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not being malleable. They are called half-metals, and there are seven of them; the platen, bismuth, nickel, arsenic, antimony, zinc, and cobalt, id !756
The mineral kingdom is the great warehouse of nature, where she secretly labours for the good of the world. No naturalist can surprise her in her ope rations, and steal from her, the art with which she prepares, collects, and composes earths, or fossils, salts, bitumens, and metals. Happily, in the use we make of nature's gifts, it is of little consequence that we should know their origin and first principles, It is enough that we should understand their use; we need no more, to prove the glory of the Creator; as we are convinced that there is not a spot, either above or below the earth, in which he has not shown his power, wisdom, and goodness,' i fojbits die Sell! ", ., ikned:1,"sorrit metus .. (18,7. Boj?! palii d iseeneses los ingre 11. 7 yos:1,3,7) vi
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We do not pay attention enough to the gifts of God, particularly to those which come to us from distant countries, and are now so necessary to us If we considered how much trouble it costs, and how many wheels in the machine of the world must be put in motion, and how much human industry it requires to procure us a single lump of sugar or blade of cinnamon, we should not receive the presents of nature so coldly as we générally do; but on the contrary, we should look up with the warmest gratitude towards that beneficent Being, who makes use of so many means of bestowing, blessings upon us. Sugar is the salt found in the juice or marrow of a certain reed, which is cultivated chiefly in Brazil and the neighbouring islands; but which also grows in great abundance in the East Indies, and some of the African islands. The preparation of sugar does not require much art, but is extremely laborious, and it is generally the employment of slaves. When the canes are ripe, they cut and carry them to the mill, to bruise and extract the juice from them. They first boil this juice, 'which would otherwise ferment and grow sour; and while it is boiling, they skim it to take off any dirt. They repeat this course four times in different caldrons. To purify and clarify it the more, they throw it into a strong ley of woodashes and burning lime, and at last pour it into the moulds where it coagulates and dries. .'
Tea is the leaf of a shrub, which grows in Japan, China, and other Asiatic provinces. Three or four times during spring, these leaves are gathered. Those of the first crop are the finest flavoured, and the most delicate. This is called the imperial tea, and but seldom, if ever, comes into Europe. That which the Dutch sell under its name is tea of the second crop. - Coffee is the stone of a fruit like a
cherry. The 'tree which produces it is originally ** from Arabia; but it has been transplanted into seve
ral hot countries. Next to Arabia it is best cultiva. ted in the isle of Martinico. We call the stone in the middle of the fruit the berry. This berry, when fresh, is yellowish, or grey, bra pale green; and it preserves this colour in some degree when dry. They spread the fruit on mats to dry in the sun; and afterwards bruise it with rollers to force out the berries. This is what divides the berry in two. They again dry them in the sun before they put them on ship-board. The cloves are buds, or dried blossoms of a tree, which formerly grew without culture in the Molucca'islands, but which the Dutch have transplanted to Amboyna. This tree is of the size and shape of the bay-tree: its trunk is covered with
bark, like that of the olive. White blossoms grow in tufts on the extremities of the branches, and look like cloves. The buds are at first of a pale green, afterwards they become yellow, then red, and at last a dark brown, such as we see them. They have a stronger and more aromatic smell than the mother clove, a name which marks the dry fruit of the tree. Cinnamon is the second bark of a kind of bay-tree, which scarcely grows any where at present but in the island of Ceylon. The root of the cinnamon-tree divides into several branches. It is covered with a bark, grey without and red within. The leaf would much resemble the laurel, if it was shorter and less pointed. The blossoms, are small and white, of a very pleasing smell, very much like the lily of the valley. When the tree is some years old, the two barks are taken off: the outer bark is good for nothing, and thrown away; the inner, one is dried in the sun, where it rolls up of itself, and this is what we, call cinnamon., The nutmeg and mace come from the same tree, and grow in the Molucca islands. The nut is covered with three coats. The first falls off of itself when it is ripe; the second then appears, which is very thin and delicate. It is taken off with great care from the nut, and exposed to the sun to dry. This is called mace in the Molucca isles ; though in other places improperly called nutmegblossom. The third coat is immediately next the nutmeg. They take the nut out of its shell, and put it into lime-water for some days, and then it is .properly prepared to send abroad. Cotton grows in most of the countries of Asia, Africa, and America. It is enclosed in the fruit of a certain shrub. This fruit is a sort of pod, which when ripe operis a little, and shows a wad or flock of down, extremely white, which we call cotton. When this pod is swelled by the heat, it becomes as large as an apple. With a little mill they separate the seed from the cotton. The seed falls out on one side, and the cotton on
fruit, which grows so abundantly in France, Spain, Portugal, and Italy, that there are whole forests of olive-trees. The inhabitants of the provinces where there are many of these trees, make use of this oil instead of butter, as the extreme heat dries up the grass so that they have not much cattle. Pepper is the fruit of a shrub, the stalk of which requires a prop to support it. Its wood is knotty like the vine, which it much resembles." Its leaves, which have a very strong smell, are of an oval form, and terminate in a point. In the middle, and at the ends of the branches, there are white blossoms, from whence spring fruit in clusters, like the 1 691
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warm reflection of the sun unites with the fine open air to nourish them. Even the most barren hills, and those hanging grounds where the plough cannot be used, are every year covered with the most beautiful verdure, and produce the most delicious of all fruit. If the soil where the vine grows appears wine is little better. Who would have thought that it could produce so valuable a liquor ? And yet, such is the fire with which the vine is animated, that the sap flows through it with five, or even eight times more force, than the blood in the veins of animals.
Asia is, originally the country of the vine. From thence its cultivation has gradually extended into Europe. The Phenicians, who travelled in early days over all the Mediterranean coasts, conveyed it to several islands, and to the continent. It succeeded wonderfully in the islands of the Archipelago, and was afterwards carried into Italy. The vines multiplied greatly there, and the Gauls having tasted the juice, and wishing to settle in the places where the vines grew, passed the Alps, and went to conquer both the borders of the Po. By degrees vines were cultivated all over France, and at last on the borders of the Rhine, the Moselle, Necker, and other Provinces of Germany.
These observations may give rise to many important reflections. As the most barren soil is fit for the culture of vines, so it often happens that the poorest countries are favourable to science and wisdom. We have known, in provinces universally despised for their poverty, geniuses rise up, who have by their knowledge enlightened other 91 b
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