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Plants that grow early in the spring, or which are pre- | food to man, speaking especially of those which he cultivates, maturely brought forward by forcing on hot-beds, require may be classed under a few great divisions, conformably to be sheltered on the approach of frost. A very slight both to their botanical characters, and to the part of the covering is sufficient in many cases, straw-litter or fern- plant which is consumed. Though there is no part of a leaves even being enough to prevent the radiation of heat plant, which, in different species, is not eaten, yet, as from the earth, and when, in addition to these, mats of forming a considerable portion of his diet, it will be found bass are spread over them, the frost must be severe that that it is either the root, the stem, the leaves, or the fruit, can penetrate to the plants beneath.
that man makes use of, while the bark, the seed, the flower, Single plants are sheltered by covering them over with the bud, &c., of other species, are commonly used only as garden-pots, or with hand-glasses, small frames made of condiments, or sauces. lead or iron, in which panes of glass are inserted, as the Next to the Cerealia, the seeds of that order of plants, casements of cottages are glazed.
called from their fruit, Leguminous, contain the greatest
proportion of farina. The pea and the bean are the prinPOTATOES.
cipal genera of the order employed as food by man in This well-known and important vegetable holds an inter- Europe. mediate place between the grain-bearing plants, which The Pea is a climbing annual plant with a white flower; supply us with flour for bread, and those of which the the seed, in its green, or unripe, state, constitutes a faleaves, roots, &c., are consumed as food. The potato vourite dish, but for this purpose it is cultivated as a garden contains a large proportion of starch. This vegetable prin- vegetable, while agriculture can alone furnish the ripe ciple abounds most in seeds; and of all seeds, the Cerealia seed in sufficient quantities to supply the demand for dry contain the most.
peas, in the Navy, in Hospitals, &c. The pea requires a The potato thrives best in a light, dry, loamy soil, and warm soil, the crop is gathered when the pod is quite ripe does not require much manure of any kind. This plant and dry, the seed is threshed out, the stalks and leaves, or is never raised from seed for a crop, but small pieces of the the haulm, is sometimes given to cattle as fodder. tubers, or potatoes, are cut out, each having a bud, or eye, The seed of the pea tribe divides into two more readily in it. These pieces are called sets, and are planted in than most seeds containing two cotyledons, or seed leaves. rows in March or April. The potato requires a consi- Split-peas are produced by grinding the seed lightly derable quantity of tillage during its growth, the crop must between mill-stones, or plates of iron, in mills constructed be kept perfectly free from weeds by frequent hoeings, for the purpose; this operation frees the germ of the seed and the weak stem must be supported by having the earth from the skin or coats, and also separates the former into drawn up about when the plants are young. The crop the two portions, each of which consists of an undeveloped is gathered in October or November, when the stalks cotyledon. begin to decay; the plants are dug up, and the tubers taken The Bean. This name is given to different species of off from the roots. If stored in a cool, dry place, the potato plants, though all belonging to the Leguminous order: the will keep till near Midsummer of the following year, though broad bean, of which the unripe seed alone is eaten as a vegein Spring the tubers will begin to put forth roots, especially table, is a species of the genus Vicia, or Vetch; an annual, if any damp gets to them. Should this vegetation proceed growing to the height of from two to three feet, which, too far, the root is unfit for food, in consequence of the unlike the other species, is not a climbing plant. The chemical changes brought about by the vegetable vitality. delightful fragrance of its black and white flowers is
The potato belongs to a family of plants, almost every familiar to every one; but the principal use of this bean one of which is, in a greater or less degree, - poisonous. when ripe, is as fodder for horses, cattle, hogs, and poultry. The noxious principles generally abound in the fruit or The French or Haricot bean is a dwarf species, and the leaves, while the roots, and the subterranean stems, such as Scarlet-runner, in Britain one of the most universally the potato, are commonly innocent, if not wholesome, when cultivated of all garden vegetables, is another species of boiled; but so formidable are the deleterious properties of the same genus Phaseolus ; the whole pod or fruit of these the order, that even in the case of the valuable vegetable plants is eaten before it is ripe. Both are of the easiest ņow under our consideration, the water in which it has been culture, but they must not be sown till all danger of frost epoked is, in a certain degree, poisonous.
