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other resembles the Sunn of Bengal, and is much esteemed for its strength and durability, being preferable to that of Bengal for cotton ropes, where very great strength is necessary; it is the best substitute for hemp yet known; and could the cultivator be ensured a certain price, and a ready market for the commodity, very large quantities would be produced. It has been imported both by the East India Company and individuals; but the heavy freight it is subject to, has prevented its being a profitable remittance. The purer and cleaner it is when packed, the more it is esteemed. The tonnage is calculated at 50 cubical feet to a ton.
LIGNUM COLUBRINUM, snake wood, or snake root, is the woody part of the tree (Strychnos) which produces Nux Vomica. It is of a heavy close substance, covered with an iron coloured bark, of a yellow colour internally with whitish streaks. In rasping or scraping, this wood emits a faint, but not disagreeable smell; when chewed for some time, it discovers a very bitter taste. It should be chosen in ponderous sound pieces, about a foot and a half long, free from worms and dust.
MANGOES, the fruit of the Mangifera Indica, which, when fully ripe, is yellowish or reddish, replete with a fine agreeable juice, having a large stone; it cuts like an apple, but is more juicy. Mangoes are sent to Europe as a pickle, and are prepared in the following manner :--when nearly ripe, they are cut in two, the kernel taken out, and the vacant space filled with chillies, garlic, ginger, &c. after which they are put in vinegar, and sent as presents to Europe and elsewhere. They should be chosen of a bright yellow colour, firm and fleshy, free from fibres, and of an agreeable smell; and care should be taken to fill the cask full of pickle, or they will be apt to spoil on the voyage.
Mode of forwarding Mangoe Plants to Europe.-The readiest method of obtaining the plants in Europe is to set a quantity of the nuts in a tub of earth, and when the plants are grown a foot high, to ship them, placing a covering to protect them from the spray of the sea, being very careful not to water them too much on the passage. When the ship arrives in a cold climate, they should be screened from the cold.
MANNA (Shirkhist, Hind. and Pers. Terenjabin, Arab.) is a gummy substance procured in Italy from a species of ash, Fraxinus ornus. The manna met with in India, which is never imported into England, is of a very inferior sort, mixed with leaves, sand, &c., and brought from Persia by way of Bussorah. It is supposed to be obtained from the Hedysarum Alhagi.
NUX VOMICA is the produce of the Strychnos Nux Vomica, (Cuchila,
Hind. Culaca, San.) a middling sized tree, growing plentifully on the Malabar coast; the berry, or fruit, is about the size of an apple, covered with a hard shell, somewhat resembling the pomegranate, of a rich beautiful orange colour when ripe; filled with a pulp containing the seeds, or Nux Vomica; these are flat and round, about an inch broad, and of the thickness of a dollar, on both sides prominent in the middle, of a grey colour, covered with a woolly kind of matter, internally hard and tough like horn, having a taste considerably bitter, with very little smell. Chuse such as are large, clean, and new, free from dust and dirt, rejecting the decayed and wormeaten. Freight, 15 Cwt. to the ton.
PEPPER is the produce of a vine, the Piper Nigrum (Mirch, Hind, Maricha, San.) a hardy plant, growing readily from cuttings or layers, rising in several knotted stems, twining round any neighbouring support, and adhering by its fibres, which shoot from every joint at intervals of 6 to 10 inches; if suffered to run along the ground, these fibres would become roots, but then it would not bear, the prop being necessary for encouraging it to throw out its prolific shoots; it climbs to the height of 20 feet, but thrives best when restrained to 12 or 15; as in the former case, the lower part of the vine bears neither leaves nor fruit, whilst in the latter it produces both from within a foot of the ground; the stalk soon becomes ligneous, and in time acquires considerable thickness. The leaves are of a deep green and glossy surface, heart-shaped, pointed, not pungent to the taste, and have but little smell. The branches are short and brittle, not projecting above two feet from the stem, and separating readily at the joints; the blossom is small and white, the fruit round, green when young and full grown, and turning to a bright red when ripe, and in perfection. It grows abundantly from all the branches, in long small clusters of 20 to 50 berries, somewhat resembling bunches of currants. It is generally propagated by cuttings from the horizontal shoots that run along the ground. The plant begins to bear about the third year, is esteemed in its prime in the seventh, which state it maintains three or four years; it then gradually declines for about the same period, until it is no longer worth keeping: generally speaking, the pepper-plant produces two crops in a year, but the seasons are subject to great irregularities. As soon as any of the berries redden, the bunch is reckoned fit for gathering, the remainder being then generally full grown, although green; when gathered, they are spread on mats in the sun; in this situation they become black and shrivelled as we see them; as the pepper dries, it is hand-rubbed occasionally, to separate the grains from the stalks. That which has been gathered at the properest state of maturity, will shrivel
the least; but if plucked too soon, it will in a short time, by removal from place to place, become broken and dusty.
The pepper countries extend from about the longitude of 96° to that of 115° E., beyond which none is to be found; and they reach from 5° S. latiWithin these limits are tude to about 12° N., where it again ceases. Sumatra, Borneo, the Malay Peninsula, and certain countries lying on the E. Coast of the Gulph of Siam.
The whole produce of Sumatra is estimated at 168,000 peculs; the S. W. coast being said to produce 150,000 and the N. E. coast 18,000 peculs. The pepper ports on the N. E. coast are Lankat and Delli, with Sardang. The two first produce 15,000 peculs, and the latter 3000 annually. The cultivation is carried on by the Batta nation in the interior. The ports on the S. W. coast, and the amount of their produce, as given in a recent estimate, are as follow, vix.
