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size, but lose one third of their weight ; cooled by tossing into the air; ground for use.
In a raw state used medicinally ; has a sweetish taste. A pleasant beverage ; stimulating property called caffeine ; excellent drink for residents in fenny districts and damp places ; an antidote to vegetable poisons, as tobacco, laudanum, opium, &c. Caffaic acid, extracted from decayed berries, produces a bright green colour. Powdered coffee generally adulterated with burnt bread, rye, wheat, and chicory — roots of endive (a species of dandelion), cut into small pieces and roasted ; on the continent used by the poor as a substitute for coffee ; largely cultivated in Belgium, Germany, Channel Isles, and England ; its presence easily detected ; a spoonful of the mixture dropped into a glass of water; the chicory sinks, staining the water a deep red.
V. History and Statistics. The properties of the berry first discovered by a Mahometan doctor about the middle of the fif. teenth century, who had observed the natives drink a decoction of the bruised berries ; return from his travels, he took some as a medicine, found it removed headache, enlivened the spirits, and prevented sleep. Other accounts say, the prior of a monastery, seeing the wild goats become very lively and frisky after browsing upon the coffee plants, administered a decoction of the berries to his monks, to keep them awake during their vigils. Its introduction into Arabia, Turkey, Syria, greatly opposed; now supplies the Turks and Mahometans generally with a substitute for wine ; why ? First sold in Paris and London about 1650. In the reign of the second Charles, a license required for its sale. “ Coffee-houses suppressed in 1675; now very common ; several hundred in the metropolis alone, as it may be sold when and where people choose.
Fifty millions of pounds consumed annually.
LESSON XIII. - CORK.
I. Description of Appearance, Qualities, &c. LIGHT ; very buoyant, specific gravity only one fourth that of water; dry ; soft; compressible ; elastic; appears very porous, not so in reality, the pores not communicating with each other. Bark of a tree
“ The cork tree's furrow'd rind.”
II. Localities of Cultivation, &c. Native of the warmer'regions of the temperate zones. Cultivated in Italy, Spain, Southern France, Algeria, &c., in forests and parks (unknown in the New World). Grown occasionally in England as a curiosity. Species of oak ; botanical name, Quercus suber ; evergreen ; principal forest-tree where oaks are wanting ; sometimes, therefore, the “king of the forest."
III. Preparation of the Bark. Stripped from the tree when fifteen years old ; tree allowed eight years to recover ; process then
repeated ; a tree bears this operation ten or eleven times; bark improves as the age of the tree in
Procured in long strips, in thickness some two or three inches; slit vertically and horizontally at the top and bottom of the trunk; removed with a peculiarly shaped knife; sometimes, after incised, left to shed itself. Soaked in water; dried and partly scorched ; hence black appearance of the outside ; this renders it more imporous - heat closes the pores ; flattened under heavy weights while heated; packed in bales ; exported; five hundred tons imported into England annually.
IV. Uses. Applications varied, important, and numerous, both among ourselves and foreign nations; e.g.:
1. Corks. — Liquids formerly kept in casks and jars stopped with clay, pitch, plaster of Paris, and similar substances ; afterwards drawn into bottles, the necks stopped with pieces of bark — “ corks;" first used in the seventeenth century ; made by cork-cutters in most cities and towns of the kingdom ; cut into slips ; cleverly rounded with a sharp knife.
2. In the construction of life-boats, &c. Floats of cork used by fishermen in very ancient times, as by the Romans. Much cork used in a life-boat the gunwales (edges) lined on both sides to the depth of two feet, and the seats filled with it; thus rendered extremely buoyant. Employed in making life-belts, cloaks, capes, and jackets, designed to save from drowning.
3. In the manufacture of hats. -Cut into thin veneers for the foundation of hats ; very light. Veneers extremely thin ; some have been printed upon instead of paper.
4. In making models.-A material excellent for imitating ruins, decayed walls, &c.; models of towns, castles, cathedrals, churches, abbeys, remarkable ruins, made of it ; very beautiful and valuable.
5. For soles of boots and shoes, 8c. — Good preservative from damp; affords comfortable protection to the feet; used in this manner by the Chinese as well as by ourselves. Burnt cork made into Spanish black. Also useful for artificial limbs, cork legs, arms, &c.
6. In Kamptulicon. - A compound of cork and caoutchouc ; a good sheeting for ships of war ; its great elasticity causes the balls to rebound.
7. Foreign uses.-By the Spaniards and Portuguese very extensively applied to numerous useful purposes : e.g., made into bee-hives, baskets, plates, cups, tubs, and other domestic utensils ; a substitute for slates and tiles in covering roofs ; lining for damp walls.
LESSON XIV.- THE COTTON PLANT.
EXHIBIT a cotton-pod, pieces of manufactured goods, and a print of the plant. Question out the particulars.
1. Appearance of the Plant. Belongs to the same class as our hollyhock and mallow; ten or twelve different species ; chiefly three cultivated.
1. The herbaceous : most important; an annual; two feet high; foliage, dark green, in shape like the sycamore; flower, pale yellow with purple centre;
followed by three-celled capsule or pod, about the size of a walnut ; each cell filled with a white, soft, downy, fibrous stuff, and a number of small seeds (like grape seeds); this white or buff mass is raw cotton.
2. The shrubby : biennial or perennial, according to climate ; reaches the height of twelve feet.
3. The arborescent : largest twenty feet high ; not much cultivated ; produce least valuable.
II. Regions where cultivated. Grows naturally in Asia, Africa, and the New World. Cultivated in the Birman Empire, India, China; Egypt, Central Africa (about Lake Tchad, the Niger, and Senegal); United States (North Carolina, South Carolina, Louisiana, Ohio, Alabama), Mexico, West Indies, Colombia, Brazil; the southern countries of Europe to a very small extent. Sea Islands cotton the finest; produced near Charlestown (North America), on sandy plains near the coast. Upland or bowed cotton grown inland. America chiefly supplies Lancashire ; why?
III. Method of Propagation, Gathering, gc. Propagated by seeds on sandy soils ; sown along ridges five feet apart; often blighted by frosts or cold winds ; attacked by the “cut-worm, which eats off the tender plant; thinned of all weak ones ; repeatedly hoed and weeded ; in autumn caterpillars destroy whole plantations e.g, a field of four hundred acres ruined by them in a few days. The cotton-fields present a very beautiful appearance.
When ripe, the capsules burst ; harvest about six months after the plant