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Full text of "A family-text book for the country;"

A FAMILY-TEXT BOOK FOR THE COUNTRY ; 

THE FARMER AT HOME: 



BEINO 



A CYCLOPAEDIA 



OF 



THE MORE IMPORTANT TOPICS 



IN 



MODERN AGRICULTURE, 



NATURAL HISTORY AND DOMESTIC ECONOMY , 



ADAPTED 

TO RURAL LIFE. 
BY REV. JOHN L BLAKE, D. D. 

AUTHOR OF FARMER'3 EVERY DAYBOOK; AGRICULTURE FOR SCHOOLS; THE FARM AND IHI 
FIRESIDE ; FAMILY BNCYCLOPAESIA, A:^ QENBRAL BIDSRAPUICAL DICTIONARY. 



NEW YORK: 

A. 0. MOORE, AGRICULTURAL BOOK PUBLISHER, 

No. 140 FULTON STREET. 

1859. 



\ 



Entered according to the Act of Congress, in the year 1852, by 

JOHN L. BLAKE, 

Li the Cleri's Office of the District Court of the United States for the District of New Jeriey 






<J\ 



i. P, JONES &. CO., STEREOTYPEES. 
liiS Wiuuam-Strset, N. Y. 



/ 



PREFACE. 



It is the design of the author, in all his labors for rural localities, to 
improve the mind as well as the soil. Indeed, such labors for the fornaer 
will ultimately prove of more benefit than those having exclusive reference 
to the latter. If the one is duly promoted, the other will follow in its 
wake. Whenever a rural population becomes imbued with a well culti- 
vated literary taste and a love of science, there need be no apprehension 
that agriculture will be neglected, or that it will fail to be duly appreci- 
ated. Rarely will the soil receive a defective culture, except from the 
ignorant and the illiterate. 

It has sometimes been thought by farmers that a book, having particu- 
lar reference to their vocation, is necessarily filled with oxides and silicates, 
or with sulphates and phosphates ; that the mental food of the scientific 
agriculturist i-s a compound of caustics and volatilized poisons ; and that 
his very breath and clothes are so impregnated with carbonates and alka- 
lies, that they cannot approach him without experiencing a kind of suffoca- 
tion. Misapprehensions of this sort must be removed. Prejudices of this 
nature must be overcome. If not, the treasures of chemical knowledge will 
do little in renovating the soil. On the contrary, sterility will increase, 
till the wand of desolation passes over the broad earth. We labor to over- 
come these obstacles — to progress in rural economy. 

To this end we connect, in a book for a rural population, with the 
topics more immediately interesting to the husbandman, brief sketches of 
political economy. What is better calculated to awaken attention in the 
producers of wealth, than to be taught the channels in which it is made to 
flow ? And, we connect with them brief sketches of natural history and 
domestic economy. Is there nothing in these to cast a charm upon his 
hitherto dreary pathway? Is there nothing in these to impart bright and 
cheering gleams amidst the dark shadows of his monotonous and wearied 
life ? The records of animal and vegetable physiology are the gems of our 
best literature. There is a richness in them found nowhere else. Com- 
pared with them other records are insipid. The same laws which regulate 
the growth of farm animals, regulate the growth of all animals spread over 
the wide creation, whether of tiny or gigantic dimensions. The same 
laws which regulate the vegetable tissues of the farmer's garden and grass 
fields, regulate the lofty trees, the magnificent foliage, and the rich fruita 
of the tropics. All these are kindred subjects. Is it no rational source of 



{ 



jy PREFACE. 

inquiry at the festive table and the social circle of the farmer, to know 
•whence came our tea and our coffee, our sugar and our spices, and indeed 
the hundred other articles, foreign as well as domestic, that enter into 
human food ; or, of the hundred different vegetable tissues, from all climes, 
that enter into the constituency of human apparel ; or, of the hundreds of 
mineral and vegetable substances that enter into the various arts of life ? 
If subjects like these do not awaken the dormant energies of the mind, it 
is difficult to tell what will do it. 

A better book than this, on the same plan, might possibly be made. 
Possibly we might have made a better one. If so, it would doubtless 
be difficult to satisfy the public that our reason is good for not doing it. 
We are not quite satisfied with that reason ourself. However, we have 
some grounds of justification. Even doing what we have done was a 
mental and physical toil exceeding the prudence every one should exercise 
in regard to the preservation of his own life and health. Our voyage on 
the ocean of life has already been somewhat long. Our bark has been 
deeply laden, and sometimes feebly manned. And, above all, we have 
sometimes had stormy weather. Hence to keep the ship in order, the hull 
well trimmed, the deck well swept, and the sails well set, has left but little 
time to make fanciful observation and embellishment. Such a mariner 
has but little leisure for his log book, or to look at the stars — to watch 
their transits, their declinations, or their ascensions. To leave our tropes : 
it is sufficient to say, that during the present winter, in addition to a general 
out-door supervision on the farm, and to writing for a dozen periodicals, the 
present volume is the firstborn of a twin progeny, for which we must assume 
the paternity. The only mitigation in the responsibility lies in the fact that 
more than one half of this one was prepared several years ago, and has 
not, perhaps, received the thorough revision, which a longer experience 
could have given it. 

Men of enterprise and energy are under the guidance of destiny or 
Providence. They are carried forward whither they had not dreamed. 
They make their own pathway, without landmarks, before them. Others 
follow in their track, and those possessed of sufficient genius sometimes 
embellish the fabric devised for them. They are welcome to do it, so far 
as our hasty productions can be made available to public utility. None 
have but a temporary proprietorship in the avails of the mind or of the 
soil. Both, at short intervals, are to be merged again and again, succes- 
sively, to the end of time, in the common joint stock for all the successive 
members of the human family. It is the duty of each one to add to this 
stock all in his power ; and, on the other hand, not to waste any of it, and 
to use as little of it as practicable for his own individual convenience. 

J. L. B. 

Nbw Yoek, March 20th 1862 



INTRODUCTION. 



Home is the resort 
Of love, of joy, of peace and plenty, where. 
Supporting and supported, polish'd friends 
And dear relations mingle into bliss. 



Why is home the most desirable place that can be found to the man 
of correct taste ? Why does he enjoy himself better there than elsewhere? 
Why do his affections centre in it, as the atoms in a crude mass of matter 
tend to their common point of magnetic attraction ? It is because every 
thing appertaining to it is in harmony with his own nature ; and he is so 
familiarized with the whole that he is as much a part and parcel thereof 
as a leg, or an arm, or a hand, or a foot is a part of the human structure ! 
When in that hallowed precinct the same system of instinct and pulsation 
is common to him and every one sharing it with himj there is, as it were, 
but one current of blood to give vigor to the whole frame ; but one 
measure of animal heat to warm every part ; and but one mental aspira- 
tion to impart that general buoyancy and elasticity which characterize the 
entire organization with moral beauty. Remove him from this commu- 
nion of interest and mental and physical action, and in a measure he 
becomes paralyzed like an amputated limb, or like an individual translated 
from the knowledge and influence of social institutions to some uninhabited 
and desolate part of the earth. Home is dear to him because he is 
familiar with everything pertaining to it ; because in it with all dear to 
him he has a joint interest ; and, because there is about it a fragrance 
which perfumes the atmosphere breathed by all, and above it a halo that 
dispels every dark and cold shadow which gathers upon the soul. 

The American Farmer at Home ; or a Family Text-Book for the Country. 



• 



yi INTRODUCTION. 

We have chosen this title to the volume here offered to the public, from 
a belief that it will readily convey the idea most prominent in the mind 
of the author when engaged in its preparation. In saying that a man is 
at home, it will be understood that he is in his own house, or on his own 
premises ; that he is attending to his own duties, and is of course familiar 
with their nature and importance. And the expression has a constructive 
or figurative as well as a literal meaning. In this sense we use it. 
Nothing is more natural than to suppose a man at home or in his own 
house is familiar with its architecture ; with the materials of which it is 
composed ; with its several apartments and their respective uses ; with 
its conveniences and defects ; and especially with its inmates, with its 
furniture, and with all its other contents. If he were not familiar with 
all this he would be an anomaly of manhood. Thus, also, we suppose 
that an individual living in a city is familiar with its streets and lanes ; 
with its public and private buildings ; with its inhabitants and social 
economy J and with its amusements and all its diversified business 
elements. And so we presume that an individual living in the country 
is particularly familiar with rural scenery and rural labor ; with rural 
society and rural recreations ; and not less with all the constituents of 
domestic economy and rural enterprise and labor usual in such localities. 
These are natural inferences. They are the spontaneous results of all 
conventional habits of thought and uses of language. Consequently, 
every man is judged to be well acquainted with all the constituents of his 
own business transactions, and with the varied ramifications of the labor 
bestowed upon them, whether mental or physical. 

Hence, of the individual familiar with these things, we say, that in 
reference to his country, or to his more particular local residence, or to 
his occupation, he is at home; and that if he is not familiar with them, 
he is not at home — that his appropriate sphere is somewhere else. For 
instance, if one go to an apothecary's shop with a prescription for certain 
compounded medicines, and the clerk cannot find the materials of which 
they are to be composed, or is incompetent, if found, to prepare them, or 
is unable to read the prescription in consequence of his ignorance of the 
scientific terms used in it, we say he is not at home. So likewise, if one 
were to go to a mechanic's shop for a piece of workmanship in his own 
line of labor, and he were ignor.ant of the materials to be used in its 



INTRODUCTION. yjj 

construction, or of the process of putting them together, we say at once, 
that he appears not to be at home. The same would be our apprehensions 
in every similar case that can be imagined ; and all would readily under- 
stand such an use of language. There is no propriety in saying a mer- 
chant, or a mechanic, or a druggist, or a shopkeeper, is at home in his 
business, unless he is familiar with all its details ; and the being familiar 
with it is the foundation for success in it, and attachment to it. 

It may, therefore, emphatically, though figuratively, be said of the 
farmer, that in order to be at home in his vocation he must be conversant 
v/ith whatever contributes to his success. He must understand the 
iiature of soils and the means of improving them. He must understand 
the elementary constituents of the vegetable creation in every variety, 
and the means of providing them. He must understand the separate and 
combined influence of light, of heat, of air, and of water in vegetable 
development. He must understand the best modes of culture, including 
all the implements used therein ; and especially the adaptation of par- 
ticular soils and local metereological influences to the production of 
particular crops. And he must on no account be ignorant of animal 
physi:/logy, and of the particular kinds and breeds of stock, generally 
most productive of profit, or suited to his own individual circumstances. 
If in these things the farmer is well skilled, he is at home in his vocation, 
and he will be likely to render that vocation reputable and productive of 
a fair remuneration for his labor and other capital required in it. 

The present volume is designed to assist the farmer in being at home 
in his vocation. The materials composing it are so arranged that he can 
in the most ready and convenient manner turn to any subject on which he 
needs information. No time will be lost in ranging through a whole 
chapter in pursuit of a fact described in a few lines. He will speedily 
acq\iire the habit of opening to it with the facility of finding the definition 
of any word in a common dictionary. This book, therefore, is not so 
much intended for protracted study and elaborate investigation or for 
amusement, as for occasional reference, and to make the farmer's fireside, 
in short intervals of leisure, radiant with intelligence and enlivened 
conversation, on topics relating to rural life and domestic economy. As 
such it is compressed into a small compass. A large volume would not 
be suited to the purpose contemplated. Such an one would bewilder 



yijl INTRODUCTIOX. 

rather than speedily enlighten, the mind having only a short season of 
leisure at command. 

In addition to the definiiions and illustrations of subjects and terms 
particularly connected with and having reference to agriculture, there are 
also a few others having reference to the more common occasions for a 
knowledge of general literature and science. These, in a volume for 
every-day use, will render the subjects to which they relate far more 
familiar than though found only in large works. Such is the present 
state of education, that every individual is presumed to have some general 
acquaintance with the popular elements of classical learning, and without it 
one is deemed lacking in ordinary intelligence. Limited as are the means 
here introduced to meet such an exigency, it is imagined that they will 
be found of material value for the department of society, now particularly 
in view, and not of detriment to any other interest, whether social or 
monetary. 

In every family there should be a code of household literature, embra- 
cing such topics as are constantly presenting themselves in the diversified 
developments of domestic economy, as well as in the sterner business opera- 
tions of life. To have no acquaintance with the history and physiology 
of articles used for human apparel, or ornament, or health, or dietetics ; 
or, with the arts and processes required in their production, denotes a defi- 
ciency of mental culture inconsistent with the age in which we live. And, 
in the country where facilities for acquiring such knowledge are less abun- 
dant than in cities, it is especially needful, that there should be within 
the reach of all. not supplied with more elaborate productions, a literary 
oompend like the one now offered to the public. A familiarity with such 
subjects readily presents in the family circle, both at the fireside and about 
the festive board, the elements of intellectual and enlivened conversation. 
Home is thus made cheerful ; and, all mutually assist in rendering it a 
school of improvement, as well as a centre of social attraction. Hence, 
without other aids to literary progress, they will severally become respect- 
able for intelligence, and rarely will one of the number go abroad in search 
of pleasure or means of contentment. 



THE FARMER AT HOME. 



ABDOMEN. That portion of the body of an animal which con- 
tains the stomach, intestines, heart, hver, kidneys, and spleen, with 
their several appendages called the belly. 

ABORTION. The premature separation of the oftspring from 
the mother. It is also called miscarriage, and in farm animals, 
slinking, slipping, and casting. Abortion in cows is of a frequent 
occurrence. A farmer at Charentin, out of a dairy of twenty-eight 
cows, had sixteen slip calves at different pei'iods of gestation. To pre- 
vent, as far as possible, this annoying evil, let them be well fed, and 
kept from rough treatment of every kind. They should be exempt in 
seasons of pregnancy from sudden exposure to heat or cold ; and if in 
stalls, the ventilation should be free, that there be no deficiency of 
fresh air. In mares also it is of no rare occurrence. It frequently 
arises from over-exertion, which should be carefully avoided. When 
used for labor they should be treated kindly ; and should not be 
allowed to go in pastures where they are liable to leap fences, logs, or 
ditches. 

ABORTIVE. This is a term frequently used in Botany to denote 
the absence of stamens or pistils whereby fruit cannot be produced. 
It also denotes the deficiency of any other organ. And, it is applied 
by gardeners and farmers to flowers, seeds, and fruits, which do not 
come to maturity, in consequence of external injury from the weather, 
from insects, or other causes affecting their growth. Thus fruit 
often becomes abortive, in consequence of cold winds or frosts in 
spring checking the flow of the nutritive juices ; and after losing its 
healthy color it shrivels and falls. The same effects arise too from 
the depredation of caterpillars on the leaves and branches. 

ABSCESS. This usually signifies an animal swelling or tumor, 
containing pus or putrid matter, which takes place in consequence of 
previous inflammation. 

ABSORPTION. The conversion of gaseous fluids into liquids 
and solids. Fluids and gases pnly can be absorbed. As plants axe 
1* 



2Q THE FARMER AT HOME. 

not furnished with any individual organ similar to the mouth of 
animals, nature has furnished them with pores througn which nour- 
ishment is received. These pores exist in the leaves and the external 
surface of the hark ; and, the process of their agency in absorbing this 
nourishment is not unlike that of the passage of M^ater into the pores 
of sponge, or the rising of water through the valve of a pump. 

ABUTMENT, the head or end ; that which unites one end of a 
thing to another. But usually it denotes the solid pier or mound of 
earth, stone, or timber, which is erected at the bank of a river to 
support the end of the bridge and connect it with the land. 

ACACIA. A beautiful shrub, a species of which bears rose- 
colored flowers. A thorny shrub of this name is common in the 
deserts of Asia and Africa, and produces gum Arabic. The Chinese 
employ the flowers of a plant called by this name to produce that 
beautiful and durable yellow which has been so much admired in 
their different stufis. 

ACANTHUS, the name of an herb remarkable for the model of 
the foliage. In the capitals of the Corinthian and Composite orders 
of architecture there is an ornament resembling the leaves of the 
acanthus. 

ACCIPITRES, the order of rapacious birds containing the vul- 
ture, the owl, the hawk, the eagle, and other birds of prey. The 
name is derived from two Latin words which mean to seize the object 
of which they are in pursuit. 

ACCLIMATE or ACCLIMATION. In rural economy this 
term signifies the adaptation of animals or vegetables of one clime or 
temperature to a different one. For instance the culture of tropical 
plants in a temperate zone ; or even the removal of one from the hot 
house to the open air. 

ACETATE, a salt formed by the combination of any base with 
acetic acid, for instance, vinegar with earths or metals. Some plants 
naturally contain acetic acid. It is found in the chick pea ; in the 
elder berry ; and, in the date palm tree. 

ACIDS, a class of chemical substances, which are so called from 
their taste, or the sensation of sourness they produce on the tongue. 
They change vegetable blue colors to red. When they combine with 
alkalies, or the metalic oxides and earths they form the compound 
salts. Mineral acids are those which are produced from a compound 
or union of oxygen gas with mineral substances, as sulphur. 

ACONITE, Wolfsbane, or Monkshood. A plant, the flower of 
which resembles the hood of a monk. There are several species of 
the aconite, most of which are violent poisons. The ancients were so 
surprised at their pernicious effects, that they were afraid to touch 
the plants ; and hence sprung many superstitious precautions about 
the manner of gathering them. Theophrastus relates that there was 
a mode of preparing the aconite in his days, so that it should only 



THE FARMER AT HOME. H 

destroy life at the end of one or two yer^trs. It is confidently affirmed, 
that the huntsmen on the Alps, who hunt the wolves, and other wild 
animals, dip their arrows in the juice of these plants, which renders 
the wounds occasioned by them mortal. A decoction of the roots has 
been used to kill bu<rs ; and the powder disguised in bread, or some 
other palatable vehicle, has been employed to destroy rats and mice. 
Mathiolus relates that it was given by way of experiment to four con- 
demned criminals, two at Rome in 1524, and two at Prague in 1561. 
Two of them died and the other two with great difficulty were 
recovered. 

. ACORN". The seed or fruit of the oak ; it was reckoned, in for- 
mer times, an important article of human sustenance. We are told 
by historians, that the natives in the forests of Germany and Britain, 
fed on this fruit as a luxury ; and that violent quarrels sometimes 
arose between the chiefs of their clans, respecting the division of 
their crops of acorns. According to Volney, the peasants of Syria, at 
this day, depend for a considerable part of their food on oak- acorns, 
which they gather upon Mount Lebanon ; for if they raise barley and 
wheat, the Arabs of the wilderness come in harvest time, and rob 
them of their crops. 

ACRE, a quantity of land containing one hundred and sixty 
square rods or perches ; four thousand eight hundred and forty square 
yards ; and forty-three thousand, five hundred and sixty square feet. 
This is the English statute acre In measuring an acre by yards, the 
usual practice is to trace ofT seventy yards in length and seventy in 
width ; this in a rough way may be considered near enough for most 
practical purposes in laying out a farm ; but as seventy yards each 
way make four thousand nine hundred square yards, they exceed one 
"acre by fifty sqxiare yards. To detei-mine an accurate acre, it should 
be measured seventy yards in length by sixty-nine and one-seventh 
yards in breadth. This will be an acre wanting a few inches. 
Still greater accuracy will be attained by measuring oft' two hundred 
and nine feet one way and two hundred and eight feet, five and one- 
eighth inches the other. This will be precisely a square acre, or 
exceeding it only two-sevenths of a square foot. The acre of Scot- 
land contains six thousand, one hundred and fifty-one and two-fifths 
square yards. The French arpent or acre is nearly equal to the 
Scottish acre. The Irish acre is seven thousand, eight hundred and 
forty square yards. 

AFFINITY is an elective attraction, or a tendency that difTerent 
species of matter have to unite, and combine with certain other 
bodies, and the power that disposes to continue in combination. 

AGRICULTURE. The art of cultivating the earth, so as to 
increase the quantity and improve the quality of its vegetable pro- 
duction. This may be considered the most ancient, and is certainly 
the most important, of all arts. It forms the basis of society, and 



12 



THK FAUMER AT HuME. 



constitutes the grand distinction between savagt and civilized life. 
In the necessity of cultivating the earth tor subsistence, social order 
commenced. The wandering life of a nation of hunters admits of 
little or no improvement. Agriculture has the merit of having re- 
claimed mankind from this hopeless state ; by drawing them together 
in communities, and imposing on them the necessity of a fixed habi- 
tation. Hence the ancient nations, amongst which this art originated, 
held it in the greatest veneration. The Egyptians considered it as a 
gift from their gods, and even paid divine honors to the ox, on 
account of his usefulness in agricultural labors. The ancient Romans 
venerated the plough, and in the earliest and purest times of the 
Republic, tlie greatest praise of an illustrious citizen was, to be called 
an industrious and skillful husbandman. 

We learn from the writings of Moses, that agriculture was the 
primitive employment of man. The earth no longer yielded her pro- 
ductions spontaneously after the fall. It had been cursed with barren- 
ness for Adam's transgression ; and, under the new constitution of 
things, could be made to minister to his wants, only by patient toil, 
and careful and assiduous cultivation. He was therefore " sent forth 
from the garden of Eden to till the ground ;" a«d it is probable that 
Adam and his immediate descendants were instructed in this art by 
God himself 

In the early ages of the world, before mankind had become very 
numerous, and whilst every tribe or family could range over a large 
e.xtent of country, their principal wealth consisted in ilocks and herds, 
and their chief employment in the care of them. This continues to 
be the condition of the Nomade nations of Northern Asia to the 
present day ; and under such circumstances agriculture is but little 
attended to. The Egyptians were undoubtedly the first people, who 
applied themselves successfully to the cultivation of the earth ; and 
they were invited to it by the extraordinary fertility and productive- 
ness of their soil, occasioned by the annual overflowings of the Nile. 
The wealth and power which they acquired from this source, and 
their extraordinary advances in knowledge and the arts, are fully 
attested by those wonderful monuments still remaining of their former 
greatness. The Greeks probably borrowed their agriculture, as they 
did their arts and early pri.uciples of science from the Egyptians. 
The Chaldeans and Phoenicians held husbandry in the highest estima- 
tion. The Carthagenians, descended from the latter, carried it to 
great perfection. The Romans devoted themselves to agi-iculture 
with extraordinary zeal and success ; and several of their treatises on 
this subject are still extant. In fact all the celebrated states of 
antiquity rivalled each other in promoting and improving this impor- 
tant art. 

During the ages of anarchy and barbarism, which succeeded the 
fall of the Romanempii3, agriculture was almost wholly abandoned. 



THE FARMER AT HOME J3 

The wild hordes which successively overran and subdued the faired 
portions of the earth, had little knowledge of, and still less inclination 
for husbandry. Like all savages, they had the greatest aversion to 
labor, and their only delight was in idleness and debauchery, war and 
the chase. Long time is required to change the character and habits 
of a people, and accordingly agriculture, together with all the useful 
arts, languished for centuries. But when at length new light began 
to break in on the nations, it could not fail to attract the earliest 
attention, and has been advancing to perfection, and acquiring fresh 
importance to the present time. 

Agriculture is now probably better understood, than it was by 
any of the ancient nations. The application of modern science, par- 
ticularly chemistry, to it, has greatly accelerated its improvement. 
Britain, especially during the last half century, has made the 
greatest efforts to advance her husbandry ; and with signal success. 
The value of her agricultural products has doubled during this period, 
and actually exceeds those of France, though that country has twice 
the territory, a third more population, greater natural fertility, and a 
climate adapted to every variety of vegetable growth. The French 
agriculture, previous to the revolution, suffered, in common with other 
species of industry, from the effects of bad government, and a worn 
out and antiquated system opposed to all change, and therefore hostile 
to improvement. But, a better stale of things has succeeded that 
great event. The large domains have been broken up and divided, 
small farms ci-eated, vexatious regulations, and burdensome imposi- 
tions removed, and a general spirit of enterprise and inquiiy excited. 
Lombardy and Flanders have long been celebrated for their flourish- 
ing agriculture. 

England is indebted to the Flemish farmers, who came over to 
that country as far back as the Norman conquest, for many valuable 
improvements. In all parts of Germany, increasing attention is paid 
to this subject, both by the governments, and by enlightened individ- 
uals. Nor, has the general spirit of improvement been confined to 
Europe. In our own country, the condition of agriculture is rapidly 
meliorating. Societies for the dilTusion of useful information have 
been created, better modes of tillage have been introduced, improved 
breeds of domestic animals procured, new articles of cultivation re- 
commended, and men of intelligence and capital are more and more 
devoting themselves to this most healthful, interesting, and important 
of all human employments. 

AIR. In Natural Philosophy, is that fluid, transparent substance 
which surrounds our globe, reaching to a considerable height above 
its surface ; and this ocean of air is the great laboratory in which most 
of the actions of life go on ; and on the composition of which they 
depend. Though invisible, except in large masses, without smell or 
taste, yet it is a substance possessing all the principal attributes of 



14 



THE FARMER AT HOME. 



matter ; it is impenetrable, ponderable, compressible, dilatable, per- 
fectly elastic, and its particles are operated on like those of other 
bodies, by chemical operations. It is indispensable to the life of all 
organic beings ; animals respire it incessantly, and decompose it ; a 
part of its oxygen is transformed into carbonic acid, and this combina- 
tion produces caloric, which contributes principally to the preserva- 
tion of animal heat. Vegetables imbibe the carbon which the 
carbonic acid, difliised through the air, contains. The air is the 
agent of combustion ; the particles of bodies combine with its oxygen 
and evolve light and heat. Air is also the principal medium of sound. 

AIE,-BELLS are enlarged cavities in the cellular tissues of plants, 
to produce buoyancy, if they are of the aquatic order. In birds they 
are membraneous cavities communicating with the lungs, and travers- 
ing all parts of the bird, even to the interior of the bones and quills. 

AIR-PUMP. A machine for exhausting the air out of vessels, in 
the same manner as water is drawn up by a pump. The vessel 
from which the air is thus exhausted is called the receiver, and the 
space thus left vacant in the vessel, after withdrawing the air, is 
called a vacuum. It is one of the most curious and useful of philo- 
sophical instruments. By experiments with it, the weight, elasticity, 
and many other properties of the air may be shown in a very simple 
and satisfactory manner. If any animal is placed under the receiver, 
and the air exhausted, it dies almost immediately ; a lighted candle 
under the exhausted receiver immediately goes out. Air is thus 
shown to be necessary to animal liie and combustion. A bell sus- 
pended from a silken thread beneath the exhausted receiver, on being 
struck, cannot be heard. If the bell be in one receiver, from which 
the air is not exhausted, but which is within an exhausted receiver, 
it still cannot be heard. Air is tiierefore proved necessary to the 
production and to the propagation of sound. A shrivelled apple or 
cranberry, placed beneath an exhausted receiver, becomes as plump 
as if quite fresh. They are thus shoM'n to be full of elastic air. 

AJACIO. An extraordinary tree, that grows on the shores of 
the Antilles Islands. St. Pierre states, on the authority ofLabat and 
du Tetre, that it grows to such a prodigious size, that out of one log 
of it a boat can be made capable of carrying forty men. This tree is 
also the only one, of those shores, which is never attacked by the sea 
worm, an insect so formidable to every other species of timber which 
floats in those seas, that it devours whole squadrons in a very little 
time, and occasions the necessity of sheathing the bottoms of the 
vessels with copper. 

ALABASTER. A well known mineral, used by architects, stat- 
uaries, plastei-ers and others. It is a sulphate of lime. Alabaster is 
found of various colors and kinds ; snowy white, yellow, variegated, 
reddish, and in masses of various shapes and sizes. Most of the ala- 
basters are interspersed with veins of different colors. Alabaster ia 



THE FARMER AT HOME. 15 

found in many different parts of the world, and in ibundance in sev- 
eral places of England. In general, it is so soft, that it can be cut 
with a knife ; yet it admits of a fair polish. The clearness and 
fineness of this stone renders it in some measure transparent, whence 
it has been occasionally employed for windows. There is a church 
in Florence still illutniuated by alabaster windows ; instead of panes 
of glass, there are slabs of alabaster nearly fifteen feet high, each of 
which forms a window, through which the light is conveyed. When 
a candle or lamp is put into a vase of this kind, it diffuses a very 
agreeable and delicate light, and is therefore much used for that 
description of statuary. 

ALBUMEN. A colorless insipid fluid, coagulating at a heat of 
120°, existing in the leaves, juices, and fruits of most plants, but most 
abundant in animal products. The white of eggs is nothing but pure 
albumen, and the blood contains large quantities of the substance. 
Its principal use, in domestic economy, is in classifying or cleansing 
fluids, such as dissolved sugars, and for which purpose it is unrivalled. 
Milk contains albumen, and, hence, is sometimes used for cleansing 
syrup, but it is inferior to the white of eggs. These carefully incor- 
porated with a fluid when cold, and then submitted to a coagulating 
heat, will lift all impurities to the surface, where they can easily be 
taken of by skimming. Albumen is more abundant in the bark of 
red or slippery elm, than in any other vegetable product. Hence its 
value for medicinal purposes. Albumen is composed of carbon 52 parts, 
oxygen 23, hydrogen 7, and nitrofren 15. 

ALBURNUM. Wood of trees is usually composed of three dis- 
tinct parts ; the pith or central part, having a loose spongy texture ; 
the heart wood, the most durable and valuable part of the tree ; and 
the sap wood or alburnum. This last is usually whiter than heart- 
wood, is more porous, and through it the circulation of the sap is 
principally performed. It is the soonest attacked by the borer or pow- 
der-post, and in exposed situations is always first to decay. 

ALCOHOL. This is the purely spiritous part of all liquors. It 
is the product of vinous fermentation, and can be derived from all 
substances capable of fermentation. It is the intoxicating principle 
of liquors, and few nations have been found so rude as not to have 
discovered some means of producing it. Alcohol is produced princi- 
pally by the distillation of wine, molasses, and grain. The product 
of the first is brandy, the second rum, and the third whiskey or gin. 
Alcohol is of much use in the arts, but it has, by its general use, pro- 
duced a most unhappy effect on the happiness and morals of multi- 
tudes. Perhaps greater quantities of distilled spirits are used by the 
nations that border on the Baltic than in any other part of the world, 
and here they are principally produced from the distillation of pota- 
toes. Alcohol is present in brandy, whiskey, and other strong spirits, 



16 



THE FARMER AT HOME. 



to the extent of fifty per cent. — in cider and ales ten per cent. — and 
in beer six per cent. 

ALDER. The alder is a tree which grows in wet situations, and 
is distinguished lor its flowering stalks being branched. The roots and 
knots furnish beautifully veined wood, nearly of the color of mahu- 
gany, and well adapted to cabinet work. The bark may well be used 
in the operations of tanning and leather dressing. It is also some- 
times used, together with the young twigs, for dyeing, and yields dif- 
ferent shades of yellow and red. With the addition of copperas it 
yields a black dye. The Laplanders chew the bark of the alder, and 
dye their leather garments red with the saliva thus produced. 




THE A L D E R N E Y COW. 

ALDERNEY CATTLE. The cattle called by this name, on 
some accounts deserve distinct notice. They are of French origin, 
either from the continent or French islands adjacent to the Con- 
tinent ; but receiving this name from the English island in the 
British Channel, called Alderney. These cattle mostly prevail in 
Hampshire, along the coast in the south-west part of England. They 
are generally of a mingled white and sandy red, or fawn color ; 
the latter being mostly disposed in large, abrupt patches. In form 
they are of small size and awkwardly shaped — the neck thin, bones 
small, high shoulders, and short rump. They are a variety of the 
short-horns, and are sometimes, but not generally, called Normandy 
cattle. 



THE FARMER AT HOMR. I7 

The cows yield only a small portion of milk, but it is of the most 
extraordinary richness ; and, on this account, and perhaps for their 
peculiar figure and color, they are often kept in the parks and plea- 
sure-grounds of the opulent, where they are judged both useful and 
ornamental. Their gentleness, their diminutive size, and even their 
singular contour, together with the excellence of their milk, render 
them favorites, where no remunerating return for their keeping is ex- 
pected or desired. In proportion to the quantity of milk, the butter 
it yields is astonishing ; a single cow has been known to give nine- 
teen pounds of butter weekly for several weeks in succession. This, 
of course, is a very rare occurrence ; the average is from six to eight 
or nine pounds weekly, juring the season, supposing the cow to be 
first-rate of her kind. 

ALICONDA. An African tree of Congo, of immense bulk. Of 
the bark a coarse thread is made ; the shell or rind of the fruit may 
be made into a nourishing pap, serves for vessels of various kinds, 
and gives an aromatic taste to water preserved in it. The small 
leaves are used as food in time of scarcity, the large ones to cover 
huts, and, being burned, makes good soap. 

ALKALIES. Alkalies are saline substances possessing a hot 
and caustic taste, and readily corrode the flesh of animals ; they also 
convert vegetable blue to a green color, are soluble in water, and 
combine in various ways with acids, forming a variety of new bodie» 
of very diflerent qualities. With oils they form soaps. They are 
known under two forms, i\\e fixed and volatile. The fixed alkalies are 
potash and soda ; the volatile alkali or Ammonia, is obtained from 
animal matter ; and latterly, it has also been procured in large quan- 
tities from the distillation of coal for gas. The fixed alkalies, potash 
and soda, are products of the vegetable kingdom ; and used largely both 
in medicine and the arts, chiefly in medicine, in combination with 
acids forming neutral salts. Soda is also obtained from the salt of 
the sea and that of mines. 

ALLUVION. Land deposited by the action of rivers ; either at 
the mouths in lakes or the sea, or on the banks in their passages to 
these receptacles. Constituted as it usually must be of the richei 
and lighter parts of the regions drained by the river that deposites it, 
it is the most fertile of soils, and the most valuable when it can be 
drained, or rendered secure from floods. Nearly the whole of Hol- 
land is alluvial. In this country the vast tract on both sides of the 
Mississippi, for a great distance from its mouth, is of this character ; 
but owing to its annual submersion is of comparative little value. 
Perhaps there is no river in the United States, in proportion to its 
length and volume, that has so much valuable alluvion on its borders 
as the Genessee in New-York. 

ALTERNATION. I»; agriculture this term means the system 



jg THE FARMER AT HOME. 

in which one portion of the farm is in pasture and another arable , 
and these being successively changed. 

ALUM. A fossil salt, and mineral, of an acid taste, which 
leaves in the mouth a sweetness, accompanied by an astringency so 
considerable as to cause a sensation of shuddering. There are two 
sorts of alum, the natural and the artificial. In a natural state, it is 
said to be met with in Egypt, Sardinia, Spain, Bohemia, and other 
places, and the counties of York and Lancaster, in England. On 
account of its binding qualities, it is used in several mechanic arts, 
and in medicine. In dyeing, it fixes and brightens colors; it 
constitutes the basis ef crayons ; it gives hardness and consistence 
to tallow, in the manufacture of candles ; and wood, soaked in a so- 
lution of alum, being incapable of taking fire, and answering the 
purpose, also, of excluding the air is used for powder magazines. 

ALUMINE. One of the earths most important to the agricul- 
turist, and entering largely into the composition of all rocks, clays, 
and loams. It is the principle that gives peculiar tenacity and plas- 
tic nature to clays ; rendering them heavy and impervious to water, 
in proportion to the quantity contained in them. Alumine has a 
great affinity for water, hence clay lands are usually more cold and 
wet, and more difficult to cultivate than those into which it enters 
in less proportions. Its presence in soils is, however; absolutely 
necessary to prevent porosity ; and when combined in due proportion 
with other principal earths it constitutes one of the surest ingredients 
of a fertile soil. Much attention has of late been paid to the amelio- 
ration of clay soils, and of all the methods tried, thorough draining 
has proved the easiest and most effective. When clay land is drained, 
its texture is changed ; and the plants it naturally produces, as weU 
as those it is made capable of producing, are of a higher and more 
valuable kind. Alumine is of much use in the arts ; it is extensively 
employed as a cleaning powder ; as a mordant in dyeing ; and is the 
basis of bricks, crucibles, and porcelain. 

AMMONIA. A transparent, colorless gas, of about half the 
weight of common water, with an exceedingly pungent smell, extin- 
guishes flame, and is fatal to life. It derives its name from the fact 
that the ancients received it from that part of Lybia in which the 
temple of Jupiter Ammon was situated ; or from Ammonia, one of 
the Cyreniac territories. It is the same substance as " spirits of 
hartshorn," employed for smelling bottles. To the agriculturist am- 
monia is particularly interesting, because those substances that con- 
tain the most of it are the most efficient manures, and act with the 
most certainty aiid promptness. It is produced from soft or fluid 
animal substances while in the process of decomposition, and this 
change is rapid in proportion to the quantity of earthy salts they 
contain. 



THE FARMER AT HOME. 19 

AMPHIBIA. A class of animals which live equally well in air 
or water ; such as the phocae, or seal tribe, frogs, lizards, crocodiles, 
eels, water serpents, and snakes. They are remarkable for their 
tenacity of life ; some will continue to move, even when the head is 
cut oil". 

ANALYSIS. The separation of a compound body into its con- 
stituent parts ; a resolving ; as, an analysis of water, air or oil, to 
discover its elements. This is Avhat is called chemical analysis. In- 
deed, to analyze bodies, or resolve them into their component parts, 
is the chief object of chemistry. When it is applied to the soils it is 
the means of ascertaining the nature, properties, and proportions of 
which they are composed. This chemical examination of the soil 
afibrds perhaps more certain and more valuable information to the 
farmer, for the improvement of its fertility, than any mode of inves- 
tigation. It is to the agricultiiral chemist the same as an examina- 
tion of the pulse, the tongue, and the excrements to the physician in 
ascertaining the physical condition of the human system. One is as 
necessary to the former, as the other is to the latter. 

ANESNOSCOPE. Every contrivance which indicates the direc- 
tion of the wind is called by this name. The vane upon towers and 
roofs is the simplest of all anesnoscopes. There are some, also, where 
the vanes turn a moveable spindle, which descends through the roof 
to the chamber •where the observation is made. On the ceiling of 
this apartment a compass-card is fixed, and, whilst the wind turns 
the vane together with the spindle, an index, fixed below, points out 
the direction of the wind on the card. 

ANGORA GOAT. A species of goat, so called, because found 
in its highest excellence in the neighborhood of Angora, a city of an- 
cient Syria. They are of dazzling white color, and, in all, the hair 
is very long, thick, fine, and glossy ; which is indeed the case with 
almost all animals of Syria. There is a great number of these ani- 
mals about Angora, where the inhabitants drive a trade with their 
hair, Avhich is sold either rawer manufactured, into all parts of Europe. 
Nothing can exceed the beauty of the stufis which ai-e made from the 
hair of almost all the animals of that country. These are well known 
by the name of camlet. The great antiquity of this kind of manu- 
facture is evident ; as we are told in sacred scripture, that the cur- 
tains of Moses' tabernacle were made of goat's hair, probably of the 
Angora goat. 

ANIMALCULE. In its general acceptance, this is a little ani- 
mal ; but since the invention of the microscope, the term is particu- 
larly applied to the myriads of insects, too small to be seen by the 
naked eye, which are discovered by that instrument. The shape of 
animalcules is infinitely diversified ; one is a long slender line ; ano- 
ther is coiled up like an eel or serpent ; and some are circular, ellip- 
tical, or globular. Vinegar is full of these minute eels. They are 



20 THE ?AEMFR AT HOME. 

also found in paste. Miiller conceives that the sea abounds in animal- 
cules peculiar to itself; and Spallanzani observes that vegetable sv;b- 
stances dissolving in sea water produce swarms of animalcules. The 
minuteness of them surpasses the conception of the human mind. 
Leeuwenhock calculates that the size of some is to that of a mite, as 
the size of a bee to that of a horse ; a hundred others will not exceed 
the thickness of a hair ; and ten thousand of a different species may 
be contained in the space occupied by a grain of sand. 

ANIMAL MANURES. That of young animals is poorer than 
that of the aged, for the young and growing animal requires, for its 
nourishment and increase of size, a greater proportion of the phos- 
phate of lime, and other solid ingredients of its food, than the more 
aged animal, because the excrements or refuse matters of the vegeta- 
bles consumed are proportionately diminished in quantity and in rich- 
ness. The richer the food, too, the better is the quality of the manure. 
That from animals fed on oil-cake is the richest, then that of corn- 
fed animals ; and, lastly, that from straM-'-fed cattle is the poorest. 

ANIMAL POISONS. Several animals are furnished with liquid 
juices of a poisonous nature, which, when injected into fresh wounds, 
occasion the disease or death of the animal wounded. The poison of 
the viper is a yellow liquid, which lodges in two small vesicles in the 
animal's mouth. These communi'cate by a tube with the crooked 
;angs, which are hollow, and terminate in a small cavity. When the 
animal bites, the vesicles are squeezed, and the poison forced through 
the fangs into the wound. If the vesicles be extracted, or the liquid 
prevented from flowing into the wound, the bite is harmless. The 
venom of the bee and the wasp is also a liquid contained in a small 
vesicle, forced through the hollow tube of the sting into the wound 
inflicted by the instrument. From the experiments of Fontana we 
learn that it bears a stiking resemblance to the poison of the viper. 
The sting of the bee should be immediately extracted ; and the best 
application is opium and olive oil. 

ANNUAL. Tliis term is applied to plants that arrive at matu- 
rity in a single year, and then perish. The stem of annuals is gene- 
rally of rapid growth, porous, and abounding in the juices necessary 
to the perfection of the steds in a single season. The herbage of 
some plants is annual, while the roots are perennial, or remain from 
year to year. Maize, or Indian corn, is a proper example of an an- 
nual ; the grasses, of perennial roots with annual herbage. 

ANTIMONY. A blackish mineral substance found in different 
parts of Europe, as Bohemia, Saxony, Transylvania, Hungary, 
France, and England ; commonly in mines by itself, intermixed with 
earth and stony matters. Sometimes it is blended with the richer 
ores of silver, and renders the extraction of that metal difficult, by 
volatilizing a part of the silver. The name of this metal is usually 
referred to Basil Valentine; a German monk, who, as the tradition 



THE FARMER AT HOME. " gl 

relates, having thrown some of it to the hogs, observed, that after 
purging them violently, they immediately grew fat upon it. This 
made him think, that by giving his fellow monks a like dose, they 
would be the better for it. 

The experiment, however, succeeded so ill, that they all died of 
it ; and the medicine was thenceforward called antimony — anti- 
monk. Antimony at first was used only in the composition of paint. 
Scripture describes it a sort of paint with which the women blacken- 
ed their eye-brows. Its modern uses are very numerous and impor- 
tant. It is a common ingredient in specula or burning concaves, 
serving to give the composition a finer texture. It makes a part in 
bell-metal, and renders the sound clearer. It is mingled with tin to 
make it harder, whiter, and more sonorous ; and with lead, in the 
casting of printers' letterg, to render them smoother and firmer. It is 
also a general help in the melting of metals, and especially in the 
casting of cannon balls. It is likewise made use of for purifying 
and heightening the color of gold. 

For a long time this mineral was esteemed poisonous. In 1566, 
its use was prohibited by any but doctors of the faculty. It is now uni- 
versally allowed that pure antimony in its crude state has no noxious 
quality, and that though many of its preparations are most virulently 
emetic and cathartic, yet by a slight alteration or addition, they lose 
their virulence, and become mild in their operation. Its virtues in 
the diseases of animals are greatly extolled. 

ANTIPODES. In geography, a name given to those inhabitants 
of the globe, that live diametrically opposite to each other. The 
antipodes lie under opposite meridians and opposite parallels, in the 
same degree of latitude, but of opposite denominations, one being 
north, and the other south. They have nearly the same degree of 
heat and cold, and days and nights of equal length, but opposite 
seasons. It is noon to one, when it is midnight to the other ; and 
the longest day with the one, is the shortest with the other. The 
terms upward and downward are merely relative, and signify nearer 
to, and farther from, the centre of the earth, the common centre to 
which all heavy bodies gravitate : wherefore, our antipodes, or the 
people who with respect to us, seem to walk with their heads down- 
ward, have not their feet upward, nor their heads downward, any 
more than ourselves ; because they, like us, have their feet nearer to 
the centre of the earth, and their heads farther from it. We all tend 
toward the centre of the earth, in a direction from head to foot. 

APHIS. A family of insects that prey extensively on plants, 
and are endowed with astonishing powers of reproduction, and 
though insignificant as individuals, they are formidable in their num- 
bers, and in most years occasion more or less loss to agriculturists. 
They have no mouths, but are provided with beak-like suckers, 
which they insert into plants, and feed on the juices. Almost every 



22 THE FARiMSR AT HOME. 

cultivated tree or plant has its peculiar family of aphis ; and those 
trees or shrubs that are wild, or found only in the depths of the 
forest, cannot claim exemption. Soap suds and a strong decoction of 
tobacco, have been deemed most effectual in destroying them ; 
though when a foothold is once obtained, from their rapid multiplica- 
tion extermination is difficult. 

APIARY. This is a garden or place where bees are kept, and 
derives its names from apis, which signifies a bee. The ancient as 
well as modern writers on bees agree in recommending a southern 
aspect as the most proper for this purpose ; as a general rule, bee- 
hives should be placed in such situations as are little exposed to the 
wind, and enjoy as much of the influence of the sun as possible ; as 
wind always retards the bees in their work, while the sun's beams 
invite them to it. Thus, though it be well known, that bees will 
thrive well in high and windy situations, a low one is obviously 
always to be preferred. In the vicinity of the apiary, there should 
constantly be abundance of flowers, from which the bees may collect 
their wax and honey. Mr. Bonner, a late writer on the management 
of bees, observes, that were a choice allowed him where to place his 
bees, it should be in an easterly situation, a hollow glen by the side 
of a rivulet, surrounded with abundance of turnips in blossom in the 
spring, mustard and clover in summer, and heath in the latter end of 
autumn and harvest ; with a variety of other garden and wild flowers 
in their seasons. 

It is not, however, to be understood from this, that bees will not 
thrive unless they are placed in such an advantageous situation, as 
the contrary can, he says, be proved ; for bees have thriven amazing- 
ly well in places where they were not within reach of any of the 
above mentioned flowers ; but although they will do well in most 
situations, and fly far for their food, yet they will thrive far better 
when situated among or near good pasture, and surrounded with 
plenty of food. And Mr. Keys properly remarks, that the hives 
should be clear from the droppings of trees, and the annoyance of 
dunghills, long grass and weeds, as by these means insects are bred 
which are not only destructive to the bees, but which greatly retard 
them in the preparation of honey. 

Great improvements may be made in providing plenty of pasture 
for bees, and as a rich corn country is unfavorable to their industry, 
the practice of other nations, in shifting the abode of their bees, is 
deserving of notice. M. Maillet, in his description of Egypt, informs 
us, that the natives of that fertile country annually send their bees 
into distant regions, to procure sustenance for them, when they cannot 
find any at home. About the end of October, the inhabitants of 
Lower Egypt embark their bees on the Nile, and in this extraordinary 
Apiary convey them to upper Egypt, when the inundation is with- 
drawn, the lands are sown, and the flowers beginning to bud. These 



THE FARMER AT HOME. 23 

insects are thus conducted through the whole extent of Egypt ; and 
after having gathered the rich produce of the banks of the Nile, are 
re-conducted home, about the beginning of February. 

In France, floating bee-hives are very common. One barge con- 
tains from sixty to a hundred hives, which are well defended from the 
inclemency of the weather. Thus the owners float them gently down 
the stream, while they gather their honey from the flowers along its 
banks. A single bee-house, or Apiary of this kind, yields the pro- 
prietor a considerable income. 

APIS. The character of the honey bee, or apis, has been the 
subject of anxious mvestigation for ages ; and unquestionably more 
singularities are exhibited by it than by any other insect, or perhaps 
by any other animal, hitherto known. A single female lays the 
foundation of a nuniereus colony ; she produces eggs which will be- 
come males, females, and neuters or working-bees ; for the females 
and males are engaged in nothing but perpetuating the race, while 
the neuters collect the honey and fabricate the combs. By some un- 
accountable law, her impregnation cannot take place within the hive. 
If delayed beyond twenty days from the origin of her own existence, 
instead of laying eggs, which produce the above variety of her species, 
she will never lay any than those which will be hatched into males. 
In the natural state, where there has been no delay, she lays numbers 
of them, it is true ; but invariably after having produced thousands 
that give birth to workers. Two queens cannot exist at once in the 
same hive ; it is indispensable to the safety of the colony that one of 
them be destroyed ; and in the bitterness of their combats, sometimes 
both become victims of their mutual resentments. 

But without a queen the colony goes speedily to decay ; the work- 
ers, however, possess the secret of converting a common worm, which 
would hence become one of themselves, into a worm which will be- 
come a queen, and the hive is thus preserved. The males are mer- 
cilessly massacred by the workers at a certain season, unless a queen 
be accidentally wanting, and then they are spared. The workers 
testify the greatest regard for the queen ; some attend her wherever 
she goes, surround her, supply her with honey, and brush her limbs ; 
others keep a vigilant watch day and night at the entrance of the 
hive ; nothing is permitted to enter without due and cautious exami- 
nation ; others are employed in providing for the necessities of the 
young worms, in sealing the cells, or in building t)ie combs. Our ad- 
miration of their art should rise still higher than it does, on reflecting 
that these beautiful and delicate structures, which often yield to the 
slightest pressure, are all made perfect and complete in total dark- 
ness. 

APPLE TREE. One of the most valuable fruit trees in the 
world ; this excellent tree is said to have been brought into Italy from 
Syria and Africa, a very few years before the nativity of our Saviour. 



24 THE PARMER AT HOME. 

Apple trees should be kept from their first growth pruned in such a 
manner as to spread very much, rather than to run up tall ; they 
should be cleared from limbs which stop and choke out the free cir- 
iiulation of the air. From May to November, manure enough to 
smother and kill the grass, should be put about the stems of the young 
trees ; but after the beginning of November, it should careiuUy be 
removed, as the field mice would otherwise gnaw the bark, and spoil 
the trees. 

All good apples, and many of the common kinds, are produced by 
the process termed grafting. This is performed by inserting young 
twigs or shoots from trees bearing fine fruit into stocks of inferior kinds, 
raised upon every farm, from the pomace of the cider-mill. Crab- 
stocks are thought to answer best in England, but all kinds are made 
use of in the United States. The branches formed by the twig inserted 
are found to bear fruit corresponding in quality to the tree from which 
it was cut. The same process is pursued with all other kinds of fruit- 
trees ; for inoculated or ingrafted fruit is always found to be the best. 

The kinds of apples most highly prized in all countries are the 
varieties of pippin. The pippins of New York, New Jersey and 
Pennsylvania are the richest in flavor of any apples known in the U. 
States ; while the greening, the pearmain, and gilliflower, are the 
best fruit of New England ; and the varieties of russet- apple the most 
lasting, being often found in a good condition at midsummer of the 
next year. Among the more recent varieties are Early Harvest, 
Baldwin, Summer Rose, Summer Pearmain, Seek-no-further, Lady 
Apple, Wine Apple, Bellflower, Vandevere, Nonsuch, Early Straw- 
berry, Red Astracan, Gravenstciu and Porter. The common family 
uses of the apple are too familiar to need specification ; but its m 
important application is to the manufactui'e of cider. The process 
for making the best cider is simple ; perhaps quite as much so as any 
mode of spoiling it. They should be ground in a mill till they are 
entirely bruised. They are afterwards allowed to stand a day or two 
in open vessels or troughs, and then pressed between haircloths or 
layers of clean straw ; the last is not so good, from absorbing and 
wasting a portion of the juice. The liquor running from the press is 
then received into a vat, or large casks, till it has fermented, when it 
is drawn ofi", and placed in clean, tight barrels or casks, to stand till it 
is fine and clear ; it is then racked oil' from the lees, and kept in casks 
or bottled for use. A portion of brandy and a little flowers of sulphur 
render it more pure, and less likely to grow hard and sour. 

APRICOT. A fruit of the plrum tribe, which grows wild in sev- 
eraiv. parts of Armenia, and was introduced into England about the 
middle of the sixteenth century. Some consider the apricot the most 
delicate of all our hardy fruits. For pastry, certainly none is more ex- 
cellent. It is used for tarts, both green and ripe ; it is also preserved 
with sugar in both these states, and is sometimes dried as a sweet-meat- 



THE FARMER AT HOME. 25 

Care should be taken to gather it before it becomes soft and mealy. 
The kernels of apricots have a pleasantly bitter flavor, and answer 
much better, for several purposes in confectionary than bitter almonds, 
which are commonly used. They likewise contain a sweet oil, which, 
like that of almonds, was formerly used in emulsions. The gum that 
issues from the apricot-tree is similar to that of the cherry. The 
wood is coarsely grained and soft, and is consequently seldom used in 
carpentry. Apricot-trees are chiefly raised against walls, and are 
propagated by grafting upon plum tree stocks. 

APRIL. The fourth month of our year receives its name from 
the Latin word, aprilis, and that from aperio, " to open," because 
the buds now expand into leaves. The suddenness with which most 
trees and shrubs become covered with foliage, alibrds at once pleasure 
and surprise. April is, however, a fickle and changeable month ; its 
day has been called by poets, "many weathered;" consisting often of 
sunshine, storm, rain, and sometimes snow. 

AGIIJATIC. Plants that live and flourish in the water are termed 
aquatic. There are also aquatic animals and birds. All our lakes, 
rivers, and the ocean " furnish specimens of aquatic plants, some of 
which are of great use and value. A large part of the soda of com- 
merce is obtained from a sea-weed, which, drifted ashore, is dried and 
burned for the soda of the ashes. Hundreds of square miles in the 
equatorial Atlantic, at some seasons of the year, are covered with this 
marine vegetation. Some sea-weeds, as the algse, that grow as they 
float in the water, attain a length of several hundred feet. The rice 
plant of the East Indies and the Carolinas, is an aquatic plant, and 
probably contributes as much to human subsistence as any plant on 
the globe. The wild rice, Zirania aquatica, of our northern lakes 
and rivers, is of great service to the native tribes of those regions, feed- 
ing the immense quantities of water fowls of all kinds that visit and 
breed in those inhospitable climes, as well as furnishing food to the 
natives themselves when their usual supplies from other sources fail 
them. The flags, rushes, and other grasses that grow in the waters 
of the lakes, or other quiet waters — also the pond lily, are further ex- 
amples of aquatic plants. 

ARBOR YITM . This is an evergreen of small size, but very dura- 
ble. It abounds in the northern States, and has by some been recom- 
mended as a hedge. It is used in Canada for brooms ; and it is also 
used for medicinal purposes, as well as for ornament on lawns and 
court yards. 

ARGILLACEOUS. A term applied to soils in which clay 
forms a principal ingredient. It was derived from argil or clayey, 
as aluminous is derived from alumine. In agriculture, argillaceous 
and aluminous are words of the same import, and mean soils or 
earth in which clay predominates. Analysis shows how the pro- 
portions can be determined. 

2 



26 THE FARMER AT FOME 

ARTESIAN. A kind of well tnade by boring tlirough success^ 
ive strata of the earth until water is found. This name is derived 
from Artois in France, where the system was first successfully 
adopted. By penetrating the rocky crust of the earth in this way, the 
water frequently rises to the surface, and flows a living stream; in 
other cases it rises so as to be obtained without difficulty. In this 
country wells have been bored to the depth of a thousand feet, and 
those of five hundred and seven hundred are not uncommon. Vari- 
ous products have been obtained from the earth in this way. In 
Albany a valuable mineral spring has been reached by boring, 
The great quantities of water at the Kanawha salines are obtained 
from Artesian wells. Springs of carbonated hydrogen, that burn 
with perpetual flame; and immense reservoirs of petroleum have 
been discovered while boring for salt or fi-esh water. Artesian wells 
have been sunk in the deserts between Cairo and Suez, and abundant 
supplies of water obtained ; and wherever the borings have ^een 
properly and perseveringly conducted, either in this or foreign coun- 
tries, water has usually been procured. 

ARTICHOKE, the artichoke s a well known plant, which is 
cultivated in Europe chiefly for culinary purposes. This plant was 
cultivated in England as early as the year 1580. The parts that 
are eaten are the receptacle of the flower, which is called the bottom, 
and a fleshy substance on the scales of the calyx. The choke con- 
sists of the unopened floi^ts and the bristles that separate them from 
each other. These stand upon the receptacle, and must be cleared 
away before the bottom can be eaten. Its name undoubtedly arose 
from a notion, that any one, unlucky enough to get it into his throat, 
must certainly be choked. In England, artichokes are generally 
boiled })lain, and eaten with melted butter and pepper, and are con- 
sidered both Avholesome and nutritious. The bottoms are sometimes 
stewed, boiled in milk, or added to ragouts, French pies, and other 
highly-seasoned dishes. For winter use, they may be slowly dried in 
an oven, and kept in pai er bags, in a dry place. On the continent, 
artichokes are frequently eaten raw with salt and pepper. By the 
country people of France, the flowers of the artichoke are sometimes 
used to coagulate milk, for the purpose of making cheese. The 
leaves and stalk contain a bitter juice, which, mixed with an equal 
portion of white wine, has been successfully employed in the cure oi 
dropsy, when other remedies have failed. The juice, prepared with 
bismuth, imparts a permanent gold color to wool. 

The Jerusalem artichoke is a somewhat potato-shaped root, pro- 
duced by a species of sun-flower, which grows wild in several parts oi 
South America. This plant bears single stalks, which are frequently 
eight or nine ieet high, and yellow flowers, much smaller than those 
of the common species. So extremely productive are these valuable 
roots, that between seventy and eighty tons weight of them are said 



THE FARMER. AT HOME. 2" 

to have been obtained, in one season from an acre of gronnd. They 
succeed in almost every soil ; and, when once planted, will continue 
to flourish in the same place, without requiring much manure, or 
much attention to their culture. The season in which they are dug 
up for use, is from about the middle of September till November, 
when they are in the greatest perfection. After that they may be 
preserved in sand, or under cover for the winter. The roots are gene- 
rally eaten plainly boiled, but they are sometimes served at table with 
fricassee-sauce, and in other ways. Their flavor is so nearly like that 
of the common artichoke, that it is difficult to distinguish one from 
the other. We are informed that Jerusalem artichokes are valuable 
for hogs and store pigs ; and that, if washed, out, and ground in a 
mill similar to an apple-mill, they may also be given to horses. 

ASHES. When Avood is burned in a position that excludes the 
air, the product is coal ; if the combustion is performed in open air, 
the produce is ashes. Ashes by being leached, or having warm wa- 
ter passed through them, are deprived of the alkali they contain, and 
this is obtained in the shape of potash, or soda, by evaporation. Dif- 
ferent woods, and plants, vary much in the quantity of ashes ard 
alkali they produce ; the fir, beech, and poplar, ranking among the 
lowest ; and the box, willow, elm, wormwood, and fumitory the 
highest. 

Leached ashes are found to be an excellent manure applied to 
soils that are light, or such as are inclining to be sour ; the alkali 
correcting the acid with which such soils, as the vegetation proves, 
abound. In some instances, crops of grain, roots, and grass, have 
been nearly doubled by their use ; and no skilful agriculturist permits 
their waste. 

ASP. A very small kind of serpent, peculiar to Egypt and Lybia, 
the bite of which is deadly. Its poison is so quick in its operation, 
that it kills without a possibility of applying any remedy. Those 
that are bitten by it are said to die within three hours, by means of 
sleep and lethargy, without any pain ; wherefore Cleopatra chose it 
as the easiest way of despatching herself 

ASPARAGUS. There are thirteen species of this plant ; but 
the only one cultivated in the garden is the common asparagus, with 
an upright herbaceous stalk ; bristly leaves, and equal stipula. The 
other species are kept only for the sake of variety. The plants being 
raised from seeds, after having acquired a period of three or four 
years' growth, produce proper sized asparagus, of which the same 
roots furnish an annual supply for many years, continuing to rise in 
perfection for six or eight weeks in the summer season, the shoots af- 
terwards run up to stalks and flowers, and perfect seeds in autumn. 
But besides the crop raised in the summer season it may also be ob- 
tained in perfection during the winter, and early in the spring, by the 
aid of hot-beds. 



gg THE FARMER. AT HOME. 

Asparagus is always three years at least, from the time of sowing 
the seed, before the plants obtain strength enough to produce shoots 
of due size for tlie table ; that is, one year in the seed-bed. and two 
after being transplanted, though it is sometimes three or four years 
after planting before they produce good full-sized shoats. But the 
same bed or plantation will continue producing good asparagus ten or 
twelve years, and even endure fifteen or twenty years. However, at 
that age the shoots are generally small, and the whole annual pro- 
duce inconsiderable. 

Asparagus ofl'ers a striking instance of the effect produced on 
plants by cultivation. In some parts of Europe it is found growing 
wild on the sea shore, its stem not thicker than a goose quill, and 
only a few inches in height. The cultivated plant is sometimes 
found three-fourths of an inch in diameter, and grows to six feet in 
height. In the neighborho'id of cities or villages asparagus is culti- 
vated as a soui'ce of great profit ; and it should find a place in every 
kitchen-garden. In the year 1850 and 1851 the asparagus sold from 
the farm of D. D. T. More, near Albany, N. Y., yielded over one 
hundred and forty-two dollars. 

ASS. This is an animal of the equine genius. It has long slouch- 
ing ears, a short mane, and a tail covered with long hairs to the end. 
It is usually of the ash color, is extremely hardy, and is easily kept. 
It is a native of Arabia, Persia, and the central parts of Asia and 
Africa. Like the horse, when wild, it goes in large troops, and dis- 
plays great natural sagacity, activity, and courage. Jennets, or she- 
asses, are used among us principally for breeding jacks, or the males 
of the species, and the latter are for the breeding of mules, the hybrid 
product of the ass and the mare. The ass is but little used for labor 
in this country, and they are not numerous. 

ASSIMIL.VTION. This is a term, in animal and vegetable 
economy, to denote that hidden, natural process, by which living 
animals and plants are enabled to convert such bodies as have a cer- 
tain affinity for them, or at least after having undergone some pre- 
paration and change of properties, into their own substance and 
nature. 

ASTEINGENT. This is a medicinal substance which binds or 
contracts the parts of the body to which it is applied, restrains profuse 
discharjjes, coagulates animal fluids, and condenses and strengthens 
the solids. 

ATMOSPHERIC AIR. The atmosphere, which was formerly 
supposed to be a simple fluid, is composed of two distinct substances, 
termed oxygen gas and nitrogen gas. It is not a chemical compotind, 
but a mere mixture of those gaseous substances, in the proportion of 
21 of the former and 79 of the latter. It contains also about one 
part in every thousand of carbonic acid gas, a considerable portion of 
water in a state of elastic vapor, and several adventitious substances. 



THE FARMER AT HOME. 



29 



ATOM. A part or particle of niatter, so small as not to admit 
of farther subdivision. The Epicureans professed to account ior the 
origin and formation of all things, by supposing that these aton.s 
were endued with gravity and motion, and thus came together into 
the diflerent organized bodies that we now see. This was called the 
atornical philosophy, which was adopted by the sceptics and infidels 
of those times. 

AUGUST. The eighth month, from Augustus, Latin : the term 
implies majestic or grand, and was first given to ()ctavius, the 
Roman emperor, he being named Augustus Cajsar in consequence of 
his victories. This month was therefore dedicated to his honor, anol 
still goes by his name. 

This is the harvest month in this as in most temperate Euro- 
pean countries. The harvest, chiefly, it should be observed, th#» 
wheat harvest, used almost universally to be finished by a teas* 
called harvest-home, when, for a few hours, the master and the ser- 
vant was forgotten, and both mingled in social compai?ion.=hio 
Modern manners have, however, a good deal contracted such inter 
course ; and although harvest-home be not quite abolished in agricul 
tural districts, we fear it is greatly on the wane. 

Many fruits, among which may be named the apricot, are nov 
fully ripe ; plums, peaches, and nectarines may now also be obtained 
Of flowers and flowering shrubs, natives of foreign climet-, many may 
now be seen of great beauty ; such are African marygolds, China 
asters, persicarias. chrysanthemums, dahlias ; the clematis, or virgin's 
bower, adorns the cottage porch. Geraniums and hydrangeas are 
now also in their greatest gloiy ; so also is the passion flower. 

Our song-birds, the thrush, the lark, and red-breast chiefly excepted, 
are for the most part silent during this month ; some of the migratory 
birds assemble in flocks previous to departure. 

AWNS. The long, bristle-like terminations of the envelope of the 
kernel in some kinds of plants is termed the mvn, or beard. It is particu- 
larly conspicuous in some kinds of winter wheat, in most varieties of 
spring wheat, and in all the kinds of barley. Wheat without beards 
can be converted into the bearded, and vice versa, by changing the 
sowing from autumn to spring, or from spring to autumn. Of all 
grains, barley is the most liberally provided with this formidable 
append aire. 

AYRSHIRE CATTLE. These cattle derive their name from 
the county of Ayrshire, in the west of Scotland. The origin of the 
variety is not well understood, but it is supposed that at some period 
it embraces a cross of the Durham and Alderney. This breed 
became established about the middle of the last century, or between 
the middle and the end of it, and is now scattered over England, 
Wales, and Ireland in large numbers. It is also found in the 
United States, Here it is becc ming a favorite with some of our best 



30 



THE FARMER AT HOME. 



dairymen. It is particularly valuable, because when it ceases to be 
of profit for other purposes, it is good for beef, being readily fattened, 
and the meat yielded highly nutritious, and of the best flavor. 

It has been estimated that a good Ayrshire cow will yield, for 
two or three months after calving, five gallons of milk dai!" for the 
next three months, three gallons daily ; and a gallon and a half for 
the following three months. This milk is calculated to afford about 
two hundred and fifty pounds of butter annually, or five hundred 
pounds of cheese. This estimate is made for cows of the best class, 
including those large and of first-rate milking capacity, and, what is 
of prime importance, the best of feed. Even then, the estimate may 
seem extravagant. The improved Ayrshire cow, of the present day, 




THE AYRSHIRE COW. 



has the head small, and narrow at the muzzle, though the space 
between the roots of the horns is considerable. Her horns are small 
and crooked, her eyes are clear and lively, and her neck is long and 
slender. The fore-shoulders are thin, and the fore-quarters ar3 gene- 
rally light. The back is straight, and she is broad behind. The 
carcase is deep, the udders capacious, and the milk vein large and 
prominent. The color is varied with mingled white and sandy red. 

AZOTE, a gas, which constitutes the most important portion of 
the air, and is sometimes called nitrogen, because one of the most 
essential properties of its base is, that in conjunction with oxygen, it 
composes nitric acid. Though in itself fatal to animal life, it abounds 
in animal substances, and forms ammonia with their hydrogen when 



THE FARMER AT HOME. 31 

burned. The great diflerence between animal and vegetable sub- 
stances lies in this, the tbnner contains azote, and the latter is desti- 
tute of it. Owing to its ieeble affinity for other substances, the num- 
ber of compounds into which azote enters is small, and its influence 
on agriculture, with the exception of its efiect when combined with 
animal matter, is proportionably limited. 

BACON. The flesh.,^pf swine that has been subjected to the 
process of smoking over a wood fire, is termed bacon ; but the parts 
to which this term is most usually applied, and which are usually 
chosen for bacon, are the hams, the shoulders, and the cheeks. The 
kinds most celebrated, are the Westphalia, principally brought from 
Hamburg ; the Hampshire, from England ; and, iu the United States, 
the Virginia, or southern ham generally. It is not known that there 
is anything peculiar in the feeding or pickling the Hamburg hams, 
but their superiority is attributed to the manner in which they are 
smoked. This is performed in large chambers in the third or fourth 
stories of buildings, to which the smoke is conducted in tubes from fires 
of oak or maple chips in the cellars of the buildings. In passing this 
distance, the vapor which smoke usually holds is deposited, and the 
hams are perfectly dry and cool during the whole process. 

The Hampshire bacon is made from pork not scalded in dressing, 
but deprived of the hair by quick fires of straw or other combustible 
materials. This singeing is repeated two or three times, as the case 
may require, when the hog is cut up, pickled, and carefully smoked. 
These hains are particularly hard and fine, which is attributed to the 
skin not having been softened by scalding. 

Virginia, or southern hams, are supposed to owe much of their 
superior flavor to the animals being allowed to run at large the most 
of the time of feeding, to their being much in the woods, and wild, 
giving more firmness to the muscles, and to their feeding much on 
acorns and other products of the forests Virginia hams are usually 
small, the hogs themselves rarely weighing over two hundred, and 
the pickling and smoking is performed in the best manner. The 
great defects in smoking commonly are, the hams are kept too near 
the fire, and the condensation of the vapor keeps them wet. Drying 
while smoking is indispensable to good bacon. 

BACON— FOSSIL. A singular fossil was discovered not many 
years since, bearing this name. Some workmen, in sinking a pole, 
in a parish of Devon, on arriving at a depth of ten feet from the sur- 
face, struck upon a spongy substance of a brown color. They soon 
found pieces of bone and solid fat of the same hue. At length, the 
entire body of a hog was extricated, reduced to the color and substance 
of an Egyptian mummy. The flesh was six inches thick, and the 
hair upon it very long and elastic. On proceeding in the woi'k, a 
considerable number of hogs, of various sizes, were found in different 
positions, in some places two or three together, in others single ; tht 



32 THE FARMER AT HOME. 

bodies, when exposed to the air, still retained their consistency, and 
the stratum continued for twelve feet. 

BADG-ER. A quadruped of the genus Ursus, of a clumsy make, 
with short, thick legs, and long claws on the fore feet. It inhabits 
the north of Europe and Asia, burrows, is indolent and sleepy, feeds 
\>y night on vegetables, and is very fat. Its akin is used for pistol 
furniture, its flesh makes good bacon, and its hair is used for brushes 
to soften the shades in painting. 

BAG-PIPE. A well known wind instrument, mostly used in 
rural life. It is of high antiquity among the northern nations, and 
has long been a favorite with the natives of Scotland. It consists of 
two principal parts ; the first comprises a leather bag, which receives 
and holds the wind conveyed by a suiall tube, furnished with a 
valve, to prevent the wind from returning. The second part of the 
instrument consists of three pipes ; the wind is forced into them by 
compressing the bag under the arm, while the notes are regulated, as 
in the flute or hautboy, by stopping and opening the holes, with the 
ends of the fingers. It is not known when the bag-pipe first made its 
way into Scotland, but it is probable the Norwegians and Danes first 
introduced it into the Hebrides. The music is very simple, and yet 
sweet ; and every traveller remembers it with delight. 

BAIT. A feed of oats, or any other material given to an animal 
employed in travelling or labor. It also signifies anything applied 
with the view of catching an animal ; particularly in angling. 

BAKING. The art of reducing meal or flour of any kind, or any 
other substance, into bread. This art, simple and necessary as it may 
appear, docs not seem to have been discovered till a late period in the 
history of mankind. The earlier nations knew no other use of their 
meal than to make of it a kind of porridge. Such was the food of the 
Roman soldiers for several centuries, or at most their skill proceeded 
no farther than to knead unleavened dough into biscuits or cakes. 
Even at present there are many countries where the luxury of bread 
is unknown. 

It is said that scarcely any nation lives without bread, or some- 
thing as a substitute for it. The Laplanders have no corn, but they 
make bread of their dried fishes, and of the inner rind of the pine, 
which seems to be used not so much on account of the nourishment 
to be obtained from it, as for the sake of having a dry food. In Norway 
they make bread that will keep thirty or forty years, and the inhabi- 
tants esteem the old and stale bread in preference to that which is 
newly made. For their great feasts pai-ticular care is taken to have 
the oldest bread ; so that at the christening of a child, for instance, 
they have usually bread which has been baked jierhaps at the birth 
of the father, or even the grandfather. It is made from barley and 
oats, and baked between two hollow stones. 

A person whose business i? that of baking and selling bread, is 



THK FARMER AT HOME. 



33 



called a baker. The origin of this useful profession is not ascertained, 
though it is certain that the first public bakers appeared in the East, 
and passed from Greece to Italy, about the year of Rome 583. Prior 
to that period, every housewife baked her own bread. By the English 
statutes, no person exercising the mysteries or sciences of baking, brew- 
ing, surgery, or writing, shall be deemed a handicraft. Since the year 
1155, the tirst-mentioned artisans have foriTied a brotherhood in that 
country ; though the white bakers were not incorporated till 1407, and 
the brown bakers until 1621. 

BANIAN TREE. This is one of the greatest wonders of the 
vegetable kingdom. For many centuries it continually extends itself; 
for every branch shoots downward, and, striking into the ground, 
becomes itself a parent tree, whose branches, in like manner spread. 
One of them, the Cubeer Burr, had 350 stems, equal to large oaks, 
and more than 3000 smaller ones, covering space sufficient to shelter 
7000 persons. Its branches are crowded with families of monkeys, 
and with birds of every description, and also with enormous bats, all 
of which find luxurious subsistence on the rich scarlet figs that grow 
upon it. The common fig-tree, and the sycamore of Scripture, is of 
the same species, and the wood of the latter is almost imperishable. 




BANTAMS. An Indian breed of barn-yard fowls so diminutive 
in size, as rarely to weigh more than a pound ; and they have been 
bred so small as not to be much larger than a lark. Small as they 
are, they are held iir high estimation, both for the beauty of their 
plumage, and for their utility. The male is a gallant little fellow, 
of such courage that he will not shrink from measuring his prowess 
with one of another race, though double of his own size. The hens 
hy a profusion of eggs, of such excellent quality, that notwithstanding 
2* 



34 THE FARMER AT HOME. 

their inferior dimensions, their efiect in pastry, is thought by many, 
to equal those of the Dorking fowl. 

BAOBAB, or BAHOBAB. The name of a huge tree which 
grows on the west coast of Africa, from the Niger to the kingdom of 
Benin. The circumference of its trunk is generally between seventy 
and eighty feet, though the height of the trunk seldom exceeds twelve 
feet. The branches, which are remarkably thick, shoot out horizon- 
tally to the length of hfty or sixty feet, and their extremities, being 
bent to the ground by their own weight, they form a hemispherical 
mass of foliage, about one hundred and thirty feet in diameter. The 
decayed trunks of the Baobab are hollowed out into burying-places by 
the negroes, for their poets and musicians. The bodies are thus 
pi'eserved perfectly dry, and resist putrefaction as if they had been 
embalmed. 

BARILLA. A plant, whose salts are used in manufacturing 
glass. When this plant is grown to its pitch, it is cut down, and let 
dry ; afterwards it is burnt and calcined in pits, like lime kilns, dug in 
the ground for that purpose ; which are closely covered up with earth, 
so that no air may come at the fire. The matter, by these means, is 
not reduced into ashes only, but is made into a very hard stone, like 
rock salt, which must be broken with hammers to get it out. 

BARK. Li the anatomy of plants, the exterior part of trees, 
corresponding to the skin of an animal. As animals are furnished 
with a imnnicidua adiposus, usually replete with iat, which invests 
and covers all the fleshy parts, and screens them from external cold ; 
so plants are encompassed with a bark replete with fatty juices, by 
means whereof the cold is kept out. and, in winter time, the spicules of 
ice prevented from fixing and freezing the juices in the vessel ; whence 
it is, that some sorts of trees remain evergreen the year round, by 
reason their barks containing more oil, than can be spent and exhaled 
by the sun. It appears that trees stripped of their bark in the time 
of their sap, and sutiered to die, afford heavier timber, more uniformly 
dense, stronger, and fitter for service, than if the trees had been cut 
down in their healthy state. 

BARK-BREAD. Is a species of bread which the Laplanders 
prepare from the inner bark of pine trees. For this purpose the 
most lofty and clearest branches are selected, the scaly bark taken oft, 
and the succulent white alburnum is collected^ dried on coals till it is 
friable, when it is pulverized, kneaded wnth water into cakes, baked 
in an oven, and eaten as bread. In Siberia, when the ermine hunters 
find their ferment, with which they make their quass, destroyed by 
the cold, they digest the inner bark of the pine with w^ater over a fire 
for an hour, mix it with rye meal, bury the dough in the snow, and 
after twelve hours find the ferment ready prepared in the sediment. 

BARLEY. One of the most common cultivated grains, in use 
from time immemorial, and extensively cultivated in modern times. 



THE FARMER AT HOME. 35 

It has a thick spike, with long arms attached to the kernel. It is 
divided into several kinds ; of which the most common are the long- 
eared, or two-rowed harley, the square or six-rowed, and sprat or 
battle-door barley. The six-rowed is most commonly cultivated in 
the north of England and Scotland, having the reputation of being 
die hardiest plant. In this country the long-eared or two-rowed has 
usually obtained the preference ; producing a whiter, fairer grain, and 
emutting less than other kinds. Barley, in this country, is principall) 
used for malting ; in other countries it is extensively used for bread, 
and for feeding cattle. Barley has met with little favor in this 
country, as food for horses, but there is nothing improper in the 
grain, as is evident from the fact, that barley is almost the only 
grain given to horses in the east, where the best and finest horses are 
found. The difiiculty lies in the mode of feeding. Barley is one of 
the best substitutes for corn in making pork. It requires a rich soil, 
rather moist and dry ; and the ground sho-uld be made fine before the 
seed is sown. From two to two and a half bushels of seed per acre, 
is the usual quantity allowed. 

BARM, or YEAST. Used in the composition of bread, to render 
it light. When the art of brewing became known, this ingredient, 
which is much better adapted to the purpose than any thing previously 
used, was discovered. It is the spume which arises on the surface of 
the beer in fermentation. 

