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Sanc'hyar, San.), the yellow sulphuret, (Hartal, Hind. Haritala, San.) called auripigmentum, or orpiment; by the Arabs, zarnich, and the red sulphuret, (Mansil, Hind., Manah Silah, San.,) or realgar. Arsenic, properly so called, is a moderately heavy, compact, hard, brittle concrete, of a crystalline or vitreous appearance, gradually changing, from exposure to the air, to a milky hue, like that of porcelain, and at length to the opaque whiteness of white enamel; the large masses preserve their transparency longer than the small, and in dry longer than in a moist air. In the fire it neither burns nor perfectly melts, but totally exhales in thick fumes of a strong fetid smell, resembling garlic. Great caution is necessary in all operations upon arsenic, to avoid its fumes.
ASSAFETIDA (Hing, Hind., Hinga, San.) is the concrete juice of the root of a species of Ferula, growing in Persia, which abounds with a thick milky juice, yielding an excessively strong fetid smell. Assafoetida has a nauseous, somewhat bitter, biting taste; the stronger these are, the better, as age diminishes both. It is originally in small drops; but when packed, it forms irregular masses, composed of little shining lumps or grains, which have the different shades of white, brown, red, or violet. It should be chosen clean, fresh, strong scented, of a pale reddish colour, variegated with a number of fine white tears; when broken, it should somewhat resemble marble in appearance, and after being exposed to the air, should turn of a violet red colour. Its peculiar scent and taste will distinguish the genuine from the adulterated; that which is soft, black, and foul, should be rejected. The packages should be carefully examined, or there will be considerable waste; they should also be tight, or the smell arising from this drug, will injure any other that is stowed near it. Freight 20 Cwt. to
AURIPIGMENTUM, (Hartal, Hind., Haritala, San., Zarnich, Arab.) or orpiment, so called from its being used as a gold pigment, is a native fossil, found in Turkey, and the eastern countries; some is also met with in Bohemia, but inferior in goodness to the other. The best sort is of a lively gold colour, here and there intermixed with pieces of a vermilion red, of a shattery, foliaceous texture, somewhat flexible, soft to the touch like talc, and sparkling when broken. The inferior kinds are of a dead yellow, inclining more to greenish, and want the bright appearance of the foregoing. It burns in the fire, but not very easily, with a dark, blueish, white flame, a sulphureous smell, and at the same time melts and becomes red. It is usually brought to England under its Hindoo name, Hartal. Its principal use is as a colouring drug amongst painters, bookbinders, &c. Great care is necessary in securing it, or it will from its weight break the
packages, and much of it be lost. It has been imported in powder, which has been of a beautiful yellow colour. Freight 20 Cwt. to a ton.
BDELLIUM is produced in Persia and the East Indies, from a tree or plant not well known, and is externally of a reddish brown, somewhat like myrrh; internally clear, and not unlike glue; in loose drops, not concreted into cakes. Some of these drops are as large as hazel nuts, many less than a pea, and some few of considerable size; they are seldom regularly round, often crooked, and of an irregular shape. This gum is moderately heavy and hard; taken into the mouth, it grows soft and tough, in the manner of mastic; its smell is not disagreeable; its taste inclines to bitter, but not so much as that of myrrh; it readily takes fire, and burns very briskly with a white bright flame, crackles all the time, and frequently throws small fragments of matter to the surface of the flame. It should be chosen somewhat transparent, the more so the better, of a bitter taste, and dusky reddish brown colour; moderately heavy and hard, becoming soft and tough in the mouth. It entirely dissolves in verjuice or vinegar. Freight 16 Cwt. to a ton.
