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light bitterness. In diarrhoeas this root is regarded as a medicine of great efficacy.
SANDAL WOOD, or Yellow SANDERS, (Zandal, Arab.)—The tree which produces sandal wood, is called by Dr. Roxburgh, Syrium Myrtifolium, (Chandan, Hind. Chandana, San.) and grows on the Malabar Coast, the Island of Timor, and one or two islands in the eastern seas; but the Malabar is the best. The tree has something of the appearance of a large myrtle, with stiff branches; its leaves, which are about two inches long, and three quarters of an inch broad, are like those of the privet, smooth and shining; it bears a small red flower, and the berry is about the size of a pea, smooth, juicy, and black, when ripe. The common size of the tree at the root, when it is cut, is about nine inches in diameter, but sometimes considerably larger. When the trees are felled, the bark is taken off; they are then cut into billets, and buried in a dry place for two months, during which period the white ants will eat the outer wood without touching the heart, which is the sandal; it is then taken up and smoothed, and according to the size, sorted into three kinds. The deeper the colour, the higher is the perfume; and hence the merchants sometimes divide sandal into red, yellow, and white; but these are all different shades of the same colour, and do not arise from any difference in the species of the tree. The nearer the root, in general the higher is the perfume. The billet nearest the root is commonly called root-sandal, and is of a superior quality.
Sandal wood is sorted into three sizes. The first sort contains 65, the second sort 72, and the third sort 90 pieces to a candy: all pieces smaller than these, all rent and knotty pieces, whatever may be their size, together with cuttings, roots, and the like, are called Carippu, and form a fourth sort. The chips, which are removed in polishing the logs, form a fifth assortment. The three first only are sent to China. The Carippu is chiefly sent to Bengal and Muscat, and the chips to Cutch and Muscat.
The produce of the coast is said to be about 2000 candies per annum, sometimes more. The Company used to send about 800 candies to China; all the remainder was sent by private traders to Bengal, Bombay, Cutch, and Muscat. The Company's Resident makes the purchase from the merchants on the sea-coast for ready money. These have always on hand a considerable stock, as sandal rather improves by keeping.
In chusing sandal wood, the larger pieces should be selected, free from knots, rents, or cracks, of a close texture and fine grain; of a dark yellow colour, an extremely sweet smell, and the outer bark clean off. The smaller pieces, and such as are decayed, and have white wood about them, should be rejected. Particular care should be taken that a wood much resembling
sandal is not mixed with it, which, when cut, has neither scent nor colour; it is a species of citron wood, and being in large pieces, it more frequently happens that the larger logs are changed than the smaller ones; and you are liable to the same imposition in sending it from the ship to Canton, unless a very sharp look-out is kept in the boats.
The tonnage of sandal wood is generally computed by weight, allowing 20 Cwt. to a ton; but the measurement, even when piled up carefully, far exceeds the weight.
OIL OF SANDAL WOOD is prepared from the chips and waste of the wood, and is sometimes to be procured of a very superior kind, nearly equal to the Turkey oil of roses, and very different from the common sort usually met with in India. The best is about the consistence of castor oil, of a lightish yellow colour, and of a high and fragrant smell; it sinks in water, readily dissolves in spirits of wine, and does not congeal except in cold weather. That which is thick, glutinous, and dark coloured, should be rejected.
SESAMUM.-This plant is small and annual, and yields seeds, whence an oil is extracted in several parts of India, which will keep many years, and not acquire any rancid smell or taste, but in two years become quite mild; so that when the warm taste of the seed, which is in the oil when first drawn, is worn off, it is used for all the purposes of salad oil. It is in common use in China and Japan.
SHAWLS are manufactured in Cashmere, (which supplies the whole world, giving activity to 16,000 looms, and employing 50,000 men,) and from thence forwarded to Surat, Bengal, and other parts of India. The wool of which they are manufactured, is not produced in the country, but brought from Thibet, where it is an article of extensive traffic, regulated with great jealousy; it is originally of a dark grey colour, and is bleached in Cashmere. The yarn of this wool is stained with such colours as may be judged best suited for sale, and after being woven, the piece is once washed. The borders, which usually display a variety of figures and colours, are attached to the shawls after fabrication, but in so nice a manner, that the junction is not discernible. The texture of the shawl resembles that of the shalloon of Europe, to which it has probably communicated its name. The shawls usually consist of three sizes, two of which, the long and the small square, are in common use in India, and are the sorts usually imported into England; the other, long and very narrow, with a large mixture of black colour in them, are worn as a girdle by many of the Asiatics. They are generally sold in pairs, and the price varies according to the quality, it being considerably enhanced by the introduction of flower-work. For the English market,
those with coloured grounds and handsome rich borders and flowers, are most esteemed; the plain white shawls, being closely imitated in England, are seldom in demand. According to Mr. STRACHEY, not more than 80,000 shawls are made, on an average, at Cashmere, in one year.
SQUILLS, Scilla Maritima, commonly called sea onions, are knotty, crumpled, bulbous roots, like the onion; they are large, conical, consisting of fleshy scales, thin at each edge, surrounded by others dry and shining. They should be chosen plump, sound, fresh, and full of juice, and care should be taken that they are free from worms; having the outward skin taken off, of a red colour, with but little smell, full of a bitter clammy juice, nauseous, acrid, and bitter, and if much handled, ulcerating the skin.
TURBITH is the cortical part of the root of a species of convolvolus, in oblong pieces of a brown or ash colour on the outside, and whitish within. At first it makes an impression of sweetness on the taste; but when chewed for some time, betrays a nauseous acrimony. The best is ponderous, not wrinkled, easy to break, and discovers to the eye a large quantity of resinous matter. Freight, 16 Cwt. to a ton.
