Imágenes de páginas

purpose; they are then put into cold water, and scraped and * peeled gradually :- this operation may last three or four days,

during which time the roots are constantly kept in waters but is frequently shifted, both for cleanliness and to take off

more of their native acrimony. After they are well prepared ? in this manner; they are put into jars, and covered over

with a thin fyrup, which, after two or three days, is shifted 6 and a richer put on; and this is sometimes again removed, ? and a fourth put on; but it seldom requires more than three

syrups to be well preserved: the shifted syrups are not, how

ever, useless, for in these countries they are diluted and fer• mented into a small pleasant liquor, commonly called Cool « Drink.

As the botanic characters of this plant have been but im• perfectly described hitherto, and generally laid down from

imperfect fpecimens, I have been induced to give them here ' at large, as they appear in the perfect state of the plant, Periantium. Spatha duplex uniflora, exterior membranacea co

nica florem laxè cingens, interior membranacea tenuior et minor tubo floris adnata, et limbum cum genitalibus ftriétè involvens, in conum acuminatum

leniterque compressum producta. Corolla, et Monopetala, infernè angufta tubulata, germini inNectarium. cidens ; limbus tripartitus, laciniis oblongo-ovatis

medio majori : è sinu huic opposito emergit Nectarium crafjum oblongo-ovatum, in acumen finuatum

desinens. Stamina. Filamenta duo tubo floris adnata; antheræ craffe

nečlario adnatæ : rudimenta vero totidem supernè libera per longitudinem tubi porrecta, nullisque an

theris donata, lacinia majori foris fuppofita sunt. Piftillum. Germen subrotundum flori fuppofitum ; ftylus rectus

fimplex longitudine floris, et inter antheras porrec

tus: figma crasius tubulatum et ciliatum. Pericarpium. Capsula subrotunda unilocularis, obtusè-triloba,

tribus lineis longitudinalibus internè notata. Semina. Plura, ģc. sed plerumque abortiunt.

· The root of this plant is a warm, pungent aromatic, ( and answers in all weaknesses of the stomach and viscera,

proceeding from cold, or inertion: when preserved, it is "mild, and generally used as a ftomachic, tho' not less effec' tual in defluxions of the breast, or weakness of the nerves;

but the other coarser preparations of it, are used more by " those who are obliged to bear the inclemency of the weather

in colder regions, and require fome warm stimulants to rarify their chilly juices, as well as to promote the tonic ac«tion of the nerves. • CEDRELA 2. Foliis pinnatis, foribüs sparsis, ligne gra

6 viori. • Arbor. Foliis pinnatiss &c. Cates. vol. II. t. 81. & Mil • ler in Appen.

Mahogany • This tree grew formerly, very common in Jamaica; and while it could be had in the low-lands, and brought to mar• ket at an eafy rate, furnished a very considerable branch of

the exports of that island; it thrives in most soils, and va• ries both its grain and texture with each: that which grows

among the rocks is smaller, but very hard and weighty, of a • close grain and beautifully shaded; while the produce of the

low and richer lands is observed to be more light and porous,

of a paler colour and open grain; and that of mixed soils • to hold a medium between both. The tree growş very tall

and straights and generally bears a great number of Capsulæ * in the feason; the flowers are of a reddish or faffron colour, 6 and the fruit of an oval forin, and about the size of a tur• key's egg, while that of the foregoing species hårdly ex

ceeds the size of a nutmeg. The wood is generally hard, ( takes a fine polish, and is found to answer better than any 6 other fort in all kinds of cabinet ware; it is now universally ¢ esteemed, and sells at a good price; but it is pity that it is

not cultivated in the more convenient waste lands of that < island. It is a very strong timber, and answers very well in • beams, joists, plank, boards, and shingles; and has been

frequently put to those uses in Jamaica in former times, Surely the best methods of cultivating a tree more than once recommended, and, indeed, from whence Great Britain has been no less benefitted than ornamented, deserved our Naturalist's enquiry; but of that we have not one word. THEOBROMA 2. Fructu ovato-acuminatos subverrucoso, de

cem fulcis longitudinalibus subarato. • Cachaos. Mart. 369.

• The Chocolate tree, with long pods. • THEOBROMA 3. Fructu fubrotando, fubverrucoso; decem

fulcis fubar ato. « Theobroma foliis integerrimis. L. Sp. Pl. & H. C. . Cacao. Ger. Ema. &c. Slo. Cat, 134. & H. t. 160. • Cacao. Catesb. App. t. 6. Ego Chocolata Bontii, p. 198.

· The Chocolate tree, with round pads. Rev. Od. 1756.


« Both

non any

• Both species of the Cacao or Chocolate tree are pretty frequent in Jamaica ; and often found wild in the woodse

where doubtless they had been cultivated in the time of the Spaniards : but they are seldom planted there in regular

walks, as they are on the Main; where hurricanes are nei

ther fo frequent nor fo destructive. The trees are very deli* cate, and rarely survive when once loosened in the ground;

which is generally the case, when they are not well shaded, in hurricane times; for the ground is then soft and yielding

for the space of many feet under the surface; and the forcę • of the wind often fuch, as to break or bend the most robust

trees. The Spaniards, to prevent such inconveniences, used to intermix many of the Coral Bean treest (from whence

they have been fince generally called 'Mader di Cacao) in their * walks, which helped greatly to break the force of the wind, < and thereby generally preserved their Cacao trees. I have, however, feen numbers of them thrive well, without

shelter of this kind, and bear the force of many storms without damage ; but, probably, they were protected while young, and yet too tender to bear any extraordinary shocks; for I generally observed them to be planted in a good deep mould, and a warm, well covered situation. * These trees grow naturally to a moderate size; and seldom exceed fix or seven inches in diameter, or rise above fif * teen or sixteen feet in height. They are very beautiful, and,

in general, extremely engaging to the fight when charged

with fruit; which grows from all parts of the trunk, and • larger branches indiscriminately. When the seeds are loose

and rattle in the pods, they are picked off, opened, and the

kernels picked out, and exposed daily to the sun, until they • are thoroughly cured, and fit for the store, or market.

