coarse paper from the bark of withen twigs, intermixed with a few nettles.
The latter, however, he afterwards discovered, would better have been left
out, as there was in them a woody substance, which does not well
incorporate with other vegetables. The paper he made was considerably
cheaper than paper of equal size and thickness made from ropes; and it was
found that pasteboard, for book covers, made of withen bark, would be much
cheaper than similar pasteboard manufactured from ropes. The process by
which this paper and pasteboard were manufactured was as follows; the bark
was stripped from the twigs in September, the time at which they are
usually cut for making white baskets; it was then hackled, like flax or
hemp, and dried in the sun, which gave it somewhat the appearance of brown
hemp: but this having been attended with considerable trouble, other parts
of the bark were dried with the leaves, as they were stripped off from the
twigs, and were then submitted to the operation of the paper-mill.

The flowering branches of one species, the _common sallow_ (_Salix
cineria_), are called palms, and are gathered by children, in many parts of
England, on Palm Sunday.


  256. _NUTMEGS are the kernels of a fruit produced in several islands of
  the East Indies._

  _They are each surrounded by the spice called_ mace, _and, externally, by
  a husk about half an inch in thickness, which has somewhat the appearance
  of a small peach_ (Fig. 80).

  _The nutmeg-tree_ (Myristica aromatica) _is not unlike our cherry-tree,
  both in growth and size. Its leaves are nearly oval, but pointed, waved,
  obliquely nerved, of bright green colour above, and whitish beneath. The
  flowers are small, and hang upon slender stalks._

When this fruit is nearly ripe the husk opens at the end, and exposes a
net-work of scarlet mace. Underneath the mace is a black shell, about as
thick as that of a filbert, and very hard; and in this is contained the

The gathering of _nutmegs_ is performed by persons who ascend the trees for
that purpose, and pull the branches to them with long hooks. The husks are
stripped off in the woods, and the remaining part of the fruit, with its
surrounding mace, is taken home. After the mace has been carefully stripped
off, with a small knife, the nuts, which are still covered with their woody
shell, are dried, first in the sun, and then upon a frame of split bamboos
placed over a slow fire, until, when shaken, the kernels are heard to
rattle within the shells. These now easily fly to pieces when beaten with
small sticks; and the nutmegs, being taken out, are soaked in sea-water and
lime, and are then thrown in great numbers together to heat, by which their
vegetating principle is destroyed. The nutmegs are finally sorted into
parcels, according to their quality, and packed in bags for sale and

The nutmegs vended at the East India Company's sales in 1804, amounted in
weight to 117,936 pounds, and produced 54,733_l._ exclusive of the duties.
This kind of spice has long been employed both for culinary and medicinal
purposes. Distilled with water, nutmegs afford a large portion of essential
oil, which resembles, in flavour, the spice itself. When heated and pressed
they yield a considerable quantity of limpid yellow oil. In the shops a
thick and fragrant kind is sold, which, though called _oil of mace_, is, in
reality, expressed from the nutmeg. The best oil of this description is
imported from the East Indies, in stone jars. _Oil of nutmegs_ is chiefly
made from the imperfect fruit, and such as would be unfit for the European

_Mace_, or the covering of the nutmeg, that lies betwixt the outer coat and
the shell, is an unctuous membrane, first of a light red, and afterwards,
when dried, and as we see it, of yellowish colour. After it is taken from
the shell it is exposed to the sun, then moistened with sea-water, and
finally so far dried as to allow of its being packed in bales for
exportation. In these it is pressed closely down, by which its fragrance
and peculiar qualities are preserved. Mace is liable to seizure if imported
in packages of less than 300 pounds' weight. We usually see it in flakes
each about an inch in length, and presenting a great variety of
ramifications. This spice has a very fragrant and agreeable odour, and, to
most persons, a pleasant, though somewhat acrid, taste. It possesses nearly
all the virtues of the nutmeg, but with less astringency; and, like that,
is employed in numerous ways, both in culinary preparations and medicine.

In the island of Banda it is sometimes customary to boil the _entire fruit_
of the nutmeg-tree, and afterwards to preserve it in syrup, and also to
pickle it in spiced vinegar, in nearly the same manner as we pickle
walnuts. In several parts of the East the inhabitants preserve the _outer
husk_ of the nutmeg as a sweetmeat, or eat it stewed with other food.

  257. _The DATE is a fruit shaped somewhat like a large acorn, and covered
  externally with a yellowish membrane or skin, which contains a fine,
  soft, and sweetish pulp, and, in the centre, an oblong, hard stone._

  _The trees_ (Phoenix dactylifera) _which produce this fruit, grow chiefly
  on the shores of the Mediterranean, are forty feet and upwards in height,
  have an upright stem, marked through their whole length with
  protuberances, and terminated at the summit with a cluster of winged
  leaves or branches, each eight or nine feet in length._

The cultivation of the date is attentively pursued on the African coast of
the Mediterranean; in several parts of Persia, Arabia, and even in Spain.
The latter country, however, is not sufficiently warm to ripen the fruit in
perfection, without the constant labour of the cultivator. He is obliged to
ascend the trees, from time to time, to examine the flowers and turn them
towards the sun. This is chiefly done in the spring of the year; and,
during the month of August, another and much more dangerous operation is
requisite, namely, to tie all the branches into one bundle, and cover them
over with broom. To make this bundle, the person employed is obliged to
leap, as it were, over the flexible branches, for the purpose of
surrounding and uniting them with a cord. This operation over, he places a
ladder at the bottom of the tree, on which he stands to make a second band;
he then places his ladder on this second band, ascends and ties the top
with a third cord. His bundle being formed, he throws down his instruments,
replaces his ladder by a gradation contrary to the former, and descends,
from band to band, to the stem of the tree, down which he slides to the

Among the Africans and Egyptians the date constitutes a principal article
of food, and, as such, it is considered both wholesome and nutritive. Its
name is a word, formed of _dacte_ or _dactylus_, implying a finger, from an
imaginary resemblance which this fruit has to the end of the finger.
Although dates, in general, are of yellowish colour, some are black, some
white, and others brown: some also are sweet, and others bitter. The best
are called _royal dates_, and are imported into this country from Tunis.

Each tree produces ten or twelve bunches of fruit, which, when gathered,
are hung up in a dry place, until so much of their moisture is evaporated
as to allow of their being packed in boxes for exportation.

Nearly all the parts of the date-tree are useful. The _wood_, though of
spongy texture, is employed for the beams and rafters of houses, and for
implements of husbandry, which are said to be very durable. The _pith_ of
the young trees is eaten, as well as the young and tender _leaves_. From
the old leaves and their stalks the women and children of Valencia make
mats, baskets, and other utensils; and from other filamentous parts, ropes
and different kinds of cordage are manufactured. A considerable traffic is
carried on in these leaves, which, under the name of _palms_, are sent to
Italy, to be used in the grand religious ceremonies of Palm Sunday. In
Persia an ardent spirit is distilled from the fruit; and, in many places,
the _stones_ are ground to make oil, and the paste that is left is given as
food to cattle and sheep.


  258. _MASTIC is a resinous substance, obtained from a low tree or shrub_
  (Pistacia lentiscus) _which grows in the Levant._

  _It has alternate winged leaves, consisting of several pairs of
  spear-shaped leaflets, and spikes of very small flowers, which issue from
  the junction of the leaves with the branches._

The mode in which this resin is obtained is by making incisions across the
tree in different parts. From these the juice exudes in drops, that are
suffered to run upon the ground, and there to remain until they are
sufficiently hard to be collected for use. The season for this process
commences in the dry weather at the beginning of August, and lasts until
the end of September. The best mastic is that imported from the island of
Scio. We receive it in semi-transparent grains of yellowish colour. These
emit an agreeable smell when heated; and, when chewed, they first crumble,
and afterwards stick together, and become soft and white like wax.

With the Turkish women it is customary to chew this resin for the purpose
of rendering their breath agreeable, and under a notion also that it tends
to make their teeth white, and to strengthen the gums. They also mix it in
fragrant waters, and burn it with other odoriferous substances, by way of
perfume. It was formerly much used in medicine, as a remedy against pain in
the teeth and gums; and, dissolved in spirit of wine, as a relief in
obstinate and long continued coughs: but it is now almost wholly disused
for these purposes; and is chiefly employed in the composition of varnish,
and by dentists, for filling up the cavities of decayed teeth.

The _wood_ of the mastic-tree is imported in thick knotty pieces, covered
externally with an ash-coloured bark. This wood is accounted a mild,
balsamic astringent; and a preparation of it, under the name of _aurum
potabile_, is strongly recommended, by some of the German writers, in
coughs, nausea, and weakness of the stomach.

  259. _HEMP is the fibrous part of the stalks of a plant_ (Cannabis
  sativa, Fig. 82) _which grows wild in the East Indies, and is much
  cultivated in different parts of Europe._

  _It has the lower leaves in slender finger-like divisions; the male
  flowers in small loose spikes, at the end of the stem and branches; and
  the female flowers single, at the junction of the leaves and stem._

The principal country for hemp, as an article of commerce, is Russia, few
other countries of Europe growing a quantity sufficient for their own
consumption. It is cultivated in some parts of Britain, but particularly in
the counties of Suffolk and Norfolk. The soil best adapted to it is a moist
but loose sandy loam, or the black mould of low lands near water. The seed
is sown in April or May; and the plants, which attain the height of five or
six feet, are in a state to be pulled up in three or four months; the male
plant, or _fimble hemp_, as it is called, being ready some time before the
female plants, which have the name of _karle_ or _seed-hemp_.

As soon as the hemp is pulled, it is tied in bundles and set up to dry;
and, at the end of about ten days, the bundles are loosened at the top, and
the heads are held upon a hurdle by one person, whilst another, with a
small threshing-flail, beats out the seed.

In the preparation of hemp for the manufacturer two modes are pursued. One
of these is to spread it out on stubble or pasture ground, that the fibrous
parts may be rendered separable by the gradual operation of the weather;
the other is to immerse the bundles, for some days, in stagnant water. The
next process consists in separating the bark, or hemp, from the stalks:
this is effected either by pulling out the stalk with the hand, or by
machinery similar to that adopted in the preparation of flax (97). After
some other operations the hemp is beaten in mills, and then combed or
dressed by drawing it through instruments called _hackles_, which are
somewhat similar to the combs of wool-manufacturers.