BAROMETER. A machine for ascertaining the weight of the 
itmosphere, in order chiefly to determine the changes of the weather; 
ilence usually termed a weather-glass. It consists, generally of a 
glass tube, somewhat more than thirty-one inches in length. It is 
filled with quicksilver and immersed in a small basin of the same 
metal, the immersion being so made, that no air can ascend to the 
upper part of the tube ; hence the small space above the quicksilver 
is usually a complete vacuum, and hence the ease with which the 
metal moves up and down in the tube, according as the atmosphere 
presses upon the quicksilver in the basin. The usual range of the 
barometer in this country is from twenty-eight to thirty-one inches ; 
at twenty-eight the air is lightest ; at thirty-one heaviest. Of course 
when the air is light, the vapors which are suspended in it when it is 
heavy, must fall to the ground. When high winds blow, the quick- 
silver is generally low ; it rises higher in cold weather than in warm ; 
and is also higher at morning and evening than at mid-day. In hard 
frosts the air is purest and heaviest, the barometer then being at its 
highest point. 

The changes in the height of the column of m.ercury, preceding or 
during changes of the weather, have given great value to this instru- 
ment, and obtained for it, among common people, the name oi weather- 
glass, as foretelling the weather. It is a most valuable instrument 
at sea ; its rapid fall previous to violent storms, putting the mariner 



gg THE FAnMER. AT HOME. 

on his guard, and since its use has been understood, has been the 
means of saving many valuable vessels and lives annually. It might 
be of essential s:?rvice to farmers ; but, as yet has not received from 
them the attention it deserves, as connected with metereology, a 
science in which they are so much interested. 

BASIN. A term in geology, used to designate a section of country 
converging to a point lower than the remainder, which part is most 
usually occupied by lakes, swamps, or rivers. Thus we speak of the 
basin of the Hudson north of the Highlands, that of the Mohawk above 
Little Falls, or the basins of Lake Erie and Lake Ontario. The best 
defined basins of Europe are those of London and Paris. The first of 
these basins is a bed of clay, in some places 700 feet in thickness. 
The basin of Paris is formed of chalk, alternating with limestone, 
marls, and gypsum. 

BAZAAR.. Among the Turks and Persians, an exchange, mar- 
ket-place, or place where goods are exposed to sale. The word is of 
Arabic origin. Some bazaars are open, others are covered with lofty 
ceilings or domes, pierced to give light. At the bazaars, or in the 
neighborhood of them, are the coflee houses, so much frequented in 
Turkey, Persia, and other places in the East, and, as the Orientals 
live almost entirely out of doors, the bazaars of populous cities, besides 
their mercantile importance, are of consequence as places of social 
intercourse. 

The bazaar of Ispahan is one of the finest places in Persia. That 
of Tauris is the largest known, and will contain 30,000 men. At 
Constantinople are two bazaars. In the Oriental tales, for instance, in 
the Arabian Nights, the bazaars occupy a conspicuous place. Since 
the system of credit is almost entirely unknown in Eastern trade, and 
all commercial transactions lake place in merchandise and money, 
the places where this merchandise is brought and changed from one 
to another are, of course, very much frequented. 

BEAN. A vegetable, the seed of which is used for food. Among 
the ancients, many prohibitions were uttered against them by various 
teachers. The reasons upon which they were thus interdicted, are 
not clearly understood by the moderns. The precept of Pythagoras, 
"Abstain from beans," has been variously interpreted. It is gene- 
rally supposed to have some hidden meaning. Beans were used ia 
balloting for public offices ; and hence some have imagined, that 
Pythagoras, in reality, charged his disciples not to meddle with the 
affairs of the state. For whatever reason, beans appear to have been 
held by several nations in aversion, and even abhorrence. Cicero 
suggests, that they are unfavorable to tranquility of mind. 

BEE, or APIS. A genus of interesting insects. A hive consists 
of a queen, several hundred drones, and from ten to twenty thousand 
workers. The body of the queen is considerably larger than that of 
the others. The government is a regular monarchy, and if there 



THE FARMER AT HOME. 37 

Bhould be two queens, they fight till one has killed the other. The 
qneen is an object ot" incessant solicitude and attention to the other 
bees ; she lays eighty thousand eggs in a season ; the drones do noth- 
ing, but after living three months they are killed by the workers. 
These collect honey and wax Irom the nectaria of flowers, bread 
from the pollen, and resin for their combs. 



\Mj^ 






Queen. Worker. 



Drone. 



Bees finish a comb in a short time ; it is composed of six-sided 
cells, arranged in two layers with opposite openings, so constructed as 
to afford the greatest space with the least material, and the whole is 
geometrically perfect. It is a wonderful system ; and the workers 
are so much engaged in their own industrious pursuits, that they 
never attack or sting except when assaulted or endangered. An 
admirable and very profitable system of preserving them, instead of 
barbarously suffocating them with sulphur, has lately been introduced, 
and cannot be too much commended and encouraged. 

BEEF. Of all kinds of animal food used, it is believed there is 
none finer flavored, more easily digested, or more nutritious than beef; 
certainly there is none more universally used as an article of human 
sustenance. To have beef in perfection, it is necessary that the animal 
should be well fed, and, if salted, that the pickle should be carefully 
made, containing salt enough to harden the lean to the color of maho- 
gany. Dried beef, properly prepared, is an excellent article, and one 
which should be found among the stores of every farmer. In the tropi- 
cal regions beef is preserved by being cut, as soon as killed, into thin 
slices, and thoroughly dried in the sun. Such beef, in the language 
of the country, is called jerked beef. In some parts of the world, particu- 
larly in Abyssinia, beef is eaten raw. At a feast, the animal is tied to 
the door post, and the flesh is cut from the living beast, being served to 
the guests, the muscles still quivering with life, and the more distinct 
this action, the more highly is the flesh esteemed. 

BEER. A liquor produced by brewing together malt, hops, and 
water, and when properly made, is a nourishing and wholesome 
drink. Beer is, however, like most of the other liquors of commerce 
and trade, adulterated to a great extent, by the introduction of ingre- 
dients of a cheaper nature than malt or hops, if not absolutely poison- 
Dus in their effects upon the system. The quantity of beer consumed 
by the English laborers is incredible, especially during harvest, when 



88 



THE FARMER AT HOME. 



it is provided by the employer. The greater part o/ the barley groM'n 
in this country, as well as in England, is made into beer, though the 
establishments for the manufacture here are on a small scale, com- 
pared with the magnificent and expensive ones of that country. If 
the good old home-brewed beer, from malt and hops, could be substi- 
tuted for strong beer, or whiskey and rum, among the classes that con- 
sume the most of these drinks, the health and morals of the country 
would receive a decided improvement. 




BERKSHIRE HOG. 



BERKSHIRE HOGS. This breed of swine has been generally 
considered to be one of the best in England, on account of its small- 
ness of bone, early maturity, aptitude to fatten on little food, hardi- 
hood, and the females being such good breeders. Those of the pure 
original breed have been known to attain an immense size, and weigh 
from eight to ten hundred pounds. One bred at Petworth measured 
seven feet seven inches from the tip of his snout to the root of his 
tail, and seven feet ten inches in girth round the centre ; five feet 
round the neck, ten inches round the thinnest part of his hind leg, and 
two feet across the widest part of his back. He stood three feet nine 
inches high ; and, what was most remarkable in this monstrous hog, 
he did not consume more than two bushels and six gallons of ground 
oats, peas, and barley, per week. 

BEET. A common vegetable, of which there are several varieties, 
such as the common beet of our gardens, the mangel wurtzel, or field 
beet, cultivated for cattle, and the vhite Siberian beet, grown pr'nci- 



THE FARMER AT HOME. 39 

pally for the sugar manufacture. The mangel wurtzel is a valuable 
root, producing heavy crops, and being excellent food for sheep, fatten- 
ing animals, and for milk cows. It requires a rich loam. The manu- 
facture of sugar from beets, in its most improved state, consists in slicing 
the roots thin after they are well washed, drying them thoroughly in 
ovens, grinding them to powder, and then, by putting this powder into 
water, dissolving the sugar, while the fibre and the mucilage, which 
rendered the crystallization difficult, remains unchanged, and is sepa- 
rated from the sweet solution by straining. This is then evaporated, 
and the syrup chrystallized in the usual manner. Beets thus treated 
yield from eight to ten per cent. For cooking, medium-sized beets are 
to be preferred, as they are found to be sweeter, and less fibrous than 
those of larger size. Unlike most other roots, beets are fit for use as 
soon as they attain a sufficient size ; but they do not attain their 
full perfection till October, and when wanted for winter use, should 
stand as long as consistent with safety from frost. 

BETEL. Is the leaf of a climbing East Indian plant, which 
belongs to the same tribe as pepper, and, in shape and appearance, is 
not much unlike ivy, but is more tender and full of juice. There is an 
almost incredible consumption of betel throughout India, and other 
parts of the East. The inhabitants chew it almost incessantly, and in 
Buch a quantity that their lips become quite red, and their teeth 
black — a color greatly preferred by them to the whiteness which the 
Europeans and Americans so much affect. They carry it, in little 
white boxes, about their persons, and present it to each other, by way 
of compliment and civility, in the same manner as we do snuff. 
This is done by the women as well as by the men ; and it would be 
considered an offence, if those, tc whom it is ofTei'ed should refuse to 
except of and chew it. The leaves are sometimes used alone, but 
much more commonly when covered with a kind of lime made of sea- 
shell, and wrapped around slices of the ai'eca nut, the fruit of the 
areca palm, of the size of a small egg, and resembling a nutmeg de- 
prived of its husk. 

BIENNIAL. Any thing that continues or endures two years. 
This term is usually applied to plants that grow one year and flower 
the next, after which they perish. They only differ from annuals in 
requiring a longer period for the maturity of fruiter seed. Most bien- 
nials, if sown early in the spring will flourish in the autumn, and 
then die, thus actually becoming annuals. 

BIRD'S NEST. In China and some other countries adjacent to 
it, the nest of a small swallow is delicately tasted, and is mixed with 
soups. This nest is found in the rocks ; it is of the hemispherical 
figure, of the size of a goose egg, and in substance resembles isinglass. 
In the East the.se nests are esteemed a great luxury, and sell at very 
high prices. 

BISON. A quadruped o~ the bovine genius, usually, but improp- 



40 



THE FARMER AT HOME. 



erly called the buffalo. Tlje proper buffalo is a distinct species, 
peculiar to the warmer climates of the Eastern Continent. The 
bison is a wild animal, with short, black, round horns, with great 
intervals between their bases. On the shoulders is a large hunch, con- 
sisting of a fleshy substance. The head and hunch are covered with 
a long undulated fleece, of a rust-color, divided into locks. In win- 
ter, the whole body is covered in this manner ; but, in summer, the 
hind part of the body is naked, and Avrinkled. The tail is about a foot 
long, naked except a tuft of hairs at the end. The fore parts of the 
body are very thick and strong ; The hind parts slender and weak. 
These anim.als inhabit the interior parts of North America, and some 
of the mountainous parts of E urope and Asia. 




BISON. 



BISSEXTILE. Every fourth year is called bissextile, or leap- 
year, in which a day is added to the month of February, on account of 
the excess of six hours, which the civil year contains, above 365 days. 
This excess is eleven minutes and three seconds too much ; that is, it 
exceeds the real year, or annual revolution of the earth. Hence, at the 
end of every century divisible by four, it is necessary to retain the bis- 
sextile day, and to suppress it at the end of those centuries which are not 
divisible by four. Thus 1600 and 2000 are leap-years; but 1700, 
1800, and 1900, are common years of 365 days. With this mode of 
computation it will require a period of nearly 5000 years in order to 
produce a difference of a single day between the civil and the tropical 
year. 

BITUMENS. Oily matters, of a strong acrid smell, and of differ- 
ent consistencies. Bitumens are combustible, solid, soft, or fluid sub- 
stances, whose smell is strong, acrid or aromatic. They are found 
either in the internal part of the earth, or exuding through the clefts of 
rocks, or floating on the surface of waters. Like oils, they burn with a 



THE FARMER AT HOME. 42 

rapid flame. Natural historians have divided them into several 
genera ; but modern chemists arrange them according to their chem- 
ical properties, and are only acquainted with six species, which are 
very distinct from each other : these are, amber, asphaltos, jet, pit 
coal, ambergris, and petroleum. 

BLACK. Something opaque and porous, that imbibes the great- 
est part of the light that falls on it, reflects little or none, and there- 
fore exhibits no color. Bodies of a black color are found more inflam- 
mable, because the rays of light falling on them are not reflected out- 
wards, but enter the body and are often reflected and refracted within 
it, till they are stifled and lost. Black substances are generally found 
to be lighter than white, being more porous ; clothes dyed of this color 
wear out faster than those of any other, from the quantity of vitriol 
necessary to strike the dye. 

BLx\ST. A disease of plants, to which by different writers has 
been given the name of blight, blast, and mildew. The latter, how- 
ever, is evidently a distinct disease, and produced by difl'erent causes. 
Blast or blight has been divided into several varieties, aflecting plants 
in different ways, and with varying intensity. Among these may be 
mentioned blight originating from cold. The north or easterly winds 
of spring often produce this, by freezing the tender shoots, or by re- 
tarding the flow of the juices. Thus the young fruits are deprived of 
their nourishment, and fall from the stem. Blast or blight from sultry 
wet weather, originating contagious diseases of plants, is another of 
the forms noted, and mildew sometimes seems to result from this 
cause. 

The blight which sometimes strikes the grain of whole districts, 
v/ould seem to be owing to atmospheric causes thus generated, since 
the disease appears to follow, and be governed by the course of winds. 
Blast from the want of nourishment, is another form, but of which the 
cause is usually obvious. Impoverished land, too great quantities of 
seed, or injudicious culture, may produce this blight ; but in this coun- 
try, it is oltener observed as the effect of drought. Blast from fungi 
is the kind of blight which attacks grain also, and which has been 
erroneously attributed to particular plants, as the barberry bush, since 
the fungi on the leaves of this plant, and those that cause the blight 
in wheat, are clearly distinct. 

BLASTING OF rocks. The process of blasting rocks, or stones, 
consists in boring a cylindrical hole, about ten or twelve inches deep, 
in the rock, by means of a chisel for th^t purpose. The lower part 
of this hole is filled with gunpowder. The upper part of the hole is 
then filled up with fragments of stone, firmly rammed together ; a 
hole being left through these materials, by the insertion of an iron 
rod, which is turned round during the operation of ramming. This 
hole is next filled with powdar, and a match is applied to it in such 
a manner, that the operator has timf to run out of the reach of the 



42 THE FARMER AT HOME. 

a mann ir, that the operator has time to run out of the reach of the 
fragments of the rock. 

This process, which is hoth tedious and dangerous, is now abandon- 
ed for one which is more simple and eflectual, and which consists 
merely in introducing a straw, filled with gunpowder, among the 
powder at the bottom of the cylindrical hole in the rock, and filling 
the rest of the cylindrical hole witl loose sand. By applying a match 
to the gunpowder in the straw, an explosion takes place ; and, instead 
of the loose sand being driven out of the cylindrical hole, as might 
naturally be expected, the rock is completely shivered in pieces. Mr. 
Jessop tried the experimep.t with great success on some of the hard 
rocks at Fort William, and also on the lime works at Bristol. 

BLINDNESS. No animal is so subject to blindness as the 
horse, and in most cases it can clearly be traced to the treatment they 
receive. Severe drawing in the harness, or racing, either on the 
course or otherwise, will not unfrequently produce blindness, some- 
times temporary, but often permanent. An examination of the pupils 
of the eye, will most usually enable an observer to determine whether 
there is blindness or not. If the pupils, when exposed to light after 
being in a dark stable, contract, the horse is not blind ; if they con- 
tract unequally, or one not at all, then the vision is imperfect, or gone 
in one of the eyes. The hand placed close over the eye for a few 
minutes, so as to render the eye dark, will show the dilation or con- 
traction of the pupil, when no other convenient means of excluding 
light are at hand. A horse, blind with both eyes, will usually have 
his ears in constant motion, directing them in quick succession to 
every quarter, relying on hearing rather than sight ; and, he will lift 
his feet high, as if he were stepping over some obstacle, when there 
is actually nothing in the way. 

BLOOD. The circulating fluid of animal bodies, and by means 
of which the functions of nutrition and life are carried on. Blood is 
usually divided into arterial blood, which is that given by the lungs 
to the heart, and by that thrown into the arteries of the system, and 
the venous blood, which is returned to the lungs through the veins 
from the surface and extremities. The venous blood is of a dark 
purple hue when passed into the lungs, and it leaves them of a rich 
vermilion color. This change is efiected by the absorption, while in 
the lungs, of oxygen, from the atmospheric air with which they are 
filled in breathing. 

Blood is of much use in some of the manufacturing processes, some 
valuable coloring pigments being derived from it. From the large 
quantities of albumen it contains, it is the principal ingredient in free- 
ing sugar or rnolass3S from its iin])urities. previous to the conversion 
into lump and loaf sugar. Blood is found to be one of the most 
powerful manures when applied to tho ground, and large quantities 
of it, mixed with other materials, are o) tained from the slaughter- 



THE FARMER AT HOME. 



43 



houses of our principal cities, and appropriated to this purpose. 
When animals are attacked with lever, one of the surest remedies is 
bleeding, either local or general, as the cause may demand. 

In a fluid of such importance as the blood, it will readily be 
inferred that many material changes are constantly going on, both of 
a physical and chemical kind, so as to modify constitutional tempera- 
ments, regulate the condition of health, and influence morbid aflec- 
tions ; these changes, however, have not hitlierto been ascertained 
with anything like a precision sufBcient to authorize inferences as to 
the coimection of such and such variations with such and such mala- 
dies. Indeed the seemingly innoxious nature of the blood, while the 
frame is under the influence of the most noxious poisons, is a striking 
fact in the animal economy. It has, for example, been ascei'tained 
that the flesh and the blood of an animal that is laboring under 
hydrophobia, and which animal, by its saliva, is capable of innocu- 
lating another with the specific disease, may be eaten with impunity. 

Again, puncture the veins of an individual who is the subject of 
small-pox, take blood from that subject, and mix it with the blood of 
another, you will not by this process impart the sickness ; an imparta- 
tion which every one knows to be efi'ected with facility by a very 
minute portion of the matter taken from the pustules that charac- 
terize the disorder. 

BLOSSOM. The opening of flowers in general. It is a term 
applicable to every species of tree or plant, and more frequently used 
than flower or bloom, when we have reference to the fruit which is 
to succeed. Thus, we s,a.y Jiotvers, when we speak of shrubs cultivated 
for ornament ; and we say bloom, in a more general s«ns« in reference 
to the beauty of flowers. 

BLUBBER. Is the fat of whales, and other large sea animals, 
whereof train oil is made. It is properly the adeps of the animal ; it 
lies immediately under the skin, and over the muscular flesh. In the 
porpoise, it is firm and full of fibres, and invests the body about an 
inch thick. The whole quantity yielded by one of those animals ordi- 
narily amoimts to forty or fifty, sometimes eighty hundred weight, or 
even more. 

BOA. The negro name of a great tree that grows in some of the 
parched districts of Africa, and in a wonderfial manner furnishes sup- 
plies of water. The trunk of this tree, which is of a prodigious bulk, 
is naturally hollow like a cistern. In the rainy season it receives its 
fill of water, which continues fresh and cool in the greatest heats, by 
means of the tufted foliage which crowns its summit. Another man- 
ner in which Providence has contrived a supply for the thirst of man, 
in sultry places, is no less worthy of admiration. Nature has placed 
amidst the burning sands of Africa, a plant, whose leaf, twisted rovuid 
like a cruet, is always filled with the quantity of a large glass full of 



44 THE FARMER AT HOMS, 

fresh water : the gullet of this cruet is shut by the extremity of the 
leaf itself, so as to pi-eveut the water from evaporating. 

BOG. A swampy piece of ground, usually containing large quan- 
tities of vegetable matter, frequently of the nature of a quagmire, and 
with tufts of coarse grass mingled with aquatic plants spread over its 
surface, is in Europe, and also in this country, termed a bog. Such 
pieces of amphibious soil are not common in the United States, but 
in Scotland and Ireland, a very considerable portion of the surface is 
occupied by such non-productive lands. Where bogs exist, the only 
modes of bringing them under culture, are, by draining or covering the 
surface with tirm earth, and fre juently it is necessary to combine both 
operations. Draining the land consolidates the surface, and affords 
opportunity to cut off' the bogs or coarse tufts of grass, and introduce 
more valuable grasses, if not to submit it to the action of the plough. 
Where the boggy ground is mostly composed of vegetable matter, it is 
desirable to incorporate the common earths with the surface, thus 
giving increased powers of production and greater firmness. Gravel 
or sand may be carried on when the ground is frozen, if the surface 
is not hard enough at other times, and by thus uniting draining and 
the application of earths to impart consistency, such soils, worthless 
in their natural state, are rendered most valuable and productive. 

BOILING, or EBULITION. The bubbling up of any fluid. 
The term is most commonly applied to that bubbling which happens 
by the application of fire, though that which ensues on the mixture of 
an acid and alkali is sometimes also distinguished by the same name. 
Boiling, in general, is occasioned by the discharge of an elastic fluid 
through that which is said to boil ; and the appearance is the same, 
whether it is common air, fixed air, or steam that makes its way 
through the fluid. The boiling of water is proved by Dr. Hamilton, 
of Dublin, in his Essay on the Ascent of Vapor, to be occasioned by 
the lowermost particles of the water being heated and rarefied into 
vapor by reason of the vicinity of the bottom of the containing vessel ; 
in consequence of which, being greatly inferior in specific gravity to 
the surrounding fluid, they ascend with great velocity, and lacerating 
and pushing up the body of water in their ascent, give it the tumul- 
tuous motion called boiling. 

The degree of heat at which dilTerent fluids boil, is very different. 
Spirits boil at the lowest temperature, pure water next ; at a still 
higher temperature, the firod oils. The degree of heat at which a 
fluid boils, is called its boiling point. This is used as one of the fixed 
points in the graduation of thermometers. Ether may be made to 
boil at the common temperature, by merely exhausting the air from 
the vessel in which it is contained. 

BOLTON GREY HENS. One of the varieties of the Hamburg 
fowls is known by this name. The breed is much esteemed. It is 
handsome, active, ani valuable for eggs as well as the richness of its 



THE FARMER AT HOME. 



45 



meat. It is known in various parts of England, sometimes under 
other names — to wit, the Coral, the Creole, and the Pencilled Dutch. 
In some sections of that country it is more highly esteemed than any 
other fowl. In Pennsylvania it is called the Creole, and is much 
admired. Where a small number only is kept for family use, the 
breed has been thought preferable to all others. The weight rarely 
exceeds six pounds a pair, but when fat, the deficiency of weight is 
more than made up by the tender and nutritious qualities of the flesh. 
The comb is generally double or rose comb, though single combs some- 
times are shown by \he thorough-bred fowls. The legs and feet are 
of a light blue or leaden color. Their ground color is a silver white, 
that is marked with black or dark blue, in several parts of the body. 
The tail in both sexes is darker than the body, and by its form adds 
much to the beauty of the bird. 

The best specimens of Bolton Greys are noted for their fecundity. 
Some hens will lay daily, for several mouths in succession, without 
evincing any desire to sit ; but they are not all so prolific. They 
vary in this respect.just as cows of a particular breed vary in their 
milking qualities, or the members of a family in their dispositions and 
habits. The general character of the variety may be good, but it 
has numerous exceptions. Taken altogether, however, we do not 
know of any fowl which is more likely to give satisfaction to the 
common breeder — attractive in its appearance, and, perhaps, as 
profitable as any. 




BOLTON GREY HENS. 



FiONE. The frame-work of animals, constituting the skeleton, la 
called bone, and is composed of several ingredients, the principal one 
of which is the earth called the phosphate of lime. This material 



16 



THE Farmer at homs. 



appears to have Veen selected for this purpose, as forming much hardei 
compounds with animal membrane than the carbonate, which is used 
in the composition of shells. The harder and more solid the bone, 
the greater the proportion of the phosphate : thus the bony portions 
of the ear are very hard, and they consist almost wholly of the phos- 
phate. The long part of the teeth contains considerable carbonate, 
but the enamel, or cutting parts, which sometimes approaches to the 
hardness of steel, is nearly pure phosphate. The composition of bone 
can be determined by fire, or more accurately by acids ; and they are 
found to consist of phosphate of lime, a small quantity of carbonate 
lime, the whole cemented together by a strong, elastic animal mem- 
brane, to which is added oil, of which the principal depository is the 
interior of the bone. 

The use of bone dust, or bones reduced to powder by grinding, has 
introduced, a new era in agriculture in some parts of the world. 
Crushed bones were first extensively introduced as a manure in the 
counties of Lincoln and York about the beginning of the present cen- 
tury, and they are now considered the best and most efficacious appli- 
cation that can be made to the soil. It has been estimated that by 
extending the growth of the turnip crop to districts where it was not 
before grown, and thus increasing the means of raising cattle and 
sheep, and through these, indirectly, the culture of wheat and barley, 
the means of subsistence in England has been increased one-fifth. 
The experience of farmers who have used this manure, shows that it 
succeeds best on light, dry, calcareous loams, or in general on any 
soils that are dry, and do not contain too much alumine. 

The finer the dust, the more rapid is the action, while as a matter 
of course, that which is not so fine, is the most durable in its effects. 
Twelve bushels per acre drilled in, is the usual allowance, but it is 
sometimes sown broadcast, and the quantity varied from ten to twenty 
bushels an acre. Where lands are much impoverished, thirty bush- 
els an acre have been used with success. In our own country the use 
of bone dust, as a manure, is annually increasing, especially in the 
neighborhood of large cities, wdiere bones are easily collected, and 
where mills for reducing them to powder have been constructed. 

BOTS. A species of small worms found in the intestines of the 
horse, is called by this name. A fly deposits its eggs on the knees of 
the animal, which are sometimes bitten ofi', and then carried to the 
stomach, Avhere they are hatched. The young bots adhere to the 
stomach by little hooks, and are nourished by the mucus of the stomach, 
or the food it contains, until the next spring, or the first of the sum- 
mer, when, having attained full size in the larvae state, they drop their 
hold, and are usually carried along with the contents of the stomach, 
and are voided. They then burrow in the ground, and remain a few 
weeks in the chrysalis state, when they undergo a more important 
transformation, and become flies, or perfect insects, pursuing the course 



TH^ FARMER AT HOME. 47 

of their predecessors. This is the course that nature has provided for 
their propagation; and some contend that hots never injure a horse, 
but are beneficial. Others thinic that very rarely they injure him. 

BOTANY. This is the branch of nat\iral history which treats of 
vegetables, of the dilierent plants, and of the distingui.«hing marks by 
which each individual species may be known from every other. Or, 
botany is the science of the structure, functions, properties, habits, and 
management of plants, and of the technical characters by which they 
are distinguished. The study of this science is not a tritling employ- 
ment, undeserving the time and attention bestowed upon it. Our 
food, our medicine, our lu.\uries are improved by it. By the inquiries 
of the curious new acquisitions are made in remote countries, and our 
resources of various kinds are augmented. We find that gardening, 
the most elegant, and agriculture, the most useful of all arts, are im- 
proved only in those countries in which botany is made subservient to 
their advancement. And as knowledge of this science is more gene- 
rally diflused throughout our country, we may expect to see it more 
frequently enriched with fields, and adorned with gardens, which, 
"while they bestow honor on their possessors, shall prove a pleasant 
recreation to the old, and a useful study to the young. 

BOTTLE. A name given to certain small vessels, differing in 
size and form, and composed of diflerent materials. We find them 
square, circular, and cylindrical ; some with short, and others w^ith 
long necks. We have bottles of wood, stone, glass, and leather ; all 
of them used either for ripening or preserving liquors. Common bot- 
tles are made of a coarse, green-colored glass. When a finer sort is 
employed, and the exterior of the vessel has been wrapped about with 
straw or wicket, it gets the name oi Jiask. By this covering, it is 
rendered less brittle, and is much used by travellers. Glass bottles 
were unknown to the ancients, at least the knowledge of them has 
not been traced to a period earlier than the fifteenth century. 

The country people of Persia never go a journey without carrying 
by their side a small leathern bottle, in which to keep their water. 
The Spaniards still use them under the name of Borrachas. They 
are convenient, likewise, as the best means of preserving other sub- 
stances, such as butter, cheese, and honey. The manner of preparing 
them is thus described by Chardiu : •' When the animal is killed, they 
cut ofTits feet and its head, and draw it in this manner out of the skin, 
without opening its body. They afterw^ards sevv up the places where 
the legs were cut ofi', and the tail, and when it is filled they tie it 
about the neck." It is certain that bottles of skin were universally 
employed as wine vessels among the ancient Jews. And we may 
here notice the Abyssinian Girba, though it does not properly rank 
under the term bottle. It is made of an ox's skin, squared and stitched 
together so closely as to be water tight, and will contain about sixty 
gallons. 



48 



THE I'-ARiMER AT HOME. 



BOW. A well known ofiensive weapon, which has been used in 
war and hunting from times of the most remote antiquity. Although 
the iuveiition of the bow is, at first sight, extremely obvious and sim- 
ple, yet the application of a missile body along with it, renders the 
use of it more complicated. Hence the rudest class of savages are 
entirely unacquainted wifh its properties, though they possess Aveapons 
apparently of more difficult construction. 

The form and substance of the bow have been greatly diversified 
in different countries ; wood, horn, and steel, have all been succes- 
sively adopted ; but the first, from convenience, is in most general 
estimation. In Tartary, Persia, and other eastern regions, bows are 
manufactured from the horns of the antelope, and beautifully orna- 
mented. They are sometimes composed of wood and horn, two pieces 
of equal length beitig applied parallel to each other, bound together 
by catgut, and then covered with the smooth bark of a tree, which 
receives suitable decorations, and a coat of varnish. The Laplanders 
are said to frame their bows of two flat pieces of birch and fir glued 
together ; and in England the modern bows are constructed of yew or 
cocoa wood, with a slip of ash, or some other elastic wood glued on 
the back. 

BOX TREE. The box tree is a shrubby evergreen tree, twelve 
or fifteen feet high, which has small, oval, and opposite leaves, and 
grows wild in several parts of Britain. It has been remarked, that 
this tree was formerly so common in some parts of England, as to 
have given name to several places, particularly to Box- hill, in Surrey, 
and Boxley, in Kent; and in 1815, there were cut down at Box-hill 
as many trees of this sort as produced upwards of fifty thousand dollars. 
This tree was much admired by the ancient Romans, and has been 
cultivated, in later times, on account of its being easily moulded into 
the forms of animals and other fantastic shapes. The wood is of a 
yellowish color, close grained, very Jiard and heavy, and admits of a 
beautiful polish. On these accounts it is much used by turners, by 
en"-ravers on wood, carvers, and mathematical instrument makers. 
Flutes and other wind instruments are formed of it ; and furniture, 
made of box-wood, would be valuable were it not too heavy, as it 
would not only be very beautiful, but its bitter quality M'ould secure it 
from the attacks of insects. In France, it is in much demand for 
combs, knife-handles, and button-moulds ; and it has been stated that 
the quantity annually sent from Spain to Paris is alone estimated at 
more than ten thousand livres. An oil distilled from the shavings of 
box-wood has been found to relieve the toothache, and to be useful in 
other complaints ; and the powdered leaves destroy worms. 

BRAIN. The soft substance within the skull. It has been thought 
probable that the soul is seated in the fluid of the ventricles of the 
brain. This opinion is drawn from the fact that the organs of vision, 
hearing, taste, and smell are all at their origin in contact with, and 



THE FARMER AT HOME. 4g 

exposed to the action of this fluid ; from the sane taking place in 
regard to the nerves of touch, and those belonging to the organs of the 
voice, and the motions of the eyes ; from the impossibility of finding 
a solid part of the brain nito which the terminations of all the nerves 
can be traced ; from the nerves of the finest senses, viz: hearing and 
seeing being most extensively expanded, and most directly in contact 
with this fluid ; from the preternatural increase of it in the ventricles 
of rickety children, which may, perhaps, be the cause of their uncom- 
mon acuteness of mind ; and, finally, from the fact that no animal 
possesses so capacious and so perfectly organized ventricles as man ; 
they being in the other mammalia much smaller than in him, still 
less in birds, least of all in fishes, and absolutely wanting in insects. 

BREAD. In the earliest antiquity, we find the flour or meal of 
grain used as food. The inconvenience attending the use of the grain 
in its natural state, and, perhaps, the accidental observation, that 
when bruised, and softened in water, it formed a paste, and when 
dried again a more compact, mealy substance, led, by degrees, to the 
artificial preparation of bread. Easy as it seems to us, it must have 
been a long time before it was completely successful. 

The grain was first bruised between two stones, and, from the meal 
mixed with milk and water, a dry, tough, and indigestible paste was 
made into balls. This is yet the chief food of Northern Africa. The 
Carthagenians, also, eat no bread, and hence were called, in derision, 
by the Romans, pultiphagi, that is, pottage eaters. 

The best and most wholesome bread is made in the United States 
and in France. In England, the flour is adulterated with too many 
foreign substances, in order to make the bread whiter. In some parts 
of Sweden, the bread is composed, in part, of the bark of trees in win- 
ter. In Westphalia, a kind of very coarse, black bread is made, of 
which the peasants bake one large loaf for the whole Aveek. This is 
divided for use with small saws. In many parts of Germany, bread 
is made of grain nearly entire, or but just bruised, which is very 
coarse, and frequently forms part of the food of horses. Bread is 
found wherever civilization has extended. The want of bread has 
often occasioned public commotions, particularly in Paris and ancient 
Rome. 

BREAD FRUIT. The fruit of the arto-carpu^, or bread-fruit, 
appears to have been first discovered to Europeans by the great 
navigator Dampier. It is indigenous in the islands of the South Sea. 
The tree is said to be of the size of a large apple tree ; the leaves 
broad, and of a dark green. The fruit is appended to the boughs in 
the manner of apples, and of about the size of a pound of bread, in- 
closed in a tough rind, which, when ripe, turns of a yellow color. 
The internal part is yellow, 5oft, and sweet. The natives of the 
countries where it grows, bake it in an oven till the rind is black ; 
and this being scraped ofif, they eat the inside, which is then white, 
3 



50 



THE FARMER AT HOME. 



resembling newly baked bread, having neither seed nor stone. If 
kept in thi? state twenty-four hours, it prows haish. It is said to be 
very satisfying to tlie stomach, full of nourishment, and therefore, 
proper for hard working people. It is known at Bantam, by the 
name of foccum ; and Anson calls the tree rima. It supplies food 
during three-fourths of the year. 




BREAD FRUIT. 

BREECHES. An article of clothing in use even among the 
Babylonians, and wliich, with them,, were made so as to cover the 
foot, and supply the place of stockings. In Europe, we find hose first 
used among the Gauls. In the fifth century, they had become 
fashionable in Rome ; but the breeches-makers were expelled from 
the city by an imperial edict, it being considered unworthy of the 
lords of the world to wear these barbarous investments. The stock- 
ings were separated from them some centuries since. Sometimes they 
were worn small, and sometimes large, as the fashion changed In 
some instances, an immense quantity of clotli was put into them. 
The poor stulled theirs out with such substances as they could procure 
Joachim II., Elector of Brandenburg, who had forbidden the wearing 
of these enormous integuments, made a person, whom he saw with a 
pair, rip them open, Avheu some bushels of bran fell out of them. 

Osiander and Musculus raised their voices against this preposterous 
fashion. The modern breeches were first introduced during 'he reign 
of Louis XIV. 

BREEDING-. A term applied to the improvement of animals 
by crosses, or breeding from new varieties, by Avhich new and superior 
kinds are obtained, and any desirable quality, whether of size, pro- 
pensity to fatten, or for milk, secured. It is only within the last half 
century, that the business of breeding has received the attention it 
deserves; and the astonishing improvement made in the animals of 
those countries where it is best understood and practiced, shows that 



THE FARMER AT HOME jl 

few steps in reducing agriculture to a science, have been attended 
■with happier consequences. Such has been the result in England 
and Scotland, that the average individual weight of the immense 
numbers of caltle and sheep nowannually slaughtered at Smithfield, 
is nearly or quite one-half greater than it was at the time the first 
efiorts at improvement by breeding commenced. Of the many who 
distin<Tuished themselves in Great Britain, as breeders, Bakewell and 
Collings, Culley and Berry, are noted for cattle, and Bakewell and 
Ellman have distinguished themselves in the improvement of sheep. 

The principles of breeding are few and simple. Let the objects 
desired in any particular race of animals be distinctly understood, and 
the animals for breeding or crossing be selected with reference to these 
objects. It should be remembered, that in determining the character 
of the offspring, it is found by experience, that the influence of the 
male is greater than that of the female. It is by the observance 
of these, and a few other principles equally plain and simple, that 
Bakewell and Collings raised the Durham short horns tc. ^o high 
a standard ; that the fii'st named gave to the Leicester sheep a . ni 
and weight of which former sheep growers had never dreamed ; that 
Ellman has brought the Southdown to within a few grades of the 
Merino in fineness of wool ; and that the improved varieties of swine, 
such as the Chinese, Berkshire, and others, have so far exceeded in 
value and actual profit to the farmer, the common kinds of this ani- 
mal. Great efforts are at this time making in this country, and Avith 
decided success, to raise the standard of our domestic animals, by 
importations from abroad, and careful breeding at home. The results 
are such as to encourage the belief, that in a few years first rate 
animals of all kmds will be as common here as they have hitherto 
and most unfortunately been rare. 

BREWING. The art of brewing, or of preparing a vinous fer- 
mented liquor from the farinaceous seeds, is of high antiquity. The 
ancient Egyptians, from the soil and climate of their countiy not 
being favorable to the culture of the vine, were induced to seek a sub- 
stitute in barley, from Avhich, in all probability, by the process of 
malting, they knew how to procure a fermented liquor. The town of 
Pelusium, situated on one of the mouths of the Nile, was particularly 
celebrated for its manufactures of malt liquor, of which there were two 
kinds ; one called Carmi, was sweet, and appears to have resembled 
our sweet and glutinous ales ; the other named Zithum, seems to 
have been analagous to modern beer. The Germans, from the testi- 
mony of Tacitus, were capable of preparing a liquor similar to wine 
from barley, by fermentation. Julian, Strabo, and Polybius, show, 
that the same art was known to the Spaniards, the Gauls, and the 
inhabitants of the British islands, and the north of Europe. All the 
ancient malt liquoi's, however, seem to have been made entirely of 
barley, or some other farinaceous grain, and therefore were not gene- 



52 THE FARxMER AT HOME. 

rally calculated for long keeping, as this quality depends considerably, 
though not entirely, on the bitter extract of hops, or other vegetables, 
with which the liq-uor is mingled. 

BRICK. A kind of factitious stone, made of argillaceous earth, 
formed in moulds, and baked in kilns, or dried in the sun. Bricks 
appear to be of the highest antiquity ; and, as we learn from sacred 
history, the making of them was one of the oppressions to which the 
children of Israel were subjected during their servitude in Egj'pt. 
The bricks of the ancients, however, so far differed from ours, that 
they were mixed with chopped straw in order to bind the clay 
together, and instead of being burned were commonly dried in the sun. 
Vitruvius recommended, that they should be exposed in the air for 
tM'o years before they were used, as they could not be sufficiently diy 
in less time ; and by the laws of Utica, no bricks were allowed to be 
used, unless they had lain to dry for five years. From Dr. Pocock's 
description of a pyramid iu Egypt, constructed of unburnt bricks, it 
appear^ !.:d,t the Egyptian bricks were nearly of the same shape as 
OP' .ommon bricks, but rather larger. The bricks used by the Ro- 
mans were in general square ; and M. Gluatremere de duincy 
observes, that in his researches among the antique buildings of Rome, 
he Ibund them of three difl(?rerit sizes 

Among the celebrated buildings of antiquity, constructed of brick, 
were the tower of Babel, and the famous walls of Babylon, reckoned 
by the Greeks among the wonders of the world ; the walls of Athens, 
the house of Croesus at iSavdis, and the walls of the tomb of Mausolus. 
The paintings, which were brought from Lacediemon to Rome, 
to ornament the Comilium in the edileship of VaiTo and Murena, 
Avere cut from walls of brick ; and the Temple of Peace, the 
Pantheon, and all the Thermae, were composedof this material. The 
Babylonian bricks, which are in the possession of the English East 
India Company, and upon which Dr. Hayes favored the public with a 
dissertation, are inscribed with various figures and characters, and are 
supposed by some to be a part of that brick work, upon which Pliny 
tells us that the Babylonians wrote the observations which they made 
of the stars for seven hundred and twenty years. 

BRID(tE. In Architecture, from a Saxon word, is a structure 
of carpentry, masonry, or iron work, built over a river, canal, or 
valley, for the convenience of passing from one side to the other, and 
may be considered as a road supported in the air by arches or lintels, 
and these again supported by proper piers or hutments. A stately 
bridge over a large and rapid river, while it is one of the most diffi- 
cult, is justly esteemed one of the most noble and striking specimens 
of human art To behold grand arches composed of an immense 
quantity of sm-all materials, so disposed and imited as to form one 
•ompacted body, which, bestriding the stream, affords above an ample 
communication with the distant shores, and allows below an uninter- 



THE FARi\IER AT HOME. 



53 



rupted passage to navigation, is enough to awaken the admiration of 
every spectator. 

One of the most celebrated of the bridges of antiquity was that 
built by Trajan over the Danube. It was erected by that emperor for 
the couveniency of sending succors to the Roman legions on the other 
side of the Danube, in case they should be suddenly attacked by the 
Daci, but demolished by his successor, Adrian, lest the barbarians, 
overpowering the guards set to defend the bridge, should, by means 
of it, pour into Maesia and cut off the garrisons there. 

The celebrated Roman bridge, near Lyons, has long been reckoned 
one of the finest and boldest of the ancient bridges in France. Its 
whole length is upwards of eight hundred yards ; it is very crooked, 
bending in many places, and making several unequal angles, especially 
in those parts where the Rhone has the strongest current. The arches 
are from fifteen to twenty fathoms wide, and have their feet, or the 
bottoms of the piers, protected by two pedestals which project from 
them ; the lower part of the piers consists of several courses of foot- 
ings jutting out like steps. Between the great arches there are 
smaller arches like windows that come down nearly to the top of the 
pedestals, about the middle of the pier. This mode of construction 
was adopted with a view of breaking gradually the mighty force of 
the Rhone, the several courses of steps jutting out from the piers were 
intended to oppose and break the stream by portions, and prevent it 
from coming with its full force at once upon the fabric ; and when 
the flood should rise so high as to cover the steps and pedestals, then 
the small window-like arches would assist to convey the water through, 
which might otherwise endanger the great arches 

Iron being the most abundant, cheap, and generally useful of all 
metals, has of late been employed in many works where great strength 
was required in proportion to the weight of the material ; hence cyl- 
inders, beams, and pumps for steam engines, boats, and barges for 
canals and navigable rivers, beams and pillars for M'arehouses and 
other large buildings, and at length bridges, have been constructed of 
iron. Iron bridges are the invention of British artists. 

BRIDLE. The head-stall, bit and reins by M'hich a horse is 
governed. The origin of it is of high antiquity. The first horsemen 
guided their horses with a little stick, and the sound of their voice. 
A cord drawn through the nose is sometimes used for other animals. 
The ancient Thessalonian coins often represent a hor?e M'ith a long 
rein trailing on the ground. The Romans were trained to fight with- 
out bridles, as an exercise ni the manege. On Trajan's column, 
soldiers are thus represented at full speed. The parts of a modern 
bridle are the snaffie or bit ; the fillet, over the forehead, and under 
the foretop ; the throat band, which buttons undir the throat ; the 
reins ; the nose band, buckled under the cheekv ; the trench, the 
cavesson, the martingal, and the chafi" halter. 



54 



THE FARMER AT HOME. 



BHISTLES. The strong glossy hairs growing upon the back of 
the wild boar and the hog. They are an important item in the 
matters furnished by swine. They are used by the brushmaker and 
the shoemaker, and they form an article of commerce much mofe in 
value than one would at first imagine. Large quantities ar: .inually 
imported into England, mostly it is believed from Russia and Prus- 
sia. Tl'Culloch says, that the quantity amounted to 1,789,801 
pounds a year, for the three years ending 1831. Youatt supposes 
that each hoir furnishes one pound. If this estimate is correct it 
would be easy to calculate the probable value of all the bristles 
yielded in the United States. Professor Low says that in the Orkney 
Isi-inds ropes are made from bristles, for some purposes preferable to 
tb.G5,e manufactured from hemp. 

BflOADCAST. In sowing broadcast considerable skill is re- 
quisite to spread the seed equally over the ground. A failure of this 
kind is not only injurious to the crop, but as when, the grain springs 
up, it may be seen for a great distance, the unevenness of the sowing 
thrives a most unfarmerlike aspect to the field. In broadcast sowing 
advantage should be taken of the wind, otherwise, great inequalities 
will sometimes be produced. When grain is sown broadcast, the 
olougb or the harrow is to be used for covering it ; and unless these 
operations are well performed, much of the seed will remain uncov- 
ered, and be lost to the purposes of vegetation. More seed is required 
to th<^ acre when sown broadcast than when put in drills. Machines 
have been invented for sowing seed broadcast, which do the work 
with great precision ; and, where the ground is even and free from 
stones, they answer an admirable purpose. 

BROCCOLI. This is an improved variety of cabbage, the flower 
buds of which are to be eaten. It differs from the cauliflower only in 
the looseness of the inflorescence. The varieties are numerous, the 
early white and the white cape being the best ; but the purple cape is 
the only kind much cultivated. In flavor, good judges pronounce the 
flowers equal to the cauliflower ; and, as its cultivation is much more 
easy, its use will become much more general, especially in the country, 
where the conveniences for raising the other are less common. It is 
not a long period since it was first known to American horticulturists ; 
and, it is only about a quarter of a century since its proper mode of 
culture was correctly understood by them. 

In the middle and northern portions of our country the seeds may 
be sown towards the end of May. The transplanting may be made 
in July, or when the plants are large enough, into very rich, manured, 
and mellow earth. They should be from eighteen to twenty-four 
inches apart, each way. The flowers will probably begin to show 
themselves in the latter part of August. In September more will 
show themselves ; and from the middle of the month to the middle of 
November, they produce one continued succession of flowers. The 



THE FARMER AT HOME. 



55 



degree of frost they will be able to withstand without sustaining the 
east injury, when they are iii their highest state of flowering, is 
astonishing ; and, the most singular and invaluable characteristic of 
this plant is the great length of time which is contained between 
their first beginning to flower and their final termination ; and that, 
too, all from the same se id, sown at the same time, and the plants all 
treated precisely in the same manner. 

BROKEN WINDED. This is disease of horses, in which the 
inspiration is performed by one effort, and the expiration by two ; 
which is plainly distinguished by observing the flanks, and noticing 
that the expiration occupies double the time of the inspiration. The 
cause is, the rupture or running together of some of the air cells in 
the lungs, and the consequence is, that while the expansion of the 
chest fills the lungs with air, an unusual and double eflbrt is required 
to force it out of the unnatural position it occupies. In healthy lungs, 
when they are expanded, the air will rush in easily enough, and one 
eflbrt of the muscles of expiration is sufficient for the purpose of ex- 
pelling it ; but, when the cells have run into each other, the cavity is 
so irregular, and contains so many corners and blind pouches, that it 
is exceedingly difficult to force it out again, and two efforts are 
scarcely competent fully to effect it. A dry, husky cough of a pecu- 
liar kind, attends this disease. 

The origin of the disease is to be found most commonly in the 
previous treatment of the animal ; although it is sometimes the result 
of inffamraation of the lungs. Horses which are fed on bulky food, 
which are allowed but a short time to eat, or are naturally great 
feeders, and which are put to severe work on a full stomach, are the 
horses that most commonly are broken winded. Hence farmers' 
horses suffer the most, as the food they receive is generally more 
bulky, and the time allowed for receiving and digesting it is less than 
with others, which are fed mostly on grain and are allowed longer 
seasons for rest. It is not pretended that this disease can be cured, 
yet much may be done in the way of palliation. The food should con- 
sist of much nutriment in little compass ; the oats should be increased, 
and the hay diminished ; occasional mashes will be found useful ; 
water should be given sparingly except at night ; and the horse should 
never be exercised on a full stomach. 

BRUSH. An instrument for cleaning anything of dust and dirt, 
by light rubbing, as floors, furniture, clothes, boots, or merchandise. 
The process is too frequent to require description. Brushes were 
originally made of shrubs or small branches of trees tied together, 
and such are yet used for coarse purposes. But the materials 
most used are bristles set in wood. Painters use brushes of bristles 
in their work. Silversmiths use a wire brush for scrubbing metals in 
order to gildnig ; and there is a method of staining leather by rubbing 
the cJor on the skin with a brush. 



gg THE FARMER AT HOME. 

BRUTE. A general name for all animals except mankind. 
Philosophers have been puzzled about the essential characteristics of 
brutes, by which they may be distinguished from man. There is a 
very ingenious treatise in German, published by the late Prolessor 
Bergman, entitled, " Researches designed to show what the Brute 
Animals certainly are not, and also what they probably are." That 
ihey are not machines, he proves with more detail than seems neces- 
sary for refuting an hypothesis which would equally tend to make us 
a I machines. It is certain, that the half reasoning elephant cannot 
be deemed a macbine by us, from any other consideration tlian that 
he goes upon four feet, while toe go upon two ; and he might as well 
lake us for mere machines, because we go upon two feet, while ]ie 
goes upon four. But if animals are not mere machines, what are 
they? jNIanifestly, sensitive beings, with an immatei-ial principle; 
and thinking or reasoning beings, to a certain degree. 

In certain classes of animals, this appears evident to Sir T. Berg- 
man, who seems to have observed, with great sagacity and attention, 
their various operations, their ways and means. He thinks it impos- 
sible to deduce this in any animals, (if we except those of the lowest 
classes in the gradation of intelligence,) fi-om a general and uniform 
instinct ; for they accommodate their operations to times and circum- 
stances. They combine ; they choose their favorable moment, and 
receive instruction by experience. Many of their operations announce 
reflection ; the bird repairs a shattered nest, instead of constructing 
instinctively a new one ; the hen who has been robbed of her eggs, 
changes her place, in order to lay the remainder with more security ; 
tlie cat discovers both care and artifice in concealing her kittens. 
Again, it is evident that, on many occasions, animals know their faults 
and mistakes, and correct them ; they sometimes contrive the most 
ingenious methods of obtaining their ends, and, when one method 
fails, have recourse to another ; and they have, without doubt, a kind 
cf language for the mutual communication of their ideas. 

How is all this to be accounted Ibr, (says Bergman.) unless we sup- 
pose them endowed with the powers of perceiving, thinking, remem- 
hering, comparing, and judging ? They have these powers, indeed, 
in a degree inferior to that in v/hich they are possessed by the human 
species, and form classes below them in the scale of intelligent beings. 
lUit still it seems unreasonable to exclude them from the place which 
••he principles of sound philosophy, and facts ascertained by constant 
u! servatlon, assign to them in the great and diver.'-ihed sphere of life, 
nnsation, and intelligence. He docs not, however, consider them as 
beings whose actions are directed to moral ends ; nor, consequently, 
as accountable and proper subjects for reward or inmishtnent in a 
luture world. That brutes possess reflection and sentiments, and are 
susceptible of the kindly, as well as the irascible pas.?ions, independ- 
ently of sexual attachment and natural afiection, is evident from the 



THE FARMER AT IIO.ME. 57 

numerous instances of gratitude daily observable in diflerent animals, 
particulai'ly the dog. Of those and other sentiments, such as pride, 
and even a sense of glory, the elephant exhibits proofs equally sur- 
prising and indubitable. 

BUCKWHEAT. This plant is grown in almost every part of the 
world. In China., Japan, and Russia it Ibrms a very large portion of 
the food of the inhabitants. It is likewise eaten in Switzerland, and 
the southern parts of France, and in Flanders it Ibrms an important 
branch of industry. It has been known in Europe at least from the 
time of the crusades. Gerard speaks of it as cultivated in England 
about the year 1597. It was brought into Europe from the northern 
part of Asia. The common buckwheat bears white flowers, tinged 
with red. Its stem is full of knots, and rises to the height of two feet 
or more. It is said that twenty branches or stems will sometimes 
rise Irom a single seed. The flowers are in bunches, at the ends of 
the branches, and are succeeded by black, angular seeds. 

Buckwheat thrives well in almost any kind of soil, even those of 
the poorest description. In most arable districts, it is sown on the 
inferior sorts of land, as, when cultivated on the richer kinds of soil, 
it is found to run too much to straw. Of course, the lighter soils are 
adapted to it. On this account it is extensively cultivated. Besides, 
the labor in its culture is trifling. And what is not less material, the 
period in completing its growth is very short. If sown in mid-summer, 
it usually has full time for attaining maturity. It is most susceptible 
to cold, and the slightest hoar-frost will destroy it. The product of 
buckwheat in the United States, for 1847, has been estimated at twelve 
millions of bushels, or a little less, and more than half of the amount 
was raised in the States of New York and Pennsylvania. It is said 
that in Ohio the kernels have grown far larger than elsewhere 
known, and that the product upon the acre has been proportionably 
larger. 

BUD. The germ or first fruit of a plant, which is the organized 
rudiment of a branch or flower. Buds proceed from the extremities 
of the young shoots, and also along the branches, sometimes single, 
sometimes two and two, either opposite or alternate, and sometimes 
collected in greater numbers. In general, buds are of three kinds, 
that containing the flower, that containing the leaves, and that con- 
taining both flower and leaves. The bud is covered with a kind of 
scales, which are intended to defend the enclosed rudiments from cold 
and other external injuries. These scales are closely applied to each 
other ; those on the outside are the longest and the thickest, and those 
in the interior are smaller and more delicate. In cold countries, the 
external scales are often covered with hair, or a resinous varnish, or 
some other contrivance, which enables them to p\-event the access of 
frost to the young and tender centre v hich they protect ; but in warm 
countries, where such a provision is n )t required, they are green and 
3* 



gg THE FARMER AT HOME. 

smooth, and much less numerous. The cellular centre of a bud is 
the seat of its vitality ; the scales that cover it are the parts towards 
the development of Avhich its vital energries are first directed. Fruit 
buds, in most cases, are distinguishable from the wood buds by their 
rounder and fuller form, the scales that cover them are broader and less 
numerous, and in the spring the; begin to swell and show signs of 
opening at an earlier period. 

BUDDING. This is a method of propagation practiced for various 
sorts of trees, but particularly those ol' the fruit kinds. It is the only 
method which can be had recourse to with certainty for contiiming 
and multiplying tlie approved varieties of many sorts of fruits and 
other trees, as, although their seed readily grow, and become trees, 
not one out of a hundred, so raised, produces anything like the original, 
and but very few that are good. But trees or stocks raised in this 
manner, or being budded with the proper sorts, the buds produce 
invariably the same kind of tree, fruit, and flower, continuing unal- 
terably the same afterwards. The object in view in budding is almost 
always that of grafting, and depends on the same principle, all the 
diflerence between a bud and a scion being, that a bud is a shoot or 
scion in embryo ; in other respects, budding is conducted on the same 
princi])les as grafting. In every case, the bud and the stock must be 
botanically related. An apple may be budded on a pear or thorn, but 
not upon a plum or peach. Common budding is performed from the 
beginning of July to the middle of August. 

BUFFALO. If we should compare the common cow with the 
bison, the diflerence between them will doubtless appear great ; but 
when we draw a resemblance between that and the buffalo, no two 
animals can be nearer alike. Both are equally submissive to the yoke, 
and both are employed in the same domestic scene ; notwithstanding 
which, they have such an aversion to each other, that were there but 
one of each kind, there would be an end of the race. The buffalo, 
upon the whole, is by no means so beautiful as the animal which it is 
like ; his figure is more clumsy and awkward, and he carries his head 
nearer the ground ; his limbs are not so M'eil covered with flesh, and 
his tail is much more naked of hair ; his body is shorter and thicker 
than the cow, and his legs are longer in proportion to his size ; his 
head is smaller, his horns not so round, and his skin is not near so 
■well covered with hair ; his flesh is hard and disagreeable to the 
taste, and has a very .strong and disagreeable smell ; the milk of the 
females is mucli inferior to the cow's, but in warm countries it is used 
for butter and cheese. 

The veal of the young buffalo is equally unpalatable with the beef 
which is produced from the old, and the most valuable part of the 
whole animal is genei-ally allowed to be the hide, the leather of which 
is famous for impenetrability and for the softness and smoothness of 
the wear. Tlie .hief use o." these animals is for drawing immerse 



THE FARMER AT HOME. 



59 



burdens and weights; they are guided by a ring thrust through their 
nose, and then yoked to a wagon in pairs ; and their strength is 
allowed so superior to a horse, that two bufiiiloes will draw as much 
as two pair. 

The wild buffalo, which inhabi*^, many parts of India, are a very 
fierce and formidable race, and thes i is no method of escaping their 
pursuit but by climbing up into some immense tree ; a moderate size 
would be no security, for they can break down those of inferior growth, 
and many travellers have been instantly gored to death, and then tram- 
pled to pi ces by their feet. They run with a surprising degree of 
speed, and cross the largest rivers with the greatest ease ; and the 
method which the hunters adopt to destroy them, is to fire upon them 
from some of their thickest trees. 

Although so wild in a state of nature, no animal in the world can 
be easier tamed ; and though they are never quite so docile as the 
cow, yet they are patient, persevering, and have a greater share of 
strength. Though the torrid zone is properly their native clime, yet 
in many parts of Europe they are bred ; and the lower order of the 
Ij;alians are so sensible of their value, that they absolutely consider 
them as a source of wealth. The animal has such a strong antipathy 
to fire, that the very resemblance of it occasions them alarm and 
dread ; and the inhabitants of those countries where they most abound, 
avoid appearing either in scarlet or red. 

BULB. There are a number of plants, the roots of which are 
perennial, while the tops are annual ; and as these seem destined to 
contain the nourishment of a new plant, they are enlarged, and either 
flattened or rounded, as the variety or species may happen to be. 
Many of the finest flowering plants are bulbous, and in some places, 
particularly in Holland, the culture of such bulbs, tulips, and others, 
for sale, is an important and lucrative branch of trade. Among far- 
mers, the only two bulbous roots that attract much attention, are 
those of the onion and turnip. Bulbous roots, like the tuberous ones, 
are preserved with ease, requiring only a temperature of little above 
freezing to prevent germination, and atmospheric dryness to prevent 
mouldiness or rotting. 

BURNING". In agriculture, burning consists in taking the turf 
from the land with as much of the earth as will adhere to it, drying 
it thoroughly, and then either with or without the aid of other fuel, 
burning it in large pits prepared for this use. The greatest benefits 
of burning are experienced on clay soils, where a mixture of other 
earths is required to counteract the natural adhesion of the clay. In 
burning, all the clay particles are converted to a kind of brick earth, 
and this, on being spread over the earth, together with the ashes and 
salts produced in the process, furnishes an excellent dressing, as well 
as a permanent amelioration n the soil. The brick dust acts as the 
addition of silicious matter in rendin-ing the earth more friable, and 



(50 THE FARMER AT HOME. 

IVoin its color, it retains the solar heat better thai when iu its forn.cr 
slate. Paring and burning is also destructive of all foul seeds, and of 
all insects, unless their habitation lies beneath the turf In this 
i-aso, the ashes not unfrequently destroy or drive them away. The 
ashes so made are sometimes mixed with lime and vegetable or animal 
manures, in the manner of composts, and then applic'd to the soil with 
great edect. 

BUSHEL. In the time of Henry VIII., it was ordained that the 
imperial bushel, which is the standard adopted in this country, should 
contain eight gallons, or thirty-two quarts, and that, according to the 
statute, each gallon was to contain eight pounds of wheat, troy weight, 
Lv twelve ounces, and each ounce was to contain sixty-four kernels 
growing in the middle of the ear. Accordingly, our common half- 
bushel measure, to hold sixteen quarts, is thirteen and a-half inches 
in diameter, and seven and three-quarters of an inch in depth. To 
show the importance of a strict conibrmity to this size, or an equivalent 
one, it is easily seen that with a diminished one in selling, and an 
increased one in buying, there will be a very considerable injustice to 
tlie suflering party. For instance, if the measure is only seven inches 
and five-eights, instead of seven and three-quarters, there will be the 
diil'erence of a pint in every bushel. So if the depth is increased to 
seven-eights instead of three-quarters of an inch over seven inches, the 
hulf-bushel measure will hold a pint too much. Hence, the honest 
farmer, in buying or selling, should look Avell to the size of his half- 
bushel measure. Even if the bottom of it is rounded or warped up in 
the centre three-sixteenths of an inch, it will hold not enough by half 
a pint ; and if the stick used on the top to remove the surplus grain 
were to be crooked three-si.vteenths of an inch, it would make about 
lialf a pint difference in each measure. 

BUTTER. Is too well known to need description ; it is merely 
ihc oleous portion of milk, first separated in the shape of crea?}t, and 
afterward.s still further detached from its aqueous particles, or butter- 
rinlk, by agitation either by the hand or other motion, called chiirn- 
i^iii- Butter is used chiefly in temperate climates ; in the south of 
I'urope, and many other places, olive oil is used for similar purposes. 
The Dutch introduced butter into the East Indies. The Romans 
used butter no otherwise than as a medicine, never as food. Pliny 
stys that among the barbarous nations it was a delicate dish. The 
G reeks had not an early knowledge of butter. Their poets, though 
tiiey make frequent mention of milk and cheese, never mention butter. 
CI. Alexandrinus observes, that the ancient Christians of Egypt purnt 
butter in their lamps at their altars instead of oil ; and the Abys- 
siiiians, according to Godinus, still retain a practice much like it. 
Good butter is one of the most wholesome and nutritious of the animal 
lals ; it is necessary, however, that it should bc-^aten in moderate quan- 



T H [•; F A R.MK R A T UO.M R . ^ j 

tity, and with bread or other farinaceous matter, or it will disagree 
with the stomach. 

BUTTERP'LY. An insect well known, and much admired for 
its beauty : it is bred from the cater})illar. The wings of the butterfly 
are four in number, and though two of them be cut oil', the animal 
can fly with the two others remaining-. If we observe the wing of a 
butterfly with a good microscope, we shall perceive it studded over 
with a variety of little grains of diflerent dimensions and forms ; and 
nothing can exceed the beautiful and regular arrangement of these 
little substances. Like the tiles of a house, those of one rank are a 
little covered by those which follow ; and they are of a great variety 
of figures, some oval, some in the form of a heart, some triangular, 
and Sonne resembling a hand open ; yet the weight of the wing, 
though it be covered over with these scales, is very little increased 
thereby. 

CAAMINI. This is a name given by the Spaniards and others to 
the finest sort of the Paraguay tea. It is the leaves of a shrub which 
grows on the mountains of Maracaya, and is used in Chili and Peru 
as tea is with us. The mountains, where the trees which produce 
this valuable leaf grow naturally, are far from the inhabited parts of 
Paraguay ; but the people of the place know so well the value and 
use of it, that they constantly furnish themselves with great quantities 
of it from the spot. They used to go out on these expeditions many 
thousands together, and their country was left to the insults of their 
enemies in the meantime, and many of them perished with the 
fatigue. 

CABAL. A name given to a sort of drink made of dried raisins. 
The manner in Avhich the Portuguese make cabal is this ; they take 
out the stones of about twenty pounds of raisins, and then bruising the 
raisins a little, they put them into a barrel of white wine, in the 
month of Jaimary or February, and let them stand till about Easter. 
It is then very clear and rich, luscious and palatable to the taste. It 
is recommended to stop coughs, and give strength to the stomach. 
It is worth while to try the experiment with the same proportion of 
raisins to the same quantity of our cider, which would probably prove 
a fine drink. 

CABBAGE. The common cabbage is by far the most valuable, 
both to man and to the beasts, by whose assistance he is able to make 
the earth so fertile. It is also the most productive ; for it is believed 
that an acre of ground will yield a greater weight of green vegetable 
substance, and thus be more profitable to the farmer, in the shape of 
cabbage, than in that of any other vegetable matter. It is very 
abundantly produced by clay soils, which are unfit for turnips, and 
the farmers who cultivated such soils will find it a vegetable worthy 
of much attention. The cabbage furnishes a green fodder for cowa 
and sheep, which is at least as good as turnips or car.'ots, fattening 



g2 THE FARMER AT HOME. 

the animal equally fast, as well as being favorable to the production 
of milk ; and is far preferable, as it keeps later in the spring, and 
thus supplies green food when no other can be procured. Cobbett 
calculated that one-fourth of an acre will yield cabbage sufficient to 
support a cow the year round. Burying it in the ground where the 
earth is dry, is probably one of the best methods of preserving cabbage 
fresh and in good order. Large quantities are annually made into 
sour krout, an article which forms an important part of ship stores, 
destined for long voyages, and to the use of which, much of the ex- 
emption of sailors from that terrible disease the scurvy, is now to be 
attributed. There are many varieties oi' this plant ; but the general 
properties are the same. 

CABBAGE TREE PALM. The Arrca olcracea, is a native of 
the West Indies, and grows to the height of one hundred and seventy 
or even two hundred feet. The leaves, for it has no branches like 
most other trees, are sometimes twenty f >et long. The interior of the 
leaf is used like hemp and flax for cordage ; the fruit, lying towards 
the top of the trunk, under the leaves, is in thin snowy flakes, sweeter 
than the almond ; the pith produces a kind of sago, and the nuts, 
called areca nuts, yield oil by decoction. In short, every part of this 
tree is useful ; it is esteemed one of the most beautiful of trees. 

CACAO. Chocolate is a kind of cake, or hard paste, the basis 
of which is the pulp of the cacao, or chocolate-nut, a production of the 
West Indies and South America. Plantations of cacao are numerous 
on the banks of the river Magdalena, in South America. They are 
usually formed in morassy situations, and are sheltered from the 
intense heat of the sun by larger trees, which are planted in them. 
There are two principal crops of cacao in the year; the first in June, 
and the second in December. As soon as the fruit is ripe, it is 
gathered and cut into slices ; and the nuts, which are, at this time, 
in a pulpy state, are taken out, and laid in skins, or on leaves to be 
dried. They have now a sweetish acid taste, and may be eaten like 
any other fruit. When perfectly dry, they are put into bags, each 
containing about an hundred weight, and, thus packed, are exported 
to foreign countries Previously to being formed into chocolate, these 
nuts are generally roasted or parched over the fire in an iron vessel, 
after which process their thin external covering is easily separated. 
The kernel is then pounded in a mortar, and subsequently ground on 
a smooth, warm stone. Sometimes the arnatto is added ; and with 
the aid of water the whole is formed into paste. This is put whilst 
hot, into tin moulds, where in a short time it congeals ; and in this 
state it is the chocolate of the shops. 

By the natives of South America, the chocolate nuts are used for 
food. A white, oily matter, about the consistence of suet, is also 
obtained by bruising them, and boiling the pulp. The oil is by this 
means lifjuified, and rises to the surface, where it is left to cool and 



THE FARMER AT HOME, g3 

uongeal, that it may be more easily separated. This, which is called 
the butter of cacao, is without smell, and, when fresh, has a very 
mild taste. Its principal use is an ingredient in pomatums. From 
the nuts, Avhen slightly roasted, an oil is sometimes obtained by pres- 
sure, which is occasionally u.sed in medicine. 

CACAO TREE. The tree that produces the chocolate-nut, and 
is a native of South America. In size and shape, it somewhat 
resembles a young blacklieart cherry. The flower is of a saflron 
color, extremely beautiful, and the pods, which in a green state are 
much like a cucumber, proceed immediately from all parts of the 
body and larger branches. As they ripen they change their color, 
and turn to a fine bluish red, a.most purple, with bluish veins The 
cacao-tree bears two crops a year, yielding at each from ten to twenty 
pounds weight, according to the soils and seasons. It is a tree of 
great delicacy : it is obnoxious to blights, and shrinks at the first 
appearance of drought. 

CALABASH TREE. The calabash-tree is the production of 
the "West Indies, and the continent of America, about the heisfht and 
dimensions of an apple-tree, with crooked, horizontal branches, wedged- 
shaped leaves, pale white flowers on the trunk and branches, and a 
roundish fruit, from two inches to a foot in diameter. The uses to 
which the fruit of the calabash-tree is applied are very numerous. 
Being covered with a greenish yellow skin, which encloses a thin, 
hard, and almost woody shell, it is employed for various kinds of 
domestic vessels, such as water-cans, goblets, and cups of almost 
every description. So hard and closely-grained are these shells, they 
may even be put several times on the fire as kettles, when they con- 
tain some fluid, vi'ithout any injury. When intended for ornamental 
vessels, they are sometimes highly polished, and have figures engraven 
on them, which are variously tinged with indigo and other colors. 

CALCINATION. A term given by chemists to that process by 
which minerals, when exposed to a certain degree of heat, are deprived 
of their water ; stones converted into lime ; and metals into calx. A 
metal never becomes calcined, but when in contact with air : the 
more extensive this contact, the larger is the quantity of metal which 
becomes calcined : and Lavoisier has proved, that a given quantity 
of air can only serve for the calcination of a given quantity of metal. 
The metal thus calcined is termed a metallic calx. 

CALCIUM. This is the name of a metal discovered by Sir H. 
Davy, and constitutes the basis of lime. It is of a silver color, burns 
with great brilliance when brought in contact with atmospheric air, 
and absorbs oxygen so rapidly, that it instantly assumes the form of 
lime. The term calcareous, as applied to earths containing lime is 
derived from this word ; and in the^form of carbonate of lime, or 
common limeston .^ there is perhaps no substance more universally 



64 



THE FARMER AT HOME. 



diffused, or which acts a more important part in the ecoromy of veg- 
etation. 

CALENDAR. A table containing the days, months, festivals, 
ice, happening in the year. The Roman calendar from which ours 
is borrowed, was composed by Romulus, who made the year consist of 
no more than three hundred and sixty-four days. Numa Pompilius 
made it consist of twelve lunar months of thirty and twenty-niue days 
alternately, which made three hundred and fifty-foux days; but being 
fond of an odd number, he added one day more, which made it three 
hundred and fiity-five days ; and that the civil year might equal the 
sun's motion, he added a month every second year. Julius Ceesar, 
as a farther improvement, made the year consist of three hundred and 
sixty-five days, and left the six hours to form a day, at the end of 
every fourth year, which was added to the month of February. 

This calendar was called the Julian or the old Uyle, in contra- 
distinction of the new &Lijle introduced by Gregory. In 1582, Pope 
Gregory XIII, finding perplexity to arise in the computation of time, 
from some errors in the Julian calendar, thought proper to order the 
formation and adoption of a new style of reckoning. The astrono- 
mers and mathematicians whom he summoned to Rome for that pur- 
pose, after spending several years in investigating the subject, and 
adjusting the principles of another system, produced what has been 
since called the Grrgorian Calendar. In fornring this method of 
computation eleven daj's were lopped oil" from the old calendar ; 
leaving out in the future, one bissextile day every hundred years, and 
making every four hundredth a leap year. The Gregorian style, thus 
formed, was soon adopted by all the catholic states ; and in most of 
the protestant countries, before the commencement of the 18th cen- 
tury. But it was not until the year 1752, when Britain and her 
dependencies, by an act of parliament, adopted the nciv style; at the 
same time, the EcclesiastiaJ year, which had before commenced on 
the 25th of March, was mads to coincide with the civil year, and 
ordered, like that, to be computed from the first of January. 

CALM. In metereology that state of the air and water when 
there is no wind stirring. A calm is more terrible to a seafaring man 
than a storm, if he has a strong ship, and sea-room enough ; for under 
the line, excessive heat sometimes produces such dead calms, that 
ships are obliged to stay two or three months, without being able to 
stir one way or the other. Two opposite winds will sometimes make 
a calm. This is frequently observed in the gulf of Mexico, at no 
great distance from the shore, where some gust, or land wind, will so 
poise the general easterly wind, as to produce a perfect calm. 

Calms are never so great in the ocean as in the Mediterranean, 
by reason the flux and reflux «f the former keep the water in a con 
tniual agitation, even where there is no wind ; whereas, there being 
no tides in the latter, the calm is .sometimes so dead, that the face of 



THE FARMER AT HO.ME. g3 

the waier is as clear as a looking-glass ; but such calms are almost 
constant presages of an approaching storm. On the coasts about 
Smyrna, a long calm is reputed a prognostic of an earthquake. 

CALORIC. Tills name is applied to fire, or the substance which 
produces the sensation we call heat, but never to the sensation itself, 
or the efiect produced by fire. Animal heat is preserved chiefly by 
the inspiration of atmospheric air. If the hand be put upon a hot 
body, part of the caloric leaves the hot body, and enters the hand ; 
this produces the sensation of heat. Ou the contrary, if the hand be 
put upon a cold body, part of the caloric contained in the hand leaves 
the hand to unite with the cold body ; this produces the sensation of 
cold. Caloric comes to us from the sun, at the rate of two hundred 
thousand miles in a second of time. Caloric may be procured by 
combustion, percu.ssion, friction, the mixture of ditierent substances, 
and by means of electricity and galvanism. In a latent state, caloric 
exists in all substances with which we are acquainted ; but it com 
bines with difierent substances in very different proportions. 

On agriculture, this agent acts with great efiect, since the soil L 
cold or hot according as it retains or parts with the caloric it receiv^•u 
from the sun. Soils that are black or white receive the least benehv 
from heat ; the black mould, while it acquires heat with rapidity, 
giving it ofi" still more freely ; and the white soils, owing their color 
principally to clay that retains moisture very strongly, scarcely feel 
its influence, the heat being carried off in evaporating the water. 
The experiments of Rumford and Leslie show, that a vessel covered 
with lamp-black radiated heat at the rate of one hundred degrees, 
while one made of bright tin plate, gave out only twelve degrees. 
Soils in which mould or black earth is properly combined with silex 
and alumine, Avill retain heat the longest, as the black gives it out to 
the others instead or radiating it into space. A melon laid on a bed 
of powdered charcoal, will ripen, when one on common earth will 
remain green and immature. 

CALVES. The rearing of calves is an important branch of 
I'ural economy. The value of the future ox or cow is greatly depend- 
ing on the treatment the calf receives. The subject is of more conse- 
quence to the farmer than generally supposed. Where circumstances 
will permit, allowing the calf to run with the cow and draw its food 
directly from her, is probably the best method, since it is that of na- 
ture ; but as the milk for dairy purposes is valuable, breeders have 
suKstituted many modes of feeding the calf, in which milk is partly 
dispensed with, some other nutritive substance takmg its place. As 
a general rule, the calf should be allowed to suck the cow till the milk 
is good. Some allow them to suck a week or fortnight, according to 
their strength, but it has been found that where calves are to be takea 
ofT, the earlier it is done, the better, both for cow and calf each mak- 
ing less ado at the separation. After removed from the cow, the 



66 



THE FARMER AT HOME; 



following mode of feeding calves has been recommended. For the 
first few meals, new milk ; the next few meals, new milk and skim- 
med milk mixed together ; then skim nriilk alone, or porridge made 
of milk, water, meal, and sometimes oil-cake or linseed meal. In 
the season of making cheese, the whey may be given to them. 

When fed from the pail, calves require about two gallons daily ; 
but care must be taken not to give it to them too cold, as it v.'ill cause 
them to purge. When this is the case, one or two spoonsful of rennet 
in the milk will be a good remedy. Great regularity should be ob- 
served in feeding calves, and they should always have sweet grass, or 
good clover hay on which to nibble at intervals of their more regular 
food. They are easily taught to eat carrots or turnips, small ears of 
corn, and indeed almost every thing that is eaten by cattle. And, if 
the farmer would see them thrive well, he must constantly look to 
their wants. If in the first year they become stinted, no subsequent 
efibrt will advance them to the size they might have attained, provid- 
ed in this period they had been amply fed. 

CAMEL. The camel is one of the larger quadrupeds, being six 
or seven feet from the ground to the highest part of the back, and it 
carries the head when erect about nine feet above the plane of its 
position. The carcass weighs three or four hundred pounds ; but the 
size and weio-ht are far from alike in all. The natural abode of this 
animal is in the warmer climates, and places abounding with sand, 
where food is scanty, and exposure to long protracted privations are 
unavoidable ; insomuch that, from the configuration of its foot, diffi- 
culty is experienced in treading another soil, and in the richer or 
more fertile countries where attempts have been made for its natural- 
ization, it grows feeble, languishes, and dies. 

The motion of the camel is unlike that of most other animals ; 
both the feet on the same side are successively raised, and not alter- 
nately like those of the horse. Its pace is naturally slow, and when 
accelerated, the rider experiences the most severe jolting, which it 
requires continued practice to endure. Properties which are denied 
to the greater part of quadrupeds are possessed by the camel, and in 
their fullest extent converted to the use of mankind. It is docile, 
patient of labor, and capable of abstinence in a wonderful degree ; it 
can endure scorching heats with impunity; it feeds on thistles, on the 
stunted shrubs and withered herbage of the desert, and can pass 
successive days in total want of water ; thus seeming as if purposely 
devised by nature for the most cheerless and inhospitable regions. 

