Billeder på siden
PDF
ePub

acquainted with alloys unknown it is always more or less inlaid to our practical chemists.

with silver. It is called Biddery Among those in general use that ware from the place where it was have drawn the attention of Eu- originally, and I believe is still ropeans living in India, are the exclusively, made ; for though the alloys for the gurry, and the Bid people of Bengal have utensils of dery ware.

this kind, I have no where seen The gurry is a disk of a cubit any new ones for sale, which would and upwards in diameter, about be the case were they manufachalf an inch in thickness in the tured there. centre, but decreasing towards the Biddery is a large city, about circumference, where it is scarcely sixty miles N.W. from Hyderabad, more than one-fourth of an inch. formerly the seat of mighty kings, It is used to mark the divisions of and one of the largest, 'or best time, by striking it with a wooden places of the Dekan, belonging to mallet. The sound is in general the Nizam. It is situated on the remarkably clear, full, and loud, eastern brink of a table-land, when it is properly managed. In which is about 100 feet above the common they are suspended on a level of the surrounding country, triangular pyramid made of three and from S. to N. six to eight bamboos tied together at top. They miles in diameter. The place is are used in all large cities, at the fortified, has high walls and extencutwal's choultry, at the houses sive outworks, particularly to the and cutcheries of great men, at northward; but whether strong, the main guard of every battalion, or otherwise, I am not competent and head-quarters of every de to judge. I found them very tachment of troops. Some com

Some com- badly guarded ; as is generally the manding officers have them even case in the fortified places belongnear their doors, to the annoyance ing to the native powers of India. of their visitors, whose ears are As I had been always very denot so blunted and insensible as sirous of learning the composition their own. In short, they are the of the Biddery ware, and could regulators of time and business get no information of it at Hyderaover all India. The exact pro- bad, I requested Captain Sydenportion of the compound of which ham, then resident at that court, they are made I do not recollect, to favour me with a dustuk (order) but I believe it is somewhat va to the governor of Biddery, (which riable, as the gurries are prized place I was to pass on my way to according to the places where they join the detachment at Jaulna,) to have been manufactured.

assist me in getting the desired The Biddery ware is used par- knowledge. I must observe here, ticularly for hooka-bottoms, and that it is not only extremely diffidishes to hand betel about to vi. cult in general for travellers, bụt sitors, where more precious metals almost impossible, without much are not attainable. It is of a black money, to acquire any information colour, which never fades, and on a subject of the most indifwhich, if tarnished, may be easily ferent nature, without the concurrestored. To relieve the sable hue rence and actual support of the

head-man

head-man of the place. At Bid- As the metal in this state was dery the jealousy against Euro- divested of all but its natural peans of all classes is carried so colour, I recognized it immedifar, that none are allowed to enter ately as a compound of which its the gates of the city, except such greatest portion is tin. It conas are in the service of the Nizam, tained of this metal twenty-four and stationed in the fort. It hap- parts, and one of copper, joined pened fortunately that the chief of by fusion. I was herein not a that place had some favours to ask little disappointed, as I had always of Captain Sydenham, and Mr. understood that it was made of a Russell, his assistant, whose kind metallic substance found on the assistance in promoting my inqui- table-land of Biddery, and which, ries on this and all other occasions as I never had made any experiI have gratefully to acknowledge: ment with a view of discovering so that I received the dustuk its composition, I flattered myself without much delay, just as I as might be a new mineral. In cended the table-land. On pro- coming along I really had found ducing it at Biddery some of the also a lithomarga, which resemmanufacturers were immediately bled the common Biddery ware in sent to me in the choultry, under colour and appearance; and it a guard of peons, with the strictest was probably this that had given orders that they should inform me rise to the account which former of the whole and every part of travellers had given of that subtheir mystery. I wished to go to stance, as the mineral used for the their houses; but as this had not ware manufactured at that place. been mentioned in the order, and The business of their second as they lived in the city, I could visit was to cast, or to make before not obtain permission. The men me, a vessel of their ware. The who attended me complained of apparatus which they brought with want, in an employment which in them on the occasion consisted of former times had been the means a broken earthen pot, to serve as of subsisting a numerous class of a furnace; a piece of bamboo their own cast, and of enriching about a foot long as a bellows, or the place, but which now scarcely blow-pipe; a form made of clay, yielded food for five families that exactly resembling a .common remained. They are of the gold- hooka-bottom; and some wax, smith cast, which, together with which probably had been used by some of other handicrafts, is the several generations for the purpose lowest of all sudras, though they for which it is yet employed. wear the brahminical string:

The first operation was to cover At their first visit they brought the form with wax on all sides, nothing but a lump of their com which was done by winding a pound used for casting their ware, band, into which the wax was reand a few vessels which they had duced, as close as possible round just in hand, for inlaying them it. A thin coat of clay was then with silver, an operation which laid over the wax, and, to fasten they conceived would be of all the the outer to the inner clay form, most attractive to a curious fringi. some iron pins were driven through

it in various directions. After the whole surface with a little oil this had been dried for some time or butter. in the sun, the wax was liquified hy As nothing looks handsome in putting the form in a place suffi- the eyes of an Indian, but what is ciently heated, and discharged glittering with gold or silver, it through the hole, by which the may be imagined that their hooka melted metal is poured in to occupy and betel dishes, which are chiefly its place. It is scarcely necessary to used on festive occasions, are not say, that when the metal is suffi- left destitute of these ornaments; ciently cooled the form is broken, they are chiefly decorated with and the vessel found of the desired silver, in the form of festoons, shape.

fanciful flowers, and leaves. SomeColouring the ware with the times I have seen a little gold instanding black, for which they are terspersed. celebrated, is the next, and in my The way of inlaying them is opinion the most remarkable ope- very simple; but of course as teration. It consists in taking equal dious as can well be imagined, and parts of muriate of ammonia and could be only practised where time saltpetre earth, such as is found is of little value. The parts of at the bottom of old mud walls the projected figure are first cut in old and populous villages in out in silver leaf, which are placed India, mixing them together with in a piece of broken earthenware water, and rubbing the paste before the artist, who cuts with which is thus produced on the a pointed instrument the same vessel, which has been previously figure on the vessel, applies the scraped with a knife. The change silver leaf, piece after piece, and of colour is almost instantaneous, gently hammers it into its place. and, what is surprising to me, The greatest skill consists in lasting

tracing the pieces of the figure on The saltpetre earth of this place the vessel exactly of the same size has, when dry, a reddish colour, as they are in the silver leaf, and like the soil about Biddery. It is in this I have never seen them very likely that the carbonate, or mistaken. oxide of iron, which it contains, They do their work very expeis essentially necessary for the ditiously, and will make any figure production of the black colour. on copper with the greatest nicety, The muriate and nitrate of lime, according to the sample which is which is in considerable propor- laid before them. tion in all earth from which salt Note.-Mr. Wilkins informed petre is manufactured in India, Dr. Heyne that the Biddery ware may be perhaps not an useless in- is likewise manufactured in Begredient in this respect.

nares, and he thinks that zinc is The hooka-bottoms of this ware used as an alloy in that part of happen sometimes to get tarnished, India. I examined a piece of a meacquiring a brownish, or shillering tal statue, which Mr. Wilkins concolour, which is easily removed, sidered as Biddery ware : it was zinc and the black restored, by rubbing alloyed with a very little copper.

USE

[ocr errors]

USE OF THE COCOA-NUT TREE.

chief food of the poultry and other domestic animals.

When the tree has grown to a (From the same.)

considerable height, one of the

sprouts, which forms what is callA cocoa-nut planted in the sandy ed the flour, is cut off nearly at shore of Ceylon, shews its first its base, leaving, however, a shoots above the ground after stump sufficiently long for a Chatabout three months, and at the ty (or earthen vessel) to be attachend of six is fit for transplantation. ed to it, into which the juices of No particular care is necessary to the tree drop and form the liquor rear it; planted in a barren soil, called toddy, which is not only a and fanned by the bleak winds of pleasant beverage in its primary the ocean,