Thus prepared, the hemp is spun into thread, which is made into twine,
ropes, and cordage of every description; and woven into canvas, and strong
cloth of various kinds. Indeed so great is the importance of this
production, particularly for the cordage, cables, and the rigging of ships,
that, to encourage its growth, an act of parliament was passed in 1783,
directing a bounty of three pence per stone to be paid on all hemp raised
in Great Britain; and imposing heavy duties on hemp imported from foreign

From _hemp-seed_ a valuable kind of _oil_ is procured, by pressure, which
is peculiarly adapted for burning, as it is perfectly limpid and without
smell: it is also used for making the soap called green soap. The seeds
themselves are sometimes employed in the feeding of poultry, from a notion
that they cause the hens to lay a greater number of eggs than they
otherwise would do. They are also given as food to singing birds; but, if
in great quantity, they are supposed to injure the plumage. The _stalks_,
after the hemp is taken from them, afford an excellent fuel. The water in
which hemp has been soaked is in a high degree poisonous.

  260. _HOPS are the dried flower-buds of a climbing British plant_
  (Humulus lupulus, Fig. 81), _with a rough and angular stem, and leaves
  generally in three or five lobes or divisions, and serrated._

Although hops grow wild, in great abundance, on hedges in several parts of
the south of England, there is reason to suppose that their use was first
made known from the Continent in the reign of Henry the Eighth.

A hop plantation requires the growth of some years before it is in
perfection. The plants begin to push up their young stems about the month
of April. When these are three or four inches above the ground, poles about
twenty feet high are driven in to support them during their growth. The
season for picking hops usually commences about the middle of September.
This work is performed by men, women, and children. Proper baskets, bins,
or cribs being in readiness, the plants are cut off close to the ground,
and the poles are drawn up. These are placed upon the bins, with the plants
upon them, and three or more persons on each side, pick off the hops. After
this they are dried in a kiln, and, when dry, are carried into, and kept,
for five or six days, in an apartment called the stowage-room, until they
are in a state to be put into bags. This is done through a round hole, or
trap, cut in the floor of the stowage-room, exactly equal in dimensions to
the mouth of the bag, and immediately under which this mouth is fastened.
In each of the lower corners of the bag a small handful of hops is tied;
and a person, called the packer, places himself in it, and, by a heavy
leaden weight, which he constantly moves round in the places where he is
not treading, presses and forces the hops down, in a very close manner,
into the bag, as fast as they are thrown to him by another labourer. The
work thus proceeds till the bag is quite full, when each of the upper
corners has a few hops tied in it, in the same manner as those at the
bottom. These serve as handles for moving the bags. The bag is then taken
away, and its mouth is properly sewed up and secured.

The hops of finest colour and best sample are put into bags of finer
manufacture than the others, under the denomination of _pockets_; and the
inferior sorts are packed in canvas of coarser kind, called _bags_.

When the hop-picking is completed, the poles are cleared from the binds or
plants which adhered to them, and are stacked or piled together. The
_binds_, when perfectly dried, are either stacked or placed in sheds, to be
used as fuel in ovens, or otherwise. Sometimes they are burnt upon the
land, for the ashes to serve as manure, trodden in the farm-yard, or
allowed to be taken away by the labourers for their own use.

As the hop-plants are liable to be injured in various ways during their
growth, they are considered a very precarious crop. They suffer from the
attacks of insects, from honey-dew, from blight, from hot sunny weather
after rain, and by winds and storms.

The principal _use of hops_, in brewing, is for the preservation of malt
liquor, and to communicate to it an agreeably aromatic bitter flavour. The
best hops are used for ale and the finer kinds of malt liquor, and inferior
kinds are used for porter. The odour of hops hung over a bed, or a pillow
stuffed with hops, has been said to promote sleep, after the application of
opium has failed. The _young shoots_ and tops are often gathered from the
hedges, by poor people, and boiled and eaten in the manner of asparagus. Of
the woody part of the _hop-binds_, after having been steeped in water, and
worked into a pulp, a coarse kind of paper may be made.


  261. _YAMS are an American and West Indian root of very irregular shape,
  which possess properties somewhat similar to those of the potatoe, but
  they are less mealy, and, in a raw state, are very viscous._

  _The plants_ (Dioscorea bulbifera) _which produce these roots have
  heart-shaped leaves, and a stem that creeps along the ground like ivy._

In some of the rich lands of South America, yams are said to grow to the
weight of fifty or sixty pounds each; and are so productive that an acre of
ground planted with them has been known to produce roots to the weight of
from 20,000 to 30,000 pounds. Yams are propagated by setting the eyes, in
the same manner as we plant potatoes; and, in six or eight months, they
arrive at maturity.

When they are dug out of the ground, they are, for a little while, exposed
to the sun to dry; and if, after this, they be packed in casks full of dry
sand, they may be preserved, without injury, for many months. They are
consequently often used as sea-store for vessels about to sail on long
voyages, and are frequently brought into England. Several attempts have
been made to cultivate yams in this island; and these have been attended
with a certain degree of success in the counties of Mid-Lothian, Perth, and
Stirling in Scotland, where they are used for the feeding of cattle. There
are two kinds, one red, and the other white. The former of these contain a
more nutritive food than the latter, though their flavour is much less

With the negroes, in the West Indian islands, the yam is a very important
article of food. When roasted, it is so wholesome and nutritive that it is
preferred by them even to bread. Like potatoes, yams may be converted into
bread, by mixture with a portion of wheat or barley flour. They are
sometimes made into soup, puddings, and other useful dishes.


262. _The ABELE, or GREAT WHITE POPLAR-TREE_ (Populus alba, Fig. 74), _is a
British tree which grows in hedges and woods, near brooks, and is known by
its leaves being nearly triangular, irregularly jagged at the edges, and
cottony underneath._

The quickness of growth of this tree is so great that it will sometimes
make shoots from eighteen to twenty feet in length in one year; and the
trees attain their full growth in the course of twenty years. The _wood_ is
white and soft, but tough and of close grain, and not subject to warp or
shrink. Hence it has been found useful for the flooring of rooms, and for
making laths and packing boxes. For turnery ware it is preferred to most
other kinds of wood, on account of its peculiar whiteness, and the ease
with which it is worked in the lathe. "Of this wood," says Evelyn, "people
also made shields of defence, in sword and buckler days."

The _bark_ of the abele-tree is said to be serviceable as a remedy in
intermittent fevers; and Dioscorides informs us that if it be chopped small
and sowed in rills, well and richly manured, it will yield a plentiful crop
of mushrooms.

  263. _The ASPEN, or TREMBLING POPLAR_ (Populus tremula), _is a tree which
  grows in moist woods; has nearly circular leaves, toothed and angular at
  the edges, smooth on both sides, and attached to footstalks so long and
  slender as to be shaken by the slightest wind._

There is scarcely any situation in which the aspen will not flourish, but
it succeeds best where the soil is moist and gravelly. Its _wood_ is light,
porous, soft, and of white colour; and, though inferior in excellence to
that of the white poplar, is applicable to many useful purposes,
particularly for field-gates, the frames of pack-saddles, for milk-pails,
clogs, and the wood-work of patterns. It is improper for bedsteads, as it
is liable to be infested by bugs. In some countries the _bark_ of the young
trees is made into torches.

  264. _The BLACK POPLAR_ (Populus nigra, Fig. 75) _is a native tree of
  this country, known by its somewhat trowel-shaped leaves, which taper to
  a point, and are serrated, and smooth on both sides._

This tree grows rapidly, and attains a considerable size. Its _wood_ is
soft and light, and in some respects useful to engravers; and is
occasionally sawed into boards, though these are not in general much
esteemed. The _bark_ is so thick and light that it is not unfrequently used
by fishermen as buoys or floats to support their nets. The inhabitants of
Kamtschatka dry and pulverise the _inner rind_ of the black poplar-tree,
and use it as an ingredient in bread. The _buds_, when they first appear,
are covered with and contain a viscous and fragrant juice, which may be
advantageously used in plasters.

  265. _The LOMBARDY or ITALIAN POPLAR_ (Populus dilatata) _grows wild in
  Lombardy and the northern parts of Italy, and is distinguished by its
  somewhat trowel-shaped and serrated leaves, being smooth on both sides,
  and wider than they are long._

From its slender and perpendicular growth the Lombardy poplar is found
useful for hop-poles, and may be formed into masts for small vessels. The
wood, which is soft and free from knots, is employed by joiners,
carpenters, and cartwrights. It is recommended as peculiarly valuable for
the floors of granaries, some persons believing it so obnoxious to insects
that weevils will not continue in such granaries. It may be wrought into
very flexible shafts for carriages, or felloes for wheels; and, not being
liable to split, is peculiarly adapted for packing cases.

The growth of this tree is so rapid, and the space of ground which it
occupies is so small, that it is in almost universal request as an
ornamental tree, in places that are not sufficiently spacious to admit of
trees of more spreading form.


  266. _SAGO is a granulated preparation from the pith of a species of
  palm-tree_ (Cycas circinalis) _which grows in India and Africa._

  _This tree attains the height of thirty or forty feet; has a straight and
  somewhat slender stem, and winged leaves at the summit, each seven or
  eight feet long, with the leaflets long and narrow._

The preparation of sago, under different forms, constitutes a principal
source of employment to the inhabitants of many parts of the coast of
Malabar, as well as those of several of the islands of the East Indies.