But these properties are improved to a great extent, by tlie mode 
in which the camel is reared. At the earliest period, the legs are 
folded under the body, in which position it is constrained to remain. 
Its back is covered with a carpet, weighed down by a quantify of 
stones gradually augmented : it receives a scanty portion of food ; it 
is rarely supplied with water ; and, in this manner, is regularly 



THE FARMER AT HOME. 67 

brought up in. a system of privation. When the time of trial has 
elapsed, and it is broke into subservience, it kneels at the command 
of the master, who either mounts it himself or loads it with a heavy 
burden ; and, trusting to its strength, and the privations it can sutler, 
he ventures to traverse the trackless desert. 

The camel annually casts its hair in spring ; and in the space of 
three days is as bare as a sucking pig. During that interval, the 
keeper is careful to tar it over, in order to ])reserve it against the 
annoyance of the ilies. But the color and abundance of hair depend 
entirely on the particular species of camel, and the climate which it 
inhabits : that ot the Arabian Camel is thin and whitish ; that of 
the Bactrian camel thicker and darker colored. From the hair a 
coarse kind of clothing, almost impermeable by water, is made for 
camel-drivers and shepherds; and the same commodity, for an analo- 
gous purpose, is used as M-rappers of merchandise long exposed to wet 
in heavy rains. But in Persia and the Crimea more valuable marm- 
iixctures are produced in narrow cloths of diflerent colors, and fine 
stockings, of M'hich white are the highest priced. It is wrought into 
drawls, carpets, and coverings for the tents of the Arabs. According 
to Pallas, the Tartar women of the plains manufacture a kind of 
warm, soft, and light narrow cloth from the hair of the Bactrian or 
Tauridan camel, preserving the natural color. The hair of diflerent 
colors is an article of export from Asia and Africa ; its value is pro- 
portioned to the fineness and color, that which is black being the 
dearest 

As Mahomet the prophet himself rode a camel, it is considered a 
sacred animal in the east, nor will his votaries at all times admit of 
its being devoted to the service of Christians. They seldom eat its 
flesh themselves, not so much from entertaining any scruples on the 
lawfulness of doing so, as from reluctance to sacrifice an animal so 
valuable to them ; but where fanaticism prevails, selling it to Chris- 
tians would be deemed profanation. After the annual pilgrimage to 
Mecca, the camel which carries the standai'd of Mahomet is ever after- 
wards exempt from labor, and the Mahometans even believe that it 
will participate in the pleasures of a future life. 

CAMELEON. A species of lizard, abounding in some parts of 
Egypt. This creature, with its tail extended, is about fifteen inches 
long. Its usual color is of a light green, though it varies its dye 
according to that of whatever plant or flower the animal rests upon. 
The cameleon devours prodigious quantities of flies ; but being very 
slow and inactive, it would be impossible for him to take his prey, 
had not nature taken care to supply those defects, by a peculiar gift, 
which he improves with great success : ibr, sitting as if he were inat- 
tentive to his prey, the unthinking fly uses no caution in approaching 
him, when of a sudden, he darts out a longue about six inches long ; 
the end of which is concave, and covered with a glutinous matter, so 



68 THE FARMER AT HOME. 

that is is impossible for the fly to escape destruction. The foregoing 
description is from Lord Sandwich's voyage. Souini, on the other 
hand, says, that the changing of color in cameleons, is not to be 
ascribed to the objects presented to them; and that their difierent 
affections increase or diminish the inteusity of the tints, which cover, 
and, as it were, marble their very delicate skin. 

CANARY BIRD. A native of trie Canary Islands. They havf, 
a variety of coloring ; some white, some mottled, some beautifullj'' 
shaded with green ; but they are more esteemed for their song than 
their beauty, having a high piercing pipe, continuing for sometime in 
cue breath without intermission, then raising it higher by degrees, 
with great variety. They are capable of surprising improvement 
from imitation : the only art necessary with those that have no very 
fine note, is to breed them up with one of a more melodious voice. 
A canary bird, in London, was taught to pick up the letters of the 
alphabet at the word of command, so as to spell any person's name 
in company ; and this the little animal did by motions from his master, 
which were imperceptible to every other spectator, 

CANDLE. This is a long, but small cylindrical body of tallow, 
wax, or spermaceti, formed on a M'ick composed of linen or cotton 
threads loosely twisted, and is used for artificial light in dwelling- 
houses or elswhere. A tallow candle made of the tallow of a bullock 
and sheep, is considered best ; that made of the fat of hogs, unless 
chemically prepared, is soft, has an offensive odor, and emits a black 
smoke. Candles are dipped or moulded ; the former by having the 
wick successively immersed in melted tallow, and the latter by having 
the wick confined in a mould, and then having the melted tallow 
poured on it. 

The Chinese obtain from the tallow-tree a kind of vegetable fat, 
with which they make a considerable portion of their candles, which 
are firmer than those of tallow, and free from all ofiensive odor ; but 
they are not equal to those of wax, or spermaceti. Cheap candles 
are also made of tallow, and even of grease of too little consistence to 
be used, without the contrivance of being coated with the firmer sub- 
stance of the tallow-tree or of wax. The surface of these candles is 
sometimes painted red. Their wicks are made of different materials. 
The candle makers at Munich prepare tallow candles with wooden 
wicks, which afibrd about the same quantity of light as a wax candle, 
burn also with great steadiness and uniformity, and never crack or 
run. 

CANDLESTICK. A household utensil, contrived to hold one 
or more lighted candles. Larger and more stately candlesticks, con- 
trived for holding a great number of candles, are called branches and 
girandoles, and when made of glass, lustres. The golden candlestick 
was the richest utensil in the Jewish tabernacle. It was made of 
solid gold, and weighed a ta ent; and, according to Cumberland, the 



THK FARMER AT HOME. ' (39 

value of it, exclusive of the workmanship, was £5076. It contained 
seven lights, six brai. ching out in three parts on each side of the 
upright stem, and one on the top of it. Each branch was adorned 
with cups, knots, and flowers, alternate and equidistant ; and on the 
top of each Avas fixed a lamp, in form of an almond, which might be 
put on or taken off occasionally; and in these were put the oil and 
the wick, or the cotton, which was drawn in or out by tongs or snuflers ; 
under them were snufl-dishes for receiving the sparks, or refuse of tlie 
oil that fell from the lamps. This candlestick was placed in the 
ante-chamber of the sanctuary, on the south side, and served to illu- 
minate the altar of perfume, and the tabernacle of the show-bread : 
and it was the business of the priest to light the lamps every evening, 
at the time of incense, and to extinguish them at the same time every 
morning. 

In Solomon's temple there were ten golden candlesticks of the 
same form with that described by Moses ; five on the north, and five 
on the south side of the holy place. But after the Babylonish cap- 
tivity, the golden candlestick was placed in the temple, as it had 
been before in the tabernacle of Moses ; and when the temple was 
destroyed, it -was deposited in the Temple of Peace, built by Vespasian ; 
and the representation of it still remains on the triumphal arch, 
at the foot of Mount Palestine, on which Vespasian's triumph is 
delineated. 

CANE. A kind of strong Indian reed, used for walking sticks ; 
also the plant which yields the sugar, and grows freely in the East 
and West Indies, and parts of North and South America. The skin 
of the sugar-cane is soft, and the spongy matter or pith it contains, 
very juicy. It is now extensively cultivated in Louisiana, Alabama, 
and some of the other southern States of the American Union. It has 
become an important branch of our rural economy. 

CANOE. The term generally used to designate the small vessels 
which uncivilized people, living near the water, use. In the East 
Indies, there is a kind of boat which goes by this name, sometimes 
from forty to fifty feet long, and five or six broad. The North American 
Indians generally impel their canoes Math paddles, which have a very 
large blade, and are managed perpendicularly. The canoes of Canada 
are of the most fragile texture, and of so little \\ eight, that, in passing 
from one river to another, the boatmen carry them on their heads across 
the portages. They are mostly covered with bark, the pieces of wliick 
are sewed together with a kind of grass. This bark is generally not 
more than a quarter of an inch in thickness ; yet in these frail vessels, 
the Indians and Canadians do not hesitate to descend very dangerous 
rapids. The Esquimaux were exceedingly dexterous in the manage- 
ment of their canoes. These consist of a light, wooden frame, covered 
with seal-skins, sewed together with sinews. The skins are not only 
extended round the bottom and sides, but likewise over the top, terming 



70 THE FARMER AT HOME. 

a complete deck, and having only one opening to admit the Indian to 
his seat. The Greenlandeis and Esquimaux r^e the same kind of 
canoes, and it is astonishing, when we consider their insignificant 
construction, at what a distance from the regions they commonly 
inhabit, these people, especially the former, are found in them. 

CAP. A garment serving to cover the head, and made nearly of 
its figure. The era of caps and hats is referred to the year 1449, the 
first seen in Europe being at the entry of Charles VII. into Rouen; 
from that time they began, by little and little, to take place of the 
hoods or chaperons, that had been used till that period. The Romans 
wore many ages without any regular covering for the head : when 
either the rain or sun was troublesome, the lappet of the gown was 
thrown over the head ; and hence it is that all the ancient statues 
appear bareheaded, excepting sometimes a wreath, or the like. And 
the same usage obtained among the Greeks, where, at least during 
the heroic age, no caps were known. 

The cap was the head-dress of the clergy and graduates. The 
giving of the cap to the students in the universities, was to denote 
that they had acquired full liberty, and were no longer subject to the 
rod of their superiors, in imitation of the ancient Romans, who gave 
a pileus or cap to their slaves in the ceremony of making them free. 
Hence, also, on medals the cap is the symbol of Liberty, whom they 
represent holding a cap in her right hand by the point. When this 
cap was exposed to the view of the people on the top of a spear, as in 
the case of the conspiracy which had occasioned the death of Csesar, 
it was intended as a public invitation to the people to embrace the 
liberty that was offered to them by the destruction of their tyrant. 
This thought of the conspirators on occasion of this event, was not 
new ; for Saturnius, in his sedition, when he had possessed himself of 
the Capitol, exalted a cap on the top of a spear, as a token of liberty 
to all the slaves who would join with him ; and though Marius, in 
his sixth consulship, destroyed him for that act, by a decree of the 
senate, yet he himself used the same expedient afterwards to invite 
the slaves to take arms with him against Sylla, who was marching 
with his army into the city to attack him. 

The Chinese have not the use of the hat, like us, but wear a cap 
of a peculiar structure, which the laws of civility will not allow them 
to put off: it is diflerent for the different seasons of the year; that 
used in summer, is in form of a cone, ending at the top in a point. 
It is made of a very beautiful kind of mat, much valued in that coun- 
try, and lined with satin : to this is added, at top, a large lock of red 
silk, which falls all round as low as the bottom ; so that in walking, 
the silk, fluctuating regularly on all sides, makes a graceful appear- 
ance : sometimes in.stead of silk, they use a kind of bright red hair, 
the lustre whereof no weathe» effaces. In winter they wear a kind 
of plush cap, bordered with martlet's or fox's skin ; as to the rest, like 



THE FARMER AT HOME. 7I 

those for the summer. Nothing can be neater than these caps ; they 
are frequently sold for eight or ten crowns ; but they are so shoit that 
the ears are exposed. 

CARBON. Charcoal is a word often employed synonymously 
with carbon : but, although charcoal is the form under which carbon 
most commonly occurs, yet it is in this form mixed with several 
extraneous ingredients. The diamond was concluded, by Guyton 
Morveau, to be the only form of pure carbon ; but the experiments of 
Allen and Pepys have tended to show that these hard substances, 
although so widely different in external character and appearance, 
are chemically the same; the difference between them seeming to 
result from the different state of aggregation of their particles It 
further seems that the diamond is absolutely free from both water 
and hydrogen ; and it is in ihis particular, as well as in the mode by 
which its particles are aggregated, that the difference seems to obtain 
between charcoal and the diamond. Diamond converts iron into 
steel; which power is likewise characteristic of charcoal. 

Charcoal appears to be the same substance from whatever wood 
it is procured, but it is usually made upon a large scale from oak, 
chestnut, elm, beech, or ash wood. Lampblack may be regarded as 
a very pure carbon, after it has been heated red-hot in a very close 
vessel. This is prepared by causing the dense smoke, arising from 
refuse resin burnt in a furnace, to be collected. 

Carbon forms the base of all wood, and consequently of all trees 
and plants, and is, therefore, one of the most important principles ol 
nature. To the farmer it is one of peculiar interest. Plants, how- 
ever, never take up the minutest particle of carbon while in that 
state, if ever so finely reduced. By a wise provision of Providence, 
an inexhaustible reservoir of carbonic acid gas, carbon converted into 
air, is found in the atmosphere, which readily combines with water, 
and in that state is taken up by the roots for the support of the plant. 
The leaves of trees also perform a species of respiration, by whiclr car- 
bonic acid gas is taken into the plant during one-half of the day, to be 
decomposed by the solar rays; and, while the carbon is retained, the 
oxj'gen is set free, and thrown off by the plant to purify the air. 

CARIOLE. A name given by the Canadians to a sledge, by 
which they transport themselves over the snow, from place to place, 
in the most agreeable manner, and with a degree of celerity that ap- 
pears almost incredible ; for with the same horse, it is possible to go 
eighty miles in a day, so light is the draught of one of these carriages, 
and so favorable is the snow to the feet of the horse. This cariole 
will hold two persons and a driver, and is usually drawn by one horse. 
Its shape is varied according to the fancy and taste of the owner. 

CARMINE. The most splendid of all red colors is made from 
the cochineal insect. It is deposited from a decoction of powdered 
cochineal in water, to which alum, carbonate of soda, or oxyde of tin, 



72 THE FARMER AT HOME. 

is added. As the beauty of this valuable color is afiected, not only by 
the mode of appljing it, but also by the quantity of the ingredients 
mixed with it, we find various recipes for the preparation of it. The 
manufacturers which prepare the best carmine carefully conceal the 
method. The best natural cochineal is formed in Mexico. 

CARNIVOROUS. An epithet generally applied to animals of 
every description, that subsist for the most part or entirely on animal 
food. In a more limited sense we understand by carnivorous animals, 
those only of a savage and voracious nature, assimilating in our ideas 
some instinctive ferocity of character in the manners of those creatures 
when seeking and attacking their prey, as well as actually feeding on 
flesb. We naturally consider, for this reason, among the principal 
carnivorous animals, the lion, the tiger, and the wolf; or among 
birds, the eagle, and the kite, with a host of other rapaoious crea- 
tures, upon which nature has bestowed pre-eminent advantages of 
courage, strength, and arms to aid them in seizing upon, and tearing 
into pieces, those animals on Avhich they feed ; they have either for- 
midable cairine teeth or fangs ; claws, or talons ; the quadrupeds pos- 
sessing both, and the birds the latter; fishes with very few exceptions 
are carnivorous, but their only offensive weapons are the teeth, or 
in some species the spines and prickles disposed on various parts of 
the body. 

It is a dispute among naturalists, whether or not man be naturally 
carnivorous. Some contend that the fruits of the earth were intended 
as his sole food ; and that it was necessity in some places, and luxury 
in others, that first prompted him to feed upon his fellow animals. 
Pythagoras and his followers looked upon it as a great impiety ; and 
strictly abstained from all fl.esh, from the notion of a metempsychoso- 
sis ; and their successors, the Bramins, continue the same to this 

day- 

In this, however, as in most other controversies, the truth lies 
between the two extremes ; there is an obvious connexion between. 
the conformation of the teeth, stomach, and intestines, and the nature 
of the food upon which an animal subsists ; and according to the 
rules laid down by comparative anatomists on this subject, man was 
designed to use a mixed food in common ; but, if circumstances re- 
quired it, his organs were adapted to digest either animal or vegeta- 
ble substances. His teeth are neither calculated for grinding coarse 
vegetable food, nor for tearing the flesh, or breaking the bones of 
animals. They arc only fitted for masticating such matter when 
divided by machinery or prepared by the operation of heat, in the 
several proces.ses of cooking. 

C.AR-ROT. It is believed that this plant was brought into Europe 
from the Island of Crete. It was carried to England by the Flemish 
refugees, during the reign of Elizabeth, and the leaves were then used 
by ladies in their head dresses at evening parties. The root of the 



THE FARMER AT HOjME. 73 

wild carrot is white and small, as well as dry and strong flavored ; 
which illustrates the remarkable improvement that has been efiected in 
our common esculents by cultivation for a long series of years. The 
various uses of the carrot in cookery are well known. But although 
it contains much nutriment, it is difficult of digestion, particularly if 
eaten raw or imperfectly boiled. Carrots are an excellent fodder for 
horses, either alone or mixed with hay ; and if given to cows in win- 
ter, or the early part of spring, they are said to cause a great increase 
of milk, which will have a much less offensive taste and smell than 
when they are fed on turnips. Crickets are so fond of these roots, 
that they can easily be destroyed by making a paste of flour, powdered 
arsenic and scraped carrots, and leaving the compound near the places 
of their resort. They are a profitable crop for the farmer, being 
raised at an expense of eight or ten cents per bushel, and an acre of 
land yielding from five hundred to one thousand bushels. For stock 
they cannot be estimated at less than forty cents a bushel, so that the 
net profits of the carrot will be from one hundred and fifty to three 
hundred dollars to the acre. 

CART. For a long period the use of the waggon for farming 
purposes Avas almost unknown in this country. The reliance was on 
the cart and oxen, instead of the waggon and horses. When a boy 
we never saw the latter ; but as the latter increased, the former gave 
way ; and now, the use of the cart is mostly confined to farms on 
which cattle alone are used, and some particular sections of country. 
It is a question however which deserves serious consideration by far- 
mers, whether more on the whole has not been lost, than has beesi 
gained by the change. On grain-growing farms, M^here much plough- 
ing is to be performed, horses are indispensable, and the waggon of 
course may be preferred ; but, there are multitudes of farmers who, 
we think, would greatly promote their interests, by discarding their 
waggon and its attendant span of inferior horses, and substituting in 
their place, the old fashioned and less costly cart, and a yoke or two 
of prime working oxen. 

CASHMERE GOAT. A nobler species of common goats, is 
descended from the goat of Thibet, which pastures on the Himalaya. 
The goats of Thibet 9.nd Cashmere have the fine curled wool close to 
the skin, just as the under hair of our common goat lies below the 
coarse upper hair. The wool is shorn in the Spring, shortly before 
the warm season — the time when the animal, in its natural state, 
Beeks thorns and hedges in order to free ijtself from the burden of its 
warm covering. All the hard and long hairs are picked most care- 
fully. The wool, thus purified, is washed, first in a warm solution of 
potash, and afterwards in cold water,, ip which process felting must 
be carefully avoided. It is then bleached upon the grass, and carded 
for spinning. The shawl-wool is three times died — before carding, 
after spinning, and in the shawl. The Asiatics avoid spinning the 
4 



74 THE Farmer at home. 

wool haid, in order thai, the shawl may be soft. They use a spindle 
which consists of a ball of clay, with an iron wire attached. The 
fiager and thumb of the spinner are kept smooth by steatite powder. 

CAT. A domestic animal, who«e good and ill qualities are too 
generally known to need a description. The ancient Egyptians paid 
a religious homage to this little animal ; and among tbem nothing 
could more expose a man to popular rage, than killing a cat. The 
following is, in substance, I'elated by Diodorus Siculus, as a fact of 
which he was an eye-witness. While embassadors from Rome, which 
was at that time the proud mistress of the world, were in Egypt, and 
were treated by the Egyptians, not only with all the courtesy of 
respect, but with all the servility of fear, one of their attendants hap- 
pening unintentionally to kill a cat, this circumstance excited such a 
genei'al horror and mdignation, that neither the remonstrances of the 
officers sent by Ptolemy, their king, nor the fear of the Romans, could 
save the unhappy man from the fury of the populace. " What is 
called the Wild Cat, is an animal in most i-espects similar to our 
common cats, but ditlerent in its disposition and dimensions. It is 
much larger, stronger, and fiercer, than any of our domestic cats, 
and seems to be of the same disposition and color as the wolf." 
Strings ibr musical instruments, of superior and uni'ivalled excellence, 
are made of catgut. 

CATAMOUNT. One of the most fierce and dangerous quadru- 
peds of l^Torth America. It is supposed to be the same animal which 
the ancients called lynx, and which is known in Siberia by the name 
ounce. In the form of its body it much resembles a common cat ; it 
is generally oi' a yellow color, bordering upon a red or sandy, and is 
larger than the largest dogs. Some years ago, a catamount, at Ben- 
nington, in Vermont, took a large calf out of a pen, where the fence 
was four ieet high, and carried it off upon his back. With this load 
it ascended a ledge of rocks, where one of the leaps was fifteen feet in 
height. Two hunters finding the catamount upon a tree, one of them 
discharged his musket, and wounded it in the leg. It descended with 
the utmost agility and lury, did not attack the men, but seized their 
dog by one of his ribs, broke it ofi'in the middle, and instantly leaped 
lip the *ree again with astonishing swiftness and dexterity. The 
other hunter shot him through the head, but his fury did not cease 
but with the last remains of life. 

CATARACT. In farriery, a disease in the eyes of horses, in 
which the crystalline humor is rendered opaque, and the vision im- 
peded or destroyed. The only certain method of cure in these com- 
plaints is to remove the lens by means of extracting or couching. By 
the first mentioned operation, an incision is made into the eye, and 
the opaque lens taken out — by the second, it is depressed by the poi»i\ 
of a couching needle, thrust into the eye, and being carried to the 
lower part of the chamber of the eye, or vitreous humor ; it is left 



THE FARMER AT HOME, 75 

there to be absorbed. The first operation is the more effective, but 
the more hazardous of tlie two, owing to the inflammation which suc- 
ceeds. The second is tedious, and sometimes fails ; but it is free from 
the risk of inflammation. 

CATTLE. The value of the ox tribe has been in all ages and 
tribes highly appreciated. The natives of Egypt, India, and of Hin- 
dostan seem alike to have placed the cow among their deities , and, 
judging by her usefulness to all classes, no animal could perhaps have 
been selected whose value to mankind is greater. In nearly all parts 
of the earth cattle are employed for their labor, for their milk, and for 
their food. In southern Africa they are as much the associates of the 
Cafl'res as the horse is of the Arab. They share his toil, and assi.st 
him in tending his herds; they are even trained to battle, in which 
they become fierce and courageous. In central Africa, the proudest 
ebony beauties are to be seen on their backs. They have drawn the 
plough in all ages ; in Spain they still trample out the corn ; in India 
raise the water from the deepest wells to irrigate the thirsty soils of 
Bengal. When Caesar invaded England, they constituted the chief 
riches of that country ; and they now form, in that country, as well 
as in our own, no small item of the wealth of the inhabitants. 

Within the present century, great improvements have been made 
in the breeds of domestic cattle, particularly in Great Britain, where 
Bakewell, and Collings, and Bevey, with other spirited individuals, 
have rendered the most valuable service in this important enterprise. 
Within this period, the average weight of English cattle has risen one- 
third ; and the present appearances do not indicate that this increase 
has reached its highest point. The great improvements already 
effected, have been made by judicious crosses, and breeding with 
reference to certain desirable qualities of form, size, milk, or aptitude 
to fatten ; and these objects have been attained in some of the best 
modern breeds of cattle to an extent that would once have been 
deemed impossible. It is evident that care must be taken, or there 
will exist a tendency to retrograde to the original standard ; a ten- 
dency which will become less and less, as the type and constitution of 
the improved breeds recede farther from the point of their origin, and 
of course more fixed and stable. 

The breeds of cattle at present in most repute, and bej'ond all 
competition in any other varieties, are the Herefords, the Devons, and 
the Short-Horns, including several distinct crosses. Indeed, it is 
scarcely possible to conceive of more perfect models of form and beauty 
among animals, than are to be found among those named, particularly 
the high-bred varieties in the latter classification. Great pains have 
latterly been taken to introduce into the United States the very best 
breeds of Europe, and finer herds of cattle are nowhere to be found 
than now exist in Kentucky and Ohio, which States have taken the 
lead in this laudable business. As to the general treatment of cattle, 



JQ THE ?ARMER AT HOME. 

our plan does not embrace it any further than to remark, that cattle 
require kind treatment, plenty of good food at all times, and protection 
from the severity of our winters. On these things, next to skilful 
breeding, the excellence of cattle is mainly to depend. See Youatt 
and Martin on Cattle. 

CAULIFLOWER. This is a species of cabbage. What is the 
head in common cabbage, in the cauliflower is a mass of buds and 
flowers, possessing a richness and delicacy seldom found. It is the 
most curious, as well as the most delicately-flavored, of the numerous 
varieties of the cabbage family. The white flower buds form a large, 
firm head, surrounded by long, green leaves. Its history is not so 
well known as that of some other plants, less valuable in the culinary 
department. On its being introduced into England from the island 
of Cyprus, about the beginning of the seventeenth century, much 
attention was paid to its culture, by which means its appearance and 
character have been greatly improved. In our own country, it is 
much less known than its merits deserve. To show to what an enor- 
mous size it can be made to attain under skilful management, we 
mention a single plant raised in the garden of the late Hon. Peter C. 
Brooks, of Medford, Mass. The bare flower measured thirty-eight 
inches in circumference, and weighed .six pounds and five ounces. 

CAUSTICITY. A substance is said to be caustic when it pro- 
duces the same effect on the tongue as that of actual fire ; that is, an 
immediate sensation of burning, followed by a slight disorganization 
of the surface actually in contact. Thus alkalies are called caustic 
when deprived of carbonic acid, because, M'hen concentrated, they 
then burn and blister the tongue almost instantly. Caustic substances 
are also generally corrosive, or such as act on organized matter, and 
decompose it with rapidity. The term caustic, prefixed to the alkalies 
and earths to distinguish the pure or decarbonated state, is now almost 
always omitted as unnecessary, by the use of the term carbonic ; thus 
to the terms caustic potash, and mild potash, are substituted those of 
potash, and carbonate of potash, respectively. We also say lime, and 
the carbonate of lime. Caustic medicines are principally used to 
reduce irregular excresences of the flesh. 

CEDAR. A well known evergreen, very like the juniper in 
appearance, which flourishes in cold mountainous places. The leaves 
are much narrower than those of the pine tree, and the seeds are pro- 
duced in large cones. The most celebrated species is that of Lebanon, 
which is also found in Russia, and which is introduced by transplant- 
ing into various parts of Europe and America. 

CELERY. This is a hardy biennial plant. The blanched leaf- 
stalks are a very excellent raw salad. It is supposed to be a native 
of Great Britain, and, in its Avild state, is found in marshy grounds 
and ditches, having a coarse, rank taste. Under judicious cultivation, 
it 19- surprisingly altered, becoming sweet, mild, and crispy. There 



THK FARMER AT HOME. tjf 

are many varieties, "but wKat is called the white solid, is usually 
esteemed the best. It is produced from seed, and one ounce of seed 
is sufficient for a thousand plants. It requires a soil rather moist, 
rich in vegetable mould, but not rank, iiom new unrotted dung. 
Some of the New Jersey gardeners, who supply the New York mar- 
ket, have raised each 60,000 heads in a season, which, at siv cents 
the head, the wholesale price, would amount to $3600. This shows 
how profitable its culture may he made, small as the business may 
appear. If it were generally understood how easily it is produced, 
few only would neglect to raise enough for their own families. For 
the culture of it, see Schenck's Text Book, and Buist's Fainily Kit- 
chen Gardener* 

CELLAR. An important appendage to every dwelling is the 
cellar, and great care should be taken to have this so arranged that 
the full benefit desired from it may be obtained. The cellar should 
be well walled with stone or brick, laid in cement ; if inclining to be 
wet, it should be drained, so as to present a hard, smooth surface, and 
this will be better if covei-ed with clean gravel. Cellars should 
wholly exclude from frost, without being too warm, as fruit and vege^ 
tables, kept in a warm cellar, will not be as good as in one of an 
equally dry but lower temperature. Since the commencement of the 
cultivation of roots in this country to a considerable extent, and since 
the making of pork from steamed apples and potatoes has succeeded 
so well, cellars attached to barns and piggeries have become necessary, 
and are already constructed in many cases. Cellars of this kind for 
the reception of roots, should be made so that cart or waggon loads of 
fruit or roots can be thrown into them at once, without the labor of 
repeated handling. 

CHALK. Compost limestone, or carbonate of lime, passes into 
chalk, when the particles that compose the mass are so loosely con- 
nected as to render it friable or capable of easy division ; in its essen- 
tial qualities it does not differ materially from unburn t lime. Chalk 
is extensively used instead of lime for agricultural purposes in many 
parts of England, where it abounds. In the United States there is 
no chalk, properly so called. The immense beds of white marl, found 
in some parts of western New York, are a near approach to it, and 
the value of such beds as a resource for easy liming soils, will be bet- 
ter appreciated hereafter than it now seems to be. 

CHAMOIS GOATS. The Chamois inhabits the most inaccessi- 
ble parts of the woody regions of the great mountains of Europe. He 
bounds over the chasms of rocks — he springs from one projection to 
another with unerring certainty — he throws himself from a height 
of twenty or even thirty yards upon the smallest ledge, where there 
is scarcely room for his feet to plant themselves. This extraordinary 
power of balancing the body — of instantly finding the centre of 
gravity, — is a peculiarity of all the goat tribe, to which the Chamois* 



78 THE FARMER AT HOME. 

is nearly allied. The ability of the eye to measure distances, with 
such undeviatiug exactness, is associated with this power of finding 
the centre of gravity. In the Chamois these are instinctive faculties, 
which he possesses almost from the moment of his birth. They are 
not the result of training; for the young Chamois has only' acquire 
the necessary strength to able him to imitate the feats of his more 
practised companions. 

CHARCOAL. A kind of coal that is made of wood hali burnt, 
under a covering of turf and dust. The microscope discovers a sur- 
prising number of pores in charcoal ; they are disposed in order, and 
traverse it lengthwise. If a piece be broken pretty short, it may be 
seen through with the microscope. In a range the eighteenth part 
of an inch long. Dr. Hook reckoned one hundred and fifty pores. 
Charcoal is a powerful antiseptic ; consequently it has lately become 
a practice to char casks, or to burn charcoal in them, before filling 
them with water for a sea-voyage ; by this means, it is said, water 
may be kept sweet durinjj the longest voyage. There is one property 
of charcoal, that ought to be universally known ; it is its wonderful 
power of consuming respirable air. Mr. Lavoisier found that one 
pound of charcoal, in burning, actually consumed two pounds nine 
Dunces of oxygen or vital air. Hence the extreme danger, or rather 
almost inevitable death of persons sleeping in a close room with burn- 
ing charcoal by the bed-side. 

Charcoal is insoluble in water, destroys the odor, color, and taste of 
many substances ; and hence, its use in the arts and in the purifica- 
tion of tainted meats and putrified waters. It also separates from 
water any decayed animal matters or coloring substances which it 
may hold in solution. Hence, its use in filters for purifying and sweet- 
ening impure river or spring w'aters, or for clarifying syrups and oils. 
In or upon the soil, charcoal, for a time, will act in the same manner, 
will absorb from the air moisture and gaseous substances, and from 
the rain and flowing waters, organized matters of various kinds, any 
of which it will be in a condition to yield to the plants that grow 
around it, when they are such as are likely to contribute to their growth. 

Charcoal has the property also of absorbing disagreeable odors, in 
a remarkable manner. Hence, animal food keeps longer sweet when 
placed in contact with it ; hence, also, vegetable substances, contain- 
ing much water, such as potatoes, are more completely preserved by 
the aid of a quantity of charcoal. It exhibits, also, the still more singular 
property of extracting from water a portion of the saline substances it 
may happen to hold in solution, and thus allowing it to escape in a 
less impure form. The decayed, half carbonized roots of grass, which 
have been subjected to irrigation, may act in one or all these ways, 
on the more or less impure water by which they are irrigated ; and 
thus gradually arrest and collect the materials which are fitted to 
promote the growth of the com'ng crop. 



THE FARMER AT HOME. 



79 



Charcoal may be applied with advantage, in the powdered stato, 
m the form of a top dressing. About foi-ty bushels to the acre, sown 
over grass lands, or among young plants, as turnips, it has been found 
will produce an increased yield. Wherever an increased supply of 
ammonia, escaping from the air, the earth, or any putrescent mutter 
is desirable to be caught and retained, charcoal will always do good. 
But the best, and perhaps the only advisable mode of using charcoal 
is, to compost the powder with night soil, urine, blood, and other pu- 
trescent bodies, either liquid or solid. By this method, it tends to 
absorb or dry up these fluids, and retain the ammonia formed during 
their decomposition or decay. Such composts, when added to the soil, 
retain the virtue of these bodies much longer than when they are 
used alone. 




KENDALLL'S CHEESE PRESS. 



CHEESE. In rural economy, is composed of coagulated milk, 
which has undergone a chemical process, combined with the mechani- 
cal operation of a powerful press, usually employed to expel the serum 
or whey, which would otherwise retain it in a nearly fluid state, and 
as such produce decomposition. The quality, and as sucli the value, 
of cheese generally depends on the nature of the milk employed, 
which varies considerably in difierent places. There is likewise a 
«ind of medicated cheese made by intimately mixing the express 
juice of certain herbs, as sage or mint, with the curd, before it is formed 



PQ THE FARMER AT HOME. 

into a cheese. The Laplanders manufacture a species of cheese ol 
the milk of their reindeer which is not only of great service to them 
as food, but also for a variety of other purposes connected with 
domestic economy. 

CHEMISTRY. Is an instructive, interesting and valuable sci- 
ence. Within the last hundred years its empire has been wonderfully 
e.\:tended. There is scarcely an art of human life which it is not 
fitted to subserve ; scarcely a department of human inquiry or labor, 
either for health, pleasure, ornament, or profit, which it may not be 
made in its present improved state, eminently to promote. To the 
husbandman this science furnishes principles and agents of inestima- 
ble value. It teaches him the food of plants, the choice and use of 
manures, and the best means of promoting the vigor, growth, produc- 
tiveness, and preservation of the various vegetable tribes. To the 
manufacturer chemistry has lately become equally fruitful of instruc- 
tion and assistance. In the arts of brewing tanning, dyeing, and 
bleaching, its doctrines are important guides. In making soap, glass, 
pottery, and all metallic wares, its principles are daily applied, and 
are capable of a still more useful application, as they become better 
understood. Indeed, every mechanic art, in the different processes 
of which heat, moisture, solution, mixture, or fermentation is neces- 
sary, must ever keep pace in improvement with this branch of philoso- 
phy. To the physician this science is of still greater value, and is 
daily growing in importance. He learns from it to compound his 
medicines, to disarm poisons of their force, to adjust remedies to dis- 
eases, and to adopt general means of preserving health. 

Finally, to the domestic economist this science abounds with plea- 
sing and wholesome lessons. It enables him to make a proper choice 
of meats and drinks ; it directs him to those measures with respect 
to food, clothing, and respiration, which have the best tendency to 
promote health, enjoyment, and cheapness of living ; and it sets him 
Oil his guard against many unseen evils, to which those who are ig- 
norant of its laws are continually exposed. In a word, from a spec- 
ulative science, chemistry, since the middle of the eighteenth century, 
has become eminently and extensively a practical one. From an 
obscure, humble, and uninteresting place among the objects of study, 
it has risen to high and dignified station ; and instead of merely 
gratifying curiosity, or furnishing amusement, it promises a degree of 
utility, of which no one can calculate the consequences or see the end. 

The object of chemistry is to ascertain the ingredients of which 
bodies ai'e composed, — to examine the compounds formed by those in- 
gredients, — and to investigate the nature of the power which produ- 
ces these combination^. The science therefore naturally divides itself 
into three parts ; a description of the component parts of bodies, or of 
"I ementary or simple substances as they are called — a description of 
the compound bodies formed by the union of sim}>le substances — and 



f^ 



THE FARMER AT HOME. 81 

an account, of the nature of the power which produces these combi- 
nations. 

CHERRY. There are two kinds of the cherry tree which are of 
considerable importance ; the first, the wild or black cherry of our 
forests, is much valued for the excellence of its wood, which is used 
exten.sively for the manufacture of furniture. It is one of the most 
beautiful of our forest trees, throwing up a tall straight trunk, from 
six to nine feet in circumference, some seventy or eighty feet. 
While the use of liquor was more tolerated and fashionable than at 
present, the cherries of this tree were in great demand, to be steeped 
in rum. The other knid of cherry is the cultivated variety, and is 
one of our most valuable fruit trees, easily grown, very hardy, and 
early in the season. Cherries flourish best in a dry and rather light 
soil ; and a heavy wet or clay soil is not only injurious to the tree, 
but the fruit on such trees is of an inferior quality. For the varieties 
of this fruit see Cole's American Fruit Book. 

CHESTNUT TREE. A tree that is common in the United 
States, and highly valuable both for its timber and fruit ; it some- 
times grows to a prodigious size. In the Gentleman's Magazine, of 
1770, we are told of a Spanish chestnut, measuring fifty-seven feet in 
circumference, which grows in Gloucestershire in England. It is 
supposed by Evylin and Bradley to have been planted in the reign of 
king John, from mention of it in records of that antiquity ; and if so, 
it must have been about six hundred years old. According to Dr, 
Howel, the famous chestnut tree of Mount Etna is one hundred and 
sixty feet in circumference, but quite hollow within ; which, however 
affects not its verdure ; for the chestnut tree, like the willow, depends 
upon its bark for subsistence, and by age loses its internal part. In 
the cavity of this tree the people have constructed a commodious 
house, which they use for various purposes ; it is called the tree of a 
liundred horses, as so many may at one time be shelterd under its 
boughs. The wood of the chestnut tree (says St. Pierre) is never 
attacked by insects, and is excellent for wainscoting. A judgment 
(he adds) may be formed of the beauty and of the duration of its 
wood, from the ancient wainscoting of the market of St. Germain, in 
France ; of which the joists are of a prodigious length and thickness, 
perfectly round, though more than four hundred years old. 

CHIMNEY. In architecture, a particular part of a house, 
where the fire is made, having a tube or funnel to carry off the smoke. 
The effect of chimneys is often destroyed by their being constructed 
on un-scientific principles. It will be found for the most part that the 
smoking of chimneys arises from their being carried up narrower at 
the top than at the bottom, and from their being thrown in a zigzag 
direction. Now it is evident from the very principle on which smoke 
rises at all in a chimney, that the higher it rises the less is the force 
that drives it, and the slower it must move, and consequently the 

4* 



82 



THE FAHMER AT HOME. 



more room it should have to move in, whereas in the usual way it has 
less. Chimneys, therefore, should be built as nearly perpendicularly 
as possible ; they oupht to be free from all roughness on the inside ; 
and a few inches wider at the top than at the base. This would 
etiectually prevent smokini; ; and might be so managed as not to 
interfere with the form of the exterior. 

CHINA PAPER. The Chinese, for making paper, use the 
bamboo reed, the cotton shrub, the bark of the kou-cliee, and of the 
mulberry tree ; also hemp, the straw of wheat and rice, the cods of 
the silkworm, and several other substances, the greater part of which 
are unknown in this manufacture in Europe. Most of the Chinese 
paper is very susceptible of moisture ; dust easily adheres to it, and 
worms insensibly get into it ; but their paper is much superior to ours 
in softness, smoothness, and the extraordinary size of the sheets ; it 
being no difficult matter to obtain, from certain manufactories, sheets 
thirty or forty feet in length. 

CHINCHILLA. This interesting animal, which produces the 
well known fur passing under that name, is a species of Field Mouse, 
and is common in the high plains of Chili and Peru. It is about nine 
inches in length, and has a tail about half the length of its body. It 
Bits upon its haunches, and takes its food in its paws like a squirrel. 
It leeds chiefly upon bulbous roots. 




^i/^f 



CHINESE GOOSE. 



>!!HINESE GOOSE. Only a few of the varieties of the goose 
family have been brought from China to the United States. The 
cut represents one of them which belonged to Mr. C. N. Bement. 
The form of these is very handsome ; their necks are long, with a 



THE FARMER AT HOiME. 



83 



graceful curve ; their bodies round, and the bill rises in a knob ; a 
characteristic of all the Asiatic goose-tribe, so far as we know ; and 
both the bill and the lej^s are black. Their general color is almost as 
uniform as that of our American wild geese ; and their fiesh is said 
to be very excellent. At the Agricultural Fair held at Poughkeepsie, 
N. Y., in 1844. fine specimens of the Chinese goose were exhibited, 
belonging to A. & H. Messier, of Fishkill. In the August following, 
the talented editor of the Albany Cultivator visited the farm of these 
gentlemen, where he saw their entire flock of these geese. He says 
it was the finest exhibition of them that he ever beheld ; that there 
were three or four broods of goslings, hatched in May, but grown np, 
apparently as large as the old ones ; and the geese which hatched them 
were all sitting tor a second brood, which were expected to be out the 
first of September. 

CHINESE AGRICULTURE. The pursuits of agriculture have 
always been and still are held in hgh estimation by the Chinese, who 
commence the agricultural year with a grand festival in honor of 
spring. On this occasion the emperor, in imitation of his ancient 
predecessor, performs the operation of ploughing and sowintr seed in a 
field set apart for that purpose, a custom that has very seldom been 
neglected by the sovereigns of the Chinese Empire, who have thus 
by their own example, stimulated their subjects to the performance 
of these useful and necessary labors, and maintained the honorable 
position and character of the husbandman, who even now holds a 
rank in society above that of the soldier or merchant, however 
wealthy the latter may be. 

Among the ancients, particularly the Egyptians, Persians, and 
Greeks, it was a common practice to hold games and festivals, min- 
gled with religious ceremonies, at that season when the earth is ready 
to receive the seed, thus showing the cheerfulness with which the 
farmers returned to their rustic toils, and the reliance they placed on 
the Supreme Being to reward them with an abundant harvest. The 
old festival of Plough Monday in England, was probably derived from 
these customs of the ancients, and was formerly celebrated in all of 
the rural districts with great merry-makings on the Monday following 
the twelfth-day ; some of the rites observed being not unlike those 
among the Chinese, as an instance of which the plough-light was set 
up before the image of some patron-saint in the village church ; a 
custom somewhat similar to that observed among the Chinese, who 
place lighted candles opposite certain images in their temples. 

The plough, the harrow, and the hoe, all of the rudest construc- 
tion, are the chief implements used by a Chinese farmer, the spade 
being only seen occasionally. The plough is usually drawn by buf- 
faloes, but sometimes that labor is performed by men, and even by 
women, among the lowest class of farmers. The great object of cul- 
tivation is rice, the stable food of all classes, lirom the prince to the 



84 



TilK FARMER AT HOME. 



peasants. Most of the plains present an endless succession of rice oi 
paddy fields, which, in the early stages of the crops, exhibit a vast 
surface of bright green, but turn yellow as the grain ripens. The 
seed is first sown in small patches, Hooded with a particular prepara- 
tion of liquid manure, which promotes its immediate development, 
so that in a few days the shoots are five or six inches in height, 
when they are transplanted to the fields, some of the laborers being 
employed in taking them up, others in making holes to receive them, 
and a third party in dropping them into the holes, about six together. 
All these men stand up to the ankles in water, ibr it is requisite that 
rice should be kept constantly wet, or it would be spoiled ; but when 
the rice is ripe, the fields are drained, so that the reapers, whose labors 
pommence about midsummer, work on dry ground. 




CHINESE HOG. 



CHINESE HOG. The Chinese is among the smaller varieties, 
aud without doubt is the parent stock of the best European and Ameri- 
can swine. They necessarily vary in appearance, size, shape, and 
color, from the diversity in the style in breeding, and the various 
regions from which they are derived. The animal is too small for 
general use, and it requires to be mixed with larger breeds to produce 
ihemost profitable carcase, especially for the market. For the pur- 
]^ose of refining the coarse breeds, no animal has ever been so success- 
ful as this. They are fine-boned, short, and very compact, with 



THE FARMER AT HOME. 85 

bellies almost touching the ground, light head and ears, fine muzzle, 
of great docility and quietness, small feeders, and producing much 
meat for the quantity of food consumed. 

CHOCOLATE. A kind of cake or confection, prepared of cer- 
tain di-ugs ; the basis or principal whereof is the cocoa-nut. The 
Spaniards were the first who brought chocolate into use in Europe ; 
and that, perliaps, as much out of interest, to have the better market 
for their cocoa-nuts, vanilla, and other drugs which their West Indies 
furnish, and which enter the composition of chocolate, as out of regard 
to those extraordinary virtues which their authors so amply enumerate 
in it. 

The method first used by the Spaniards was very simple, and the 
same with that in use among the Indians ; they only used cocoa-nuts, 
maize, and raw sugar as expressed from the canes, with a little 
achiotte, or roucon, to give it a color ; of these four drugs, ground be- 
tween two stones, and mixed together in a certain proportion, they 
made a kind of bread, which served them equally for solid food, and 
for drink ; eating it dry when hungry, and steeping it in hot water 
when thirsty. The Indians, to one pound of the roasted nuts, put 
half a pound of sugar, dissolved in rose-water, and half a pound of 
flour of maize. 

The Spaniards esteem it the last misfortune that can befall a man, 
to be reduced to want chocolate ; they are never known to leave it, 
excepting for some other liquor that will intoxicate. Hoffman con- 
siders chocolate as an aliment, and, in a medicinal view, he recom- 
mends it in emaciating diseases, both as an aliment and medicine ; 
and next very strenuously in hypochondriacal cases ; and in confirm-ii- 
tion. adduces that of Cardinal Richelieu, who, he says, was restored 
to health by living on chocolate. He is not less copious on its good 
effects against the heemorrhoids. The newest chocolate is esteemed 
the best ; the drug never keeping well above two years, but usually 
degenerating much before that time. 

CHRYSALIS. In natural history, a state of rest and seeming 
insensibility w^iich butterflies, moths, and several other kinds of 
insects, must pass through before they arrive at their winged or most 
perfect state. The first state of these animals is in the caterpillar or 
reptile form ; then they pass into the chrysalis state, wherein they 
remain, immovably fixed to one spot, and surrounded with a case or 
covering, which is generally of a conical figure ; and, lastly, after 
spending the usual time in this middle state, they thrown oft' the exter- 
nal case wherein they lay imprisoned, and appear in their most perfect 
and winged form of butterflies, or flies. 

CHURN. An implement for agitating creamer milk, so as to 
effect the production of butter. Some churns are made upright, of a 
tapering form, and are worked by means of a pole and cross ; the 
former passing through a hole in the lid. These are pail or bell- 



86 



THE FARMER AT HOME. 



churns. A great variety of churnb are in use ; but, in general, their 
formation evinces more ingenuity than practical knowledge. Perhaps 
the horizontal churns, and also the upright ones, operated with a crank 
by hand, are an exception to this remark ; and, where there is a large 
number of cows, whether the entire milk or the cream only is to be 
churned, what is called the dog-power applied to the chum, is an 
important saving of manual labor. And there has recently been in- 
vented, by F. G. Simpson, of New Jersey, a churn to be operated by 
machinery with a weight applied, similar to the running of a clock. 
Nothing is required but to put the milk or cream into the churn, and 
then wind up the machinery, when the moderate and unilbrm agita- 
tion of the liquid is begun and continued till butter is produced, with- 
out the aid of any other power. Thus far this invention works well ; 
and if no difficulty hereaiter arises in its use, it M'ill be generally 
adopted wherever the labor heretofore required iu churning has beet 
found a great burden. 




DOG-POWER CHURN. 



CIDER. This is the expressed and fermented juice of apples. 
To produce good cider, it is necessary that the fruit should be ripe, 
that it should be sound, that it should be all of one kind, and that 
there should be a perfect grinding of the apples. If the apples are 
not ripe, the saccharine matter necessary to make a good fermented 
liquor is not developed ; rotten apples impart an unpleasant flavor to 
the liquor ; and different kinds of apples afibrd a liquor that will not 
ferment equally or perfectly. When the liquor is pressed from the 
pomace, it should be puf in sweet, clean barrels, allowed to ferment, 
and filled up occasionally, that all the feculent matter may escape. 
It may be fined by isinglass, or drawn off for bottling. Where mak- 
ing good cider is an object with the farmer, it is usually racked off 
after the fermentation is closed, and time allowed for all sediments to 



THE FARMER AT HOME. 87 

leave the liquor, into clean new barrels fumigated with sulphur, and 
will then keep good for a considerable length of time. 

Cider was ibrmerly used extensively for distillation into apple 
brandy, but is now but little used for that purpose. According to 
Brande's analysis of fermented liquors, wines contain from 25 to 10 
per cent, of alcohol, and cider from 10 to 5 per cent. Cider makes 
an excellent vinegar, and large quantities are consumed for that pur- 
pose. The best cider made in the United States is produced in New 
Jersey, owing, probably, to the skill in manufacturing, more than to 
any peculiar excellence of fruit or singularity of the soil or climate. 

CINNAMON. This well known spice is the bark of the Lawnis 
cinnamo?ium, which is cultivated both in the Spice Islands and at 
Cayenne, though most abundantly in the former, whence almost the 
whole of the cinnamon for the European market is brought. Captain 
Percival has given the fullest account of this plant that has ever met 
our eye, and the following account is substantially derived from his 
history of Ceylon. The cinnamon gardens are within half a mile of 
the fort of Columbo in Ceylon. They extend over a surface of more 
than fifteen miles, which is traversed by various roads. There are 
also plantations of the shrub at Madeira, and Point de Galle. It 
thrives best in a loose white sand. It has a slender trunk, rises to 
the height of from four to ten feet, innumerable branches shoot from 
the stem, and give it the appearance of the Portugal laurel. The 
wood is light and porous, like that of the osier. It is used as fuel. 
Shoots spring up from the roots in immense profusion. The leaves, 
when they first burst, have a beautiful scarlet color ; they then 
become green, and have both the taste and smell of cloves. The 
blossom is white, and has no smell. The fruit resembles an acorn. 

It is ripe at the end of autumn, when oil is obtained by bruising 
and boiling it. The natives anoint themselves with oil, which is 
skimmed off, and they also mix it with cocoa nut oil, and burn it in 
lamps. During all audiences with the sovereign of Candy, this oil is 
burnt. When the trees become too old, they are cut down, and their 
places are soon occupied by young shoots, that rise from the roots in 
vast profusion. Formerly, many of these young twigs were cut as 
sticks, which are highly prized ; but this is now prohibited. 

The branches M'hich are three years old are lopped off; the 
epidermis is scraped off with a knife, having one side concave, and 
the other convex ; the true bark is then ripped up, loosened by the 
convex side of the knife, and separated from the wood. The smaller 
portions are then put into the larger. They are then dried in the 
sun. "When the drying is complete, the cinnamon is packed into 
bundles, which weigh about thirty pounds. These bundles are bound 
with bamboo twigs. They are then marked and numbered. 

When the cinnamon is brought to Columbo, previous to its ship- 
ment for Europ<v it is examined by the surgeons in the Company's 



gg THE FARMER AT HOME. 

service in rotation ^ and this is a most painful duty, as the only test 
is the taste. The continued chewing of this pungent substance, 
excoriates the mouth in spite of the utmost precaution. Experience 
has shown, that the evil effects of the chewing is best alleviated by 
occasionally eating bread and butter. 

CISTERN. Is properly used for a subterraneous reservoir of 
rain-water. Earthen cisterns must be made with good cement, to 
"retain the water, and the bottom should be covered with sand to 
sweeten and preserve it. Authors mention a cist-ern at Constantinople, 
the vaults whereof are supported by two rows of pillars, two hundred 
and tM^elve in each row, each pillar being two feet in diameter. 
They are planted circularly, and in radii tending to that in the 
centre. 

Anciently there were cisterns all over the country in Palestine. 
There were some likewise in cities and private houses. As the cities 
for the most part were built on mountains, and the rains fell regularly 
in Judea at two seasons of the year only, in spring and autumn, peo- 
ple were obliged to keep water in cisterns in the country, for the use 
of their cattle ; and in cities for the conveniency of the inhabitants. 
There are cisterns of very large dimensions to be seen at this day in 
Palestine, some of which are a hundred and fifty paces long, and 
fifty-four wide. There is one to be seen at Ramah of two and thirty 
paces in length, and eight and twenty in width. Wells and cisterns, 
fountains and springs, are generally confounded in the Scripture 
language. 

To farmers, not having springs or running water on their premises, 
it is very important to be provided with cisterns. In seasons of drought, 
especially, this will be a great convenience. On every farm with cus- 
tomary barns and out buildings, it would be easy to fill cisterns con- 
taining from two to three hundred hogsheads. In a single rain from 
the dvi'elling-house alone, we have collected over twenty hogsheads. 
Such is not a common occurrence. Ho\vever, the quantity that may 
be saved in the year is surprisingly large ; probably enough for a 
stock of cattle, and for all domestic purposes, and even to water a 
common garden, when sufiering from want of summer rains. Most 
of the materials for cisterns may be had on a farm, so that the expense 
in making them is not great. Stones are as good as brick. They 
will pay for themselves in a few years. 

CLARIFICATION. This is the separation, by chemical means, 
of any liquid from substances suspended in it, and rendering it turbid. 
If a difference can be made between clarification and filtration, it is, 
that the latter is affected by mere mechanical means, but the former 
either by heat or by certain additions, the action of which may be 
considered as chiefly chemical. The liquors subjected to clarification 
are almost without exception those animal or vegetable juices, in 
which the matter that renders them turbid is so nearlv of the same 



THE FARMER AT HOME. 



89 



specific gravity with the liquor itself, that mere rest will not effect a 
separation. In these, too, the liquor is generally rendered thicker 
than usual by holding in solution much mucilage, which further 
entangles the turbid matter, and prevents it from sinking. Hence it 
is that vinous fermentation has so powerful an effect as a clarifier, 
since this process always implies the destruction of a portion of sac- 
charine mucilage, and the consequent production of a thin limpid 
spirit. 

Coagulating substances are great clarifiers when mixed with any 
turbid liquors, the process of coagulation entangling with it all mat- 
ters mei-ely suspended and not dissolved, and carrying them either to 
the top in the form of a scum, or to the bottom in the form of a thick 
sediment, according to circumstances. Thus, to clarify muddy cider, 
the liquor is beaten up with a small quantity of fresh bullock's blood, 
and suflered to stand at rest for some hours, after which the liquor 
above is as clear as water, and almost as colorless, and at the bottom 
is a thick tough cake, consisting of the coagulated blood which has 
carried down with it all the opaque matter suspended in the liquor. 
Albuminous and gelatinous substances act in the same manner. The 
effect of white of an egg in this way is knovi/n to every one. It 
should be first mixed with the turbid liquor, without heat and by 
agitation. Afterwards, on applying less than a boiling heat, the 
albumen of the egg coagulates, and carries up with it all the opaque 
particles, leaving the rest beautifully clear and limpid. Sometimes 
clarification takes place in a very unaccountable manner. Thus, it 
is well known, that a handful of marl or clay will clarify a large cis- 
tern of muddy water, and marl is also used with advantage in clarify- 
ing vinous liquors. 

CLAY. There is a great variety of earths or clays denominated 
after the particular use to which they are applied, as Porcelain Clay, 
which consists of alumina and silex, with a little mica, and is found 
in Cornwall, Saxony, Japan, and China. It is of a reddish white, is 
supposed to be formed from the decomposition of felspar, and is used in 
the manufacture of porcelain or china. Pipe Clay is of a greyish or 
yellowish white. Potters' Clay is found of various shades of yellow, 
grey, green, and blue. The most durable kind of bricks are made of 
a Yellow Clay containing some iron, and a considerable portion of 
silex. 

Next to silicia, common clay is the most abundant of the earths, 
and is of extensive service to the agriculturist. Indeed without its 
presence, vegetation would scarcely be possible, and cultivation could 
not exist. To the presence of clay M'e owe the capacity of soils to 
retain moistui'e in any degree, since the other earths would leave it so 
porous, that water would pass through it as readily as through a 
sieve. Mixed with lime, clay constitutes marl, of which such use is 
already made in fertilising the soil, where these ingredients appear to 



90 



THE FARMER AT HOME. 



be wanting. On soils so sandy as to be porous, the application of 
manures produces only a partial good, it soon sinks beyond the reach 
of the roots of the plants. It is on these that clay may be applied 
directly with excellent effect. 

CLIMATE. We understand by climate the metereological 
peculiarities of any location, whether of heat or cold, moisture or 
drought, and pestilential or salubrious atmospheric influences. Heat or 
cold do not depend altogether on geographical position ; there are 
numerous causes that tend to increase or decrease these, such as 
oceans, mountains, plains, local or general currents of air, and others 
that will at once present themselves, as influencing climate in these 
respects. The western side of continents is found warmer than the 
eastern side, a fact accounted for by the general prevalence of westerly 
winds, which in their passage over oceans are raised in their temper- 
ature, while winds that pass over land for the same distance are 
usually cooled in the same degree. Thus the coast of the United 
States that borders on the Pacific Ocean is altogether warmer than 
the eastern or Atlantic ccmst, the territory at the mouth of the Colum- 
bia, which is in the latitude of Mackinaw and Montreal, having the 
climate, and producing the same vegetables, as the Carolinas and 
Georgia. On the different sides of the Atlantic, too, it is found the 
same difference prevails ; places having the latitude of Q^uebec, in 
western Europe, producing the grains and plants of Pennsylvania and 
Maryland. 

The elevation of any country above the sea has also a decided 
effect on the climate. Thus under the equator, in ascending high 
mountains, the temperature and the climate of widely different 
regions may be passed in a few miles or hours. The clearing of a 
country has also a great effect on ohmate ; as forests prevent speedy 
evaporation, and retain the water that falls on the surface. All other 
circumstances being equal, a cleared country is warmer than a 
wooded one. The Cape Verd Islands, by being deprived of their 
woods, have become sultry, the springs have mostly dried up, and the 
health of the inhabitants seriously affected. Is it not probable that 
many eastern countries, once fertile and filled with inhabitants, have 
become wastes, if not actual deserts, in consequence of the face of the 
earth having for centuries been wholly denuded of wood ? The great 
lakes of this country, containing as they do about one-half the fresh 
water on the globe, and from their great depth only slowly feeling the 
influence of the atmosphere, whether in cooling or heating, have, 
perhaps, more influence over the climate of the countries bordering on 
them, than any other suigla cause. 

CLOCK This is a machine moving by a pendulum, serving to 
measure time, and to show the hours by striking on a bell. Al-Ras- 
chid, an Arabian embassador, brought into France, in the year 802, 
a striking clock, the first ever seen in that kingdom. At that time, 



THE FARMER AT HOME. gj 

the Arabs vi-ere much superior to the French and olher Europeans, in 
Knowledge, and in the arts. Hoggins was the first person who 
brought the art of clock making to any perfection ; and the first pen- 
dulum clock made in England, was in the year 1CG2., by Fromantil, 
a Dutchman, The expense of a clock was formerly so great, a few 
only could own one ; but latterly they are manufactured with such 
speed no one need be without an article so convenient for domestic 
economy and for labor generally. The following facts respecting the 
multiplication of clocks cannot be without interest. 

It is said there was resident in the town of Bristol, Conn., a 
single clock-maker, M'ho patiently wronght out time pieces by hand, 
at an expense of sixty or seventy dollars each. About the year 1815, 
some individuals, stimulated by the industry of the solitary clock- 
maker, set up the business of making wooden clocks. This article 
went all over the United States, and brought rich returns to the 
inventors. When the market was supplied with these, cheap brass 
clocks were made by machinery, which could be afibrded as low as 
two or three dollars each. The business of making clocks by machi- 
nery, has been set up in at least twenty other towns in Con- 
necticut ; and the whole world is now their customers. On the 
authority of Eraser's Magazine, it is asserted that every hall and cot- 
tage in England is furnished with one of them. 

CLOTHING. Nothing is more necessary to a comfortable state 
of existence than that the body should be kept in nearly a uniform 
temperature. The chief end proposed by clothing ought to be protec- 
tion from the cold ; and it never can be too deeply impressed on the 
mind, that a degree of cold that amounts to shivering cannot be felt, 
under any circumstances, without injury to the health, and that the 
strongest constitution cannot resist the benumbing influence of a sen- 
sation of cold constantly present, even though it be so moderate as not 
to occasion immediate complaint, or to induce the sufferer to seek 
protection from it. This degree of cold often lays the foundation of 
the whole host of chronic diseases, foremost amongst which are found 
scrofula and consumption. 

The only kind of dress that can afford the protection required by 
tlie change of temperature to which high northern climates are liable, 
is woolen. Nor will it be of much avail that woolen be worn un- 
less so much of it be worn, and it be so worn, as effectually to keep 
out the cold. Those who would receive the advantage which the 
wearing of woolen is capable of affording, must wear it next the 
skin ; for it is in this situation only that its health-preserving power 
can be felt. The great advantages of woolen cloth are briefly these : 
The readiness with which it allows the escape of the matter of per- 
spiration through its texture ; its power of preserving the sensation 
of warmth to the skin under all circumstances ; the difficulty there is 



92 THE FARMER AT HOME. 

in making it thoroughly wet ; the siowness with which it conducts 
heat ; the softness, lightness, and pliancy of its texture. 

Cotton cloth, though it differs but little from linen, approaches 
nearer to the nature of woolen, and, on that account, must be 
esteemed as the next best substance of which clothing may be made. 
Silk is the next in point of excellence, but it is very inferior to cotton 
in every respect. Linen possesses the contrary of most of the proper- 
ties enumerated as excellences in woolen. It retains the matter of 
perspiration in its texture, and speedily becomes imbued with it ; it 
gives an unpleasant sensation of cold to the skin ; it is very readily 
saturated with moisture, and it conducts heat too rapidly. 

CLOTH TREE. A remarkable and very useful tree growing in 
the Sandwich Islands : the natives call it Touta. Of the burk of 
this tree, neatly twisted, they form the twine which they use for fish- 
ing lines, for making nets and for some other uses. It is of different 
degrees of firmness, and may be continued to any length. They have 
also a finer sort, which they make of the bark of a shrub named 
areemah ; and they make a cordage of a stronger kind, from cocoa- 
nut fibres, for the riaging of their canoes. 

CLOUDS. A collection of vapor suspended in the atmosphere. 
In other words, it is a congeries of watery particles raised from the 
waters, or watery parts of the earth, by the solar or electrical fire. 
These watery particles, in their first ascent, are too minute, and too 
much separated by their mutual repulsion, to be perceived ; but as 
they mount higher and higher, meeting with a greater degree of cold, 
losing their electricity, or by some process employed by Nature tor this 
purpose, they are in a certain degree condensed, and rendered opaque, 
by the reunion of their parts, so as to reflect and absorb light, and be- 
come visible as clouds. 

The lowest part of the air being pressed by the weight of the upper 
against the surface of the water, and continually rubbed upon it by 
its motion, attracts and dissolves those particles with which it is in 
contact, and separates them from the rest of the water. And since 
the cause of solution is the stronger attraction of the particles of water 
towards the air than towards each other, those that are already dis- 
solved and taken up will be raised still higher by the attraction of the 
dry air, which lies over them, and thus will difluse themselves, rising 
gradually higher and higher, thereby leaving the lower air not so 
much saturated, but that it will still dissolve and take up fresh parti- 
cles of water ; which process is greatly promoted by the motion of 
the wind. 

When the vapors are thus raised into the higher and colder parts 
of the atmosphere, some of them will coalesce into small particles, 
which, slightly attracting each other, and being intermixed with ail', 
will form clouds ; and these clouds will float at different heights, 
according to the quantity of vapor borne up, and to the degree of heat 



THE FARMER AT HOME. 93 

in the upper part of the atmosphere. The clouds, therefore, are 
generally higher in summe: than in winter ; in the former season they 
are fiom one mile to three miles high, and in the latter from a quarter 
of a mile to a mile. 

When the clouds are much increased by a continual addition of 
vapors, and their particles are driven close together by the force of 
the winds, they will run into drops heavy enough to fall down in raijt. 
If the clouds are frozen before their particles are gathered into drops, 
small pieces of them being condensed, and made heavier by the cold, 
they fall down in flakes of snoxo. If the particles are formed into 
drops before they are frozen, they become hailstones. When the air 
is replete with vapors, and a cold breeze springs up which checks 
the solution of them in the air, clouds are formed in the lower parts 
of the atmosphere, and these compose a viist or fog ; this usually 
happens iii a cold morning ; but the mist is dispersed when the sun. 
has warmed the air, and made it capable of dissolving the watery 
particles of which the mist is composed. 

Southerly winds generally bring rain, because, being commonly 
warm, and replete with aqueous vapors, they are cooled by passing 
into a colder climate ; and therefore part with some of them, and 
sufler them to precipitate in rain ; northerly winds, on the contrary, 
being cold, and acquiring heat by coming into a warm climate, take 
up or dissolve more vapor than they before contained ; and therefore 
are dry and parching, and usually attended with fair weather. 

Every farmer whose business is in the open air, is more or less a 
meteorologist ; and none find an acquaintance with the clouds, and 
the power of judging of the future by their present appearances, of 
more essential service than the farmer. In assisting to form a correct 
decision with regard to the weather, a barometer is of great help ; but 
where such an instrument is not at hand, the clouds, by their difierent 
structure, height, and density, will enable the scientific or even the 
ordinary observer, to calculate quite accurately the results of their 
appearance. It is proverbial how accurately mariners may judge of 
approaching changes in the weather, j^armers may acquire much 
of a similar accuracy. 

CLOVE. The clove is the unexpanded flower-bud of an East 
Indian tree, somewhat resembling the laurel in its height, and in the 
shape of its leaves. In the Molucca islands, where the raising of dif- 
ferent spices was formerly carried on by the Dutch colonists to great 
extent, the culture of the clove-tree was a very important pursuit. It 
has even been asserted, that, in order to secure a lucrative branch of 
commerce in this article to themselves, they destroyed all the trees 
growing in other islands, and confined the propagation of them to that 
of Ternate. But it appears that, in 1770 and 1772, both clove and 
nutmeg-trees were transpl .nted from the Moluccas into the islands of 
France and Bourbon, and subsequently into some of the colonies of 



94 THE FAEMER AT HOME. 

South America, where they have since been cultivated with gveni suc- 
cess. At a certain season of the year, the clove-tree produces a vast 
profusion of flowers. When fresh gathered, cloves will yield, on 
pressure, a fragrant, thick, and reddish oil ; and, by distillation, a 
limpid essential oil. Oil of cloves is used by many persons, though 
very improperly, for curing the toothache ; since, from its pungent 
quality, it is apt to corrode the gums and injure the adjacent teeth. 
When the tooth is carious, and will admit of it, a bruised clove is 
much 1o be preferred. 

CLOVE TREE. A tree about twenty feet in height, bearing 
the aromatic fruit called clove ; this tree has grown in greatest abun- 
dance in Ternate, an island of the Indian Ocean, being the principal 
of the Moluccas, or Spice Islands. In this island, which has been 
long celebrated for its beauty and healthfulness, the clove trees grew 
in such plenty, that they in some measure lessened their own value. 
For this reason the Dutch resolved to cut down the forests, and thus 
to raise the price of the commodity. But they soon had reason to 
repent of their avarice ; for such a change ensued by cutting down the 
trees, that the whole island, from being healthy and delightful, hav- 
ing lost its charming shades, became extremely sickly, and has 
actually continued so to this day. 

COACH. A vehicle for commodious travelling, suspended on 
leathers, and moving wheels. In England, and throughout Europe, 
the coaches are drawn by horses, except in Spain, where they use 
mules. In a part of the East, especially the dominions of the great 
Mogul, their coaches are drawn by oxen. In Denmark they some- 
times yoke reindeer in their coaches ; though this is rather for curiosity 
than use. The coachman is ordinarily placed on a seat raised 
before the body of the coach. But the Spanish policy has displaced 
him in that country by a royal ordinance ; on occasion of the duke 
d'Olivares, who found that a very important secret, whereon he had 
conferred in his coach, had been overheard and revealed by his coach- 
man ; since that time the place of the Spanish coachman is the same 
with that of the French stage-coachman, viz. on the first horse on 
the left. 

COAL. Coal of greater or less quantities, and of different quali- 
ties, is found in most countries — in Holland, Germany, Saxony, Portu- 
gal, Switzerland, Sweden, China, Japan, New Holland, and in North 
and South America. Buflbn states, that in his time, there were no 
less than four hundred collieries worked in France. The deepest 
mine in the world is near Naraur ; it is stated to be two thousand 
four hundred feet, or nearly half a mile, in depth. Coal is seldom 
found on high mountains, but usually, the localities are in hilly 
situations, most commonly under a stratum composed of sand clay, or 
argillite, splitting into layers, forming either slates, or a substance 
called shivers, according to its fracture. Coal is found on hills in 



THE FARMER AT HOISH 



95 



strata, from a few inches to some feet in thickness, altematingr "with 
strata of grit-stone and argillite. The beds run in various directions, 
generally inclined to the horizon, which is called tlie dip. They are 
frequently intercepted by columns of other matter ; and the continua- 
tion of the bed may be higher or lower than the part from wliich it 
seems to have been separted. 

Geology has proved that, at one period, there existed an enor- 
mously abundant land vegetation, the ruins or rubbish of which, 
carried into seas, and there sunk to the bottom, and afterwards cov- 
ered over by sand and mud beds, became the substance which we now 
recognize as coal. This was a natural transaction of vast consequence 
to us, seeing how much utility we find in coal, both for warming our 
dwellnigs and for various manufactures, as well as the production of 
steam, by which so great a mechanical power is generated. It may 
naturally excite surprise that the vegetable remains should have so 
completely changed their apparent character, and become black. But 
this can be explained by chemistry ; and part of the marvel becomes 
clear to the simplest understanding when we recall the familiar fact, 
that damp hay, thrown closely into a heap, gives out heat, and 
becomes of a dark color. 

When a vegetable mass is excluded from the air. and subjected to 
a great pressure, a bituminous fermentation is produced, and the 
result is the mineral coal, which is of various characters, according as 
the mass has been originally intermingled with sand, clay, or othej 
earthy impurities. On account of the change efiected by mineraliza 
lion, it is difficult to detect in coal the traces of a vegetable structure 
but these can be made clear in all except the highly bituminous cak- 
ing coal, by cutting or polishing it down into thin transparent slices, 
when the microscope shows the fibre and cells very plainlv. 

From distinct isolated specimens found in the sand-stones amidst 
the coal beds, we discovered the nature of the plants of this era. 
They are almost all of a simple cellular structure, and such as exist 
with us in small forms, (horse tails, club mosses, and frens,) but 
advanced to an enormous magnitude. The species are all long since 
extinct. The vegetation generally is such as now grow in clusters of 
tropical islands ; but it must have been the result of a high tempera- 
ture, obtained otherwise than that of the tropical regions now is, for 
the coal strata are found in the temjterate, and even the polar regions. 

The conclusion, therefore, to which most geologists have arrived 
is, that the earth, originally an incandescent or highly heated mass, 
was gradually cooled down, until in the Carboniierous period it fos- 
tered a growth of terrestrial vegetation all over its surface, to which 
the existing jungles of the tropics are mere barrenness in comparison. 
The hish and uniform temperature, combined with greater proportion 
of carbonic acid gas in the manufacture, could not only sustain a 
gigantic and prolific vegetation, but would also create dense vapors, 



96 



THE FARMER AT HOME. 



showers and raius ; and these again, giofant.ic rivers, periodical inun- 
dations, and deltas. Thus all the conditions for extensive deposits of 
wood, in estuaries, would arise fronri this high temperature ; and 
every circumstance connected with the coal measures points to such 
conditions. 

COFFEE. A seed, or berry, brought originally from Arabia 
Felix, used for making a drink of the same nature. By coffee we 
usually mean the drink itself, prepared from those berries. Its origin 
is not well known ; some ascribe it to the prior of a monastery, who, 
being informed by a goatherd that his cattle, sometimes browzing on 
this tree, would wake and caper all night, became desirous of proving 
its virtue ; accordingly he first tried it on his monks, to prevent their 
sleeping at matins. Others refer the invention of coflee to the Per- 
sians, from whom it was learned in the fifteenth century, by a mufti 
of Aden, a city near the mouth of the Red Sea ; and who, having 
tried its virtues himself, and found that it dissipated the fumes which 
oppress the head, inspired joy, opened the bowels, and prevented sleep 
without his being incommoded by it, recommended it first to his 
dervises, with whom he used to spend the night in prayer. Their 
example brought coffee into fashion at Aden ; there the professors of 
the law, for study, artisans to work, travellers to walk in the night, 
in short, almost every person drank coffee. Thence it passed to 
Mecca, and from Arabia Felix to Cairo, and from Egypt to Syria and 
Constantinople. Thevenot, the traveller, M'as the first who brought 
it into France ; and a Greek servant, called Pasqua, brought it into 
England in 1652, and setting up the profession of coffee-man, first 
introduced the drink among the English ; though some say Dr. Har- 
vey had used it before. 

COFFEE TREE. This tree is a native of Arabia ; and though 
it thrives surprisingly in the Antilles, at Cayenne, and in the Isle of 
Bourbon, also in Jamaica, it has preserved in its original country a 
superiority that gives it a preference in all the markets of Europe. 
The fruit, when stripped of its skin, is commonly small and round ; 
It is of a green color, and has a strong scent. In rich and spongy 
soils, a single tree has been known to yield from six to eight pounds 
of coffee ; in different .situations, a pound and a quarter frorri each 
tree is great yielding. An acre of ground will yield from three to 
eeven hundred pounds of coffee. Some of our modern political econo- 
mists affirm it maybe raised in the southern portions of our own coun- 
try ; but if, on trial, such should be the fact, it is doubted whether it 
can ever here be made a profitable cx'op. 

COLD. When caloric combines with our bodies, or separates 
from them, we experience, in the first case, the sensation of heat, in 
the second, cold. When the hand is put upon a hot iron, part of the 
caloric leaves the iron, and enters the hand ; this produces the sensa- 
tion of heat. On the contrarj- when the hand is put upon a lump of 



THE FARMER AT HOME. 97 

ice ; this produces the sensation of cold. The sensation of heat is 
occasioned by caloric passing into our bodies ; the sensation of cold by 
caloric passing out of our bodies. We say that a body is hot, when 
it communicates caloric to the surrounding bodies We call it cold, 
when it absorbs caloric from other bodies 

COLORS. The difierent hues in which bodies appear to the eye. 
The colors which are most grateful and refreshing to the sight, are 
blue and green ; and hence our all-bountiful Creator has clothed the 
heavens and the earth, those expansive and general objects of vision, 
with these colors. The Turks prefer green to every other color; be- 
cause, according to the tradition of their theologians, this was the 
favorite color of Mahomet ; and his descendants alone, of all the 
Turks, have the privilege of wearing the green turban. Yellow is in 
China the imperial color, as green is in Turkey. The most beautiful 
of all colors in tiie judgment of most nations, is red. The Russians, 
when they would describe a beautiful girl, say she is red ; red and 
beautiful, being with them synonymous terms. 

In Mexico and Peru, red was held in very high estimation. The 
most magnificent present which the emperor Montezuma could devise 
for Cortez, was a necklace of lobsters, which naturally have that rich 
color. The only demand made upon the Spaniards by the king of 
Sumatra, on their first landing in his country, and presenting him 
with many samples of the commerce and industry of Europe, was 
some corals and scarlet colored stuffs ; and he promised to give them 
in return, all the spiceries and merchandise of India, for which they 
might have occasion. There is no such thing as carrying on trade to 
any advantage with the Negroes, the Tartars, and the East-Indians, 
but through the medium of red cloths. It is with red that nature 
heightens the most brilliant parts of the most beautiful flowers, and 
she invests most of the feathered race in India with a plumage of 
this color ; some have their heads covered with it ; others have a 
breast-plate of it, a necklace, a capuchin, a shoulder-knot. 

COMPLEXION. The color of the skin, varying according to 
climate. The Europeans, when they settle in New Spain or the 
West India islands, soon lose their whiteness, and become of a 
brownish yellow. The Europeans who reside long in the East 
Indies, become of the same cream colored complexion. The Span- 
iards, who have inhabited America under the torrid zone for any 
considerable time, have become as dark colored as the native Indians 
of Virginia. The descendants of the Portugese, who settled at Sen- 
egal in Africa, in the year 1400, and of those who settled at Mitambo, 
and on the coasts of Congo, have the African color and wooly heads. 
The Jews who descended from one stock, and Avhose religion has 
prevented their marrying with other people, have varied in complexion 
according to climate. In Britain and Germany, they are white ; in. 
ITrance and Turkey, they are brown ; in Spain and Portugal, their 
5 



98 THE FAK^rEK AT HOME. 

color is swarthy; in Syria and Chaldea, the ol.re color prevails; in 
Arabia and Etrypt, they are of a tawny or copper color ; and Tudela, 
a Jew, relates that his countrymen in Abyssinia had acquired the 
dark complexion ol the orisjinal natives. 

COMPOSTS. Animal manures, both solid and liquid, combined 
with earths and decaying vegetables, and indeed almost every sub- 
stance of refuse from the domestic apai-tments of the farm, are called 
composts; and when the preparation of them is Avell managed, if 
there is in reality no increase of fertilizing agents, a far better quality 
of manures is obtained. Where the dung of the stables or the barn- 
yard, is allowed to iermeut before it is placed in the field, or in situa- 
tions, where it is uncovered or unmixed with some substance to 
absorb and retain the gases generated, a great loss to the_ farmer of 
nutritive matter certainly ensues. To avoid this, and provide for a 
supply of fine manure, indispensable in gardening, and some other 
farm operations, it is found an excellent plan to mix the vegetable 
matters of swamps, the muck of drains, wash of roads, loam from the 
margin of fields, peat, and seemingly every thing of the kind in 
heaps with unfermented animal substances ; and, in this way the 
insoluble part of the vegetable matter used, is prepared to become 
the food of plants, while they at the same time serve to prevent the 
escape of matter from the fermenting mass. The business of prepar- 
ing composts is one of the most important in modern farming. The 
success of farming depends in no small measure upon it. No one 
till he has made a trial can be aware how much excellent manure a 
farmer can annually prepare by collecting in this way substances 
which are usually lost. The materials that may be used, and the 
-processes for combining them is an important study. For assistance 
in this study and labor, every farmer should own some book on the 
subject. We think Browne's American Muck Book is the best. 