“These seeds are remarkably nourishing, and agreeable to most people, which occafions them to be now commonly kept in most houses in America, as a necessary part of the provisions of the family: they are generally ground or

pounded very fine, at leisure hours; and made into a paste 1, 3. The root cankers generally on those occasions, and decays ' most commonly afterwards : but I query, whether many of them

would not recover, had they been pulled up, and pruned, both at top and bottom, when they begin to withers and then transplanted ??? potrebno + The Erythrina.

Qur Author must have learned this process for making Chocolate from fome ignorant Negro, or it cauki not have been fo very imperfect.

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

&s Natural Hiftory of Jamaica. ...

339 atolood

do esta diod to be the more in readiness

upon occasion &

e It is naturally pretty much charged with oil, but mixes very well with either milk or water, the usual vehicles, with which it is prepared for immediate use. It is much elteemed in all the fouthern colonies of America, and well known to make up the principal part of the nourishment of moft of the olä people in those parts, as well as of a great number of Jews, 2596

The plant is propagated by the feed; but requires a great oblay

deal of care to raise it with success. It is generally planted and cultivated in the following manner, viz. You take a full grown pod, that has lain by fome days, and cut off the

top at the pointed extremity, so that the feeds may be fully exposed to view; you then bury it two thirds, or deeper, in mould, in some moist and shady place. seeds begin to germinate, and then they ought to be taken

out, one by one, and transplanted into proper beds : but the mould to which they are transferred should be rich, well di* vided, and free; moist, properly, shaded, and disposed at

proper distances, so as to leave convenient room for the roots and branches of the trees to spread. In each of these beds you plant one or two seeds, with the root part downwards, scarcely covering them at the top; you then moisten the mould

gently about them, and cover the bed with some large leaves, to protect the young budding plants from the more active

rays of the sun; which may be still guarded by some little ambi- · ent bulwark to ward off such accidents as may hấppen from heavy rains, of blowing, windy weather. They feldomi require to be watered after the first day; but if this should become neceffary, it must be done with greatt enderness; and is best managed by laying a piece of wet cloth, or some waterced weeds, gently round the young plant; which fould be

left there till the earth soaks a sufficient quantity of the moi

fture. But great care must be taken not to break off the feed-leaves of the plant on thele occasions ; for these are

only the tender divided lobes of the kernel, and the loss of *them would wholly prevent its further growth. asasb

The plantain-walks afford the most natural and shade for those plants, while young, but as they rile, they fhould be supplied with a more fubftantial guard, to protect

therh from the inclemencies of the weather which ought to < be continued until they grow to full perfection, and must be 6 removed with caution even then.' fauti T -od The above may suffice for samples of our Author's botanical judgment. Let us next take a short view of his third book,


[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

containing an account of the several sorts of Quadrupedes, • Birds, Fishes, Reptiles, and Insects, commonly observed in ! and about the island; their properties, mechanism, and

uses. With respect to the method, the Doctor profesles to have followed the distribution of Linnæus, as much as pos

fible, in the arrangement of this tribe, as well as the foregoing; but having proceeded from the mineral to the vegetable, and thence to the animal region, he was obliged to inver, the order in which Linnæus disposed them, and to

begin with those which thew least of animality. Accordingly the first chapter of this book treats of Insects; from which we shall take the • Nereis 1. Tentaculis,capitis binis, tripartitis ; corporis,

plurimis penicilli-formibus, duplici serie ad latera positis. Scolopendra Marina authorum, Pet. Gaz. • The Ship-worm of Jamaica.

- This insect is extremely destructive to all the ships that • anchor for any time in the harbours of Jamaica, or in any

other part within the Tropics : they cut with great facility « through the planks, and burrow a considerable way in the

fubftance of them, incrustating the fides of all their holes i with a smooth testaceous fubftance. They cut with equal • ease thro' molt forts of timber, nor do we yet know any, * except some of the palın tribe, that is free from their ats

tacks; but, from late experiments, we have some reason to < hope that Aloes and Indian Pepper mixed up with the other & ingredients, with which the bottoms of ships are commonly • daubed, may retard their attacks, if not wholly prevent 5 them.

« It is amazing with what ease these insects run through all • sorts of timber ; but it is remarkable that they burrow most

in the parts that are chiefly expoted to a viciffitude of ele"ments. In the harbour of Kingston, where all the wharfs

are made of wood, and sustained by large piles of the strong« est timbers, there are frequent occasions to observe the ope6. rations of this infectwhich generally destroys the largest

pieces of the hardest and most relinous woods, in the space of a few

years. • There is a great variety of these insects, and many of the

other species are equally destructive.?---Our Author has given the figure of this infect.

The fecond chapter is appropriated to Fishes ; whence, for the fake of throwing in an observation, that might noi, perhaps, have occurred to the Doctor, we shall extract the • PERCA 1. Minor subargentea. The Sinnet.


« AnteriorContinuar »