The trunk of the sago-tree contains a farinaceous pith, to obtain which it
is sawn into pieces. After the pith is taken out, it is beaten in mortars,
and, water being poured upon the mass, this is allowed to stand for some
hours to settle; after which it is strained through a coarse cloth, and,
the finest particles running through with the water, the grosser ones are
left behind and thrown away, or washed over a hair sieve through which only
the edible parts can pass. These are allowed to subside. The water is then
poured off, and the flour, being properly dried, is made into cakes and
baked for use, or is granulated in a manner somewhat similar to that
adopted in the preparation of tapioca (251). It is in the latter state that
sago is imported into Europe, where it is much used as a nourishing and
agreeable diet for sick persons, in puddings and other culinary

  267. _The COMMON JUNIPER_ (Juniperus communis) _is an evergreen shrub,
  with slender and pointed leaves, that grows on heaths in several parts of
  the south of England._

  _The leaves grow in threes; each is tipped with a spine, and is longer
  than the ripe fruit, which is a blackish purple berry._

Juniper _berries_ are at first green; and they continue upon the trees two
years before they become ripe and assume their purple colour. When ripe
they have a sweetish aromatic taste. The Swedes prepare, from these
berries, a beverage which they consider useful as a medicine; and in some
parts of the Continent juniper berries are roasted, ground, and adopted as
a substitute for coffee. In Sweden they are eaten at breakfast, in the form
of a conserve; and, in Germany, they are frequently used as a culinary
spice, and especially for imparting their peculiar flavour to sour crout.
Spirits impregnated with an essential oil distilled from them have the name
of juniper water or _gin_. But it is a common practice to adopt spirit of
turpentine (246) instead of this. Juniper-berries are imported into this
country from Holland and Italy. Their smell is strong, but not
disagreeable; and their flavour is warm, pungent, and sweetish, leaving a
bitter taste in the mouth. The essential oil of these berries, if mixed
with nut-oil (241), makes an excellent varnish for pictures, woodwork, and

The _wood_ of the juniper-tree is of reddish colour, very hard, and so
durable that it will last more than a hundred years without decay. It is
employed in veneering, for making cabinets, and for ornamental furniture.
Charcoal formed from it affords a heat so lasting, that live embers are
said to have been found in the ashes of juniper-trees after they have been
covered up for more than twelve months. Such is the fibrous nature of the
_bark_ that it may be manufactured into ropes and other cordage.

From the crevices of the bark, or through perforations made in it by
insects, a resinous gum exudes, which has the name of _gum sandarach_.
This, which is of pale yellowish colour, very brittle, and inflammable,
possesses a pungent aromatic taste, and emits a fragrant odour when burnt.
It is imported from the Continent, in small pieces or tears, about the size
of peas. When powdered and passed through a fine sieve, this is the
substance called _pounce_, which is used for rubbing upon writing paper, in
places where it has been scratched. Considerable quantities of this gum are
consumed in the preparation of varnish, and particularly of one kind, used
by cabinet-makers and painters, called _vernis_.

  268. _The RED or COMMON CEDAR is a species of juniper_ (Juniperus
  virginiana) _which grows in North America and the West Indies._

  _It is distinguished by its leaves growing in threes, and being fixed by
  their base, the younger ones lying upon each other, and the older ones

The _wood_ of this tree is in much request for the outsides of black lead
pencils. It is soft and incapable of high polish, but, on account of its
powerful fragrance, and consequently resisting the attacks of insects, it
not unfrequently used for the bottoms of drawers, and the inside of
cabinets. Some years ago it was in much request for wainscotting and
cabinet work; but, since the introduction of mahogany, it has been in great
measure neglected for these purposes.

  269. _The YEW is a well-known evergreen tree_ (Taxus baccata), _which has
  dark, narrow, pointed, and prickly leaves, and red berries, in the hollow
  part of the extremity of which a green seed appears._

The cultivation of the yew was formerly very extensive throughout nearly
the whole of the British dominions, since of the _wood_ of this tree, which
is peculiarly hard, smooth, and tough, our ancestors manufactured their
bows. Hence, as well as on account of its gloomy and funereal aspect, it
was usually planted in churchyards. But, when the introduction of fire-arms
began to supersede the use of the bow, the yew was no longer cultivated
than as an ornamental tree in parks and pleasure grounds.

In the formal style of gardening which was anciently prevalent, few trees
were more the subject of admiration than this, from its bearing to be
clipped, without injury, into almost any form. Yews were cut into the shape
of men, quadrupeds, birds, ships, and other vegetable monsters, but such
absurd fancies have of late years almost wholly disappeared. These trees
are at present advantageously planted in hedges, as a fence for orchards
and shrubberies, which nothing can injure.

The _wood_ of the yew-tree is hard, beautifully veined, and susceptible of
high polish. Hence it is valuable as a wood for veneering, and is much used
for card boxes, small cabinets, and other articles. It is frequently used
by turners and cabinet-makers; and might perhaps be advantageously
substituted for box (232) by engravers and other artists in that wood. From
its hardness and durability, it may be made into cogs for mill-wheels, into
axle-trees, and flood-gates for fish-ponds, which are scarcely susceptible
of decay. The _berries_ are sweet and clammy, and are often eaten by
children without inconvenience; though when eaten to excess, and
particularly if the stones be swallowed, they are injurious. An ardent
spirit might no doubt be obtained from them by distillation. The _leaves_
of the yew-tree are extremely poisonous both to the human species and to





  270. _The PLANTAIN-TREE_ (Musa paradisiaca), _which is much cultivated in
  the West Indies and South America, has a soft stem, fifteen or twenty
  feel high, with several leaves on the summit; and bears a fruit of pale
  yellow colour, somewhat shaped like a cucumber, about a foot in length,
  and two inches thick._

  _The leaves are frequently eight feet long, and more than two feet broad,
  and are so thin and tender that they are often torn by the wind. The
  fruit is produced in bunches so large as each to weigh forty pounds and

To the negroes of the West Indian islands the plantain is an invaluable
fruit, and, like bread to the Europeans, is with them denominated the staff
of life. In Jamaica alone many thousand acres are planted with these trees.
This fruit is usually gathered before it is ripe, and, after the skin has
been peeled off, is roasted for a little while in a clear fire; it is then
scraped and eaten as bread, for which it is an excellent substitute.
Plantains are sometimes boiled, and eaten with salt meat; they are also cut
into slices and fried, pounded, and made into puddings, and used in various
other ways. Horses, cattle, swine, and other domestic animals, are fattened
with them. When ripe they may be eaten raw, and, in this state, they have
somewhat the taste of a ripe pear.

The _leaves_ of the plantain-tree, being soft and smooth, are sometimes
employed as dressings after blisters; and, when green, are used as food for

The vegetation of this tree is so rapid that if a line or thread be drawn
across, and on a level with the top of one of the leaves, when it begins to
expand, it will be seen, in the course of an hour, to have grown nearly an

  271. _The BANANA is a valuable plant_ (Musa sapientum) _which grows in
  the West Indies and other tropical countries, and has leaves about six
  feet in length, and a foot broad in the middle; and fruit four or five
  inches long, and about the shape of a cucumber._

When ripe, the banana is an agreeable _fruit_, with a soft and luscious
pulp; and is frequently introduced in desserts in the West Indies. The
Spaniards have a superstitious dislike to cut this fruit across; they
always slice it from end to end, because, in the former case, the section
presents an imaginary resemblance to the instruments of our Saviour's
crucifixion. The banana is sometimes fried in slices as fritters. If the
pulp of this fruit be squeezed through a fine sieve, it may be formed into
small loaves, which, after having been properly dried, may be kept for a
great length of time.

  272. _MILLET is a small yellowish seed of a grassy plant_ (Holcus
  sorghum), _with large and compact stalks which rise to the height of
  seven or eight feet, and is much cultivated in several parts of India and

In some countries millet _seed_ is ground into flour and converted into
bread; but this is brown and heavy. It is, however, useful in other
respects as food, and is an excellent seed for the fattening of poultry. A
good vinegar has been made from it, by fermentation; and, on distillation,
it yields a strong spirit. Millet seed is imported into this country from
the East Indies, for the purpose chiefly of puddings; and, by many persons,
it is preferred to rice. The _stalks_ of the millet plant, if subjected to
the same process that is adopted with the sugar-cane, yield a sweet juice,
from which an excellent kind of sugar may be made.

  273. _GUM ARABIC is a well-known drug, obtained from a tree_ (Mimosa
  nilotica) _which grows in Egypt._

  _This tree has leaves doubly winged, with spines at the base, and small
  flowers, of globular shape, growing four or five together on slender

The principal supply of gum arabic in this country is obtained from
Barbary, Turkey, and the Persian Gulf. The average quantity imported from
the Persian Gulf, betwixt 1804 and 1808, was about 7500 hundred weight per
annum, and the price for which it was vended at the East India Company's
sales was about 3_l._ per hundred weight. It used formerly to be packed in
skins, but it is now brought in large casks. The trees which yield it grow
abundantly in numerous parts of Africa and Asia, but the gum does not
freely exude from them except in tropical regions. It issues from clefts in
the bark, in the same manner as the gum of the cherry and plum trees of our
orchards and gardens: and, by exposure to the air, it soon becomes hard and
solid. We are informed that, in some parts of Egypt, the inhabitants
procure this gum, by boiling pieces of the roots of the trees, and
afterwards separating it from the water. We receive gum arabic in small
irregular masses, or rough pieces, of pale yellowish colour, and roundish

It is, however, to be remarked, that, by far the greatest part of the gum
which is sold in the shops under this name is not such, but is the
production of another species of tree (_Mimosa Senegal_), and is properly
called _gum Senegal_, The latter is imported from Senegal, Guinea, and
other parts of Africa. It is generally seen in large rough pieces, of
roundish figure, and brownish hue, more or less pure; possesses similar
properties to the other, and is much cheaper.

On account of their mucilaginous qualities, these two kinds of gum, under
the name of gum arabic, were formerly used for several purposes in
medicine; and, in coughs and hoarsenesses, were considered of great
service. They are now principally in request by the manufacturers of
water-colours; by dyers, and artificers of different kinds. In Africa the
latter constitutes a principal ingredient in the food of the inhabitants.
They sometimes dissolve it in milk: and this solution of it is esteemed a
favourite repast by some of the tribes.

The dried _juice_ of the _unripe fruit_ of Egyptian mimosa is called
_acacia_, and is to this day much used in medicine by the Egyptians. It is
sometimes imported into this country in roundish masses, wrapped in thin
bladders; and is externally of deep brown colour, and of a yellowish or
reddish brown within.

  274. _MYRRH is a gummy, resinous substance, obtained from a tree which
  grows in Abyssinia, Arabia, and other countries of the East, but
  respecting which we are hitherto possessed of no certain account. Mr.
  Bruce, however, imagined it to be a species of mimosa._

This drug is generally imported in a kind of grains, of irregular form; of
brownish or reddish yellow colour, and somewhat transparent. Its smell is
aromatic; and its taste is pungent and bitter. In its medicinal effects,
myrrh, when taken into the stomach, is supposed to warm and strengthen it,
and also to strengthen the other viscera. It is believed to resist
putrefaction in all parts of the body; and, hence, has been recommended as
a medicine in malignant, putrid, and pestilential fevers; and in small-pox.