CONDOR. The Condor possesses all the formidable qualities of 
the eagle, yet in a much higher degree ; for it is not only an enemy 
to the bird and brute creation, but, when violently pressed with hun- 
ger, will make its attack upon mankind. Fortunately the species of 
this rapacious invader is scarce, or its depredations would be terrible 
indeed ; for the Indians assert that it will carry off" a deer or calf in 
its talons, with as much ease as an eagle will a lamb. When their 
wings are extended, they are said to measure eighteen feet across ; 
though one, which was shot by a gentleman in Peru, which he meas- 
ured M'ith the greatest exactitude, was only twelve ; the great feathers 
upon the wings were a beautiful shining black, measuring two feet 
four inches in length ; those upon the breast and neck were of a light 
brown, and those upon the back were rather of a darker shade ; a 
short down of the same color covered the head ; the ej^es were black, 
and surrounded with a circle of reddish brown ; the beak was about 
four inches in length, hooked downwards, and the extremity white ; 



THE FARMER AT HOME. 99 

the thigh hone measured ten inches, the leg five, the toes three, and 
the claws near one ; and both the legs and toes were covered with 
large scales. 

COOKERY or COOKING. Dr. Ciillen says that the cooking of 
vegetables by boiling renders them more soluble in the stomach, not- 
withstanding the degree oi' coagulation which their juices undergo. 
In the second place, the application of a boiling heat dissipates the 
volatile parts of vegetable substances, which are seldom of a nutri- 
tious nature, but in many cases, have a tendency to prove noxious. 
In the third place, boiling helps to extricate a considerable quantity 
of air that, in the natural state of vegetables, is always fixed in their 
substance ; and it is probably in this way especially, that heat con- 
tributes to the dividing and loosening the cohesion of their smaller 
parts. Thus they are rendered less liable to ferment, and produce 
that fl.atulence Avhich is so troublesome to weak stomachs. 

The cookery of animal substances is of two kinds, as it is applied 
in humid form in boiling and stewing ; or in a dry form, in roasting, 
broiling, and baking. By the joint application of heat and moisture 
to meat in boiling, the texture is certainly rendered more tender and 
more soluble in the stomach ; and it is only in this Avay that the 
firmer parts, as the tendinous, ligamentous, and membranous parts, 
can be duly softened, and their gelatinous substances rendered subser- 
vient to nutrition. Yet these etlects are different according to the 
degree of boiling. A moderate boiling may render their texture more 
tender without much diminution of their nutritious quality; but if 
the boiling be extended to extract every thing soluble, the substance 
remaining is certainly less soluble in the stomach, and at the same 
time much less nutritious. But as boiling extracts in the first place, 
the more soluble, and therefore the saline parts ; so what remains is, 
in proportion, less alkalescent, and less heating to the system. 

Boiling in digesters, or vessels accurately closed, produces effects 
very different from boiling in open vessels. From meat cooked in 
the latter, there is no exhalation of volatile parts ; the solution is 
made with great success, and if not carried very far, the meat may 
be rendered very tender, while it still retains its most sapid parts ; 
and this is esteemed always the most desirable state of boiled meat. 
If a small quantity of water only is applied, and the heat continued 
long in a moderate degree, the process is called stewing, which has 
the effect of rendering the texture of meat more tender, without 
extracting much of the soluble parts. This, therefore, leaves the 
meat more sapid, and in a state perhaps the most nourishing of any 
form of cookery ; as we learn from the admirable essays and experi- 
ments of Count Rumford, who found very unusual effects produced 
on meat, by a low degree and long-continued action of heat, both in 
the dry and humid way. ^ -'• 

The application of a dry heat'i-u the cooker;; of meat is of two 



100 THE FARMER AT HOME. 

kinds, as it is carried on in close vessels, or as it is exposed to the air. 
The first of these which we shall consider is baking:. In this practice 
meat has generally a covering of paste, by which any considerable 
exhalation is prevented, and the retention of the juices renders the 
meat more tender. In all cases, when the heat applied loosens, and 
in some measure extricates the air, without exhaling it, the 
substance submitted to this process is rendered more tender than 
when an exhalatioir is allowed. In broiling, an exhalation takes 
place ; but as the heat of a naked fire is more nearly applied, the outer 
surface is in some measure hardened before the heat penetrates the 
whole, and thereby a great exhalation is prevented, while the whole 
is rendered sufficiently tender ; but this kind of cookery is suited to 
meats that are chosen to be eaten a little raw. Nearly akin to this 
is the practice of frying, in which the meat being cut into thin slices, 
and laid in a pan over the naked fire, the heat is applied more equally 
to the whole substance. But as the part of the meat lying next to 
the bottom of the vessel would be suddenly hardened by the heat, it 
is always necessary to interpose some fluid matter, usually of an oily 
quality, as butter. A strong heat applied to the latter renders it less 
miscible with the fluids of the stomach ; so that all fried meats are 
less easily digested than those of any other preparation. 

COPAL. Improperly called gum copal, is a hard, shining, trans- 
parent, citron-colored, odoriferous, concrete juice of an American 
tree, but which has neither the .solubility in water common to gums, 
nor the solubility in alcohol common to resins, at least in any con- 
siderable degree. By these properties it resembles ambei\ It may 
be dissolved by digestion in linseed oil, rendered drying by quick- 
lime, with a heat very little less than sufficient 1o boil or decompose 
the oil. This solution, diluted with oil of turpentine, forms a beauti- 
ful transparent varnish, which, when properly applied, and slowly 
dried, is very hard, and very dui-able. This varnish is applied to 
snufl'-boxes, tea-boards, and other utensils. It preserves and gives 
lustre to paintings, and greatly restores- the decayed colors of old pic- 
tures, by filling up the cracks, and rendering the surfaces capable of 
reflecting light more uniformly. 

CORD. This is a measure for wood, equal to one hundred and 
twenty-eight cubit feet ; that is, four feet high, four feet wide, and 
eight feet long. Any other article susceptible of being reduced to 
regular dimensions, to wit, manure, may be sold by the cord. 

CORK. Is a substance analogous to Avood ; it is the exterior 
bark of a tree belonging to the genus oak, which grows wild in the 
southern parts of Europe When the tree is fourteen or fifteen years 
old it is fit to be barked, and may be done successively for several 
years. The bark always grows up again, and its quality improves as 
the age of the tree increases. Tf the bark is not taken ofi'in due time 
it splits and peels off' by itself, being pushed away by the second growth 



THE PARMER AT ROME. 



101 



The best bark comes from Spain and Portugal ; it is taken off in 
sheets, care being used in keeping them as large as possible. Alter it 
is detached from the tree, the Portuguese burn or char it, laying the 
convex side of the bark to the fire in order to straighten and swell it. 
It is then piled in stacks ready for sale. 

Cork is formed into soles for shoes, into corks, bungs for stop- 
ping bottles, and into a floatage for the nets of fishermen ; it is em- 
ployed generally, though perhaps with a considerable degree of error, 
in teaching the art of swimming ; and it is also ingeniously used, on 
account of its lightness, when an amputation of the human leg has 
been necessary, to supply the deficiency. Spaniards line stone walls 
with it, which not only renders their houses very warm, but corrects 
the moisture of the air; and the Egyptians made coffins of it, which 
being covered in the inside with a resinous composition, preserved their 
dead bodies. It is burnt to make that light black substance, called 
Spanish black, from its having been first made in Spain. 

CORN. It has not been determined of what country Indian corn, 
or maize, is a native. It is usually attributed to America, whero it 
was cultivated by the aborigines, at the time of the discovery : bi t no 




CORN SHELLER, 



botanist has hitherto found it growing wild in any part of this conti- 
nent ; and most certainly it does not so exi.st in any portion of the 
United States. It is also certain that its culture did not attract notice 
in Europe, Asia, or the north of Africa, till after the voyage of Colum- 
bus. It was unknown to the ancient Greek and Roman writers, and 



102 THE FARMER AT HOME, 

it is not mentioned by the earlier travellers who visited China. India, 
and other parts of Asia and Africa, and wei-e very minute in describ- 
ing the productions of the countries they visited. Others, again, have 
attributed its origin to the western coast of Africa. 

There are many varieties of Indian corn known, of 'c' '.ch the 
most prominent are those distinguished by color, as the yellow corn, 
white, red, and blue ; those that have different numbers of rows aa 
the eight, ten, twelve, sixteen, and twenty-four rowed kinds ; those 
that differ in taste, as the common and sweet kinds ; and those that 
have peculiarities in the shape of the kernels, as the common round 
corn, the gourd-seed corn, the rice corn, and the Texas corn, each 
kernel of which has a separate husk or envelope. Dr. Brown of Penn- 
sylvania, in his excellent treatise on corn, enumerates thirty-five of 
these varieties, and several have since with propriety been added to 
his catalogue. Indeed, there seems no reason to doubt that this 
plant, like the potato, may be greatly improved by cultivation, and 
that varieties may be multiplied to any extent by judicious selection 
of kinds, and crossing by careful impregnations. 

The value of the corn crop is so great as to justify all judicious 
effort.- to augment its culture. The crop of 1848 is estimated at 
471,000,000 bushels; that is, over one hundred and fifty bushels for 
each family. This, at the low price of sixty-five cents to the bushel, 
amounts to more than three hundred millions of dollars ; from a sin- 
gle branch of agricultural investment and industry in a single year. 
However, its culture is so well understood, that it is superflous to 
enter into discussion of it. If a farmer desire to raise a large crop 
instead of a small one. let him learn the secret of doing it from his 
neighbors who are setting him the example. Give the land good 
tillage and ample supplies of manure, and the object will be reached. 

CORN-COBS. There is a difference of opinion as to the value 
of corn-cobs for fodder. A. correspondent of the American Agricul- 
turist is accustomed to put his cobs into a large half hogshead tub, 
and cover them with a solution of salt in water. Here they remain 
till they have imbibed enough of the fluid to make them soft. In 
this condition they are fed out to the stock at the rate of a peck a 
day to a full-grown cow or ox. He says that all his animals are fond 
of them, that they eat much less hay tiian before, and that they are 
in excellent condition. He is also accustomed to have them ground 
with the corn, and the corn and cob-meal makes the best food foi 
horses, being, he is well satisfied, nutritive as Avell as keeping the 
animal loose in the bowels. He has (bllowed the practice fifteen 
years ; and, although his neighbors first ridiculed the idea, yet they 
became so well satisfied with it, most of them now follow his exam- 
ple. 

CORN-STALKS. Most farmers do not seem aware of the value 
of corn-stalks for fodder. So it might be supposed from the manner 



THE FARMER AT HOME. 



103 



in which ihey are frequently seen given out for feed, upon the ground, 
in large quantities, so thatbut a small fraction of them will be eaten, 
and the major part entirely lost. If every farmer would pass them 
through a good corn-stalk cutter, like the one we now have in use, it 
w^ould increase the value of them for feed and for manure, each year, 
more than the cost of the instrument. By this means, every pouud 
of them not eaten, is in line condition for the compost-heap, to be used 
in the following spring. We have tried several of these cutters, and 
now use that of Ruggles, Mason & Co., which we think decidedly 
the best, although there are others we would use, if we could not ob- 
tain this. Professor Mapes says he has some winters kept two or 
three yoke of oxen on cut corn-stalks, prepared in the following man- 
ner. They were cut by a machine similar to our own, and then put 




COB AND CORN CRUSHER. 



jnt.0 a hogshead. On the top three gallons of hot water, containing a 
gill of salt, is poured, and then the cask is covered over with a blanket. 
The steam arishig from the hot water softens and swells the stalks to 
their original size. When cold, a little ground feed is scattered upon 
them, and thus fed to the cattle. He says that the oxen worked hard 
all winter, each yoke bringing three loads per day, of more than a ton 
each, from a distance of three miles, and in the spring they were as 
well conditioned as in the I'all. 

COTTAGE. A cottage is a small dwelling-house; orrather it 



104 



THE FARMER AT HOME. 



is small compared with oth&rpi in the same vicinity. Many suppose it 
necessarily has low walls and a steep roof, with perhaps several 
grables. Such, however, is not the fact. The name rather applies 
to its comparative size and its internal arranojements, than to its ab- 
solute dimensions or style of architecture. Hence, a dwelling in the 
midst of large mansions or villas might be called a cottage, although 
if in the midst of small dwellings, much smaller than itself, it might 
with propriety be dignified with another name. We are accustomed 
to associate the idea of good taste, without great expense, in the con- 
struction of a cottage, whether viewed in relation to its architecture, 
to its accommodation to family purposes, or to the appendages with 
which it is connected. Accordingly, there may be large cottages as 
well as small ones, each adapted to the necessities of the occupants, 
whether numerous or few ; yet, in both cases, iiaving the appearance 
of retrenchment or cautious expenditures. It may be Gothic, Swiss, 
or Grecian, in its general outlines and decorations ; it may cost five 
thousand dollars or five hundred, or any intermediate sum ; it may 
have capacity for a dozen persons or the fourth part of a dozen ; yet, 




COT TAG K , 



ill either case, the incidentals about it should leave an impression on 
the mind of the observer that the proprietor has had, or is able to 
occupy one far more capacious and expensive. The inductive associ- 
ations, therefore, from viewing tastefully constructed cottages are of 
the most agreeable kind, inasmuch as they denote a regard to econo- 
my and a well-balanced mind ; and if the proprietors were driven, to 
them by necessity, the indications of good sense and remaining com 
petence furnish more occasion for cheerful than pensive reflections. 



THE FARMER AT HOME. 



105 



COTTON. The history of the growth of cotton is peculiarly in- 
teresting. Its use has been known in the earliest ages of which we 
have any written memorials. The ancient Egyptians were familiar 
with it. Herodotus says it was known before his day. In his account 
of the Indians, he says : " They possess a kind of plant which, instead 
of fruit, jjroduces a wool of a finer and better quality than that of 
sheep. Of this they make their clothes." Pliny, in his description 
of the island of Tylos, in the Persian Gulf, mentions among its pro- 
ductions certain wool-bearing trees, that " bear a fruit like a gourd, 
and of the size of a quince, which, bursting when it is ripe, displays a 
ball of downy wool, from which are made costly garments of a fabric 
resembling linen." And we have authentic accounts that the article 




COT T ox PLANT. 



was in possession of the Chinese previous to the thirteenth* century ; 
and that, on the ascension of the Tartar dynasty, its cultur*» for com- 
mon use became general. And it is now cultivated in the East and 
West Indies, in North and South America, in Egypt, and, iiadeed, in 
most parts of the civilized world where the climate is sufficiently 
warm. 

The cotton raised in the United States in 1847 was estimated at 
1,041,500,000 pounds, and valued at seventy-three millions of doliars. 
In 1834, four hundred and sixty millions of pounds were raised ; ui 
6* 



106 THE FARMER AT HOME. 

1831, three hundred and eighty-five millions ; in 1821, one hundred 
and eighty millions; in 1811, eighty millions; in 1801, forty-eight 
millions ; and m 1791, only two millions were raised. So rapid has 
been the increase of its culture in our country. Of the amount of 
cotton annually manufactured, the following calculation has been 
made. All such calculations must of course be very general ; and, 
although defective and imperfect, will convey impressions approxi- 
mating to the reality. Thus, it is presumed that three hundred and 
fifty millions of pounds are manufactured in England ; one hundred 
and fifty millions in the United States ; eighty millions in France ; 
two hundred and fifty millions in India and China ; twenty-five mil- 
lions in South America and Mexico ; thirty-five in Germany ; ten in 
Spain ; twenty in Prussia ; and the remainder elsewhere. About 
two-thirds raised in the whole world is the produce of the United 
States. Our cotton crop in 1850 was 1,01)2,2:39,000 pounds. 

COULTER. The iron which is attached to the beam of the 
plough, immediately before the share, and with its sharp cutting point, 
by dividing the turf renders the operation of ploughing more com- 
plete, is called the coulter. It is constructed and applied in many 
ways and forms, but the object is nearly the same in all, the cutting 
of the turf before the share. When properly made and affixed, the 
coulter greatly lessens the force required on the plough to turn the 
turf well, as it is easier to cut than to tear or break the matted roots 
of the grass. The coulter should be as near the share as can be con- 
veniently, unless the surface to be ploughed is very level, and the 
depth is regulated by wheels, in which case a greater distance between 
the coulter and the share is admissible. The point in all cases should 
be set slightly forward, as it will, if inclining backwards, exert a con- 
stant tendency to throw the plough out of the earth. The cutting 
should be as near the line to be made by the share as possible, though 
if there be any deviation it is found to be better to have it made to 
hand, as the ploughman's phrase is, than otherwise. 

COW. If we were to name the most profitable of all animals, it 
would be the cow. What other one contributes so much to the sus- 
tenance of mankind ? What other one so liberally repays the owner 
for his care of her ? Is not milk one of the most indispensable articles 
of human food ? And is not milk almost exclusively from this ani- 
mal ? In all temperate climates, the cow and her ])roducts of milk, 
butter, cheese, and beef, constitute one of the most important branches 
of agricultural income. By paying attention to the breeding of the 
cow, with particular regard to her milking qualities, and to her sus- 
ceptibilities for becoming good beef, when past the period of utility 
for dairy purposes, her value is greatlj"^ augmented above what it 
would be if this attention were neglected. This is sufficiently evi- 
dent to all who have witnessed the changes thus effected. It is 
known that some cows will not only pay for the feed given to them 



THE FARMER AT HOME. 107 

and the labor -xpendedin the care of them, but will yie.d an annual 
profit varying from twenty to fifty dollars each, while others do not 
yield milk enough ^o pay for their feed. The subject is of the utmost 
imporUuice. 

COW-MILKER. An ingenious Yankee has recently invented 
an Indian Rubber fixture for milking cows. We have made trial of 
it. and the result was quite satisfactory. It consists of a sack for each 
teat, of a size to receive that organ, and to adhere so clo.sely to it as 
to -stop the admission of the surrounding air. Connected with the 
lower end of the sack is a silver tube, which passes into the teat 
about an inch. To each tube is a stopper. When the sacks are all 
properly adjusted, the pail is placed in- a position to receive the milk, 
which, as soon as the stoppers are drawn, commences flowing in un- 
interrupted streams till the whole has made its escape. The process 
is hastened, if not entirely occasioned, by the pressure of the atmos- 
phere upon the bag. The cow appeared to experience no sensation 
that caused her in the least measure to move or be uneasy, from which 
it may be inferred that the insertion of the tubes caused no irritation. 
As soon as the milk ceased to flow, the tubes and sacks were removed ; 
and it was found by making trial with the hand no milk remained in 
the bag. The operation was of short duration, probably not exceed- 
ing a minute or two for the discharge of the milk after the stoppers 
were removed from the tubes. The conclusion was drawn that when 
a person became familiar with applying the sacks to the teats, he 
would milk eight or ten cows while milking one by hand. To milk- 
men and all others keeping a large number of cows, the saving of 
time will be of no trivial consideration. One person would probably 
milk twenty cows in an hour. The fixture is certainly very ingenious, 
and should be well tried. No objection to it was apparent in this ex- 
periment ; yet it might not be an object for those who keep only one 
or two cows. If it saves time at the rate above supposed, it is no 
difficult matter to estimate the amount saved in a year to an indi- 
vidual having fifty cows. 

CRADLE. In husbandry, a cradle is a frame of wood, with long 
bending teeth, to which is fastened a scythe, for cutting and laying 
oats and other grain in a swath. It is comparatively a modern 
invention. The sickle was formerly used for cutting grain, but that 
is now rarely u.sed at all, unless on new lands where there are stumps 
or the surface is uneven, or where the grain has become entangled or 
fallen down. At first the cradle was a clumsy instrument, and a 
want of skill in the use of it occasioned a slow process and also a loss 
of grain, which prevented its immediate general adoption. At this 
we cannot wonder, when we compare the instrument now manufac- 
tured with that delineated in books of agriculture in past periods ; 
and indeed that constructed and adopted in this country is said to be 
much superior to those usually seen in England. A skilful and 



108 



Till'; FARMER AT HOME. 



powerful man with a good cradle will cut grain on from two to four 
acres in a day. 




CRADLE. 



CREAM. This is the name of the fat, oily, or unctious fluid 
which rises on the surface of milk on standing, being specifically 
lighter than the other parts, and from which the well known article 
of butter is made. The richness of milk is very generally estimated 
by the bulk of cream which thus rises to the surface in a given time. 
The fatty part of the milk which exists in the cream, and which form 
the butter, is merely mixed with and held in suspension by the water 
of which the milk chiefly consists. In the udder of the cow it is in 
some measure separated from, and floats on, the surface of the milk, 
the later drawn portions being always the richest in cream. During 
the milking, the rich and poor portions are usually mixed intimately 
together again, and thus the after-separation is rendered slower, more 
diflicult, and less complete. 

That this is really so is proved by two facts — first, that if milk be 
well shaken or stirred, so as to mix its parts intimately together before 
it is set aside, the cream will be considerably longer in rising to the 
surface — and second, that more cream is obtained by keeping the 
milk in separate portions as it is drawn, and setting these aside to 
throw up their cream in separate vessels, than when the whole milk- 
ing is mixed together. When the collection of cream, therefore, is 
the principal object, economy suggests, that the first, second, third and 
last drawn portions of the milk should be kept apart from each other. 
Cream does not readily rise through any considerable depth of milk ; 
it is usual, therefore, to set aside in broad shallow vessels, in which 
the milk stands at a depth of not more than two or three inches. By 
this means the cream can be more efi'ectually separated in a given 
time. 

CROCODILE. An enormous river serpent, that is found in 



THE FARMER AT HOME. jOg 

abundance in the Nile and the Niger of Africa, .it is sometimes 
found thirty feet long ; its strength is prodigious ; it seizes even the 
tiger, and draws him into the water. She lays her eggs, in vast 
numbers, in the sand, and leaves them to be hatched there in the 
sun. Providence, however, has provided means to check the increase 
of this destested race. The crocodile's .eggs are greedily destroyed, 
not only by the ichneumon, but also by the vulture. Flocks of vul- 
tures hide themselves within the thick branches of the trees that 
shade the banks of the river, watching the crocodile in silence while 
she is laying her eggs; and when she has retired they rush on Avith 
loud cries, and tear up the eggs out of the sand, and devour them. 
This monster is tameable ; the Siamese take the crocodile young, 
breed it up in subjection, put a curb in its mouth, and manage it like 
a horse, the rider directing it as he thinks proper. 

CROCODILE, FOSSIL. One of the greatest curiosities in the 
fossil world which the late ages have produced. It is the skeleton of 
a large crocodile, almost entire, found at a great depth under ground 
bedded in stone. This Avas in the possession of Linkius, who wrote 
many pieces in natural history, and particularly an accurate descrip- 
,tion of this curious fossil. It was found in the side of a large moun- 
tain in the midland part of Germany, and in a stratum of black fossil 
stone, somewhat like our common slate, but of coarser texture, the 
same with that in which fossil fishes in many parts of the world are 
found. This skeleton had the back and ribs very plain, and was of a 
much deeper black than the rest of the stone ; as is also the case in 
the fossil fishes which are preserved in this manner. The part of the 
stone where the head lay was not found ; this being broken ofi'just at 
the shoulders, but that irregularly ; so that in one place a part of the 
back of the head was visible in its natural form. The two shoulder 
bones were very fair, and three of the feet were well preserved ; the 
legs were of their natural size ; and the feet preserved even to the 
''Ytremities of the five toes of each. 

CROP. This term in agriculture signifies the quantity, or pro- 
duce of any sort of field crop, as of grain, roots, plants, grass, or any 
similar kinds, raised by the farmer on any portion of ground at one 
time. And from this diversity, they are likewise further distinguished 
into corn, root, and green crops, according to the circumstances of the 
case. The culture and utility of the two last sorts have been greatly 
increased within these few last years, in consequence of their applica- 
tion, as cattle food, being more perfectly understood. It is indeed to 
this circumstance that much of the modern improvement in husbandry 
is owing, and from which a great deal of the increased profit of tho 
farmer has been derived. 

CROUTE, Sour-Crout, or Kroute. As this preparation of cab- 
bage has been found of sovereign eiRcacy as a preservative in long 
voyages from the sea-scurvy, it may not be unacceptable to give a 



110 



THE FARMER AT HOME. 



concise account of the process for making it, according to the informa- 
tion communicated by an ingenious German gentleman. The sound- 
est and most solid cabbages are selected for the use, and cut very 
small, commonly with an instrument made for this purpose ; not 
unlike the plane which is used in this country for slicing cucumbers. 
A knife is used when the preparation is made with greater nicety. 
The cabbage thus minced is put into a barrel in layers, hand high, 
and over each is strewed a handful of salt and carraway seeds ; in 
this manner it is rammed down with a rammer, stratum upon stra- 
tum, till the barrel be full ; when a cover is put over ir, and pressed 
down with a heavy weight. After standing some time in this state, 
it begins to ferment ; and it is not till the fermentation has entirely 
subsided, that the head is fitted to it, and the barrel is finally shut up 
and preserved for use. There is not a drop of vinegar employed 
in this preparation. The Germans write this preparation in the 
following manner : Sauer kraut, or saurer kohl, that is, in their 
language, sour herb, or sour cabbage. 

CRUSTACEOUS ANIMALS. The crustaceous animals have 
been sometimes included in the class of insects, to which they have 
indeed many strong points of resemblance. They deserve, however, a 
separate consideration, both on account of their size and importance, 
and of some anatomical differences of structure. They have articu- 
lated limbs, antennae, and jaws, similarly formed to those of insects. 
But they breathe by means of gills, and have a regular, double circu- 
lation : in which particular they differ from insfects. Among the 
most familiar examples of this class are the lobster, crawfish, and 
what is usually called the horse-shoe. They are covered by a 
pretty thick, firm shell, which envelopes them completely. As this 
shell is incapable of growth, it is occasionally changed, to make room 
for the constant increase in size of the animal. It is thrown ofi', and 
their bodies remain for a time entirely naked, and exposed in a soft 
and defenceless state. In this case, the animal generally retires to 
some place of concealment and security, and remains till the shell is 
restored by the deposition of calcareous matter on the external mem- 
brane of the skin, which becomes hard and firm, and finally takes the 
place of the old shell. 

CUCKOO. A bird of a grayish color, and less than a pigeon. 
They are plenty in England, and some other parts of Europe. Before 
winter sets in this bird disappears ; in the spring its voice is heard, 
earlier or later, as the spring happens to be more or less forwai'd 
The cheerful voice of this bird teaches the farmer with great exact- 
ness, the proper time of sowing. All other signs may fail, but the 
voice of the cuckoo is an unerring rule ; for heaven has taught it to 
point out the season. The cuckoo makes herself no nest ; she con- 
trives to deposit an egg with the eggs of the hedge sparrow, which 
hatches it together with her own ; and the young cuckoo, almost as 



THE FARMER AT HOME. HI 

Boon as hatched, tumbles out the rest of the brood, and remains pos- 
sessor of the nest, and the sole object of the future care of its uncon- 
scious step-mother, the old sparrow. 

CURCULIO. In the United States, particularly, the class of 
insects which prey on grain, plants, and fruit, is known by this name. 
The ravages of the grain curcuho are not so habitual as those 
occasioned by the fruit variety of these animal nuisances. However, 
when they do attack grain they are very destructive. Degur, the 
celebrated entomologist, says that a few hundred of them admitted to 
a granary, would, in the course of four or five months, destroy be- 
tween one and two hundred millions of grains. But a single hole is 
made in a kernel, and but one egg deposited in each. Barley is a 
favorite grain with the curcnlio, or weavil, as it is also called ; and 
small heaps of this placed in granaries, and occasionally removed or 
subjected to boiling water, are used in some places as decoys for the 
insect, and to prevent their settling on wheat. 

To the ravages of the fruit curculio, which take place every year, 
and in some cases to the total destruction of the crop, no effectual 
antidote has been found. Several have been resorted to, but at best, 
only with partial success. Their attacks on the plum and apricot 
are the most fatal. ■ They make a circular or half moon invasion on 
the young fruit, and then under the flap of the wound deposit an egg, 
which speedily becomes a worm and feeds on the juices or pulp of the 
fruit. The curculio during the day lies concealed in the branches of 
the tree ; and, it is said, that if previous to the setting of the fruit, 
cloths are spread beneath on the ground, and then a violent blow ap- 
plied to the trunk, most of the insects will fall upon the cloths so that 
they can be gathered up and destroyed. This operation must be 
repeated time after time, and will in this way do something in caus- 
ing their destruction ; but, it is tedious and in most cases insufficient. 
The fruit that contains the grub, after a while falls to the ground, the 
worm takes refuge in the earth, emerges the perfect insect, ready to 
renew its depredation on the young fruit. To prevent this, all such 
fruit should at once be gathered up and destroyed, by giving it to the 
hogs or otherwise, which \ifill also destroy the embryo curculio. 
Where swine can come to the trees, they will constantly devour the 
worm as well as the fruit, and thus -ender an essential service to the 
horticulturist. 

CURDLING. The coagulating or fixing of any fluid body ; par- 
ticularly milk, by means of rennet. Pausanias says, that Aristteus, 
son of Apollo, and Gyrene, daughter of the river Peneus, were the 
first who found the secret of curdling milk. At Florence they curdle 
their milk for the making of cheese with artichoke flowers ; in lieu of 
the rennet used for the same purpose among us. The Bisaltae, a 
people of Macedonia, Rochfcrt observes, live whally upon curdled 



112 THE FARMER AT HOME. 

milk, i. e. on curds. He adds, that curds are the whole food of the 
people of Upper Auvergne in France, and whey their only drink. 

CURRANTS. Are so called because formerly coming from the 
Isthmus of Corinth. They come from several other places of the 
Ai'chipelapo. The little Spanish currants are sometimes sold for 
them. They are a kind of small raisins or dried grapes of different 
colors, red, white, or black. They must be chosen new, small, and 
in large masses. When made up in bales they may keep two or three 
years, without stirring or giving them air. The island of Zante is the 
chief place whence currants are brought ; in the Morea, or the Isth- 
mus of Corinth, which was anciently the principal plantation, they 
are no longer cultivated ; the jealousy of the Turks not allowing large 
vessels to enter the gulf to take them off the collector's hands. They 
grow on vines like our grapes ; except that the leaves are somewhat 
thicker, and the grapes smaller ; they have no stone. The planters 
gather them in August, dispose them in couches on the ground till dry, 
then clean them, and lay them up in Magazines. On barrelling 
them for sending abroad, they have people to tread them close, that 
they may keep the better. Zante produces enough yearly to load five 
or six vessels ; Cephalonia three or four ; and the other islands one. 
The Zantiots know but little of the use we make of them. 

CUTIS. The skin, in anatomy, is that strong thick covering 
which envelopes the whole external surface of animals. It is com- 
posed chiefly of two parts ; a thin white elastic layer on the outside, 
which is called the epidermis, or cuticle ; and a much thicker layer, 
composed of a great many fibres, closely interwoven, and disposed in 
diflerent directions ; this is called the cutis, or true skin. 

CYCLE. A perpetual circulation of the same parts of time. 
The cycle of the moon is a period of nineteen solar years, equivalent 
to nineteen lunar years and seven intercalary months ; at the end of 
every nineteen years, the new and full moons happen at very nearly 
the same times of the year. The ancients discovered this, and reck- 
oned the cycle of the moon so that it terminated the year before the 
Christian era. This cycle was marked with letters of gold, thence 
called the Golden Number, to find which, add one to the date of the 
year, say 1829, will make 1830, which, divided by nineteen, will 
produce ninety-six cycles, and there remain six, the Golden Number 
for 1829, which shows that the moon is in the sixth year of the lunar 
cycle. It should be, however, observed, that this cycle of the moon 
only holds true for three hundred and twelve years ; for though the 
new moons return to the same day after nineteen years, yet not to the 
same time of the day, but nearly an hour and a half sooner ; which 
error in three hundred and twelve years amounts to an entire day. 
Yet those who were employed in reforming the calendar, went on the 
supposition that the cycles returned precisely the same forever. The 
use of this cycle in the ancient calendar was to show the time of the 



THE FARMER AT HOME. ]13 

new moon and of Easter for each year ; in the new one it only serves 
to find th3 epacts. 

The Cycle of the Sun is the numher of years that elapse hcfore 
the Sundays throughout the year happen ou the same days of the 
month. If there were only 364 days in the year, that would occur 
every year ; if 365, it would occur every seventh year ; but as a quar- 
ter of a day makes an alteration of a day every fourth year, the cycle 
must extend to twenty-eight years. The beginning of this cycle, 
both Julian and Gregorian, is nine years before Christ. To find the 
cycle of tJie sun for miy given year, add nine to the date of the year, 
and divide the sum by twenty-eight, the remainder will be the num- 
ber of the years of the present cycle, and the quotient the number of 
revolutions since Christ. If there be no remainder, it will be the 
twenty-eighth or last year of the cycle. 

DAIRY. A. place where milk is deposited, and where it is manu- 
factured into butter, cheese, and other articles of food. In some situa- 
tions, the farmer brings his milk to market in its natural state, and 
then he is said to keep a milk dairy ; in other situations, he manufac- 
tures butter or cheese, and, in such cases, he is said to keep a butter 
or a cheese dairy. It is quite evident, that it must depend on circum- 
stances which of all these three sorts will afibrd the most profit. 
Within a few miles of a large town, where there is always a ready 
sale for milk and butter, and where the carriage is short, the milk 
and butter dairy will generally answer best ; but where the distance 
from a market is considerable, the sale of milk in its natural state is 
out of the question, and the dairy farmer will probably find it neces- 
sary to engage in the manufacture of cheese. 

The dairy system is perhaps the most profitable, as well as the 
most pleasing, of all the parts of husbandry. It was certainly the 
earliest. Herbage may be converted into human food, either in the 
form of flesh or of milk ; but it is calculated, that a much larger 
quantity of human food will be produced from the same quantity of 
herbage in the latter case than in the former. The herbasre that 
would be sufficient to add one hundred and twelve pounds to the 
weight of an ox, would, if employed in feeding cows, afford four hun- 
dred and fifty gallons of milk. This, if made into cheese, which is 
not the most advantageous way of consuming milk, would produce 
four hundred and thirty pounds, besides the flesh that might be 
obtained by feeding hogs with the whey. 

In some sections of our own country, the dairy operations are 
extensive, well arranged, and productive of wealth. An instance of 
this may be found in the northern portion of Ohio, frequently called 
"The Reserve," which embraces eight counties. The inhabitants 
here were mostly from New England. It would be difficult to 
reduce any branch of business to a more perfect system than that 
practised by the intelligent farmers of the Reserve in the dairying 



114 THE FARMER AT HOME. 

establishments. The cheese factors purchase the green curd at the 
rate of" from three to four ceuts per pound, of the farmers, and call at 
their doors regularly every week-day morning for it, and thus much 
labor and responsibility is got rid of in curing and marketing the ar- 
ticle, and the business, on the whole, is better done than if each far- 
mer pressed and cured the product of his own dairy. A single factor 
finds no difficulty in manufacturing the curd produced by a thousand 
cows, and in prosecuting the business to this extent, is warranted in 
investing a suitable amount of means in the erection of appropriate 
buildings, and in the purchase of economical appliances for its profit- 
able prosecution. Both farmer and factor appear satisfied that a high- 
er character is given to the cheese in the market, and better prices 
are obtained for it, than if the old system was practised. It imparts 
a uniformity to the appearance and quality of the cheese, throughout 
a large district of country, that no other plan could have so thorough- 
ly accomplished ; and on the whole, the system may safely be adop- 
ted in any part of the republic suitable to the production of cheese, 
where an abundant supply of curd can be obtained at a fair price. 

DAISY, in Botany. The name is derived from day and eye, al- 
luding to the eye-like form of the flower, and its expansion in the day, 
and in bright weather only, when it presents its front to the sun, fol- 
lowing his course till the afternoon, when the flower closes, but opens 
again for many successive mornings. There is a variety of the daisy 
called whiteweed, and if once permitted to get well rooted on a farm 
is destructive to everything else, and is eradicated with the greatest 
difficulty. It grows so thick as to preclude the appearance of" the 
grasses, or exterminates them if they already exist. This plant is 
readily known by its white blossom, and its unfortunate prevalence. 
Thorough cultivation is the only remedy where it is found, but the 
farmer will find if he destroy the plant eH'ectually on its first appear- 
ance, even if requiring considerable labor, the time and exertion for 
it are well expended. The appearance of this weed denotes bad hus- 
bandry. 

DAMASK. A silk stuff, with a raised pattern, so that the right 
side of the damask is that which has the flowers raised above the 
ground. Damasks should be of dressed silk, both in warp and woof. 
Those made in France are half an ell in breadth. Damask is also a 
kind of wrought linen, made chiefly in Flanders; so called, because 
its large flowers resemble those of damasks. It is chiefly used for 
tables. 

DAMPS. The permanently elastic fluids which are extricated 
in mines, and are destructive to animal life, are called damps by the 
miners. The chief distinctions made by the miners are, choak-dauip, 
which extinguishes their candles, hovers about the bottom of the 
mine, and consists for the most part of carbonic acid gas ; and the 
fire-damp, or hydrogen gas, which occupies the superior spaces, and 



THE FARArER AT HOME. 



115 



does great mischief by exploding: whenever it comes in contact with 
their lights. Carbonic acid gas is generated in large quantities in 
the vats of cider distilleries, where a small quantity of the liquor re- 
mains for any time ; or in brewers' vats, in which acetous ferniBnta- 
tion is allowed. Numerous deaths occur yearly irom the operation of 
this gas, and farmers and others, who are particularly exposed in 
cleaning wells, should always take proper precautions. Where it ex- 
ists in large quantities, it extinguishes flame ; and, hence we are for- 
tunately provided with the means of ascertaining its presence. No 
one, therefore, should venture a descent into any of the places named 
without first lowering a candle or a lamp If the flame is extin- 
guished, life would also be put in peril. If it is not extinguished, one 
may descend safely. 

DARK DAYS. The "Rev. Mr. Sterling gives an account (as 
published in the Philosophical Transactions in England,) of a dark- 
ness of six or eight hours at Detroit, in North America, on the nine- 
teeth of October, 1762, in which the sun appeared as red as blood, 
and thrice its usual size ; some rain falling, covered white paper with 
dark drops, like sulphur or dirt, which burnt like wet gunpowder, and 
the air had a very sulphureous smell. He supposes this to have been 
emitted from some distant earthquake or volcano. Dr. Darwin adds, 
that a dry fog (somewhat similar to the appearance at Detroit) cov- 
jred most parts of Europe, for many weeks, in the summer of 1780, 
which was supposed to have had a volcanic origin, as it succeeded 
the violent eruption of Mount Hecla. It is remarkable that the same 
•^ear which Dr. Darwin mentions, that is, on the nineteenth of May, 
m the afternoon, 1780, a surprising darkness overspread New Eng- 
land. For several days preceding this darkness, the sun appeared 
from morning to night, unusually larffe, and nearly of the color of 
blood ; and this was its appearance during the forenoon of the mem- 
orable nineteeth of May. Early in the afternoon, the sun was totally 
obscured, and all objects had a yellowish or brassy hue. The dark- 
ness increased gradually till about three or four o'clock, when the 
fowls went to roost, candles wei'e necessarily lighted in dwelling- 
liGuses, and it seemed to be night. During the progress of this won- 
derful fog, some scattering drops of rain fell, attended, as it was then 
said, with a blackish powder that tinged the substances which were 
touched by it. 

DARKNESS. Means the absence or the want of light. In 
common language we consider ourselves as being in darkness, when- 
ever objects that are pretty near to us, cannot be distinguished from 
each other ; but perfect darkness does not easily occur ; and it is ow- 
ing to this that several animals can see in what we call darkness, 
viz., the. eyes of those animals are so forrnKsd as to be able to see with 
very little light. But it appears from the experiments of M. le Cat 
and others, that uo animal can see in perf(!ct darkness where no light 



116 THE FARMER AT HOME. 

is emitted, even from any phosphorescent body ; and such phosphor- 
escence may sometimes proceed even from the animal itself. 

DATE. The fruit of the date-palm, a tree of the natural order 
Palmce, inhabiting the north of Afi-ica, from Morocco to Egypt, Syria, 
Persia, the Levant, and India, and which is also cultivated in Italy 
and Spain. Dates form the principal nutriment of the inhabitants 
of some of the above countries, and are an important article of com- 
merce. This fruit is an oval, soft, fleshy drupe, having a very hard 
stone, with a longitudinal furrow on one side, and when fresh, pos- 
sessing a delicious perfume and taste. Dates are sugary, very noui*- 
ishing, wholesome, and require no preparation ; but when dried, and 
a little old, as they usually are when imported into Europe and the 
United States, they are not much esteemed, and are little used in the 
countries where they grow. The best fruits have firm flesh of a yel- 
low color. The inhabitants of Tunis, and several other countries, 
every year journey in crowds, into Biledulgerid to procure dates. 

Almost every part of this valuable tree is converted to some use. 
The wood is very hard, almost, incorruptible, and is used for building. 
The leaves, after being macerated in water, become supple, and are 
manufactured into hats, mats, and baskets. The petioles aflbrd 
fibres from which cordage is made. The nuts after being burnt, are 
used by the Chinese in the composition of India ink. Palm wine is 
made from the trunk. For this purpose, the leaves are cut off, and a 
circular incision made a little below the summit of the tree, then a 
deep vertical fissure ; and a vase is placed below to receive the juice, 
which is protected from evaporation. 

The date-palm is a majestic tree, rising sixty feet and upwards, 
the trunk is straight, simple, scaly, elegantly divided by rings, and 
crowned at the summit by a tuft of very long pendant leaves. The 
leaves are ten or twelve feet long, ^composed of alternate narrow 
folioles, folded longitudinally. The Arabs pretend that they attain 
the age of two or three hundred years. This valuable tree would 
undoubtedly succeed in the southern parts of the United States. 
The wood, though of spongy texture, is employed for the beams and 
rafters of houses, and for implements of husbandry, which are said to 
be very durable. The pith of the young trees is eaten, as well as the 
young and tender leaves. A considerable traffic is carried on in the 
leaves, which, under the name of palms, are sent to Italy, to be used 
in the grand religious ceremonies of Palm Sunday. In Persia, an 
ardent spirit is distilled from the fruit ; and, in many places, the 
stones are ground to make oil, and the paste that is left is given as 
food to cattle and sheep. 

DAY. Nations have differed much from each other as to the 
commencement, and still move in the division of the day. The Chal- 
deans, Syrians, Persians, and Indians began the day at sunrise, and 
divided both the t'.ay and night into four parts. This division of the 



THE FARMER AT HOME. 117 

day into quarters was in use long before the invention of hours. The 
Chinese, who begin their day at midnight, and reckon to the midnight 
following, divide this interval into twelve hour.s, each equal to two of 
ours, and distinguished by a name and particular figure. The Ro- 
mans called the time between the rising and setting sun, the natural 
day, and the time in the whole four and twenty hours the civil day, 
and this definition has been adopted in modern Europe. They began 
and ended their civil day at midnight, and derived this practice from 
their ancient jurisprudence and rites of religion, established long be- 
fore they had any idea of the division into hours. According to Varro, 
the first sun-dial seen at Rome was brought from Catana in Sicily, in 
the first Punic war, as part of the spoils of that city. It was erected 
unskilfully in the forum, and though it probably was not adapted to 
the latitude of the place, yet it was the only measure of hours they 
had for near a century afterwards. Thus it appears that the Romans 
learned the division of the day into hours from a dial of Greek con- 
struction. The Greeks divided the natural day into twelve hours, 
a practice which, according to Herodotus, they derived from the 
Babylonians. These hours were of course unequal at different sea- 
sons of the year, varying in the same proportion as the length of the 
natural day. 

The days of the Aveek received their names in the following man- 
ner. The first day of the week was called Sunday, from the sun, to 
which by the ancient heathens it was dedicated ; Monday, from the 
Moon ; Tuesday, from the Saxon word, Tuisco, and is the same as 
Mars ; Wednesday, from a Saxon word, Woden, a heathen deity ; 
Thursday, from the Saxon word, Tho?- ; Friday, from Friga, a 
Saxon goddess ; and Saturday, from two Saxon words, which signify 
the day of Saturn. Christians call the first day of the week Sunday, 
in honor of Jesus Christ, the Saviour of the world, who is denomin- 
ated the Sun of Righteousness. 

DECEMBER. The month wherein the sun enters the tropic of 
Capricorn, and makes the winter solstice Among the ancient Ro- 
mans, December was under the protection of Vesta. Romulus assigned 
it thirty days, Numa reduced it to twenty-nine, which Julius Csesar 
increased to thirty-one. In the reign of Commodus this month was 
called, by way of flattery, Amazonius, in honor of a courtezan, whom 
that prince passionately loved, and had painted like an Amazon ; but 
this name died with that tyrant. At the end of December they had 
the juveniles ludi ; and the country people kept the feast of the god- 
dess Vaciuia in the fields, having then gathered in their fruits, and 
sown their corn ; whence seemed to be derived our popular festival 
of harvest-home. 

DEATH. An animal body, by the actions inseparable from life, 
undergoes a continual change. Its smallest fibres become rigid ; its 
minute vessels grow into solid fibres no longer pervious to the fluids ; 



118 THE FARMtiR AT HOME. 

its ereater vessels grow hard and narrow ; and every thing- becomes 
contracted, closed, and bound up ; whence the dryness, immobility, 
and extenuation, observed in old age. By such means, the offices of 
the minuter vessels are destroyed ; the humors stagnate, harden, and 
at length coalesce with the solids. Thus are the subtilest fluids in the 
body intercepted and lost, the concoction weakened, and the repara- 
tion prevented ; only the coarser juices continue to run slowly through 
the greater vessels, to the preservation of life, after the animal func- 
tions are destroyed. At length, in the process of these changes, death 
itself becomes inevitable, as the necessary consequence of life. But 
it is rare that life is thus long protracted, or that death succeeds 
merely from the decays and impairment of old age. Diseases, a long 
and melancholy train, cut the work short. 

All our first associations with the idea of death are of the disgust- 
ing and alarming kind ; and they are collected from all quarters ; 
from the sensible pains of every sort ; from the imperfections, weak- 
ness, loathsomeness, corruption, and disorder, attendant on disease, 
old age, and death, whether animal or vegetable. This seems per- 
fectly natural ; for these things are usually viewed with disgust and 
shame ; whereas, those things to which they are opposed, or with 
which they are placed in contrast, such as health, beauty, youth, and 
the lustre of life, are objects of admiration and are sources of social 
delight. And it is necessary, that the heedlessness and inexperience 
of infancy and youth should be guarded by such terrors, and their 
headstrong appetites and passions curbed, that they may not be hur- 
ried into danger and destruction before they are aware. It is proper, 
also, that they should form some expectations with respect to, and set 
some value upon, their future life in this world, that so they may be 
better qualified to act their parts in it, and make the quicker progress 
to perfection during their passage through it. 

DECOMPOSITION. This terra, in chemistry, denotes the reso- 
lution of a compound substance into its constituent parts, which are 
exhibited either separate, or in some new combination. In agricul- 
ture, it is principally used to signify the process by which animal and 
vegetable bodies pass into a state that renders them serviceable as 
food for plants. During life, the elements of organic bodies, whether 
animal or vegetable, are held together by vital affinities, under the 
influence of Avhich they were first united. When life ceases, these 
elements become subject to other laws, those that govern inert matter. 
The original affinities that were suspended during the vital organiza- 
tion, again operate, other combinations are formed, and the organized 
structure passes to decay. The rapidity and extent of decomposition 
are, in a great measure, depending on the circumstances under which 
the process takes place. Substances kept perfectly dry, and at certain 
temperatures, decompose very slowly, or not at all. Moisture, unequal 
temperature or the presence of certain agents, aid the process mate- 



THE FARMER AT HOME. 



119 



rially. It is by decomposition that all manures are formed, and it is 
by rejrulatiug-, aidinir, and combining the action of diflerent substances, 
that the most valuable composts and ferti izing powders are prepared. 
To preserve plants, timber, and vegetables from premature decomposi- 
tion, has occasioned much research, and though in some cases success- 
ful, there are others in which all efforts to an-est the original laws of 
action have proved unavailing. 

DEER. An animal which in England is kept in parks, 
either for ornament or for the chase ; the flesh of which is called 
venison. In North America, we have five animals of the deer 
kind, the Moose or Elk of Europe ; the American Elk, a stately ani- 
mal, whose branching iiorns are sometimes five feet in length ; the 
common Fallow or Virginia deer ; the mult-, or black tailed deer of 
the Rocky Mountains ; and the Reindeer. Ihe male of the fallow 
do-er, is called buck, the female, hind. The stag, hart, or red deer of 
Europe, the female of which is called hind, is not found in this coun- 
try. It is a characteristic of all these animals, that they shed their 
horns once a year. 

DESERT. A wild, uncultivated, uninhabited place or country. 
Geographers use the word in the general for all countries little, or not 
at all, inhabited. In Scripture, we find several places in the Holy 
Land, or places adjoining thereto, called deserts, which were not 
absolutely barren or unfruitful, but such as were rarely sown or culti- 
vated ; and though they yielded no crops of corn or fruit, they never- 
theless afforded herbage for the graziers of cattle, with fountains or 
rills of water, though more sparingly interspersed than in other 
places. The wilderness or desertwhich Avas the scene of our Saviour's 
temptation, with several others mentioned in Scripture, was of this 
nature and quality. Many of these deserts contained cities and 
villages, rich and well peopled ; and, indeed, almost eveiy city had 
some desert according to the Scripture idiom, belonging to it for pas- 
ture ; so that the word meant no more than a land, or tract, that 
bore neither corn, wine, nor oil, but was left to the spontaneous pro- 
ductions of nature. 

DEVON CATTLE. Among the several varieties of the bovine 
family in Great Britain the Devons have been deservedly noted. 
With many it has been a great favorite ; and its popularity is well 
deserved. Among the reasons for it the following may be named. 
These cattle, although not large are well formed, their several parts 
distinguished for symmetry ; oftentimes highly beautiful, yet having 
sufficient bone and muscle to render them hardy and active. They 
have great uniformity of appearance in every feature, size, shape, 
horns, and color. The oxen exceed the cows in size more than is 
common with other breeds ; and both, when cut up for beef are 
found to go much beyond what is estimated by those not familiar 
with them. And their meat is distinguished for fine flavor and rich 



120 



THE FARMER AT HOME. 



juices, being duly formed from an alternate mixture of fat and lean, 
And, what is equally important, whether in the yoke or for the dairy, 
they have great docility and good temper. Within the last thirty 
years the Devous, by due crossings, have been greatly improved ; they 
have become heavier and better milkers. And, although there is a 
general opinion that as milkers they are inferior to several other breeds 
so far as the quantity of milk is concerned, the quality of their milk 
is by all admitted to be unsurpassed. This, however, by their advo- 
cates is denied ; and Mr. Bloomfield, the manager of the late Lord 
Leicester's estate at Holkham, has challenged England to milk an 
equal number of cows of any breed, against forty pure Devons, to be 
selected out of his own herd, without as yet having found a com- 
petitor. See Steven's edition of " Youatt and Martin on Cattle." 




DEVON BULL. 



DEW. A dense, moist vapor, falling on the earth in the form of 
a mistling rain, while the sun is below the horizon. The most plen- 
tiful deposits occur, when the weather is clear and serene ; very little 
is ever deposited when the weather is not so. It is never seen on 
nights both cloudy and Mandy It is well known, likewise, that a 
reduction in the temperature of the air, and of the surface of the 
eai'th. always accompanies the falling of dew, the surface on which it 
is deposited being, however, colder than the air above. These phe- 
nomena admit of an easy and elegant explanation from the well 
known effect of the radiation of caloric from bodies. This radiation 



THd FARMER AT HOME. 121 

constantly taking place in all bodies, it is obvious that the tempera- 
ture of any body can remain the same only by its receiving from 
another source as many rays as it emits. In the case of the earth's 
surface, so long as the sun remains above the horizon, it continues to 
receive as well as to emit heat ; but when the sun sinks below the 
horizon, no object is present in the atmosphere to exchange rays with 
the earth, which still emitting heat into free space, must, consequently, 
experience a diminution in its temperature. 

Thus the earth becomes not only many degrees cooler than the 
superincumbent air ; and, as the atmosphere always contains watery 
vapor, this vapor becomes condensed on the cold surface ; hence, the 
origin of dew, and, if the temperature of the earth is below thirty-two 
degrees, of hoar frost. And since the projection of heat into free 
space takes place most readily in a clear atmosphere, it is under tho 
former condition that dew and hoar frost are formed ; for if the radi- 
ant caloric, proceeding from the earth, is intercepted by the clouds, 
an interchange is established, and the ground retains nearly, if not 
quite, the same temperature, as the adjacent portions of the air. 
Whatever circumstances favor radiation favor also the production of 
dew ; and, accordingly, under the same exposure, dew is much more 
copiously deposited on some surfaces than on others. Gravel walks 
and pavements project heat and acquire dew less readily than a 
grassy surface. Rough and porous substances, as shavings of wood, 
take more dew than smooth and solid wood. Glass projects heat 
rapidly, and is as rapidly coated with dew. Bright bodies attract 
dew much less powerfully than other bodies. 

Dew acts an important part in the processes of agriculture, and in 
the nutrition and growth of plants. Large quantities of the most 
active agents escape from the earth during the processes of decompo- 
sition and evaporation in the shape of gases, and these combined with 
the aqueous vapor are deposited with the dew on the earth, or on the 
plants, and in either case are available to nutrition. Hence the 
advantages of frequently stirring the earth, and keeping the surface in 
a pulverised and absorbing state. In some parts of the world it 
rarely rains, but the dews are so copious, that vegetation does not 
seem to sutler from the want of water. Spreading a substance, no 
matter how flimsy, as a thin cloth, over vegetables will preserve 
them from severe frosts, if it is not allowed to touch them ; acting by 
intercepting the heat. Every one has observed that plants liable 1o 
destruction by frost, remain green much longer under the shade of 
trees than when exposed. Thus potatoes or any thing else planted in 
an orchard, will be unhurt by frost as far as the branches of the trees 
extend, while the tops in the uncovered spaces will be wholly 
prostrated. 

DIBBLER. This is an instrument used in gardening for making 
holes in the ground to receive roots in transplanting. It is generally 
6 



1 22 THE FARMER AT HOMS 

made of an old spade handle, having the lower part sharpened, and 
sometimes shod with iron. The depth of its insertion in the soil may 
be regulated by a small cross-bar, which can be placed at various 
heights, according to the size of the root i'ot which it is used. In 
some parts of England various kinds of seed are planted with a 
dibbler. 

DIGESTION. By the term digestion, in the more perfect ani- 
mal, is generally understood that process by which certain substances, 
called nutritive, are converted into a homogeneous semi-fluid mass, 
from the cavity containing which small vessels drink up the more 
elaborated portion, and convey it into other larger ones, containing 
blood, with which it is mixed and carried to the heart. The simplest 
kind of digestion is that performed by presenting a watery fluid to a 
moist surface, which converts it into its own nature. Examples of 
this are seen in the lower orders of animals, the individuals of which 
consist almost entirely of a closed sack or pouch, on the external sur- 
face of which the above change is accomplished. On nearly the same 
line may be put the spongy extremities of the I'oots of plants, which 
absorb or drink up the nutrimental fluid from the soil. 

In proportion as the animal structure becomes more complex, the 
subsidiary or preparatory organs are inci'eased in number, to qualify 
the stomach for acting on the great variety of food, often of a solid 
and dense texture, which is taken for the purpose of nourishment. 
The most generally distributed apparatus for the breaking doM'n and 
grinding the food, before its reception into the stomach, is the teeth. 
In an omniverous animal, such as man, who appropriates to the 
gratification of his appetite, food from all the kingdoms of nature, 
these instruments are of three kinds ; the two chief however, are the 
front or inci-sor teeth, which tear, and the back or molar teeth, which 
triturate and more minutely divide the alimentary matter, in what is 
called mastication. In many birds, which swallow directly their food 
without chewing or masticating, there is a mechanical contrivance, 
in the gizzard, by which it is broken down and prepared to bt oper- 
ated on by the stomach proper. 

Those animals, such as the serpent tribe, which swallow their 
prey without any preliminary process, except breaking the more 
prominent and i-esisting parts, such as the bones of the creatures 
which they have seized, have very slow digestion. They will remain 
for many hours in a half torpid state, unable and unwilling to move, 
until the substance Avhich they swallowed has undergone the I'equisite 
change, by the digestive action of the inner surface of their stomach. 
It would seem then to be an established principle in the history of 
digestion, that unless the nutrimental n atter be of the very simplest 
kind, and presented in a fluid state, as in the lowest animals, and in 
vegetables, it requires to be subjected to some preparatory proee.^^s, 
before it can be received by the stomach, and undergo in it the 



THE FARMER AT HOME. 



123 



changes by which it is to be fitted for nourishing all parts of the living 
body 

DILUENTS. Watery liquors which are believed to increase 
the fluidity of the blood, and to diminish the acrimony and viscidness 
of several of the secreted or excreted fluids. Simple water-gruel, 
weak tea, and a great variety of such liquors, are much used as 
diluents. Such drinks are especially required in febrile diseases, both 
as removing the irritation caused by thirst, and as diluting the acri- 
mony of the contents of the stomach and bowels, and as facilitating 
the perspiration. In various diseases of the stomach and bowels, 
diluents are very useful, by mixing with the bile and other fluids, and 
rendering them more mild. They may also assist in digestion, by 
rendering the chyme and the chyle thinner and more easily absorbed 
by the lacteals. As watery fluids pass ofi" readily by the kidneys, they 
are of great utility in diseases of the urinary organs and of the bladder. 
Though it may seem a good rule, to let the salutary instinct of nature 
for diluents in feverish disorders be gratified, yet, as a large quantity 
of fluid will, for a time, distend the blood-vessels, and so increase the 
action of the heart and arteries, it may be prudent to restrain the appe- 
tite of thirst in those inflammations where we combat the disease by 
large bleedings. It will be better, in such cases, to allay thirst by very 
small quantities of fluid, or by eating fruits either fresh or preserved. 
The temperature of diluting fluids is to be regulated by the state of 
the body at the time of giving them. In the cold or shivering stage 
of a disease they should be hot ; when the heat is great and the skin 
dry, they should be cold ; and in most other cases they should be 
tepid. See Gunn's Domestic Medicine. 

DINNER. Is the principal meal in modern times, and the one 
at which luxury is chiefly indulged in. Much disease arises from the 
mismanagement of dinner, both as to time, and to the quantity and 
variety of food taken. Physicians cannot lay down any general rule 
■Tor the time at which persons should dine ; the hour when nature 
requires it, and the period which is most adapted for it, as furnishing 
a supply of aliment before the exhaustion of the powers has proceeded 
too far, would seem to be two or three o'clock ; but individuals vary 
in their habits, in the kind of breakfast they take, and in their powers 
of digestion ; all which are to be taken into account by the medical 
man who gives his advice on the subject. Some persons much 
troubled with indigestion, are relieved by the simple expedient of 
taking their dinner sooner or later, as they find upon trial what time 
agrees best ; and much may be done to relieve stomach complaints 
by diminishing the quantity of food and drink taken at dinner. Late 
copious dinners are really nothing else than heavy suppers, and in all 
likelihood will produce restlessness, nightmare, and various unplea- 
sant symptoms. The dinners of chiliren should always be in the 
middle of the day. 



124 



THE FARMER AT HOMK. 



DIRT SCRAPER. This is an instrument desifrned for the 
removal of dirt in the making and repairing of roads. It is also 
used in levelling the ground, particularly about newly erected houses; 
both in carrying what is not wanted on hills to adjacent hollows, and 
also in making excavations for cellars and wide ditches. A yoke of 
oxen or a span of horses with a man will thus remove as much dirt 
in one day, as he could remove with a spade and barrow in a week. 
The best scrapers are made of iron, save the handles, and would be 
found convenient on every farm. 




DIRT SCRAPER. 



DISEASE. In medicine, that condition of the animal economy, 
in which one or more of the functions is altogether impeded, or is per- 
formed with difficulty or with pain. Various definitions of disease 
have been given by different physicians. Some have laconically 
defined it the absence of health, forgetting that this involves another 
definition, that of health. Some have described it as existing in par- 
ticular conditions of the fluids, or of the solids. But it is unnecessary 
to inquire into the variety of definitions of disease, since the word is 
well understood by all, and is used under the same acceptation by the 
peasant and the philosopher. 

DISSOLUTION. In a general sense, the separation of the parts 
of a body which, in the natural structure, are united ; or the reduc- 
tion of concrete bodies into their smallest parts without regard to 
solidity or fluidity. Thus we speak of the dissolution of salts in 
water, of metals in nitro-muriatic acid, and of ice or butter by heat ; 
in which cases, the dissolution is effected by a menstrum or particular 
agent. We speak also of the dissolution of flesh or animal bodies, 
when the parts separate by putrefaction. Dissolution is then, the act 
of liquifying or changing from a solid to fluid state by heat ; a melt- 
ins : a thawinsr ; as the dissolution of snow and ice. which converts 
them into water. The reduction of a body into its smallest parts, or 
into very minute parts, by a dissolvent or menstrum, as of a metal 



THE FARMER AT HOME. ]25 

by nitro-muriatic acid, or of salts in water. The separation of the 
parts of a body by putrefaction, or the analysis of the natural struc- 
ture of mixed bodies, as of animal or vegetable substances ; decom- 
position. 

DISTRIBUTION OF PLANTS. While there is scarcely any 
part of the globe on which plants are not found, many of the most 
important ones are confined by certain causes to particular zones or 
locations, and attempts to produce them in other situations, must of 
necessity be abortive. Thus, the palm of the tropics and the maple 
of the arctic circle cannot be made to change their places ; and the 
same law applies to the 'apple and the orange, the Irish potato and., 
the yam. The grand modifying agent in the distribution of plants, is 
temperature ; and this cause divides the vegetable productions of the 
globe into zones, north and south of the equator, regularly marked, 
unless influenced by causes local in their nature and action. There 
are some general rules applicable to the investigation of the laws that 
govern distribution, which cannot be overlooked ; and these are dif- 
ference in elevation. It has been found that the average difference 
in temperature on any given degree of longitude, is about equal to a 
degree of Fahrenheit for every degree of latitude ; and that in eleva- 
tion, there is on an average, a decrease of temperature equal to a de- 
gree, for every five hundred feet of ascent. 

The result of these laws is, that plants of the temperate zones, 
which will not grow on the plains of the tropics, flourish on the sides 
of the mountains or the elevated plains, the temperature resembling 
that of their favorite clime. Thus wheat and barley which cannot 
be grown on the plains of the tropics, produce abundantly on the 
table lands, some eight or ten thousand ieet above the sea. The ef- 
fect of these laws of distribution are sensibly felt in the United States, 
in the production of fruits and grain. Thus the apple, which finds its 
favorite clime in the northern States, does not grow in the southern 
ones ; and the peach of the north is so inferior to that of the south 
as scarcely to be considered the same fruit. The proper wheat zone 
of the United States may be said to extend only from the thirty-eighth 
to the forty-third degree of latitude. It is indeed cultivated both to 
the north and the south of these limits, but experience proves that 
the crop is less certain and the grain less perfect without than with- 
in them. In the northern States corn is not as certain a crop as it 
is south, but as far north as it succeeds, the produce is usually more 
abundant, and the grain of a better quality than that grown farther 
south. 

DIVISION OF LABOR. That separation of employments, 
which, in political economy, is called the division of labor, can take 
place only in civilized countries. In the flourishing states of Europe 
and America we find men not only exclusively engaged in the exer- 
cise of one particular art, but that art subdivided into numerous 



126 THE FARMER AT HOME. 

branches, each of which forms a distinct occupation for the different 
workmen. Observe the arcommodatioii of the most common artificer 
or day-laborer in a civilized and thriving country, and you Avill per- 
ceive that the number ol' people, of whose industry a part, though but 
a small part, has been employed in procuring him this accom -jdation, 
exceeds all computation. The woolen coat, for example, M'hich 
covers the laborer, though it may appear coarse and rough, is the 
produce of the joint labor of a great number of workmen. The 
shepherds, the sorter of the wool, the carder, the dyer, the spinner, 
the weaver, the fuller, the dresser, with many others, must all 
join their different arts to complete even this ordinary production. 
How many merchants and carriers, besides, must have been employed 
in transporting the materials from some of those workmen to others 
"who often live in a distant part of the country I How much com- 
merce and navigation in particular, how many ship-builders, sailors, 
sail-makers, rgpe-makei-s, must have been employed, in order to bring 
together the different drugs made use of by the dyer, which often 
come from the remotest corners of the world I What a variety of 
labor, too, is necessary in order to produce the tools of those woi-kmen I 
To say nothing of such complicated machines as the ship of the 
sailor, the mill of the fuller, or even the loom of the weaver, let us 
consider only what a variety of labor is requisite to form that very 
simple machine, the shears with which the shepherd clips the wool. 
The miner, the builder of the furnace for heating the ere, the burner 
of the charcoal to be made use of in the smelting-house, the brick- 
maker, the brick-layer, the workmen who attend the furnace, the 
mill-wright, the forger, the smith, must all of them join their different 
arts in order to produce them. 

Were we to examine, in the same manner, all the different parts 
of his dress and household furniture, the difierent hands employed in 
preparing his food, the glass window^ which lets in the heat and the 
light, and keeps out the wind and the rain, with all the knowledge 
and art requisite for preparing that beautiful and happy invention, 
together with the tools of all the different workmen employed in pro- 
ducing those diOerent convenieni?es ; if we examine all these things, 
and consider what a variety of labor is employed about each of them, 
we shall be sensible that without the assistance and co-operation of 
many thousands, the very humblest person in a civilized country could 
not be provided for, even according to what we falsely imagine the 
ea.sy and simple manner in which he is commonly accommodated. 
Compared, indeed, with the more extravagant luxury of the great, 
his accommodation must no doubt appear extremely simple and easy : 
and yet it may be true, perhaps, that the accommodation of an Euro- 
pean prince does not always so much exceed that of an industrious 
and frugal peasant, as the accommodation of the latter exceeds that 



THE FARMER AT HOME 127 

of many an African king', the absolute master of the lives and liber- 
ties of ten thousand naked savages. 

DOCK. This is the name of a well known plant ; and, it is ap- 
plied to several species of the family ; sometimes cultivated in gar- 
dens, but generally considered a troublesome weed. It has stout roots 
and long leaves. Their roots have an austere taste, are stringent, 
and styptic, and the seeds are sometimes used in hemorrhage. For- 
tunately the dock does not, like the Canada thistle, spring from the 
lower roots when the crown of the plant is cut olt'; and all that is 
necessary, therefore, to eradicate it, is to strike it oft' below the sur- 
face. If this is done cleanly and at once, the plant is destroyed. 

DOG. The largeness of the make, the elegance of the form, the 
strength of the body, the freedom of the motions, and all the exterior 
qualities, are not the noblest properties in an animated being ; and. 
as, in mankind, understanding is preferred to figure, courage to 
ptrength, and sentiment to beauty ; so the interior qualities are those 
which we esteem most in animals ; for it is in these that they difier 
from the automaton ; it is by these they are raised above the vegeta- 
blc: and made to approach nearer to ourselves ; it is their sense 
which ennobles their being, which regulates, which enlivens it, which 
commands the organs, makes the members active, gives birth to de- 
sire, and gives to matter progressive motion, will, and life. 

The Dog, independently of his beauty, vivacity, strength, and 
swiftness, has all the interior qualities which can attract the regard 
of man. The tame dog comes to lay at his master's feet his courage, 
strength, and talents, and waits his orders to use them; he consults, 
interrogates, and beseeches ; the glance of his eye is sufficient ; he 
understands the signs of his will. Without the vices of man, he has 
all the ardor ol' sentiment ; and what is more, he has fidelity and 
constancy in his afiections ; no ambition, no interest, no desire of re- 
venge, no fear but that of displeasing him ; he is all zeal, all warmth, 
and all obedience ; more sensible to the remembrance of benefits than 
of wrongs, he soon forgets, or only remembers them to make his at- 
tachment the stronger ; far from irritating, or running away, he even 
exposes himself to new proofs ; he licks the hand which is the cause 
of his pain, he only opposes it by his cries, and at length entirely dis- 
arms it by his patience and submission. 

More docile and flexible than any other animal, the dog is not 
only instructed in a short time, but he even conforms himself to the 
motions, manners, and habits of those who command him; he has all 
the manners of the house where he inhabits; like the other domestics, 
he is disdainful with the great, and rustic in the country, always at- 
tentive to his master ; and striving to anticipate the wants of his 
friends, he gives no attention to indifferent persons, and declares war 
against those whose station makes them importunate ; he knows 
them by their dress, their voice, Iheir gestures, and prevents their ap- 



128 THE FARMER AT HOME. 

proach. When the care of the house is entrusted to him during the 
night, he becomes more fiery and sometimes ferocious ; he watches, 
he walks his rounds, he scents strangers afar off; and, if they hap- 
pen to stop, or attempt to break in, he files to oppose them, and, by 
reiterated barkings, efforts and cries of passion, he gives the alarm. 
As furious against men of prey as against devounng animals, he flies 
upon, wounds, and tears them, and takes from them what they were 
endeavoring to steal ; but, content with having conquered, he rests 
himself upon the spoils, will not touch it even to satisfy his appetite, 
and at once gives an example of courage, temperance, and fidelity. 

DOGDAYS. Certain days in the year called by this name, from 
the dogstar, or Sirius. They are also called canicular days, from 
canis, the Latin word signifying dog. On those days the dogstar 
rises and sets with the sun. The ancients imagined that the rising 
of the dogstar with the sun, occasioned the sultry weather and the 
diseases usually experienced in the latter part of summer. The Ro- 
mans sacrificed a brown dog every year to appease the rage of Sirius. 
The rising of the stars, however, not only varies according to the la- 
titude of different places, hut is always later and later every year in 
the same place, so that in time Sirius may, by the same rule, be 
charged with bringing frost and snow when he rises in the winter. 
In our almanacs the season of dogdays is set down as occuring from 
the third of July to the eleventh of August, without any regard to the 
position of Sirius. In England, the dogdays have caused some vari- 
ety in their calendar. Bede refers to a time when they commenced 
on the fourteenth of July ; in the reign of Elizabeth they were reck- 
oned from the sixth of that month to the sixth of September ; from 
the restoration of Charles II., to the correction of the calendar, the 
beginning of this period was on the nineteenth of July, and the end 
of it, on the twenty-eighth of August ; after the (;orrection of the cal- 
endar the time was changed to the thirtieth of July and the seventh 
of September ; and of late in the English almanacs they are placed 
as we first mentioned. 

DOUKING HENS. This is a variety of barn yard fowls which 
take their distinctive appellation from a town of that name in the 
county of Surrey, England. They have generally been much ad- 
mired by all, we believe, who have been familiar with their merits. 
They are not as large as some varieties that have lately attracted 
notice, but they are sufficiently so for profit, holding a medium rank 
between the stately gobbler fraternity, and the smaller varieties of the 
hen family. Their native color is generally pure white, spotted or 
spangled with black ; and these colors sometimes merge into a grey 
or grizzle. The cocks are magnificent birds, with a surpassing brii- 
liancy of plumage, rarely equalled by other kinds. The hens are 
well formed with broad breasts ; are u.sually good layers; and their 
young are easily reared. It has been affirmed that the Dorkings 



THE FARMER AT HOME. 



129 



originally had five toes, or in other words, two hi:iJ toes ; and that if 
they do not possess this peculiarity now, it is because they have lost 
it by successive crossings. 




DORKING HENS. 

DORMANT state of animals. We are all accustomed to see a 
large part of creation, during summer, in great activity, and in winter 
returning to an apparently inanimate state ; we mean the plants ; but 
this phenomenon is not common in the case of animals. There is, 
however, a small number of animals, which, besides the daily rest 
that they have in common with most other animals, remain, during 
some months in the year, in an apparently lifeless state ; at least, in 
utter inactivity. Except the hedgehog xnd the bat, all the mammalia 
subject to this dormant state, belong to the class of digitated animals. 
They are found not only in cold climates, but in very warm ones ; 
for instance, the jerboa in Arabia, and the taurick in Madagascar. 

The period of long sleep generally begins when the food of the 
animal begins to become scarce, and inactivity spreads over the veg- 
etable kingdom. Instinct, at this time, impels the animals to seek a 
safe place for their period of rest. The bat hides itself in the dark, 
or in walls of decayed buildings. The hedgehog envelopes himself 
in leaves, and generally conceals himself in fern-brakes. Hamsters 
6* 



J 30 THE FARMER AT HOME. 

and marmots bury themselves in the ground, and the jumping-mouse 
ofCanaaa and the United States, incloses itself" in a ball of clay. At 
the same time, these singular animals roll themselves together in such 
a way that the extremities are protected against cold, and the abdom- 
inal intestines, and even the windpipe, are compressed, so that the 
circulation of the blood is checked. Many of them, especially the 
gnawers, as the Hamster and Norway rat, collect previously to their 
period of sleep, considerable stores of food, on which they probably live 
until sleep overpowers them. 

DOVE. A wild pigeon, of which there are three sorts, namely, 
the ring dove, the largest of the pigeon tribe, so wild that it cannot 
be domesticated ; the stock dove, that is migratory ; and the turtle 
dove, a shy and retired dove living in the woods. These descriptions 
apply to the European varieties. In America we have several kinds 
of pigeons, of which the passenger pigeon is the most remarkable. 
In the western states these birds assemble in such countless numbers, 
as to darken the air by their flocks, and desolate the whole country 
for miles around their breeding places. The turtle dove of America 
differs in some measure, from the turtle dove of Europe. 

DOWN. In commerce, the fine feathers from the breasts of the 
several birds, particularly of the duck kind. That of the eider duck 
is the most valuable. These birds pluck it from their breasts -and 
line their nests with it. We are told that the quantity of down 
found in one nest more than filled the crown of a hat, yet weighed no 
more than three-quarters of an ounce. Three pounds of this down 
may be compressed into a space scarcely bigger than one's fist, yet is 
afterwards so dilatable as to fill a quilt five feet square. That found 
in the nest is most valued, and termed live down ; it is infinitely 
more elastic than that plucked from the dead bird, which is little 
esteemed. 

DRAINING. Few expenditures in husbandry are calculated to 
make better returns than those made in draining, a branch of labor 
which has had in this country but a limited application. Many of 
our best lands are permitted to remain in a comparative unproductive 
state, on account of the water, which saturates the surface, or reposes 
on the subsoil. To render these lands productive, even for arable 
purposes, it is only necessary, by well conducted and sufficient drains, 
to collect and carry off^the surplus water which falls upon the surface, 
or rises from the springs below. The philosophy of draining is simply 
this : — Air and heat are essential agents in preparing the food of plants 
which is deposited in the soil, and they are also necessary for the 
healthful development of most of the cultivated varieties. These 
agents are in a measui-e excluded from the soil by the water. The 
temperature of a soil, habitually saturated with spring water from 
beneath the surface, seldom exceeds fifty or sixty degrees at midsum- 
mer. Hence the grains and grasses, which require a heat of eighty 



THE "ARMER AT HOME. 13 1 

or ninety degrees to brinsf them to a high state of excellence, can 
never thrive in these cold situations, where they find neither the 
warmth nor the food suited to their habits. It is as unreasonable to 
expect it as it is to expect the farmer's wife can bake bread in a cold 
oven. But drain these soils, and they become light and porous ; per- 
vious to solar and atmospheric influence, the process of vegetable 
decomposition is accelerated, and a high state of fertility is developed. 

The acknowledged utility of irrigation, or of spreadins:, occasion- 
ally, the water from streams, or the highways over lands, has led to 
a misapprehension with many of the principles of draining. Irriga- 
tion is employed to furnish M'atcr to soils, generally slopes, where it is 
deficient, and from whence it speedily passes oil', or to cover grounds 
in winter to exclude severe frosts. The water thus employed is nearly 
of the warmth of the atmosphere, and is generally charged with fer- 
tilizing properties. Draining is ^ ^iployed on flat surfaces, or upon 
slopes abounding in springs, where there is an excess of water, and of 
a temperature which materially chills and deadens the soil. Irriga- 
tion supplies water where there is a deficiency — draining carries it off 
where there is an excess. Both are intended, by opposite modes, to 
produce the same result — a suitable degree of moisture for the wants 
of the crop. 

DRESSING OF MEAT. By means of culinary fire, is intended 
to loosen the compages or texture of the flesh, and dispose it for disso- 
lution and digestion in the stomach. The usual operations are roast- 
ing, .boiling, and stewing. In roasting, it is observed, meat will bear 
a much greater and longer heat than either in boiling or stewing ; 
and in boiling, greater and longer than in stewing. Roasting being 
performed in the open air, as the parts begin externally to warm, 
they extend and dilute, and so gradually let out part of the rarefied 
included air, by which means tho internal succussions, on which the 
dissolution depends, ai'e much weakened and abated. Boiling being 
performed in water, the pressure is greater, and consequently the suc- 
cussions to lift up the weight are proportionably strong, by which 
means the coction is hastened ; and even in this way there are great 
differences ; for the greater the weight of water the sooner is the 
business done. 

