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piele der bith the utmost care in my dry the cells, and with them fill a e colour. The found upon the unculti. lay it upon a smooth junk of !, they perciges, where bountiful nathe ser motion ten times greater the for in a minute it will be hard and
sulates into a viscid, ropy sub- in procuring the lac, is in breaktance, which, hardened in the ing down the branches, and carrypen air, is similar to the cell of ing the sticks to market; the
coccus laccæ. The natives present price in Dacca is about bil this fig milk with oils into a 12 shillings the hundred weight, rdlime which will hold peacocks and it is brought from the distant
the largest birds ; in the same country of Asan! The best lac is
same substance; hence it is quently, they can be of no use as
under the va ous names of gum
is a fungous excrescence cakes; 4. Shell lac, is the cells ently grows from the small liquified, strained, and formed nes of this tree, the little into thin transparent laminæ, in
granulations of which are the following manner :-separate t covered with a red bloom, the cells from the branches, break
soon turns black, and them into small pieces, throw i contains insects, lac, nor
them into a tub of water for one that ever I could find, day; wash off the red water and
This tree is much fre- cylindrical tube of cotton cloth, 1 by ants, flies, and various two feet long and an inch and a
which destroy the flowers, half diameter, tie both ends, turn ind fruit; this mistake has the bag above a charcoal fire; as
led Bontius, father Tac- the lac liquifies, twist the bag, nd their copiers into error. and when a sufficient quantity has ac of this country is prin- transuded the pores of the cloth, Fountains on both sides of plantain tree (musa paradisiaca
Linnæi) and with a strip of the produced it in such pro- plantain leaf draw it into a thin abundance, that was the lamina, take it off while flexible,
sir in are the
and are at I The extreure if they were dust, and other hausted, that produce me drop,
might be supplied by this brittle ; the value of shell lac is nsect! The only trouble according to its transparency.
tions, possibly owing to the mi- servations ; I did not see the innuteness of the object, and want sect until November, when the of proper glasses.
sells and insects were at their full The insect is produced by the ize ; and we find a vast number parent in the months of November of little oblong red bodies, interand December; they traverse the mixed with the red fluid of the branches of the trees upon which mother; these are the young offthey were produced for some time, spring, each enveloped in its proand then fix themselves upon the per membrane; when all the red succulent extremities of the young liquid is expended, they throw off branches, sometimes upon the pe- their membranous coverings, and tioles of the leaves, but never on pierce a hole through the side of the trunk, or large branches, pro- the mother, and superior part of bably on account of the rigidity of the cell, and walk off one by one their cuticle, and deficiency of to a distant part of the branch, juice.
leaving their exuviæ behind, which By the middle of January they is that white substance found in are all fixed in their proper situ- the empty cells of the stick lac. ations; they appear as plump as Those insects are the parasitic before, but shew no other signs inhabitants of three different trees, of life. The limbs, antennæ, and viz.sitæ of the tail are no longer to be Ist. Ficus Religiosa, Bengali seen around the edges; they are Pipul, Anglice Banian tree.-2d. environed with a spisid, sub-pel- Ficus Bengalensis, in Bengali lucid liquid, which seems to glue Bhur, Anglice Banian tree.—The them to the branch; it is the gra- third is a valuable tree called Pros dual accumulation of this liquid or Pras by the natives. which form's a strong and com The insects fix themselves so plete castle for each insect, and is close together, and in such numwhat is called gum lac, so useful bers, that I imagine only one i to the arts of men, as well as the six can have room enough to compreservation of this valuable insect. plete her cell; the others die,
I had no opportunity of seeing and are eat up by various insects. the operations of this insect, from The extreme branches appear as the 25th of January until the 16th if they were covered with a red of March, when the cells were dust, and their sap so much excompletely formed over the insect; hausted, that they generally wither, they had the appearance of an produce no fruit, and the leaves oval, or rather subrotund, smooth drop, or turn to a dirty black red bag without life, about the colour. The insects are transsize of a small cochineal insect, ported, I imagine, by birds ; if emarginated at the obtuse end, they perch upon these branches full of a heautiful red liquid, they must carry off a number of seemingly contained in cellulæ, as those insects upon their feet, to in the albumen ovi. At this time the next tree they rest upon. It the young insects cannot be dis- is worth observing, that these tinguished in the fluid. Here fiy-trees, when wounded, drop a again there is a blank in my ob- milky juice, which instantly coa
gulates into a viscid, ropy sub- in procuring the lac, is in breakstance, which, hardened in the ing down the branches, and carryopen air, is similar to the cell of ing the sticks to market; the the coccus laccæ. The natives present price in Dacca is about boil this fig milk with oils into a 12 shillings the hundred weight, birdlime which will hold peacocks and it is brought from the distant or the largest birds ; in the same country of Asan! The best lac is manner a red medicinal gum is of a deep red colour; if it is pale produced from the wounded prass and pierced at the top, the value tree, so similar to the gum lac, diminishes, because the insects that it may readily be taken for have left their cells, and consethe same substance; hence it is quently, they can be of no use as probable that those insects have a dye or colour, but probably they little trouble in animalizing the are better for varnishes. sap of these plants in the forma The insect and its cell has gone tion of their cells.