At the East India Company's sales this drug is sold at the rate of about
twenty pounds per hundred weight. It is, however, liable to great abuses.
The larger masses, in particular, are frequently an artificial composition,
skilfully incrusted with a coat of myrrh.


  275. _MANNA is a concrete or dried juice, procured from several species
  of ash-tree, but particularly from the_ FLOWERING ASH (Fraxinus ornus,
  Fig. 76), _which is much cultivated in Calabria and Sicily._

  _This tree somewhat resembles the common ash. It has winged leaves, with
  an odd one at the end, the leaflets oblong, pointed, serrated, and
  veined, standing on footstalks, and of bright green colour. The flowers
  are whitish, and appear in close bunches, about the month of May or

The trees that are cultivated for the production of manna are chiefly
planted on the eastern sides of hills. This substance exudes spontaneously
from them; but as the supply thus obtained would be insufficient for the
demand, incisions are made in the bark to obtain it more copiously. These
incisions are formed, in the summer time, lengthwise in the tree, and each
about a span long. They are begun at the lower part of the trunk, and
repeated upward, at a little distance from each other, as high as the
branches. One side of the tree is first cut; the other side being reserved
until the ensuing year, when it undergoes a similar treatment. From the
wounds thus made a thick whitish juice immediately begins to flow, which
gradually hardens on the bark, and in the course of a few days acquires a
sufficient consistence to be taken off. It is collected in baskets, and
afterwards packed in chests or boxes. Sometimes the manna flows in such
abundance that it runs upon the ground, and thus becomes mixed with various
impurities, unless it be prevented, as is sometimes the case, by placing
for its reception large leaves, stones, chips of wood, or straw. The
collecting of manna generally terminates about the end of September.

This substance is known by druggists under different names, according to
its purity, rather than from any essential difference in the article
itself. The best Calabrian manna is imported in oblong, light, and crumbly
flakes or pieces of whitish or pale yellow colour, and somewhat transparent
appearance. The inferior sorts are moist, unctuous, and of darker colour.

Manna is a mild and agreeable laxative medicine, particularly with the
addition of a little cinnamon water, or other warm aromatic: and it is
useful in asthmatic complaints, as well as in inflammatory affections of
the breast. It is sometimes counterfeited by a composition of sugar and
honey, mixed with a small portion of scammony.

The miraculous substance mentioned in the Old Testament by the name of
manna, cannot, of course, be considered to have any alliance whatever with
the manna thus produced. This remark would not have been made, did not
young persons sometimes inconsiderately confound the two substances.

  276. _The ASH-TREE_ (Fraxinus excelsior, Fig. 79) _is a well-known
  British tree, with winged leaves; the leaflets in four or five pairs,
  with an odd one, serrated, and without footstalks; and the flowers
  without petals._

Of late years this valuable tree has been much planted in several parts of
England. It is of hardy nature, and thrives even in barren soils. If
planted in moist situations, the roots, spreading wide in every direction
near the surface, have a tendency to render the ground dry and firm. The
_timber_, which has the rare advantage of being nearly as good when young
as when old, is white, and so hard and tough as generally to be esteemed
next in value to oak. It is much used by coach-makers, wheel-wrights, and
cart-wrights; and is made into ploughs, axle-trees, felloes of wheels,
harrows, ladders, and other implements of husbandry. It is likewise used by
ship-builders for various purposes, and by coopers for the hoops of tubs
and barrels. Where, by frequent cutting, the wood has become knotty,
irregular, and veined, it is in much request for cabinet-work by mechanics
on the Continent. The best season for felling ash-trees is from November to
February. As fuel, this tree burns better whilst wet and green than other

We are informed that, in the northern parts of Lancashire, when grass is
scarce, the small farmers frequently cut off the tops of ash-trees to feed
their cows with the _leaves_ and tender branches; but these are said to
spoil the taste of the milk. Mr. Pennant states that, in the reign of Queen
Elizabeth, the inhabitants of Colton and Hawkshead-Fells remonstrated
against the number of forges then lately erected in that part of the
country, because they consumed the loppings of the trees, which formed the
sole winter food for their cattle. The leaves of ash-trees were formerly
much used in the adulteration of tea, under the name of _smouch_; but this
practice has of late been prohibited by act of parliament.

The _bark_ of the ash-tree is employed in the tanning of calf-skins, and
sometimes in dyeing black and other colours. The _inner bark_ has been
proposed as a substitute for Peruvian bark, in the cure of intermittent

  277. _EBONY is the wood of a species of palm-tree_ (Diospiros ebenum),
  _which grows in the island of Ceylon, and has smooth, leathery, oblong,
  and pointed leaves, and rough-haired buds._

The black and valuable substance known to us by the name of ebony, is the
centre part only of the trees. The outside wood is white and soft, and
either decays soon, or is destroyed by insects, which leave the black part
untouched. Ebony is imported into this country from the East Indies. It is
exceedingly hard and heavy, admits of being highly polished, and is
principally used by cabinet-makers and inlayers for the veneering of
cabinets and other ornamental work. The wood of the pear-tree, stained
black, is frequently substituted for ebony.

The ripe _fruit_ of the ebony tree is eaten by the natives of Ceylon; but
it is astringent, and not very palatable.

Linnæus was of opinion that ebony was the wood of a shrub (_ebenus
cretica_) which grows in the island of Crete, and has silky leaves and
rose-coloured flowers.

  278. _The PAWPAW is a fruit about the size of a small melon, but of very
  various shape, the production of a species of palm-tree_ (carica papaya),
  _which grows in tropical climates, both of the eastern and western parts
  of the world._

  _The tree is twenty feet and upwards in height; naked almost to the
  summit; and marked, through its whole length, with the scars of fallen
  leaves. Its leaves are on foot-stalks two feet in length, and deeply
  divided into seven, nine, or eleven large lobes. The flowers are
  axillary, white, and sweet scented._

In shape the _fruit_ of the pawpaw-tree is sometimes angular, and flattened
at both ends; sometimes oval or round; and sometimes pyramidal. When ripe
it is of yellow colour; and contains a yellow succulent pulp, of sweetish
taste, and aromatic smell, with many black or brown and furrowed seeds.
This fruit is seldom eaten raw, but when boiled it is esteemed a wholesome
sauce for fresh meat. The inhabitants of the countries where it is found
sometimes preserve it in sugar, with oranges, and small citrons. Thus
prepared, it may be kept a long time; and, in this state, it is not
unfrequently brought into Europe. When about half grown, the pawpaw is
sometimes pickled in vinegar with spices.

The fruit of the trifid-fruited custard apple (_annona triloba_) is called
pawpaw in some parts of America.

The _bark_ of the pawpaw-tree is manufactured by the Indians into cordage.
The _leaves_ are used in place of soap; and water-pipes are sometimes made
of the _stem_ of the tree.


  279. _The FIG is the pulpy fruit of a shrub, or low tree_ (Ficus carica,
  Fig. 83), _which is a native of the South of Europe, and some parts of

  _Fig-trees are branched from the bottom, and the leaves are large,
  smooth, and irregularly divided into from three to five deep and rounded
  lobes. The fruit grows on short and thick stalks, of purplish colour, and
  contains a soft, sweet, and fragrant pulp, intermixed with numerous small

It appears from history, both sacred and profane, that the fig-tree was an
object of attention in the earliest times. This fruit was one of the most
common and favourite aliments of the ancient Greeks, and constituted a very
valuable food with the peasants of some parts of Italy. Fig-trees are now
much cultivated in Turkey, Italy, and the Levant, as well as in Spain and
some of the southern parts of France. All the islands of the Archipelago
yield figs in abundance, but these are in general of very inferior quality.

The trees are propagated either by suckers, by layers, or by cuttings; and
the process of increasing and ripening the fruit is an art which requires
much attention. This, as it is practised in the Levant, is called
_caprification_, and is performed by wounding the buds of the figs, with a
straw or feather dipped in sweet oil at a certain period of their growth.

Figs are dried either by a furnace or in the sun, after having been dipped
in a scalding ley made of the ashes of the fig-tree. In this state they are
used both in medicine, and as food; and are considered more wholesome and
more easy of digestion than when fresh. They form a considerable branch of
commerce, and are exported, in boxes of different size and shape, to nearly
all the northern parts of Europe. When we receive them, their surface is
usually covered with a saccharine matter which has exuded from the fruit. A
small and cheap kind of fig is imported in small frails or baskets from

There are numerous varieties of the fig, but the common purple kind is the
hardiest of the whole. This is frequently cultivated in our gardens; and,
if screened from the north-east winds, it ripens, even: with us, in
tolerable perfection.

The wood of the fig-tree is of spongy texture, and, when charged with oil
and emery, is much used on the Continent by locksmiths, gun-smiths, and
other artificers in iron and steel, to polish their work. It is almost
indestructible, and on this account was formerly employed in eastern
countries as coffins for embalmed bodies.




  280. _FERN, or BRAKE_ (Pteris aquilina), _is a well-known cryptogamous
  plant, which grows wild on heaths, in woods, and in barren places._

Though this plant is an extremely troublesome weed to the farmer, from the
roots penetrating deep into the ground, it is applied to various uses in
rural oeconomy. When cut and properly dried, it serves as litter for horses
and cattle; and it supplies the place of thatch for covering the roofs of
cottages and stacks. Where coal is scarce, it is used for the heating of
ovens and burning of lime-stone.

The _ashes_ of fern, from their yielding a tolerably pure alkali, are
frequently used by manufacturers of glass, particularly in France. And, in
some parts of our own country, the poor people mix these ashes with water,
and form them into round masses which they call _fern balls_. These are
afterwards heated in a fire, and then, with water, are made into a ley for
the scouring of linen. They thus furnish a cheap substitute for soap.

Swine are fond of the roots of fern, and will feed freely upon them. We are
even informed that, with the inhabitants of Palma, one of the Canary
islands, they are sometimes made to supply the place of bread.

It is deserving of remark that, when the root of the fern is cut obliquely
across, it presents a kind of figure of the Imperial or Russian eagle; from
which circumstance Linnæus was induced to name it _Pteris aquilina_, or
"Eagle brake."