In stewing, though the heat be much less than what is employed 
in the other methods, the operation is much more quicks because per- 
formed in a close vessel, and- full ; by which means the succussions 
are oftener repeated, and more strongly reverberated. Boiling, Dr. 
Cheyne observes, draws more of the rank, strong juices from the 
meat, and leaves it less nutritive, but lighter, and easier of digestion; 
roasting, on the other hand, leaves it fuller of the strong, nutritive 
juices, but harder to digest, and needing more dilution. Dr Brown 
insists, tha roasted meat is more easily digested, and every way more 



132 



THE FARMKR AT HOiMK. 



fitted far a weak stomach than boiled. Strong and full-grown animal 
food should be boiled, and the young and tender roasted. 

DRILLING. A modern mode of putting seed into the ground by 
a machine called a di-illing machine, which makes channels in the 
ground, and lets the seed into them, so that it comes up in rows at 
regular distances from each other. The implement is also called the 
drill, and although a comparatively modern invention, is so con- 
structed, as to be used for nearly all the seeds cultivated in the garden 
or the field. The advantages of drilling over the common method of 
planting, are, the business is performed more expeditiously, the seeds 
are more evenly distributed, and they are covered at the depth most 
suitable for their vegetation. The drill is used in some parts of 




HORSE -DRILL. 



England extensively for sowing wheat, and on the Holkham farm in 
Norfolk, belonging to the Earl of Leicester, four hundred acres in a 
season are put in by this implement. Where the drill is used, the 
soil must be fine, free from stones or other obstructions, and then 
drill-sowing is performed with the greatest accuracy and benefit. 
The Norfolk drill sows from twelve to' sixteen rows of wheat at a 
time, and at a distance of eight inches. With the best drills now to 
be had in our own country, a man with tM'o horses can sow a dozen 
acres of wheat in a day, and with one horse can plant twenty acres 
of corn in a day. 

DRINK. A part of our ordinary food, in a liquid form, serving 
to dilute and moisten the dry meat. Although the proportion of 



THK FARMER AT flOME. 



133 



liquid to that of dry or solid food, cannot be precisely ascertained ; yet, 
if the constant secretion of the fluids be laid down as the basis of this 
computation, we should, perhaps, drink double the quantify of the 
solid provisions we daily consume. Nevertheless, even this propor- 
tion is but too often exceeded, merely to please the artificial cravings of 
a corrupted palate. Thus we no longer drink with a view to quench 
thirst only, but at certain hours of the day, whether we are naturally 
inclined or not. Nay we frequently meet with sots in beer, ale, spir- 
its, wine, punch, and even tea. Excessive drink, however, though it 
distend and oppress the stomach, and thus impede digestion, is not 
nearly so pernicious as gluttony, unlesss the former be attended with 
intoxication. It hoAvever impoverishes the whole mass of the blood, 
by rendering it too thin and watery ; so that relaxation of the urinary 
and other canals, and, at length, general debility of the system, are 
its necessary concomitants. 

On the contrary, too little drink disposes persons of a sedentary 
life to indigestion ; because many particles of solid food are, for want 
of dilution, passed unassimilated through the alimentary canal ; and 
the blood becomes viscid, and inert in its circulation. The active 
and laborious should, therefore, drink more than the idle or phlegm- 
atic ; and either of these more in summer than in winter, to supply 
the great loss of humors exhaled by insensible perspiration. Persons, 
whose natural appetites are not depraved in consequence of irregular 
living, may easily regulate the due proportion of their drink to that of 
their solid food ; as, to them, thirst Avill be the safest guide. But 
those individuals who have become slaves to intoxicating libations 
are unfortunately deprived of this beneficent instinct, which is the 
privilege even of brutes, to drink what they need, and then to abstain 
from drinking. 

DROMEDARY. A species of camel, called also the Arabian 
camel, with one bunch or pi'otuberance on the back, in distinction 
from the Bactrian camel, which has two bunches. It has four cal- 
lous protuberances on the forelegs, and two on the hind ones. It is a 
common beast of burden in Egypt, Syria, and the neighboring coun- 
tries. It is said to be very swift, and able to travel more than one 
hundred miles in a day, though its common rate does not exceed forty 
miles. 

DRONE. The male of the honey bee. It is smaller than the queen 
bee, but much larger than the working bee. The drones make no 
honey, but after living a few weeks, and being no further needed to 
impregnate the queen, by a wonderful instinct in the working portion 
of the family, they are killed or driven from the hive. An idler ; a 
sluggard ; one who earns nothing by industry is also called a drone. 

DROWNING. The extinction of life by a total submersion in 
water. In some respects, there seems to be a great similarity between 
the death occasioned by immersion in water, and that by strangula- 



134 THE FARMER AT HOME. 

tion, suffocation by fixed air, apoplexies, epilepsies, sudden faintings, 
violent shocks of electricity, or even violent falls and bruises. Physi- 
cians, however, are not agreed with regard to the nature of the 
injury done to the animal system, in any or all these accidents. It 
is indeed certain that, in all cases above mentioned, particularly in 
drowning, there is very often such a suspension of the vital powers, as 
to us has the appearance pf a total extinction of them ; while yet they 
may be again set in motion, and the person restored to life, after a 
much longer submersion than has generally been thought capable of 
producing absolute death. 

The length of time during which a person may remain in water 
without being drowned is very unequal in different individuals ; and 
depends as much on the temperature of the water as on the particular 
constitution of the subject. In general, however, there is less pros- 
pect of recovery, after having continued fifteen minutes immersed in 
water. In such cases, death ensues from impeded respiration, and the 
consequent ceasing of circulation of the blood, by w^hich the body loses 
its heat, and -with that, the activity of the vital principle. Dr. Good- 
wyn justly observes, that the water produces all the changes which 
take place in drowning, only indirectly, by excluding atmospheric air 
from the lungs, as they admit but a very inconsiderable quantity of 
fluid to pass into them during immersion. Hence we find that infla- 
tion of the lungs is one of the principal meansof restoring life to those 
apparently dead from having been too long in the water. 

DRUG. The general name of substances used in medicines, sold 
by the druggist, and compounded by apothecaries and physicians ; 
any substance, vegetable, animal, or mineral, which is used in the 
composition or preparation of medicines. It is also applied to dyeing 
materials. Any commodity that lies on hand, is not saleable ; an 
article of slow sale, or in no demand in the market, is frequently called 
a drug. 

DRUM. A martial instrument of music, in form of a hollow cyl- 
inder, and covered at the ends with vellum, which is stretched or 
slackened at pleasure. In machinery, drum is a short cylinder 
revolving on an axis, generally for the purpose of turning several small 
wheels, by means of straps passing round its periphery, In anatomy, 
a portion of the ear is called the drum, or tympanum, or barrel of the 
ear. The membrane of the tympanum of the ear is tense, and closes 
the external passage of the ear, receiving the vibrations of the air. 

DRUNKENNESS. Alcohol is the chief of the intoxicating sub- 
stances ; but there are others besides it which produce a similar 
effect. Such are opium and bangue, hemlock, nightshade, henbane, 
and touacco. Nitrous oxide gas, applied for a few seconds to the 
lungs by means of breathing, induces a transitory sort of intoxication. 
Opium and bangue are used in Mahometan countries, where the laws 
of the prophet prohibit the use of wine. Bangue induces a sort of 



THE FARMER AT HOME. I35 

folly and forpetfulness, gaiety, and delirious joy. It and opium are, in 
truth, succedauea tor wine ; I'or, iu all countries, men constantly seek 
after something or other to rouse and exhilerate their spirits, and bring 
on that mental state which relieves them from every care. This dis- 
position, however, prevails most in cold climates ; for drunkenness is 
observed to increase in proportion as we recede from the equator. 
The stimulus of heat being deficient, it would appear in cold cli- 
mates, men feel more the want of anotiier stimulus, and are thus led 
to the excessive use of intoxicating liquors. 

The effects of inebriating liquors will be very difTerent at different 
times. They will vary with the habit of intoxication, the fullness or 
emptiness of the stomach, the time of the day, the heat of the climate, 
the season of the year, the temperature of the room, and in short with 
whatever tends to vary the excitability of the system. Every person 
knows, that less liquor will produce intoxication in the forenoon 
than after dinner ; and we learn from Captain Bligh's narrative, that 
when he and his companions in an open boat in their passage to 
Timor, were, from a scarcity of provisions, reduced to a state of 
almost continued fasting, a single teaspoonful of rum produced ine- 
briation. This state of the system has been called accumulated 
excitability. But in typhus fever it seems to be in a state directly 
opposite ; for then two or even three bottles of wine will sometimes 
be used in the four-and-twenty hours, a;nd that too by delicate females, 
without inconvenience. 

It is not uncommon to hear people say that they have known 
many hard drinkers live to a great age ; and that if spirituous liquors 
be a poison, as physicians and moralists tell them that they are, they 
must indeed be a very slow poison, for such a person of their acquain- 
tance has now attained his 80th year, for example, and yet has 
drunk hard all his life. This, however, is a very gross and most 
pernicious deception, much resembling the lists of remarkable cures 
said to be performed by quacks. You hear of those that have sur- 
vived their prescriptions, but nothing of those who have perished. 

We shall here put down a few of the most curious instances, of 
mental hallucination, that have been ascertained to proceed from 
excess in drinking. Athenseus tells us, that a drunken crew at 
Agrigentum in Sicily, hearing the winds roar on the house in which 
they happened to be, became so fully persuaded that they were on 
board ship, and in danger of suffering shipwreck, that they threw all 
the furniture out of the windows, under the idea that they were 
lightening the ship: A drunken man has been known to whip a post 
because it would not move out of his way ; and an old gentleman of 
eighty, when intoxicated, once took a lamp-post for a lady, and 
addressed her in all the impassioned language of love. Junius men- 
tions the case of a drunken man who was stopped in his progress by 
the shadow of a sign-post, which he th >ught it impossible to get over ; 



J 36 THE FARMER AT HOME. 

of a second, who seeing the moon shine through a small hole in the 
wall, attempted to light his candle at it ; and, another that fell down 
drunk in the street, and when the people attempted tn help him up, 
exclaimed, "What, can I not he quiet in my own rcom l" 

DRY-ROT. This is a term applied to a rapid deca3'of any vege- 
table matter, when it has the appearance of being tolerably dry, but, 
in general, is applied only to timber when in that state, and is so 
named in contradistinction to the common mode of decay, by being 
exposed to the alternate states of wet and dry. There are a great 
many causes for this species of decay — some are quite simple, others 
are very complicated ; yet, whatever may be the original cause, 
simple or compound, the effects are the same, namely, to render the 
timber useless, by destroying its elasticity and toughness, rendering it 
insufficient to resist any considerable pressure, and, indeed, for any of 
the useful purposes to which timber is applied. When timber is in a 
tolerably dry state, any means which will absorb or extract its oxygen 
from the other component parts will leave it in the state commonly 
called dri/ rotten. Moist, warm situations, with little or no current 
of air, are the most likely to generate this evil. The effluvia from 
timber in such a state of decay will rapidly carry its eflects to the 
circumjacent timber, however dry it may appear; and any sort of 
timber will be, in a very little time, rendered quite useless. 

There are no means of restoring rotten timber to a sound state, 
and the dry rot can only be cured by removing the decayed and 
affected parts, clearing all the fungi, and destroying its vegetating 
principle, with which the hard materials such as bricks or stone, 
may have been impregnated. For this purpose a strong solution of 
iron, copper, or zinc, is used with advantage. This, with the admis- 
sion of a large quantity of air, is very advantageous. Many persons 
have written on the subject ; and the nostrums proposed are as 
numerous as their authors. But no means of checking the evil can 
be depended upon, except that of removing the corrupted and con- 
tagious matter, and admitting a free circulation of air. Much also 
may be done by cutting timber in winter, and properly seasoning it, 
by steeping it in water for some time, and thoroughly drying it before 
it is used in building. 

DUCK. A very extensive and natural genus of birds is repre- 
sented by this name. They are known in all parts of the world. It 
has been divided by naturalists into an infinity of genera ; to such a 
degree, indeed, that, according to some of the distinctions which have 
been made, it would be impossible to leave the females of several 
species in the same genus with the males. We have thii'ty-one 
species of this interesting genus, inhabiting Nt '-th America, being 
Avithin one of the number found in Europe — of nese twenty-oni are 
common to both countries, leaving ten pecul. .r to America, and 
eleven to Europe. 



THE FARMER AT HOME 



137 



DUCTILITY. Ill physics, a property possessed by certain solid 
bodies, which consists in their yielding to percussion or pressure, and 
in receiving different forms without breaking. Some bodies are duc- 
tile both when they are cold, and when they are hot, and in all cir- 
cumstances. Such are metals, particularly gold and silver. Other 
bodies are ductile only when heated to a sufficient degree ; such as 
wax and^ other substances of that kind, and glass. Other bodies, 
particularly some kinds of iron, called by the woi'kmen red-short, brass, 
and some other metallic mixture, are ductile only when cold, and 
brittle when hot. The degrees of heat requisite to produce ductility 
in bodies of the first kind, vary according to their difierent natures. 
In general, the heat of the body must be such as is sufficient to reduce 
to a middle state betwixt solidity and perfect fusion. As wax for 
instance, is fusible with a very small heat, it may be rendered ductile 
by a still smaller one ; and glass, which requires a most violent heat 
for its perfect fusion, cannot acquire its greatest ductility until it is 
made perfectly redhot, and almost ready to fuse. Lastly, some bodies 
are made ductile by the absorption of a fluid. Such are certain 
earths, particularly clay. When these earths have absorbed a suffi- 
cient quantity of water, to bring them into a middle state betwixt 
solidity and fluidity, that is to the consistence of a considerably firm 
paste, they have then acquired their greatest ductility. Water has 
precisely the same efiect upon them in this respect, that fire has upon 
the bodies above-mentioned. 

DURATION OF PLANTS. The several kinds of plants vary 
very much in their degrees of longevity, some being annual, perfecting 
their growth within a year, ripening their seeds and perishing. Others 
are perennial and continue to grow and flourish for years and cen- 
turies. Warm or cold climates have much influence on the duration 
of plants, and in some few instances plants that are annual in cold 
climates, become perennial when transplanted into warm regions, and 
vice versa. There are some kinds of trees that are very short-lived, 
as the peach and the plum, others reach a great age as the pear and 
the apple. Some kinds of the forest trees are remarkable for their 
duration, and specimens are in existence seemingly co-eval with the 
date of the present order of things on our globe. The oak and chest- 
nut or pine of our forests reach the age of from three hundred to five 
hundred years. The cypress or white cedar of our swamps has fur- 
nished individuals eight or nine hundred years old. Trees are now 
living in England and Constantinople more than one thousand years 
old, of the yew, plane and cypress tree varieties ; and Addison found 
trees of the boabab growing near the Senegal in Africa, which, reckon- 
ing from the ascertained age of others of the same species, must have 
been nearly four thousand years of age. It may be remarked that 
plants of the same variety attain about the samr^ age in all climates 
where they are produced. 



138 THE FARMER AT HOME. 

DYEING. The ovigiii of the art of dyeing: is involved in that 
obscurity which pervades the history of all those arts connected with 
the common wants and necessities of life. They have originated in 
times beyond the reach of history or tradition, and are the offspring of 
the natural faculties of man directed by tlie great primeval wants of 
food, shelter, and raiment. The art of dyeing is, of course, posterior 
to many of these, and is founded less on the necessities than passions 
of mankind. A love of distinction is common to man in every stage 
of civilisation, but that passion for admiration which is displayed in 
a love of finery and ornament, is peculiar to him in his most barba- 
rous and uncultivated state. Hence savage nations delight in bril- 
liant and gaudy colors, and many paint their skins, and adorn them- 
selves with feathers, stones, and shells of various hues. History has 
not furnished us even with her fables on the origin of dyeing; but 
from analogy, as well as observation of the practice of barbarous na- 
tions at the present day, we may trace the rude beginnings from 
whence the art has sprung. The rich and gaudy plumage of birds, 
the finely-spotted skins of animals, colored stones, and such other sub- 
stances as nature herself supplies, would afford the first materials for 
savage finery and dress. The caps and mantles of the chiefs of the 
South Sea Islands, such as were brought home by Captain Cook, are 
composed almost wholly of feathers I'ichly colored. 

Purple has been almost every where a mark of distinction at- 
tached to high birth and dignity. It was an ornament of the first 
officers of Rome, but luxury, which was carried to great excess in 
that capital of the world, rendered the use of it common among the 
opulent, till the emperors reserved to themselves the right of wearing 
it. Soon afterwards it became the symbol of their inaugui'ation. 
They appointed officers to superintend the manufactories, pi-incipally 
established in Phoenicia, where it was prepared solely for their use. 
The punishment of death was decreed against all who should have 
the audacity to wear it, though covered with another color. The 
penalty so tyrannically denounced against this whimsical species of 
treason, doubtless occasioned the loss of the art of dyeing purple ; 
first in the West, but much later in the East, where it flourished 
considerably till the eleventh century. 

The ancients had such a veneration for this color, that it was es- 
pecially consecrated to the service of the Deity. Moses used stuffs of 
purple for the works of the tabernacle, and the habits of the priest. 
The Babylonians gave purple habits to their idols ; it was the same 
with most of the other people of antiquity, The pagans were even 
pei-suaded that the purple dye had a particular virtue, and was capa- 
ble of appeasing 'the wrath of their gods. Among the presents which 
the Israelites made to Gideon, the Scriptures make mention of purple 
habits found among the spoils of the kings of Midian. Homer gives 
us pi linly to understand, that it only belonged to the princes to wear 



THE FARMER AT HOME. I39 

this color, and we may remark, that this custom was observed by all 
the nations of antiquity. 

EAGLE. A bird of prey, of the genus falco, of which there are 
several species. It is said to be the swiftest, strongest, and boldest of 
all birds. The eagle has a long hooked beak, yellow scaly legs, thick 
crooked talons, a short tail, and a very keen sight. The wings of the 
sea-eagle extend seven feet. The eagle, as a bearing in a coat armor, 
is reckoned as honorable among the birds, as the lion is among the 
beasts. The bald eagle is the national emblem of the United States 
of North America. 

EARTHQ,UAKES. Shaking or vibrations of the ground are 
called earthquakes. They are sometimes accompanied by rents 
and rocking or heavings of the surface, so as to overthrow buildings, 
and swallow up towns and large tracts of country. They are 
attended with a terrible subterranean noise, like thunder, and some- 
times with an eruption of fire or water, smoke or wind. They are 
occasioned by an electrical action between the atmosphere and some 
deep substrata ; or the sudden formation of gaseous matter beueath 
the surface of the earth by internal volcanic fires. The great earth- 
quake of 1755 extended over a tract of at least 4,000,000 of square 
miles. It appears to have originated beneath the Atlantic ocean, the 
waves of which received almost as violent a concussion as the land. 
Its efTects were even extended to the waters in many places where 
the shocks were not perceptible. It pervaded the greater portions of 
the continents of Europe, Africa, and America ; but its extreme vio- 
lence was exercised on the southwestern parts of the former. Lisbon, 
the Portuguese capital, had already suffered greatly from an earth- 
quake in 1531 ; and, since the calamity of 1755, has had three such 
visitations, 1761, 1765, and 1772, which were not however attended 
by equally disasti'ous consequences. This earthquake was also felt 
at Oporto, Cadiz, and other pai-ts of Europe, and equally severe in 
Africa. A great part of the city of Algiers was destroyed. In many 
places of Germany the effects of this earthquake were very per- 
ceptible ; but in Holland the agitations were still more remarkable. 
The agitation of the waters was also perceived in various parts of 
Great Britain and Ireland. At sea, the shocks of this earthquake 
v/ere felt most violently. Among other catastrophes, the captain of 
the Nancy, frigate, off St. Lucas, felt his ship so violently shaken, 
that he thought she had struck the ground, but on heaving the lead, 
found she was in a great depth of water. 

E.\RTHS. The earths that are of the most consequence to the 
agriculturist as constituting arable soils, are silica, lime, alumina, 
magnesia, oxyde of iron, and some few saline substances as sulphate 
and phosphate of lime. The arable soils or earths are produced by 
the decomposition of the rocks which form the basis of our globe, and 
their quality is depending on the proportion in which the several 



140 THE FARMER AT HOME. 

ingredients enter into combination. Not one of these earths is of 
itself adapted to cultivation, and where any one is found in excess, 
sterility is the inevitable result. The best earths, or those best 
adapted to agriculture, are those that unite the properties most in 
demand by vegetables, and nearly in the proportion in which they 
exist in the most valuable plants. There is to be a distinction 
between earths and soils, though the difference is frequently over- 
looked or forgotten. The earths are made by the decomposition of 
the primitive elements of the globe ; this material is converted into 
soil by the admixture and combination of animal or vegetable matter, 
and the fertility is usually depending on the proportion in which this 
is blended with the earths. The earths in some form exist in all 
plants ; and by reducing them to ashes and submitting them to 
analysis the proportion and kind of earths may be ascertained. 

EARWIGr. There is an insect of this name, so called because 
it is supposed to insinuate itself into the ears of persons who incau- 
tiously sleep among grass where it is found. It is troublesome in 
Europe, but rarely ibund in the United States. It is extremely 
doubtful whether the animal intentionally enters the ear; and, 
indeed, there is no reason whatever that it should, except from mere 
accident. 

EARTHWORM. This worm is the common angle worm of the 
fisherman ; though apparently of little consequence to the agriculturist, 
is in some places found in such numbers as to prove somewhat of a 
nuisance. It is generally most abundant in moist lands, or in gardens 
that are heavily manured, and their presence may readily be known 
by observing the earth after rains, when numerous openings will be 
found, each accompanied by a small portion of earth apparently 
forced upward from the opening. There is a difference as to the effect 
they produce on the soil. Some have supposed they impoverish it by 
absorbing the nutriment that sustains the plant, although there is no 
proof that they feed directly on the root^. The opinion of others is 
that these worms benefit the soil by loosening it. If desired, they can 
be destroyed by lime or salt. 

EAST. The point in the hea^'ons where the sun is seen to rise 
at the equinox, or when it is in the equinoctial, or the corresponding 
point on the earth ; one of the four cardinal points. The east and 
the west are the points where the equator intersects the horizon. 
But to persons under the equinoctial line, that line constitutes east 
and west. 

ECHO. A sound reflected or reverberated to the ear, from some 
solid body. As the undulatory motion of the air, which constitutes 
sound, is propagated in all directions from the bounding body, it will 
frequently happen that the air, in performing its vibrations, will im- 
pinge against various objects, which will reflect it back, and so cause 
new vibrations the contrary way. Now, if the objects are so situated 



THE FARMER AT HOME. 141 

as to reflect a sufiicienl number of such vibrations as proceed different 
ways, to the same place, the sound will be there repeated, and is 
called an echo ; and the greater the distance of the object is, the 
longer will be the time before the repetition is heai'd ; and when the 
sound, in its progress, meets with objects at difierent distances, suffi- 
cient to produce an echo, the same sound will be repeated several 
times successively, according to the different distances of these objects 
from the sounding body, which makes what is called a repeated echo. 

ECLIPSES. These natural and now well understood phenomena 
were formerly beheld by mankind with terror and amazement ; and 
were looked upon as prodigies which portended calamity and rriisery. 
Such fears, and the erroneous opinions that produced them, originated 
in ignorance. The illiterate in all ages have beheld eclipses with a 
kind of terror ; and, not having been able to account for the obscura- 
tion of any of the celestial bodies, superstition has invented a thou- 
sand ridiculous stories to account for this seemingly wonderful exhi- 
bition of nature. The natives of Mexico kept fasts during eclipses, 
imagining the moon had been wounded by the sun in a quarrel. 
Other nations have thought, that in an eclipse of the sun, that body 
has turned away its face -with abhorrence f'om the crimes of mankind ; 
and, by fasting, they thought to appease the excited wrath. This 
ignorance and superstition were greatly sex-viceable to the celebrated 
navigator, Columbus. When he arrived at St. Domingo, on his fourth 
voyage of discoveries, in the year 1502, he had the mortification to 
find the Spanish governor, who resided there, would not allow his 
ships to anchor, because he was jealous of the favors which Columbus 
had received from Isabella, then queen of Spain. This obliged him 
to put to sea in search of some more hospitable harbor. After he 
had searched in vain for a passage to the Indian ocean, he returned, 
and was shipwrecked on the coast of Jamaica. 

Being driven to great distress in consequence of the natives with- 
holding a supply of provisions, he had recourse to a happy artifice, 
which not only produced the desired success, but heightened the favor- 
able ideas the Indians had originally entertained of the Spaniards. 
By skill in astronomy, he knew there would shortly be an eclipse of 
the moon. He assembled all the principal persons of the district the 
day before the eclipse happened ; and having reproached them for 
their caprice in withholding their assistance from men whom they 
had .so lately and so highly respected, he told them the Great Spirit 
was 60 offended, at their want of humanity to the Spaniards, that as 
a sign he intended to punish them with extreme severity, and that as 
his vengeance was I'eady to fall on them, he would cause the moon 
that very night, to conceal its light, and appear of a bloody hue, the 
certain emblem of Divine wrath. This artifice was a most success- 
ful one. It led to the speedy supply of all his wants Some of these 



142 THE FARMER AT HOME. 

poor ignorant creatures did indeed hear his threat with indifference, 
while others listened to it with a degree of astonishment ; but whea 
the raoou began gradually to be darkened, all were struck M'ith fear. 
They immediately ran with consternation to their houses, and returned 
instantly, loaded with provisions. 

EFFLUVIA. Fluxes, or exhalations of minute particles from 
any body ; or emanations of subtle corpuscles from a mixed sensible 
body by a kind of motion of transpiration. Odoriferous bodies every 
one knows, are continually emitting substantial effluvia, by means of 
which they excite in us the means of smelling. These minute efflu- 
via are sometimes perceived by the eye, in form of fumes and 
vapors. 

Some bodies are found to emit effluvia for a great number of 
years, without any considerable loss, either as to bulk or weight ; as 
different odorous bodies, the tenuity of whose emanant corpuscles is 
incredible ; not but that the loss they sustain by the continual emis- 
sion of effluvia may be made up to them by the reception of other 
similar elflnvia of the same kind of bodies diffused through the air. 
That aifluvia are emitted to very great distances, we have a notable 
proof in odoriferous effluvia being in many cases perceived at the 
distance of many leagues. Again, that the generality of effluvia 
retain the proper color, smell, taste, and other properties and the 
effects of the bodies whence they proceed, and this even after they 
have passed through the pores of other solid bodies, we have abun- 
dant proof. 

EGGS Eggs differ very much according to the birds that lay 
them, as to their color, form, bigness, age, and the different way of 
dressing them ; those most used in food are hen's eggs ; of which, 
such as are new laid are best. As to the preservation of eggs, it is 
observed, that the egg is always quite full when it is first lain by the 
hen, but from that time it gradually becomes less and less so, to. its 
decay ; and however compact and close its shell may appear, it is 
nevertheless perforated with a multitude of small holes, though too 
minute for the discernment of our eyes, the effect of which is a daily 
decrease of matter M-ithin the egg, from the time of its being laid ; 
and the perspiration is much quicker in hot weather than in cold 
To preserve eggs fresh, there needs no more than to preserve them 
full, and stop the transpiration ; the method of doing which is, by 
stopping up the pores vi'ith matter which is not soluble in watery 
fluids ; and on this principle it is, that all kinds of varnish, prepared 
with wine, will preserve eggs fresh for a long time, if they are care- 
fully rubbed all over the shell ; tallow, mutton fat, and even fresh 
butter, are also good for this purpose; for such as are rubbed ov(r 
with any of these will keep as long as those coated over with 
varnish. 



THE FARMER AT HOME. 143 

The art of hatching chickens by means of ovens has long been 
practised in Egypt, chiefly in a villafre named Berme, and its envi- 
rons. About the beginning of autumn, tlie natives scatter themselves 
all over the country ; where each undertakes the management of an 
oven. These oven.s are of diflerent sizes, but in general they contain 
from 40,000 to 80,000 eggs, and they usually keep them working for 
about six months ; as, therefore, each brood takes up in an oven, as 
under a hen, only twenty-one days, it is easy in every one of them to 
hatch eight diflerent broods of chickens. Every Bermean is imder 
the obligation of delivering to the person furnishiiijj him with eggs, 
oiriy two-thirds of as many chickens as there have been eggs put 
under his care ; and he is a gainer by this bargain, as more than two- 
thirds of the eggs usually produce chickens. This useful and advan- 
tageous method of hatching eggs was discovered in France by the 
ingenious M. Reamur ; who, by a number of experiments, reduced 
the art to fixed principles. 

ELECTRICITY. The surface of the earth, and of all the bodies 
with which we are acquainted, is supposed to contain or possess a 
power of exciting or exhibiting a certain quantity of an exceedingly 
subtile agent, called the electric fluid or power. The quantity 
usually belonging to any surface, is called its natural share, and then 
it produces no sensible eflects ; but when any surface becomes pos- 
sessed of more, or of less, than its natural quantity, it is electrified, 
and it then exhibits a variety of peculiar and surprising phenomena 
ascribed to the power called electric. If you take a stick of sealing- 
wax and rub it on the sleeve of your coat, it will have the power of 
attracting small pieces of paper, or other light substances, when held 
near them. If a clean and dry glass tube be briskly rubbed with 
the hand, or with a piece of flannel, and then presented to any small 
light substances, it will immediately attract and repel them alter- 
nately for a considerable time. The tube is then said to be excited. 
If an excited glass tube, in a dark room, be brought within about 
half an inch of the finger, a lucid spark will be seen between the 
finger and the tube, accompanied with a snapping noise, and a 
peculiar sensation of the finger. Dry flannel clothes, when handled 
in the dark, frequently exhibit a sparkling appearance, attended with 
the same kind of noise that is heard in the experiment of the glass 
tube. 

All those bodies which transmit or conduct electricity from one 
surface to another, are called conductors, and those surfaces that will 
not transmit the electric power, are called electrics or non-conductors. 
The general class of conductors comprehends metals, ores, and fluids 
in their natural state, except air and oils. Vitrified \nd resinous sub- 
stances, amber, sulphur, wax, silk, cotton, and featners, are electrics 
»r non-conductors. Many of these, such as glass, resin, and air, 
become conductors by being heated. When a surface is supposed to 



144 THE FARMER AT HOME. 

have more than its natural quantity of this fluid, it is said to be posi- 
tively electrified ; and when less than its natural share, to be nega- 
tively electrified. When an electrified conductor is wholly surrounded 
by non-conductors, so that the electric fluid cannot pass irom it along 
conductors to the earth, it is said to be insulated. The human body 
is a good conductor of electricity ; but if a person stand on a cake of 
resin, of on a stool supported by glass legs, the electric fluid cannot 
pass from him to the earth, and if he is touched by another person 
standing on the ground, the same sparkling appearance and noise, as 
mentioned above, will be exhibited. Two surfaces, both positively, or 
both negatively electrified, repel each other ; and two substances, of 
which one is positively, and the other negatively electrified, attract 
each other. 

The efiect of electricity on vegetation has not received that atten- 
tion which it probably deserves. That plants push forward much 
faster where the electric currents are active is well known to the 
scientific farmer ; but how far this new agent may be used to hasten 
vegetation is not generally understood. Some experiments seem to 
show the power to be very great. Thus bv sowing the seeds of cresses 
in a suitable earth, watered and of a proper temperature, and apply- 
ing the soltaic battery, the seeds are germinated, and the plants fully 
developed in a few days ; and very similar eflects are produced on 
other seeds. Hence, it may be inferred, that all vegetation owes 
perhaps its very existence to currents of this fluid, and if man is able 
to produce or control them, they may be made of essential service. 
The effect of electricity in hastening vitality in the embryo of animals 
is not less striking. The eggs of the common fowl require from 
twenty to twenty-five days to produce the young, according to the 
temperature. By exposing -hem to the electro-magnetic current, the 
young are hatched in five or six days ; and some of our readers are 
doubtless aware of the result of Mr. Cross's experiments, in which 
insects were repeatedly produced by the passage of the current through 
silicate of potash. 

ELEMENT. In Physiology, a term used by philosophers to 
denote the original component parts of bodies, or those into which they 
are ultimately resolvable. It seems to have been an opinion estab- 
lished among philosophers in the remotest ages, that there are only 
four simple bodies, namely, fire, air, water, and earth. To these they 
gave the name of elements, because they believed that all substances 
are composed of these four. This opinion, variously modified indeed, 
was maintained by all the ancient philosophers. We now know that 
all these supposed elements are compounds ; fire is composed of caloric 
and light ; air of caloric, oxygen and azotic gases ; water of oxj'gen 
and hydrogen ; and the earth includes ten different substances. 

ELEPHANT. The human race excepted, the elephant is the 
most respectable of animals. In size he surpasses all other terrestrial 



THE FARMER AT HOME. j45 

creatures, and in understanding he is inferior only to man. Of all 
the brute creation, the elephant, the dog, the ape, and the beaver, are 
most admirable for their sagacity ; but the genius of the dog is only 
borroM'ed, being instructed by man in almost every thing he knows ; 
the monkey has only the appearance of vv'isdom, and the beaver is 
only sensible with regard to himself, and those of his species. The 
elephant is superior to them all three ; he unites all their most emi- 
nent qualities. The hand is the principal organ of the monkey's 
dexterity ; the elephant with his trunk, which serves him instead of 
arms and hands, with which he can lift up, and seize the smallest, as 
well as the largest objects, carry them to his mouth, place them on 
his back, hold them, or throw them far off', has the same dexterity as 
the monkey, and at the same time the tract ableness of the dog ; he 
is like him susceptible of gratitude, and capable of a strong attach- 
ment ; he uses himself to man without reluctance, and submits to 
him, not so much by force, as by good treatment ; he serves him with 
zeal, intelligence, and fidelity ; in fine, the elephant, like the beaver, 
loves the society of his equals, and makes them understand him. 

In regions where our cannons and murdering arts are yet scarcely 
known, men fight still with elephants. At Cochin, and in parts of 
Malabar, they do not make use of horses, and all those who do not 
fight on foot are mounted upon elephants. In Tonquin, Siam, and 
Pegu, the king, and all the grandees, never ride but upon elephants ; 
on festival days they are preceded and followed by a great number of 
these animals richly caparisoned, and covered with the richest stuffs. 
On comparing the relations of travellers and historians, it appears that 
the elephants are more numerous in Africa than in Asia ; they are 
there also less mistrustful, not so wild, and, as if they knew the un- 
skilfulness and the little power of the men with whom they have to 
deal in this part of the world, come every day without fear to their 
habitations. 

If the elephant is vindictive, he is no less grateful. A soldier of 
Pondicherry, who commonly carried to one of these animals a certain 
measure of arrack every time that he received his pay, having one 
day drank more than common, and seeing himself pursued by the 
guard, who threatened to conduct him to prison, took refuge under 
the elephant, and slept there. It was in vain that the guard 
attemped to draw him out from his asylum ; the elephant defended 
him with his trunk. The next day the soldier, become sober, was 
struck with terror to lie under an animal of this enormous bulk. The 
elephant, who, no doubt, perceived his consternation, caressed him 
with his trunk, to remove his fears, and made him understand that 
he might depart freely. 

ELK. This animal dwells in the northeastern parts of Europe, 
in Asia, and North America, chiefly frequenting the colder climates. 
In the latter country it is called the moose deer, or wampoose by the 
7* 



146 THE FARMER AT HOME. 

natives. It is said to consist of two kinds, the real elk or moose deer, 
which is larger than the tallest horse, and has heen eight or ten feet 
high, of a dark gray color, sometimes black, but much paler on the 
legs and beneath the tail ; the hair is long and coarse, ten or twelve 
inches in length on the ridge of the back, and forming a kind of mane 
on the upper part of the neck. There is a sort of carbuncle or 
excrescence pendent from the throat of some ; but it is not ascertained 
whether this is a general characteristic of the animal, or belongs only 
to the male. The tail is short, the eyes and ears are large and erect, 
and the hoofs broad. But the elk is chiefly distinguished by two 
wide spreading palmated horns of great size, proceeding from the 
forehead, between two and three feet long, or even between four and 
five in those of the greatest size ; and they have undoubtedly been 
seen in recent instances, though not so large, yet of such dimensions 
as to enable us to admit the probability of the fact. 

It is probable that some species of these animals are extinct, 
unless they remain in the recesses of those forests as yet unexplored 
by the modern races of men. But we know from undoubted evidence, 
that they once dwelt in countries, where they no longer exist, noi 
does any tradition of them now remain. Horns of enormous size are 
frequently discovered near the surface of the earth, or far below it, 
which the present elk, though its neck be of great strength, would 
almost seem incapable of supporting. Nor is it less singular, that 
such remains are often associated with those of other animals so 
difierent in nature, as to render it doubtful whether the living race of 
both could survive together. 

ELM. There are about twenty species of the elm ; all inhabiting 
the temperate parts of the northern hemisphere, and three of them 
natives of the United States. The American white elm is found 
mostly from the forty-ninth to the thirtieth parallel of latitude, is 
abundant in some of the Western States, and extends even beyond 
the Mississippi. This tree often rises to the height of one hundred 
feet, with a trunk four or five feet diameter. At the height of fifty 
or sixty feet it separates into a few primary limbs, which gradually 
diverge, diffusing on all sides long, arched, 2)endulent branches, grace- 
fully but majestically floating in the air. In many parts of the 
eastern and middle States these trees are highly esteemed for their 
venerable appearance, and for the refreshing shadows from their thick 
foliage in the hot days of summer. When found on the public 
grounds of the quiet village, m the spacious squares of the densely 
populated city, and about the secluded country mansion, there is a 
rural magnificence, and a delightfid playing of the winds, which can- 
not fail being appreciated by the lovers of nature and by all of good 
taste. 

ENDOGENOUS. In some plants the additions made to their 
growth takes place from the interior of the plant, and in some from 



THE FARMER AT HOME. 147 

Ihe exterior. In the first case the plant is caWed ench^efious, and in 
the last, erogetioiis. All trees belonginfr to the family of palms, the 
date, cocoa-nut tree, bread-fruit tree, the bamboo, sugar cane, and 
indeed most of the trees belonging to tropical climates, as well as all 
gramineous and lilaceous plants, are endogenous. On the contrary, 
most of the trees of temperate or northern regions, such as the oak, 
pines, and elms, and the various fruit trees, are exogenous. In the 
first, each successive addition is made from within, like drawing out 
an additional slide to a telescope ; in the last the addition is made 
between the bark and the wood of the previous year's growth, and 
these successive layers determine the age of the tree, as the joints of 
the palm do that class. The stems of endogenous plants, after they 
become consolidated, never increase in size ; they can only increase 
in height ; while the exogenous ones continue to increase in circum- 
ference as well as in height during their whole life. 

ENRICHING-PLANTS. A term u,sed by Tull and other 
farmers to designate such plants as are found to improve land, rather 
than to exhaust it, and in consequence of which the same piece of 
land will produce a good crop of corn, though it would, without the 
assistance of their having been planted on it, have yielded a very 
poor one. The mystery of this difference between plants, some of 
which are found to burn up, that is, impoverish lands, while others 
enrich it, and leave it fitter for succeeding crops than they found it, is 
explained by Mr. Tull. This author having observed, that breaking 
the earth, by digging or horse-hoeing between the plants, gave them 
great increase, found that it was this practice that enriched the earth ; 
and that, while corn and such plants as stand close, and cannot be 
hoed between, impoverish the ground, and suffer no means of enriching 
it again to be used, there were some other things, the crops of which 
being planted thinner, gave room to the earth to be ploughed, dug, or 
hoed between, and that these were the plants which were called the 
enriching kinds by farmers ; and the whole secret lay in this, that the 
hoeing, ploughing, or otherwise breaking the earth between them, in 
order to kill the weeds, enriched the ground greatly more, in propor- 
tion, than these plants exhausted it ; and the consequence was, that 
though they had thriven very well, yet the earth was left richer than 
before, notwithstanding all that they had imbibed from it. 

EPIDERMIS. In botany the exterior cellular coating of the 
-ark, leaf, or stem of plants or trees. It is composed of cells com- 
pi^sted together into a stratum, varying in thickness in different spe- 
cies, and is often i-eadily separable by gentle violence. It is believed 
to be intended by nature as a protection of the subjacent parts from 
the drying effects of the atmosphere. 

ERA. An account of time, reckoned fi'om any particular period, 
term, or epoch. The Jews had several eras, as from the creation of 



J48 THE FARMER AT HOME. 

the world, from the universal deluffe, from the confusion of languages, 
from Abraham's journey to the land of Canaan, from the departure of 
their forefathers out of Egypt, from the building of Solomon's temple, 
and from the Babylonish captivity. The ancient Greeks reckoned 
time by Olympiads, which were public games celebrated every fifth 
year ; the first Olympiad they placed in the year of the world 3187. 
The ancient Romans reckoned from the building of their city, which 
was in the era of the world 3113. The Christians take their era 
from the birth of our Saviour, this method of computing time com- 
mencing among them, about the beginning of the seventh century. 
The Mahometans compute their time from Hegira or flight of their 
prophet, in the year of our Lord, 617 ; subtracting this number (617) 
from the Christian year, the remainder will be the Mahometan 
year. 

ERGOT. This is an elongated irregular excrescence, curved and 
dark colored, sometimes found groM'ing on the heads of several of the 
cultivated grasses, particularly rye, and the smooth stalked June 
grass. It most commonly appears in hot, damp summers. It is 
known to be present by the change which the grains assume ; but 
these seldom exceed five or six in an ear. The ergotted grains have 
a heavy, unpleasant odor, and an acrid, nauseous taste, leaving a 
slight sensation of heat in the palate. Ergotted rye is poisonous both 
to man and other animals. When in bad seasons, it has prevailed, 
and has been ground into flour with the rye, and baked into bread, it 
has caused many fatal, depopulating diseases in the north of Europe. 
On quadrupeds its use is followed by emaciation, palsy of the hind 
legs, and extreme debility ; males in South America lose their hoofs 
and hair when fed on ergotted maize ; and hens who have ergotted 
rye mixed with their food lay eggs without shells, owing to its excite- 
ment of the oviduct. It is employed as a medicine in difficult partu- 
rition, but it ought not to be administered without great caution 
and discretion. Ergot is not so prevalent in this country as to occa- 
sion great loss to farmers 

ESSEX HOGS. In England is a breed of swine, known by this 
name and much admired. Youatt says the Essex pigs have been 
indebted for their improvement to crosses with foreign breeds, and 
especially the Neapolitan, and with the Berkshires. They are mostly 
black and white, the head and hinder parts being black, and the 
back and belly white ; have smaller heads than the Berkshire pigs, 
and long thin upright ears, short hair, a fine skin, good hind quarters, 
and a deep round carcase ; they have small bones, and the flesh is 
delicate and well flavored. Lord Western's stock of these hogs is 
entirely black, and is distinguished by having tea*^-^'ke appendages of 
.^c skin depending from the upper part of the ne^ K which are com- 
monly termed wattles. Some of these animals have reached the 



THE FARMER AT HOME. 



149 



weight of nearly five hundred pounds. It is stated that he has done 
•"nuch to improve the Essex ; and, that the pigs are much sought 
throughout the British realm. 




ESSEX HOG. 



EVAPORATION. The volatilization of a fluid by means of 
heat, M'ith access of air, in order to diminish its fluidity, or to obtain 
any fixed salts it may hold in solution, or diminish the quantity of a 
residuum. In this manner, the water of the sea is evaporated, and 
the salt obtained, and decoctions made into extracts. Evaporation is 
one of the great chemical processes, by means of which Nature sup- 
plies the whole vegetable kingdom with the dew and rain necessary 
for its support. Hence, it takes place at all times, not only from the 
surface of the ocean, but also from that of the earth. Nor is it con- 
fined to these ; it is even carried on from the leaves of trees, grass, 
and flowers, with which the earth is covered. Great part of the 
water which is thus raised, descends again during the night, in the 
form of dew ; being absorbed by those vegetables which yielded it 
before. 

One of the most beneficial efiects of evaporation, is to cool the 
earth, and prevent it from being too much heated by the sun. This 
property of producing cold by evaporation, ha? but lately been 
observed by chemists, who have accordingly availed themselves of it 
in its fullest extent ; though their mode of procuring cold, by means of 
those expensive fluids, ether and spirits of win, \ can only be employed 



150 



THE FAKMER AT HOME. 



by way of experiment. The most simple method, however, of pro- 
ducing cold by the evaporation of water, may be applied to various 
useful purposes, especially in warm countries ; thus sailors are accus- 
tomed to cool their ca«ks of liquors, by sprinl^ling them with sea- 
water 

Dr. Darwin justly observes, that the evaporation of moisture from 
the surface of the earth, produces so much cold as to injure those ter- 
restrial plants, which are too long covered with it. Hence, such 
parts of wall trees as are sheltered from the descending dews, by a 
coping stone on the wall, are not so liable to be injured by frosty 
nights ; because they are not made colder by the evaporation of the 
dew, and also have less water to be congealed in their vessels, and to 
burst them by its consequent expansion. 

EVERGREENS. Are a species of perennials, that preserve 
their old leaves a long time after the formation of the new, and do 
not drop them at any determinate time. In general, the leaves of 
evergreens are harder, and less succulent, than those which are 
renewed annually. The trees are generally natives of warm climates ; 
and the common evergreens are those belonging to the pine and 
spruce families, of which the white pine, hemlock, black spruce, yew 
trees, fir balsam, and arbor vitce, may serve as specimens. In orna- 
mental planting, evergreens are very desirable ; and where they can 
be successfully transplanted constitute one of the greatest beauties 
of the landscape. Their rich foliage amid the frosts and snows of 
winter is inimitably rich and magnificent. Some herbaceous peren- 
nials, as the house-leeks, and naval-worts, enjoy the same privilege 
with the evergreen trees, and resist the severities of winter ; some can 
even exist out of the earth for sometime; being replete with juices, 
which the leaves imbibe from the humidity of the atmosphere, and, 
which, in such plants, are of themselves sufficient for effecting the 
purposes of vegetation. For this reason, unless in excessive hot 
weather, gardeners seldom water fat succulent plants, as the aloes, 
which rot when they are moistened, if the sun does not quickly dry 
them. The leaves of all the evergreen shrubs and trees have a thin 
compact .skin over their surface, as is easily discovered by macerating 
them in M'ater, to separate the parenchyma, or pulp, from the vessels 
of the leaves ; which cannot be effected in any of these evergreens till 
a thin parchment-like cover is taken ofl^. They are found by experi- 
ment to perspire but little, when compared with those which shed 
their leaves ; and it is, perhaps, principally owing to this close cover- 
ing, that they retain their verdure, and continue through the winter 
on the trees. The nutritive juices of these plants always abound, 
more or less, with an oily quality, which secures them from being in- 
jured by severe frost, so that many evergreens grow in the coldest 
parts of the habitable woi'ld. 

EXCRETIONS. From experiments that have been made by 



THE FARMER AT HOME. 



15] 



Decondelln and others, and repeated by Leibig, it is established be- 
yond all question that the roots of plants throw off' an excrement 
during the progress of their growth, and that the excrement of" each 
])lant is peculiar to itself". And lurther, that the presence of such 
matter in a soil, impedes the growth of plants of the same kind, 
whilst in some instances it becomes a source of nourishment to others. 
This fact is used as an argument, among other known reasons, in 
favor of a rotation of crops. And much will depend upon the nature 
and character of the soil itself as to what time should elapse before a 
certain crop may be successfully repeated. 

EXHALATION. Generally speaking, denotes effluvia or steams, 
M-hieh arise from the surface of the earth, or other bodies, in the form 
of vapor. Plants and flowers afford a grateful exhalation, provided 
their fragrance be not loo stro ig ; hence they should never be placed 
in confined apartments, as instances have occurred of persons being 
almost suffocated, by sleeping in rooms where quantities of fresh 
flowers Mere exposed. In serene weather, however, fresh plants or 
evergreens (but by no means flowers) may be strewed M'ith advan- 
tage, during the day, in the apartments of valetudinarians ; as such 
vegetables, especially in sunshine, generate a vital air, which produces 
salutary effects on the lungs. 

The exhalations arising from vast numbers of burning candles, as 
also from the breath of many persons respiring in the same room, are 
peculiarly unwholesome to weak and consumptive habits. This incon- 
venience may, however, be remedied by means of conical tubes, the 
funnels or broad ends of which should be placed so as to communicate 
in or above the windows, with the open air ; thus the latter will be 
impelled into the rooms with considerable force, and ventilate them 
more effectually, and at much less expense, than is accomplished by 
fumigations or other methods. The vapor arising from charcoal ig 
particularly hurtful, and, in close apartments, often productive of fatal 
accidents. The greatest precaution is therefore requisite, when char- 
coal is employed for culinary or domestic purposes. In a similar 
manner humid air of every kind is very detrimental to health ; and 
we seriously reprobate the keeping of damp linen, wet clothes, and 
even wet umbrellas, in dwelling-rooms ; as, by paying due attention 
to this circumstauce, many serious accidents might easily be pre- 
vented. 

EXOTIC. An appellation for the produce of foreign countries. 
Exotic plants are such as belong to a soil and climate entirely differ- 
ent from the place where they are raised, and therefore can be pre- 
served for the most pai-t only in green-houses. Exotic plants of the 
hot climates are very numerous, and require the utmost attention of 
the gardener. Even if they can be brought to blossom, it is rare that 
they produce fruit, and still more rare that the seeds ripen. It is 
only bv care and accurate observation of their nature and wants, that 



152 THE FARMER AT HOME. 

some of them can be acclimated, or made to flourish on the foreign 
soil. 

EXUVIiE. Formed from exure, to put ofl", to divest ; in Physi- 
ology, transient parts of certain animals, which they put ofl", or lay 
down, and assume new ones. Such, especially, are the skins or 
sloughs of serpents, shells of lobsters, and the like ; which are annu- 
ally changed, and renewed in the spring. The outer integument of 
the body, which in man and other large animals is so durably fixed 
on the body, is in many of the animals of the reptile kind much more 
loosely fixed, and is changeable several times during the period of 
their lives. The serpent kind all shift their skins several times in 
their lives, and the water-newt has been lately observed to do the 
same ; but no creature in the Avorld does it so often as the caterpillar, 
almost every species of these insects throwing ofl" their old skin once 
in ten or twelve days, or less ; and this in such a manner as is ex- 
tremely worthy of an attentive observation. Malpighi observed that 
the common silk-worm changed its skin four times during its continu- 
ance in that state, the fii'st of these changes happening at eleven or 
twelve days irom its appearance from the egg, and the others at the 
distance of five or six days each ; and probably the rest of the cater- 
pillar kind observe nearly the same periods. 

Neither is this change of the skin confined to the few creatures 
we have mentioned ; but among the whole insect class, the most 
numerous of that of all animated beings we know, there is scarcely 
one species, every individual of which does not throw oft" its skin, once 
at least, before it arrives at its full growth. The term changing the 
skin is scarcely expressive enough for this operation in the caterpillar 
kinds ; for the creature throws ofl" the external covering of even the 
minutest part and organ of its body, and the skins tliey thus deposit 
have so much the appearance of a complete insect, that they are very 
often mistaken for such, presenting us with every thing that we see 
in the external apjxarauce of the living animal. 

EYE. In anatomy, the organ of sight, or that part of the body 
whereby visible objects are represented to the mind. The term eye 
is used in a great variety of senses. In architecture, it signifies an 
aperture at the top of a dome, also the centre of a volute ; in agricul- 
ture, it means either a little bud or shoot, ingrafted into a tree, or the 
part of a potato cut ofl" for seed ; and in printing it is used for the 
graving in relievo on the top of the letter. In a symbolical sense, 
there is no term of which so much use is made to denote the opera- 
tions of the understanding and the aflections. 

EYELID. The eyelid is the external covering of the eye. Its 
peculiar adaptation to its proper offices cannot be sufliciently admired. 
It forms the cover which closes the eye during sleep, when it remains 
motionless for hours ; it serves the purpose of wiping and cleansing 
the ball of the eye, as well as moistening it by spreading the tears 



TIIK FARMER AT HOME. I53 

over its surface, for the performance of Avhich offices it is, during the 
waking hours, in incessant motion. It screens the eye also from ex- 
cessive light, which might often be injurious or destructive to it. 
The Fympathy between the eye and its lids is very close, as was ab- 
solutely necessary to their proper action ; and this is so much the case, 
that in weakness of the nerve of the eye, the smarting, which warns 
us to close them, is always felt in the lids. Their diseases, like those 
of the eye, are various, but of minor importance. 

FAGOT. In agriculture, is a bundle of any sort of small wood 
tied up closely together by means of a withe, or other kind of ligature. 
They are mostly made up from the cuttings or thinnings of under- 
woods, coppices, and hedges, being sold in many districts to the 
bakers, for the purpose of heating their ovens. They usually fetch a 
good price in many situations, especially near large towns. In mak- 
ing up these bundles the workmen trim ofi' the superfluous spreading 
branches from the sides and ends, which gives them a neater appear- 
ance. These trimmings are put in the middle of the fagots which 
are to be made up, by which they appear to greater advantage. 

These trimmings are of little or no use in the fagots, and ought to 
be left on the ground ; for being small, they would soon rot there, 
and would manure the ground so as to be of more advantage to the 
next growth than is easily imagined The leaves of the trees falling 
to the earth, manure it very much ; but this is nothing to the advan- 
tage of these little pieces of wood ; any rotten wood, but in a moder- 
ate quantity, will turn a common bad earth into good garden mould, 
and the growth of young trees is more forwarded by this manure 
where it is left, than by any other means that can be used to it. We 
always see the land where wood-stacks have stood enriched to a sur- 
prising degree by them, and the same advantage will occur wherever 
wood of any kind is left to moulder and rot upon the ground. That 
sort of small wood which is bound up in fagots is called fagot- wood, 
and sometimes bush-wood. 

FAIR. In England, a greater kind of market granted to a town, 
by privilege, for the more speedy and commodious buying arid selling, 
or providing such things as the place stands in need of. It is inci- 
dent to a fair in England, that persons should be free from being 
arrested in it for any debt, except that which has been contracted in 
the same, or, at least, promised to be paid there. There is a toll 
usually paid at fairs, for the pi'ivilege of erecting stalls, from which 
to sell goods, as well as booths, either for entertainment or pastime. 
The most important fairs now held are probably those of Germany, 
and particularly the Leipsic fairs. In German, a fair is called Messe, 
which also signifies a mass. High masses, on particular festivals, 
collected great numbers of people, and thus, probably, became the 
origin of markets, and, at a later period, of fairs, which as we have 
already said, are only privileged markets. 

7* 



154 1'HE FARMER AT HOME. 

The most important fairs, in this country, are those for the exhi- 
bition of afrrieultnra] productions and of specimens of skill in the 
mechanic arts, and in domestic economy. They are intended not so 
much for selling the articles produced, as for comparing them together, 
to see who, in his own efforts, has been most successful. The motive 
for such comparison is to obtain premiums or testimonials for cases of 
rare excellence in the rearing of animals, in the products of the farm 
and garden, and in whatever is manufactured, whether in the family 
or the workshop. The moral influence of agricultural fairs especially 
is of the first importance. By attending them, each one of our farm- 
ers is stimulated to embark in all experiments made by others, which 
have been found advantageous. Each witnesses the perfection which 
may be attained in the improvement of farm animals, whether in 
cattle, horses, swine, sheep, and even poultry ; and is enabled to note 
the profit arising from them, above what is experienced where such 
improvement has not been made. Each wit^ossesthe saving of labor 
in the use of the best constructed agricultural in.plements, and becomes 
resolved to adopt them. And each, without cost to himself is en- 
abled to avail himself of all that his more enterprising brethren have 
achieved by a free use of capital, and a long period of study and per- 
severing labor. In a word, each becomes possessed of what all others 
know without paying for it 

FALCON. A bird of prey, once much esteemed as an auxiliary 
of the savage arts of man, in destroying the feathered race. Falcons 
were formerly tamed and trained, just as pointer-dogs are at present 
trained ; and hawking or falconry, was, to a certain class of minds, 
as interesting as shooting or hunting is to the same class in our days. 
They are carnivorous, the beak hooked, and the head covered with 
feathers, and the legs and feet scaly. 

FALLOW. A term applied to land which is left uncultivated 
for one or more years, with a view to exterminate weeds, and to 
enable it to fix those atmospherical elements which promote vegetable 
growth, and which are exhausted by repeated crops of the same kind, 
though the same effect is produced by the rotation of a crop for man, 
and a crop for beasts. 

FALLOW-DEER. No two animals can be more nearly allied 
than the stag and the fallow-deer ; and yet no two animals keep 
more distinct, or avoid each other with more fixed animosity. They 
are never seen to herd in the same place ; it is even rare, unless they 
have been transported thither, to find fallow-deer in a country where 
stags are numerous. They seem to be of a nature less robust and less 
savage than the stag ; they are found but rarely wild in the forests, 
and are bred up in parks, where they are, as it were, half domestic. 

England is the country of Europe where they most abound ; and 
there their flesh, which dogs are observed to prefer to that of all other 
animals, is held in no small estimation. Tt seems to be an animal 



THE FARMER AT HOME. J55 

formed for a temperate climate ; for it is never found in Russia, and 
very rarely in the forests of Sweden, or iu any other northern coun- 
try, and as the fallow-deer is less savage, more delicate, and, indeed, 
it may be added, more domestic than the stag, it is likewise subject to 
a greater number of varieties Besides the common deer, and the 
white deer, we know of several other kinds still ; and the deer of 
Spain, for example, which are always as large as stags, but whose 
neck is more slender, Avhose color is more obscure, and whose tail is 
rather black than white underneath, and longer than that of the 
common deer ; the deer of Virginia, wdiich are almost as large as 
those of Spain ; other deer, whose forehead is compressed and flat- 
tened between the eyes, whose ears and tail are longer than those of 
tlie common deer, and of whose hind legs the hoofs are marked with 
a white spot ; and others, which are spotted or streaked with white, 
black, and yellow ; and others still, which are entirely black. The 
horns of the buck, like those of the stag, are shed every year, and take 
nearly the same time for repairing. 

It frequently happens, that a herd of fallow-deer is seen to divide 
into parties, and to engage each other with great ardor. Each seems 
desirous of gaining some favorite spot of the park for pasture, and of 
driving the vanquished party into the coarser and more disagreeable 
parts. Each of these factions has its particular chief, namely the 
oldest and the strongest of each herd. These lead on to the engajre- 
ment ; and the rest follow under their direction. Their combats are 
singular enough, from the disposition and conduct by which their 
mutual eflbrts seem to be regulated. They attack with order, and 
support and assault with courage ; they come to the assistance of 
each other ; they retire, they rally, and never yield the victory upon 
a single defeat. The combat is renewed every day, till at length the 
most feeble side is obliged to give way, and is content to escape to the 
most disagreeable part of the park, where alone they can find safety 
and protection. The fallow-deer may easily be brought to live in 
stables, and seems to acquire an afiection for the horse. One which 
was kept at Newmarket in England, used to delight in galloping 
round the course with the racers while the jockeys were exercising 
them . 

FANNING MILL. Tliis is a contrivance employed for separa- 
ting, by an artificial current of air, the chaft' from the grain, after it 
has been threshed out of the straw. The importance of this contri- 
vance must be apparent to every one who has seen the slow and tedi- 
ous process of a separation without the aid of a Fanning Mill, where 
perhaps the farmer would have to wait day after day, subsequent to 
the threshing of his grain, before he could have the benefit of natural 
breezes to efiect it ; and, even when Boreas seemed propitious to his 
wishes, the operation was painfully protracted. All know the •^'inds, 
like the passions of man, are fickle in the extreme ; one moment rapid 



156 



TIIK FAKMIOR AT HOMK. 



and the next moment slow, and then anon not perceived at all 
There are various accounts given of the first introduction of the Fan- 
ning Mill ; and there are sundry claimants for the honor of the in- 
vention. It is probably pretty generally admitted that the idea or 
desi"-n of the first used in England and Scotland was obtained from 
Holland ; but there has been a succession of improvements upon it. 
In the United States there have been patents for several ditierent 
mills, each having its own admirers, and each having, probably, some 
peculiar merit not belonging to the others. It is very obvious, that 
in addition to a thorough and expeditious separation of the grain from 
the chatl', it is important that there should be in a Fanning Mill sim- 
plicity and durabihty of construction, so as to prevent liability for 
getting out of order ; or, if by accident it becomes broken or deranged 
the proprietor or any common mechanic may repair it. 




FANNING MILL. 



FARMING. Signifies the art of managing, or general detail of 
the business of a farm. It is an employment of considerable diffi- 
culty and trouble, as requiring constant care, united with great 
activity and judgment. In order to conduct it with propriety and 
advantage, it demands an intimate practical knowledge of the various 
sorts of cultivation and management which are in use, as well as of 



THE FARMER AT HOME. 



157 



the nature and value of every description of live stock ; likevi'ise a 
perfect acquaintance with the various methods of buying and selling, 
and the constant state of diflerent markets and fairs. And, besides 
these, there are other minutiae which are of equal importance to the 
success of the farmer. The advantages of farming difler materially 
according to the nature, situation, and circumstances of farms as well 
as the care and management that are bestowed upon them. 

FARRIER. Is the designation of the smith who devotes his 
attention chiefly to shoeing horses, and to curing them of all kinds of 
diseases. It was pi'obably owing to the opportunities aflbrded to the 
smiths, while shoeing horses, of observing the vai-ious diseases of the 
foot, and consequently of haranguing on the subject, that they, in 
time, acquired an undue reputation for perfect ability in not only that 
particular, but for a general knowedge of whatever related to the 
animal at large. 

FARINA . This is an article of food maimfactured from the flour 
of wheat, and usually cooked for a desert on the dinner table. It is 
a new mode of using wheat, and is becoming very popular. One 
house in New York manufacture 800,000 pounds annually, which 
requires 80,000 bushels of wheat ; a bushel of the grain furnishing 
only ten pounds of farina, the rest of the wheat being converted to 
other purposes. Hence, it is seen that farina is made only from the 
finest portion of the flour of wheat ; and, the process of producing it 
is a long one ; the grain passing through eight different run of stones, 
every one of them bearing its part in breaking the kernels and reduc- 
ing the pai'ticles to the required size, the different parts being separated 
also thereby ; and finally it is screened by passing through a hand- 
seive. 

FAT. An oily matter contained in the cellular substances of 
animals, of a white or yellowish color. It seems to answer several 
important purposes ; it facilitates the motion of the various parts 
where it is lodged ; it fills up interstices in different situations ; and 
as it is a bad conductor of heat, it appears to contribute to the preser- 
vation of the temperature of animals. It is used with other animal 
substances as an article of food ; and where the digestive powers are 
strong, it proves highly nutritious. Those animals which sleep all 
the winter, are generally fat at the commencement of their long slum- 
ber, and come out of it very lean, owing to the fat having been 
absorbed and carried into their system for the purpose of nutrition. 
Fat has a tendency to accumulate very much in some persons who 
live luxuriously, using great quantities of animal food, with porter and 
other malt liquors, and who take little exercise. Others without such 
causes, seem to get corpuleivt from peculiarity of constitution. It 
sometimes proceeds to such an extent as to be a real disease, incapac- 
itating the individual from exercise and from performing the duties of 
life, besides rendering him liable to apoplexy and other diseases 



158 



THE FARMER AT ,IOME. 



analogous to it. Such overgrowth of fat is to be counteracted by 
abridging the quantity of food taken, by abstaining from malt liquors, 
and by taking constant and regular exercise. Instances are upon 
record, of persons who have made a sudden and total change in their 
manner of life, in order to diminish their corpulency ; and this with- 
out any bad effects : but such sudden transitions from one mode of 
life to another are not advisable, and it is better to make them 
gradually, but steadily. 




FAT-RUMPED SHEEP. 

FAT-K.UMPED SHEEP. This is a variety of sheep that has 
fiom the earliest times inhabited the countries over which the patri- 
archal shepherds roai-aed. It is but little known in Africa, but pre- 
vails extensively in the north and south of Asia ; is found in Palestine 
in greater numbers than any other breed, and reaches far into the 
interior and northern parts of Russia. It is the purest in the deserts 
of lireat Tartary, no other variety being near to contaminate its blood. 
This breed often weighs two hundred pounds, and may be considered 
the largest of the unimproved sheep ; of which weight the soft oily 
fat alone that forms the rump amounts to from twenty to forty pounds. 
In the neiirhborhood of Caucasus and Taurida, the hind quarters of 
the sheej are salted as hams, and sent in great quantities to the 
northern provinces of Turkey In parts of Russia the fat-rumped 



THE FARMP.R AT HOME. 159 

sheep bears a somewhat fine fleece, but generally speaking it is coarse, 
and is adapted only for the purposes of inferior manufactures. 

FAT-TAILED SHEEP. This race of sheep is more extensively 
diffiised than the fat-rumped, since it is found throughout Asia, a 
great part of Africa, as -well as through the north eastern parts of 
Europe. Dr. Kussell, in his history of Aleppo, gives the following 
account of it as it appears in Syria. The dead weight of one of these 
sheep will amount to fifty or sixty pounds ; but some of the largest 
that have been fattened with care, weigh one hundred and fifty 
pounds, the tail alone composing one third of the whole weight. 
This broad, flattish tail is mostly covered with long wool, and. becom- 
ing very small at the extremity, turns up. It is entirely composed of 
a substance between marrow and fat, serving very often in the kitchen 
instead of butter, and cut into small pieces, makes an ingredient in 
various dishes. 

FEATHERS. In Compaiative Anatomy, constitute the peculiar 
covering of the class of birds. In no other tribe of animals are they 
met with ; for the plumes which belong to some of the lepidopterous 
insects are different from the feathers of birds, both with respect to 
their structure and mode of growth. No bird is entirely deprived of 
feathers, although some species want them on certain parts of the 
body. The turkey and vulture have the head and part of the neck 
uncovered. The ostrich and the wading birds have bare thighs ; 
those birds which have ceres, combs, or pieces of flesh on the head, 
have those parts without feathers. 

FEELING. Is one of the five external senses, by which we ob- 
tain the ideas of solidity, hardness, softness, roughness, heat, cold, 
wetness, dryness, and other tangible qualities. Although this sense 
is perhaps the least refined, it is of all others the most sure, as well 
as the most universal. Man sees and hears with small portions of 
his body, but he feels with all. The author of nature has bestowed 
that general sensation Avherever there are nerves, and they are every- 
where found where there is life. If it were otherwise, the parts want- 
ing this sense might be destroyed without our knowledge. On this 
account it seems wisely provided, that this sensation should not require 
particular organization. Feeling is, perhaps, the basis of all other 
sensations. The object of feeling is every body that has consistency 
or solidity enough to move the surface of our skin. To make feeling 
perfect, it was necessary that the nerves should form small eminences, 
because they are more easily moved by the impression of bodies than 
a uniform surface ; and it is owing to this structure that we are 
enabled to distinguish not only the size and figure of the bodies, their 
hardness and softness, but also their heat and cold. T!o the blind, 
feeling is so useful a sensation, that it supplies the office of eyes, and 
in a great measure indemnifies them for the want of sight. We have 
known persons totally blind, whose sense of feeling was so acute that 



160 THE FARMER AT HOME. 

they could, by the impression maie on their feet, go from place to 
place with the precision of persons who can see, not only in their own 
houses and about their own premises, but for miles from home, find- 
ing any fixed object with unfailinp: certainty. True, such a discipline 
of feeling cannot be achieved without repeated and successive eHbrts. 
And we have known persons both blind and deaf with whom one 
might converse tolerably well by spelling the words to be used, and 
marking each letter with the finger, on the inside of their hands, they 
pronouncing the letters as soon as made, as though they had seen 
them. 

FENCES. In this country, next to a good soil, good fences may 
be considered one of the most indispensable conditions of good farm- 
ing. Without them the crop is never safe ; cattle are sure to become 
unruly and troublesome ; and neighbors, too, become vexed, and at 
last quarrelsome. In some countries, as in France, there are few or 
no enclosures. The inhabitants principally live in villages, and the 
animals of all kinds are kept under the charge of individuals who pre- 
vent them injuring the crops. In England stone walls and hedges 
are used for forming enclosures, and the last are so abundant as to 
form one of the most prominent and beautiful features in the land- 
scape. In the United States, rail fence of some kind is principally 
used ; the most common being the post and rail, or the Virginia 
worm fence. The hedge-fence is yet scarcely known among us, and 
the attempts that have been made to introduce it, either owing to 
unskilful ness, the selection of improper materials, or the peculiar 
nature and dryness of our climate in the summer months, have not 
been very successful. It is probable, however, that these difficulties 
will eventually be surmounted, and hedges become common. At 
present, where stone can be procured suitable for wall, fences partly 
or wholly of this material are the best that can be made. A stone 
wall of five feet is better security against unruly animals than a rail 
fence of seven ; and though generally costing more at first, is not un- 
frequently the cheapest in the end. Where stone for a wall cannot 
be had, a good fence is made by laying a wall of three feet, placing a 
rail on the top of this, then staking it, and finishing with another 
rail. 

FERMENTATION. An intense commotion, to which certain 
substances of vegetable or animal origin are, more or less, liable, 
from the spontaneous reaction of their constituent elements. The 
process embraces a series of changes of composition, and terminates 
in the formation of new products, which differ essentially from the 
original substance, as well as from one another. Fermentation is 
accordingly divided into three kinds ; and to these, epithets have been 
applied descriptive of the products to which it gives birth, namely, 
the saccharine, the vinous, the acetous, and the putrefactive. The 
first of these produces sugar ; the second, alcohol., the third, vinegar, 



THE FARMER AT HOME. 



161 



and the fourth, vegetable mould. It is with the last that the farmer 
is principally interested ; as on this process depends the advantages 
he derives from manures, from green crops used as dressings, and. 
from the preparation of composts. 

The vinous and acetous fermentation are confined to a very few 
substances, chiefly of a saccharine nature ; the putrefactive stage 
embraces a wider field, and takes place in almost every body of a 
vegetable or animal nature. The vegetable matters which undergo 
putrefaction most readily, a»'e soluble in water; though those which 
are but imperfectly soluble, .f kept in a moist state, are not exempted 
from this species of decomposition. This process is promoted by the 
same circumstances which are favorable to the others, namely, mois- 
ture and elevation of temperature. The presence of air, also, has no 
less influence on the putrefactive, than on the acetous stage. 

The elastic fluids which are evolved from vegetables durinnf the 
putrefactive fermentation, are combinations of the elements of the 
vegetable substance, and have for their bases hydrogen and carbon. 
When the decomposition takes place under water, the hydrogen, by 
its greater tendency to elasticity, makes its escape, and the residual 
matter consists almost entirely of carbon. Hence wood which has 
been long buried in the beds of rivers, is reduced nearly to the state 
of charcoal. If the carbonaceous part, however, be exposed to the 
air, it undergoes a gradual change, and is at last entirely decomposed, 
by being converted into cai'bonic acid. When animal matters suffer 
putrefaction, they evolve, besides the usual elements of vegetables, a 
quantity of ammonia. They yield also certain other products which 
are more peculiar to them, particularly combinations of sulphur and 
phosphorus ; and to these substances must be. ascribed fetid odor and 
noxious properties of the gases, which are extricated from them dur- 
ing putrefaction. 

Animal bodies scarcely sufier any change when they are well 
dried, and completely excluded from the air. Even in the wai'mer 
climates, beef, which has been effectually freed from its juices, may 
be preserved a long time without salt ; and meat, which has been 
sufficiently roasted, and afterwards covered with melted suet, may be 
preserved in that state perfectly untainted for several months. Ani- 
mals enveloped in ice, have been preserved for ages without suffering 
any change. It appears, also, that animal bodies powerfully resist 
putrefaction, which have been buried in morasses of peat ; probably 
because, in such places, the carbonaceous part of the woody matter 
being converted into a substance resembling tan, produces upon the 
animal matter the usual effects of that vegetable.product. 

FEVER. A disease characterized by an accelerated pulse, with 
increase of heat, impaired functions, diminished strength, and often 
with preternatural thirst. Fevers are often or generally preceded by 
chills or rigors, called the cold stage of the disease. Fevers are of 



162 



THE FARMER AT HOME. 



various kinds ; but the priucipa] division of fevers is into remitting 
fevers, whicii subside or abate at intervals ; and continued or contin- 
ual fevers, which neither remit nor intermit. 

FIBRIN. A peculiar organic compound, found both in veo^eta- 
bies and animals. It is a soft sohd, of a prreasy appearance, insoluble 
in water, which softens in the air, becoming viscid, brown, and semi- 
transparent. On hot coals it melts, throws out greasy drops, crackles, 
and evolves the smoke and odor of roasting meat. It is procured, in 
its most characteristic state, from animal matter. It exists in chyle ; 
it enters into the composition of blood ; and it forms the chief part of 
muscular flesh ; and hence it must be regarded as the most abundant 
constituent of the soft solids of animals. 

FILAMENTS. Vegetable filaments form a substance of great 
use in the arts and manufactures, lurnishing thread, cloth, cordage, 
and the like. For these purposes the filamentous parts of hemp and 
flax are employed among us. DifTerent vegetables have been em- 
ployed in difierent countries for the .same uses. In some parts of 
Sweden a strong cloth is said to have been prepared from the stalks 
of hops. These have been tried elsewhere, but without success. 
Vegetable filaments, and the thread or cloth prepared from them, dif- 
fer remarkably from wool, hair, silk, and other animal productions, 
particularly in their disposition to imbibe coloring matters ; sundry 
liquors, which give a beautiful and durable dye to those of the animal, 
giving no stain at all to those of the vegetable kingdom. 

FILTRATION. This is the act of clarifying impure water for 
domestic purposes. Filters for doing it are of various construction ; 
but they all act, somehow or other, as a sieve, or strainer, having 
innumerable small passages through which the fluid can percolate 
slowly ; but as the passages are not sufficiently large to allow the 
particles of matter which are mixed with the fluid to escape, they are 
detained by the instrument. In cities where the water of wells is 
usually impregnated with the various substances with which the entire 
earth is there saturated ; and, indeed, wherever the water furnished 
is impure, artificial filters are of great importance in domestic economy. 
Every family should be supplied with one. Rarely can spring water 
be found so free from extraneous mixtures, as that which has thus 
been artihcially purified. 

All springs of water which we are accustomed to call pure, are 
only rendered so by the effect of natural filtration ; for the rain falling 
upon the surface of the earth, soaks first into the vegetable mould 
with which the surface is almost everywhere covered ; in passing 
through this, it takes up not only dirt or earthy particles, but the 
remains of vegetable substances, which are in the progress toward 
decomposition ; the water is thus renJered turbid and unwholesome 
for domestic purposes ; such is the state of the waters of most rivers 
which are not supplietl by springs alone, but by brooks running on 



THE FARMER AT HOME. Ig3 

vhe surface, Tnat porlion of the water which soaks into the earth 
having passed through a sutlicient thickness of porous strata, either 
by ascent or descent, will have all exti'aneous mixtures detained, and 
become clear spring water. It should be observed, that filtration 
can only produce transparency, by arresting such particles of matter 
as are in a state of mechanical mixture with the fluid, for any matter 
which is held in chemical solution in the fluid will pass with it, 
Uirough the pores of the most minute filter, unless the substance of 
the filter itself should have a greater affinity for such matter than the 
fluid which contained it. In this case, a new combination will be 
formed, and the matter in solution, leaving the fluid, will be taken 
up by the filter, not simply because the passages are too small to per- 
mit its particles to pass, but on account of the superior elective attrac- 
tion between the substance of the filter and the dissolved matter. 

Filtration, on this principle, cannot continue to produce a natural 
spring for any great length of time ; because, by the constant addition 
of matter, the filter Avill at last become saturated M-ith it, or choaked 
up. In applying this reasoning to springs, we shall find a reason 
why so few springs produce pure water, although it is always trans- 
parent. In reality, the great natural filters which produce springs, 
are almost always on an opposite principle, viz., that the sub- 
stance which composes the filter has a great affinity for the water, 
and its particles are thereby taken slowly in solution, and carried of!" 
at the same time that the extraneous matters, which are only in 
mixture with the water, are detained in the pores of the filtering 
strata ; thus we find few springs which have not some mineral held 
in solution by the water, although invisible to the eye ; and in cases 
where heat is generated in making the new combination we have 
spoken of hot springs will be produced. The most common mineral 
taint which water receives in its natural filtration, is sulphate of lime 
or plaster of Paris ; this renders the water hard, as it is called, so 
that it will not produce a lather with soap, but curdles it. Sulphate 
of iron or vitriol is also frequent in springs. Add to this, that in great 
towns, the drainage water which soaks into the earth is contaminated 
by animal matters as well as vegetable, and in such an ofiensive state, 
that the filtration through the soil can scarcely restore its purity. 

Gravel, in thick beds, is the most perfect natural filter ; and 
instances may be met with, of springs from gravel producing water 
very nearly as pure as distilled water. Sand, when white, such as 
that of the seashore, is also very good ; but if colored, it generally 
contains iron ; and where the color is deep, the iron is often in such 
excess, that it will be commiuiicated to the water in passing through 
it. Beds of sandstone filter extremely well, and also some porous 
limestone. 