is over. There are numerous varieties, and some of these Starch in considerable quantities is obtained from pota- are cultivated for food in nearly every country of the world toes, by crushing them, and well washing the pulp repeat- where gardening is practised. edly, in cold water, till all the starch is extracted; the water The Tare and the Lentil are species of the genus then must be evaporated, or decanted off, and the starch Ervum, and are used as food in some continental countries, will be left nearly pure.
but in England they are only cultivated for fodder. THE PRINCIPAL GARDEN VEGETABLES WHICH SERVE
The Leguminous order contain but few positively un
wholesome or poisonous genera; among these the Lathyrus, FOR Food.
Laburnum, and Orobus, are best known for their beautiful The great variety of vegetable productions which serve as or fragrant flowers, which are such universal favourites.
LONDON: Published by JOHN WILLIAM PARKER, West STRAND; and sold by all Booksellers.
PRICE 2 ONE PENNY.
UNDER THE DIRECTION OF THE COMMITTEE OF GENERAL LITERATURE AND EDUCATION.
APPOINTED BY THE SOCIETY FOR PROMOTING CHRISTIAN KNOWLEDGE.
CORK, AND THE CORK TREE.
leaved tree, and the chief supply of it is obtained That most useful substance called Cork, is the thick, from Catalonia in Spain. spongy, external bark, of a species of oak, the Quercus The bark of the Cork-tree, which is an evergreen, is suber. The tree, of which there are two varieties, rough and spongy on the trunk and main branches, namely, the broad-leaved, and the narrow-leaved, smooth and gray on the smaller branches, and white grows to the height of upwards of thirty feet, and is and downy on the young shoots. The leaves are of a native of some of the southern parts of France, of a bright colour, oval-shaped, with indented edges; Spain, Portugal, Italy, and Barbary; it bears a strong they are smooth on the upper, and downy on the resemblance to the evergreen oak, (Quercus iler,) and under side. They grow alternately on the branches, attains to a great age.
When arrived at a certain on very rough, though strong footstalks; and, indeed, state of maturity, it sheds its bark naturally, but they differ very little from many forms of the iler, the quality of the bark so separated is inferior to The acorns of the Cork-tree are longish, smooth, avd that which is obtained by removing it at a proper brown when ripe, and of the size and shape of some period. The true cork is the produce of the broad-l of our common acorns, to which thev are so mucb
alike, as when mixed together, not to be distinguish- direction for vessels in harbours, rivers, and other able. The Narrow-leaved Cork-tree is only a variety places. of the common sort.
In some parts of Spain, it is customary to line the The best cork of commerce is taken from the walls of houses with cork, which renders them warm, oldest trees, the bark of the young trees being and prevents the admission of moisture. The ancient too porous for use. They are, nevertheless, barked Egyptians frequently made coffins of it. On account before they are twenty years old; and this first of its lightness, cork is used for false legs; and from barking is necessary, to make way for the succes its being impervious to water, it is sometimes placed sion of a better, it being observable, that, after between the soles of shoes, to keep out moisture. every stripping, the bark increases in value. The When burnt, it constitutes that light black substance first crop is thin, hard, full of fissures, and conse- known by the name of Spanish Black. quently of little value. The cork is the bark which In the cutting of corks for use, the only tool emthe tree pushes outwards, as is common to all trees; ployed is a very broad, thin, and sharp knife; and, as but in the Cork-tree, the outer bark is thicker and the cork tends very much to blunt this, it is sharpened larger, and in greater quantity, and more easily on a board, by one whet or stroke on each side, after removed. When removed, the liber, or inner bark, every cut, and now and then upon a common whetappears below it, and from this the cork is reproduced stone. The corks for bottles are cut lengthwise of in the course of a few years. The trees are generally the bark, and consequently the pores lie across. peeled over once in ten years.
