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the palm-tree is the most extraorEncouragement for planting Palm. dinary tree in Egypt; 'the boughs trees in high latitudes. are of a grain like cane. When
the tree grows large, a great numTHIS wonderful tree, which ber of fibres shoot out from the
affords such plenty of fruit, boughs on each side, crossing one and contributes so largely to the another in fuch a manner as to form sustenance of the inhabitants in a sort of close net-work; this they many parts of the globe, is pro- fpin with the hand, and with it pagated either from young shoots make cords of all sizes, which are taken from the roots of full grown mostly used in Egypt. They also trees, or from the stone of the make a brush for cloaths. Of the fruit. The former metliod is chief- leaves they make inattresses, bafly used in the kingdoms of Algiers kets, and brooms; and of the and Tunis ; and those that are branches all sorts of cage-work, well transplanted, and sufficiently square baskets for packing, and watered for four or five days (which which serve for many uses instead is the only culture they require) of boxes, &c. will yield fruit in fix or seven These trees are male and female, years.
but the fruit of the female will be The palm-tree is in its greatest dry and insipid without a previous vigour when about 30 years old, communication with the male; the and continues in full strength near trees will even frequently cast the 70 years longer, bearing yearly in fruit ; nor will it ever ripen to perAlgiers and Tunis, during this in- fection without such congress. terval of time, 15 or 20 clusters of There are several ways of fæcundates, each weighing 15 or 20 dating this tree : fome plant males pounds. The firit is oval, about near the females, that the prolific 3 inches long, and 2 wide, having dust of the male may be conveyed something of the taste of ginger- by the air to the female ; others bread. After 100 years growth, tie clusters of the male flowers to they begin gradually to moulder the females. Dr. Shaw says, that and pine away, and perish about in Algiers and Tunis (at which the latter end of their second cen- places the male trees are scarce) tury.
they used the parts of generation The palm-trees are found also of this plant, and in a manner someat St. Helena, Madagascar, Bar- what analogous to animal propagabadces, where the inhabitants make tion : and this way one male tree honey, wine, and sugar from them. is sufficient to impregnate 500 feAnd among the several vegetable male trees. But the most ancient substances which afford oil, fo ne- and frequent practice was, to take cellary for maintaining life, and a whole cluster of the male tree, promoting manufactories, I know when in flower, and sprinkle the none, says Sir Hans Sloane, but. farina, or dust of it, over several the fruit of this and the olive-tree, clusters of the female. whose pulps are useful for these The following extract of a purposes.
letter from Berlin, is a demonstraDr. Pococke informs us, that tive proof of the probability of
this useful and curious tree's suc- High in the vegetable world, and ceeding in high latitudes.
to engage reflecting minds to con“ There is a great palm tree in sider the nice distinction in plants, the garden of the Royal Academy; notwithstanding the near affinity it has flowered and produced fruit of the species ; it will not be amiss these thirty years; but the fruit to observe, that even though the never ripened, and when planted female tree of one fpecies may be did not vegetate. The palm-tree fæcundated by the male of another, you know, is one of those in and the fruit grow to maturity and which the male and female parts perfection, yet the stones are renof generation are found upon dif- dered incapable of vegetation by ferent plants. We having there- an imperceptible barrier, an infore no male plant, the flowers of violable law of the divine Author. our female were never impregnated The following remarkable instance by the farina of the male. There will display that wonderful @ecois a male plant of this kind at nomy in nature to preserve the Leipsic, twenty German miles from different genuses of plants distinct Berlin. We procured from thence, and separate. in April 1749, a branch of male A French author tells us, that flowers, and suspended it over being at Martinico he faw growing those of our female ; and the ex- near the place where they anchorperiment succeeded so well that our ed a palm-tree bearing dates, palm-tree produced more than 100 though the only one of its kind perfect ripe fruit ; from which we which was in that neighbourhood ; have already eleven young palm- but he imagines this tree to have trees. This experiment was been impregnated by the farina peated last year, and our palm- fæcundans of the male cocoa-tree, tree bore above 2000 ripe fruit.” which is a fort of palm, and which This relation is very curious, on grew in abundance near the tree account of the male and female that bore dates. At the same time palm-trees flourishing so compleat- he adds, that the stones of the ly, even under all poslible disad- dates did not vegetate. vantages, in such high latitudes as For further information concernLeiplic and Berlin.