FIXED STARS. The universe, so far as human observation 
has extended, consists of infinite or boundless space, in which are 



164 THK FARMER AT HOME. 

numberless fixed stars, of the nature, bulk, and properties of the sun ; 
but because they are at such immense distances from the earth, they 
appear to our eyes only as so many beautiful shining points. They 
are called fixed stars, because they do not change, like the planets, 
their relative position ; and they are distinguished from the planets by 
their twinkling light. 

It is supposed that the fixed stars have primary and secondary 
planets revolving round them, as the planets of our system revolve 
round the sun. Were the sun as far from us as these stars are, it 
w^ould doubtless appear as they now do. It is certain that they do 
not reflect the sun's light as do the planets ; for their distance is so 
great, that they would not, in that case, be visible. All the fixed 
stars, with the exception of the polar or north star, notwithstanding 
they do not change their relative position, appear to have a motion 
like the sun and moon, rising in the east, increasing in altitude until 
they approach the meridian, and declining to the western horizon, 
where they disappear. This apparent miotion is caused by the revo- 
lution of the earth on its axis from v/est to east. 

FLAIL. This is a wooden instrument for threshing corn. The 
construction of this implement is too well known to require description. 
The ancient Romans used a kind of whip-flail, to a limited extent, 
for the performance of this agricultural process ; but the prevailing 
mode, among the nations of antiquity, for separating grain from straw, 
was for cattle to tread it out in the open air. In modern times the 
flail is perhaps the universal implement used in this process, unless 
threshing is performed by machinery. All large farmers should have 
a threshinjr machine : and even among small farmers there should be 
one in every neighborhood of a dozen families ; for the labor saved in 
a single season would be more than an equivalent for the cost of it. 
A good machine, to be operated by one horse only, with two men and 
a boy to tend it, will thresh from seventy-five to an hundred bushels 
in a day. 

FLAME OF A CANDLE. Is a curious mechanical action and 
re-action of oxygen, hydrogen, and carbon. Whenever the light gas, 
called hydrogen, is excited, oxygen combines with it, and produces 
heat, and if carbon is combined with the evolving hydrogen, light is 
the result. A tallow candle, or the wick of a lamp, consists of hydro- 
gen and carbon, and on being evolved by great motion, as by the 
touch of a match, or any other flame, the oxygen flows in and is 
fixed, and causes heat, and at the distance from the wick, where the 
efflux and influx cross each other, the film of the flame is created ; 
less carbon, makes blue light, a due proportion, white light, and an 
excess, the smoke of a car^dle, an excess of hydrogen, makes the blue 
light, and an excess of oxygen, red light. In truth, a candle is a 
prism, arising from the same principles differently exhibited. 

FLANNEL A kind of woolen stuff", composed of a woof and 



THE FARMER AT HOME. Ig5 

a warp, and woven after the manner of baize. Various theories have 
been adopted to prove the utility of flannel as an article of dress. It 
is unquestionably a bad conductor of heat, and on that account very 
useful in cold weather ; this is accounted for from the structure of 
the stuff; the fibres touch each other very slightly, so that the heat 
moves slowly through the interstices, which being already filled with 
air, give little assistance in carrying off the heat. On this subject 
Count Rumfbrd has made many experiments, from which it should 
seem, that though a woolen substance is warmest in winter, it is also 
preferable, under certain circumstances, in summer. He expresses 
his surprise, that the custom of wearing flannel next the skin should 
not have prevailed more universally. He is confident it would pre- 
vent a number of diseases ; and he thinks there is no greater luxury 
than the comfortable sensation which arises from wearing it, espe- 
cially after one is a little accustomed to it. And he says it is a 
mistaken notion, that it is a too warm clothing for summer. He says, 
also, that he has worn it in the hottest climates, and at all seasons of 
the year ; and never found the least inconvenience from it. This is 
his philosophy in the case. It is the warm bath of perspiration con- 
fined by a linen shirt, wet with sweat, which renders the summer 
heat of southern climates so insupportable ; but flannel promotes 
perspiration, and favoi-s its evaporation ; and evaporation, as it is well 
known, produces positive cold. 

FLAX. This plant has been cultivated from remote antiquity, 
throughout a great part of Europe, Asia, and the north of Africa, for 
various purposes. Its native country is not known with certainty, 
though, according to Olivier, it is found wild in Persia. It is culti- 
vated principally for the fibre yielded by the bark, of which linen 
cloth is made The use of this article is so ancient, that no tradition 
remains of its introduction. The ancient Scandinavians and other 
bai'barous nations were clothed with linen. The mummies of Egypt 
are enveloped with it, and immense quantities are still made in that 
country, especially about the mouths of the Nile ; and it is worn 
almost exclusively by the inhabitants. 

The seeds of the flax are mucilaginous and emollient, and an 
infusion of them is often used as a drink in various inflammatory dis- 
orders ; they also yield an oil, Avell known in commerce under the 
name of linseed oil, which differs, in some respects, from most 
expressed oils, as in congealing in water, and not forming a solid 
soap Avith fixed alkaline salts. This oil has no remarkable taste, is 
used for lamps, sometimes in cookery, and also forms the base of all 
the oily varnish made in imitation of China .varnish. It is much 
employed in the coarser kinds of painting, especially in situations not 
much exposed to the weather. Equal parts of lime-water and linseed 
oil form one of the best applications for burns. The cakes remaining 
after the oil has been expressed, are \x9-id for fattening cattle and sheep. 



Igg THE FARICER !. r HOME. 

Flaxseed has been substituted for grain in times of scarcity, but it if 
heavy and unwholesome. 

FLEA. The history of those animals with which we are best 
acquainted is one of the first objects of our curiosity. If the flea be 
examined with a microscope, it will be observed to have a small head, 
large eyes, and a roundish body. It has two feelers, or horns, which 
are short, and composed of four joints ; and between these lies it» 
trunk, M'hich it buries in the skin, and through which it sucks tho 
blood in large quantities. The body appears to be all over curiously 
adorned with a suit of polished sable armor, neatly joined, and beset 
with multitudes of sharp pins, almost like the quills of a porcupine. 
It has six legs, the joints of which are so adapted, that it can, as it 
were, fold them up one within another ; and when it leaps, they all 
spring out at once, whereby its whole strength is exerted, and the 
6ody raised above two hundred times its own diameter. 

The young fleas are at first a sort of nits or eggs, which are round 
and smooth ; and from these proceed white worms, of a shining pearl 
color ; in a fortnight's time they come to a tolerable size, and are 
very lively and active ; but if they are touched at this time, they roll 
themselves up in a ball ; soon after this they begin to creep like silk- 
worms that have no legs ; and then they seek a place to lie hid in, 
where they spin a silken thread from their mouth, and with this they 
enclose themselves in a small round bag or case, as M'hite within as 
writing paper, but dirty without ; in this they continue a fortnight 
longer ; after which they burst from their confinement perfectly 
formed, and armed with powers to disturb the peace of an erTi- 
peror. 

FLORIST. In Gardening, a name applied to such persons as are 
curious in, or have much skill in the knowledge and nature of flowers 
A good florist should be perfectly acquainted with the names, char- 
acters, and kinds, or sorts of flowers ; and at the same time have a 
thorough knowledge of their nature, habits, and methods of cultiva- 
tion and management. 

FLOUR. The meal of any grail but more particularly of wheat, 
ground and sifted for the purpose of fov.d. The grain itself is not only 
subject to be eaten by insects in that state, but when ground into 
flour, it gives birth to another race of destroyers, who eat it unmerci- 
fully and increase so fast in it, that it is not long before they wholly 
destroy the substance. The finest flour is most liable to breed them, 
especially when stale or ill prepared ; in thib case, if it be examined 
in a good light, it will be perceived to be in a continual motion ; and 
on a nicer inspection, there will be found in it a great number of little 
animals of the color of the flour, and very nimble. If a little of this 
flour be laid on the plate of a double microscope, the insects are very 
distinctly seen in great numbers, very brisk and lively, continually 
crawling over one another's backs and playing a thousand antic tricks 



THE FARMER AT HOME. |g7 

together, whether '')r diversion or in search of food, it is not easy to be 
determined. 

These animals are of an obkinof slender form, their heads are fur- 
nished with a kind of trunk, or oblonjr lioUow tube, by means of which 
they take in their food, and their body is composed of several rings. 
They do vast mischief among the magazines of flour, laid up for- 
armies and other public uses ; when they have once taken possession 
of a parcel of this valuable commodity, it is impossible to drive them 
out, and they increase so fast, that the only method of preventing the 
total loss of the parcel, is to make it up into bread as soon as can be. 
The way to prevent their breeding in the flour is, to preserve it from 
damp ; nothing gets more injury by being put up damp than flour, 
and yet nothing is so often put up so. It should be always carefully 
and thoroughly dried before it is put up, and the barrels also dried 
into which it is to be put ; then if they are kept in a room tolerably 
warm and dry, they will preserve it well. Too dry a place never 
does any hurt, though one too moist always spoils it. 

FLOWER. In physiological and systematical Botany, compre- 
hends all those organs of a plaut which are preparatory and necessary 
to the impregnation and perfection of the fruit or seed. Flowers are 
usually the most ornamental part of vegetables, but the most fleeting 
and transitory. After their production, tiie vegetation of the plant, 
however rapid and luxuriant before, is checked, at least for a time, 
even in perennial plants and trees ; and annual ones survive flowering 
only till they can ripen their seed. The same species which will 
endure for several winters without blossoming, after this event loses its 
vigor and yields to the first attacks of frost, Pliny observes that 
"blossoms are the joy of trees, in bearing Avhich they assume a new 
aspect, vieiiig with each other in the luxuriance and variety of their 
colors." M. Dutens, a traveller in Holland, says, " I was witness to 
a circumstance I could not otherwise have believed, respecting the 
price of flowers in Holland. I saw 475 guineas offered and refused 
for a hyacinth. It was to be sure the most charming flower I had 
ever seen. It belonged to a florist, at Hague, and another florist 
offered this price for it." 

FLUID. In physiology, an appellation given to all bodies whose 
particles easily yield to the least partial pressure, or force impressed. 
The natu:-e of a fluid, as distinguished from that of a solid or hard 
body, consists in this, that its particles are so loosely connected to- 
gether, that they readily move out of their places, when pressed with 
the least force one way more than another ; whence philosophers 
have concluded that these particles are exceedingly minute, smooth, 
and round ; it being otherwise impossible they should move with such 
freedom, upon the least inequality of pressure. Those particles, con- 
sidered .separately, are endowed with all the common properties of 
matter, and are subject to the same lav s of motion and gravitation 



IQg THE FARMER AT HOME. 

with larger bodies. To inquire, therefore, into the nature of fluids, 
is to consider what appearances a collection of very small round 
bodies, subject to these laws, will exhibit under difi'erent circum 
stances. 

FLYING. The progressive motion of a bird or other winged 
animal in the air. The parts of birds chiefly concerned in flying are 
the wings and the tail ; by the former, the bird sustains and wafts 
himself along ; and, by the latter, he is assisted in ascending and de- 
scending, to keep his body poised and upright, and to obviate the vas- 
cillations thereof It is by the largeness and sti'ength of the pectoral 
muscles that birds are so well disposed for quick, strong, and continual 
flying. These muscles, which in men are scarcely a seventieth part 
of the muscles of the body, m birds, exceed and outweigh all the other 
muscles taken together. 

FOG, or MIST. A meteor consisting of gross vapors, floating 
near the surface of the earth. Mists, according to Lord Bacon, are 
imperfect condensations of the air, consisting of a large proportion 
of the air, and a small one of the aqueous vapor ; and these happen 
in the winter, about the change of the weather, from frost to thaw, 
or from thaw to frost ; but in the summer and the spring, from the 
expansion of the dew. 

If the vapors, which are raised plentifully from the earth and 
waters, either by the solar or subterraneous heat, do, at their first 
entrance into the atmosphere, meet with cold enough to condense 
them to a considerable degree, their specific gravity is by that means 
increased ; and so they will be stopped from ascending, and return 
back, either in form of dew, or drizzling rain, or remain suspended 
some time, in the form of fog. Vapors may be seen on the high 
grounds as well as the low, but more especially about marshy places. 
They are easily dissipated by the wind, as also by the heat of the sun. 
They continue longest in the lowest grounds, because these places 
contain most moisture, and are least exposed to the action of the 
wind. 

Hence we may easily conceive, that fogs are only low clouds, or 
clouds in the lowest region of the air ; as clouds are no other than 
fogs raised on high. When fogs stink, then the vapors are mixed 
with sulphureous exhalations, of which they smell. Objects viewed 
through fogs appear larger, and more remote, than through the com- 
mon air. Boyle observes, that upon the coast of Coromandel, and 
the most maritime parts of the East Indies, there are, notwithstand- 
ing the heat of the climate, annual fogs so thick, as to occasion those 
of other nations who reside there, and even the more tender part of 
the natives, to keep their houses close shut up. 

FOOD. Many persons are unaware of the great difference of 
nutritious matter contained in difl'erent articles of food in daily use. 
One might distend his stomach like a bladder, upon turnips, and yet 



THE FARMER AT HOME. 



169 



have very little to sustain life, or give him strength to labor. Pota- 
toes contain much more nutriment than turnips, but nothing in pro- 
portion, according to bulk or cost, that is contained in many other 
substances used as human food. The following facts will show this 
difference. For instance, one thousand pounds of prime wheat contain 
'J55 pounds of human food ; one thousand pounds of barley, 910 
pounds ; one thousand pounds of rye, 792 pounds ; one thousand 
pounds of oats, 743 pounds ; one thousand pounds of beans, 570 
pounds; one thousand pounds of dry peas, 514 pounds ; one thousand 
pounds of potatoes, 230 pounds ; one thousand pounds of carrots and 
parsnips, 98 pounds ; one thousand pounds of cabbage, 73 pounds ; 
and one thousand pounds of turnips, only 50 or 60 pounds. 

It may be seen frotn this that there is no economy in purchasing 
many of the coarse kinds of food in common use. Potatoes, at the 
prices they have ranged for several years, must be considered a luxury 
rather than a cheap diet ; for their cost is nearly the same per pound 
as wheat, and it takes more than four pounds of them to yield the 
nourishment in one pound of wheat. Indian corn is probably tlie 
cheapest food that can be had ; and it is far more economical to use 
beans, dry peas, beets, and parsnips, than potatoes. The following 
anecdote of a poor woman in Cincinnati shows a tact in economizing 
food rarely seen. She had seven children to be fed, and at one time 
she found herself wholly destitute of the means of providing for them, 
save eight laying hens. Here was an egg a day for each one ; but a 
pittance, all can see, wholly inadequate to fit the human frame for 
labor, and barely to sustain life. What could be done ? She ex- 
changed each day six of her eggs for half a peck of beans, which, with 
a small piece of poor meat, procured with the other two eggs, was 
regularly made into a thick soup, and this enabled her to sustain her 
family till other means could be had. Such an example might be 
made worth thousands of dollars to the poor. 

FOOD OF PLANTS. A plant or a tree can no more exist 
without food than can an animal ; and it is only because the mode in 
which they receive it is less evident to us, that we do not commonly 
think of vegetables as equally dependant with animals, upon the 
matex'ials supplied to them by the elements around. We are con- 
stantly witnessing the act of feeding in all the animals that are under 
our notice ; but the growth and reproduction of plants seem to take 
place with so slight an introduction of solid matter into their system, 
that it cannot be comprehended, without further examination, how 
they derive the ijcieans of uprearing the gigantic masses of wood and 
foliage which many of them present to our admiring view. It is the 
business of the farmer to ascertain what kind of food is wanted for 
the growth of vegetation, and then to provide it. The absurdity of 
rearing or maintaining any animal without an adequate supply of the 
elements needed in animal substances, is too apparent to need illustra- 

8 



170 THE FARMER A I HOME. 

tion. Can an animal have bones, or blood, or muscles, vnless sup- 
plied with food that contains the principles of these animal constitu- 
ents ? To suppose it, is contrary to common sense. The food of 
plants is furnished by the soil in which they grow, and the atmos- 
phere. Hence, the soil must contain every portion of vegetable con- 
Btituent not furnished by the air. If it does not contain it, plants 
will not flourish. They may have a feeble and sickly existence, but 
cannot flourish In agricultural productions, if the soil does not con- 
tain it, the crops will be small, at best ; perhaps not paying the labor 
of tillage. Let the farmer study this subject. To aid him we recom- 
mend to him a popular Treatise on Vegetable Physiology, published 
by Lea & Blanchard, or Johnston's Agricultural Chemistry. 

FORCE, Comparative, of Men and Horses. There are several 
curious as well as useful observations in Desagnlier s Experimental 
Philosophy, concerning the comparative forces of men and horses, and 
the best w^ay of applying them. A horse draws with the greatest 
advantage when the line of direction is level with his bi'east ; in such 
a situation, he is able to draw two hundred pounds eight hours a day, 
walking about two miles and a half an hour. And if the same horse 
is made to draw two hundred and forty pounds he can work but six 
hours a day, and cannot go quite so fast. On a carriage, indeed, 
where friction alone is to be overcome, a middling horse will draw 
one thousand pounds. But the best way to try a horse's force is by 
making him draw up out of a well, over a single pulley or roller ; 
and in such a case, one horse with another will draw two hundred 
pounds. Five men are found to be equal in strength to one horse, 
and can, with as much ease, push round the horizontal beam of a 
mill, in a walk only nineteen feet wide ; whereas, three men will do 
it in a walk forty feet wide. 

The worst way of applying the force of a horse, is to make him 
carry or draw up hill ; for if the hill be steep, three men will do more 
than a horse, each man climbing up faster with a burden of one hun- 
dred pounds weight, than a horse that is loaded with three hundred 
pounds, a difference which is owing to the position of the parts of the 
human body being better adapted to climb than those of a horse. 
On the other hand, the best way of applying the force of a horse, is in 
an horizontal direction, wherein a man can exert least force ; thus a 
man, weighing one hundred and forty pounds, and drawing a boat 
along by means of a rope coming over his shoulders, cannot draw 
above twenty-seven pounds, or exert above one-seventh part of the 
force of a horse employed to the same purpose. The very best and 
most eflectual posture in a man is that of rowing ; wherein he not 
only acts with more muscles at once for overcoming the resistance, 
than in any other position ; but as he pnlls backwards, the weight of 
his body assists by way of lever. 

FOREST. In Geography. The Caledonian and Hercyn'\a 



THE FARMER AT tlO.ME. 171 

forests are famous in history. The first was a celebrated retreat of 
the ancient Picts and Scots ; the latter anciently occupied the greatest 
part of Europe ; particularly Germany, Poland and Hun<rary. In 
Ca;sar's time it extended from the borders of Alsatia and Switzerland 
to Transylvania, and was computed sixty days' journey long and nine 
broad : some parts or cantons thereof are still remaining. The an- 
cients adored forests, and imagined a great part of their gods to reside 
therein ; temples were frequently built in the thickest forests ; the 
gloom and silence whereof naturally inspire sentiments of devotion, 
and turn men's thoughts within themselves. For similar reasons the 
Druids made forests the place of their residence, performed their sacri- 
fices, instructed their youth and gave laws in them. The moral 
influence of forests to the contemplative mind, no one can deny, is of 
a high order ; and, in our own country, as a matter of taste and pros- 
pective interest, there has been a recklessness in destroying them, 
that is incomprehensible. 

It must be apparent to the slightest observer, that the forests of 
the country are rapidly diminishing, and that vi'ood every year is 
scarcer and dearer. Considering the value and necessity of woodlands 
to future generations, a farmer cannot do better service to his posterity, 
and to the State, than to perpetuate the forests. To accomplish this 
object, the woods now standing must be carefully guarded and cut 
with caution. Only the oldest trees should be selected, leaving the 
others to improve by standing. The kigh price of wood leads our 
farmers, often to cut ofi' all the timber of some pieces of land, whoso 
soil, rocky situation, or position on a side hill, prove that it is of nc 
service but for wood. A little care of such tracts, would lead to theii 
perpetuity, and to their constant increase in value. All wood-lands 
should be so securely fenced that cattle should have no access. A lit- 
tle care will protect the young trees from the growth of underbrush. 
But there is one thing, hitherto neglected by our farmers, to which we 
wish to call their attention, and that is the sowing of various nuts, that 
will preserve the forest to posterity. It is on this subject that the pre- 
sent generation have been the most careless, and have shown the least 
regard to the benefit of the future, because they may suppose the 
present will derive no advantage from it. Let therefore, our farmers, 
every year scatter acorns of different species, especially of the white 
oak, beach nuts, hickory nuts of the kinds most serviceable for fuel, and 
in places adapted to the tree, chestnuts, if they wish a supply of fenc- 
ing, maple and ash keys, &c , and they will be doing as much service 
to their grand-children as if they laid up money for them at ten per 
cent, interest. 

FOUNDEK,. This is a disease of the horse caused by riding or 
driving him until much heated and fatigued, and then allowing him 
to cool suddenly, by drinking of cold water, or standing in an exposed 
situation, or in a cold stable without covering ; or, without sudden 



J 72 THE FARMER AT HOME. 

cooling, it may be produced by too boimtifnl feeding, and his swal- 
lowing his food greedily, while very warm and hungry. Under such 
unfavorable circumstances, the poor animal, after resting, instead of 
being refreshed, is stifl'and sore ; his rest, food, and drink, being more 
destructive to health than constant action and abstinence. On the 
contrary, had he been allowed to cool gradually, and fed sparingly, he 
Avould have escaped injury. The reader is referred for a cure of 
founder to Cole's Diseases of Animals, published by J. P. Jewett, and 
to Youatt on the Horse, published by Derby and Miller. 

FORK. Forks are first mentioned in an inventory of a prince's 
plate, in 1379. Before this period, the knife only was used for the 
purpose of cutting up food. The use of the fork spread from Italy to 
the northern parts of Europe. Thomas Coryate is said to have intro- 
duced it into England. The use of the fork was considered so great 
a luxury, that many monastic orders forbade their members to indulge 
in it. The Asiatics, even to this day, use no forks, as is also the case 
with the Turks. The Chinese, instead of forks, make use of two 
small sticks, which they hold in the same hand between different 
fingers. 

FOUNTAIN. A natural spring of water rising out of the 
ground ; also a stream of water ejected through a pipe by means of a 
machine contrived for this purpose. Artificial fountains are various 
in their forms, but they all act on the principle of a pressure, either 
from a head of water, or arising from the spring and elasticity of the 
air. When' fountains are formed by the pressure of a head of water, 
or any other fluid of the same kind, with the fountain or jet, then 
will this spout up nearly to the same height as that head, allowing a 
little for the resistance of the air, with that of +he adjutage, &c., in 
the fluid rushing through ; but when the fountain is produced by any 
other force than the pressure of a column of the same fluid as itself, it 
will rise nearly to the altitude of the fluid, whose pressure is equal to 
the given force that produces the fountain. 

FOWLS. The culture of fowls, although very common among 
farmers, is by no means estimated according to its importance. Poul- 
try are among the chief luxuries in culinary economy. Without their 
meat and eggs, what substitute could be furnished, not leaving a 
lamentable deficiency to the epicure, and even to those who eat 
mainly for the purpose of keeping soul and body together. In 
secluded situations, when no butcher's cart or shop is near, how con- 
venient — nay how almost indispensable it is, if a friend from a 
distance unexpectedly make a call, or if there be indisposition in the 
family, and chicken broth is needed, that there be at hand a poultry 
establishment, to furnish materials for the occasion ! What could be 
done without it ? Nor is the profit of fowls, when kept for the 
market to be overlooked, or under-estimated. The profits of fifty hens, 
with proper care, besides paying for their feed, will not fall below fifty 



THE FARMER AT HOME. 



173 



dollars annually. What investment is better? Much is said about 
fancy breeds of poultry. The presumption, however, is, that hens 
which weigh eight pounds each will eat twice as much as those that 
weigh only four pounds. The best policy for those who keep fowls 
for profit, is to select such breeds as lay most eggs, furnishing also a fat 
tender carcase, according to the feed which they require. Those who 
desire to become amateurs in this branch of rural economy are referred 
to Browne's American Poultry Yard ; Bennett's Poultry Book ; and 
Dixon and Kerrs' Book on the same subject. 




SHANGHAE FOWLS 

FOX. A common and mischievous animal, which, in all ages 
and nations, has been celebrated for his craft and wiles. He is so 
extremely fond of honey, that he attacks the nests of wild bees, 
regardless of their fury. They at first put him to flight by number- 
less stings ; but he retires for the sole purpose of rolling himself upon 
the ground and crushing his enemies under him. He returns to the 
charge so often, that he oblises them to abandon the hive, which he 
soon uncovers, and devours both the honey and the wax. The fox 
sleeps in a round form, like the dog ; but when he only reposes him- 
self, he lies on his belly with his hind legs extended. It is in this 
situation, that he eyes the birds on the hedges and trees. The birds 
have such an antipathy against him, that they no sooner perceive 
him, than they send forth shrill cries to warn their neighbors of the 
enemy's approach. The jays and blackbirds in particular, follow the 



174 THE FARMER AT HOME. 

fox from tree to tree, sometimes two or three hundred paces, often 
repeatinjT the Avatch-cries. 

FREEZING. In philosophy, the same with congelation. 
Freezing may be defined the fixing a fluid body into a solid mass, by 
the action of cold. Water and some other fluids suddenly c^'^te and 
expand in the act of freezing, so as to occupy a greater space in the 
solid than in the liquid state; in consequence of which ice is specific- 
ally lighter than water, and floats upon it. Water also loses of its 
weight by freezing, being found lighter after it is thawed than before 
it was frozen. And it even evaporates nearly as fast while frozen, as 
while it is fluid. Water which has been boiled freezes more readily 
than that which has not been boiled ; and a slight disturbance of the 
fluid disposes it to freeze more speedily ; having sometimes been 
cooled several degrees below the freezing point, without congealing 
when kept quite still, but suddenly freezing into ice on the least mo- 
tion or disturbance. Water, covered over with a surface of oil of 
olives, does not fieeze so readily as without it ; and nut oil absolutely 
preserves it undei a strong frost, when olive oil would not. Rectified 
spirit of wine, nut oil, and oil of turpentine, seldom freeze. The sur- 
face of water, in freezing, appears all wrinkled; the wrinkles being 
sometimes in parallel lines, and sometimes like rays, proceeding from 
a centre to the circumference. Fluids standing in a current of air 
grow much colder than before. Fahrenheit had long ago observed, 
that a pond, which stands quite calm, often acquires a degree of cold 
much beyond what is sufficient for freezing, and yet no congelation 
ensued ; but if a slight breath of air happens in such a case to brush 
over the surface of the water, it freezes the whole in an instant. It 
has also been discovered, that all sukstances grow colder by the evap- 
oration of the fluids which they contain, or with which they are 
mixed. If both these methods, therefore, be practised upon the same 
body at the same time, they will increase the cold to almost any de- 
gree of intenseness we please. Plants are frequently destroyed by 
frost, when overtaken by it while in the vigor of growth, as the ex- 
pansion of the juices in that state bursts the tender vessels, and causes 
death. The freezing of wheat causes more loss to the farmer and 
the country than all other losses from frost combined. When a soil 
is tenacious, or contains a large proportion of clay, and by its position 
or want of drainage abounds in water, as such soils usually do, there 
is great danger that wheat sown on such lands will freeze out, or win- 
ter kill, as it is termed ; and examination will show that there are 
very few farms or fields where wheat is sown, where more or less 
plants are not destroyed by this cause. The destruction is usually 
performed in the spring months, when the ground is bare, and freezes 
at night after thawing during the day. There are very few soils 
where this evil exists which may not be cured by draining and sub- 
soil ploughing, and as it is one that oftentimes seriously lessens the 



THE FARMER AT HOME. I75 

amount of crops, and the profits of the farmer, it deserves serious con- 
sideration . 

FRICTION. Denotes the resistance a moving body meets with 
from the surface on which it moves. Friction arises from the ronirh- 
ness or asperity of the surface of the body moved on, and that of the 
body moving ; for such surfaces consisting alternately of eminences 
and cavities, either the eminence? of the one must be raised over those 
of the other, or they must be bo^h broke and worn off'; but neither 
can happen without motion, nor can motion be produced without a 
force impressed. Hence, the force applied to move the body is either 
wholly or partly spent, on this effect; and consequently there arises 
a resistance, or friction, which Mill be greater, other things being 
equal, as the eminences are the greater, and the substance the hard- 
er ; and as the body, by continual friction, becomes more and more 
polished, the friction diminishes. 

A very large part of the power requisite to move a threshing ma- 
chine, a Avagon, or a plough, is expended in overcoming the passive 
resistance of simple friction ; and the greater in any case the space 
on which this acts, the greater will be the force required to overcome 
it. A wagon, the axles of which run on rollers, where the friction 
is reduced to its miuimum, will move over a surface with much less 
force applied, than one where the whole svirface of the axle comes in 
contact with the inner part of the hub, and the friction of course is 
at its maximum. The experiments of Mr. Pusey of the English 
Royal Agricultural Society, proved that in all soils the celebrated 
Scotch plough, and consequently all ploughs similarly constructed, 
which, from its structure of share and mould-board, exposes a great 
extent of surface to friction, was so much impeded from that cause, 
that a large part of the power of the team was expended in overcom- 
ing it ; and that in tenacious soils at least one-half of the force ex- 
erted was required to overcome the effect of this cause. It is clear, 
then, that a light plough, with a part of the weight supported on a 
wheel or wheels, and with the least possible surface exposed to fric- 
tion, will move the easiest for the team ; and in all implements and 
machinery, the lessening of the friction is one of the most important 
things to be aimed at in their construction. 

FROG. The external figure of the frog is too well known to 
require being particularly described ; its active powers are astonish- 
ingly great, when compared with its unwieldy shape ; it is the best 
swimrner of all four-footed animals ; aiid Nature has finely adapted 
it for those ends ; the arms being light and pliant, the legs long, and 
endowed with great muscular strength. A single female produces 
from six to eleven hundred eggs at a time ; but this only happens 
once a year. The male is of a greyish brown color ; but the skin ot 
the female is of a yellow hue ; these colors grow deeper every time 
they change them, which frequently happens every eighth day. The 



176 THE FARMER AT HOME. 

frog generally lives out of the water ; but, when the cold nights set in, 
it returns to its native place, always making choice of those stagnant 
waters at the bottom of which it is most likely to remain concealed ; 
there it remains toi-pid during the winter season ; but it is roused into 
activity by the genial warmth of spring. The croaking of these ani- 
mals has long been considered as the certain symptom of approaching 
r.iin ; for no weather-glass can describe a change of season with more 
accuracy than this vociferous and noisy tribe ; and we could hardly 
imagine, that a creature of that size could send forth sounds that 
would extend the distance of three miles. 

FROST. In Physics, that state of the natural world, in which 
the atmosphere so absorbs the caloric from bodies on the surface of the 
globe, as to leave them, more or less, without fluidity or expansion. 
The power of cold on vegetables is well known ; and though the 
iVosts of severe winters are, on the whole, more injurious to vegeta- 
tion than those of the spring ; yet the latter are productive of more 
extensive damage, because their eflects are evident alnTost every year. 
Frosts act most powerfully on ground newly cultivated, on account 
1)1' the vapors continually ascending from such soils. Trees recently 
cut, also, suder more than others from the spring frosts ; a circum- 
stance which must be attributed to their shooting forth with greater 
1 xuriance. Hence, likewise, light and sandy soils are thus more fre- 
quently damaged, than firm and tough land, though both may be 
equally dry. 

Although it has been generally believed, that frost meliorates the 
soil, and especially clay-lands ; yet, as ice contains no nitrous parti- 
cles, such improvements can only be of a transitory nature, by 
enlarging the bulk of some moist soils, atid leaving them more porous 
iur some time after the thaw ; but when the water has exhaled, the 
ground becomes as hard as before, being compressed by the incum- 
bent weight of the air. 

FRUITS. Are much used as an article of luxury; and from the 
elTocts they are too frequently seen to produce, they would seem to be 
by no means of a salutary nature. Looseness, vomiting, indigestion, 
and even inflammation of the bowels, have been seen evidently to 
])roceed from the use of various fruits. Yet it is pretty certain that 
lhe fault has lain not with the fruit, but with the consumer. When 
liuit is eaten in large quantity, and in an luiripe state, when it is 
forced into the stomach, already loaded with a plentiful dinner oi 
soup, meat, pudding, and all the items of a luxurious table, there is 
nothing wonderful in the subsequent intestine war. But when fruit 
is taken in moderation, of a proper quantity and at proper seasons, 
no bad effects are to be dreaded. Fruits are evidently useful, and 
they are kindly sent at the very season when the system, heated and 
excited by the warmth of summer, stands in need of something cool- 
ing and laxative to be taken with the food. 



THE FARiMEK AT HOME. I77 

The fruits in most common use may be classed under the heads 
of stone-fruits, the apple kind, berries, (without afTecting botanicial 
accuracy in the use of this term.) and farinaceous fruits. The stoue- 
fruitri are those which are of most difficult digestion. Plums and 
cherries are particularly so. The ripe peach is both delicate in its 
flavor and easily digestible ; the apricot is also very wholesome ; but 
the nectarine is liable to disagree with some stomachs. The fruits of 
the apple kind are somewhat rtrm in their texture, and therefore 
rather indigestible, and liable to be detained in the stomach. Pears 
are rather more allowable, as their texture is softer. The white 
slfin of the orange should be carefully rejected, but the inner pulp is 
grateful to all stomachs, whether in health or sickness. The fruits 
of the berry kind are the most wholesome of all. The strawberry or 
raspberry are particularly good ; the grape is cooling and laxative, 
but the husks and seeds are to be rejected ; the gooseberry is not so 
digestible, especially if the skin be swallowed. It is only the pulp of 
these fruits that is digested ; the seeds always pass through the body 
undigested, unless they be chewed. Other berries are generally baked 
in pies, but the pastry should be sparingly used. The melon, a farin- 
aceous fruit, is almost sure to disagree with weak stomachs ; and 
when eaten after dinner, always requires abundance of salt, pepper, 
ginger, or other condiment to be eaten with it. Many fruits, other- 
wise unsafe, are much impi'oved by cooking. Baked apples are an 
excellent article of food, and may even be of benefit to dyspeptic pa- 
tients. Dried fruits are generally esteemed very safe, but they are 
apt to run into fermentation from the quantity of sugar which they 
contain. 

FUEL. In our climate, fuel is one of the great essentials for 
human comfort and the cost of it is one of the principal items, espe- 
cially with the poor, for which provision must be made. The vast 
amount of it used, and the constantly decreasing amount of wood, 
hitherto mainly consumed for fuel, renders the future supply of the 
article one of the most important topics of consideration for the phi- 
lanthropist and social economist. Is it not apparent, that the time is 
rapidly approaching when, in many portions of our country where 
wood is now used for fuel, there will be such a deficiency of it, 
if used in any appreciable quantity by the poor, the burden of pro- 
curing it must be nearly insupportable ? How can this be reme- 
died ? Or, how can the evil be diminished ? It can in a measure be 
. done by the following precautions. First ; no one, however much wood 
he may have, should cut down a single tree, great or small, or even 
sprout, unless it be necessary. No prudent man should do it, any 
more than a prudent mariner would throw overboard a portion of the 
ship's provisions, when some unforeseen casuality may put the life of 
his crew in jeopardy for the want of them. Multitudes of our far- 
mers have cut down scores of acres of wood and burnt it up, or suf- 



178 THE FARMER AT HOME. 

fered it to rot on the ground, to make a clearing as it is called, when 
they already had double the cleared land they can cultivate properly. 

The second precaution recommended is that all use dry wood in- 
stead of green. It is a fact well known, that two cords of dry wood, 
on an avera^^e, in aL domestic purposes, are better than three cords of 
green. What makes green heavier than dry wood ? The water or 
sap in the former. There is nothing else to make it. Hence, if a 
cord of dry wood weighs a ton, and a cord of green wood weighs 
thirty hundred, there is in the latter ten hundred weight of water or 
sap to be evaporated during the process of its combustion. It passes 
off in the form of hot steam and vapor, carrying with it of course so 
much of the caloric or heat, which, had it been confined, as it might 
have been, in the uses of dry wood, would go to the promotion of its 
legitimate purpose. The effect is precisely the same that it would be, 
if in the combustion of ten pounds of dry wood in a stove or fireplace, 
there should be a continual filtration upon it of five pounds of water, 
which would render necessary a constant current of air to effect com- 
bustion, and this air on being heated, would pass off with the evapo- 
rated fluid through the stove pipe or chimney. What would be thought 
of the sanity or the common sense of the person who should do this ? 
He would have as much title to sanity and common sense, as the per- 
son who habitually or unnecessarily uses green wood instead of dry. 

The third precaution recommended is, to have stoves of the best 
devise for saving fuel, instead of using it in large and open fireplaces, 
where, as Count Rumford says, four fifths of the heat pass up the 
chimney without any good ; and, also to construct houses in a manner 
best calculated to save fuel. A little additional expenditure in the 
construction of houses having reference to this subject, and in the use 
of first quality stoves, will save more than one-half the fuel other- 
wise required. Suppose in a family fifty dollars a year only is thus 
saved, which is a moderate calculation, the amount, it will be per- 
ceived, in forty years, a period families hope to continue, reaches two 
thousand dollars without any interest — more than the cost of ordinary 
dwelling houses in the country for that time. And, if the fifty dol- 
lars thus saved were at the end of each year to be put at six per cent, 
interest, and then the whole from year to year be compounded, the 
whole will amount in the forty years to about eight thousand dollars. 
No wonder that so many persons continue poor. No wonder that so 
many agriculturists complain no money can be made by fai'ming. ■ 
The fourth precaution recommended, to prevent future scarcity of fuel, 
is that all i'armers on their waste lands turn their attention to the 
raising of wood. This to their grand-children would be better than 
money invested at ten per cent, intei-est. 

FULLER'S EARTH. In Natural History, a soft, grayish, 
brown, dense, and heavy marl. When dry it is of a grayish, ash- 
colored brown, in all degrees from very pale to almost black ; and 



THE FARMER AT HOME. I79 

it has generally something of a greenish cast. It is very hard and 
firm, of a compact texture, of a rough, and somewhat dusty surface, 
that adlieres slightly to the tongue. It is very soft to the touch, not 
staining the hands, nor breaking easily between the fingers. 

FUR. In Commerce, this signifies the skins of wild beasts, 
di'essed in alum witli the hair on, and used as a part of dress by 
princes, magistrates, and others. It was not till the later ages that 
the furs of beasts became an article of lu.xury. The refined nations 
of antiquity never made use of them ; those alone who were stigma- 
tized as barbarian were clothed in the skins of animals. Strabo de- 
scribes tlie Indians covered with the skins of lions, panthers, and 
bears ; and Seneca the Scythians clothed with the skins of foxes and 
the smaller quadrupeds. Most parts of Europe were then in similar 
circumstances. Ccesar was, perhaps, as much amazed with the skin- 
dressed heroes of Britain, as the celebrated Cook was at those of his 
new discovered regions. What time has done to us, it may also 
eilect for them ; and, it is to be hoped, with much less bloodshed. 
Civilization may take place, and those spoils of animals, which are 
at present essential for their clothing, become merely objects of orna- 
ment and luxury. It does not appear that the Greeks or ancient Ro- 
mans ever made use of furs. It originated in those regions where 
they most abounded, and where the severity of the climate required 
that species of clothing 

FURZE. This is a hardy, leguminous evergreen, growing abun- 
dantly on poor lands, and made use of for hedging and coarse fodder 
in Europe. It grows rapidly, so that it can be cut every four years 
for fuel, and is so far nutritious that horses are often maintained on 
furze only ; but considering the abundance of excellent fodder plants 
we possess, the introduction of furze is scarcely worthy of thought. 
And, as a fencing material, it is objectionable, from the room it 
requires, but the prickles with which it is covered make it a sure de- 
fence. 

FUSTIC. This is a dyewood, and contains a great quantity of 
coloring matter, forming the most durable of all the yellow dyes, 
which, however, is mostly used in compounding green and a variety 
of drab and olive colors, as, when employed alone, it is dull and defi- 
cient in clearness. It grows in the West Indies, Mexico, aird Cam- 
peachy, and even west of the Mississippi, in the southern part of the 
United States. The wood is also highly prized by the Indians for 
making bows, and is by them called bow-wood. It being firm, solid, 
and elastic, is well adapted to that purpose. In latitudes most favor- 
able to its growth it reaches the height of sixty feet or more, but in 
Louisiana only about half that height. 

GABLE. The triangular end of a house, barn, church, store, 
stable, or any other building, from the cornice or beams to the top, is 
called the o-able end. The common elevation of the apex or ridg? of 



ISO I'JI'^ FARMKR AT HOME. 

a roof is one-half the width of the biiildiii<r. Where utiUty only is 
desired, this is a proper elevation. If it were less the roof would be 
more likely to leak, from the water falling en it not having a suffi- 
cient tendency to run from it : and there is rarely any motive for 
having it higher. How';ver, in gothic architecture, particularly in 
cottages, the elevation is higher, making the upper angle quite sharp. 
This in cottages allows better chambers; and in churches a better 
opportunity for appropriate arches. 

GALE. This is a current ; a strong wind. In the language of 
soamen, the word gale, when unaccompanied by any qualifymg term, 
as a gentle gale, a moderate gale, signifies a vehement wind, storm, or 
lempest. In a small breeze, it is estimated that wind progresses at 
the rate of four miles an hour ; in a fresh gale, twenty-five or thirty 
miles an hour ; and in a violent storm, fifty or sixty miles an hour. 

GrALLINACEOUS. Tlie name of a species of birds of the phea- 
sant kind, including the common cock and hen. the characters of 
which are these. The beak is short, strong, and a little crooked, proper 
•or the picking up of corn, which is the food of the whole species ; the 
/lody is large, thick and fleshy ; the wings are short and hollowed, 
and not calculated for much fiyitig ; they all breed a numerous 
progeny ; tiiey build on the ground ; the young are not fed by the 
parent, but immediately shift for themselves ; and some have long 
spurs behind their legs. 

GALLON. This is a well known measure of capacity for dry or 
liquid substances, but is usually appropriate to the latter. It contains 
f )ur quarts, eight pints, and thirty two gills. A gallon, however, is 
not always the same in its dimensions. The gallon of wine contains 
two hundred and thirty-one cubic inches, or eight pounds of pure 
water avoirdupois ; the gallon of beer or ale contains two hundred and 
eighty-one cubic inches, or -ten pounds, three ounces and a quarter 
avoirdupois pure water ; a gallon of corn or meal, or any dry substance, 
contains two hundred and seyenty-one and a quarter cubic inches, or 
nine pounds and thirteen ounces of pure water. 

G ALLOP. The movement of a quadruped, particularly of a horse, 
by springs, reaches, or leaps, is called gallop. The animal lifts his 
forefeet nearly at the same time, and as these descend and are just 
ready to touch the ground, the hind feet are lifted at once. The 
irreatest speed of a horse is when he gallops, although he may gallop 
slowly as a pleasui'e movement fr r the person on his saddle. 

G'ALLOVVAY CATTLE. No breed of cattle is more readily 
known from their distinctive attributes than the Galloways of Scot- 
land. They are straight and broad in the back, and nearly level from 
t'le head to the rump, are round in the ribs, and also between the 
shoulders and the ribs, and the ribs and the loins, and broad in the 
loins, without any lai'ge projecting hook bones. In roundness of bar- 
rel and fulness of ribs they will compare with any breed, and also in 



THE FARMER AT HOME. 



181 



the proportion which the loins bear to the hook bouos, or protuber- 
ances ot" the ribs. When viewed IVoin above, the whole body appears 
beautitblly rounded, like the lonjjitudinal section of a roller. They 
are long in the quarters and ribs, and deep in the chest, but not broad 
in the twist. The prevailing I'ashionable color is black ; a i'ew are oi 
a dark brindle brown, and still fewer speckled with white, and some 
of them are of dun or drab color. The galloway cows are not reputed 
to be great milkers ; but although the quantity of the milk is not 
great, it is rich in quality, and yields a large proportion of butter. 
But when fatted they are highly valued for the shambles. Indeed, 
the heiters generally, unless the linest of them reserved for breeding, 
are spayed in reference to being fattened for that purpose. 




FAT GALLOWAY COW. 



GALLS. Is the name given to morbid excrescences gi'owing on 
different plants, in consequence of the attacks chiefly of hymenop- 
terous insects. The eg^ of the insect is deposited in a puncture made 
with a sharp sting ; and when it is hatched, the maggot causes a 
great degree of luxuriance in this part of the plant, which appears in 
various excrescences.- Galls are foimd in the two British species of 
oak. The astringent galls brought from the Levant, and used in 
dying and making ink, are also the produce of a particular species of 
oak. The best Aleppo jralls have generally a bluish, and sometimes 
a grayish and blackish color, inclining to bluish. They are of a close, 
compact texture, are difficult to break, and are unequal and warty on 



182 THE FARMER AT HOME. 

the surface. The small, white, and broken galls are by no means 
good. About two thousand cwt of galls are annually used in great 
Britain, the value of which, six pounds per cwt., is twelve thousand 
pounds. 

GAME. All sorts of birds and beasts that are objects of the 
chase. The laws which in England particularly protect this sort of 
property, are known by the name of ihe Game Laws. By these laws 
certaiti qualifications of property are required, to give a person the 
privilege of being allowed to kill game ; and penalties are imposed on 
all persons who kill game, either without such qualification or at im- 
proper seasons ; likewise the sale of game is prohibited under every 
circumstance. Attempts have been repeatedly made in parliament 
to procure a repeal, either wholly or in part, of these laws, which are 
thought to be oppressive in their operation. 

G-ANGRENE. An intense degree of inflammation, in which 
the part affected grows livid, soft, little sensible, and is frequently 
covered with vesicles containins; ichorous matter. But, when the 
part becomes blackish, flaccid, easily lacei'ated, cold, insensible, and 
emits the smell of putrid flesh, so that the corruption quickly spreads, 
it is then called sphacelus. 

Persons of a good habit of body are seldom affected by a gangrene ; 
thouQfh, even in them, it may accidentally be induced by contusion, 
long continued pressure, or by whatever destroys the texture of a part, 
and deprives it of its nourishment. Thus, in cold climates, severe 
frosts frequently occasion this malady, by impeding the circulation. 
In rheumatic constitutions, especially those advanced in years, the feet 
are first afflicted with pain ; while on the inner side of the small toes, 
livid spots appear, from which the skin soon separates. By degrees, 
the foot swells, and the toes become mortified. 

GALVANISM. Although this agent is generally believed to be 
identical with electricity, yet its mode of production, and tlie laws 
which it observes when in action, are so far peculiar, that it is fre- 
quently treated of by itself Its name is derived from Galvani, an 
Italian philosopher, who, in the course of his experiments on animal 
irritability, observed the first striking phenomena which led to its dis- 
covery. So powerful is this agent, by the aid of a voltaic battery, on 
muscular action, that dead animals are again to appearance endowed 
with life. He accordingly called it animal electricity. The voltaic 
battery, or instrument used for experiments in galvanism, was con- 
structed by Volta., and at first consisted of a pile or succession of plates 
of zinc and copper, each pair of which was connected by a piece of 
cloth moistened with water ; but, from the inconvenience in using it, 
the voltaic battery is now made of such plates, vertically arranged in 
a trough crosswise, the ends of the plates firmly fixed in groves of the 
sides of the trough, two plates by themselves, so that between each 
pair of these plates, tliere is a section of the trough to be filled with 



THE FARMER AT HOME. 



183 



water. To increase the effect, all that is needed is to increase the 
number of these plates, either in the same trough, or in a number of 
troughs, and all connected together, the whole constituting the bat- 
tery. Sir H. Davy constructed a voltaic battery which contained two 
thousand of these double plates of zinc and copper, each plate six 
inches square, and twenty of them in a trough ; that is, one hundred 
troughs in all. 

Galvanism produces an intense heat, sufficient to ignite and fuse 
the hardest metals, and even the most refractory earths. Galvanism 
is a most powerful agent in causing decomposition. By increasing the 
strength of the battery, substances held together by the most powerful 
affinity are easily separated. We have thus been enabled to ascertain 
the composition of some, till then reckoned simple ; anu new bodies 
have also, by its aid, been discovered, which have themselves proved 
powerful means of analysis. About the beginning of this century. Sir 
Humphrey Davy subjected a number of substances to the action of a 
powerful battery, by which he discovered the compound nature of 
many ; and illustrated, by numerous instances, the chemical changes 
produced by this wonderful agent. 

GARDENING Gardening is the art of forming, planting, cul- 
tivating, and managing garden grounds, whether of the ornamental 




GARDEN IMPLEMENTS. 

or culinary kinds. In a n;ore enlarged sense, it is' the business of 
rendering the rural objects of nature more agreeable, interesting, and 
useful to mankind ; in the execution of which, the operator has the 
whole range of country scenery at his command, in order to select 
with taste such parts as are the most appropriate and suitable to his 
particular views and purposes. 

Gardening is one of those arts that most obviously, from the ne- 



184 I'HE FARMER AT HOME. 

cessitips of mankind, have been practised at a veiy early period, so far 
at least as herbs and fruits are concerned. It seems not improbable 
but that it almost immediately succeeded the forming of distinct hab- 
itations, and the possession of individual property. It must, however, 
have remained long after its introduction in a very rude and imperfect 
state, as, notwithstanding the accounts that have been given of the 
magnificent gardens of early times, the Greeks and Romans seem to 
have been but little acquainted with them ; for the garden of Alcinous, 
when divested of the beautiful language of the poet, appears to have 
been nothing but a sort of orchard and vineyard somewhat adorned 
with the prevailing woi'ks of art ; or those of Lucullus, Cicero, and 
Pliny, among the Romans, anything more than mere places of retreat, 
planted with various odoriferous flowers and shrubs, and embellished 
with a variety of heavy and unnatural works of ornament. 

GARLIC. This is a species of onion, cultivated in Europe since 
the year 1551. Garlic has a strong, penetrating odor, and pungent, 
acrid taste. It difl'ers from the onion only by being more powerful in 
its effects. In warm climates, where garlic is produced with consid- 
erable less acrimony than in cold ones, it is much used, both as a sea- 
soning and as a food. When bruised and applied to the skin, it 
causes inflammation and raises blisters. In the south of Europe, par- 
ticularly in Spain, it is very much used, entering into the composition 
of almost every dish, not only among the common people, but among 
the higher classes of society; and it is everywhere prized by epicures. 
At all times, however, it has experienced much contrariety of opinion, 
and has been adored by some nations, and detested by others, as by 
the ancient Greeks. Its cultivation is easy, being a hardy plant, 
growing in almost every kind of soil ; and it is reproduced by planting 
the radical or floral bulbs. In the Middle States, it acquires its full 
size about the latter end of ^.ugust. Its medicinal virtues have also 
been much celebrated. 

GAS. This name is applied by chemists to those fluids that 
partly resemble common air, yet difier from it in their qualities* and 
have never been made solid. There are a great variety of these ; 
but those which, after oxygen, are of the greatest use, and in agricul- 
ture have the greatest eflect, are those of carbon and ammonia. 
Carbonic gas is composed of carbon and oxygen. Ammonial gas 
is composed of hydrogen and nitrogen. Carbonic gas furnishes 
to plants the carbon which constitutes their stems or trunks, 
and is constantly absorbed and decomposed by the leaves of plants ; 
the carbon is retained for the use of the plant, while the oxygen is 
thrown off' to restore to the air that which was lost by the respiration 
of the millions of vitally organized beings that breathe on the surface 
of the earth. Ammonia is an alkali, volatile, and commonly known 
in some of its combinations as salts of ammonia, or when combined 
with a fluid, as spirits of hartshorn. This gas or its salts have a 



THE FARMER AT HOME. 185 

highly excitincr power on plants, and constitute one of the most essen- 
tial ingredients in animal manures. When stable manures ferment 
too highly, this gas is volatilized and driven off, as the pungent odor 
arising from the manure proves, and is thus mainly lost to plants 
where the dung is applied. This may be remedied by making the 
compost heap of layers of manure, earth, swamp muck, or any sub- 
stance that will absorb and retain the gases that may be developed 
during fermentation, as well as the fluids that drain from the manure 
while undergoing the process of conversion into compost. 

GASTRIC JUICE. A fluid separated by the capillary exhaling 
arteries of the stomach, which open upon its internal tunic. The 
aB.sophages also afford a small quantity, especially in the inferior part. 
Modern philosophers have paid great attention to this fluid ; and 
from their several experiments, it is known to possess the following 
properties. It is the principal agent of digestion, and changes the 
aliments into a kind of uniform, soft paste. It acts on the stomach, 
after the death of the animal. Its effects show that it is a solvent ; 
but of that peculiar nature, that it dissolves animal and vegetable 
substances uniformly, and without exhibiting a stronger affinity for 
the one, than for the other. It is far from being of the nature of a 
ferment, as many suppose ; for it is one of the most powerful antisep- 
tics we are acquainted with ; and from the experments of Spallanzani, 
Scopoli. Carminati, and others, its nature appears to be essentially 
different in the several classes of aniriials, as they have proved by 
analysis. The gastric juice of the human subject, when healthy, is 
inodorous, of a saltish taste, and limpid, like water, unless it be a 
little tinged with the yellow color of some bile, that has regurgitated 
into the stomach. In quantity, it is very considerable, as must be 
evident from the extent of the surface of the stomach, and its con- 
tinual secretion ; but it is the most copious, when solicited by the 
stimulus of food. Besides the properties of this fluid before mentioned, 
it has others, which have induced physicians and surgeons to exhibit 
it medicinally. It cures dyspepsy and intermittent fever. Applied 
externally, in form of fomentation or poultice, it cures putrid and 
scrofulous ulcers in a wonderful manner ; and it is to be regretted, 
that its utility is not more generally known. 

GELATINE. This is one of the constituent parts of animal 
substances, and may be obtained by repeatedly washing the fresh skin 
of an animal in cold water, afterwards boiling it, and reducing it to a 
.small quantity by slow evaporation, and allowing it to cool. It then 
assumes the form of jelly, and becomes hard and semi-transparent. It 
xs a principal ingredient both of the solid and fluid parts of animals, 
and is employed in the state of glue, size, and isinglass. Gelatine is 
used in a new kind of bread, now manufactured in Paris. It having 
been found that the gelatine of bones used for soups was exceedmgly 
nutritious, it was imagined that if this gelatine :jould be introduced 



J 85 THE FARMER AT HOME. 

inio bread from potato flour, which is very much less nutritious than 
wheaten flour, the former would be equally pleasant, and even more 
nutritive than wheaten bread. The experiment has been tried with 
great success ; and beautiful loaves of bread, made in this way, are 
now sold in Paris at a much lower price than bread from wheat flour. 

Gelatine is one of the most powerful and valuable manures, being 
supposed by Chaptal to act both as a stimulant and a nutritive sub- 
stance. It is principally used in the shape of bone dust, though in 
many parts of the world it is used extensively in the form of flesh, as 
where fish are used for manuring. Bones are better than flesh, as 
they contain phosphate of lime, a substance that greatly aids the 
action of the gelatine. Bones contain about equal quantities of phos- 
phate and gelatine. The bones, that are the hardest, have the least 
gelatine, and those of young animals more than those of older ones. 
Bones intended for grinding, should not be boiled, as they sometimes 
are in cities, to extract the fat and gelatine for soap, as it lessens their 
value for agricultural purposes. Bones should be ground fine, and if 
allowed to ferment so as to have the pungent ammoniacal odor 
appear, their action will be more prompt than otherwise. 

GERMINATION. Among botanists, germination comprehends 
the precise time which the seeds take to rise, after they have been 
committed to the soil. The different species of seeds are longer or 
shorter, in rising, according to the degree of heat which is proper to 
each. Air and water are the agents of germinations. The humidity 
of the air alone makes several seeds to rise that are exposed to it. 
Se'eds too are observed to rise in wate.r, M'ithout the intervention of 
earth ; but water without air is insuiiScient. Mr. Romberg's experi- 
ments on this head are decisive. He put several seeds under the 
exhausted receiver of an air-pump, with a view to establish something 
certain on the causes of germination. Some of them did not rise at 
all ; and the greatest part of those which did, made very weak and 
feeble productions. 

Thus it is for want of air, that seeds, which are buried at a very 
great depth in the earth, either thrive but indifierently or do not rise 
at all. They frequently preserve, however, their germinating virtue 
for many years within the bowels of the earth ; and it is not unusual, 
upon a piece of ground being newly dug to a considerable depth, to 
observe it soon after covered with several plants, which had not been 
seen there in the memory of man. Were this frequently repeated, it 
would doubtless be the means of recovering certain species of plants 
which are regarded as lost ; or which, perhaps, have never come to 
the knowledge of botanists. 

GINGER. The root of a plant which grows spontaneously in 
the East and West Indies, and in China. It flowers about August 
or September, and fades about the end of the year. When the stalks 
are withered, the rojts are dug up, commonly in January and Feb- 



THE FARMER AT HOME. 187 

ruary. and are picked, cleansed, and gradually scalded in boiling 
water. They are then dried by exposure to the sun, and form what 
is called black ginger. White ginger is the very same root, but in 
order to produce it, the roots are not scalded, but are picked, scraped, 
separately washed, and diied very carefully. Ginger is generally sold 
in knotty, branched, and flattish pieces, and is of" a pale color and 
fibrous texture, when stripped of the outer bark. It should generally 
be chosen in large roots, new, and Hot easily broken ; its color should 
be of a light brownish green, and it should be resinous within, and of 
a pungent aromatic taste. .The dark, soft, and fibrous kind, should be 
rejected. Sometimes it is imported green from Bengal. Preserved 
ginger is brought from the West Indies and China, but the former is 
preferred. It is brought home in large and somewhat transparent 
pieces, of a bright yellow color. The«jars which contain it should be 
carefully sealed up. 

GLASS. Glass is the name of an artificial substance, formed by 
the igneous fusion of siliceous earth with various salts and metallic 
oxides, and possessing a high degree of transparency, equalled only 
by the more perfect crystals of the mineral kingdoms, and other phy- 
sical properties, which render it one of the most useful and ornamental 
substances which the arts have received from the ingenuity of man. 

GLAZING. In the manufacture of pottery, the incrustation of 
vessels with a vitreous substance, the basis of which is lead. The 
usual composition is, forty pounds of white sand, twenty pounds of 
red lead, and twelve pounds of pearl-gishes. After these ingredients 
are ground together, they are calcined with a moderate heat, and, 
when cold, reduced to powder. When wanted, the powder is tem- 
pered with water, and laid on the ware by means of a brush. Placed 
in a furnace, the violent heat soon transforms this coating into a per- 
fect glass. 

The glazing of all our earthen ware is very apt to crack, both from 
moisture and heat, being composed of lead, one of the most pei-nicious 
metals that could be devised for such important purpose. It is well 
known, that lead is easily volatilized by heat, and readily decomposed 
by any vegetable acid. Hence it has been affirmed by various emi- 
nent writers, that we are under the necessity of inhaling or swallow- 
mg, perhaps every day, a minute portion of a metal, M'hich is one of 
the slowest, but most destructive poisons, and lays the foundation of 
many fatal disorders, such as palsy, dry colic, consumption, kc. ; the 
remote cauise of which has not, till lately, been suspected. 

GLEANING. Picking up the scattered ears of wheat after the 
wheat is cut and carried. It was once thought in England, that, by 
the common law, the poor might claim this liberty as their right ; but 
it has been adjudjed by a judgment of the Court of Common Pleas, 
that no such right exists by the common law of the land. 

GLUE. Glue is a tenacious cement, principally used by cabinet- 



188 THE FARMER AT HOME. 

makers, joiners, book-binders, case-makers, and hatters. The sub- 
stances from which glue is made, are the shreds or parings of hides ; 
the ears, before they are immersed in the tanner's vats ; the cuttings 
and the raspings of horn, from tlie comb-maker, the button-maker, 
and the horn lantern-maker, and the hoofs and horns of oxen, calves, 
and sheep, from the butcher. These substances are indiscriminately 
mixed together, and are purified from all grease and dirt by digestion 
in lime water, the greatest care being taken to remove every piece 
that is in the slightest degree putrescent. The materials are next 
steeped and washed in clean water, with frequent stirring, and after- 
wards laid in heaps, and tlie water pressed out. They are then boiled 
in a large brass kettle, with clean water, the fat and dirt being con- 
stantly skimmed off as they rise, and when the whole is dissolved, a 
little melted alum, or finely-powdered lime is added. After the skim- 
ming has been continued for some time, the whole is strained through 
baskets and suffered to settle, in order that the remaining impurities 
may subside, and the fat rise to the top. The impurities aud fat be- 
ing removed, it is then returned into a clean kettle, and sul^(3rs a 
second evaporation and skimming. When it acquires a clean darkish 
color, and a sufficient consistence, which is known by the appearances 
during ebullition, it is lifted out by a scoop, into frames or moulds, 
about six feet long, one foot broad, and two deep, where it is allowed 
to cool gradually. 

GLUTEN. "When wheat flour or other farinaceous powders are 
put into a coarse bag and kneaded with water, that fluid carries off 
their starch suspended in it. and a tough tubstance is left in the bag 
which is called vegetable gluten. It is a soft viscid substance, tena- 
cious, elastic, and very adhesive, having a fibrous texture, and a faint 
peculiar odor. When exposed to a dry air, it becomes hard and 
brittle, resembling a piece of glue. In a moist atmosphere, it swells, 
and undergoes putrefaction, emitting an offensive odor. Yeast or 
barm, which is employed to excite fermentation, particularly by 
bakers, is found to have many of the properties of gluten. Gluten is 
contained in greatest quantity in wheat ; it is also found in other 
substances, though in small quantity, as in barley, rye, peas, beans, 
chestnuts, and many others. It does not, however, exist iu potatoes. 
Gluten, from its close resemblance to the principles of the animal 
kingdom, is supposed to be very nutritious. From the changes which 
it so easily excites in other bodies, it is employed largely in distilling, 
and also in the making of bread. 

GNAT. An insect fly that feasts on blood, and is the expertest 
phlebotomist in nature. The gnat is furnished with a proboscis, 
which is at once an awl proper for piercing the flesh of animals, and 
a pump by which it sucks out their blood. This proboscis contains, 
besides, a long saw, with which it opens the small blood vessels at 
the bottom of the wound which it has made. He is likewise provided 



THE FARMER AT HOME. 1^9 

with a corselet af eyes studded round his Httle head, to see all the ob- 
jects ai-Qund him ia every direction ; talons so sharp, that he can 
walk on polished g:lass, in a perpendicular line ; feet supplied with 
brushes to clean himself; a plume of feathers on his forehead ; and 
an instrument answering the purpose of a trumpet, to proclaim his 
triumphs. 

GOAT. The domestic goat is known in almost all parts of the 
world. If we may judge from the expressions of the ancient pastoral 
poets, goats were formerly attended in Greece and Italy with no less 
care than sheep. The milk is excellent, and has been thought pecu- 
liarly serviceable for consumptive persons. The Angora goat is fur- 
nished with soft silky hair, of a silver white color, hanging down in. 
curling locks eight or nine inches long. From the wool or hair of 
this goat the finest camlets are made. The Cashmere goat, as its 
name indicates, is a native of the kingdom of Cashmere ; it is smaller 
than the domestic goat, and has long, silky, fine hair, not curled, as 
in the Angora goat. This variety has been successfully introduced 
into France, where it has bred with another variety equally valuable, 
the Thibet goat From these animals are procured the materials for 
the manufacture of Cashmere shawls. 

GOOSEBERRY. The gooseberry is well known as a most 
wholesome fruit, chiefly confined to cold or temperate climates. It 
appears to have taken the name of gooseberry from its being used as 
sauce for young or green geese. From a small berry in the wild 
state, the gooseberry, like the apple, has been multiplied in its varie- 
ty, and brought to its present size and flavor by the industry of well- 
skilled gardeners ; and it is now deemed one of our most valuable 
fruits, being easily propagated, and regular in its production ; furnish- 
ing our tables with a wholesome and agreeable diet. The gooseberry 
is the earliest, as well as one of the best fruits for spring tarts. 

GRAFTING. The operation of grafting consists in affixing one 
portion of a plant to another in such a manner as that a vital union 
takes place between them. It is one of the most important processes 
in horticulture, as aflbrding the most eligible means of multiplying 
and perpetuating all our best varieties of fruit-trees, and many kinds 
of trees and shrubs not so conveniently propagated by other means. 
The season for performing this operation is, for all deciduous trees and 
shrubs, the spinng, immediately before the movement of the sap. 
The spring is also the most favorable period for evergreens ; but the 
sap in this class of plants being more in motion during winter than 
that of deciduous plants, grafting, if thought necessary, might be per- 
formed at that season. From the ease with which grafting is per- 
formed, there can now be no excuse for poor fruit, as any farmer may- 
practice it, and every year would be thus adding t^ the stock of valu- 
able fruits. It is quicklj ddie, and attended A^'.th no expense, if 
performed by himself. 



190 TRS FARMER AT HOME. 

GRAIN. This is a general name, and includes all those kinds oi 
grass which bear straw, and which are cultivated on account of their 
seeds for the production of meal or flour. The Avord corn, or itsequi- 
valeiit in other languages, is frequently applied e.xclusivelj' to that 
kind of grain which constitutes the chief nourishment of the country ; 
thus, in a great part of Germany, it is rye ; in France, it is wheat ; 
and, in our own country, it is maize. The great secret of the preser- 
vation of grain consists in protecting it from the action of air and 
moisture, with a low tem.perature. Either too much air, or moisture, 
or heat, will be fatal to it. The Chinese preserve their grain in pits 
dug in rock, or firm dry soil, and to protect the grain from humidity, 
these pits are lined with straw. Grain well dried and put up in 
stacks at harvesting, or in rows, will keep much better than if thrashed 
and deposited in common granaries, the chaff of the ear serving to 
absorb the moisture which is most injurious to it. 

GRANITE. A compound rock, consisting of quartz, felspar, and 
mica, each crystallized and cohering by mutual affinity, without any 
basis or cement. The felspar commonly pi'edominates, and the mica 
is in smallest quantity. The colors of the felspar are white, red, gray, 
and green. The quartz is light gray, and the mica dark. The gra- 
nular crystals vary exceedingly in size, in diH'erent granite rocks. 
Occasionally granite is stratified : but sometimes no stratification can 
be rierceived. Large globular masses, called rolling stones, are fre- 
.^uently met with, composed each of concentric lamellar concretions. 
Schorl, garnet, and tinstone, are frequently present in granite. Tin 
and iron are the only metals abundantly found in this rock. It con- 
tains molybdena, silver, copper, lead, bismuth, arsenic, titanium, tving- 
sten, and cobalt. It is, however, poorer in ores than many other rock 
formations. 

GRAPE. The fruit of the vine, growing in clusters, from which 
wine is expressed. Grapes are found by a chemical analysis to con- 
tain supertartrate of potash, tartaric acid, citric and malic acids, 
abundance of sugar, a portion of mucilage jelly, some albumen, and 
also, as is said, some gluten. When it becomes generally known witli 
what ease some kinds of grape can be cultivated, no farmer should 
be without it. The fruit is delicious and conducive to health. The 
vine is hardy and requires no great attention. If in locations near to 
large cities, or where there is a demand for the fruit, the culture of it 
meets with an ample remuneration ; but if not, a very few vines about 
the house, which are ornamental as well as useful, would ordinarily 
in the season of the fruit keep a family abundantly supplied with it. 

GRATE. A frame of iron bars, used for burning coal or fuel. 
Grates are commonly smaller than fireplaces intended for the con 
sumption of wood, on account of the greater heat emitted by coal. 
Those used for burning anthracite should be made deeper and of a 
greater height than others, so as to present a comparatively small 



THE FARMER AT HOME. jgj 

surface to the air ; for, iu very cold weather, the air conducts the heat 
from the surface faster than combustion renews it, so that, if the 
amount of surface exposed be large, the fire will go out. This kind 
of coal yields no visible smoke. The chimney, however, should be 
large enough to transmit smoke, otherwise some of the carbonic acid, 
which is formed during the combustion, will be sent into the room. 
This gas is the suffocating vapor of burning charcoal. 

GRAVEL . Stones from the size of a pin's head to those of two 
or three pounds in weight, are termed gravel, and the greater or less 
quantity of them in the soil, as well as the kind of rock of which they 
are composed, has a great influence on the fertility and cultivation of 
land. If the gravel is coarse, and the particles slightly connected, 
the soil will be what is called hungry, as manures put upon it sink 
among the porous materials, and produce little or no effect on the 
crops. On the contrary, if the gravel is finer, or sufficiently filled 
with other earths and vegetable and animal matter, it constitutes one 
of the most valuable soils, and is particularly excellent for wheat and 
clover. Gravelly soils are apt to be too dry ; but unless very coarse, 
the incorporation of clay will have a beneficial efiect, by rendering it 
more retentive of moisture, and consequently giving it more support to 
the crop. Under the influence of the doctrine promulgated by Tull, 
that the finer the particles of the soil the better it would be, some farmers 
sifted some of their soils, and carried off the gravel so collected ; but 
the effect was found to be most injurious, as the soils speedily became 
too compact for profitable vegetation ; the experiment was abandoned, 
and the pebbles returned to their original place. 

GRAVITATION. The principle of gravity, of so much import- 
ance in the sciences of mechanics and astronomy, was first explained 
by Sir Isaac Newton. His attention was fi'-pt directed to the subject 
by seeing an apple fall to the ground, and lie began to consider what 
could be the cause. The same phenomenon everywhere presents itself. 
A stone dropped from the hand comes to the ground. A sand-bag let 
fall from a balloon does the same. The same cause acting in all these 
cases is called gravity ; and its influence is exerted over all bodies 
whatever upon our earth. Smoke and vapor indeed arise from the 
s<irface of the earth, but that is for the same reason that wood rises 
to the surface of water, or a balloon in the air. In a vacuum pro- 
duced by the air-pump, smoke and vapor do not ascend. Specific 
gravity, is the relative gravity of any body or substance, considered 
A'ith regard to some other body which is assumed as a standard of 
comparison, and this standard, by universal consent and practice, is 
rain-water, on account of its being less subject in variation in different 
circumstances of time and place, than any other body, whether solid 
or fluid. And, by a very fortunate coincidence, at least to English 
philosophers, it happens that a cubic foot of rain-water weighs one 
thousand ounces avoirdupois ; and, consequently, assMining this as the 



J92 THE FARMER AT HOME; 

specific gravity of rain-water, and comparing all other bodies with this, 
the same numbers that express the specific gravity of bodies, will at 
the same time denote the weight of a cubic foot of each in avoirdupois 
ounces, which is a great convenience in iiumerical computations. 

GRAZIER. In Agriculture, a term commonly applied to such 
farmers as are engaged in the art and business of fattening various 
sorts of live stock on pasture and other grass lands. That this sort of 
business may be managed to the best possible advantage, the grazier 
should have a perfect knowledge of the nature, properties, and value 
of all sorts of cattle and sheep stock, as well as of the quality of the 
ground on which they are to be fed, and of the most proper methods 
of suiting: them to each other. And he should also be well informed 
concerning the nature and states of markets in general. It is obvious 
that upon those being well understood and properly regarded, much of 
the success of this sort of farming business must depend, as thereby 
proper advantage may be taken, not only of fairs and markets, but a 
variety of other necessary circumstances. 

GREEN. One of the original colors excited by the rays of light. 
The green color of plants has been shown, by the French chemists, to 
depend upon the absorption of carbonic acid, and it is supposed that 
the leaves of plants have the power of decomposing the carbonic acid 
and water also. 

GREEN TURTLE. The most noted and the most valuable of 
all animals of the tortoise kind ; by reason of the delicacy of its flesh 
and its nutritive qualities, together with the property of being easily 
digested." This animal, which is found in great abundance on the 
coasts of Jamaica and some other West India Islands, is called the 
green turtle from the color of its skin, which is rather greener than 
that of others of the tortoise kind. It is generally found to weigh 
about two hundred ; though some are five hundred, and others not 
above fifty. Darnpier tells us, of one that was seen at Port Royal, in 
Jamaica, that was six feet across the back ; and that the son of Cap- 
tain Roach, a boy about ten years old, sailed in the shell, as in a boat, 
from the shore to his father's ship, which was about a quarter of a 
mile from land. 

GRINDING. In Cutlery, the operation of sharpening edge-tools. 
This operation, as usually practised, is attended with no small incon- 
venience, from the production of heat by friction. The heat produced 
is so great, that hard tools are often softened and spoiled by the steel 
becoming ignited during the grinding. To prev^ent this effect, the 
grind-stone is partly immersed in a trough of water ; but in this case 
the rotation of the stone must be moderate, and the work, of course, 
slow, else the water will be throvv'u off by the centrifugal force. When 
the water is applied from above by a cock, the quantity is too small to 
counteract the heat, and preserve the necessary low tempei'ature. It 
has even been found, that the edge or point of a hard tool ground 



THE FARMER AT HOME. 



193 



underwater will be softened, if it be not held so as to meet the stream, 
sparks being often produced even under water. 

GRINDSTONE. This is a circular stone used for the grinding 
of edge tools, being mounted on a spindle, and turned by a winch- 
handle or crank ; but in manufacturing establishments, where much 
grinding is to be done, the stone is turned by water or steam. The 
stone suited to form grindstones, is what is denominated a sharp grit, 
that is, the grains of sand or silex of which it is composed are pretty 
uniform in size, and firmly attached to each other by a siliceous or 
other very hard cement, without the interstices between the grains 
being filled up, as frequently is the case, or nearly so, with the other 
kinds of sandstone. A grindstone mounted on friction rollers can be 
turned by a very small power ajjplied, compared with what would be 
required were it not on them ; and if there be a treadle attached to 
the crank, in sharpening all small instruments the grinder can tura 
it by his own foot, so as to save the time of a second person. 




GRINDSTONE. 

GUANO. This is a manure used in modern husbandry ; less in 
this country than in England. It is merely the excrements of vari- 
ous sea-fowls, which resort in immense numbers to small uninhabited 
islands or rocky promontories on the coasts of Africa and South Amer- 
ica, where they have remained in undisturbed possession for ages. 
Some of the deposits there made by these birds are from fifty to sixty 
feet in depth. Guano has been pronounced by competent judges to 
be the richest manure known to the farmer ; but, as might be sup- 
posed, it is of various qualities, depending not only on its original 
character, but the climate and metereological influences upon it, 
where obtained. Its original character was the result of the peculiai 
food on which these birds feed, mostly flesh and fish, that afi'ord a 



194 THE FARMER aT HOME. 

stronger manure than that yielded by parrots or pigeons which live 
on berries and grain. Although the use of guano in this country is 
of recent orijrin, within the last ten years there have been imported of 
it about 6^^0,000 tons. 

GUINEA PIG. An animal of the hare kind, resembling a rab- 
bit, but is less in size. It is a native of the warmer climates, but has 
long been rendered domestic over the world ; in some places it is con- 
sidered the principal favorite, and is often found even to displace the 
lap-dog. Its colors are diflerent ; some are white, some are red, 
and others both red and white. The male and the female are 
never seen both asleep at the same time ; but while he enjoys his 
repose, she remains on the watch, silently continuing to guard him, 
and her head turned towards the place where he lies. When she 
supposes he has had his turn, she then wakes him with a kind of 
murmuring noise, goes to him, forces him from his bed, and lies down 
in his place. He then performs the same good turn lor her, and con- 
tinues watching till she also has done sleeping. 

GUM. Is the mucilage of vegetables, and is of no particular 
smell or taste. It becomes viscous and tenacious when moistened 
with water ; totally dissolves in water into a liquid, more or less glu- 
tinous in proportion to the quantity of the gum ; not dissolving in 
vinous spirits or in oil ; burning in the fire to a black coal, without 
melting or catching flame ; suffering no dissipation in the heat of 
boiling water. The true gums are gum arabic, gum tragacanth, gum 
senega, the gum of cherry and plum trees, and such like. All others 
have more or less of resin in them. 

GUM AR.\BIC. Is the produce of a species of Mimosa. Its 
chief use in medicine is from its glutinous quality, which serves to 
incrassate and obtund their acrid humors, and thus is useful in coughs, 
alvine fluxes, hoarsenesses, gripes, &c. In a dysuria the true gum 
arabic is more cooling than the other simple gums. One ounce of 
gum arabic renders a pint of water considerably glutinous ; four 
ounces give it a thick syrupy consistence ; but for mucilage, one part 
gum to two paiis water is required ; and for some purposes an equal 
proportion will be necessary. Hasselquist relates an instance of the 
extraordinary nutritive virtues of this gum, which happexied to an 
Abyssinian caravan, whose provisions were consumed, when they had 
still two months to travel. They were then obliged to search for 
something among their merchandize wherewith they might support 
nature ; and found nothing more proper than gum arabic, of which 
they had carried a considerable quantity along with them. This 
served to support above one thousand persons for two months ; and 
the caravan at last arrived at Cairo, without any great loss of people 
either by hunger or diseases. 