Bungs, and corks of large size, are cut in a contrary In the collecting of cork, it is customary to slit it direction: the pores in these are therefore downward, with a knife, at certain distances, in a perpendicular -a circumstance which renders them much more direction from the top of the tree to the bottom; defective than the others, in stopping out the air. and to make two incisions across, one near the top, The parings of cork are carefully kept, and sold to and the other near the bottom, of the trunk. For the makers of Spanish black. the purpose of stripping off the bark, a curved knife, The importation of cork in a manufactured state, with a handle at each end, is used. Sometimes it is into this country is virtually prohibited by a very stripped in pieces the whole length, and sometimes in high duty; and the import duty upon it in a rough shorter pieces, cross cuts being made at certain inter- state is also considerable, being eight shillings per vals. In some instances, the perpendicular and hundred weight. The price of cork, including the transverse incisions are made, and the cork is left duty, varies according to its quality, from 201. to 701. upon the trees, until, by the growth of the new bark per cwt. beneath, it becomes sufficiently loose to be removed The Cork-tree is rare in this country; that from by the hand. After the pieces are detached, they are which our engraving is taken, is in the garden of the soaked in water, and when nearly dry are placed Bishop of London's palace at Fulham. over a fire of coals, which blackens their external surface. By the latter operation, they are rendered It is singular how beautifully the state and capabilities of smooth, and all the smaller blemishes are thereby inanimate nature, and the nature of man, are adapted to concealed; the larger holes and cracks are filled up each other. How the devices and desires of our hearts by the introduction of soot and dirt. They are next are provided with a something whereupon to fix; how loaded with weights to make them even, and subse. much is given that we could not create, but that we can quently are dried and stacked, or packed in bales for assist, and mould, and form, and fashion, after our will, into exportation.
those useful or exquisite shapes which our necessities The uses of cork were well known to the ancients, tinul. Enough is done for us to give us power, enough is
demand, or our cultivated tastes teach us to consider beauand were nearly the same to which it is applied by left undone to give us employment; nor is it possible
Its elasticity renders it peculiarly serviceable for almost to arrive at that degree of improvement, that will the stopping of vessels of different kinds, and thus forbid further hope. Nature herself crowns our best preventing either the liquids therein contained from efforts with new and unlooked-for beauty, and we still running out, or the external air from passing in. trust, and justly so, that if our industry fail not, neither
will her reward. 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
THE VISIBLE CREATION. for jackets to assist in swimming, is very ancient;
The God of nature and of grace and it has been applied in various ways towards the
In all his works appears ; preservation of life when endangered by shipwreck.
His goodness through the earth we trace,
His grandeur in the spheres. The cork-jacket, revived from an old German dis
Behold this fair and fertile globe, covery, to preserve the lives of persons in danger of
By him in wisdom plann'd; drowning, is constructed as follows: Pieces of cork,
'Twas He who girded, like a robe, about three inches long by two wide, 'and the usual
The ocean round the land. thickness of the bark, are enclosed between two
Lift to the firmament your eye, pieces of strong cloth or canvass, and formed like a
Thither His path pursue; jacket without sleeves; the pieces of cloth are sewed
His glory, boundless as the sky, together round each piece of cork, to keep them in
O'erwhelms the wandering view their proper situations; the lower part of the jacket,
The forests in His strength rejoice; about the hips, is made like the same part of women's
Hark! on the evening breeze, stays, to give freedom to the legs in swimming; it
As once of old, the Lord God's voice is made sufficiently large to fit a stout man, and is
Is heard among the trees. secured to the body by two or three strong straps
His blessings fall in plenteous showers sewed far back on each side, and tied before; the
Upon the lap of earth, strings are thus placed, to enable any wearer to
That teems with foliage, fruit, and flowers, tighten it to his own convenience.
