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Catechism of Familiar Things; Their History, and the Events Which Led to Their Discovery, A

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<SPAN name="CHAPTER_IV" id="CHAPTER_IV"></SPAN>CHAPTER IV.</h2> <h3><span class="smcap">Cocoa, Toddy, Cherries, Bark, Cork, Cochineal, Cloves, Cinnamon, and Cassia.</span></h3> <p><b>Of what form is the tree which bears those large nuts, called Cocoa nuts?</b></p> <p>It is tall and straight, without branches, and generally about thirty or forty feet high; at the top are twelve leaves, ten feet long, and half a foot broad; above the leaves, grows a large excrescence in the form of a cabbage, excellent to eat, but taking it off kills the tree. The cocoa is a species of Palm.</p> <p><b>Is not the Indian liquor called Toddy, produced from the Cocoa Tree?</b></p> <p>Yes, between the leaves and the top arise several shoots about the thickness of a man's arm, which, when cut, distil a white,<span class="pagenum"><SPAN name="Page_35" id="Page_35"></SPAN>[35]</span>sweet, and agreeable liquor; while this liquor exudes, the tree yields no fruit; but when the shoots are allowed to grow, it puts out a large cluster or branch, on which the cocoa nuts hang, to the number of ten or twelve.</p> <div class="blockquot"><p><i>Distil</i>, to let fall in drops.</p> <p><i>Exude</i>, to force or throw out.</p></div> <p class="center"> <SPAN href="images/image_04_1.jpg"><ANTIMG src="images/image_04_2.jpg" alt="THE CATHEDRAL OF MILAN, ITALY. Please click to view a larger image." width="555" height="312" title="Please click to view a larger image."/></SPAN><br /> <span class="caption">THE CATHEDRAL OF MILAN, ITALY.</span></p> <p><b>How often does this tree produce nuts?</b></p> <p>Three times a year, the nuts being about the size of a man's head, and of an oval form.</p> <p><b>Of what countries is it a native?</b></p> <p>Of Asia, the Indies, Africa, Arabia, the Islands of the Southern Pacific, and the hottest parts of America.</p> <p><b>What are the uses of this Tree?</b></p> <p>The leaves of the tree are made into baskets; they are also used for thatching houses: the fibrous bark of the nut, and the trunk of the tree, are made into cordage, sails, and cloth; the shell, into drinking bowls and cups; the kernel affords a wholesome food, and the milk contained in the shell, a cooling liquor.</p> <p><b>From what country was the Cherry Tree first brought?</b></p> <p>From Cerasus, a city of Pontus, in Asia, on the southern borders of the Black Sea; from which place this tree was brought to Rome, in the year of that city 680, by Lucullus; it was conveyed, a hundred and twenty-eight years after, into Great Britain, <span class="smcap">a.d.</span> 55.</p> <p><b>What is the meaning of A.D.?</b></p> <p>A short way of writing Anno Domini, Latin words for <i>in the year of our Lord</i>.</p> <p><b>Who was Lucullus?</b></p> <p>A renowned Roman general.</p> <p><b>Is the wood of the Cherry Tree useful?</b></p> <p>It is used in cabinet-making, for boxes, and other articles.</p> <p><b>What is Bark?</b></p> <p>The exterior part of trees, which serves them as a skin or covering.</p> <div class="blockquot"><p><i>Exterior</i>, the outside.</p></div><p><span class="pagenum"><SPAN name="Page_36" id="Page_36"></SPAN>[36]</span></p ><p><b>Does it not undergo some change during the year?</b></p> <p>Each year the bark of a tree divides, and distributes itself two contrary ways, the outer part gives towards the skin, till it becomes skin itself, and at length falls off; the inner part is added to the wood. The bark is to the body of a tree, what the skin of our body is to the flesh.</p> <p><b>Of what use is Bark?</b></p> <p>Bark is useful for many things: of the bark of willows and linden trees, ropes are sometimes made. The Siamese make their cordage of the cocoa tree bark, as do most of the Asiatic and African nations; in the East Indies, they make the bark of a certain tree into a kind of cloth; some are used in medicines, as the Peruvian bark for Quinine; others in dyeing, as that of the alder; others in spicery, as cinnamon, &amp;c.; the bark of oak, in tanning; that of a kind of birch is used by the Indians for making canoes.</p> <p><b>What are Canoes?</b></p> <p>Boats used by savages; they are made chiefly of the trunks of trees dug hollow; and sometimes of pieces of bark fastened together.</p> <p><b>How do the savages guide them?</b></p> <p>With paddles, or oars; they seldom carry sails, and the loading is laid in the bottom.</p> <p><b>Are not the savages very dexterous in the management of them?</b></p> <p>Yes, extremely so; they strike the paddles with such regularity, that the canoes seem to fly along the surface of the water; at the same time balancing the vessels with their bodies, to prevent their overturning.</p> <div class="blockquot"><p><i>Dexterous</i>, expert, nimble.</p></div> <p><b>Do they leave their canoes in the water on their return from a voyage?</b></p> <p>No, they draw them ashore, hang them up by the two ends, and leave them to dry; they are generally so light as to be easily carried from <span class="pagenum"><SPAN name="Page_37" id="Page_37"></SPAN>[37]</span>place to place.</p> <p><b>Were not books once made of Bark?</b></p> <p>Yes, the ancients wrote their books on the barks of many trees, as on those of the ash and the lime tree, &amp;c.</p> <p><b>Which part did they use?</b></p> <p>Not the exterior or outer bark, but the inner and finer, which is of so durable a texture, that there are manuscripts written on it which are still extant, though more than a thousand years old.</p> <p><b>Is it not also used in Manure?