GYPSUM. A substance well known to the ancients, and one 
that is very abundant in nature, and is now denominated, according 



THE PaRMER at HOME. I95 

to the new chemical arrangement, the sulphate of lime. It forms 
immense strata, composing entire mountains ; it is found in almost 
every soil ; it is contained in the waters of the ocean, and in almost 
all river and spring water. In these its presence is the cause of the 
quality termed hardness, which may be known by the Avater being 
incapable of forming a solution of soap, the sulphuric acid seizing on 
the alkali of the soap, and the oil forming a compound with the lime. 
Sulphate of lime is insipid, white, and soft to the touch. Water will 
not hold a five hundredth part of it in solution. Exposed to heat it 
appears to effervesce, which phenomenon is caused by the expulsion 
of water. It becomes opaque, and falls into powder. This powder, 
when its water has been driven oft' by the application of a red heat, 
absorbs water rapidly, so that if it be formed into a paste with water, 
it dries in a few minutes. In this state it is called plaster of Paris, 
and is employed for forming casts, and for a variety of purposes in the 
art of statuary. 

Cxypsum, when used in agriculture as a manure, is ground fine in 
mills for the purpose ; and then scattered by the hand at the rate of 
two or three bushels per acre, and its effects on grasses are frequently 
perceptible for three or four years. It is best strewn when the leaves 
are wet with a light rain or heavy dew, and after the leaves of the 
plants begin to cover the ground. Some have objected to the use ol 
gypsum, or plaster, that it produced greater crops at first, but that it 
speedily exhausted the land, and impoverished it. Those who make 
this objection, probably, took everything from the land, and returned 
nothing to it, relying wholly on the plaster to keep up the fertility, a 
course manifestly erroneous. Clover should always accompany the 
use of plaster, and when this crop is fed off' on the land, and made 
part of the course of rotation, no deterioration, but on the contrary, 
an increase of the grain crops has taken place. Considerable quan- 
tities of earthy materials are usually mixed with plaster, giving it a 
dark color, and on the proportion of these in the mass, much of the 
value is depending. Of course that which is white is best, as the 
dark shades are caused by some other substance, probably mere earth. 

HABITATIONS OF ANIMALS. Many animals, besides those 
of the human species, have the faculty of constructing proper habita- 
tions for concealing themselves, for defending themselves against the 
attacks of their enemies, for sheltering and cherishing their young, and 
for protecting them from the injuries of the weather. All those of the 
same species, when not restrained by accidental causes, uniformly 
build in the same style, and use the same materials. From this 
general rule man is to be excepted. Possessed of superior faculties 
and understanding, he can build in any style, and employ such 
materials as his taste, his fancy, or the purposes for which tlie fabric 
is intended, shall direct him. A cottage and a palace are equally 
within the reach of his powers. In treating of this subject, we mean 



196 THE FARMER AT HOME. 

not to trace the progress of human architecture, which, in the early 
etages of society, is extremely rude, but to confine ourselves to that of 
the inferior tribes of animated beings. 

With regard to quadrupeds, many of them employ no kind of 
architecture, but live continually, and bring forth their young, in the 
open air. When not under the immediate protection of man, these 
species, in rough or stormy weather, shelter themselves among trees 
or bushes, retire under the coveiiure of projecting rocks, or the sides 
of hills opposite to those from which the wind proceeds. Besides 
these arts of defence, to which they are prompted by instinct and 
experience, nature furnishes them, during the winter months, with a 
double portion of long hair, which protects them from cold, and other 
assault.* of the weather. 

Of the quadrupeds that make or choose habitations for themselves, 
some dig holes in the earth, some take refuge in the cavities of 
decayed trees, and in the clefts of rocks, and some actually construct 
cabins, or houses. But the artifices they employ, the materials they 
use, and the situations they select, are so various and so numerous, it 
would be impracticable to enter into any minute specifications in this 
short article. It may, however, be remarked, that the architecture 
of several of these creatures denotes a degree of intelligence, or per- 
haps, instinct it should be called, that is wonderful ; and the study of 
it would be amusing, to say the least. Take as samples, the labors 
of the Beavers and the Alpine Marmot, which indicate an adaptation 
to the object to be attained that is extraordinary in the extreme. 

HAIL. In Natural History, a meteor, generally defined frozen 
rain, but difieriug from it in that the hailstones are not formed of sin- 
gle pieces of ice, but of many little spherules agglutinated together. 
Neither are the spherules all of the same consistence, some being 
hard and solid like perfect ice ; others soft, and mostly like snow 
hardened by a severe frost. Sometimes the hailstone has a kind of 
core of this soft matter ; but more frequently the core is solid and 
hard, while the outside is formed of a softer matter. Hailstones are 
of various figures ; some round, others pyramidal, crenated, angular, 
thin, and flat, and some stellated, with six radii like the small crystals 
of snow. Natural historians record various instances of surprising 
showers of hail, in which the hailstones were of extraordinary magni- 
tude. Mezeray, speaking of the war of Louis XII., in Italy, in 1510, 
relates, that there was for some time a horrible darkness, thicker than 
that of night ; after which the clouds broke into thunder aiid light- 
ning, and there fell a shower of hailstones, or rather (as he calls 
them) pebble stones, which destroyed all the fish, birds, and beasts, 
of the country. 

Hail, so far as has been discovered, never produces any beneficial 
effect. Rain and dew invigorate and give life to the whole vegetable 
tribe ; frost, by expanding the water contained in the earth, pulverises 



THE FARMER AT HOME. 



197 



and renders the soil fertile ; snow covers and preserves the tender 
vegetables from being destroyed by too severe a frost. But hail does 
none of the.?e. In winter it lies not sufficiently close to cover vege- 
tables from the nipping frosts ; and in spring and summer it not only 
has a chilling and blasting effect, but often does great damage to the 
more tender plants by the weight of the stones. In great hail storms 
the damage done in this manner is prodigious. 

Hail is one of the natural phenomena for which it is difficult to 
account in any satisfactory manner. It is certain that, on the tops of 
mountains, hailstones, as well as drops of rain, are very small, and 
continually increase in bulk, till they reach the lower grounds. It 
would seem, therefore, that during their passage through the air they 
attract the congealed vapor, which increases them in size. But here vi'e 
are at a loss how they come to be solid hard bodies, and not always soft, 
and composed of many small stars like snow. The flakes of snow, no 
doubt, increase in size as they descend, as well as the drops of rain 
or hailstones ; but why should the one be in soft crystals, and the other 
in large hard lumps, seeing both are produced from congealed vapor ? 

Some modern philosophers asovibe the formation of hail to 
electricity. Signor Beccaria supposes hail to be formed in the 
higher regions of the air, where the cold is intense, and where the 
electi'ic matter is very copious. In these circumstances, a great 
number of particles of water are brought near together, where they 
are frozen, and in their descent collect other particles, so that the 
density of the substance of the hailstone grows less and less from the 
centre ; this beins: formed first in the hijjher rejjions, and the surface 
being collected in the lower, drops of rain and hail agree in this, that 
the more intense the electricity that forms them, the larger they are. 
Motion is known to promote freezing, and so the rapid motion of the 
electrified clouds may produce that effect. A moi-e intense electricity 
also, he thinks, unites the particles of hail more closely than the more 
moderate electricity does those of snow. In like manner we see 
thunder clouds more dense than those that merely bring rain ; and 
the drops of rain are longer in pi'oportion, though they fall not from so 
great a height. 

HAIR. This is a fine, threadlike, more or less elastic, substance, 
of various color, and constitutes the covering of the skin, particularly 
of the class of mammalia. The same variety and brilliancy are dis- 
played in the feathers of birds, which may be considered as analagous 
to hair, of the most variegated and beautiful colors. In quadrupeds, 
it is of the most various conformation, from the finest wool to the 
quills of the porcupine, or the bristles of the hog. The hair, which 
is spread over almost the whole of the skin, is comparatively short 
and soft. On particular parts, a longer, thicker, and stronger kind is 
found ; as, for instance, the mane and tail of the horse, the lion's 
mane, the covering of man's occiput his beard, and the beard of goats. 



198 



THE FARMER AT HOME. 



The color of the hair generally afibrds an external characteristic of 
the species or variety ; but climate, food, and age produce great 
chaiio-es in it. The human body is naturally covered with long hair 
only in a few parts ; j'et the parts which we should generally describe 
as destitute of it, produce a fine, short, colorless, sometirr. hardly 
perceptible hair. The only places entirely free from it are the 
palms of the hands and the soles of the feet. Hair not only serves as 
a cover or ornament to the body, but exercises an important influence 
on absorption and perspiration ; where the hair is thick, the perspira- 
tion is freer. If the root is destroyed, there is no means of reproduc- 
ing the hair ; but if it falls out, without the root being destroyed, as is 
often the ease after nervous fevo>-'5, the hair grows out again of itself 
HALO. A halo is a luminous circle, usually of various and beau- 
tiful hues, surrounding the sun or moon during certain conditions of 
the atmosphere. A halo of the moon is usually a white circle with 
an inner edge sometimes tinged with pale red. There is much truth 
in the remark, that a dense halo close to the moon portends rain. 
Lunar halos are most frequent, because the sun's rays are too dazzling 
to admit of their being seen. The most probable cause of this phe- 
nomena is, that it depends on the refraction of light in passing through 
small transparent prisms of ice, floating in the higher regions of the 
atmosphere. 

HAMS. The ham is one of the most valuable parts of the hog, 
and which, if properly cured, may be preserved for almost any length 
of time, retaining its fine properties. The most esteemed, are made 
from hogs fed on solid feed, corn being the best, which are allowed 
considerable exercise ; which do not weigh more than two hundred 
or two hundred and fifty pounds, and which have a large portion of 
muscular or lean flesh in their structure. The quality of the meat 
depends also on the manner of pickling and smoking it. Saltpetre in 
the curing of it gives it a good color, and prevents it from being too 
salt ; the meat having a greater affinity for the former than for the 
latter of these substances. A little saleratus will render it tender, and 
sugar or molasses will give general improvement to the flavor. Our 
own rule is, to every hundred pounds of flesh, one pound of saltpetre, 
half a gallon of molasses, or its equivalent in sugar, and half a tea- 
cup of saleratus, made into a pickle, with salt sufficient to raise an 
ess half above the surface, the whole being simmered over the fire 
till all the impurities rise and are skimmed off". When cold, the 
hams are buried in it, and remain there from four to six weeks, when 
they may be taken out, dried, and put in the smoke-house. The 
smoke of cobs or hickory wood is best. They may be kept through 
the season hanjring in the smoke-house, now and then making a little 
smoke under them ; or, they may b.) sewed up in bags and white- 
washed, or they may be packed in ashes ; either, if well done, will 
protect them from flies. 



THE FARMER AT HOME. 



199 



HAND. A member of the human body, at the extremity of the 
arm. The mechanism of the hand is excellently fitted for the various 
uses and occasions we liave lor it, and the great number of arts and 
manufactures in which it is to be employed. It consists of a com- 
pages of nerves, and little bones jointed into each other, which give 
it a great degree of strength, and at the same time an unusual flexi- 
bility, to enable it to handle adjacent bodies, lay hold of them, and 
grasp them, in order either to draw them towards us or thrust tliem 
ofl. Anaxagorons is said to have maintained, that man owes all his 
wisdom, knowledge, and superiority over other animals, to the use of 
his hands. The right hand was the place of honor and respect. 
Amongst the Greeks and Romans it was customary for inferiors to 
walk on the left hand of superiors, that the right hand might be 
ready to alFord protection and defence to their left side, which, on 
account of the awkwardness of the left hand, was more exposed to 
danger. 

HAND AND HORSE GRAIN MILL. In many localities, and 
particular!} in seasons of drought, farmers are subjected to material 
inoonvenierice in having their grain ground. This usually happens 




HAND AND HORSE GRAIN MILL. 



when time can least be spared to go a long distance for it, in the sea- 
son of hay-making and harvesting To relieve them from this incon- 



200 



THE FARMER AT HOME. 



venience, small portable mills, operated by hand, or horse power, as 
occasion requires, have been provided. The accompanying cut rep 
resents one kind that has been highly commended. The grinding 
surfaces are made of iron, and when they are too much worn ibr use 
new ones can be substituted in their place. The mill is strong and 
durable. With horse-power applied, four bushels of fine meal can 
be made in an hour ; and a greater quantity of coarse. And, what 
is very important, the mill is not liable to get out of repair. 

HARDENING OF TIMBER. The Venetians are famous for 
the soundness of their ships, which do not rot as those of other nations, 
but will endure much longer than the others. Tachenlus tells us, 
that the whole secret of this consists in the manner of their hardening 
their timber intended for this service ; and that this is done by sink- 
ing it in water while green, and leaving it there many years. This 
prevents the alkali, or tliat salt which furnishes the alkali in burning, 
from exhaling afterwards ; and by this means the timber becomes al- 
almost as incorruptible as stone. It is evident that the exhaling of 
this salt, and the rotting of wood, have some very great connection 
with one another, since the more sound any piece of timber is, the 
more salt it proportionably yields ; and the wood which is rotten is 
found on trial to contain no salt at all. 




HARROW, 



HARROW. Next to the plough, the harrow may be said to bft 
the oldest agricultural implement. It is represented on the most 



THE FARMER AT HOME. 



201 



ancient sculptures of Eirypt. and is known in some form wherever the 
earth is cultivated. Various forms are given to the harrow, from 
that of the wedge to the square, and the teeth are adapted to the 
work it has to perform. The great use of the harrow is in pulverizing 
the earth, tearing and freeing the soil from the roots of weeds and 
grasses, and covering seeds when sown. For this purpose, the harrow 
is preferred to the plough, as the latter usually places the small seeds 
at too great a depth for cei'tain germination. Many of our best farm- 
ers, however, prefer the plough to the harrow for covering wheat ; and 
as this grain, if sown in autumn, germinates better, and endures the 
winter better to have greater depth of earth than the harrow usually 
gives, they are probably correct in their preference. The Triangular 
Folding Harrow, represented in the preceding cut, is one of the best 
in use. 

HARVEST. In Agriculture, a name which is commonly applied 
to the season in which grain, hay, and other crops are cut down, car- 
ried and secured in the barns or stack-yards. The particular period 
at which the harvest for corn and hay takes place, is sooner or later 
according to the nature and state of the climate, the qualities of the 
soil, and the peculiar circumstances of the crops in regard to situation 
and kind. 

HARVEST. MOON. An ephithet applied to those moons which, 
in the autumnal months, rise on successive nights, soon after sunset, 
owing to the oblique ascension of the signs of the zodiac, through 
which the moon is then passing ; which signs, in turning the globe, 
ascend almost horizontally. 

HAULM. This is a name given to the stalks of beans and peas. 
When well harvested, these form a very hearty species of fodder. 
Both of these and all other kinds of straw haulm, should be given as 
fresh as possible from the flail, for they grow brittle, and lose a portion 
of whatever sap they possess, by exposure to the air ; if kept long 
they grow musty also, and in that state are neither wholesome or 
readily eaten. 

HAY. In most countries where the length and severity of the 
winters make some provision for domestic animals necessary, grass cut 
and cured in the form of hay, has always been the cheapest and most 
valuable. Grass for hay should be cut at the time when the nutritive 
parts are most developed, and that is in most cases when the plants 
are forming the seeds, but before they are ripened. In curing it, great 
care should be taken not to have it damaged by rain, nor should it be 
long exposed to the sun. In the first case the hay is washed and 
whitened, and in the last, the leaves crumble and fall off, thus mate- 
rially lessening the quality of the article for fodder. Clover makes a 
hay which all animals eat greedily, but it requires more strict pre- 
caution in curing, and will bear less handling without injury, than any 
other of the grasses. The hay called rowen, or the second crop, is 
9* 



202 THE FARMER AT HOME. 

very fine and good for lambs and calves, but has not the nourishment 
which the more natured plant possesses. 

HEAD. In Anatomy. The head, besides possessing muscular 
parts and integuments in common with the rest of the body, is the seat 
of the organs of the external senses, and of the bony cavity in which 
the brain is placed. This variety of structm-es and of the functions 
which are performed by them, renders the head liable to many dis- 
eases, of which some affect the skin, muscles, and cellular texture, 
others the organs of sense, and others the brain and internal parts of 
the skull. The head is liable to all the varieties of external injury, 
of wounds of the scalp, and fractures of the skull ; the organs of sense, 
to their peculiar maladies ; and the brain and the internal parts to 
very many diseases. In an important work with which the profession 
has been favored by Dr. Abercrombie, he classes the diseases of the 
internal parts of the head under the inflammatory, the apoplectic, and 
the organic. 

HEARING. The ear is the organ of hearing. In man it con- 
sists of an external ear, and an internal 'bony cavity with numerous 
circular and winding passages, by which the vibrations of the air are 
collected and concentrated, and by a peculiar mechanism conveyed to 
the auditory nerves. The ear is supplied with peculiar glands, which 
secrete an unctuous substance, called the wax of the ear. The internal 
auditory passage proceeds in a spiral direction to the tympanum or 
drum of the ear, which forms a complete partition between this pas- 
sage and the internal cavities. Beyond the tympanum is a hemi- 
spherical cavity which leads to the fauces, or opening at the back of 
the mouth. This opening is of a trumpet form. The inner cavity, 
including the winding passage, is aptly called the labyrinth of the 
ear. The sense of hearing is, perhaps, still more important than that 
of seeing ; but as we can have no just conception of the real state of 
social existence without either of these senses, it is idle to speculate on 
such comparisons. 

HEAT. Heat is the well known sensation which we perceive on 
touching any substance whose temperature is superior to that of the 
human body. Chemists have agreed to call the matter of heat caloric, 
in order to distinguish it from the sensation which it produces. Caloric 
has a tendency to difiuse itself equally among substances that come 
in contact with it. If the hand be put upon a hot body, part of the 
caloric leaves the hot body, and enters the hand ; this produces the 
sensation of heat. On the contrary, if the hand be put upon a cold 
body, part of the caloric contained in the hand, leaves the hand to 
unite -with the cold body : this produces the sensation of cold. If you 
pour warm water into one basin, cold water into a second, and a mix- 
ture of hot and cold water into a third; then put one hand into the 
cold water, and the other into the warm, for two minutes, and after 
that put both hands into the luke-warm water, to the ens hand it -will 



THE FARMER AT HOME. 



203 



feel cold, and to the other hot. Persons ascending from the burning 
shores of Vera Cruz, on the road to the mountain hind of Mexico, will 
feel ihe climale become colder, and will put on their great coats, and 
yet they will meet peo])le descending conij)l;uning of the heat. Cold, 
therefore, is nothing but a negative quality, simply implying the 
absence of the usual quantity of caloric. 

When gaseous substances become liquid, or liquid substances solid, 
by this change of state they lose, in a great measure, their capacity 
for caloric. During the slaking of quicklime, the caloric which is 
evolved escapes from the water in consequence of its changing from a 
liquid to a solid form by its union with the lime. When solid bodies 
become liquid or gaseous, their capacity for caloric is proportionably 
increased. If you place a glass of water in a mixture of equal quan- 
tities of snow and salt, during their conversion to a liquid, the water 
will be frozen in consequence of parting with its caloric to supply the 
increased capacity of the mixture. The portion of caloric necessary 
to raise a body to any given temperature is called its specific caloric. 
The instrument in common use for measuring the temperature of 
bodies, is called a thermometer. It consists of a glass tube containing 
a portion of mercury, with a graduated scale annexed to it. 

When a thermometer is brought in contact with any substance, the 
mercury expands or contracts till it acquires the same temperature ; 
and the height at which the mercury stands in the tube, indicates the 
exact temperature of the substance to M'hich it has been applied. It 
will not show the absolute caloric in substances ; for it cannot measure 
that portion which is latent, or chemically combined with any body. 
Caloric is the cause of fluidity in all substances capable of becoming 
fluid, from the heaviest metal to the lightest gas. It insinuates itself 
among their particles, and invariably separates them in some measure 
from each other. Thus ice is converted, into water, and by a further 
portion of caloric, into steam. We have reason to belieA'e that every 
solid substance on the face of the earth might be converted to a fluid, 
or even to a vapor or gas, were it submitted to the action of a very 
high temperature in peculiar circumstances. Some bodies give out 
their superabundant caloric much sooner than others. Iron is a 
quicker conductor of caloric than glass, and glass than wood. 

The study of the laws of caloric to the agriculturist, is of great 
mterest and importance. Although some plants can exist with a very 
small degree of heat, yet some of it is essential to all fluidity, as already 
^ated, and also, of course, to circulation, and consequently without it 
there can be no growth. The rapidity of all vegetation is in a great 
measui-e depending on the degree of heat combined with moisture, to 
which the plant is subjected, and there are many which cannot exist 
except in countries and places of high temperature. The eflect in 
forcing the growth of plants may be seen every season in our fields 
and gardens, and it has been ascertain id by actual experiment, that 



204 



THE FARMER AT HOME. 



a difference cf five degrees in lemperature will advance or retard 
plants of the same kind and same advantages, temperature excepted, 
ten or fifteen days. Of all our cultivated plants, corn is the one which 
requires the highest temperature, and will endure it the longest with- 
out injury. Melons require more heat than the climate of the northern 
States atibrd to reach the perfection of which they are capable further 
south ; and, in England, they cannot be growu. at all, without the aid 
of artificial heat. 

HEDGE. One of the most beautiful and durable of fences, made 
of living plants, usually those of a thorny nature, and disposed to 
grow in a close and impervious manner. One of the most striking 
features of the English landscape, is the hedges which serve to divide 
the estates from each other, or the several farms into suitable fields for 
the purpose of agriculture. In the United States, n. merous attempts 
at making hedges have been made, but owing to some unexplained 
cause, with but little success on the whole. The plants used here 
have been generally the same variety of the foreign hedge thorn, but 
the deep green of the English hedge is not seen on the same plants 
here, and they are liable to the attacks of worms, which speedily 
destroy them. The Osage orange, the honey locust, the crab apple, 
and the wild mulberry, are natives of this country, and have been tried 
with different degrees of success. And there has been introduced for 
this purpose, into the vicinity of Boston, the buckthorn, and there are 
some beautiful specimens of hedges from this plant, which promise to 
be all the lovers of this kind of fence can desire. However, it is 
apprehended that as the circumstances here, are so difierent from what 
they are in England, it will be long indeed before hedges in this country 
become general. 

HEMP. This is an annual plant of great use in the arts and 
manufactures, furnishing thread, cloth, and cordage. Hemp bears a 
near analogy to flax, not only in form, but also in culture and use. The 
bark of the stalk, as in flax, is the chief object for which it is cultiva- 
ted. Large portions of the Western States are peculiarly adapted to 
the production of hemp, both so far as soil and climate are concerned ; 
and for many years it has been a conspicuous object of attention. 
Kentucky may as yet be considered the great hemp growing portion 
of the American Union. It requires a warm, rich, vegetable mould, 
to produce it in perfection, and the best limestone lands in Kentucky 
and Tennessee are admirably adapted to it ; and, it is to be hoped, _ 
that ere long enough of it will be raised to prevent the necessity of 
further importations of it from abroad. 

HEN. The number of eggs laid in a year by the domestic hen 
are above two hundred ; provided she be well fed and supplied with 
water. In the wild state the hen seldom lays more than fifteen eggs. 
When she begins to sit, her perseverance and patience are very 
remarkable ; she continues for some days immovable ; and when 



THI FARMER AT HOME. 



20; 



hunger forces her away fii^m the nest, she quickly returns. While 
she sits, she carefully turns her egofs, and even removes them to dif- 
ferent situations, till at length, in about three weeks, the young bi-ood 
give signs of bursting their confinement. When they have broken 
with their bills a passage for themselves through the shell, the hen 
continues to sit till they are excluded. Wheu all are produced, the 
strongest taking the lead, and the weakest following, she leads them 
forth to provide for themselves, and in various ways seek the food that 
is necessary to supply their wants. yhe recalls them when they 
wander, spreads her wings over them to defend them against the 
inclemency of the weather, and broods a second time. In these 
expressions of anxiety and attention, her own health is visibly 
impaired, and she may be distinguished from every other hen by her 
rulfled feathers and trailing wings. The hoarseness of her voice, and 
its different inflections, are all expressive of her situation, and of her 
maternal aflection and solicitude. For their preservation she neglects 
herself and exposes her life to danger in their defence. Whatever 
the enemy be that assails them, she warns them by her repeated 
cries, and boldly attacks the foe, whilst her brood are driven into some 
place of security. 




HEREFORD COW. 



HEREFORD CATTLE . This is an English breed of the bovine 
family, deriving the distinctive name, from the county of Hei-eford, 
where it is common to the exclusion of most other breeds. They are 
usually of a dark red; some of them are brown, and even yellow, 



206 THE FARMER AT HOME 

and a few are brindled ; but they are principally distinguished by 
their white faces, throats and bellies. In a few the white extends to 
the shoulders. The old Herefords were brown, or red -brown, with 
not a spot of white about them. It is only within the last fifty or 
sixty years that it has been the fashion to breed for white faces. 
Whatever may be thought of the change of color, the present breed 
is superior to the old one. The cows are not generally admitted to 
be equal in milking qualities to those of some other breeds ; but, they 
have their admirers in this country as well as in England. And if 
universally judged deficient in these qualities, the deficiency is bal- 
anced by the great weight to which they can be fattened. And the 
oxen are thought more profitable for the shambles than for the yoke, 
notwithstanding their great strength and docility. 

HERON. This bird builds in cliffs over the sea ; though it some- 
times will be found in numbers on high trees. The heron was for- 
merly much esteemed as food ; it is remarkably long-lived, some- 
times exceeding even si.xty years. It is a great devourer of fish, and 
does more mischief to a pond than even an otter. It has been found 
that a heron will eat fifty moderate sized dace and roaches in a day ; 
and that in carp ponds, visited by this bird, one heron will eat up a 
thousand store carp in a year, and will hunt them so close as to let 
very few escape. 

HICKORY. This name is applied to one of our well-known 
trees. The wood is coarse-grained, very heavy, exceedingly tough 
and strong, and red at the heart ; but it is not as durable as the wood 
of some other trees. It is employed for the shafts and springs of car- 
riages, for large screws for presses, for bows, chair backs, whip handles, 
wooden cogged wheels, cask hoops, and a variety of other purposes. 
It is one of the most economical kiiids of wood for fuel. The nuts of 
one species of this tree are much prized. They are commonly called 
shag-barks, from the roughness of the scaly surface of the bark of the 
tree on which they grow. 

HIDE-BOUND. This is applied to a certain disease of cows 
and horses, in which the skin adheres to their sides. Want of 
proper care, spare diet, and bad food — sometimes long, rank grass, in 
swampy situations, and musty hay or oats, may be the causes of this 
affection. The skin of the hide-bound animal loses its pliability and 
flexible nature ; the surface of it is hard and dry ; the minute scales 
with which it is covered no longer yield to the hair, but separating 
themselves in every direction, they turn it in various ways, and so 
give to it that irregular and ragged appearance which is one of the 
characteristics of want of condition. 

HIGH WATER. That state of the tides when they have flowed 
to the greatest height, in which state they remain nearly stationary 
for about fifteen or twenty minutes, when the water begins again to 
fibb. The Hme of high water is always nearly the same in the same 



THE FARMER AT HOME. 



207 



place at the full of the moon, and at all other times, the time of hi^yh 
water depends upon the age of the moon ; the rule for finding which, 
the age of the moon being given, is as follows, viz : add four-fifths of 
the days of the moon's age, as so many hours, to the time of high 
water at the full of the moon, and the sum is the time of high water, 
answering to that day nearly. 

HOEINCt. In the new husbandry, is the breaking or dividing 
the soil by tillage while the corn or other plants are growing thereon. 
It differs from common tillage in the time of performing it ; and it is 
much more beneficial to the crops than any other tillage. This sort 
of tillage is performed various ways, and by means of different instru- 
ments. Next to ploughing, hoeing is one of the most effectual opera- 
tions in farming ; and, especially in countries where Indian corn is 
grown, it may be considered indispensable. There are many kinds of 
the hoe adapted to its various uses in the garden or the field ; and in 
the form of it, and in the material used for its construction, depends its 
excellence. The blade or cutting part of a good hoe should be 
sufficiently hard to keep a good edge and not batter, and at the same 
time so elastic and fine tempered as not to be easily broken. 

HOGr. In grossness of manners, the hog tribe stand unrivalled 
among quadrupeds ; and their general appearance corresponds, in a 
great measure, with their habits. The natural term of the life of 
this animal is from fifteen to thirty years ; and it increases in size and 
strength until four or five years of age. In Minorca, it is said, that 
the hog is used as a beast of draught. The wild boar, from which 
most of our domesticated varieties are derived, is found in most parts 
of Europe and Asia, and is by no means so stupid or filthy an animal 
as the tame hog. Hunting the wild boar has always been a favorite 
amusement. When roused, he goes slowly and uniformly forward, 

frequently stopping and facing his pursuers, often inflicting severe and 
even mortal wounds. The common hog, in a tame state, is almost 
universal, except in very high latitudes. In the forests of South 
America, it is found in vast droves, derived from the European varie- 
ties again relapsed into* a state of nature. The common hog appears 
to enjoy none of the senses in perfection except that of smell. In their 
taste they discover a strange degree of caprice ; for while they are sin- 
gnlarly delicate in their choiceof herbs, they will devour with voracity 
the most nauseous and putrid carrion. 

HOLLYHOCK. A malvaceous plant, a native of the East, and 
very frequently cultivated in gardens for the sake of its ornamental 
spikes of large and beautiful flowers. The root is biennial, and shoots 
up one or several very upright, hairy stems, which attain the height 
of from five to eight feet. The leaves are cordate at base, and divided 
into from five to seven lobes. The flowers are subsessile, rose-colored, 
and situated in the axils of the superior leaves, thus forming a long 
terminal spike. From cultivation, many varieties have arisen, bear- 



208 THE FARMER AT HOME. 

ing flowers, single or double, white, yellow, red, or even almost Mack. 
It is a hardy plant, and easily reproduced from seed. 

HONEY BEES. A species of animals remarkable for industry, 
economy, and ingenuity. They have all things in common, and yet 
live under inviolable laws. Mindful of the coming winter, they toil 
in. summer, and lay up food in common stock. Some are employed 
in the fields, gathering honey and wax ; some construct the combs ; 
some fill the cells with honey ; some watch at the gates to observe 
the weather, or receive the loads of those that return to tlie hive. All 
have one time of labor ; all have one rest from work. In the morn- 
ing they rush out of the gates without delay ; at evening all is hushed 
for the night. It has been remarked, that " if Newton had been a 
bee," he could not have constructed the combs or cells, with more 
geometrical exactness. In a hive of bees are commonly found from 
fifteen to eighteen thousand inhabitants ; over which there is always 
a queen, that reigns absolute. The queen is distinguished from the 
other bees, by the form of her body ; she is longer and larger than they 
are, and her wings are much shorter than theirs in proportion to her 
body. Her hinder parts are more taper than those of other bees ; her 
belly and legs are of a deep golden yellow. A hive of bees cannot 
subsist without a queen, as she lays all the eggs, and thus produces 
the whole posterity. No other earthly monarch has such obedient 
subjects. If you take the queen, wherever you put her in sight, the 
whole hive will follow, and presently surround her ; and when a 
queen happens to die, the bees of her hive immediately leave working, 
consume their honey, fly about their own and other hives at unusual 
hours when other bees are at rest, and pine away, if not soon supplied 
with another sovereign. 

HONEYDEW. A term frequently applied to a clammy sac- 
charine substance, which is often seen covering the leaves and other 
parts of difierent kinds of trees and plants, at some particular seasons 
of the year. It does not appear that the cause of this extraordinary 
appearance is yet fully understood, as it has not by any means been 
well ascertained whether it derives its origin from external circum- 
stances, or some morbid aflection of the vegetables themselves. 
It is generally, however, supposed to be the production of insects. 

HOP. A plant with a creeping root, the stalks of which climb 
and twist about whatever is near them ; wherefore, in hop grounds, 
poles are fixed near to the plant for them to rise upon. Hops are 
said to have been introduced into England from the Netherlands in 
the sixteenth century : they are principally used to boil up with beer, 
in order to prevent it from turning sour, and to give it a strengthening 
quality. Hops require to be planted in open situations, and in a rich 
strong ground. The two best sorts are the white and the gray kind. 
These should be planted in hills about eight or nine feet asunder. 
About the beginning of July hops begin to blow, and are ready to 



THE FARMER AT HOME. 



209 



gather about the latter end of August ; when, by their strong scent, 
their hardness, and the brown color of the seed, they may be known 
to be fit. The best method of drying hops is on a kiln over a char- 
coal fire ; when the stalks are brittle, and the top leaves easily fall 
off, they are promptly dried. When taken from the kiln, they should 
be laid to cool for three weeks or a month before they are bagged. 




FLYING CHILDE RS; AN ENGLISH RACE HORSE, 



HORSE. The horse is known to most nations as the most useful 
and manageable of those animals that live under the sway of man. 
In gracefulness of form and dignity of carriage, he is superior to 
almost every other quadruped ; he is lively and high spirited, yet gen- 
tle and tractable ; keen and ardent in his exertions, yet firm and 
persevering. The horse is equally qualified for all the various pur- 
poses in which man has employed him ; he works steadily and 
patiently in the loaded wagon or at the plough ; becomes as much 
excited as his master in the race ; and appeal's to rejoice in the chase. 
The horse feeds on grass and grain, and defends himself with his hoofs 
and teeth. His flesh, although rejected among civilized nations, is 
much used among several rude tribes ; and from the milk of the mare, 
the Calmucks and other Tartars prepare a spirituous drink of consider- 
able strength. The voice of this animal is peculiar, and well known 
under the name of neighing. The life of the horse, when not short- 
ened by ill usage, extends from twenty-five to thirty years. 

The horse, like the other tame animals, was no doubt originally 
wild, but his domestication happened at so early a period, as to leave 
no record of the event, and it is now impossible to ascertain, with any 



2J0 THE FARMER AT HOME. 

certainty, in what country he originated. Wild horses, it is true, are 
found in various parts of the world, but in most cases it is impossible 
to say whether they are the remains of the ancient stock or are 
derived from the domesticated animal ; though, as respects those 
found in the American continent, there is no doubt but that they were 
originally introduced by the Spaniards. Desmarest gives upwards of 
twenty varieties of the horse, and his catalogue is by no means com- 
plete. We shall only be able to notice the princip.al. The wild 
horses of Tartary are smaller than the domestic ; their hair, particu- 
larly in winter, is very thick, and generally of a mouse color. Their 
heads are larger, in proportion to their bodies, than those of tame 
horses, and their foreheads remarkably arched. These horses are very 
watchful of their common safety. Whilst a troop is feeding, one of 
their number is placed on some eminence as a sentinel ; when danger 
of any kind approaches, he warns his companions by neighing, and 
they all betake themselves to flight. 

The most esteemed horses are the Arabian. These are seldom 
more than fourteen to fourteen and a half hands high, more inclined 
to be lean than fat ; they rise higher from the ground than other 
blood horses, and gather much more quickly. The breed in Arabia 
is never crossed as in other countries, but preserved unmixed with the 
utmost solicitude. The Arabs prefer the mare, as being more capa- 
ble of bearing hunger, thirst and fatigue ; and these must neither bite 
nor kick, or they are deemed vicious ; indeed, it is no uncommon 
thing to see children play and fondle about the mare and her foal 
without fear of injury. Madden says, when an Arab sells his mare, 
he rarely sells all his property in her ; he generally reserves, the 
second or third foal. That author also observes, that it is so difficult 
to get a thorough-bred Arab mare to .send out of the country, that he 
doubts if any ever go to Europe; those usually sent as such being 
Dongola horses, which are very inferior, being worth only from one 
hundred and twenty to one hundred and fifty dollars, whilst an 
Arabian is worth from fifteen to two thousand dollars. 

The Persian horses ai'e much esteemed, but not equal to the 
Arabian. The Barbary horse, which approaches the Arabian, is the 
origin of the Spanish and Italian. The Andalusian horse is much 
prized. It is small, but beautifully formed. The head is, however, 
rather large in proportion to the body, the mane thick, the ears long, 
the eyes animated, the breast full, the legs finely shaped, and the 
hoofs high. The Italian horses are not so much esteemed now as 
formerly ; they are large, and move well, and are used tor cai-riage 
horses and heavy cavalry. The Danish horses are stout and well 
built, but seldom elegant The same may be said of the Dutch horse, 
which is preferred for draught throughout Europe. The French 
horses differ much, according to the part of the country from whence 
they are derived. The breed of horses in England and the United 



THE FARMER AT HOME. 



211 



States is as mixed as that of the inhabitants, the frequent introduction 
of foreign horses liaviug; produced an infinite variety. 

HORSE-POWER. What is usually termed horse-power in rural 
economy, is the construction of machinery (or the performance of 
labor, Ibrmerly done by man, and sometimes that done by water- 
power or steam. The more ordinary kinds of this labor are thrashing 
and winnowing grain ; the sawing of wood . the grinding of grain ; 
also the sowing or planting seeds, the reaping of grain, and the raking 
of hay. For the three first of these operations the same machine is 
used, having distinct fixtures for each one of them ; and, for each of 
the three last there is a distinct machine complete by itself It i» 




HORSE POWER. 

reasonable to suppose, and it is proved by the fact, that horse-power 
thus applied is a great saving of manual labor, in some cases is 
of very great convenience, and on large farms is seemingly indis- 
pensable. Tn the fii'st contrivances to effect these objects there 
have been defective results ; but, wherever this has happened new 
efforts have been induced, so that at present, of the numerous ma- 
chines devised, those that can be selected, apparently approximating 
perfection, that of Emery and Company, manufactured at Albany, 
is very highly recommended, and by many is esteemed superior to all 
others. 

HORSE-CHESNUT. This is an ornamental tree ; a native of 
the northern parts of Hindostan, and frequently cultivated in Europe 
and the United States. It was unknown to the ancients, and is now 
cultivated only for the sake of its beauty, the wood being of no value. 
It is one of our m.ost admired ornamental trees. Its large and brijjht 
green foliage, its full rich form, and the profusion of spikes of flowers, 
of the most delicate and brilliant colors with which we are acquainted, 
render it one of the most showy trees to be found. In Europe, the 
fruit is used for feeding various kinds of cattle, who are said to be 
fond of it. For this purpose, it is first soaked in lime water, or an 
alkaline solution, which deprives it of its bitterness ; it is then washed 
and boiled to a pulse. In Turkey it is ground and mixed with pro- 
vender for horses. 



212 THE FARMER AT HOME. 

HORTICULTURE. In its more limited application this is the 
culture of the kitchen garden and orchard. As such, the chief differ- 
ence between horticulture and agriculture is, that in the former art 
the culture is performed by manual labor in a comparatively limited 
space, called a garden ; while in the other it is performed jointly by 
human and animal labor in fields, or in an extensive tract of ground 
called a farm. In its more extended and popular sense, horticulture 
not only means the cultivation of esculent vegetables and fruits, but 
the management of ornamental plants and the formation of rural 
scenery, for the purposes of utility and embellishment. It is difficult 
to imagine any occupation more conducive to the promotion of good 
taste and susceptibility to moral sentiment, than that of the well edu- 
cated horticulturist. Nature is spread before him in full beauty ; it 
is from her teachings that he constantly receives instruction ; and 
thus, while he is storing his own mind with the idea of all that is 
beautiful and lovely, he has the every-day consciousness of laboring 
for the wants and for the pleasure of his fellow-creatures. Those 
who inculcate a taste for horticulture are public benefactors, and The 
Horticulturist of Downing should be in every farmer's family. 

HOTBED. In Gardening, a name given to a sort of bed con- 
structed for the purpose of producing artificial heat, and the raising 
of different sorts of culinary and other vegetables and plants. It is 
chiefly by the aid of these beds, also, that various tender plants, flow- 
ers, and fruits, are raised in perfection, which, without such artificial 
heat, could not possibly be produced or continued in this climate. By 
this means, likewise, vast numbers of seeds, which would otherwise 
remain years in the earth, and some never grow at all, are made to 
generate, form plants, continue their growth, and produce their flow- 
ers and fruits as in their native soils. And the cuttings and slips of 
many sorts of trees and shrubs, which would otherwise remain inac- 
tive and perish, are also made soon to emit root-fibres and shoots, and 
become plants in due time. 

By this means, too, many valuable esculent plants, that succeed 
in the full ground at one time of the year or the other, are brought to 
perfection much sooner than they could otherwise be obtained, as the 
cucumber, asparagus, peas, beans, kidney-beans, radishes, carrots, 
strawberries, and various salad herbs, and other plants, which grow 
in the open ground of the garden departments. And annual flower- 
ing plants, as well as those of the herbaceous and shrubby kinds, are 
also brought to more early perfection and flowering by them. They 
are therefore of great use in the practice of gardening in numerous 
cases of ibrcing early productions. 

HOUSES. Houses in our own country are of almost every possi- 
ble imaginative device, from the cheapest log cabin to the most stately 
and enduring mansion. In the country, however, there has generally 
been manifested a lamentable want o'. taste and regard to comfort. 



THE FARMER \T HOME. 213 

In the early settlement of the country, a necessity existed for the 
erection of some kind of a shelter, without regard to beauty or even 
for comfort, save to obtain protection from the inclemency of the 
weather. There was a peneral want of mechanical skill, of the 
requisite materials, and in most cases of the pecuniary ability, to pay 
regard to ornament, or the principles of architecture. This style of 
houses, or rather want of all style in them, originally the result of 
necessity, almost as a matter of course, with the masses of our yeo- 
manry, has been perpetuated, in no small degree, after the neces.sity 
ceased to exist. Within the last few years there has been a praise- 
worthy manifestation of desire to correct the evil ; and we are now 
beginning, in transient localities, to observe the rising of the neat 
cottage, the commodious farm-house, and the expensive villa. This, 
as it becomes more general, will add much to the attractions and 
pleasure of rural life. 

The English and Scotch cottages differ in their external appear- 
ance and management. The best English cottages of recent con- 
struction are built of brick and covered with slate. The use of these 
materials has changed the character of this class of dwellings. In 
many cottages the chimney stack forms the principal bearing of the 
floors and roof. The Scotch cottage has not only a different appear- 
ance when compared with the English, but, from its being so much 
wider, it admits of two apartments being formed on the ground floor. 
This is also a matter of necessity, as they are seldom raised more than 
one story. The material for the walls is most commonly stone ; the 
roof is large and heavy in appearance, and has but a small projection 
beyond the walls ; the gable walls also run up frequently above the 
roof, forming a parapet, which is sometimes notched so as to resemble 
steps, or has a battlement appearance. 

As the French and Italians of the middle classes do not generally 
live in separate houses like the English, but on floors containing a 
series of rooms, it follows that the arrangement of their houses differs 
from that of the English The staircase, as in public chambers, is 
common to each floor. The rooms communicate with each other, and 
generally with a passage or balcony on one side ; chimneys are rare, 
stoves being most commonly used to heat the rooms. French and 
Italian houses are mostly built of rough stone stuccoed ; the floors are 
seldom boarded, being paved with glazed tiles or unglazed bricks. 
The Spanish houses are very spacious ; they have large courts in the 
interior, and are formed with galleries round the inside of the quad- 
rangular courts, families occupying the separate floors. The houses 
in many parts of Germany, approach nearer to the English in their 
arrangement, than the French and Italian houses. In many places 
the houses are a frame work of wood, and the interstices are filled 
with unbaked bricks, and are plastered with clay. The city archi- 
tecture of Russian houses, both in its effect and arrangement, resemblea 



214 ^HE FARMER AT HOME. 

the architecture of the Italian and French houses, except that the 
roofs are covered with sheet iron painted with vivid colors, mostly reA 
and preen. The windows are donhle. The history of architecture i» 
curious in the extreme, and would furnish amusement as well as use- 
ful instruction. It deserves more attention than it has received. 

HUMMING-BIRD. The least of all the feathered tribes ; it» 
body being not bigger than the end of one's finger, and its eggs no 
larger than small peas : it is a native of America. On this little biro 
nature has profusely lavished her most splendid colors ; the most per- 
fect azure, the most beautiful gold color, the most dazzling red, are 
forever in contrast, and help to embellish the plumes of its majestic 
head. Like the bee, it finds its food in flowers and blossoms ; when 
it feeds, it appears as if immovable, though continually on the wing. 
Myriads of these little birds are seen, feeding on the flowers and 
blossoms, in the southern parts of the United States, and in the 
Floridas. 

HUMUS. The general name of humus is given to fine, dark- 
brown or blackish particles of decayed vegetation, which impart 
their richness to all fertile soils. It is frequently oalled vegetable 
mould. The amount of humus in the soil is readily increased by 
green fallows, by ploughing in straw, prepared peat, and all vegetable 
rubbish. The leaves of trees which fall in the forest in autumn, and 
the old roots of grass in the meadows, are likewise converted into 
humus. 

HUNGER. The feeling of a want of food. When the stomach 
has digested and disposed of the food and drink which it contained, 
its peculiar nervous power is destroyed, and some time is necessary 
before it collects it again. This time is shorter in proportion as the 
individual is healthy, young, strong, and active. As soon as this 
nervous power is restored, the activity of the organ is again awakened, 
and produces a longing to eat, which we call, in its first degree, appe- 
tite. If this is not gratified, it gains strength, and becomes hunger, 
which, if not appeased, turns to voracity. Appetite is not a disagree- 
able feeling, but hunger is an ever-increasing pain, on account of the 
ever-increasmg sensibility of the nerves of the stomach. 

To some men, whose stomachs are morbidly sensitive, the first 
desire for food is unpleasant, and if this desire is not immediately 
gratified, they are seized with griping pains in the parts about the 
stomach, which, if not appeased, are followed by sudden weakness, 
and even fainting. If hunger is not allayed, a dreadful state of the 
body ensues, and finally death. After long continued hunger, the 
blood becomes weak, acrid, and thin, on account of the want of mate- 
rials to compensate for the nutritious matter expended in the support 
of the body ; hence the whole body becomes lean and weak, bloody 
fluxes take place from all parts, as well as violent irritation of the 
nervous system, caused by the excessive sensibility of the nerves of 



THE FARMER AT HOME. jjg 

the stomach, which at length extends to the whole region of the abdo- 
men, is carried to a still greater height, and produces pain over the 
whole body, sleeplessness, convulsions, raving madness, until at length 
death puts an end to the scene. 

HUSK. Among Botanists, the part which a flower grows out of. 
The husks or cups of the flowers of plants are not so much regarded 
with a view to their medicinal virtues as they deserve. Petiver, in 
the Philosophical Transactions, speaking of the virtues of the verti- 
cillate class of plants, among which are included the sage, rosemary, 
and the like, observes that it is an erroneous, though general opinion, 
that the flowers of these plants contain their principal virtues, for that 
the husks are the part in which it is lodged. For instance, in the 
rosemary, the fine scent of the Hungary- water is not in the flowers, 
but husks; and the flowers alone, when clean picked from them, yield 
very little odor. The cup. in this and other plants of the same class, 
is the only part in which their viscous and sulphureous qualities are 
lodged, and that something of this kind is deposited particularly there, 
may be perceived by the touch and smell ; for they appear moist and 
feel clammy ; and this clammy matter, when received upon the fingers, 
is of a very strong and agreeable smell, much more so than the rest 
of the plant. 

HYACINTH. The numerous and splendid varieties of the garden 
hyacinth have always been general favorites, and, in some countries, 
the fondness for this plant amounts to a complete mania. In Holland, 
upwards of two thousand varieties have received distinct names, recog- 
nised by the diflerent florists, and the price of one thousand florins has 
been paid for a single plant. The environs of some of the Dutch 
towns astonish the traveller, from the gorgeous appearance produced 
by the vast profusion of these flowers. The wild plant is a native of 
the Levant, and has a bulbous root, from which rise a few linear lance- 
olate leaves and a leafless stem, bearing six or eight bell-shaped 
flowers, of a blue or white color. The cultivated double varieties have 
very graceful forms and a remarkable diversity of color. The natural 
aflinities of this plant place it in the same family with the squill and 
the onion. All the species of hyacinth are natives of the eastern 
continent. 

HYBERNATION. Hybernation s that state of inaction and rest, 
which some animals and many plants undergo dui-ing the cold season 
of the year, and exhibits some remarkable phenomena, well deserving 
the attention of the naturalist. On the approach of winter, the 
badger, the marmot, ground squirrel, frog, toad, snakes, and some 
other animals, betake themselves to their retreats in the earth, where, 
in a torpid, motionless state, with but just circulation enough to pre- 
serve vitality, they remain until the returning summer rouses their 
drowsing faculties to action once more. Those instances in which 
animals and insects have been found in positions where they must 



216 THE FARMER AT HOME. 

have remained for centuries, as frogs and toads in solid rocks, are 
examples of continued hybernation, produced by being placed in a 
position where the temperament and the confined state adopted at the 
commencement of the hybernation, is continued by causes afterwards 
superinduced. Thus the bats enclosed in the old mine, at Cheshire, 
(Conn.,) by a slide from the mountain, while in a state of hyberna- 
tion, remained in that state for more than a quarter of a century, and 
were so found at the reopening of the mine. Thus toads hybernating 
in swamps, if covered, while in that state, to a depth which would 
prevent the usual effects arising from the changes of the seasons, would 
remain in that position, and the subsequent conversion of the covering 
matter into stone, would enclose them forever in the rocky mass. It 
is to this indurating process that we must ascribe the wonderful pre- 
servation and continued vitality of those reptiles which are found in 
the sand stones of the transition series. 

The condition of plants, too, during our winters, in which the sap 
ceases to circulate, or circulates but to a limited extent, and in a lan- 
guid manner, is a species of hybernation. It is a rest of the plant, a 
cessation of its functions, growth ceases, and what may be called a 
sleep of the plant ensues. Other causes may produce this rest of 
plants. Numerous instances have occurred in which a second blos- 
soming has taken place, and the flowers of the first of October have 
vied with those of the first of May or June. This reviving of the 
plant has been noticed in the apple, plum, and pear. It is unquestion- 
ably to be attributed to the check which the extreme hot and dry 
weather gave to the trees, and which produced on them an effect 
similar to that of the hybernation of tropical plants. The functions 
of the plant were for a time partially suspended ; heat had performed 
the effect of cold ; the secretions of the plant, which prepare it for 
blooming and reproduction, had been performed, and when rains suc- 
ceeded the drowth, their blossoming in October as well as in May, was 
che natural result. 

HYBRIDS. When copulation takes place between different spe- 
cies of animals, the progeny which in some cases is the result, is 
termed a hybrid, as partaking of the qualities of both, yet distinct 
irom either. Thus, a connection between the ass and the mare, pro- 
duces the mule, and between the horse and the female ass. the hinny, 
the two most common hybrids among animals. The hybrids among 
animals do not have the power of reproduction, a proof tlrat muling 
is a violation of nature's laws, by which the races as distinct species 
are governed. There has been in the highlands of Scotland a hybrid 
between the stag and the mai'e, the first ever known. 

HYDROGEN. A constituent of water, and a rare gas, sixteen 
times lighter than atmospheric air, and on that account used to fill 
balloons. But its most important function is that of absorbing oxygen 
from surrounding parts, when excited by any accession of heat or undue 



THE FARMER AT HOME. 217 

motion. Combined with carbon, it thus fixes orcondenses the oxygen, 
forming aqueous vapor and smoke, thereby locating great heat, while 
the reaction of the excited parts causes a difl'used action which is the 
important eflect called light. With oxygen only it creates a yellowish 
light, but with a suitable proportion of carbon it makes all the colors 
of the prism, when the resulting light is mechanically decomposed by 
it. Of course, coals, bitumens, oils, tallow, spirits, and all bodies that 
burn, abound in it, for burning means nothing more than its power of 
absorbing oxygen when duly excited, and this absorption creates by 
reaction in the space, heat, flame, and light, universally. The car- 
buretted vapor of hydrogen, evolved by subterranean heat from coal 
in the cavities of mines, is exploded by oxygen, with destructive effects 
when first excited by the similar process of a candle. When the 
same gas is made by distillation, and sent through pipes, it gradually 
explodes at the orifice, forming what are called gas lights. And 
when gradually evolved at the wick of a candle or lamp from the com- 
pound of carbon and hydrogen in the tallow and oil, the explosion 
accompanying the evolution of the gas creates our domestic lights. 
So also with the flame of a coal fire. 

IBEX. This animal is distinguished by large knotted horns, re- 
clining backwards, a small head, large eyes, a thick, short, strong 
body, short legs, very short hoofs, and a short tail. Its body is of a 
deep brown color, with a mixture of hoary hairs ; its belly is of a 
tawny white ; its legs partly black, partly white ; the space under 
the tail, in some individuals, is tawny, in others white. The hair is 
harsh, and the male is furnished with a beard. These animals arc 
seldom found, except in the most precipitous and inaccessible heights 
of lofty rrvountains, where they assemble in flocks, sometimes consist- 
ing of ten or fifteen individuals. 

During the night, they feed in the highest woods, but, at sunrise, 
they again ascend the mountains, till they have reached the most 
perilous heights. They are remarkably swift, and display amazing 
agility and dexterity in leaping. They are objects of the chase, but, 
from the inaccessible nature of the places to which they generally 
resort, their dexterity in leaping, and the danger attendant on a pur- 
suit of them, the ibex hunter must have a head that can bear to look 
down from the most tremendous precipices without terror, address 
and sure-footedness in the most difficult passes, and also much strength, 
vigor, and activity. 

Another danger attendant on this chase is, that the ibex, when 
close pressed, will sometimes turn on his pursuer, and tumble him 
down the precipices, unless he has time to lie down, and permit the 
animal to pass over him. The ibex will mount an almost perpendic- 
ular rock of fifteen feet, at three successive bounds, appearing mei'ely 
to touch it, to be repelled, like an elastic substance striking against a 
hard body. The fore legs being considerable shorter than the hinder, 
10 



218 



THE FARMER AT HOME. 



enables these animals to ascend with more facility than to dtecend, 
and hence, when pur.sued, they always attempt (o gain the summits 
of the mountains. They inhabit the chain of mountains extending 
from Mount Taurus, between Eastern Tavtary and Siberia. In Eu- 
rope, they are found on the Carpathian and Pyrenean chains, and in 
the Grisons and other parts of the Alps. 

ICE. A brittle transparent body, formed of some fluid, frozen or 
fixed by cold. The specihc gravity ot ice to water is as eight to nine ; 
or the specific gravity of water being one, that of ice is ninety-three ; 
hence, being lighter than water, it floats upon it. The specific gravity 
of ice was tried by Dr. Irving, in Phipps' voyage to the north pole ; 
who found that when a piece of the most dense ice which he could 
meet with was immersed in snow-water, the thermometer thirty-four 
degrees, fourteen-fifteenth parts sunk under the surface of the water ; 
in brandy just proof, it barely floated; in rectified spirits of wine, it 
fell to the bottom at once, and dissolved immediately. This rarefac- 
tion of ice has been supposed to be owing to the air bubbles produced 
in ice while lireezing ; these, being considerably large in proportion 
to the water Irozen, render the ice so much specifically lighter. 

Accordingly, it is said that a considerable quantity of air is lodged 
in the interstices of water, though it has not there any elastic property, 
on account of the disunion of its particles ; but these particles coming 
closer together, and uniting as the water freezes, light, expansive, and 
elastic air bubbles are thus generated, and increase in bulk as the 
cold grows stronger ; whence of course the ice grows lighter, and 
these air bubbles acquiring an elastic force, burst to pieces any vessel 
in which the water is closely contained. But snow-water, or any 
water being boiled over the fire, aflbrds an ice more solid than ordi- 
nary, and with fewer bubbles. Pure water, long kept in vacuo, and 
Irozen afterwards there, freezes much sooner, on being exposed to the 
same degree of cold, than water unpurged of its air and set in the 
open atmosphere. And the ice made of water thus divested of its air, 
will expand in freezing ; though it is much harder, more solid and 
transparent, and more ponderous, than common ice. 

ICE-HOUSE. An ice-house may be simply a large cellar with 
hollow walls, containing flxed air ; or, which is better, with walls 
filled in with sawdust or tanning, which is a non-conductor of heat, 
and furnished with roof and door, made in the same maimer, and 
also with a drain to allow the escape of water produced by a partial 
thaw. The drain is as important as the non-conducting walls and 
roof; for standing water, on the floor or bottom of the vault contain- 
intr the ice, is as prejudicial to the preservation of the article as heat 
itself. Latterly it has been judged preferable to erect an ice-house 
above ground, to having it under ground, or in a cellar. In both 
cases, the construction is similar ; the walls, roof, and door being 
double, say with an intervening space of twelve inches, well filled and 



THE FARMER aI HOME. 219 

rammed solid, of the sawdust or tannin. The west side of a hill, or 
under trees of dense foliajre, is a desirable location for an icehouse; 
and it miglit be well that it should be covered over with ivy or grape 
vines, or honey suckle, to intercept the rays of the sun or the warm at- 
mosphere. It is advisable also that the door should be on the west 
side, and that it should bo opened during the night or in the morning 
when there is no current of hot air to rush in. By a small expense, 
every farmer may have a small ice-house, that in the hottest weather 
of summer will keep fresh meat in good order for any reasonable 
length of time, and where butter may be kept hard, adding at least 
ten per cent, to its value, whether designed for market or family use. 
Such saving from an ice-house would soon balance the cost of its 
erection. 

ICE TRADE. A very curious traffic within a few years has 
sprung up ; to wit, the transportation of ice from New England to 
tropical regions in diflerent parts of the world. In the East Indies 
the artificial formation of ice has been long carried on, as the only 
means of cooling beverages and food The ground near Hoogley, 
about forty miles from Calcutta, is formed into shallow troughs ; into 
these troughs, on a layer of straw, are placed pans of porous earthen- 
ware. Shortly beibre midnight in the winter months, and when the 
win4 iiappens to be blowing from the north-M'est, a little water is 
poured into each vessel or pan ; and if all the circumstances are 
favorable, a film of ice is found in each pan on the following morning ; 
and this ice is collected and stored with the utmost care. The selling 
price of this ice at Calcutta is about six pence per pound ; but the 
Calcutta inhabitants were surprised by the arrival, in 1833, of a ship 
from the United States, laden entirely with ice, which was offered for 
sale at three pence pei* pound, which afforded the shipper a good pro- 
fit. Since that time the price has been reduced ; and the traffic has 
become regular, and of very considerable magnitude. It is mostly 
pi'ocured in the vicinity ;f Boston, where the article is very pure and 
solid, and can be obtained in any quantity desired. The contrivances 
for collecting, handling, and preserving it are exceedingly curious, and 
give evidence of American ingenuity and enterprise. 

ICHNEUMON. An animal of the weasel kind, bred chiefly in 
Egypt. It has the strength of a cat, and is more nimble and more cun- 
ning ; it easily strangles a cat that is larger than itself It takes to the 
water when in danger, and will live a considerable time under water. 
More expert than cats in catching rats and n.ice, they are used in 
Egypt for that purpose The animal makes war with great courage 
and eagerness upon all kinds of serpents. If bitten by the viper or 
the asp, it uses a certain root that cures the poison. Its principal 
service to the ancient Egyptians was in discovering and destroying 
the eggs of crocodiles ; and for its usefulness in this respect it was 
worshipped by that idolatrous people as a deity. 



220 



THE FARMER AT HOME. 



ICELAND SHEEP. The sheep of Iceland are of two kinds; 
the first, termed the native breed, is small, in color from dun to 
almost black ; the second is larger, the fleece white, and supposed to 
have originated from more southern regions. The fleece of these 
breeds consists of hair externally, with a white, close layer of wool 




ICELAND SHEEP. 

within, impervious to cold and wet ; it is worthless for manufactur- 
ing, and is used for horse collars, and more or less exported and 
appropriated to this purpose. The principal pecuHarity about the 
native sheep is the number of their horns, many individuals having 
four and five, and instances have been known of eight. These hardy 
animals propagate without the care of man, and seek refuge from 
storms among the caverns of the coast during the winter season. 

ICELAND MOSS. This lichen, thouofh a native of the higher 
mountains of the northern parts of Britain, is procured mostly from 
Norway and Iceland, on the lava of the west coast of which latter 
country it abounds and attains a large size. When dry it has 
scarcely any odor, and the taste is bitter and un})leasant. The pow- 
der or flour is of a whitish gray. When the bitter principle is 
removed, the starchy matter diflers from wheat flour in nutritive 
properties, though some authorities assert that a soup made of it is 
twice as nutritive as one made with flour. Certain it is that the 



THE FARMER AT HOME. 



221 



inhabitants of Norway Lapland, and above all Iceland, use it exteu 
sively as an alimentary substance, the latter regardinjj it as the gift 
of a bountiful Providence, which sends to them this bread in that 
frozen clime. It is submitted to no other preparation than repeated 
steepings in cold water, drying, and powdering ; after which it is 
either made into cakes or boiled in milk. The e.x:cellence of Iceland 
Moss depends upon its I'reshness, and freedom from accidental impu- 
rities, which should be carefully removed before it is used. 

IDLENESS. In China it is a maxim, that if there be a man 
who does not work, or a woman that is idle, in the empire, somebody 
must sutler cold or hunger ; the produce of the lands not being more 
than sufficient, Avith culture, to maintain the inhabitants ; and there- 
fore, though the idle person may shift oft^ the want from himself, yet 
it must fall somewhere. The court of Areopagus at Athens, punished 
idleness, and examined every citizen how he spent his time. The 
intention was that the Athenians, knowing they were to give an 
account of their occupations, should folloM' only such as were laudable, 
and that there might be no room left for such as lived by unlawful 
arts. 

INCOMBUSTIBLE CLOTH. M. Magellan informs us that the 
Romans enclosed dead bodies in cloth of this kind. In 1756 or 
1757 he tells us, thatWie saw in the Vatican a large piece of asbestos 
cloth, found in a stone tomb, with the ashes of a Roman, as appeared 
by the epitaph. The under-librarian, to show that it was incombus- 
tible, lighted a candle, and let some drops of wax fall on the cloth, 
which he set on fire with a candle in his presence, without any det- 
riment to the cloth. lis texture was coarse, but much softer than he 
could have expected. 

INCUBATION. Birds, fishes, insects, worms and reptiles, as is 
well known, lay eggs, from which the young animals are produced 
by means of warmth. The four last named classes leave the fecun- 
dation of the eggs to the warmth of the sun ; birds employ the warmth 
of their own bodies for tliis purpose. The process which they use is 
called incubation. All known birds, with the exception of the 
cuckoo, discharge this office themselves. The cuckoo deposits its 
eggs in the nest of the hedge-sparrow and other small birds. The 
ostrich, contrary to the common opinion^ sits upon its eggs, the male 
in company with several females, day and night. Birds in general 
become comparatively tame during this period. Others defend their 
nests with the greatest courage. The domestic hen boldly encounters 
the largest dog. Only a few birds living in a state of freedom, allow 
their nests to be disturbed. Many desert them entirely, if a man has 
displaced the e<rgs during their absence ; for instance, the canary 
bird. The gradual development of the young bird in the egg; has 
been observed, particularly in the case of the eggs of the domestic 
hen. 



i,22 



THE FARMER AT HOME. 



The covering of the young bird, when it first leaves the egg, is a 
sort of down ; this is gradually superseded by feathers. The little 
creature remains for some hours or longer in the nest under its mother, 
til] it has become accustomed to the external air. The old birds, 
particularly the female, now manifest the greatest care .or their 
pung, in protecting them and providing for their wants. They 
brino: them suitable food, which, when necessary, the mother 
aoftens first iu her crop. Water and marsh birds, soon after birth, 
leave the nest, and follow their mother into the water. The old birds 
teach them where to find their food. The mother protects them, 
takes them in stormy weather under her wings, and exposes herself 
to much inconvenience to save them from suffering. 

The time of incubation generally varies with the size of the birds. 
The linnet requires but fourteen days, the common hen twenty-one, 
and the swan forty-two days. In warm climates, the time of incuba- 
tion is said to be somewhat shorter. In Africa, the hen is said to sit 
but thirteen days. With us, too, in very cold weather, geese and 
hens are known to sit much longer than in warm. The warmth 
required for fecundating the eggs is about one hundred and four 
degrees Fahi-enheit. The artificial hatchinj; of eggs is practised in 
Egypt. Ovens for this purpose are made of brick, and sunk some 
depth in the earth. They consist of two stories, connected with each 
ether, and divided into several apartments. In a corner of the build- 
ing is an oven, which is heated daily three to four hours, for ten days 
in succession, with cow and camel's dung, the usual fuel of the 
country. The heat is regulated by the feeling of the superintendent. 
The temperature to be produced is compared with the warmth of 
baths. When the heat is too great, some passages are opened for the 
air. The floors of the divisions or apartments are covered with mats, 
and a layer of straw thereupon, on which the eggs are laid, so, how- 
ever, as not to touch each other. 

IN-AND-IN BREEDING. This is a term applied by the 
breeders of animals, to that kind of propagation where both are of 
the same blood, and the nearest possible. Although some of the 
most decided improvements have been made by following this system 
of breeding — in-and-in — ^yet it has only been done by the most judi- 
cious selections, and the exercise of cautious judgment, while in the 
hands of the ordinary breeder it is sure to run out a stock, degenerating 
them rapidly, rendering the males impotent in many cases, and the 
females of little value as nurses or breeders. Experience seems to 
have proved, that crosses of the same variety af animals, but of 
another family, have made the best animals. In some cases, where 
there is a marked superiority in any race of animals, which it is 
wished to retain, a cross with a race less perfect in some respects, 
perhaps, but more vigorous, making what Berry calls a strong cross, 
und then breeding directly back to the favorite blood, has been very 



THE FARMER AT HOME. 



223 



successful. The first attempts to improve the short horns and the. 
Berkshires, received serious checks from their system of in-and-in 
breeding, and both Berry and Ceilings found it necessary to give more 
vigor and constitution to their animals, by an iniusion of difl'erent, 
and in some respects inierior blood. 

INDIAN CATTLE. There can be little doubt the Zebu, or 
Indian Ox, is merely a variety ol' the common ox. although it is difli- 
cult to ascertain the causes by which the distinctive characters of the 
two races have been in the process of time gradually produced. The 




ZEBU, OR INDIAN OX. 

only circumstances, in which the two animals essentially differ, 
consist in a fatty hump on the shoulders of the Zebu, and in a some- 
what more slender and delicate make of the legs. Numerous breeds 
of this humped variety, progressing in size from that of a large mastiff 
dog, to that of a full grown buffalo, are spread, more or less exten- 
sively, over the whole of southern Asia, the islands of the Indian 
Archipelajro, and the eastern coast of Africa, from Abyssinia to the 
Cape of Good Hope. In all these countries, the Zebu supplies the 
place of our ox. both for labor, and as an article of food. In some 
parts of India, it also executes the duties of the horse, being either 
saduled and ridden, or harnessed to a carriage, and performing in this 



>24 



THE FARMER AT HOME. 



manner journeys of considerable lenuth with tolerable facility. They 
will travel, with a rider on their back, fifteen or sixteen hours in a 
day, at the rate of six miles an hour. So it has been stated by early 
writers ; but later ones reduce their daily travel to half that distance 
Their action is particularly fine — nothing like that of our cattle, with 
the sideway circular of their hind legs. They are very active in 
travelling and leaping, bringing their hind legs under them in a 
straight line like as the horse does. Their most common color is a 
light ashy gray, passing into a cream color ov milk white ; but it is 
not unfrequently marked with various shades of red or brown, and 
occasionally it becomes perfectly black. 

INDIAN CORN, or MAIZE. This grain is too well known to 
require a particular description. The native country of it remains 
undetermined. It is usually attributed to America, where it was 
cultivated by the aborigines at the time of the discovery; but no 
botanist has hitherto found it growing wild in any part of the new 
continent ; and most certainly it did not so exist in any portion of the 
territory of the United States. It is also certain that its culture did 
not attract notice in Europe, Asia, or the north of Africa, till after the 
voyage of Columbus. It was unknown to ancient Greek and 
Roman writers, and is not mentioned by the earlier travellers who 
visited China, India, and other parts of Asia and Africa, and who 
were very minute in describing the productions of the countries they 
visited. 

Indian corn is now very extensively cultivated, not only in 
America, but throughout a great part of Asia and Africa, and also in 
several countries in the south of Europe, as in Spain and Italy. In 
many of the provinces of France, it forms almost exclusively the sus- 
tenance of the inhabitants. It requires a warm climate, a rich soil, 
and good cultivation. Under these circumstances it yields a large 
crop. As generally as it is produced in this country, the valley of the 
Mississippi is perhaps more favorable to its growth than any other 
part of the world. It is there cultivated with so much ease, requires 
so little labor, and tiie yield is so great to the acre, that there is no 
iixinjr limits to the amount which will there be raised in coming time. 

IRON. One of the most useful and abundant, and one of the 
first metals that was known and worked. This metal is easily oxi- 
dized, but is infusible, except by an intense heat ; it is, however, 
malleable at a less degree of heat, and several pieces may be united 
into one mass, by a process called welding. Iron is the only metal 
that is susceptible of magnetic attraction. Pure iron is very rarely to 
l^e found ; the principal varieties of iron au the cast or pig ii'on, or 
that which is immediately extracted from the ore ; wrought iron, that 
which has gone through the process of melting in a furnace ; and 
steel, that which has been heated in charcoal, and hardened by its 
combination with carbon. 



f THE FAKMKR AT HOME. 225 

IRRIGATION. The importance of water to vejjetation is known to 
every larmer, yet very few are the instances in which this natural want 
is supplied by artificial means. In most cases, by a wise dispensation, 
of Providence, showers supply the requisite moisture, and of all water 
that can be applied to plants, rain water is found the most suitable ; 
but there are some soils and some crops which require more water 
than others, and which are greatly benefited by artificial supplies 
Thus the driftinjj sands of Arabia are axTcsted and covered with vejre- 
tation by water ; the rice fields of India and the South, are flooded to 
secure a crop, and irrijjation, or an occasional flowino^ of water from 
brooks, rivers, or sprinirs, over meadows, is found to add much to their 
productiveness. All water contains more or less matter essential to 
plants. The soluble salts, the finely divided organic matters, and the 
richest parts of all soils are continually passing- away in the streams 
by which our fields are watered, and it is l^is cause which forms one 
of the drawbacks on their fertility. 

To arrest and detain these matters from passing away and being lost 
to the soil, is another important end of irrigation. The more foreign 
matter any water contains, the more valuable it will be for irrigation ; 
thus river water is better than that of springs, and rivers below large 
towns, are found to act more efficiently than those above. Of this 
there is abundant evidence in the use of the Thames' water below and 
above London, and particularly the celebrated Craigintinny meadows 
below Edinburgh. Water generally contains sulphate of lime, at 
least all hard waters do, and a single flowing of a meadow with such 
water for a few days, besides the other materials it deposites, will leave 
more of this sulphate or plaster, than is usually applied per acre by 
farmers. Some of the best meadows and lands of England, have been 
formed by flowing them and increasing the deposit until poor lands 
have become like the richest alluvion. In tliis country, few instances 
of irrigation have as yet been attempted, but where it has been done by 
system, and with reference to permanent results, they have proved most 
successful ; and the practice, as the soils become older, and other 
methods besides manuring become proper to promote fertility, will 
doubtless be common. 

ISINGLASS. This substance is almost wholly gelatin ; one hun- 
dred grains of good dry isinglass containing rather more than ninety- 
eight of matter soluble in water. Isinglass is made from certain fish 
found in the Danube, and the rivers of Muscovy. Willoughby and 
others inform us, that it is made of the sound of the Beluga ; and 
Nuemaun, that it is made of the Huso Germanorum, and other fish, 
which he has frequently seen sold in the public markets of Vienna. 
Mr, Jackson remarks, that the sounds of cod, properly prepared, afford 
this substance ; and that the lakes of America abound with fish from 
which the very finest sort may be obtained. 

Isinglass receives its different shapes in the following manner :— 
10* 



226 THE FARMER AT HOME. 

The parts of which it is composed, particularly the sounds, are taken 
from the fish while sweet and fresh, slit opea, washed from their slimy 
sordes, divested of a very thin membrane which envelopes the sound, 
and then exposed to stiffen a little in the air. Tn this state they are 
formed into rolls about the thickness of a finger, and in length accord- 
ing to the intended size of the staple ; a thin membrane is generally 
selected for the centre of the roll, round which the rest are folded alter- 
nately, and about half an inch of each extremity of the roll is turned 
inwards. Isinglass is best made in the summer, as frost gives it a 
disagreeable color, deprives it of weight, and impairs its gelatinous 
principles. Isinglass boiled in milk, forms a mild nutritious jelly, and 
is thus sometimes employed medicinally This, when flavored by the 
art of the cook, is the blanc-mange of our tables. A solution of isin- 
glass in M'ater, with a very small proportion of some balsam, spread 
on black silk, is the court-plaster of the shops. 

IVORY. The tusk, or tooth of defence of the male elephant. It 
is an intermediate substance between bone and horn, not capablo of 
being softened by fire, nor altogether so hard and brittle as bone. 
Sometimes it grows to an enormous size, so as to weigh nearly two 
hundred pounds. The entire tooth is of a yellowish, brownish, and 
sometimes a dark brown color on the outside ; internally white, hollow 
towards the root, and, so far as it is inserted into the jaw, of a blackish 
brown color. The finest, whitest, smoothest, and most compact ivory 
comes from the island of Ceylon. The grand consumption of this 
commodity is for making ornamental utensils, mathematical instru- 
ments, cases, boxes, balls, combs, dice, and an infinity of toys. The 
coal of ivory is used in the arts under the denomination of ivor-y-black. 
Particular vessels are used in the manufacture of this pigment, for the 
purpose of rendei-ing it perfectly black. Some travellers speak of the 
tooth of the sea-horse as an excellent ivory ; but it is too hard to be 
sawed or wrought like ivory. It is used for making artificial teeth. 

JACKAL. There is no essential difiiirence between the dog and 
the jackal, as they will breed together, producing prolific offspring. 
This species of quadrupeds is very widely extended thi-oughout the 
warmer regions of ihe old \\>jild. It is found in Africa, from Barbary 
to the Cape of Good Hope ; in Syria, in Persia, and throughout all south- 
ern Asia. It is about two feet and a half in length, and about fourteen 
inches in height ; the length of the tail, about eight inches ; the eyes 
are small ; the tail bushy ; the head, neck, sides of the belly, thighs, 
and outer parts of the limbs and ears, of a dirty yellow ; underneath, 
and on the sides of the lower jaw, the end of the upper lip, under the 
neck and belly, and the inner surface of the limbs, somewhat white ; 
the back and sides of the body, to the tail, of a gray yellow, which is 
abruptly divided from the surrounding lighter colors ; the tail a mix- 
ture of yellow and black hair, the black prevailing at the extremity ■ 
the muzzle and nails, black. 



THE FARMER AT HOME 227 

All travellers ivho have been in the counlries where the jackals 
are found, mention the ravages they commit, and, their di-eadful noc- 
turnal cries, which, answered as they are by all their companions, 
produce the most apjiallinir effects. Their voice lias often been 
described as more terrific than the howl of the hya;na or the roar of 
the tiger, and deprives of repose all hearers who have not been long 
accustomed to it. The jackal can be tamed with tolerable facility, 
but always preser\"es an extreme timidity, which he manife.sls by con- 
cealing himself on hearing the shghtest unusual sound, or at the sight 
of a person he is unaccustomed to. This fear is different from that 
of most wild animals, and he closely resembles a dog in fear of chas- 
tisement, for he will offer no resistance when he is touched. 

The most celebrated commentators on the Bible, consider the three 
hundred animals, to whose tails Samson tied firebrands, were jackals. 
This opinion is grounded on the great number of these animals found 
in Syria, and on their assembling in large flocks ; whereas the fox is 
comparatively scarce, and is always solitary. The jackal has been 
popularly termed the lion's provider, from an opinion that it rouses 
the prey for that quadruped. The fact appears to be, that every crea- 
ture in the forest is set in motion by the fearful cries of jackals ; the 
lion and other beasts of prey, by a sort of instinct and the call of appe- 
tite, attend the chase, and sieze such timid animals as betake them- 
selves to flight at the voice of this fearful pack. Buffon gives the 
following description of the jackal ; — It unites the impudence of the 
dog with the cowardice of the wolf, and participating in the nature of 
each, is an odious creature, composed of all the bad qualities of both. 

JANUAK Y. The first month of the year, among the western 
nations, is from the Latin word Januarius — a term given to it from 
Janus, one of the Roman divinities ; or rather perhaps from Janua, 
a Latin word signifying gate, the first month being, as it were, the 
gate of the year. Numa Pompilius made January, Romulus March, 
the first month in the year. 

JAUNDICE . Is a disease of which the distinguishing peculiarity 
is, that the whole .skin becomes yellow. It proceeds from some dis- 
ease about the liver or its e mmunication M'ith the bowels. The 
internal symtoms are those of all disorders of the digestive organs, 
except that the water is dark and loaded with bile, while the bowels 
appear to be deprived of it. The yellow color is first perceptible in 
the whiter parts of the body, as the white of the eye, and soon over- 
spreads the whole body. There is often an extreme itching and 
prickling over the whole skin. After the disease has continued long, 
the color of the skin becomes gradually deeper and darker, till the 
disease becomes, at last, what is vulgarly called the black jaundice. 
This appearance arises from the bile being retained, from various 
causes, in the liver and gall-bladder, and thus being absorbed and 
circulated with tie blood. It may be produced by obstacles to the 



228 ■ '^'^^^'- FAR.MHd AT HOME. 

passage of the bile of various kinds, and is often suddenly induced by 
a violent fit of passion, or more slowly by long continuance of melan- 
choly and painful emotions. 