  281. _The_ LICHENS _constitute a very numerous family of plants, which
  grow on the bark of trees, on rocks, stones, and other substances; and
  have an indistinct fructification, in scattered wart-like tubercles, or
  excrescences, and smooth saucers or shields, in which the seeds are

  _Some of them have a powdery appearance, and others are crustaceous,
  leaf-like, shrub-like, herbaceous, or gelatinous._

  282. _The CALCAREOUS LICHEN_ (Lichen calcareus) _consists of a white
  crust with black tubercles._

This plant, which is found on lime-stone rocks in Wales, and the north of
England, is used in dyeing woollen and other cloths a scarlet colour.

  283. _CRAB'S-EYE LICHEN_ (Lichen parellus) _is a crustaceous, whitish,
  and granulated vegetable substance, with cups of the same colour, which
  have a thick and blunt border._

From this lichen, which is found on rocks and stones in mountainous
countries, and sometimes on stones near the sea-shore, is prepared the
bluish pigment called _litmus_. It is chiefly collected from rocks in the
north of England, packed in casks, and sent to London for sale.

  284. _TARTAREOUS LICHEN_ (Lichen tartareus) _is a whitish, crustaceous,
  vegetable production, with yellow cups or shields, which have a whitish

The inhabitants of the Highlands of Scotland gather this species of lichen
from the rocks, and, after cleaning, and some further preparation, which is
kept a secret by the manufacturers, they form it into cakes. These, when
dried, are pulverized, and sold to dyers by the name of _cudbear_, which is
a corruption of Cuthbert, the name of its inventor. In conjunction with
alum, the powder of the tartareous lichen is used in dyeing scarlet, and
also for striking a purple dye; but the colour produced by it is not very

  285. _ARCHELL, or PURPLE ROCK LICHEN_ (Lichen omphalodes), _is a
  vegetable production, of somewhat crustaceous consistence, and leaf-like
  form; the segments with many lobes, and of dark purplish brown colour,
  with dull purple saucers._

This kind of lichen grows upon rocks on the high stony moors of several
parts of England, Wales, and Scotland. When properly prepared, it imparts
to woollen cloth a reddish brown colour, or a dull but durable crimson. If
wool that has been dyed with it be dipped into a blue vat, it will acquire
a beautiful purple tinge. It is sometimes used as a styptic; and was
formerly applied as a remedy in inflammatory fevers and other complaints;
but, in the latter respect, it is now entirely neglected.

  286. _ORCHALL, or DYER'S LICHEN_ (Lichen rocella), _is a somewhat
  crustaceous and shrub-like vegetable production, of nearly cylindrical
  form, solid, without leaves, but little branched, and with blackish brown
  alternate tubercles._

In the Canary and Cape de Verd Islands, as well as in the Grecian
Archipelago, orchall is found in great abundance. It likewise grows in
Guernsey and in some parts of England, and is employed by dyers chiefly for
giving a bloom to other colours. This is effected by passing the dyed cloth
or silk through hot water slightly impregnated with it; but the bloom thus
communicated soon decays after it has been exposed to the air. When
prepared in a peculiar manner, orchall yields a rich purple tincture,
fugitive indeed, but very beautiful. Mixed with a solution of tin it is
said to dye a permanent scarlet. Orchall is the substance generally adopted
for colouring the spirits of thermometers. And it is a remarkable
circumstance that, as exposure to the air destroys its colour upon cloth,
so the exclusion of the air produces, in a few years, a like effect upon
the fluid in those tubes; but on breaking the tubes the colour is restored.

  287. _ICELAND LICHEN_ (Lichen islandicus) _is a leafy, membranous,
  vegetable production, of brownish green colour, jagged at the edges, and
  fringed, having large and purplish brown saucers or shields._

The name of this lichen is derived from that of the island in which it
chiefly grows. It is, however, also found in the Highlands of Scotland, and
in some of the northern parts both of England and Wales.

It abounds with nutritious mucilage; and, after having been steeped in
water to extract its bitter and laxative qualities, it is sometimes used as
medicine in coughs and consumptions. One ounce of Iceland lichen, boiled in
a pint of water, yields about seven ounces of mucilage. The inhabitants of
Iceland prepare from it a kind of gruel, which they mix with milk. They
also boil it in several waters, and then dry and make it into bread. In
Germany a durable brown dye is made by means of it; and, under another mode
of preparation, it imparts an excellent black tinge to white woollen yarn.

  288. _BLADDER FUCUS_ (Fucus vesiculosus) _is a species of sea-weed, of
  flat shape, with a middle rib, the edges entire, forked, and sometimes
  tumid at the ends, and furnished with several air bladders imbedded in
  the substance of the plant._

By far the most important application of this, one of the commonest of all
our marine plants, is for the making of _kelp_, which, in Scotland, affords
employment to many industrious families. So lucrative and so highly
esteemed is the bladder fucus, and some other plants nearly allied to it,
that the natives of several parts of the Western Islands have rolled large
masses of stone into the sea, with a view to promote and extend their

For the preparation of kelp these plants are dried, by exposure for some
time to the sun and air. They are then burnt by degrees in a kelp furnace,
which is generally a round hole dug in the earth. When the furnace is
nearly filled with the remains of the burnt sea-weeds, the whole is briskly
agitated with a rake or hook, till it is compacted, or becomes of a shining
glutinous consistence, in appearance not unlike melted iron. It is then
allowed to cool, and is afterwards placed in storehouses for exportation.
In this state it is an impure kind of carbonat of soda. In the Orkney
Islands every consideration is sacrificed to the making of kelp, nearly
3,000 tons of which are annually sent to market and sold at Leith,
Newcastle, and other places, at the rate of from seven to ten pounds per
ton of twenty-one hundred weight.

The inhabitants of Gothland boil this plant with coarse meal, as food for
swine; and the poorer classes of Scania thatch their cottages with it, and
also employ it as fuel. In the Hebrides it is customary to dry cheese,
without using any salt, by covering it with the ashes of the bladder fucus,
which abound in saline particles. This and other sea-weeds serve as a
winter food for cattle, which regularly frequent the shores for them at the
ebb of the tide: they are also used as manure for land.

A soapy liquor which is found in the bladders of this plant is sometimes
externally applied as a medicine for dispersing scrofulous and scorbutic
swellings, by simply bruising them in the hand and rubbing them on the
parts affected. When this plant is calcined or burnt in the open air, a
black and saline powder is produced, which, under the name of _vegetable
æthiops_, has been recommended as a dentrifice, and for other uses.

  289. _EATABLE WINGED FUCUS, or BLADDERLOCKS_ (Fucus esculentus), _is a
  simple, undivided, and sword-shaped sea-weed, which is olive-coloured,
  and sometime several yards in length_. _Its stem is four-cornered, runs
  through the whole length of the leaf, and is winged at the base._

This plant, which is very common on some of the shores of Scotland, and
also on those of Cornwall, and several parts of North Wales, is a grateful
food to cattle; and its stalk, when boiled, constitutes a very favourite
dish in Scotland. The proper season for gathering it is the month of
September, when it is in higher perfection than at any other time of the

  290. _SWEET FUCUS_ (Fucus saccharinus) _is a simple, undivided, and
  sword-shaped sea-weed, without any rib, of leathery consistence, and
  tawny green colour; and frequently five or six feet in length_. _Its
  stalk is round and hard._

This plant abounds on all our sea-shores: and, if slightly washed from the
sea-water, and dried in the air, it becomes covered with a sweet powdery
efflorescence. It is edible either in a raw state, or boiled as a pot-herb.
Sometimes it is hung up to serve the purpose of an hygrometer, which it
does in some degree by becoming flaccid during a moist state of the
atmosphere, and hard in dry weather.

  291. _DULSE, or RED PALMATE FUCUS_ (Fucus palmatus), _is a flat,
  membranous, and hand-shaped, sea-weed, of brownish crimson colour, smooth
  on both sides, and without any mid-rib._

In the markets of Edinburgh, and other parts of Scotland, this plant, which
is common on most of the British shores, is exposed for sale as an article
of food. After having been washed in fresh water, it is eaten raw, by
itself, in salad, or by poor people with other provisions. Sometimes it is
boiled and used as a pot-herb. If gradually dried, it gives out a whitish
powdery substance, which covers the whole plant, and has a sweet and
agreeable taste, somewhat resembling that of violets. In this state it is
frequently packed in casks for exportation. Some persons chew it as
tobacco. In Scotland it is occasionally used as a medicine, and it is
supposed to sweeten the breath and destroy worms.

  292. _GREEN or EDIBLE LAVER_ (Ulva lactuca) _is a thin, membranous,
  pellucid, and green vegetable substance, which is found on rocks, stones,
  and shells, in the sea and salt-water ditches in nearly all parts of
  Great Britain._

Of late years this plant, stewed with lemon juice, has been introduced to
the tables of the luxurious, as a sauce to be eaten with roast meat. Though
in a recent state it has a salt and bitterish flavour, and even when thus
prepared is not always relished at first, yet by habit most persons become
partial to it. The laver which is consumed in London is chiefly prepared in
the west of England, and packed in pots in a state ready for the table.
Some persons use laver medicinally, and it is esteemed wholesome for
scrofulous habits; but it can scarcely be taken in sufficient quantity to
do much good, without having too strong an effect on the bowels.

  293. _The MORELL_ (Phallus esculentus, Fig. 84) _is a kind of fungus with
  a naked and wrinkled stem, and an egg-shaped head, full of cells on its
  external surface._

As an ingredient for thickening and heightening the flavour of sauces and
soups, morells, which are chiefly found in woods and hedges in a loamy
soil, are in great esteem. For this purpose, after they are gathered, they
are strung upon pack-thread to be dried; and, when dry, they may be kept
without injury for many months.

In Germany, the persons employed in gathering morells found that they
always grew most abundantly in woods that had been burnt: and, with a view
of promoting their increase, they were accustomed to set fire to the woods,
until this practice was prohibited by the Government. Useful and palatable
as these plants are, it has been ascertained that, if gathered after having
been exposed for some days to wet weather, they are extremely pernicious.

  294. _The TRUFFLE_ (Tuber cibarium) _is a globular, solid, and warty
  fungus, without root, which grows at the depth of four or five inches
  beneath the surface of the earth, and is from the size of a pea to that
  of a potatoe._

This, one of the best of the edible funguses, is chiefly found in hilly
woods and pastures, which have a sandy or clayey bottom; and occurs on the
downs of Wiltshire, Hampshire, and Kent. Truffles are generally discovered
by means of dogs, which are taught to hunt for them by scent; and wherever
they smell one of them, they bark, and scratch it up. In Italy they are
hunted, in somewhat similar manner, by pigs.