BEZOAR.-This medicinal stone, to which extraordinary qualities were formerly attributed, has latterly been much more lightly esteemed. It grows in the stomach of an animal of the goat kind, inhabiting the mountains in various parts of Persia and India. The genuine Oriental bezoar is commonly of an oval form, and between the size of a hazel nut and a walnut; if larger, it is more valuable; if smaller, of little value. This stone is externally smooth and glossy, and composed of several shining coats, like an onion, enclosing either a powdery substance, or a nucleus, round which they are formed. The colour most valued, is a shining olive, or dark green; but there are some whitish, some grey, and some of a dull yellow. Purchasers should be careful in chusing this drug. The real bezoar has little smell, and no taste. It should be as large as possible; the very small pieces should be entirely rejected, as they are most commonly increased with factitious substances. When a red hot needle, on entering the bezoar, occasions it to fry and shrivel, it is not genuine; if it only throws off a small scale or crust without entering, it is good. If on rubbing it over paper, previously smeared with chalk or quick lime, it leaves a yellow tint on the former, or a green one on the latter, it is a good stone. If the bezoar, after soaking five or six hours in lukewarm water, remains unchanged in weight, colour, or consistence, it is genuine. Nor should it appear affected by rectified spirit any more than by water. The powder, after agitation with water or spirit, subsides uniformly and totally, leaving
no greenish matter dissolved in the liquors, as those powders do in which the bezoar-tincture has been imitated by certain vegetable matters.
BRIMSTONE, OR SULPHUR, (Gandhac, Hind. Gandhaca, San.) is a well-known substance, hard, brittle, and inflammable, of an opaque yellow colour; it is found, more or less pure, generally in the neighbourhood of volcanoes; it is an article of trade from Persia to the British settlements, but not to any extent. It is contraband in China.
COLOQUINTIDA, COLOCYNTH, OR BITTER APPLE, is a fruit about the size of an orange, that grows on the Cucumis Colocynthis (Indrasini, Hind. Indravaruni, San.) a climbing plant of the gourd kind, in Persia, Arabia, and Egypt; it is light, and of a fungous texture, with a number of roundish seeds in the cavities, which are unctuous, and sweetish to the taste; the other part is acrid, nauseous, and extremely bitter. Chuse the largest white apples, that are light, round, and not cracked or broken, as the seeds are the most material part of the fruit. The freight is calculated at 8 Cwt. per ton.
CUMMIN SEEDS. The plant which produces these seeds, the Cuminum Cyminum, (Jira, Hind. Jiraca, San.) somewhat resembles fennel, and grows in various parts of India, Persia, and Egypt; it is an article of trade with Surat. The seed is a kind of carraway, of a bitterish, warm, aromatic, but disagreeable flavour. They are to be chosen fresh, and of a greenish colour. There are several sorts of cummin seeds to be met with.
EARTH, RED, OR INDIAN RED, is procured from some of the Islands in the Persian Gulph, and carried from thence to Surat, Bengal, and other parts of India, where it is used in painting houses, &c. It is much esteemed among painters, but it is difficult to be procured genuine in England. The best kind is of a fine purple colour, extremely heavy, and of very great hardness; of a firm, compact, solid texture, and always full of bright glittering particles; of a rough and dusty surface, colouring the hands very much; it adheres firmly to the tongue, melts with difficulty in the mouth, and is of a rough, austere, and very astringent taste; thrown into water, it makes a very considerable ebullition, but moulders or breaks with difficulty in it. In the fire it burns to a greater hardness, with very little change of colour.
ELEMI GUM is a concrete resinous juice exuding from the Amýris Elemifera, a tree of the olive kind, growing in the East as well as West Indies. The East India Elemi is generally brought in cakes of 2 or 3 lbs. each, of an oblong, roundish form, wrapped up in flag leaves; it is semitransparent, and of a pale yellow colour, a little inclining to green. Chuse that which is softish, of a pale whitish yellow colour, and of a strong, not
unpleasant smell, somewhat like that of fennel, and of a bitterish taste. Reject that which is hard, dark coloured, or dirty. Freight 16 Cwt to a ton.
GALBANUM GUM is the produce of an evergreen plant, Bubon Galbanum, found in Persia, and in some parts of Africa. When this plant is in the third or fourth year of its growth, drops of Galbanum exude at the joints; the natives, to increase the produce, wound the main stem at this time, at a small distance above the root; the juice then flows plentifully, and is collected for use. Galbanum is a gummy-resinous, rather unctuous substance; sometimes in the natural drops or tears, but more frequently in masses composed of a number of these blended together. The drops, when perfect, approach near to a roundish, or oblong figure; but they commonly lose their form in the masses: these are pale-coloured, semi-transparent, soft, and tenacious. In the best specimens they appear composed of clear whitish tears, often intermixed with stalks, and seeds of the plant. When fresh, the masses and tears are white, and with age, change to yellow or brown.