It is to be observed that the production of pepper fluctuates extremely, owing to the cultivators putting fresh districts under culture, when the price of pepper is high; but never planting fresh vines, or dressing the soil, but abandoning it when exhausted. Trumah, the most extensive pepper district, was a few years back unknown to European traders. The pepper trade on this coast is perfectly free, the natives selling their produce to the best bidder.
Penang, which produces about 15,000 peculs, (though much more formerly,) is the principal depôt for the pepper from the N. coast of Sumatra.
Of the islands at the mouth of the Straits of Malacca and Singapore, Bintang, on which Rhio is situated, and the adjacent islands, produce 10,000 peculs; and Lingga about 2000, most of which goes to the emporium of Singapore.
The W. coast of the Malay Peninsula produces only 4000 peculs in the territory of Malacca. The E. coast yields a considerable quantity. The ports of Patmi and Calantan, about 16,000 peculs, and Tringana about 8000.
The E. coast of the Gulph of Siam, from the latitude of 10 to 121° N.
affords not less than 60,000 peculs, 40,000 of which go at once to the capital of Siam as tribute, and the whole finds its way to China in junks.
The whole produce of Borneo is reckoned at about 20,000 peculs, of which about 7000 are now annually brought, in the native craft, to Singapore, and most of the remainder is carried to China.
The W. coast of the Peninsula of India is estimated at 30,000 peculs; adding this to the aforegoing estimates, we find the aggregate production of pepper throughout the East to be 338,000 peculs, or 45,066,666 lbs. The average price of pepper has lately been about 9 Spanish dollars the pecul, which gives the value of this commodity, 3,042,000 dollars.
The pepper of Malabar is esteemed the best; next, that of the E. coast of the Gulph of Siam; then follow those of Calantan, Borneo, the W. coast of Sumatra; and last of all, the pepper of Rhio; which, through the avidity of the cultivators and dealers, is plucked before it is ripe, and hence turns out light, hollow, and ill-coloured.
There are two denominations of pepper in commerce; black and white. BLACK PEPPER is of two sorts, light and heavy; the former in its original state having a number of bad grains, sticks, and dirt in it: this is carried to China, but should be rejected for the European markets. That which is well garbled and clean, having the stalks, bad grains, and other impurities taken out, is denominated heavy pepper, and is the sort usually brought to Europe. It should be chosen of a pungent smell, extremely hot and acrid to the taste, in large grains, firm, sound, and with few wrinkles, of which it will always have some. Reject that which is much shrivelled and small grained, or which, on being rubbed, will break to pieces.
WHITE PEPPER is also of two sorts, common and genuine: the former is made by blanching the grains of the common black pepper. For this process the best and soundest grains are selected, and steeped in water. In about a week the skin bursts, which is afterwards carefully separated by drying in the sun, rubbing between the hands, and winnowing. But little of this sort is prepared, the price in England fluctuating much, being frequently as low as the black pepper; but the white has this obvious recommendation, that it can be made of no other than the best and soundest grains, taken at the most perfect state of maturity. The genuine white pepper, as it is called, is composed of the blighted or imperfect grains picked in small quantities from the heaps of black pepper, and retains more of the qualities of the black than the manufactured sort does. The tonnage of pepper is computed at 16 Cwt. to the ton.
PIECE GOODS are manufactured of various dimensions and qualities at Baroach, Jumbaseer, Ahmedabad, and other places in Guzerat, and to the
northward of Bombay, They are usually denominated Surat piece-goods, and exported from thence and Bombay to Europe, the Arabian and Persian Gulphs, the Malay Coast, and various other parts of India: they are in general coarse coloured goods, prohibited for home consumption in Great Britain.
The demand for Surat piece-goods has much decreased in Europe, in consequence of the improved state of the British manufactures, which have materially interfered with them; and, from the abolition of the slave-trade, the demand for the African market is much reduced.
The following are the species imported into England from Bombay, with the number of pieces allowed to a ton.
N. B. When the letter R is set against pieces of 400 to a ton, it shews those goods are to be reduced, or brought to a standard of 16 yards long, and 1 broad; where it is against pieces of 800 to the ton, to 10 yards long, and 1 broad.
Example.-1000 pieces of 12 yards long, and 1 broad, at 400 pieces to the ton, make 844 pieces, or 2 tons, 44 pieces; and 1000 pieces of 10 yards by 1, at 800 to a ton, are 1181 pieces, or 1 ton, 381 pieces.
Considerable quantities of coarse white piece-goods have been manufactured in the Travancore country, and shipped for England from Anjengo; they are blended with those of Surat.
PUTCHOCK. Of this article, a fleshy root, considerable quantities are annually sent from the W. side of India to China, where it is used in their temples, having, when burnt, a pleasant and grateful smell. It is in general full of sticks and dirt.
RADIX LOPEZIANA is a root produced on the Malabar Coast, and brought from Goa, in pieces about two inches thick, of which the woody part is lightish and white, the medullary part more dense and reddish. The bark is rough, wrinkled, brown, soft, and apparently woolly, covered with a paler cuticle; it has no striking smell or taste. When boiled in water, the liquor is of a yellow hue, almost insipid, impressing the tongue with a very