Truffles are either served at table roasted in a fresh state like potatoes,
or they are cut into slices and dried, as an ingredient for sauces and
soups. Those that are most delicious are internally of white colour, and
have somewhat the odour of garlic.

In England truffles seldom exceed the weight of four or five ounces; whilst
on the Continent they are known to weigh as much as fifteen or sixteen
ounces each.

  295. _The PUFF-BALL_ (Lycoperdon bovista) _is a round kind of fungus,
  which is filled with a soft whitish flesh when young, and a fine brown
  powder when ripe._

The _powder_ of the puff-ball is sometimes used as a styptic, to prevent
the bleeding of recent wounds. This powder is extremely subtile, and is
very injurious to the eyes. Instances have occurred of persons who, having
had it blown into their face, have thereby been deprived of their sight for
a considerable time; and have also been affected with violent pain and

There is a curious experiment of taking a shilling from the bottom of a
vessel of water, without wetting the hand. This is said to be effected by
strewing a small quantity of the dust of the puff-ball on the surface; it
so strongly repels the fluid as to form a covering for the fingers, and
defend them from the contact of the water.

The fumes of the puff-ball, when burnt, have a powerfully narcotic quality;
and, on this account, they are sometimes used to take the combs from hives
without destroying the bees.

  296. _The COMMON MUSHROOM_ (Agaricus campestris) _is a fungus consisting
  of a white cylindrical stalk and a convex cover of white or brownish
  colour, which has beneath an irregular arrangement of gills, pinky when
  young, but afterwards of dark liver colour._

  _When it first appears above ground the mushroom is smooth and nearly
  globular, and in this state it is called a_ button.

In England mushrooms are in great demand for the table. They are found wild
in parks, and other pastures where the turf has not been ploughed for many
years; and the best time for gathering them is in the months of August and

They are eaten fresh, either stewed or broiled; and are preserved for use
either by drying, by being pickled, or in powder. They are also employed in
making the well-known sauce called mushroom ketchup. As an article of food,
however, mushrooms are by no means wholesome, being so tough, and having so
great a resemblance to soft leather, as to be almost indigestible. This is
particularly the case when they are of large size.

Mushrooms may be raised artificially on beds constructed for the purpose,
even in cellars; for if they have only warmth and moisture, the plants will
vegetate without light; but the most proper situations for them are under
sheds in the open air. The plants thus grown, however, have more toughness
than such as grow wild in the fields; and, in other respects, are much
inferior to them.

297. There is a kind of mushroom (_Agaricus georgii_) which is yellowish,
with yellowish white gills, and when full grown is sometimes so large as to
measure eighteen inches across. This is occasionally eaten, but, in many
instances, the use of it has been attended with injurious consequences.

298. In Covent Garden market a tall and spongy kind of mushroom (_Agaricus
procerus_), with white gills, and a large horizontal ring round the stem,
is frequently exposed for sale about the month of September.

299. On hedge-banks, in pastures, and in what are called fairy-rings, there
is a species of mushroom (_Agaricus orcades_), with brownish or watery
white gills, two or four in a set, a pale brown, convex, and irregular
cover, and a whitish stem. These are considered by many persons to be the
_champignons_ of the French cooks. They have a much higher flavour than the
common mushroom: but from their leathery nature are indigestible, except in
the form of powder, with sauces, or in ketchup, in all of which they are
very admirable.

With respect to the plants of the mushroom tribe, it ought to be observed
that, though several of them are edible, many are extremely poisonous.
Instances of the fatal effects arising from an indiscriminate adoption of
them are innumerable. Great caution, therefore, is requisite that such only
shall be used as are ascertained to be wholesome, particularly as, in many
instances, the poisonous species can scarcely be distinguished by the eye
from such as are innoxious. In cases of injury arising from poisonous
funguses, the best remedy that can be administered is an emetic.

  300. _SPUNK, or TOUCHWOOD_ (Boletus igniarius), _is a fungus somewhat
  shaped like a horse's hoof, with pores on the under side, and the upper
  part very hard and smooth, but marked with circular bands or ridges of
  different colours._

  _It grows horizontally on the trunks and large branches of several kinds
  of trees, when old and decayed._

In Germany, and in some parts of England, this fungus is used as tinder,
for which, on account of its readily catching fire, it is well adapted. It
is prepared by being boiled in a strong ley, dried, and again boiled in a
solution of salt-petre. In Franconia pieces of the inner substance of the
spunk are beaten so as to resemble leather, and are sewed together for
making garments. The inhabitants of Lapland frequently burn it about their
cottages, to keep off a species of gad-fly which is peculiarly injurious to
the young rein-deer.

This fungus is often employed as a styptic for the stopping of blood. When
intended for this use, the exterior hard substance is pared off, and the
coat underneath is separated from the porous part, and well beaten with a
hammer, until it becomes pliable. Thus prepared it is kept dry, in slices
of convenient size, for use; and, although it is not so much esteemed in
this country as it was some years ago, many of the continental surgeons
have a very high opinion of its efficacy.





  Abele. See Poplar, great white.
  Acacia, 262
  Acorns, uses of, 223
  Alder, wood, bark, branches, and leaves, uses of, 211
  Alkanet, description, properties, and uses of, 42
  Alligator pear, description and uses of, 120
  All-spice. See Pimento.
  Almond, common or sweet, description of, 140
  ----, whence obtained, how imported, and uses of, 140
  ----, oil and milk of, how prepared, 141
  ----, bitter, description and uses of, 141
  Aloe, American, description, culture, and uses of, 96, 97
  Aloes, description of several kinds, 93, 94
  ----, leaves, stems, and juice, uses of, 93, 94
  ----, Socotrine, description, culture, preparation, and uses of, 94
  ----, Barbadoes, common, or hepatic, 95
  ----, Caballine, or horse, 96
  Anise-seeds, description and uses of, 81
  Apple, fruit and wood, uses of, 147, 148
  Apricot, fruit, kernels, gum, and wood, uses of, 143
  Archell, description and use of, 270
  Areca, description and uses of, 231, 232
  Arnatto, or annotta, description of, how prepared, and uses of, 157
  Arrack, from what prepared, 106, 218
  Arrow-root, what it is, how prepared, and uses of, 9, 10
  ----, how adulterated, 10
  Artichoke, flowers, leaves, and stalks, uses of, 197
  ----, Jerusalem, description, culture, and uses of, 201
  Arum, common, description and uses of, 218, 219
  Asafoetida, description and uses of, 77
  ----, how obtained and exported, 77, 78
  Ash-tree, wood, leaves, and bark, uses of, 264
  Asparagus, description, cultivation, and uses of, 92, 93
  Aspen. See Poplar, trembling.

  Balsam, Friar's, or Turlington's, from what made, 130
  Bamboo canes, description and uses of, 100, 101
  Banana, description and uses of, 269
  Barberry, fruit, bark, and roots, uses of, 100
  Barilla, description of, and how prepared for use, 73
  Barley, cultivation and uses of, 27
  ----, pearl, how made, and uses of, 28
  ----, sugar, how made, 22
  Bay, common sweet, description and uses of, 119, 120
  Bay plum. See Guava.
  Beans, culture and uses of, 184
  Beech-tree, wood, fruit, and leaves, uses of, 220
  Beet, description and uses of, 71, 72
  Benjamin, gum. See Benzoin.
  Bent-grass, 32
  Benzoin, description of, how prepared, and uses of, 129, 131
  Bergamot, how prepared, 195
  Betel, what it is, and use of, 15
  Betel-nut. See Areca.
  Bilberries, uses of, 113
  Birch-tree, wood, bark, twigs, leaves, and sap, uses of, 210
  Bird-lime, how made, uses and properties of, 41
  Blackberries, uses of, 152
  Bleaberries. See Bilberries.
  Blend-corn, 28
  Boabab. See Sour gourd.
  Bore cole, 176
  Bottle gourd, description and uses of, 209
  Box-tree, value and uses of, 215
  Brake, description and uses of, 268
  Bran, uses of, 26
  Brandy, whence obtained, and how made, 69
  ----, distilled from potatoes and carrots, 55, 75
  Brank. See Buck wheat.
  Bread, prepared from turnips, arum roots, acorns, cassava, and sago, 175,
      219, 224, 239, 256
  Bread-fruit, description and uses of, 203, 204
  ----, tree, bark, juice, and flowers, uses of, 204, 205
  Brocoli, 176
  Broom, common, twigs, seeds, bark, &c., uses of, 181
  ----, Spanish, description and uses of, 181
  Buck-bean, or bog-bean, description and uses of, 43
  Buck-thorn, syrup, and bark, uses of, 56
  Buck-wheat, description, cultivation, and uses of, 114
  Bullace plums, description and uses of, 144
  ---- cheese, from what prepared, 144
  Bull-rush, uses of, 31
  Burgundy wine, 64
  Burgundy pitch, of what made, and uses of, 236

