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the inner bark of the Antshar, which were stiffened in the usual manner with thick rice-water, and handsomely painted, for the purpose of decorating his mantries, they all decidedly refused to wear them, asserting that they would cause their hair to fall off.

I first met with the Antshar in the province of Poegar, on my way to Bangoowangee: in the province of Blambangan, I visited four or five different trees, from which this description has been made, while two of them furnished the juice for the preparation of the upas. The largest of these trees had, where the oblique appendages of the stem entered the ground, a diameter of at least ten feet; and where the regularly round and straight stem began, a distance of at least ten feet from the points of the two opposite appendages at the surface of the ground, its diameter was full three feet. I have since found a very tall tree in Passooroowang, near the boundary of Malang, and very lately I have discovered several young trees in the forests of Japara, and one tree in the vicinity of Onarang. In all these places, though the inhabitants are unacquainted with the preparation and effect of the poison, they distinguish the tree by the name of Antshar. From the tree I found in the province of Passooroowang, I collected some juice, which was nearly equal in its operation to that of Blambangan. One of the experiments to be related below, was made with the upas prepared by myself, after my return to the chief village. I had some difficulty in inducing the inhabitants to assist me in collecting the juice, as they feared a cutaneous eruption and inflammation, resembling, according to the account they gave of it, that produced by the Ingas of this island, the Rhus vermix of Japan, and the Rhus radicans of North America; but they were only affected by a slight heat and itching of the eyes. In clearing the new grounds in the environs of Bangoowangee for cultivation, it is with much difficulty the inhabitants can be made to approach the tree, as they dread the cutaneous eruption which it is known to produce when newly cut down.

But except when the tree is largely wounded, or when it is felled, by which a large portion of the juice is disengaged, the effluvia of which, mixing with the atmosphere, affects the persons exposed to it with the symptoms just mentioned, the tree may be approached and ascended like the other trees in

the forests.

The Antshar, like trees in its neighbourhood, is on all sides surrounded by shrubs and plants; in no instance have I observed the ground naked or barren in its immediate circumference.

The largest tree I met with in Blambangan, was so closely environed by the common trees and shrubs of the forest in

which it grew, that it was with difficulty I could approach it. Several vines and climbing shrubs, in complete health and vigour, adhered to it, and ascended to nearly half its height. And at the time I visited the tree and collected the juice, I was forcibly struck with the egregious misrepresentation of Foersch. Ševeral young trees, spontaneously sprung from seeds that had fallen from the parent, reminded me of a line in Darwin's Botanic Garden,

"Chained at his root two scion demons dwell;"

while in recalling his beautiful description of the Upas, my vicinity to the tree gave me reason to rejoice that it is founded on fiction. The wood of the Antshar is white, light, and of a spongy appearance.

CHAP. XXXV

CURIOSITIES RESPECTING VEGETABLES. (Continued.)

Curious Plant near the Cape of Good Hope-The Mandrake--Changeable Flower-Chinese Method of Preparing Tea-Antiquity of Sugar-Curious Effects of Cinchona, or Peruvian Bark-Curious Particulars of a Pound Weight of Cottonwool-Animated Stalk-Animal Flower.

"Soft roll your incense, herbs, and fruits, and flowers,
In mingled clouds to Him, whose sun exalts,

Whose breath perfumes you, and whose pencil paints."

CURIOUS PLANT NEAR THE CAPE OF GOOD HOPE.

The following account of a curious plant is taken from Thunberg's Travels:

"The fruit of a species of Mesembryan Thermum, (says the writer,) was sometimes brought to the tavern as a rarity, an was called Rosa de Jericho. When it is put into water, gradually opens all its seed-vessels, and exactly resembles a sun; and when it becomes dry again, it contracts itself, and closes by degrees. This is a no less necessary than singular property, which points out the admirable institution of an allwise Creator; inasmuch as this plant, which is found in the most arid plains, keeps its seeds fast locked up in time of drought, but when the rainy season comes, and the seeds can grow, it opens its receptacles, and lets fall the seeds, in order that they may be dispersed abroad. The water in which this fruit has lain, is sometimes given to women that are near their time, and is thought to procure them an easy delivery."