When the tears can be procured, they are to be preferred: these tears should be fattish, moderately viscous, and glossy on the surface; such as are too fat, of a dark brown colour, and mixed with sticks, and other foreign substances, are to be rejected. The best cakes are those of a light yellow colour, of a strong, piercing, and, to most persons, a disagreeable smell; of a bitterish, warm taste; not very humid, nor yet quite dry; being of a nature between a gum and a resin, flaming in the fire, and with difficulty dissolved in oil. The less chips, dirt, stalks, or other impurities, the better. A mixture of two parts of rectified spirits of wine, and one of water, will best shew its quality, by dissolving all the pure galbanum, and leaving the impurities. When its foulness renders it of little value, it is best purified by enclosing it in a bladder, and keeping it in boiling water till it melts, or becomes soft enough to be strained by pressure through a hempen cloth. If this process be skilfully managed, the Galbanum loses but little of the essential oil, some of which is generally carried off in evaporation.-Freight, 16 Cwt. to the ton.
GALLS are hard, roundish excrescences, found on a species of oak trees, in various parts of the East, produced from the puncture of an insect, and affording a lodgment for its young, till they are capable of eating a passage through; those galls which have no hole, are generally found to have the dead insect in them. The best galls are from Aleppo, (Maju Phal. Hind. and San.) mostly of a blueish colour, or greyish or blackish, verging to blueness, unequal and warty on the surface, hard to break, and
of a close compact texture. Those which are small, white, and broken, should be rejected.-Freight, 20 Cwt. to the ton.
GOGUL is a species of bitumen, much used at Bombay, Bengal, and other parts of India, for painting the bottoms of ships, it being superior to any thing else for that purpose; and wood covered with it resists the worm a long time.
HYPOCISTIS is an inspissated juice, of a firm consistence, and a bright black colour, prepared from a certain fleshy juicy vegetable, which grows up from the root of a species of Cistus, common in Persia and Arabia. It is seldom imported into England; it is in considerable hard and heavy masses, of a fine shining black, like that of liquorice when fresh broken, and of a duskier black on the surface. It should be chosen heavy, hard, and black, and of an acrid, astringent taste, and burning smell.
JUJUBES, a half-dried fruit of the plum kind, produced in the southern parts of Europe, as well as in Persia, and other Eastern countries. The latter is of a blackish hue, much darker than the former, which is of a reddish yellow colour. It is furnished with an ash-coloured cup at the bottom, from which it is easily parted. They should be chosen fresh, plump, and well-dried, or they will be subject to decay.
KISMISSES, a species of raisin, in which a considerable trade is carried on between Persia and various parts of India.
LABDANUM is a resinous juice which exudes from a small shrub (Cistus Ladaniferus) in Persia and Arabia. Two sorts of it are distinguished: the one in cakes or masses, of an irregular size; the other in rolls, twisted like the rolls of wax tapers. This drug is said to be collected in the heat of summer, by lightly brushing the shrub that produces it with a kind of rake, having thongs of leather fixed to it, instead of teeth; the unctuous juice adheres to the thongs, and is afterwards scraped off with a knife. The masses of Labdanum are dark coloured, of the consistence of a soft plaister, of a strong, but not disagreeable smell, accompanied with a warm, aromatic, rather unpleasant taste. The coiled Labdanum is harder than the preceding, and contains a considerable quantity of sandy matter. The masses have not near such a quantity of impurities; some small dust, &c. blown on this resin, while it remains on the shrub, cannot be avoided.
LAPIS LAZULI is a compact, ponderous fossil, less hard than flint, taking a high polish, and is used occasionally for toys, &c. Its most valuable purpose is in making that beautiful blue colour called ultra-marine. It is found in many parts of the world, but the best is that of Asia; it is in lumps usually about the size of a man's fist, frequently smaller, and some