ing this, and some other very reJohn Bauhin describes and fi- markable plants, I would recomgures the whole fructification of a mend to the reader’s perufal a very palm-tree, which he himself faw curious botanical memoir, publishgrowing at Montpelier, and which ed in the 47th volume of the Phiproduced branches both of male losophical Transactions, page 169. and female flowers, bearing dates ; I shall conclude with observing, and Mr. Ray, many years after, that perhaps no tree is more fretells us, that he himself saw, at quently mentioned by the inspired Montpellier, this very remarkable writers than the palm-tree, or aptree mentioned by John Bauhin. plied, by way of similitude, &c. to
But further to display the curi- more noble purposes. ous manner and impenetrable se
A-Zcrecy of the works of the Most
spend as well as if it had been got On the benefit of Salt to Cattle, in never so favourably. with the method of using it.
servants were making
up the stack I had it managed in Do not find that the farmers in the following manner ; that is, as
England know the great ad- soon as a bed of hay was laid vantages which may be derived about fix inches thick, I had the from the use of falt in the business whole sprinkled over with falt; of fattening cattle ; whereas in then another bed of hay was laid, America we think it in a manner which was again sprinkled in like absolutely necessary, and accord- manner; and this method was folingly give it to almost every kind lowed till all the hay was stacked. of cattle ; and thote with parted When the season came for cuthoofs are particularly fond of it. ; ting this hay, and giving it to my
There cannot be a greater in cattle, I found, that so far from Stance of this fondness than the refusing it, they eat it with furprizwild cattle reforting to the salting appetite, always preferring it lick, where they are chiefly kill. before the sweetest hay that had ed. We give this name of falt not been in this manner sprinkled licks to the falt springs which in with salt. various places issue naturally out of the ground, and form each a little rill.
Horses are as fond of salt as A method of making all kinds of black cattle : for with us, if they Wood more durable than they are ever so wild, they will be naturally are, successfully tried much sooner brought to a handful,
upon beech wood. of falt than to any kind of corn whatever.
to be very and to this practice it is generally breed the worm, which presently afcribed, that the American cattle destroys it: this worm is supposed, in general are so much more not without reason, to feed on the healthy than the fame animals in fap that remains in the wood after England ; certain it is, that they it is cut out into scantlings, and are there subject to much fewer wrought up ; therefore I imagined diseases.
the best way to preserve it was to There is one very advantageous take away the food that the worm practice we have, which I cannot fed on, by extracting, in some enough recommend to the notice manner, the sap. of the farmers here in England : it There was, as I have been inis mixing salt with our hay-ricks formed some years ago, an attempt when we stack it, which we call made to prepare beech-timber in þrining
such a manner as to make it fit for Just before I left America I had
the purposes for which élm is often a crop of hay, which was in a man- used in ship-building; and a patent ner spoiled by rain, being almost was obtained for the invention ; potten in the field ; yet did this hay but I never heard of this scheme
We alfo give falt to our sheep; Besche wood is well known
meeting with encouragement, which apt to make them shiver, and be
attending the The first method never failed preparation of the timber.
The timber, when applied to The manner in which it was use, was at least as good, and as done was
as follows: after the durable as elm. Between thirty timber was fawed into scantlings, and forty years ago I used beech or hewed only, if it was to be used thus prepared, for beams, joifts, in an entire piece, it was laid in a and floors, which are to this day bed of fand, which fand was con- as found as ever, and likely to retained in a building of brick work, main so; I had, however, the
precontrived in such a manner as to be caution to give the wood a thick heated, by means of properly-dif- coat of pitch wherever it touched posed furnaces, to any degree. the brick work, for it does not
This heating of the sand caused love any kind of dampness, which the wood which it covered to inclines to rot, like elm; but sweat out its fap, which was all keep it dry, and I cannot say how imbibed by the dry land, and the long it will last in my method of timber was left, after the opera- preparing it. tion, in a state much improved. The beech I used was felled in
I do not deny but that this me- the heat of summer, when in full thod was very efficacious, but it fap, as I judged the fap was at that appears on the face of it to be ex- season in the most fluid state, and pensive.