ZEDOARY, the root of the Curcuma Zedoaria (Nirbisi, Hind. and San.), is produced in Ceylon and Malabar, and brought in oblong pieces of a moderate thickness, and two or three inches long; or in roundish pieces about an inch in diameter, externally wrinkled, and of an ash colour, but internally of a brownish red; its smell is agreeable, and its taste aromatic and somewhat bitter; it impregnates water with its smell, a slight bitterness, a considerable warmth and pungency, and a yellowish brown colour. Chuse such roots as are heavy and free from worms, rejecting those which are decayed and broken. Freight 16 Cwt. to a ton.
COAST OF CONCAN.
THE W. side of the Peninsula of India is generally called the Malabar Coast. This appellation belongs properly to the S. part, for the whole extent comprehends three provinces, viz. Concan, Canara, and Malabar. The Coast of Concan is the northernmost, extending to Cape Ramus.
BANCOOT.-Bancoot River, in latitude 17° 57 N., and longitude 73° 9' E., is about 12 miles E. of Bombay; it has 10 feet on the bar at low water, and on spring tides 21 feet. The channel is on the E. side of the entrance of the river; but being narrow, ought not to be approached without a pilot. The anchorage for large ships is in 5 fathoms abreast of the fort. Upon the S. side of the entrance of the river, and on a very high hill, stands Fort Victoria, commanded by a Resident.
TRADE.-Bancoot was a port of great trade before it fell into the hands of Angria, but at present it is very insignificant.
PROVISIONS AND REFRESHMENTS.-Ships occasionally stop here to procure bullocks, which are far superior to those purchased at Bombay; and when homeward bound from Bombay, a supply of cattle and poultry may be secured by application to the Resident, and appointing some conspicuous signal, that the ship may be known on her appearance off the river, when the stores are immediately supplied. The general mode of payment for supplies is by draft on Bombay, payable at sight.
GHERIAH.-Gheriah Point and flagstaff are in latitude 16° 31′ N.; and the fort at the entrance of the harbour about a mile further to the N. The point which forms the S. side of the entrance, is high and bluff, and is in longitude 73° 25′ E. The flagstaff stands on a hill to the S. of the fort, and may be seen a considerable distance. The harbour is excellent, the vessels in it being land-locked, and sheltered from all winds. There is no bar at the entrance, the depths there being from 5 to 7 fathoms, and from 3 to 4 fathoms inside at low water.
The fort stands on a promontory of rocky land, about a mile long, and a quarter broad. Nearly a mile from the entrance of the harbour, which forms the mouth of a large river, the promontory projects to the S. W. on the right of the harbour, and on the sides contiguous to the water, is enclosed by a continued rock, about 50 feet high, on which the fortifications are built; these are a double wall with round towers, the inward wall rising several feet above the outward. The neck of land by which the promontory joins to the continent, is a narrow sand, beyond which, where the ground expands, is a large open town, or pettah. The river directing its course to the S. W., washes the N. side of the town, the neck of land, and the promontory. On the neck of land are docks, where grabs are built and repaired.
MELUNDY, OR MALWAN.-This island, in latitude 16° 3′ N., is the principal place of the pirates on this coast, and is strongly fortified. None but the Rajah fits out vessels, which are of three kinds, gallivats, shebars, and grabs: the first have in general two masts, are decked fore and
aft, have square topsails and top-gallant sails, and are rigged mostly after the European fashion. The shebar is also of two masts, the after-mast and bowsprit very short; they have no topmasts and very little rigging, and are not decked; their largest sail is extended on a yard of very great length, running up to a point, many feet higher than the mast; they sail well, and are fine vessels in fair weather and smooth water; many of them are of more than 150 tons burthen. The grab is distinguished from other vessels by having, instead of bows, a projecting prow; they are decked, and have either two or three masts, and are rigged in the European manner. Each of the Rajah's vessels, of all of these descriptions, carries eight or ten small carriage guns, and about 100 men. Their general rendezvous is Pigeon Island. On leaving port, each pirate-lascar receives two rupees, the serang eight, and on their return they get corn, according to their success, and 3 or 4 rupees, and more, corresponding with their rank and good fortune. Their cruise seldom exceeds fifteen days. All prizes are the property of the Rajah, who is at the sole expence of the outfit. The vessels taken are seldom retained, unless peculiarly adapted to the service; the cargo becomes the Rajah's property, and the vessel is released.
They sail without any written commission, and with instructions, it is understood, to take all vessels that they can master, except those having English colours and passes. Sometimes, however, they are regardless of the English protection, which they thus contrive to evade. One pirate-boat boards the intended prey, and demands her pass; and while some person pretends to read it, others pick a quarrel with some of the crew, and commence a scuffle, in which the pass is removed or destroyed; however, they take but little, perhaps nothing, and depart. Soon after another pirate boards her, and finding no pass, pretends that the reasons offered for its absence, are lies, and takes all. In these cases complaint is of course made by the plundered owner to the Bombay Government, and restitution is demanded, and generally made without much demur.
Between Melundy and the entrance to Goa River are the forts of Newtee, Raree, Chiracole, and Chapra; the two latter belong to the Portuguese, but seldom shew their colours to ships passing.
GOA is the capital of the Portuguese possessions in the East Indies, the seat of the Viceroy, the see of an Archbishop, who is primate of the East, and the supreme court of judicature for all the Portuguese in Asia, and to which all others are subordinate. Algoada Point, in latitude 15° 29′ N., and longitude 73° 53' E., forms the N. extremity of Goa Bay; it has a lighthouse and small fort on it, but the principal fort is situated close to the sea, on the S. E. side of the headland, where there is a well of excellent water,