it seems to gain state, but is used in making jagstrength from neglect, and fecun- gery (coarse sugar) vinegar and dity from exposure: notwith- arrack, which, after cinnamon, is standing these apparent disadvan- the chief article of merchandize in tages, its hardihood surmounts this island. every obstacle, and at the end of The inside or soft part of the six years it begins to bear fruit tree is used for fuel, while the —and from that period becomes a more solid external part is convaluable source of wealth to the verted into rafters, and the napossessor. While it continues tural net work which surrounds young, the fruit, or interior of the base of the branches, forms the nut, affords a palatable and sieves for straining medicinal oils, nutritive food to the native. The &c.—The boughs which support watery liquid within, which we the fruit are used as brooms, as term milk, is a beverage equally well as the husk of the shell, which pleasant and cooling, and is as is sometimes converted into agreeable to the palate as invigo- brushes for whitewashing, &c.; rating to the body. The juice of the shell itself makes fuel, and the cocoa-nut when mixed with the fibres of the husk which chunam serves to strengthen it, encloses it, form coir, another and to increase its adhesive quali- most valuable article of exporties. When older, the cocoa-nut, tation. as it is well known, is used in The cabbage is fit for almost making curry, and without it, the every culinary purpose, but parCingalese would find himself at a ticularly for pickling; the root is loss for one of the principal in- useful in medicine, and the natives gredients of this his simple, but occasionally mix it with betel for constant and only food. The nut chewing. The branches of the grown older still, when pressed, tree the natives weave into hedges, yields that oil, which affords al- and sometimes burn for fuel The most the only sort of lişht used in cla or leaf is put to a great variety Ceylon; and the nut itself, after of uses; there are few natives who the juice is pressed out, is con dwell under any other covering verted into flour, and forms the than that which an ola hut affords,

and

with narrow pathways, occasion- the other party were diametry ally intersected by hedges of the opposite to the alve plantasan prickly milk bush, and low and the volley was fired into it. thick ramifications of the aloe balls whistled over their benche tree.

around them, but happy w... The party beat about the jungle bad consequences to any ime. (for it had this appearance, rather The success which atteluide than that of a garden), when by first hunt, redoubled exerta, great good fortune it had a glimpse with great management, the 14 of one of the animals making off scoured the bushes in s with some rapidity. It was first the lioness's companion. taken for a large grown calf; a time passed, and a great det misconception very natural, as the laborious exertion, bifure t'e u. sequel will shew, and as by the mal was traced by his first. report of the morning, the party one of the high belum expected to meet with tigers. The tersected the garden. 1140 appearance of the animal, however, approached within a 1.gave a stimulus to the exertions of when, by previous cuiu , the gentlemen, who moved for- gentlemen and two sep. 2." ward in the low jungle, surveying independently, with the every bush, and expecting each animal moved off imebai"! instant to hear a tremendous roar, the other side of the best, or perhaps to encounter the savage ten minutes mare, le . attacks of the animals. Little covered lying under an der more search brought the two groaning with race and place beasts in full view, when one of Some pieces were le them started off, receiving a ball which exasperating hoan, ... from a gentleman in the side. It out, and nobly charged k... s** went rapidly past two others of ants, his tail being curkı 4.40; the party, and was wounded by a back. In his auttane, bo ws* single shot in the flank. These luted with great wines, wounds appeared to have produced several balls from all their no decided effect, and a quarter of men, and a few opp! an hour had elapsed before it was party who had come again discovered crouching in a though within a few yarim thick plantation of aloe trees. It object of his atlach, te c.. was here that a few Sepoys and turned off, it is sic! one of the gentlemen advancing count of being sensen within eight paces, brought the and spruns upwn a reparto beast prostrate on the ground; ed to the nati, #ih *. *** when, for the first time, consiliere grappled, and afterudun! ing the indistinct view obtained in violence of the entien the low jungle, during the pur- ground, besond bin. suit, it was found that instead of It was at this w....!! tigers the objects of the chace were party gal'antis, ad forte ! lions of considerable size! Some mane purpureo! :21:. danger attended the death of this creature, ruskeilt*!. animal, (which was a lioness) as the bayunet and swurus nibe.

« ForrigeFortsæt »