under the various names of gum The gum lac is said to be pro lac, lac tree, in Bengali, lac sand; duced from the ber or beger tree, by the English it is distinguished which is frequent in this country; into,--1. Stick lac ; which is the it is the rhamnus jujuba Linnæi, natural state from which all the or jujube tree; I will not deny others are formed ;-2. Seed lac, the fact, but what has been is the cells separated from the shewn to me as such, was a sub sticks ;-3. Lump lac, is seed lac stance very different from the lac : liquified by fire, and formed into there is a fungous excrescence cakes; 4. Shell lac, is the cells frequently grows from the small liquified, strained, and formed branches of this tree, the little into thin transparent laminæ, in tender granulations of which are the following manner :-separate at first covered with a red bloom, the cells from the branches, break which soon turns black, and them into small pieces, throw neither contains insects, lac, nor
them into a tub of water for one colour, that ever I could find, day; wash off the red water and even with the utmost care in my dry the cells, and with them fill a inquiries. This tree is much fre- cylindrical tube of cotton cloth, quented by ants, flies, and various two feet long and an inch and a insects, which destroy the flowers, half diameter, tie both ends, turn leaves and fruit; this mistake has the bag above a charcoal fire; as probably led Bontius, father Tac- the lac liquifies, twist the bag, hard, and their copiers into error. and when a sufficient quantity has
The lac of this country is prin- transuded the pores of the cloth, cipally found upon the unculti. lay it upon a smooth junk of vated mountains on both sides of plantain tree (musa paradisiaca the Ganges, where bountiful na Linnæi) and with a strip of the ture has produced it in such pro plantain leaf draw it into a thin digious abundance, that was the lamina, take it off while flexible, consumption ten times greater the for in a minute it will be hard and markets might be supplied by this brittle ; the value of shell lac is minute insect! The only trouble according to its transparency.
This is one of the most useful varnish is spreading upon it; to insects yet discovered, to Euro- imitate gold leaf they add turmepeans or natives. The natives rick to the varnish. This art is consume a great quantity of shell only known to the women of a lac in making ornamental rings, few families. painted and gilded in various Cutler's Grindstones.—Take of tastes, to decorate the black arms Ganges sand three parts, of seed of the ladies, and formed into lac washed one part; mix them beads, spiral and linked chains for over the fire in an earthen pot, necklaces, and other ornaments and form the mass into the shape for the hair.