And rings with infant mirth. The floats of nets used for fishing are frequently
If God hath made this world so fair, made of cork. Pieces fastened together make buoys,
Where sin and death abound;
How beautiful, beyond compare, which, Ly floating on the surface of the water, afford
Will Paradise be found !--JANES MONTGOMERS
have enjoyed the innocent pleasures of life. He says Ludovico CORNARO was a Venetian of noble family, of himself, “I am ever cheerful, merry, and wellwhose history affords one of the most memorable contented, free from all troubles and troublesome instances on record of the effects of temperance and thoughts, in whose place joy and peace have taken sobriety in prolonging life. He was born in 1467 ; up their standing in my heart. I am not weary of and in his early youth, it appears, he was guilty of life, which I pass in great delight, I confer with excesses, which brought on him many and grievous worthy men, excellent in wit, learning, behaviour, disorders, and rendered his existence precarious and and other virtues. When I cannot have their commiserable, from his thirty-fifth to his fortieth year. pany, I give myself to the reading of some learned At that time, his physicians told him there was but book, and afterwards to writing, making my aim one way left for the restoration of his health ; and in all things how I may help others to the farthest this was a regular and moderate way of living. Cor- of my powers." He prided bimself on having such naro immediately entered on his new regimen; but, a portion of life and spirit left within him, that at the at first, he found it disagreeable, and wanted resolution age of eighty-three he wrote a comedy “full of to pursue it with steadiness. The return of his innocent mirth and pleasantry.” He mentions bis maladies, however, warned him that he could not excursions for the sake of seeing his friends, and of trespass on his constitution with impunity; and, at conversing with the adepts in all arts and sciences, length, he grew confirmed in a settled course of tem- architects, painters, statuaries, musicians, and even perance, by which he was enabled to cast off all his husbandmen. He speaks with great complacency of maladies, and to attain the extraordinary age of his visits to his various residences, and of his taste ninety-eight years, in health of body, and serenity and skill in improving them. Of one of these resiand cheerfulness of mind.
dences, in particular, he says, “At other times, I To give an idea of the small quantity of food on repair to a villa of mine, scated in the valley: which which Cornaro subsisted, we may mention what he is, therefore, very pleasant, because many, roads records of himself, that, when he was seventy-eight thither are so ordered, that they all meet and end in
ears old, he was urged by the advice of his physi- one fair spot of ground, in the midst whereof is a cians, and the daily importunity of his friends, to add church suitable to the condition of the place. This something to his usual stint and measure of food. place is washed by the river Brenta, on both sides He long resisted, urging the Italian proverb, “He whereof are great and fruitful fields, well manured, that will cat much, let him eat little ;-because, hy and adorned with many habitations. In former times eating little, he will prolong his life. However, he it was not so, because the place was moorish and unsays, “To avoid obstinacy, and to gratify my friends, healthy, fitter for beasts than men ; but I drained the at length I yielded, and permitted the quantity of my ground, and made the air good: whereupon men meat to be increased, yet two ounces only. For, flocked thither, and built houses with happy success. whereas, before, the measure of my whole day's meat, By this means the place is come to the perfection namely, my bread, and eggs, and flesh, and broth, that we now see it is;--so that I can truly say that I was twelve ounces exactly weighed, I increased the have both given God a temple, and men to worship quantity two ounces more ; and the measure of my him in it; the memory whereof is exceeding delightdrink, which was before fourteen ounces, I made ful to me.” And in another place, he says of himself, sixteen. This addition,” he goes on to say, “wrought " That no pleasure may be wanting to my old age, I so much upon me, that from a cheerful and merry please myself daily with contemplating that immorman, I became melancholy and choleric, so that all tality, which I think I see in the succession of my things were troublesome to me; neither did I know posterity. For every time I return home, I meet what I did or said. On the twelfth day, a pain in eleven grandehildren, all the offspring of one father the side took me, which held me two and twenty and mother; all in fine health; all, as far as I can hours. On the back of it came a terrible fever, which discern, apt to learn, and of good behaviour. I am continued thirty-five days and nights; although, often amused with their singing; nay, I often sing after the fifteenth day it became less and less; besides with them, because my voice is louder and clearer all this, I could not sleep, no not for a quarter of an now than ever it was in my life before. These are hour; whereat all gave me for dead. Nevertheless, the delights and comforts of my old age ; from I, by the grace of God, cured myself only by return- which, I presume, it appears that the life I spend is ing to my former course of diet ; although I was not a dead, morose, and melancholy life; but a living, now seventy-eight years old, and my body spent with active, pleasant life, which I would not exchange with extreme leanness, and the season of the year was the robustest of those youths who indulge and riot winter and most cold air : and I am confident that, in all the luxury of the senses, because I know them under God, nothing holp me but that exact rule, to be exposed to a thousand diseases, and a thousand which I had so long continued.”