</b></p> <p>Yes, especially that of the oak; but the best oak bark is used in tanning.</p> <p><b>What is Cork?</b></p> <p>The thick, spongy, external bark of the Cork Tree, a species of oak. There are two varieties of this tree, the broad-leaved and the narrow: it is an evergreen, and grows to the height of thirty feet. The Cork Tree attains to a very great age.</p> <p><b>Where is the Tree found?</b></p> <p>In Spain, Italy, France, and many other countries. The true cork is the produce of the broad-leaved tree.</p> <p><b>What are its uses?</b></p> <p>Cork is employed in various ways, but especially for stopping vessels containing liquids, and, on account of its buoyancy in water, in the construction of life boats. It is also used in the manufacture of life preservers and cork jackets. The greatest quantities are brought from Catalonia, in Spain. The uses of Cork were well known to the ancients.</p> <p><b>To what particular use did the Egyptians put it?</b></p> <p>They made coffins of it, lined with a resinous composition, which preserved the bodies of the dead uncorrupted.</p> <p><b>What is Cochineal?</b></p> <p>A drug used by the dyers, for dyeing crimsons and scarlets; and for making carmine, a brilliant red used in painting, and several of the arts.</p> <p><b>Is it a plant?</b></p> <p>No, it is an insect. The form of the Cochineal is oval; it <span class="pagenum"><SPAN name="Page_38" id="Page_38"></SPAN>[38]</span>is about the size of a small pea, and has six legs armed with claws, and a trunk by which it sucks its nourishment.</p> <p><b>What is its habitation?</b></p> <p>It breeds in a fruit resembling a pear; the plant which bears it is about five or six feet high; at the top of the fruit grows a red flower, which when full blown, falls upon it; the fruit then appears full of little red insects, having very small wings. These are the Cochineals.</p> <p><b>How are they caught?</b></p> <p>By spreading a cloth under the plant, and shaking it with poles, till the insects quit it and fly about, which they cannot do many minutes, but soon tumble down dead into the cloth; where they are left till quite dry.</p> <p><b>Does the insect change its color when it is dead?</b></p> <p>When the insect flies, it is red; when it is fallen, black; and when first dried, it is greyish; it afterwards changes to a purplish grey, powdered over with a kind of white dust.</p> <p><b>From what countries is the Cochineal brought?</b></p> <p>From the West Indies, Jamaica, Mexico, and other parts of America.</p> <p><b>What are Cloves?</b></p> <p>The dried flower-buds of the Clove Tree, anciently a native of the Moluccas; but afterwards transplanted by the Dutch (who traded in them,) to other islands, particularly that of Ternate. It is now found in most of the East Indian Islands.</p> <p><b>Describe the Clove Tree.</b></p> <p>It is a large handsome tree of the myrtle kind; its leaves resemble those of the laurel. Though the Clove Tree is cultivated to a great extent, yet, so easily does the fruit on falling take root, that it thus multiplies itself, in many instances, without the trouble of culture. The clove when it first begins to appear is white, then green, and at last hard and red; when dried, it turns yellow, and then dark brown.</p><p><span class="pagenum"><SPAN name="Page_39" id="Page_39"></SPAN>[39]</span></p> <p><b>What are its qualities?</b></p> <p>The Clove is the hottest, and most acrid of aromatic substances; one of our most wholesome spices, and of great use in medicine; it also yields an abundance of oil, which is much used by perfumers, and in medicine.</p> <div class="blockquot"><p><i>Acrid</i>, of a hot, biting taste.</p> <p><i>Aromatic</i>, fragrant, having an agreeable odor.</p></div> <p><b>What is Cinnamon?</b></p> <p>An agreeable, aromatic spice, the bark of a tree of the laurel kind; the Cinnamon tree grows in the Southern parts of India; but most abundantly in the island of Ceylon, where it is extensively cultivated; its flowers are white, resembling those of the lilac in form, and are very fragrant; they are borne in large clusters. The tree sends up numerous shoots the third or fourth year after it has been planted; these shoots are planted out, when nearly an inch in thickness.</p> <p><b>How is the bark procured?</b></p> <p>By stripping it off from these shoots, after they have been cut down; the trees planted for the purpose of obtaining cinnamon, throw out a great number of branches, apparently from the same root, and are not allowed to rise higher than ten feet; but in its native uncultivated state, the cinnamon tree usually rises to the height of twenty or thirty feet.</p> <p><b>How is the Cinnamon Tree cultivated?</b></p> <p>By seed, sown during the rains; from shoots cut from large trees; and by transplanting old stumps. The cinnamon tree, in its wild state, is said to be propagated by means of a kind of pigeons, that feed on its fruit; in carrying which to their nests, the seeds fall out, and, dropping in various places, take root, spring up, and become trees.</p> <div class="blockquot"><p><i>Propagated</i>, spread, extended, multiplied.</p></div> <p><b>What else is obtained from this tree?</b></p> <p>The bark, besides being used as a spice, yields an oil highly <span class="pagenum"><SPAN name="Page_40" id="Page_40"></SPAN>[40]</span>esteemed, both as a medicine and as a perfume; the fruit by boiling also produces an oil, used by the natives for burning in lamps; as soon as it hardens, it becomes a solid substance like wax, and is formed into candles. Camphor is extracted from the root. Cassia is cinnamon of an inferior kind.</p> <hr style="width: 65%;" /> <h2>
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