would the readier quit the wood I use, for the purpose or im- than when it was dead, and conproving this wood, two several me- gealed, as it were, in an inactive thods. When the scantlings are state in winter. large, I lay them, after they are If I remember right, the beams rough-wrought, to soak in a pond and large pieces were left above of water for some weeks, more or twenty weeks in the pond, the joists, less, according to the girt of the and rafters about twelve weeks, pieces, and the season of the year; and the thinner boards eight ; and in the heat of summer the opera- afterwards they were all gradually tion is soonest done. If they are dried in the manner above directed. planks of boards, and there is I boil in a large copper, which danger of their warping, I lay holds near two hogsheads, for two them to dry under cover from the or three hours, all the beech wood fun and rain, putting bits of laths I employ in smaller uses, which is betwixt the boards to prevent their no inconsiderable quantity in a lying close together, and a con- year, being a chair-naker and å siderable weight of stones, &c. turner by trade ; and then, before over all. If they are blocks of a I dry it, I bestow another fort large scantling, for beams, joists, boil on it of about a quarter of an &c. for which this wood is some- hour, in some frelh water, the first times used, I take no other caution being strongly impregnated with than letting them dry gradually, the lap, and acquiring a high co. without being exposed either to the lour and a bitter taste. This way fun or the rain, which would be of managing the wood takes out all
the fap: it works pleasanter, is haps will expect that I shall inform more beautiful when finished, and you in what manner this wood was lafts, without comparison, longer. prepared, and I am happy in ha
I have often thought, that for ving it in my power to oblige you. many uses it would be a great im- The method is fimple ; it is only provement of this wood, if it was soaking the wood in water, a third time to be boiled in some which equal quantities of common vegetable oil, or at least, if not falt and vitriol have been dissolved ; boiled in it, managed in some man- but the water should be nearly faner that the pores of the wood turated, or the success will not be should be filled witń the fat juice ; fo certain ; the wood is to be dried, but as this is expensive, and I had and is afterwards fit for any use, no immediate occasion for such an and seems particularly to be adaptimprovement, I never made the ed to wainscoting, as that is most trial ; and it is too late in life for in danger when fire breaks out in a me to do it now.
Extract of a letter from Vevai in On staining elm boards of a maho
Switzerland, July 25th, 1764: hogany colour, with a hint tocontaining an easy method of wards staining Wood 'whilst making Wood less combustible. growing.
fond of mahothat promises to be of public gany furniture, I immediutility, I was the other day much ately (on reading a paper relating gratified by seeing an experiment to a method of imitating it) entered made to prove the efficacy of a on some experiments for that pur. method discovered by Dr. Hen- pose; but as a particular narrative choz, for making wood less com- of each would be too tedious to rebustible. When the company was peat, I shall only observe, that the assembled, several fir billets were method which fucceeded best with produced which had been previ- me was as follows: ouily prepared according to the I took two pieces, one of elm, doctor's directions. We made a and another of plane, both of which large fire, and laying on one of the I stained well with aquafortis. above billets, it remained a con- I then took two drachms of powfiderable time uninjured, seeming dered dragon's blood, one drachm of to repel the fire ; at last however it powdered alkanet root, and half a was with some difficulty consumed, drachm of aloes; from all which I or rather it mouldered into ashes, extracted a tincture, with half a but without emitting any flame. pint of spirits of wine : this tincWe repeated the experiment seve- ture I laid over the wood with a ral times, and always with the spunge for two or three times, and fame success; by which we found, it gave it the colour of a piece of that in an ordinary fire this wood fine old mahogany. remained unconsumed. You per- But may not wood be more uni