kinds of death." To show what a security a life of temperence is These extracts are taken from several discourses against the ill effects of hurts and disasters, Cornaro by Cornaro on the advantages of a temperate life ; relates an accident which befell him when he was the last of which,—containing a lively description of
One day, being overturned in his chariot, the health, vigour, and perfect use of his senses, he was dragged by the horses a considerable way which he had the happiness of enjoying at so adupon the ground. His head, his arms, his whole vanced a period of life,-he wrote at the age of body, were very much bruised, and one of his ancles ninety-one. This virtuous and happy old man at was put out of joint. He was carried home; and length expired without pain, by a gradual decay of the physicians, seeing how much he was injured, con nature, April 26th, 1566, aged ninety-eight. One of sidered it impossible that he should live three days; his discourses has been rendered into English by our but, by bleeding and evacuating medicines, he pre-excellent George Herbert ; and there is a short, but sently recovered his health and strength.
pleasing account of him in the 195th number of the
C. It is well worthy of observation that the extreme Spectator. abstemiousness of Cornaro had not, in the least degree, the effect of rendering him morose or melan As daylight can be seen through small holes, so do little choly. On the contrary, no man seems more to things show a person's character.Drew.
East, so difficult is it to remove a prejudice when once The diamond is the hardest and most valuable of it is raised, that to the present day the diamonds of the precious stones, and for many years was considered Brazil are considered by some people to be of an indestructible by fire, or any other means: modern inferior kind. In the first instance, the feeling was chemistry, however, has proved that at a heat rather so strong, that in order to obtain a fair price for their below that required to melt silver it is gradually stones, the merchants of Brazil were in the habit of dissipated, or burnt. When the product of this con- sending their cargo in the first instance to Goa, that bustion was examined, it was found to be precisely it might be re-imported from that place into Europe, similar to that produced by the destruction of a piece as the production of the eastern world. Formerly, of charcoal, of equal size, by the same means. The nearly the whole of the trade in diamonds was same principle, therefore, namely, a sınall quantity of monopolized by the Dutch, and at present the cutting the gas called carbon, which when in an aëriform and polishing of these gems is in general performed state destroys life, produces, when acted upon in in Holland, on account of the lower price of labour; different ways in the great laboratory of nature, two but the English workman is nevertheless considered substances so perfectly unlike each other as charcoal much superior. The manner of the discovery of and the diamond,—the one consumed as fuel, and the diamonds in Brazil may be considered a very reother prized at so high a rate as to be purchased for markable event. sums of money equal to princely fortunes.
“About a century ago, that part of Brazil called In former times, all the diamonds that were known Serro de Frio was explored for gold, and in searching were brought from uifferent parts of India, particu- for this precious metal, some singular substances, larly from the famous mines of Golconda, near resembling pebbles, were occasionally met with, in Hyderabad, the present capital of the Deccan, in regular geometric forms. The peculiar hue and lustre Hindostan; the Islands of Molucca and Borneo of some particular specimens attracted the notice have also produced many valuable stones: they are of the negroes, who showed them to their masters, as always found in an alluvial soil, generally gravel, pretty shining pebbles. When met with they were resting on granite, and not imbedded in any other preserved, and gradually came into fashion, as counters, substance, but appearing like small pebbles with the in playing at cards. surface flattened in many parts.
“ In this state the gems remained for some time, The diamond mines of Golconda are now so far until an officer arrived, who had been in India, and exhausted, as to be considered not worth the expense was reputed to be a great mathematician. At the of working. The diamonds which are now brought social parties which he visited these pretty counters to Europe are chiefly from the Brazils.
attracted his notice. Having obtained some, he exWhen Brazilian diamonds were first imported, the amined them more minutely when alone, and was circumstance excited the jealousy of the dealers in particularly struck with their geometrical symmetry East Indian gems, and a prejudice was unjustly raised of form. He compared them with common pebbles against the produce of these newly-discovered mines; of the same bulk, to which he found they bore no and although subsequent trials have proved the resemblance. diamonds of Brazil to be fully equal to those of the “ The officer already mentioned conceived the idea