  Cabbage, common, culture and uses of, 176
  ---- tree, description and uses of, 230
  Cacao. See Chocolate.
  ----, butter of, 192
  Cajeput oil, what it is, and uses of, 195, 196
  Calabash tree, description and uses of, 170
  ----, African. See Sour gourd.
  Calyx, or flower-cup, 1
  Camomile, description and uses of, 199, 200
  Camphor, description, how obtained, and uses of, 117-119
  Canary wine, 68
  ---- grass, 33
  Canes, walking, description of, and whence obtained, 100
  ----, rattan, description and uses, 100
  ----, bamboo, description and uses, 100-102
  Caoutchouc. See Indian rubber.
  Cape madeira wine, 68
  Capers, description of, how prepared, and uses of, 153
  ----, substitutes for, 154, 181
  Capsicum, different kinds and uses of, 56
  Carraway, how cultivated, and uses of, 81
  Cardamoms, description, culture, and uses of, 8, 9
  Cardoon, description and uses of, 198
  Carriage grease, of what made, 235
  Carrot, cultivation and uses of, 74, 75
  Cashew-nut-tree and fruit, description and uses of, 121-123
  Cassava, or cassada, description and uses of, 238
  Cassia, and cassia buds, description and uses of, 117
  ----, officinal, description and uses of, 126, 127
  Castor-oil, how prepared, and uses of, 242
  Catechu. See Areca.
  Cauliflower, 176
  Cayenne pepper, how made, and uses of, 56, 57
  Cedar, red or common, description and uses of, 257
  Celery, uses of, 82
  Champaigne wine, 66
  Champignons, description and use of, 277
  Charcoal, durability and uses of, 224
  ----, vapour of, in what respect pernicious, 225
  Cherry-tree, fruit, wood, and gum, uses of, 142
  ---- brandy, how made, 142
  Chesnut, horse, fruit, husks, wood, and bark, uses of, 106
  ----, sweet, wood and fruit, properties and uses of, 220
  China, broken, how to cement, 89
  Chives, description and uses of, 91
  Chocolate, description, cultivation, preparation, and use of, 190, 191
  Cider, and cider wine, how made, 148
  Cinnamon, description, preparation, and uses of, 115, 117
  ----, oil of, 116
  ----, wild. See Cassia.
  Citron, description and uses of, 192
  Claret, 66
  Clover, cultivation and use of, 187
  Cloves, description, culture, preparation, and uses of, 164
  ----, oil of, 165
  Cocoa-nut-tree and fruit, kernels, milk, husks, shells, &c, uses of, 216
  Coffee-tree, description of, and how cultivated, 47
  ----, history of the use of, 48, 49
  ----, Mocha, West India, and Java, 49
  ----, how roasted, and use of, 49
  ----, substitutes for, 181, 184
  Cole-seed. See Rape-seed.
  Colewort, 176
  Constantia wine, 68
  Copal, description, preparation, and use of, 83
  ----, varnish, how made, 83
  Coriander, cultivation and uses of, 79
  Corinths. See Currants.
  Cork, how collected and prepared for use, and uses of, 225
  Cork cutting, how performed, 226
  Corolla or blossom, 2
  Côte rotie wine, 66
  Cotton, description, culture, and preparation of, 179
  ----, uses of, and trade in, 180
  Court plaster, how made, 130
  Cowage, or cow-itch, description and uses of, 182, 183
  Cowslip, use of, flowers, roots, and leaves, 43
  Crab-tree fruit, uses of, 147
  Cracow groats, 26
  Cranberries, description and uses of, 112
  Cuckoo fruit. See Arum.
  Cucumber, common, culture and uses of, 207
  Currants, dried, what they are, and whence obtained, 70
  ----, how cultivated and prepared for use, 71
  ----, red, juice, and inner bark, uses of, 60, 61
  Currants, black, leaves and berries, uses of, 61
  Curry powder, of what made, 9
  Cypress powder, of what made, 219
  Cypress-tree, description and uses of, 237

  Date-tree, description, cultivation, and management of, 246, 247
  ----, fruit, wood, pith, and leaves, uses of, 247, 248
  Deals, yellow and red, 233
  Dragon's-blood-tree, description and uses of, 98, 99
  Dulse, description, preparation, and use of, 273
  Dutch pink, from what prepared, 136

  Ebony, description and uses of, 265
  Eschalote. See Shallot.
  Elder, common, wood, bark, leaves, flowers, berries, &c. uses of, 83
  Elm-trees, timber, bark, and leaves, uses of, 73
  Endive, culture and uses of, 199

  Fan-palm, description and uses of, 98
  Fennel leaves, stalks, seeds, and roots, uses of, 80
  Fern, description and uses of, 268
  Ferula, stalks of, how anciently used, 78
  Fig-trees and figs, description, cultivation, and uses of, 267
  Filbert, 228
  Fir, Scots, description of, timber and bark, uses of, 232, 233
  ----, turpentine, resin, tar and pitch, how obtained from, 232, 233
  ----, spruce, description and uses of, 235
  Flax, description of, cultivation, preparation, and uses of, 85
  ----, Oil made from the seeds of, 86
  Flummery, what it is, and how made, 23
  Fox-glove, description and uses of, 169
  Frontignac wine, 66
  Fructification of vegetables, 1
  Fucus, bladder, description and use of, 271
  ----, eatable, winged, 272
  ----, sweet, and red palmate, 273
  Furze, uses of, 182

  Galls, use of, 223
  Gamboge, description of, how obtained, and uses of, 135
  Garlic, description and uses of, 89
  Gentian, description and uses of, 74, 75
  Gerkins, 207
  Gilead, balm or balsam of, how obtained, and uses of, 108
  Gin, with what flavoured, 257
  Ginger, description, cultivation, preparation, and uses of, 7
  Glass, broken, how to cement, 89
  Gooseberries, uses of, 61
  Gorze, uses of, 182
  Grafting of fruit-trees, how performed, and use of, 147
  Grapes, uses of, 69, 70
  Grass, sweet-scented vernal, uses of, 30
  ----, cotton, meadow, fox-tail, and Timothy or meadow cat's tail, 31
  ----, Fiorin or Orcheston long, 32
  ----, meadow soft, or Yorkshire white canary, purple melic, and reed
      meadow, 33
  ----, smooth-stalked meadow, and annual meadow, 34
  ----, crested dog's tail, sheep's fescue, hard fescue, and flote fescue,
  ----, rye or ray, 37
  ----, couch or squitch, 38
  Grits or groats, what they are, 23
  Guava, description and uses of, 137
  Guiacum, gum, how obtained, and uses of, 127
  Gum arabic, how and whence obtained, and uses of, 261
  ----, Senegal, 262
  ----, Sandarach, 257

  Hazel nut tree and fruit, uses of, 228
  Heath, common, stalks, tops, flowers, leaves, and seeds, uses of, 113
  Hemp, description of, how cultivated and prepared for use, 249
  ----, fimble, karle, or seed, 249
  ----, seed and stalks, uses of, 249
  Heps, conserve of, 151
  Hermitage wine, 66
  Hickory nut, 227
  Hock wine, 68
  Holly-tree, wood, leaves, berries, and bark, uses of, 14
  Hops, description and mode of culture of, 250, 251
  ----, how picked, dried, and prepared for use, and uses of, 251
  ----, substitutes for, in brewing, 43, 135
  Hornbeam, description and uses of, 229
  Horse-radish, description and uses of, 172

                      I. J.
  Iceland lichen, description, preparation, and use of, 271
  Indian corn. See Maize.
  Indian rubber-tree, description of, 240
  ----, how obtained and prepared for use, and uses of, 241
  Indigo, description, cultivation, preparation, and uses of, 188, 189
  Ipecacuanha, description, history, and use of, 62, 63
  Iris, common, description and uses of, 18
  Jack-fruit, description and uses of, 205, 206
  Jalap, description of, whence obtained, and uses of, 43
  Jasmine, oil of, how prepared, 12
  Jesuit's bark. See Peruvian bark.
  Jesuit's drops, from what made, 130
  Juniper, berries, wood, bark, and gum, uses of, 256

  Kale, Dorsetshire, 176
  ----, Sea, description, cultivation, and uses of, 171
  Kelp, preparation, value, and uses of, 271

  Lachryma Christi wine, 67
  Ladanum, or Labdanum, how collected, and uses of, 166
  Lamp black, how made, and uses of, 235
  Larch, wood, bark, and sap, uses of, 236
  Laudanum, how prepared, and uses of, 156
  Lavender, description and culture of, 167
  ----, flowers, oil, and spirit of, 168
  ----, water, how prepared, 168
  Laver, green or edible, description, preparation, and use of, 274
  Leeks, description and uses of, 89
  Lemon, description and uses of, 192
  ----, essential salt of, from what prepared, 193
  Lettuce, culture and uses of, 198
  Lichen, calcareous, description and uses of, 269
  ----, crab's eye, and tartareous, 269
  ----, purple rock, and dyer's, 270
  ----, Iceland, 271
  Lignum vitæ, wood, resin, bark, and flowers, use& of, 127
  Lime, a species of lemon, description and uses of, 194
  Lime, or Linden-tree, flowers, wood, juice, leaves, and seed, uses of,
  Line-seeds, what they are, and uses of, 86
  Linseed oil, how prepared, and use of, 86
  Ling. See Heath.
  Liquorice, description, cultivation, and uses of, 186, 187
  ----, Spanish, how made, and uses of, 187
  Lisbon wine, 65
  Logwood, description of, how obtained, and uses of, 131, 132
  Lords and Ladies. See Arum.
  Lucern, description, cultivation, and uses of, 188

  Macaroni, of what made, and uses of, 26
  Mace, what it is, how prepared for use, and uses of, 246
  Madder, description, preparation, property, and uses of, 39
  Madeira wine, 68
  Mahogany, description of, and how obtained, 132
  ----, Honduras and Jamaica, 133
  ----, when first introduced, and uses of, 134
  Maize, description and culture of, 206
  ----, seed, husks, stalks, &c. uses of, 206, 207
  Malaga wine, 66
  Malmsey Madeira, 66
  Malt, how made, and used, 27
  Mangel wurzel, description and uses of, 72
  Mangoes, description and use of, 59
  ----, imitations of, 59, 207
  Manna, description of, how obtained, and uses of, 263
  ----, seeds, what they are, and uses of, 36
  Maple, common, description and uses of, 110
  ----, sugar, description of, 110
  ---- ----, juice and wood, uses of, 111
  Maslin, what it is, 28
  Mastic, description of, mode of obtaining, and uses of, 248
  ----, wood and varnish, 249
  Matweed, sea, uses of, 37
  Medlar, description and uses of, 146
  Melon, common or musk, description, culture, and uses of, 207
  ----, water, description and uses of, 209
  Millet, description and use of, 260
  Mint, common or spear, description and uses of, 168
  ----, pepper, description and uses of, 169
  Molasses, how made, 21
  Morell, description and use of, 274
  Moselle wine, 67
  Mulberry-tree, fruit, juice, leaves, and bark, uses of, 214
  ----, cider, how made, 214
  ----, white, 215
  Muscadel wine, 66
  Mushroom, common, description of, how grown, and use of, 276
  ----, description and uses of various kinds, 276, 277
  Mustard, description and uses of, and how adulterated, 172
  Myrrh, what it is, whence obtained, and uses of, 262
  Myrtle common, description and use of, 137

  Nankeen dye (Scot's), of what made, 157
  Nectarine, 140
  Nettle, common, leaves, tops, stalks, roots, flowers, and seed, uses of,
      213, 214
  Nettle stings, description of, 214
  Nightshade, deadly, description, injurious effects, and uses of, 53, 54
  Nutmeg tree, description of, 244
  Nutmegs, how gathered and prepared for use, and uses of, 245
  Nut-oil, from what prepared, 228
  Nux vomica, description and uses of, 58

  Oak tree, wood, bark, saw-dust, and acorns, uses of, 222-225
  Oatmeal, uses of, 24
  Oats, mode of cultivation and uses of, 24
  Oil-cake, of what made, and uses of, 87, 174
  Olive tree, description and uses of, 11, 12
  ---- oil, how prepared and uses of, 11
  Olives, how prepared for use, and uses of, 11
  Onion, Canadian or tree, description and uses of, 90
  ----, common, description and uses of, 91
  ----, Portugal and Spanish, 91
  Opium, how obtained, properties and uses of, 154, 155
  ----, how cultivated in England, 155
  ----, how adulterated, 154
  Orange, flowers, juice and peel, uses of, 194, 195
  ----, Seville or bitter, 195
  Orchall, description, preparation, and use of, 270
  Orders of plants, 4
  Orenberg gum, of what made, 237
  Orris root, description and uses of, 17
  Osier, wood and bark, uses of, 243
  Ottar of roses, from what made and how adulterated, 150
  Owler. See Alder.