of a grindstone, leaving a square Sealing-wax.—Take a stick and hole in the centre; fix it on an heat one end of it upon a charcoal axis, with liquified lac; heat the fire, put upon it a few leaves of stone moderately, and by turning the shell lac, softened above the the axis you may easily form it fire ; keep alternately heating and into an exact orbicular shape; adding more shell lac, until you polishing grindstones are made have got a mass of three or four only of such of the sand as will pounds of liquified shell lac upon pass easily through muslin, in the the end of your stick ; knead this proportion of two parts sand to upon a wetted board, with three one of lac. This sand is found at ounces of levigated cinnabar; Rajamahal; it is composed of form it into cylindrical pieces, and small, regular, crystalline partito give them a polish, rub them cles, tinged red with iron two while hot with a cotton cloth. parts, to one of the black mag
Japanning:—Take a lump of netic sand described by Muschenshell lac, prepared in the manner brook. of sealing wax, with whatever The stone-cutters make their colour you please; fix it upon the grindstones of a crystalline stone end of a stick; heat the polished with black iron specks (corund) wood over a charcoal fire, and rub beat into powder, and mixed with it over with half melted lac, and lac, in the same proportions as polish by rubbing it even with a with the sand; the coarse for piece of folded plantain leaf held cutting, and the sifted powder for in the hand, heating the lac, and polishing. These grindstones cut adding more as occasion requires; down iron very fast, and when their figures are formed by lac they want to increase its power, charged with various colours, in they throw sand upon it, and let the same manner.
it occasionally touch the edge of a In ornamenting their gods and vitrified brick. The same comporeligious houses, &c. they make sition is formed upon sticks for use of very thin beat lead, which cutting stones, shells, &c. by the they cover with various varnishes, hand. made of lac charged with colours ; Painting:- Take one gallon of they prepare them, it is said, with the red liquid, from the first washalum and tamarinds; the leaf of ing of shell lac, strain it through lead is laid pon a smooth iron a cloth, boil it for a short time, heated by fire below, while the then add half (an ounce of soap
earth (fossil alkali); boil an hour Spanish Wool.-The lac colour more, and add threeounces of pow- is preserved by the natives upon dered load (a straw coloured bark); flakes of cotton dipped repeatedly boil a short time, let it stand one into a strong solution of the lac night, and strain next day; eva insect in water, and dried. porate three quarts of milk with Here I ought to have described out cream to two quarts, upon a
the utilities of this body, as pracslow fire, curdle it with sour milk, tised by Europeans, but I am not and let it stand for a day or two; master of the subject, and shall be then mix it with the red liquid very glad to see it done by an above mentioned; strain them abler hand. The properties of through a cloth, add to the mix- bodies should be as fully described ture an ounce and a half of alum, as possible, for therein consists and the juice of eight or ten the principal utility of natural hislemons; mix the whole, and throw tory. The present mode of deit into a cloth bag strainer. The scribing natural productions merely blood of the insect forms a coagu as materiæ medicæ, pictoriæ, &c. lum with the caseous part of the is in my opinion highly injurious milk, and remains in the bag, to the subject, trifling, unbecomwhile the limpid acid water drains ing a natural historian, and is the from it; the coagulum is dried in cause of a great evil. the shade, and is used as a red To be added. After the grindcolour in painting and colouring stones, the gross remains after
Dyeing.–Take one gallon of making shell lac is formed into the red liquid prepared as in the balls, polished and painted for preceding page, without milk; to boys and men to play with, as our which add three ounces of alum; boys do with marbles. Perhaps boil three or four pounds of taw.. in this consists the secret art of rinds in a gallon of water, and making the European marbles. strain the liquor.
Added after Dying:— The dye is Light Red. — Mix equal parts of used in colouring that red powder the red liquid water and tamarind with which the Hindus bespatter water over a brisk fire ; in this one another in their holy festival mixture dip and wring the silk time. alternately, until it has received a proper quantity of the dye. To increase the colour increase the proportion of the red liquid, and let the silk boil a few minutes in By Benj. Ileyne, M.D. Naturalist to the mixture. To make the silk the Hon. East India Company at hold the colour, they boil a handful Madras. of the bark called Loaci in water ;
(From the same.) strain the decoction, and add cold water to it; dip the dyed silk into
The Hindoos have since time this liquor several times, and then immemorial not only excelled their dry the silk. Cotton cloths are neighbours in the management of dyed in this manner, but the dye metals for useful and curious puris not so lasting as in silk. poses, but they are even familiarly