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THE MANDRAKE.-This plant possesses a long taper roo resembling the parsnip, running three or four feet into the ground; immediately from the crown of the root arises a circle of leaves, at first standing erect, but when grown to the full size, they spread open and lie upon the ground; these leaves are more than a foot in length, and about five inches broad in the middle, of a dark green colour, and a fetid scent; among these come out the flowers, each on a scape three inches in length; they are five-cornered, of an herbaceous white colour, spreading open at top like a primrose, having five hairy stamens, and a globular germ supporting an awl-shaped style, which becomes a globular soft berry, when full-grown as large as a nutmeg, of a yellowish green colour, and when ripe, full of pulp.

Many singular facts are related of this plant, among which we select the following: the roots have been supposed to bear a resemblance to the human form, and are figured as such in the old herbals, being distinguished into the male with a long beard, and the female with a prolix head of hair. Mountebanks carry about fictitious images, shaped from roots of bryony and other plants, cut into form, or forced to grow through moulds of earthenware, as mandrake-roots. It was fabled to grow under a gallows, where the matter falling from the dead body, gave it the shape of a man; to utter a great shriek, or terrible groans, at the digging up and it was asserted, that he who would take up a plant of mandrake, should in common prudence tie a dog to it for that purpose, for, if a man should do it himself, he would surely die soon after. To this curious vegetable the poet alludes in the following lines:

"Mark how that rooted mandrake wears
His human feet, his human hands;
Oft as his shapely form he rears,

Aghast the frighted ploughman stands."

THE CHANGEABLE FLOWER." On the island of Lewchew, (says Mr. M'Leod,) is found a remarkable production, about the size of a cherry-tree, bearing flowers, which, alternately on the same day, assume the tint of the rose or lily, as they are exposed to sunshine or the shade. The bark of this tree is of a dark green, and the flowers bear a resemblance to our common roses. Some of our party, whose powers of vision were strong, (assisted by a vigorous imagination.) fancied that, by attentive watching, the change of hue, from white to red, under the influence of the solar ray, was actually perceptible to the eye that, however, they altered their colour in the course of a few hours, was very obvious."

As this is a chapter devoted to miscellaneous articles of this class, it may not be amiss to insert THE CHINESE METHOD OF PREPARING TEA.-Tea grows on a small shrub, the leaves of which are collected twice or thrice every year. Those who collect the leaves three times a year, begin at the new moon which precedes the vernal equinox, whether it falls at the end of February or the beginning of March. At that period most of the leaves are perfectly green, and hardly fully expanded: but these small and tender leaves are accounted the best of all; they are scarce, and exceedingly dear.

The second crop, or the first with those who collect the leaves only twice a year, is gathered about the end of March or beginning of April. Part of the leaves have then attained to maturity; and though the rest have acquired only half their size, they are both collected without any distinction.

The third (or second with some) and last crop, is more abundant, and is collected about the end of April, when the leaves have attained their full growth, both of size and number. Some people neglect the two first crops, and confine themselves entirely to this, the leaves of which are selected with great care, and distributed into classes, according to their size or goodness.-Tea ought to be rejected as of a bad quality, when old, and withered leaves are found amongst it, which may be easily known by infusing a little of it in water, for then the leaves dilate, and return to their natural state.

The leaves of the tea shrub are oblong, sharp-pointed, indented on the edges, and of a very beautiful green colour The flower is composed of five white petals, disposed in the form of a rose, and is succeeded by a pod, of the size of a filbert, containing two or three small green seeds, which are wrinkled, and have a disagreeable taste. Its root is fibrous, and spreads itself out hear the surface of the ground.

This shrub grows equally well in a rich, as in a poor soil. is to be ound all over China, there are certain places where the tea is of a better quality than in others. Some people give the preference to the tea of Japan, but we have reason to doubt whether there is any real difference.

The manner of preparing tea is very simple. When the leaves are collected, they are exposed to the steam of boiling water, in order to soften them; and they are then spread out upon metal plates, and placed over a moderate fire, where they acquire that shrivelled appearance which they have when brought to Europe.

In China, there are only two kinds of the tea shrub; but the Chinese, by their industry, have considerably multiplied each of them. If there are, therefore, large quantities cf tea in that country which are excessively dear, there is some

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