  Paddy. See Rice.
  Paper made from vegetable productions of different kinds, 18, 28, 101,
      185, 215, 243
  Papyrus, description, preparation, and uses of, 18, 19
  Parsley, leaves, roots, and seed, uses of, 82
  Parsnips, how cultivated, and uses of, 79
  Pawpaw, description and uses of, fruit, bark, leaves, and stem, 266
  Peach, fruit, kernels, flowers, and leaves, uses of, 139
  Pear, fruit, wood, and leaves, uses of, 146
  Pearl barley, how made, and uses of, 28
  Peas, cultivation and uses of, 185, 186
  ----, everlasting, use of, 186
  Pepper, black, how cultivated and prepared for use, 13
  ----, white, what it is, and how prepared, 13
  ----, uses of, and how adulterated, 14
  ----, long, description and uses of, 14, 15
  ----, Guinea, description and uses of, 57
  Perry, of what made, 147
  Peruvian bark, whence obtained, how prepared for, use, and uses of, 45
  Petals, 2
  Pimento, description and cultivation of, 138, 139
  ----, how collected and prepared for use, and uses of, 138
  Pine, Weymouth, description and uses of, 235
  Pines, fruit, description, history, cultivation, and uses of, 87
  Pistil, 2
  Pitch, how prepared, and uses of, 234, 235
  Plane tree, description and uses of, 230
  Plantain tree, description and uses of, 259
  Plum, common, description and uses of, 143
  ----, French, 44
  ----, bullace, fruit, flowers, and wood, uses of, 144
  Pomegranate, description and uses of, 141, 142
  Pontac wine, 66
  Pontefract cakes, how made, and uses of, 187
  Poplar, great white, description and uses of, 253, 254
  ----, trembling, 254
  ----, black, 254
  ----, Lombardy or Italian, 255
  Poppy, white, description, cultivation, and uses of, 154, 155
  Port-wine, 65
  Potatoe, roots, stalks, and apples, uses of, 54-56
  Pounce, from what prepared, 257
  Prunes, 144
  Puff-ball, description and use of, 275
  Pumpkin or pompion, description and uses of, 208

  Quassia, description, history, and uses of, 134, 135
  Quince, description and uses of, 149, 150
  Quincy berries. See Currants, black.

  Rack or arrack, from what prepared, 218
  Raisins, how prepared, and uses of, 70
  Rape, culture and uses of, 70
  Raspberry, uses of, 152
  ----, brandy, how made, 152
  Rattan, description and uses of, 100
  Receptacle, 3
  Reed, common, uses of, 36
  Resin, common and yellow, how prepared, and uses of, 233
  Rhenish wine, 67
  Rhubarb, officinal or Turkey, how obtained, and uses of, 123
  ----, how cultivated in England, 124
  Rhubarb, common, description and uses of, 125
  Rice, description, culture, and preparation of, 104-106
  ----, uses of, 105
  Rush, common, description, preparation, and uses of, 102
  Root of Scarcity. See Mangel Wurzel.
  Rose, common garden, uses of, 150
  ----, hep or wild briar, flowers, fruit, and leaves, 151
  ----, red officinal, uses of, 152
  Roses, ottar or oil of, how made, 150
  ----, conserve and syrup of, 150
  ----, honey of, 152
  Rose wood, description and uses of, 110
  Rosin. See Resin.
  Rotang. See Dragon's Blood-tree.
  Rota wine, 66
  Rum, how prepared, 23
  Rye, uses of, 28

  Saffron, description, culture, preparation, and uses of, 16, 17
  Sago, description, preparation, and uses of, 255
  Saint-foin, description, cultivation, and uses of, 187
  Salad oil. See Olive oil.
  Salep, what it is, how prepared, and uses of, 202
  Sallow, common, 244
  Saloop, what it is, 121
  Samphire, rock, how obtained and uses of, 76
  ----, marsh, 76
  Sandal wood, description and use of, 40
  Sap-green, of what made, 57
  Sassafras, description and uses of, 121
  Saunders, yellow, description and use of, 40
  Saxon, blue and green, what made from, 189
  Scammony, what, how obtained, and uses of, 44
  Sea Kale, description, mode of culture, and uses of, 171
  Seed vessel, 2
  Semolina, of what made, and use of, 26
  Senna, description and uses of, 125
  Shaddock, description and uses of, 195
  Shalot, description and uses of, 90
  Sherry wine, 66
  Shoe-maker's wax, of what made, 235
  Sloe, fruit, flowers, bark, leaves, and wood, uses of, 145
  Smouch, what it is, 164
  Snuff, how made, 52
  Soda. See Barilla.
  Sour-crout, of what made, 176
  Sour-gourd, description and uses of, 178
  Sowins, 24
  Soy, description, preparation, and use of, 133
  Spanish black, of what made, 226
  Spart. See Broom.
  Spruce, essence of, from what prepared, and uses of, 236
  Spunk or Touchwood, description and use of, 277
  Squinancy berries. See Currants, black.
  Stamens, 2
  Starch, prepared from different vegetable productions, 25, 55, 107, 219,
  Stone blue, what made from, 189
  Storax, description, mode of obtaining, and use of, 131
  Stramonium, description, properties, and uses of, 50
  Strawberries, uses of, 153
  Sugar, how manufactured, 19, 20
  ----, muscovado or raw, and clayed, 21
  ----, how refined, 21
  ----, loaf or lump, 22
  ----, candy, how made, 22
  ----, uses of, 22
  ----, cane, description and cultivation of, 19
  ----, mode of obtaining sugar from, 20
  Sunflowers, description and uses of, 201
  Sycamore tree, description and uses of, 111, 112

  Tallow tree, description and uses of, 240
  Tamarinds, description, preparation, and use of, 177
  Tapioca, description, preparation, and use of, 239
  Tar, how prepared, and uses of, 234
  ----, water, 234
  Tarragon, description and use of, 200
  ----, vinegar, how prepared, 200
  Tea, tree, description and culture of, 159, 160
  ----, how collected, dried, and packed, 159
  ----, how used by the Chinese and Japanese, 160
  ----, difference between black and green, 160
  ----, green, how prepared, 162
  ----, bohea, why so called, and how prepared, 160
  ----, congo, souchong, and Pekoe, 161, 162
  ----, Singlo, hyson, and gunpowder, 162, 163
  ----, history of the use of in Europe, 163
  ----, trade and uses of, 163
  ----, how adulterated, 164
  Teak tree, description and uses of, 59
  Teasel, description and uses of, 38
  Teneriffe wine, 68
  Tent wine, 67
  Tobacco, description, culture, preparation, and uses of, 50
  Toddy, from what prepared, 218
  Tokay wine, how made, 67
  Tolu, balsam, how obtained, and uses of, 128
  Touchwood, description and use of, 277
  Treacle, how made, 21
  Truffles, description of, how procured, and use of, 275
  Tulip tree, description and uses of, 167
  Turmeric, description and use of, 9
  Turnips, cultivation and uses of, 174, 175
  Turpentine, common, how obtained, and uses of, 233
  ----, oil of, 233
  ----, Venice, of what prepared, and use of, 237

  Varnish, black, of China, what, 123
  ----, copal, how prepared and use of, 83
  Vegetables, 1
  Verjuice, from what prepared, and uses, 69, 147
  Vermicelli, how made, and use of, 27
  Vermix, 256
  Vetches, description, culture, and uses of, 185
  Vin de Grave, 66
  Vine, twigs, leaves, tendrils, and wood, uses of, 69
  Vines and vineyards, account of, 63, 64
  Vomic nut. See Nux vomica.

  Walnut-tree, wood and fruit, uses of, 227
  Water-flag, yellow, description and uses of, 18
  Weld, description and uses of, 136
  Wheat, cultivation and uses of, 24
  ----, starch and sugar prepared from, 25
  ----, bran and straw, uses of, 26
  ----, macaroni and semolina prepared from, 26
  Willow. See Osier.
  Wine, how made, 64
  ----, Portuguese, 65
  ----, French and Spanish, 65
  ----, Italian and German, 67
  ----, Madeira and Teneriffe, 68
  ----, Cape, 69
  Withy. See Osier.
  Woad, description, culture, preparation, and use of, 171
  Wortleberries, use of, 113

  Yams, description and uses of, 252
  ----, cultivated in Scotland, 253
  Yeast, how to preserve for use, 228
  Yew tree, description, uses, and poisonous qualities of, 257


  C. Baldwin, Printer,
  New Bridge-street, London.


[1] _Ammomum cardamomum_, Linn.--_Eletteria cardamomum_, Maton in Linn.
    Tran. x. p. 254.

[2] The grasses are so numerous, and the describing of them in such manner
    as to be understood by an inexperienced person would be attended with
    so much difficulty, that it has been considered more advantageous to
    the reader, to admit, in this place, only some of the most important
    kinds; and merely to speak of their uses, referring to the figures for
    their further illustration.

[3] This grass has only two stamens, and consequently belongs to the class
    Diandria, but it is placed here for the sake of general uniformity.

[4] Several other trees besides this produce the red kind of resin called
    Dragon's Blood.

*** End of this LibraryBlog Digital Book "Useful Knowledge: Vol. II. Vegetables - A familiar account of the various productions of nature" ***

Copyright 2023 LibraryBlog. All rights reserved.