The jaundice also attacks horses and cattle, and sometimes be- 
comes quite intractable and dangerous. It is usually occasioned by 
some obstruction in the ducts and tubes which convey the bile from 
the liver to the intestines. The disease is easily detected by the yel- 
lowness of the eyes and mouth, and of the skin generally ; the urine 
is high colored, and the appetite is impaired. In the ox or cow, the 
disease is more difficult of management, and more frequently proves 
fatal, than in the horse. Bleeding and purgatives are required ; but 
for the purgative Epsom salts are to be preferred to any other. Some 
have recommended as a certain cure ibr this disease, when taken in 
season, two ounces of flour of mustard, mixed with some liquid, and 
given twice in twenty-four hours. As all animals are more liable to 
be attacked in Spring, than at other times, it proves that green food 
of some kind is essential to their health, and it is probable that roots 
will be one of the most effectual preventives of this disease. If the 
system becomes inflamed or feverish, bleeding must be resorted to, and 
there are few cases of jaundice in which it would not be useful. 

JELLY. Is a form of food, or medicine, prepared from the juice 
of ripe fruits, boiled to a proper consistence with sugar; or the strong 
decoctions of the horns, bones, or extremities of animals, boiled to such 
a height as to be stiff' and firm when cold, without the addAtion of 
sugar. The jellies of fruits are cooling, saponaceous, and accescent, 
and therefore are good in all disorders of the prim?e vise, arising from 
alkalescent juices. Jellies made from animal substances are all alka- 
lescent, and, therefore, good in all cases in which an acidity of the 
humors prevails ; the alkalescent quality is, however, in a great mea- 
sure taken off" by the addition of lemon juice and sugar. A. sort of 
jellies were formerly much in use, called compound jellies ; these 
had the restorative medicinal drugs added to them, but they are now 
seldom prescribed. 

JESUITS' BAEK. Or Peruvian Bark, an invaluable drug, used 
with great success in ntermittent fevers. The tree which produces 
it, grows chiefly in Q,uito, a province of Peru. It is about the size of 
a cherry tree, and bears a kind of fruit resembling an almond ; but it 
is only the bark that possesses those excellent qualities for which it is 
so much celebrated. It is said that the medicinal virtue of this bark 
was discovered in the following: manner. Several of the trees were 
felled for other purposes into a lake, when an epidemic fever of a very 
mortal kind prevailed at Loxa, in Peru ; and the woodmen acci- 
dentally drinking the water were cured. Some Jesuits carried this 
bark to Rome, about the year 1639. 

JET. In Natural History, a bituminous substance, which Ma- 
gellan supposes to be similar to amber, differing only in its color, 



THE FARMER AT HOME. 



229 



which is black. Great quantities of it have been du^ up in tha 
Pyrenees ; and it is also found in parts of Portugal, Spain, Italy, Ger- 
many, Prussia, Sweden, and Ireland. It bears a jrood polish, and is 
made into trinkets. It is also reduced into powder, formed into a 
varnish, and, when mixed with lime, it is an extremely durable 
cement. 

JOINTS. The joints of the human body are called by anatomists 
articulations. The suppleness to which the joints may be brought 
by long practice from infancy is very surprising. One of the most 
wonderful instances was a person of the name of Clark, and famous 
for it in London, where he was commonly known by the name of 
"Clark, the posture-master." This man, by long practice, distorted 
many of the bones, of which nobody before had ever thought it possi- 
ble to alter the position. He had such an absolute command of his 
muscles and joints, that he could almost disjoint his whole body; so 
that he once imposed on the famous Mullens by his distortions, in such 
a manner, that he refused to undertake his cure ; but, to the amaze- 
ment of the physician, no sooner had he given over his patient, than 
he saw him restore himself to the figure and condition of a proper man, 
with no distortion about him. 

JUICES OF PLANTS. The proper juice of plants, that which 
is essential to their growth and nutrition, is the sap, after it has 
undergone the changes consequent on being received into the circula- 
tion of the plant. It seems to be elaborated from the sap, by the 
vital power of the plant, and hence varies much in different plants. 
In some, it is sweet, as the sugar maple ; in others, acrid or corrosive, 
as in the wild parsnip ; in others, narcotic, as in the poppy ; in others, 
aromatic, as in cinnamon. The color of the proper juices of plants, 
varies as much as their qualities. In the milkweed it is white, in the 
periwinkle green, in the celandine yellow, in bloodroot or logwood 
red, and in others clear and pure. The medicinal qualities princi- 
pally reside in their proper juices, of which the balsam and turpentine 
of the fir an3 pine, are familiar instances. 

Although it was long doubted, it now seems to be generally ad- 
mitted, that there is a proper circulation of the juices of plants, as the 
result of their organization. Indeed, in some plants this current is 
clearly seen, by the microscope, as is exhibited in the plates of Roget's 
Vegetable Physiology. Such a function, in some form, seems neces- 
sary, or plants would be unable to free themselves from uniTecessary or 
adventitious matters which are taken up by the sap, as it is clear they 
do by the process of excretion. Professor Knight's account of thi.'i 
circulation and its results, in substance, is as follows : — When the 
seed is planted under favorable circumstances, moisture is absorbed, 
and slightly modified by the cotyledons, is conducted to the radicle, 
mingled with that continually taken up from the soil, ascends to the 
plumelet, which now exiands, and gives the due preparation to lh« 



230 ' THE FARMER AT HOME. 

ascendiiie sap, which is returned in its elaborated state to the tubes 
of the bark. Throu<rh this it descends to the root, forming in its pro- 
gress new bark, and new alburnum, thus eompletinj^ the circulation 

JULIAN YEAR.. A space of time consisting: of three hundred 
and sixty-five days and six hours, so called from Julius Ceesar, by 
whom it was established. The calendar, which contained an account 
of Julian time, was called the Julian Calendar; and the time when 
it was first instituted, namely, 4G, A. C the Julian Epocha. 

JULY. The seventh month, from the Latin word Julius, said to 
be derived from Julius Cassar, who was born in this month ; Mark 
Anthony first gave the name Julius to it ; it was called before Gluin- 
tilis, from being the fifth month, according to the old Roman calendar; 
for the same reason August was called Sextilis, or *he sixth. Abundant 
objects will now excite our pleasure, in our walks* through the numer- 
ous and variegated fields of nature ; whether it be over the lately close 
shorn meadow, the promising and ripening cornfield, or the uplands 
and lofty hills, where the heath sheds a purple tint over the swelling 
undulations ; the furze and the broom still wave their beautiful yellow 
blossoms ; and the whortleberry modestly hanging beneath its olive 
green leaves ; or in the shady wood, secluded from the now intense 
rays of the powerful sun. 

The fruits of the garden, gooseberries, currants, raspberries, and 
cherries, are now fully ripe ; the lilies of many kinds are now in their 
splendor : the hollyhock, the convolvulus, the sunflower, and innumer- 
able cultivated plants, offer their fragance or their colors to our senses. 
The bindweed, with companulate flowers of snowy white, adorns 
every hedge ; the scarlet poppy, the waving corn. Of flowering 
shrubs, the Spanish broom and syranga may be named. Of the 
numerous culinary vegetables now scattered before us in profusion, 
we cannot speak ; they otler a rich variety for every taste. 

JUNE. The sixth month in the year, called by the Romans 
Junius. This month offers to him who is fond of the country — and 
who with unadulterated taste is not? — several agreeaWe sources of 
pleasure ; the air is always bland, generally even hot ; and the agri- 
cultural operations of hay making and sheep shearing excite, in a sort 
of festal activity, at once to pleasure, to business, and to employment. 
Fragrance, in the country, may be an appropriate term for this month ; 
whether it be exhaled from the variegated flowers of the meadow, the 
fields of clover, of beans, or of hay ; or whether from the garden with 
the rose, the jessamine, the sweet william, the sweet pea, and the 
woodbine ; add to these, not indeed of much fragrance, but of various 
and numerous dyes, the larkspur, the candy tuft, nasturtiums, poppies, 
canterbury bells, the lychnis, and lilies of many kinds. The pink, 
carnation, and stocks, of infini:e hues, embellish the borders of him 
who is disposed to become a nurse for these beautiful children of 
nature ; and imparts also thei varieties of odor along with the flower 



THE FARMER AT HOME. 231 

de luce, one species of which, with extreme delicacy of scent, should 
never in a frarden be omitted. Towards the end of this mouth, many 
of the singing birds cease their notes ; the nightingale, in pai-ticular, 
is scarcely, if ever, heard after the thirtieth ; nor is the cuckoo often, 
though occasionally, later iu song. Migratory and other birds are 
now busy in the work of incubation. In this month, also, some fruits 
are ripe, among which the cherry and the strawberry are the chief 

JUNIPER TREE. A son of tree or shrub, having long, narrow, 
and prickly leaves, and bearing a soft pulpy berry. This shrub is 
common on heaths and barren hills, but the berries, which are used 
medicinally, are brought from Germany. From the berries is made, 
in Holland, the gin called Holland gin. 

KAMSIN. The name of a hot southerly wind, common in Egypt. 
The wind is said to prevail more or less for hfty days, hence it is called 
" the wind of fifty days." Travellers who have experienced the effect 
of it have describ&d it as a poisonous wind. When it begins to blow, 
the atmosphere assumes an alarming appearance. The sky, at other 
times so clear in this climate, becomes dark and heavy ; the sun loses 
its splendor, and appears of a violet color ; the air is not cloudy, but 
gray and thick, and is filled with a dust so subtle, that it penetrates 
everywhere. 

This wind, always light and rapid, is not at first remarkably hot, 
but it increases iu heat in proportion as it continues. All animated 
bodies soon discover it by the change it produces in them. The lungs, 
which a too rarified air no longer expands, are contracted, and become 
painful. Respiration is short and difficult, the skin parched and drj'', 
and the body consumed by an internal heat. In vain is recourse had 
to large draughts of water ; nothing can restore perspiration. In vain 
is coolness sought for ; all bodies, in which it is usual to find it, deceive 
the hand that touches them. Marble, iron, water, notwithstanding 
the sun no longer appears, are hot. The streets are deserted, and the 
dead silence of night reigns every where. The inhabitants of towns 
and villages shut themselves up in their houses, and those of the desert 
in their tents, or in wells dug in the eaiih, where they wait the ter- 
mination of this destructive heat. It usually lasts three days, but if 
it exceeds that time it becomes insupportable. The danger is most 
imminent when it blows in squalls ; for then the rapidity of the wind 
increases the heat to such a degree as to cause sudden death. This 
heat is a real suffocation. The lungs, being empty, are convulsed, the 
circulation is disordered, and the whole mass of blood driven by the 
heat towards the head and breast ; whence the heemorrhage at the 
nose and mouth, which happens after death. 

KANGAROO. An animal of New South Wales, four or five feet 
long, with a tail three, weighing one hundred and fifty pounds. Its 
usual position is standing on its hind feet, its fore feet being employed 
like th )se of the squirrel. It lives on vegetables, and instead of wall&- 



232 THE FARMER AT HOME. 

ing, leaps fifteen feet at a time. The limbs of the Kang-aroo are 
strangely disproportioned ; the fore legs being small and short, -whilst 
the hinder are long and powerful. The tail is very thick at its base, 
gradually tapering, and appears to act as a supplemental limb, when 
the animal assumes its usual erect or sitting posture, in which position 
it is supported by the joint action of the tail and its hinder legs. This 
conformation also enables it to take amazing leaps. They use their 
tails and hinder feet as weapons of defence. When they are pursued 
and overtaken by dogs, they turn, and seizing them with their fore- 
feet, strike them with their hinder extremities, and often tear them to 
such a degi-ee as to destroy them. 

KELP. In Commerce, the ashes of sea weeds. On the Scottish 
coast, the sea weed is cut close to the rocks, during the summer season, 
and afterwards spread out upon the shore to dry, care being taken to 
turn it occasionally, to prevent fermentation. It is then stacked for 
a few weeks, and sheltered from the rain, till it becomes covered with 
a white saline efflorescence, and is now ready for burning. This is 
usually accomplished in a round pit, lined with brick or stone ; but 
the more approved form for a kiln is oblong, about two feet wide, eight 
to eighteen long, and from two to three deep : the bottom of this is 
covered with brush, upon which a little dried sea weed is scattered, 
and fire is applied at one extremity ; the sea weed is now thrown on 
gradually, as fast as the combustion reaches the surface, and, should 
there be much wind, it is necessary to protect It by covering the sides 
with sods ; after the whole is burnt, the mass gradually softens, be- 
ginning at the sides, when it should be slowly stirred up with a heated 
iron bar, and incorporated, till it acquires a semifluid consistence. 
This part of the process requires considerable dexterity ; and, if the 
mass continues dry, a little common salt should be thrown on, which 
acts as a flux. When cold, it is broken up, and is now ready for sale. 
Notwithstanding that kelp contains but two or three per centum 
of carbonate of soda, while Spanish barilla often contains twenty or 
thirty, the manufacture of this article has increased prodigiously on 
the northern coasts of Great Britain and the neighboring islands. 
Small farms on the Orkneys, which formerly rented for forty pounds a 
year, have now risen to three hundred pounds, on account of their 
kelp shores ; and so much importance is attached to this branch of 
business, that, along sandy shores, stones have been placed within the 
flood-mark, which, in a short time, become covered with sea weed. 
Many thousand tons are thus manfactured annually, and are sold in 
the various parts of Great Britain, at the rate of from seven to ten 
pounds per ton. New England, being the only part of the United 
States which has a rocky coast, would seem to be the only part of our 
country fitted for the manufacture of kelp. The greater rise of the 
tides north of Cape Cod, and especi'vlly in the more eastern parts, is 



THE FARMER AT HOME. 



23S 



also a favorable circumstance ; indeed, this branch of business haa 
been carried on in the state of Maine. 




KERRY CATTLE. The cattle of this name belong to Ireland, 
and have some distinctive attributes which entitle them to notice. 
They are found on the mountains and rude parts of the country, in 
almost every district. The horns are of medium length, between 
what are technically denominated Short Horns and the Irish Long 
Horns. Usually their horns are upright, and project for-ward. Their 
hair is coarse and long ; they are black, brindled, and black or brin- 
dled, Avith white faces. They are exceedingly hardy, living through 
the winters on their native mountains and moors ; and when removed 
to more favored situations, they fatten with rapidity. They are small, 
especially when in their native localities ; but, when favored with a 
better climate and soil, and improved by crosses, their size is increased. 
The cow of this breed is emphatically called the poor man's cow, be- 
cause she is so easily kept, and because she yields, considering her size, 
a fair quantity of milk, which is of an excellent quality. 

KITE. A migratory bird in various parts of Europe ; in England 
it is said to continue the whole year. It preys chiefly upon small 
birds ; and from a distance in the air, at which it is invisible to the 
eight of man, it will pounce upon ther.- with incredible rapidity and 



234 



THE FARMER AT HOME. 



fatal precision. It makes frequent depredations on broods of j'oung 
chickens, and furnishes hereby an interesting spectacle of maternal 
aflection and courage in the hen. From these conflicts the kite 
sometimes retires worsted. 

KETCHUP. This is a well known preparation from the mush- 
room and other plants, used as a condiment for flavoring, diflers 
greatly in its ingredients and manufacture, according to the chief 
substance which gives it a name. The best articles for it alter 
mushroom, are tomato and walnut. To the juice of these vegetable 
substances, there is added vinegar with a seasoning of cloves, pepper, 
ginger, pimento, salt, and whatever else may be deemed agreeable to 

LABOR SAVING- MACHINES. Montesquieu somewhere 
regrets the introduction of the use of water mills for grinding corn, 
instead of the hand mills formerly in use, as it threw a great many 
laborers out of employment, besides diverting the water from the pur- 
poses of irrigation. Upon this principle of throwing laborers out of 
employment, the English weavers were opposed to the use of the 
power looms. It is not remarkable that laborers themselves, who, 
for a time, feel the inconveniences of the introduction of any improve- 
ment, should oppose its introduction ; but it is singular that any man 
of enlarged and philosophical views sliould fall into such a notion. 
Nobody certainly would think it a misfortune to a community, that, 
in consequence of some improvement in agriculture, tlie same labor 
would produce a greater crop of grain ; on the contrary, every one 
consents to the praise bestowed, by Johnson, upon the man who 
makes two blades of grass grow where only one grew before. And 
an improvement in machinery, whereby the same labor will produce 
twice the quantity of cloth, is precisely the same in its general eflects 
upon the condition of the community, as an improvement in 
agriculture. 

Improvements in agriculture are much promoted by labor-saving 
implements Much of the time that was formerly consumed in the 
use of the spade is now prevented by the application of the plough. 
What formerly occupied a stout laboring man a month can now be 
done by a good span of horses in two days. There is perhaps as 
much gained by the horse-drill in sowing and planting seed, over the 
former tedious processes of doing it. The cultivator between the rows 
of corn instead of the hoe is productive of similar advantage. So is 
the horse power applied to reaping, raking hay, thrashing and Avin- 
nowing grain, and sawing wood. Indeed, in whatever department 
of labor, whether by machinery in tlie mechanic ai'ts, or by imjile- 
ments in agriculture, the individual is a common benefactor, who 
enables one man to perform the labor that previously required a plu- 
rality of men. By this means the quantity of products is increased 
and the cost of them diminished in a corresponding ratio. 



THE FARMER AT HOME. 



285 



LACTEALS. A set of vessels which convey a milky fluid, 
whence they derive their name. They arise from the cavity of the 
intestines, from minute begiuninfrs which elude the eye. The milky 
fluid M'hich they carry is the chyle, elaborated from the food after it 
has passed the stomach, and has been mixed in the duodenum with 
the bile and pancreatic fluid. The lacteals charced with chyle pass 
through the glands of the mesentery, where some change is prob- 
ably made upon it ; thence it is conveyed by the lacteals into the 
receptacle of the chyle, then to the thoraic duct, by which it is carried 
to the left subclavian vein, to be afterwards incorporated with the 
blood in the lungs. 

LACTOMETEK,. This is an instrument to ascertain the quality 
of milk ; or the proportion which the cream bears to the milk, of any 
particular cow. The lactometer consists of any number of glass tubes, 
half an inch or more in diameter, and eleven inches in length, fitted 
into an upright wooden frame; each tube having a line drawn around 
it, ten inches from the bottom ; three inches from the line downward ; 




LACTOMETER. 



it is graduated into inches and tenths of inches. Each tube, at the 
time of milking, is to be tilled up to the top line, with the milk of a 
particular cow. To make the test as accurate as possible, the milk 
should be taken as soon as drawn from the cow, and from the middle 
of the pail, which may be done by dipping a small pot or vessel below 
the froth. After standing twelve hours, the quantity of cream which 
floats upon the surface will be shown by the scale of inches and tenths 
marked on the tubes. Thus, it will readily be seen what is the 
relative richness of milk from each of the ditferent cows ; what pro- 
portion yielded by each one is cream. 

L.\MA. An animal of Peru and Chili, resembling the camel. 
Like the camel they have the faculty of abstaining from water, and 
like that animal their food is coarse and scanty. They travel, though 



236 TH& .'AR.MER AT HOME. 

slowly, lonsf journeys in countries impassable to most other animals, 
and are much em])loyed in transporting the rich ores, dug out of the 
mines of Potosi, over the rugged hills and narrow paths of the Andes. 
They lie down to be loaded, and, when weary, no blows can excite 
them to quicken their pace. They neither defend themselves with 
their feet nor teeth ; when angry, they have no other method of 
avenging injuries but by spitting. They can throw out their saliva 
to the distance of ten paces ; and if it lall on the skin it raises an 
itching, accompanied with a slight inflammation. 

LAMP. A well known apparatus for producing artificial light. 
A lamp in the most simple ibrm, has a wick, composed of several 
cotton threads, partially immersed in oil, contained in a flat dish, 
furnished with some small support, to hold the upper end of the wick 
in a perpendicular direction, a small height above the sui'face of the 
oil ; this oil holder, or dish, when suspended in a globular glass case, 
IS the common street lamp. When the wick is lighted, by the appli- 
cation of a burning torch, the heat of its flame causes the oil, which 
is contained in the wick, to boil, or rise in vapor ; and the combustion 
of this vapor is the flame which produces the light. As fast as the 
oil in the wick is carried ofi^ by this evaporation, a fresh supply is 
drawn up, by the capillary attraction of the wick, from the oil con- 
tained in the oil-holder. 

Hence, it appears that lamps and candles are both of the same 
nature as gas-lights. The difl'erence consists in the materials from 
which the gas is extracted, and the manner in which the extracting 
of it is performed ; but in all cases, flame is nothing more than the 
combustion of gas. In gas-lights, an apparatus is previously employed, 
to make and preserve the gas, and to conduct it to the place where 
artificial light is to be obtained from its combustion ; but in lamps 
and candles, the heat of the same flame which produces the light, is 
employed to vaporize the combustible matter, and form gas for its 
own maintenance. The diflerence between lamps and candles is, that 
lamps are supplied with the combustible matter in a fluid state, but 
candles are supplied with a solid material ; and the heat of the flame 
must first be employed, to reduce the tallow or wax to a fluid state ; 
and this fluid, which forms itself round the base of this wick, sustains 
the flame just in the same manner as the oil in lamps. 

The flame which we employ for artificial light, is produced by the 
combustion of some gas which contains carbonaceous matter ; and 
it is most probable that the matter, while it burns in these gases, is 
chiefiy composed of particles of carbon in a very minute state of division. 
Combustion takes place when the carbon combines with the oxygen of 
the atmospheric air, in the requisite proportion to produce the carbonic 
acid gas ; and if the oxygen is supplied in a less proportion, the oxide 
of carbon will be produced in the form of smoke or soot. The chiei 
circumstance influencing the combustion of the diflxjrent carbonaceous 



THE FARMER AT HOME. 



237 



matters which are used for producing li^ht, is the detrree of tempera- 
ture which they require, in order to make them combine with the 
oxygen of the atmosphere, in sufficient proportion to produce flame. 

LAMP-BLACK. This is a coloring substance in very genei-al 
use for several purposes. The finest lamp-Wack is produced by col- 
lecting the smoke from a lamp with a long wick, which supplies more 
oil than can be consumed, or by suffering the flame to play against a 
metallic cover, which impedes the combustion, not only by carrying 
ofl'partof the heat, but by obstructing the current of air. Lamp- 
black is prepared, however, in a much cheaper way for the demands 
df trade. The dregs which remain after the purification of pitch, or 
flse small pieces of fir-wood, are burned in furnaces of a peculiar con- 
struction, the smoiie of which is made to pass through a long horizon- 
tal flue, terminating in a close boarded chamber. The roof of this 
chamber is made of coarse cloth, through which the current of air 
escapes, while the soot remains. 

LAMPAS. Lampas, or lampers, as many farmers pronounce it, 
is a difficulty in the roof or palate of a horse's mouth, which prevents 
his eating except with pain. In a horse, the palate is crossed trans- 
versely by bars, and some of the lower ones, or those adjoining the 
fore teeth, swell, become inflamed, and if they rise higher than the 
teeth, which, in a young horse, or when he is shedding his teeth, they 
sometimes will, feeding is impossible. It may also arise at any time 
from a feverish tendency, but most often when taken up from grass, 
or when he has been ovei'-fed. It is the custom M'ith some, when a 
horse has the lampas, to burn them out with a hot iron ; and nearly 
every blacksmith's shop is furnished with an instrument of torture for 
this purpose. This is a nost barbarous practice, and should never be 
performed. It tortures the animal to no purpose, and it destroys, by 
rendering the bars callous and hard, that elasticity and sensibility so 
necessary to safety in managing a horse by the bridle. 

In nine times out of ten the inflammation will subside in a few 
days of itself and if it does not, a few mashes, or gentle alterative 
medicines, will relieve him. If they are severe, a few slight cuts or 
pricks across the bars with a lancet or knife, will cause the inflam- 
mation or swelling to subside ; but in all operations about the mouth 
of the horse, care must be taken not to disturb the principal artery or 
vein of the palate, unless a full bleeding is intended. At times this 
difficulty of eating arises from either the grinders or tushes endeavor- 
ing to make their way through the integuments of the jaw. Exam- 
ination will show whether this is the case, and if so, a cross cut with 
a penknife will give immediate relief Young horses, from the short- 
ness of their te.'th, are more subject to the lampas than old ones, but 
those of all ages iir? liable to the disease. 

LAND REMAINS. A term applied to remains of animals and 
vegetables, found « verywhere on digging in the earth, mostly inter- 



238 THE FARMr,R AT HOME. 

changed with strata of marine njmains. They consist of bones of 
animals, or vegetables whose species chiefly are extinct, or whose 
genera now flourish in warmer climates, the bones being often of ani- 
mals of enormous size, either because such were common, or because 
they have endured longer. Vegetables in particular are often found 
imbedded in coals, and coal seam.s are in general considered as con- 
Bolidations of ancient forests. In Iceland a forest was lately found 
with the trees erect, fifly or sixty feet below the surface of the earth, 
and prostrate forests have been found in Lancashire and Lincolnshire. 

LANDMARK. A mark to designate the boundary of land ; any 
mark or fixed object ; as a marked tree, a ston3, a ditch, or a heap of 
stones, by which the limits of a farm, a town, or other portion of ter- 
ritoi-y may be known and preserved. In ancient times the correct 
division of lands was an object of great importance ; and various 
means were adopted to give distinctness and permanency to the 
boundaries of every man's property. Stones and hillocks were the 
most usual landmarks. The importance of this subject among the 
Israelites particularly, may be judged of from the denunciation of 
Moses : " Cursed be he who removeth his neighbor's landmark." 

LANDSCAPE. A portion of land or territory which the eye can 
comprehend in a single glance, including mountains, rivers, lakes, 
and whatever else the land contains. Also, a picture, exhibiting the 
form of a district of country, as far as the eye can reach, or a particu- 
lar extent of land and the objects it contains, or its various scenery, is 
called a landscape. It would be wise when locating houses in the 
country, to select sites that combine all the elements that can be had 
for a beautiful landscape. After a judicious choice of site is thus 
made, the buildings should be designed so as to harmonize with, and 
give additional eH'ect to the natural .scenery. Most persons do not 
seem to be aware how much pleasure in the course of life they would 
experience from due attention to this subject. All this costs but little, 
but it gives commercial value to a country residence, an himdred fold 
beyond what is expended in outlay for it. What passing traveller 
does not stop to admire the tasteful and economical cottage, with 
appropriate outbuildings and fences — with trees and shrubs — with 
lawns and mounds — with flowers, gravel walks, and terraces — and, 
also it may be with gurgling rills, or overflowing fountains I It is 
not to be supposed very many can have enough of these artistic or 
even natural decorations to deserve the name of landscape gardening; 
but most persons may indulge themselves a little in such emanations 
of a well cultivated taste. That an admiration of such scenery is an 
innate quality of the human mind, is too well known to need proof. 

LAND SPRINGS. Land springs are sources of water which 
only come into action after heavy rains ; •while constant springs, which 
derive their supplies from a more abundant source, flow throughout 
the year. All springs owe their origin to rains. In the case of land 



THE FARMER AT HOMi:. 239 

spring's, the water when it sinks through the surface, is speedily inter- 
rupted by a retentive stratum, and there aocumulatinj^ soon l)nrsts 
out into a spring, which ceases to flow a short period aiter the cause 
which eave it birth had ceased to operate ; but the water which 
supplies constant springs sinks deeper into the earth, and accumnlates 
in rocky or gravelly strata, which become saturated with the fluid. 

LANTERN FLY. This very curious insect measures about three 
inches and a half, from the tip of the front to that of the tail ; and 
about five inches and a half from wing's end to wing's end, when 
extended. The body is of a lengthened oval shape, roundish, and 
divided into several rings. The wings are very large, of a yellow 
color, elegantly varied with brown. The lower pair are decoi-ated 
by a very large eye-shaped spot on the middle of each, the border of 
the spot being red, and the centre half red and white. The head or 
lantern is a pale yellow with red stripes. This beautiful insect is a 
native of Surinam, and during the night sheds so strong a phosphoric 
splendor from its head or lantern, that it may be employed for a 
candle or torch. It is said that three or four of them tied to the top 
of a stick are frequently used by travellers for that purpose. A single 
one gives light enough to enable a person to read. 

LAPIDARY. Is chiefly used for an artificer, who cuts precious 
stones. Dealers in precious stones are rather styled jewellers. The 
art of cutting these is of great antiquity. Various machines are 
employed in cutting precious stones, according to their quality. The 
diamond, which is extremely hard, is cut on a wheel of soft steel, 
turned by a mill, with diamond dust, tempered with olive oil, Avhich 
also serves to polish it. The oriental ruby, sapphire, and topaz, are 
cut on a copper wheel, with diamond du.st tempered with olive oil, 
and are polished on another copper wheel with tripoli and water. 
Hyacinths, emeralds, amethysts, garnets, agates, and other stones, not 
of inferior hardness, are cut on a leaden wheel with smalt and water, 
and polished on a tin wheel with tripoli. ,The turquois, girasol, and 
opal, are cut and polished on a Avooden wheel with tripoli. 

LARCH-TREE. The European Larch is one of the most valua- 
ble exotics which has been introduced into Britain. In the north of 
Scotland it has been grown to a great extent, cultivated with partic- 
ular attention, and found to be one of the most profitable trees to the 
planter, provided the land be well drained, but it Mali not succeed in 
swampy situations. It grows with great rapidity, is subject to very 
few accidents, transplants with little risk, and produces timber of 
great excellence and value. The timber is useu for shipbuilding, 
bridges, dock-gates, and other purposes. The bark is nearly as valu- 
able as that of oak for tanning, and the trunk, when tapped, yields 
the Venetian turpentine. 

LARD. The melted fat of the hog is known under this name ; 
it is much used for domestic purposes, in cookery, for ointments, and 



240 THE FARMER AT HOME. 

for Other purposes Pure lard has little or no taste, and no odoi 
When long exposed to the air it attracts oxygen, and becomes rancid. 
It should therefore be kept in air-tight vessels. Within a few years 
past very large quantities, especially in the Western States, where 
hogs are numerous, by a chemical process are coirverted into candles 
and oil, by many considered equal to the sperm. This will be oi 
immense importance to the country, having already reduced the price 
of sperm, or put a check upon its advancement. It has been esti- 
mated, that in Cincinnati only, lard oil is made at the rate of over a 
million of gallons per annum. Doubtless the manufacture of it will 
increase. 

LARVA. This is a term applied to that state in which an insect 
exists immediately after its exclusion from the egg, and before it 
assumes its distinctive character, or before it becomes a perfect insect. 
The animals commonly called grubs, maggots, and caterpillars, are 
larva. The egg of the butterfly produces a butterfly, with the linea- 
ments of its parent, only these are not disclosed at first, but for the 
greater part of the creature's life, they are covered with a sort of case, 
or muscular coat, in which are legs for walking ; which only suit it in 
this state, but its mouth takes in nourishment that is conveyed to the 
enclosed animal ; and after a proper time, this covering is thrown ofl', 
and the butterfly, that all the while might be discovered in it- 'by an 
accurate observer, with the help of a microscope, appears in its proper 
form. 

The care of the butterfly tribe to lodge their eggs in safety is sur- 
prising. Those whose eggs are to be hatched in a few weeks, and who 
are to live in the caterpillar state during part of the remaining sum- 
mer, always lay them on the leaves of such plants as will afford a 
proper nourishtuent ; but, on the contrary, those whose eggs are to 
remain unhatched till the following spring, always lay them on the 
branches of trees and shrubs, and usually are careful to select such 
places as are least exposed to the rigor of the ensuing season, and 
frequently cover them from it in an artful manner. Some make a 
general coat of a hairy matter over them, taking the hairs from their 
own bodies for that purpose ; others hide themselves in hollow places 
in trees, and in other sheltered cells, and there live in a kind of torpid 
state during the whole winter, that they may deposit their eggs in the 
succeeding spring, at a time when there will be no severity of weather 
for them to combat. The caterpillar state is that through which every 
butterfly must pass before it arrives at its perfection and beauty. In 
the study of the insect tribe will be found most curious phenomena. 

LAUDANUM. This resinous juice exudes upon the leaves of 
the Cistus ladanum of Linnseus, in Candia, where the inhabitanta 
collect it by lightly rubbing the leaves with leather, and afterwards 
scraping off' and forming it into irregular masses, for exportation. 
Three sorts of laudanum have beer, described by authors, but only 



TUB FARMER AT HOMB. 24 

two are to be met with in the shops. The best, which is veiy rare, 
is in dark colored masses, of the consistence of a soft plaster, growing 
Btill softer on being handled. The other is in long rolls, coiled up, 
much harder than the preceding, and not so dark. The first has com- 
monly a small, and the last a large admixture of fine sand, without 
which they cannot be collected pure, independently of designed abuses ; 
tno dust blown on the plant by winds from the loose sands among 
which it grows, being retained Ijy the tenacious juice. The soft kind 
has an agreeable smell, and a lightly pungent, bitterish taste : the 
hard is much weaker 

LAUREL MAGNOLIA. A large and beautiful tree, that grows 
on the banks of the Mississippi, and of the river St. Juan. Their 
usual height is about one hundred feet, and some greatly exceed it. 
The trunk is perfectly erect, rising in the form of a beautiful column, 
and supporting a head like an obtuse cone. The flowers of this tree 
are the largest and most complete of any yet known : when fully 
expanded, they are of six, eight, and nine inches diameter. They are 
on the extremities of the subdivisions of the branches, are per- 
fectly white, and expanded like a full blown rose. In the autumn, 
multitudes of red berries hang down from the branches of these trees, 
suspended by white silky threads, from four to nine inches in length. 
The berries have an agreeable spicy scent, and an aromatic bitter 
taste. The wood, when seasoned, is of a straw color, and harder and 
firmer than that of the poplar. The grape vines which climb these 
trees, are frequently nine, ten, and twelve inches in diameter : they 
twine round the trunks of the trees, climb to their very tops, and then 
spread along their limbs, from tree to tree, throughout the forest. 

LAVENDER. A plant with a shrubby stem, much branched 
with numerous hoary leaves. The flowers are produced in termi- 
nating spikes from the young shoots on long peduncles. The leaves, 
stalk, and flower, yield a fragrant perfume, and from the latter arc 
prepared an essential oil, a simple spirit, and a compound tincture. 

LAWN. Ground covered with the smallest perennial grasses, 
kept short by mowing, and generally situated in front of a house or 
mansion. Lawns, when once established, require only to be kept neat 
by the ordinary routine of rolling, mowing, and sweeping, except 
keeping the surface perfectly even, by making small hollows with 
screened mould early in the spring. When lawns become worn out, 
a top dressing of any finely divided manure will refresh them ; leached 
ashes are particularly useful, and at the same time, an additional 
quantity of grass seed may be sown. 

LEAD. In Mineralogy, a bluish white metal, very soft and 
flexible, and easily beaten into thin plates by the hammer. In a 
strong heat it boils and emits flames, and if during that time it is ex- 
posed to the air, its oxidation proceeds very rapidly. It is very brittle 
at the time of congelation. Most of the acids attack lead, but it 
11 



^42 THE FARMER AT HOME. 

unites with most of the rnetals, particularly tin, wiiich, in union with 
lead, forms the sokler used by plumbers. The carbonate of lead, 
which is a powder, is better known by the name oi" white lead ; the 
red oxide of lead is otherwise called red lead. 

LEATHER. This remarkable substance, M^hich is universally 
employed throughout the civilized world, is prepared from the skins 
of animals, or, it would perhaps be more correct to say, consists of that 
substance after it has been chemically changed by the process of tan- 
ning. This change is efiected by means of a substance residing in 
several vegetable matters, to which thi name of tannin has been 
given. When this tannin, which is soluble in water, is applied to 
the hides of animals, from which the hair, epidermis, and any fleshy 
or fatty parts adhering to them are removed, and which hides then 
consist wholly of gelatin, also soluble in water, these two soluble sub- 
stances, so unite chemically, as to form the wholly insoluble substance 
called leather. Of the ox-hides which are converted into leather, 
those supplied by bulls are thicker, stronger, and coarser in the grain, 
than those of cows ; while the hides of bullocks are intermediate be- 
tween those of the bull and the cow. Such leather is employed for 
the soles of boots and shoes ; for most parts of harness and saddlery ; 
for making leather trunks, buckets, hose for fire engines and pump- 
valves ; for the thick belts used in military accoutrements and ma- 
chine shops, and for the gloves of cavalry. 

LEAVES. In Botany, are membraneous or succulent organs, 
usually of a green color, arising immediately from the root, or attached 
to the stem and its branches. The point by which a leaf is attached 
to the plant is termed its base, the opposite extremity is the summit, 
the intermediate portion of the leaf is its expansion, and the boundary 
of the expansion is its margin. The superior surface is more even, 
and usually of a deeper green ; and the other exhibits more promi- 
nently the fibres of the diverging vessels. 

The magnitude of leaves varies almost as much as their forms. 
In the mosses which abound in cold climates, they are extremely 
minute ; and the forest trees of the north are adorned with leaves 
which appear diminutive when compared or rather when contrasted 
with the foliage of equatorial plants. There we find the leaves of the 
banana, perhaps the same which were employed by our first parents, 
to supply the Avant of a more artificial dress ; they being, in the opinion 
of many writers, the "'fig-leaves" of sacred history. In Ceylon, a 
country alternately exposed, for many months in succession, to the 
rays of a vertical sun, and the inclemencies of an pnceasing storm, is 
found the singular talipot, a single leaf of which is sufliciently large 
to shelter twenty men from the vicissitudes of the climate in which 
they dwell. This tree is venerated by those who find beneath its 
branches so kind a shelter, and travellers consider it as the greatest 
blessing which Heaver has bestowed on the country. And wheu we 



THE FARMER AT HOME. 243 

regard its subserviency to the wants of the human rare, it is not sur- 
prising that by the ancients, the wide spreading tree, decorated with 
leaves, and occasionally beautified with flowers, shou.d have been 
held sacred as the very temple of the deities they worshipped. 

It has long been known that leaves are organs of exhalation, from 
which an invisible vapor continually escapes, capable of being col- 
lected, condensed, and accurately examined. The fact is illustrated 
by a very simple experiment, and we all know that when a branch 
is separated from its parent stock, it will shortly droop, wither and 
die. Its weight is diminished, for it is no longer filled with those 
fluids on which its firmness and elasticity depend. They have been 
discharged through the pores of the leaves, which, being cut off" from 
all further supply, are sooner or later entirely exhausted. But if a 
leafy stem be placed in a small vessel of water, its freshness will be 
preserved a much longer time, though the perceptible and rapid dim- 
inution of the water will prove that the leaves have been the outlet 
through which it has escaped. If the same branch be placed in a 
close tin box, its freshness will be still longer preserved. Here are 
no fluids for the stem to absorb, but by confining the air which is al- 
ready saturated with vapor, we prevent its further escape from the 
leaves, which must of necessity cease to transpire. They retain the 
same fluids with which they are already supplied, and though they 
perform none of the actions, they exhibit the appearance of perfect 
health. Thus they may be preserved for weeks, and thus the botan- 
ical traveller, who expects to derive every advantage from his journey, 
will collect and preserve the plants that meet his eye, till he has 
leisure to examine them. 

In general, succulent plants exhale more sparingly than others. 
It seems to have been the design of Nature that they should inhabit 
the burning sands of the torrid zone, and the peculiarity of their native 
situation, makes it necessary for them to preserve the fluids, which 
with so much difficulty they procure. But plants with thin mem- 
branaceous leaves, which generally occupy moist situations, where 
they are supplied with an abundance of water, perspire very copiously. 
The sunflower, -which is very frequently met with in the United 
States, was found to exhale two pounds in the coarse of a day ; and 
in the same space of time the cornelian cherry, ashn b with thin and 
almost transparent leaves, growing in the hedges of Europe, is said 
to lose a quantity equal to twice its own weight. On a warm sum- 
mer's day, at a time when there had been no rain for several weeks, 
Dr. Watson placed some grass under a large vessel, aad in two min- 
utes it was covered with moisture which ran down its sides. By 
collecting it on muslin, he ascertained the amount of this exhalation ; 
and from the result of his experiments, he was led to conclude, that 
in the course of a day, an acre of land transpires nearly two thousand 
gallons of water. The rapidity with- which plants wither, will teach 



244 ^HE FARMER AT HOME. 

US how fast their roots absorb, or their leaves exhale ; and in cultivat- 
ing rare plants, this simple experiment will enable us to determine 
what quantity of water they require. 

LEAVES FOR MANURE. The dead leaves of the forest con- 
stitute an admirable manure when rotted in the barn-yard, pig-stalls, 
or in composts ; they have precisely the value of straw, being very 
similar in their action. The leaves of oaks and plants growing on a 
rich soil are better than those of pine, or such as grow on poor lands. 
They should be collected as early as possible in the fail. They might 
be gathered with rakes and put into stacks of several hundred each in 
the forest, to remain till the snow falls, when they could be removed 
to their places of deposit'with moi'e convenience than at the period of 
collecting them, or as they may be needed for litter. If they were to 
be at once ploughed into the soil, they would form an excellent 
amendment ; but in that case, require rather more time to yield veg- 
etable food. In this case, lime should be applied with the leaves. 

LEECHES. The traffic in leeches is a remarkable one, alike for 
the gatherer and the dealer. The leech is met with more abundantly 
in the south than in the north of Europe. The country about La 
Brienne, in France, is famous for its supply of leeches; and here is 
exhibited the wretched nature of the employment of a leech-gatherer. 
He has his arms and legs bare, and walks about in the marshes where 
the leeches abound. They attach themselves to his legs as he moves 
along, and he picks them off from time to time ; he seeks for them 
also about the roots of bulrushes and sea- weeds. He can on some 
days gather a groce in three or four hours : and he puts them into a 
small bag suspended round his neck. Such is the leech-fishery in 
spring; but in summer it is still worse. The leeches then go into 
deeper water, and the gatherer strips naked to go after them. These 
poor fellows are exposed to fogs, mists, and foetid vapors, and are sub- 
ject to agues, catarrhs, and rheumatisms ; but the trade is tolerably 
lucrative, and thus there is no scarcity of leech-gatherers. They are 
sometimes imported in bags, hut more usually in small barrels contain- 
ing about two thousand each ; the head being made of stout canvas, 
to admit the air. It has been estimated that the annual consumption 
of leeches in Paris is about three millions ; and that not less than 
seven millions are annually carried to London, either for use there or 
for shipment to other places. 

LENS. Is a glass ground into such a form as to collect or dis- 
perse the rays of light which pass through it. They are of difl'erent 
shapes, from which they take their names. If rays proceed from a 
radiant point distant as far as the sun, their divergency is so trifling 
that thoy may be considered as parallel. When parallel rays fall on 
a piece of glass having a double convex surface, that ray only, which 
falls in the direction of the axis of the lens, is perpendicular to the 
surface; the other rays falling oblique' y, are refracted towards the 



THE FARMER AT HOME. 245 

axis, and they will meet beyond the lens at a point called its focus. 
The distance of the focus from the centre of the lens depends both 
upon the form of the lens, and upon the refractivi power of the sub- 
stance of which it is made ; in a glass lens, both sides of which are 
equally convex, the focus is situated nearly at the centre of the sphere 
of which the surface of the lens forms a portion ; it is at the distance, 
therefore, of half the diameter of the sphere. The property of a lens 
which has a double concave surface, is to disperse the rays of light. 
Instead of converging towards the ray, which falls on the axis of the 
lens, they will be attracted towards its thick edges, both on entering 
and quitting it, and will, therefore, be made to diverge. Lenses 
which have one side flat and the other convex or concave, are less 
powerful in their refractions, than those which have been described. 
They are called plano-convex and plano-concave. The focus of the 
former is at the distance of the diameter of a sphere, of which the 
convex surface of the lens forms a portion. The last kind of lens is 
called a menis cus, being convex on one side, and concave on the 
other, like the glass or crystal of a watch. 

LENTIL. A species of ervum. The common lentil comes from 
France and the Valais. The thin annual root brings forth weak, 
creeping, hairy, angular stalks, from one to two feet long, divided, 
from near the bottom, into several branches, and clinging for support 
to other plants ; the primate leaves stand alternately ; from the axils 
of the leaves proceed fine stalks, which each have two or three whitish 
flowers, hanging down. The pods do not contain more than two 
sound seeds, flat upon both sides. Lentils are cultivated for the seeds 
just mentioned. They require a rather sandy, yet strong soil ; they 
are sown somewhat later than peas and vetches, because they cannot 
endure night frosts ; they are to be sowed in drills, and well harrowed. 
Care is to be taken that the seed is not put too deep into the ground, 
and that the young plants are well hoed and well weeded. For the 
harvest, the time is to be chosen when the little pods begin to turn 
brown, though the plant may be still quite green ; and, if possible, it is 
best to choose the afternoon of a dry, warm day ; for if the pods are 
quite ripe, or are wet with rain at the time of gathering, they easily 
crack open, and a great loss of seed takes place. 

Two varieties are cultivated — the large garden lentil, and the 
common field lentil. The former is distinguished by its size, and the 
greater quantity of mealy substance which it will afford. The straw 
of lentils is good food for cattle and sheep, particularly for calves and 
lambs. Lentils are also mixed with vetches, and sowed as food, both 
green and dried, lor milch kine. Lentils, when cooked, aflbrd a 
nutritious food, (this should be done in the pod, to presei've their 
flavor) but, like peas and beans, are not good for persons whose diges- 
tive powers are weak, particularly if they are not cooked quite soft. 
They ought to be boiled for two hiurs and a half When they are 



246 THE FAHMER AT HOME. 

browned, some butter and a few onions roasted in butter, are added, 
also salt ; they are th:;n boiled half an hour more. A jjood soup may 
also be made of them. Some persons soften the lentils, before cook- 
ino-, in cold water. Purified rain water is best to cook them in. In 
the Archipelago, they are one of the principal articles of (jod. To 
fatten pigs, lentils are excellent, and, given with other food, increase 
the milk of cows. 

LETTUCE. A smooth, herbaceous, annual plant, containing a 
milky juice, which has been cultivated from remote antiquity, and is 
in general use as a salad. The original locality is unknown. The 
stem grows to the height of about two feet, and bears small pale- 
yellow flowers ; the inferior leaves are sessile, and undulate on the 
margin. The young plant only is eaten, as it is narcotic and poison- 
ous when in flower. Twenty species of lettuce are known, from 
various parts of the globe, and one or more of them inhabit the 
United States. 

LICE. There is scarce an animal that does not nourish, under 
peculiar circumstances, on its skin, hair, wool, or if a bird, among its 
feathers, some kind of Hce. Some have even more than one kind, as 
the horse, where one kind lives in the short hair, and another in the 
mane. The causes are various which are deemed favorable to the 
production and increase of these parasites. Domestic animals kept 
dirty and not curried ; filthy unwholesome stables ; dirt and sweat 
allowed to accumulate on the skin, or contact with one already in- 
fected, are named as causes. But experience shows that lice prefer 
animals reduced by hunger, disease, or bad food, and they frequently 
appear after malignant or inveterate diseases have left the animal 
weak and debilitated. On the horse, they more generally fix on the 
mane and tail, but if numerous, spread over the whole animal ; on 
the ox. they are found on all parts ; they run over the whole body of 
the sheep, and swarm on every part of the bodies of swine. Animals 
attacked, rub off" the hair, wool, and even the skin, in their annoy 
ance, and fall away rapidly from the abstraction of blood and juices, 
and the restless state in which they are kept. 

For the cure of animals infested with lice, some kind of mercurial 
ointment is most to be depended upon ; though there are vegetable 
washes, such as a decoction of black hellebore and marsh tea, which 
will kill these vermin. It has been said, where they are not numer- 
ous, sifting fine sand over the animal, would speedily drive them off". 
Snuft' or a decoction of tobacco, is also used with success. For cattle, 
Youatt recommends the common scab ointment of sheep — one part of 
strong mercurial ointment ani. five parts of lard, as a cure for this 
disease. If a little of this is well rubbed in, instead of a good deal 
spread over the hair, there will be no danger of salivation, and the cure 
will be speedy. Infected animals should be kept separate from well 
ones, both to prevent infection, and the danger of licking where the 



THE FARMER AT HOME. 247 

mercurial ointment has been newly spread. If fowls are provided 
with a box containing sand, with a considerable portion of ashes, to 
dust, or roll themselves in, they will not be lousy, or if they become 
so, such a box will cure tliem. It is is said also, that, occasionally 
boiled onions choj)ped or mashed with corn rneal dough for feed, will 
prevent their being lousy. 

LICHEN. The name for an extensive division of plants. They 
appear in the form of thin flat crusts, covering rocks and the bark of 
trees, or in foliaceous expansions, or branched like a shrub in minia- 
ture, or sometimes only as a gelatinous mass, or a powdery substance. 
They are called rock moss and tree moss, anji some of the liverworts 
are of this order. They also include the Iceland moss and the rein- 
deer moss ; but are entirely distinct from the true mosses. 

LIGAMENTS. Strong, tendinous, inelastic, glistening bodies, 
which surround the joints, and connect bones together, or strengthen 
the attachments of various organs, or keep them in their places. 
Every joint is surrounded by a capsular ligament ; the tendons at the 
wrist and ankle are bound down by what are called the annular liga- 
ments. Poupart's ligament, under which the great nerves, artery, 
and vein pass out from the cavity of the abdomen to the fore part of 
the inferior extremity, is merely the lower border of the descending 
obhque muscle of the belly ; which tendon is stretched from the fore 
part of the haunch-bone to the share-bone. In dislocations of joints 
the capsular ligament is often broken. 

LIGHT. Without light, plants may be made to grow, but no 
longer exhibit the verdure, the texture, or any of the properties of 
health. Hereafter we shall probably learn, that wliile the atmos- 
phere is contaminated by the respiration of animals, its purity is 
restored by the vegetation of plants. But secluded from the light, 
vegetables are no longer capable of converting a portion of the fixed 
air to their own use, or of supplying the atmosphere with oxygen, on 
which its importance to animal life, chiefly, if not entirely depends. 
By the action of light, the carbon of the fixed air is interwoven with 
the very texture of the plant, whereby it acquires a greater degree of 
firmness, and becomes more valuable in the arts. Through its agency, 
the aromatic and essential secretions are formed, and hence we find 
them existing in perfection, only in countries which are favored with 
the perpetual light of summer, or on elevated mountains, where the 
rays of light meet with no obstruction. There we find the Nutmeg, 
the Clove, the Cinnamon and the Peruvian barks, all designed to 
increase the comforts, or diminish the sufl'erings of humanity ; and all 
owing their chief excellences to the light of the sun. 

When prepared to investigate the geographical distribution of the 
vegetable kingdom, we shall learn the powerful efiects of these united 
causes. Feeble and exhausted in Polar regions, vegetation acquires 
strength as we approach towards the equator ; where its powers can 



248 THE FARMER AT HOME. 

be estimated, only by the magnificence of its productions. There the 
light of the sun is more vivid, its heat more permanent and intense, 
while the soil is equally fertile, and the atmosphere equally pure. 

In southern Georgia, an island of the frozen ocean, only two plants 
have been discovered, and but thirty have been found to grow without 
cultivation, in the more temperate climate of Spitzberg. How con- 
temptible are these productions, when compared with those of our 
own climate, or the still more fertile fields of Madagascar ! But de- 
prive Madagascar of its heat, and it beiomes a second Greenland. 
Exclude the light of the sun, and like the dark caverns of the earth, 
it will produce only a few plants, and those of a sickly hue. Desti- 
tute of rain, it will be like the deserts of Africa, and unsupplied with 
air, it will exhibit no vestige of life. We must, therefore, expect, as 
we recede from the equator, to meet with a constant succession of new 
plants, but as we advance, we shall find them less numerous and 
perhaps of inferior beauty and size. And as we ascend above the 
surface of the ocean, we must be prepared for a similar, though more 
rapid succession. This was long ago established by the observations 
of Tournefort, and it has more recently been verified, by the researches 
of Humboldt and Decandolle. 

LIGHTNING. That lightning is really an electrical phenome- 
non, is now universally admitted. Philosophers had not proceeded 
far in their experiments and inquiries on this subject, before they per- 
ceived the obvious analogy between lightning and electricity. But 
this hypothesis was first placed beyond a doubt by Dr. Franklin, who, 
about the close of the year 1740, conceived the practicability of draw- 
ing lifrhtninjj down from the clouds. Various circumstances of resem- 
blance between lightning and electricity were remarked by this 
philosopher, and have been abundantly confirmed by later discoveries. 

LIGNUM YITM. Gnaiacum or pockwood, a genus of plants, 
native of warm climates. The common Lignum vitse is a native of 
the warm climates of America. It becomes a large tree, having a 
hard, brownish, brittle bark, and its wood firm, solid, ponderous, very 
resinous, of blackish yellow color in the middle, and of a hot aromatic 
taste. It is of considerable use in medicine and the mechanic arts, 
being wrought into utensils, cogs, and various articles of turnery. 

LIME. This substance is obtained by exposing chalk, or other 
kinds of linfiestone, or carbonates of lime, to a red heat ; an operation 
generally conducted in kilns constructed for that purpose ; the car- 
bonio acid is thus expelled, and lime more or less pure, according to 
the original quality of the limestone remains. In this state it is 
usually called quick-lime. The purest quick-lime is obtained from 
the calcination of white marble. Most stones that are soft enough to 
be scratched with a knife, have a portion of lime. These are what 
are commonly designated limestone, chalk, marble, spars, gypsum, 
and various others. When, by igr.ition they are reduced to the state 



THE FARMER AT HOME. 249 

called quick-lime, they have a strong tendency to combine with water. 
Thus if" water be sprinkled upon quick-lime, it becomes very hot, and 
crumbles into a dry powder, and is called slacked lime, or hydrate of 
lime, owing to the water having become consolidated with it and an 
essential part of the lime. And when quick-lime has been some 
weeks exposed to the air, it falls into powder, in consequence of the 
absoption of the moisture in the air. The uses of lime are various. 
The most important of them are in the manufacture of mortar and 
other cements used in building, and as a fertilizing agent in agricul- 
ture. 

The paste of lime and water, called mortar, has a degree of ad- 
hesion and ductility, though much less than clay. When dry, ft is 
more or less friable, like chalk. A mixture of sand, or broken earthen 
vessels, greatly increases its firmness, which it seems to effect by ren- 
dering it more difficult for the parts to be removed with respect to 
each other. When mortar is left to dry by the gradual evaporation 
of its superfluous water, it is very long before it obtains its utmost 
degree of firmness. But if dry quicklime be mixed with mortar, it 
gradually absorbs the superfluous water, and the mass becomes solid 
in a very short time. 

The best lime for agricultural purposes is that which is lightest, 
whitest, softest to the touch ; the purest and strongest lime is always 
found the lightest. If, then, by calcination, limestone loses much of 
its weight by this process ; if the lime shells are extremely light, and 
require for slaking them fully, a large portion of water ; if they are 
a considerable time before they begin to fall ; if during the process of 
burning, the limestone is not disposed to run or become vitrified ; if it 
increases very much in bulk by slaking, and the lime is a pure white, 
and fine and light to the touch, it may be set doM'n as very good, and 
should be used in preference to other lime not possessing the same 
qualities. The use of lime is increasing in agriculture, and is found 
by those who understand the natvire and design of it, to be attended 
with the best results. Where it has failed, the loss has arisen from 
want in its application, and not from any want of fertilizing capability 
in the article itself. 

LINEN. In Commerce. The linen manufacture was probably 
introduced into Britain with the first settlements of the Romans. The 
flax was certainly first planted by that nation in the British soil. The 
plant itself indeed appears to have been orignally a native of the east. 
The woolen drapery would naturally be prior in its origin to the linen, 
and the fibrous plants from which the threads of the latter are pro- 
duced, seem to have been first noticed and worked by the inhabitants of 
Egypt. In Egypt, indeed, the linen manufacture appears to have 
been very early ; for even in Joseph's time, it had risen to a consider- 
able height. From the Egyptians the knowledge of it proceeded pro- 
bably to the Greeks, and from them to the Romans. 
11* 



250 THE FARMER AT HOME. 

LINIMENT. An oily or spirituous preparation for external use, 
of a consistence not so thick as an ointment. There are various use- 
ful liuimeiits employed in medicine ; the volatile liniment, of various 
streucfth, made of ammonia and oil, and applied very beneficially in 
sore throats and other cases, vi^here an external stimulus is requii-ed ; 
and the carron oil, a liniment of great efficacy in burns and scalds, 
made of olive oil and lime-water, equal parts. The tincture of soap, 
alone or with opium, is called anondyne liniment or opodeldoc, and is 
used to rub parts of the body aflected with rheumatic or other pains. 
Stimulant liniments are useful in chronic d"«eases of the viscera, both 
by their own powers exciting the skin to action, and by relieving the 
internal parts ; and also by the friction itself. 

LINSEED. This is the seed of the common flax, and is one of 
the most valuable seeds cultivated for oil. The process of growing, 
pulling, rotting, and dressing, is familiar to most farmers, though such is 
the value of the lint, or flax, and the seed, that we think the culture 
might be profitably extended. For common painting, the linseed oil 
is the best that can be procured, and it forms the base of all varnishes 
into which oil enters as a part. After the oil is expressed from the 
seeds, the residue, called oil cake, is one of the most nutritive sub- 
stances used, and is justly celebrated for fattening animals. When 
cattle are to be fed on oil cake, they are usually put up at the end of 
the grass season. The cake, broken or ground fine in mills, is fed to 
them at the rate of about four quarts a day each, one-half in the morn- 
ing and the other at night. With the oil cake, is also fed cut hay or 
straw, cob meal, or inferior grain or other matters; and the result is 
they fatten very rapidly. A small quantity of oil cake fed to horses, 
during winter, gives their coat a fine sleek appearance, as well as im- 
proves their condition. Oil cake is sometimes fed to milk cows, but 
while it increases the milk, it has the effect of giving it a somewhat 
unpleasant taste. 

LION. The lion, like all other cats, is armed, in each jaw, with 
six strong and exceedingly sharp cutting teeth, two formidable canine, 
and six others, occupying the usual place of the molars, but differing 
from these by terminating in sharp protuberances. Besides these, 
there is a small tooth, or tubercle, on each side of the upper jaw, 
immediately posterior to all the others. The tongue is covered with 
rough and elevated papilla;, with their points directed backwards. 
The claws, which are five in number on the fore feet, and four on the 
hinder, are of great length, extremely powerful, and much curved ; 
like those of the other cats, they are retractile within a sheath enclosed 
in the skin covering the paws. The lion is distinguished from his 
kindred species by the uniformity of his color, which is pale tawny 
above, becoming somewliat lighter beneath, and never, except while 
very young, exhibiting any markings ; and also by the long and flow- 



THE FARMER AT HOME. 251 

ing mane of the old male, which, covering the whole head, extends 
backwards over his shoulders. 

The roar of the lion is terrific and loud, especially when heard in 
the solitary wilds he inhabits. This roar is his natural voice ; for 
M'hen enraged, he utters a short and suddenly repeated cry, while the 
roar is a prolonged effort, a kind of deep-toned grumbling, mixed with 
a sharp, vibrating noise. It has been usually stated, that the lion had 
constant and stated times for roaring, especially when in captivity; 
but this has been shown to be erroneous in some degree. It appears, 
however, that, in summer time, and especially before atmospheric 
changes, he uniformly commences about dawn ; at no other time is 
there any regularity in his roar. When enraged, hi^ cry is still more 
appalling than his roar; he then beats his sides with his tail, agitates 
his mane, moves the skin of his face and his shaggy eyebrows, thrusts 
out his tongue, and protrudes his dreadful claws. The lion requires 
about sixteen pounds of raw flesh a day ; he drinks often, lapping like 
a dog ; but in this process his tongue is bent downward ; his breath 
is very offensive, and the odor of his urine insupportable. 

LIQ,UID. Fluids have been divided in two classes, viz : those 
which are elastic, and the non-elastic, or those which do not sensibly 
diminish in bulk when subjected to pressure. The first class are airs 
or gases, the second liquids ; hence, we may define a liquid to be a 
fluid not sensibly elastic, the parts of which yield to the smallest 
impression, and move on each other. When liquid bodies are mix«d 
together, they act in various ways according to the nature of the sub- 
stances employed. Some dissolve each other in any proportion, as is 
the case with most gases when mixed ; some unite in determinate 
proportions ; some do not act sensibly upon each other, separating 
again, though mixed ever so carefully ; and some decompose each 
other. 

LldTJORICE. It is an excellent medicine in coughs, and all 
disorders of the breast and lungs. The only simple preparation of it 
in use, is its inspissated juice, commonly known by the name of 
Spanish juice of liquorice, as being brought originally from Spain. 
This has the same virtues as the root itself; and is to be chosen firm, 
but not tough ; hard ; and, when broken, of a fine shining surface ; 
such as melts in the mouth Avithout leaving any harsh or gritty pai'ti- 
cles in the teeth, and does not taste of burning. 

LIVING WITHIN THEIR MEANS. It is remarkable, that 
China, with a well defined nationality of 4,000 years, and a popula- 
tion for 2,000 years denser according to its area, than that of France 
or Britain, has never had cause to complain of the misery or distress 
of her people ! Virtually, she has no paupers — no poor. Her infirm 
or unfortunate have been generally provided for by the State ; while 
her masses have been, and are, the iappiest and most independent 
people on earth. The reason of this ies in the habits of industry, 



252 THE FAR-MKR Al HOME. 

and love of peace of the Chinese. They till the earth in every avail- 
able spot ; they drain marshes, and earth over M'aste places ; they 
turn all the riches of the earth to the most pracdcable account ; and 
living p<?acefully and simjily, they have comfort and plenty. No peo- 
ple on earth live so completely within their own means. They have 
never sought the trade of any country, never have interfered with 
any other country ; but, minding their own business, have grown rich 
and been wise, when more boasting nations were steeped in poverty 
and ignorance. Surely the nations and people of Europe and the 
Western Hemisphere, have yet to learn the art of true living and well 
governing. 

LOADSTONE. A sort of ore dug out of iron mines, on which 
the needle of the mariner's compass is touched, to give it a direction 
north or south. It is a peculiarly rich ore of iron, found in large 
masses in England, and most other places where there are mines of 
that metal. It is of a deep iron gray, and when fresh broken, it is 
often tinged with a brownish or reddish color. 

LOCOMOTION. The chief obstacles which oppose locomotion, 
or change of place, are gravity and friction, the last of which is, in 
most cases, a consequence of the first. Gravity confines all terrestrial 
bodies against the surface of the earth, with a force proportionate to 
the quantity of matter which compose them. Most kinds of mechan- 
ism, both natural and artificial, which assist locomotion, are arrange- 
ments ibr obviating the etiijcts of gravity and friction. Animals that 
walk, obviate friction by substituting points of their bodies instead of 
large surfaces, and upon these points they turn, as upon centres, for 
the length of each step, raising themselves wholly or partly from the 
ground in successive arcs, instead of drawing themselves along the 
surface. As the feet move in separate lines, the body has also a 
lateral, vibratory motion. A man, in walking, puts down one foot 
before the other is raised, but not in running. Gluadrupeds, in walk- 
ing, have three feet upon the ground for most of the time ; in trotting 
only two. 

For moving weights over the common ground, with its ordinary 
asperities and inequalities of substance and structure, no piece of 
inert mechanism is so favorably adapted as the wheel carriage. It 
was introduced into use in very early ages. Wheels diminish friction, 
and also surmount obstacles, or inequalities of the road, with more 
advantage than bodies of any other form, in their place, could do. 
The friction is diminished by transferring it from the surface of the 
ground to the centre of the wheel, or, rather, to the place of contact 
between the axle-tree and the box of the wheel ; so that it is lessenetl 
by the mechanical advantage of the lever, in the proportion which the 
diameter of the axle-tree bears to the diameter »f the wheel. The 
rubbing surfaces, also, being kept polished and smeared with some 
unctuous substance, are in the best possible condition to resist friction. 



THE Fi^MKIl AT HOME. • 263 

In like manner, the common obstacles that present themselves in 
the public roads, are surmounted by a wheel with peculiar facility 
As soon as the wheel strikes against a stone or similar hard body, it 
is converted into a lever for lifting the load over the resisting object. 
If an obstacle eight or ten inches in height were presented to the body 
of a carriage unprovided with wheels, it would stop its progress, or 
subject it to such violence as would endanger its safety. But by the 
action of a wheel, the load is lifted, and its centre of gravity passes 
over in the direction of an easy arc, the obstacle furnishing the ful- 
crum on which the lever acts. Rollers placed under a heavy body 
diminish the friction in a greater degree than wheels, provided they 
are true spheres or cylinders, without any axis on which they are 
constrained to move ; but a cylindrical roller occasions friction, when- 
ever its path deviates in the least from a straight line. 

The mechanical advantages of a wheel are proportionate to its 
size, and the larger it is, the more effectually does it diminish the 
ordinary resistances. A large wheel will surmount stones and similar 
obstacles better than a small one, since the arm of the lever on which 
the force acts is longer, and the curve described by the centre of the 
load is the arc of a larger circle, and of course, the ascent is more 
gradual and easy. In passing over holes, ruts or excavations, also, a 
large wheel sinks less than a small one, and consequently occasions 
less jolting and expenditure of power. The wear also of large wheels 
is less than that of small ones, for if we suppose a wheel to be three 
feet in diameter, it will turn round twice, while one of six feet in 
diameter turns round once ; so that its tire will come twice as often 
in contact with the groimd, and its spokes will twice as often have to 
support the weight of the load. In practice, hov\ever, it is found 
necessary to confine the size of wheels within certain limits, partly 
because the materials used would make wheels of great size heavy 
and cumbersome, since the separate parts would necessarily be of 
large proportions to have the requisite strength, and partly because 
they would be disproportioned to the size of the animals employed in 
draught, and compel them to pull obliquely downwards, and therefore 
to expend a part of their force in acting against the ground. 

LOCUSTS. Of all animals capable of adding to the calamities 
of mankind, by destroying the vegetable products of the earth, the 
migratory locusts would seem to possess the most formidable powers of 
destruction. In Syria, Egypt, and almost all the south of Asia, these 
insects make their appearance in legions, and carry desolation with 
them, in a few hours changing the most fertile provinces into barren 
deserts, and darkening the air by their numbers. Happily for man- 
kind, this calamity is not frequently repeated, for it is the inevitable 
precursor of famine, and its horrible consequences. The annals of 
the most southern Asiatic climates are filled with accounts of the 
devastations produced by locusts. They seldom visit Europe in such 



254 • THE FARMER AT HOME. 

Bwarms, though they are there occasionally formidable to the agricul- 
turist. We are told that nearly as much damage is done by their 
touch as by what they devour. Their bite is thought to contaminate 
the plants, and either to destroy or greatly weaken their vegetation. 
Barrow states that in Southern Al'rica, the whole surface of the 
ground might some years literally oe said to be covered with them for 
an area of two thousand square miles. 

The most remarkable species of this insect is the seventeen years 
locust, so common, in particular seasons, in some parts of the United 
States. They emerge from the ground towards the end of April, and 
always during the night. On their first coming out, they are in the 
pupa state ; but the back soon bursts, and the perfect ily appears. 
They begin to lay eggs about the end of May ; these are deposited 
in close lines of two inches long, in the tender twigs of trees. As soon 
as the young attain their growth, in the grub state, they fall to the 
ground, and make their way two or three feet underneath the surface, 
in order to undergo their change into the pupa form. Soon after 
attaining their last transformation, they are found in great numbers 
over large districts of countiy. They appear about every seventeen 
years, though it is highly probable, that the periods of their return 
vaiy according to the heat of the climate, and other circumstances. 
These insects have been known to make their appearance in the city 
of Philadelphia in great numbers, penetrating from their subterranean 
residence between the bricks of a pavement. 

LOCUST-TREE. This valuable and ornamental tree, which is' 
so frequently cultivated in the Atlantic States, and which is highly 
prized in Europe, grows wild in great profusion among the Alleghany 
Mountains, and throughout the Western States, even to the borders of 
the sandy plains which skirt the base of the Rocky Mountains. 
When in bloom, the large, pendulous recesses of fragrant white flow- 
ers, contrasting with the light green foliage, produce a fine eflect, and 
give this tree a rank among the most ornamental. The flowers, 
resembling in form those of the pea, difiuse a delicious perfume, and 
are succeeded by a flat pod. The branches and young stems are 
usually arn-ied with thorns. The wood is compact, hard, capable of 
receiving a fine polish, and has the valuable property of resisting de- 
cay longer than almost any other. The color is greenish yellow, with 
brown streaks. Locust posts are consumed in enormous quantities, 
and everywhere preferred where they can be obtained. It is also 
used in ship-building. 

LOGWOOD. Logwood is used in great quantities for dj^eing pur- 
ple, and more especially black. All the colors, however, which can 
be prepared from it, are of a fading nature, and cannot, by any art, 
be made equally durable with those prepared from some other mate- 
rials. Of all the colors prepared from logwood, the black is the 
most durable. Dr. L-^wis r«;omm#«ids it as an ingredient in making 



THE FARMER AT HOME. 255 

ink. Logwood is also found to have a considerable astringent virtue 
as a medicine, and an extract of it is sometimes given with great 
success in diarrhceas. 

LUCERNE. This is one of the most common cultivated grasses 
in the south of France, Spain, Italy, and on the shores of the Mediter- 
ranean Sea generally, and has been a I'avorite Irom the earliest ages. 
It grows when cultivated some two or three i'eet high, is perennial, 
and flowers in June or July. Lucerne requires a deep and light soil, 
with a free or porous sub-soil, and in good condition from cultivation. 
It will not grow on all soils, like some of the clovers, and on a heavy 
compact soil is sure to prove a failure. Lucerne is to be cultivated 
much as the clovers, which it greatly resembles in product and quality, 
except that when sown in drills, and hoed, as it sometimes is, it may 
be kept in the ground a long time with increasing productiveness. 
If sown broadcast, and left to take its chance, it is apt to be soon 
crowded out by the grasses and hardier plants. It should be sown in 
the spring, and from ten to sixteen pounds per acre may be used. It 
does not arrive at its full growth and productiveness until the third 
year, but it may be mown or cut from the first year. There is no 
plant so well adapted to the soiling of animals, particularly the horse, 
as it is early, grows rapidly, and is eminently wholesome and nutri- 
tive. Perhaps there is no better feed for milk cows than lucerne. 
When attempted in this country on the right soil and in a proper 
manner, it has succeeded very well, but fears are entertained that in 
the Northern States it will not be found as hardy as clover. 

LUNGS. The organs of respiration, situated in the cavity of the 
chest. They are divided into lobes, of which the right side contains 
three, and the left only two, in order to allow room for the heart and 
great vessels. All the blood of the body passes through the lungs, in 
order to be there exposed to the influence of the external air, by which 
it undergoes a change necessary to make it salutary for the body, 
which it is not, after once having circulated through it. The blood 
circulates through the lungs aUvays contained in vessels, and it is 
believed to be exposed to the action of the air not directly, but through 
the medium of thin vesicles, as the windpipe is continued by branches 
continually getting smaller and smaller, till at last they end in points 
too minute for sight. 

An organ of such importance as the lungs, so close to the moving 
centre of action, so abundantly supplied with blood, and so delicate 
in their own ultimate structure, may be easily supposed to be liable 
to very numerous diseases, and those of the most dangerous kind. 
Accordingly, a very large proportion of fatal diseases are those which 
occur in the chest, either in the substances of the lungs themselves, 
in the membranes that line them, or in the numerous vessels that 
ramify through them. Pleurisy, asthma, catarrh, consumption, spit- 
ling of blood, are some of the dangerous or painful diseases of the 



256 



THE KARMEU AT HOME.. 



lungs ; but the question often asked by non-medical persons with so 
much anxiety, about themselves or friends, whether the lungs are af- 
fected, seems to have reference principally to the symptoms of con- 
sumption. 

LYMPH. A fine fluid, separated in the body from the mass of 
blood, and contained in pe.-uliar vessels. It is distinguished into 
watery and coagulablc lymph ; the former, as tears, for an exam- 
ple, is little else than water ^holding in solution a small portion of 
salt, and still less of animal matter. Coagulable lymph, which is 
found in the dropsy, contains a very considerable portion of albumen, 
so as to be viscid to the touch, and when heated to coagulate firmly, 
like the white of an egg. 




THE LYNX. 

LYNX. The Canada lynx, or grey wild cat, when full grown, 
measures a little over three feet from the point of the nose to the root 
of the tail, and the length of the tail is about six inches more. The 
weight will vary from fifteen to twenty-five pounds. Its food consists 
of several species of grouse and other birds, the northern hare, grey 
rabbit, chipping squirrel, and other small quadrupeds, occasionally 
attacking and devouring deer, sheep, lambs, poultry, and pigs. It is 
said, also, that it will pounce upon the wild goose, at its breeding- 
places, and Avill destroy the wild turkey while on her nest. When 
alarmed or pursued, it leaps rapidly in a straight line from danger, 
and if hard pressed, will take to a tree. It will not ordinarily attack 
a man, but on becoming desperate from hunger or fear, it will attack 



THE FARMER AT HOME. 



257 



him with great ferocity. It breeds but once a year, usually producing 
two young at a birth. It exists in Labrador, the Canadas, and rarely 
in the northern parts of IS ew England. 

LYMPHATIC VESSELS A set of vessels in the animal body, 
numerous and important, which open into the cellular texture and 
into the various cavities, and absorb the lymph and other watery 
fluids, convey them throiigh glands situated in diflerent parts of the 
body, till they pour the fluid into the thoracic duct, the same to which 
the lacteals convey the chyle ; and from which the two fluids are 
carried into the lungs, there to be completely fitted for the purposes 
of the body. When the lymphatic glands are diseased or any way 
obstructed, they give rise to hard knotty swellings in various parts of 
the body ; and they are thought to be peculiarly the seat of scrofulous 
inflammation. Such swelled glands are often seen in the neck and 
groin. The best way to promote the healthy action of the lymphatic 
vessels and glands, is to wear warm clothing, to use moderate and 
constant exercise, to pay attention to diet, and to the regular action 
of the bowels. 

MACHINE. Any complication of artificial bodies acting upon 
one another by contact, through the medium and motion of which any 
effect is produced, is a machine. The initial force which puts the 
machine in motion, is called the first or prime mover. The point at 
which that force is applied, is the acting point ; and that in which the 
effect is produced is the working point : the machine being the 
medium through which the power is transferred, and by which it is 
modified so as to answer the intended purpose. When a simple body 
is the medium between the acting and the working points, it is an 
instrument. 

MADDER. Madder is a plant, with rough narrow leaves, set in 
form of a star, at the joints of the stalk. The root, which is the only 
part made use of, is long, slender, of a red color, both on the outside 
and within, excepting a whitish pith, which runs along the middle. 
For cultivating this plant, the ground is ploughed deep in autumn, 
and again in March ; and then laid up in ridges, eighteen inches 
asunder, and about a foot high. About the beginning of April, they 
open the ground where old roots are planted, and take off" all the side 
shoots, which extend themselves horizontally ; these they transplant 
immediately upon the new ridges, at about a foot distance, where they 
remain two seasons. It is to be observed, that this method of plant- 
ing in ridges is only necessary in wet land, and that the rows are some- 
times planted three feet, and the plants in the rows eighteen inches 
asunder. If all the horizontal roots are destroyed from time to time, 
it will cause the lai'ge, downrij^ht roots, to be much bipfser, in which 
the goodness of this commodity chiefly consists. Madder gives out its 
color, both to water and rectified spirit ; the watery tincture is of a 
dark dull red ; the spictuous of a deep bright one. It imparts to 



258 THE FARMER AT HOME. 

woolen clotli prepared with alum and tartar, a very durable, thongh 
not a very bjautiful red dye. As it is the cheapest of all the red 
drugs, that give a durable color, it is the principal one commonly 
made use of for ordinary stuff's. Sometimes its dye is heightened by 
the addition of Brazil wood, and sometimes it is employed in con- 
junction with the dearer reds, as cochineal, for demi-scarlets, and 
demi-crimsons. 

Madder is principally cultivated in Holland, the province of Zea- 
land being almost entirely cove^jd with it, whence it is exported to 
every part of Europe and Amei'ica, yielding almost incalculable pro- 
fits. The imports of this article, for the use of our manufactures, is 
stated to amount in value to more than two millions of dollars annually. 
Our soil and climate are found to be well adapted to its culture, and 
some successful experiments have been m'ade in raising it in western 
New York and Ohio, and perhaps elsewhere. The profits on these 
experiments justify the conclusion, that when our farmers become 
better skilled in its culture, it may be made one of the most advan- 
tageous branches of agricultural industry. In one of the experiments 
alluded to, the net profit was above two hundred dollars per acre. 
Madder requires a deep rich sand loam, moist, but not wet. 

MADEIRA. A wine brought fi-om the island of that name. It 
is more stimulant than port ; it agrees well with the stomach, and is 
excellently adapted for debilitated constitutions, and for rousing the 
nervous energy in the weakness of typhoid diseases. But good Ma- 
deira wine is difficult to be procured ; it is no longer made of the 
sanae excellence as formerly ; and the trade, according to Mr. Brande, 
overflows with a variety of inferior and mixed wines, of all pi'ices and 
denominations, to which the name of Madeira is most vmdeservingly 
applied. In its purest form, Madeira generally is more acid than 
either port or sherry, and is consequently not so well adapted to 
stomachs inclined to acidity, where it is generally found peculiarly 
heating and irritating. 

MADNESS. This is one of the most formidable and dangerous dis- 
eases to which animals are liable. It usually originates in some domes- 
tic animal, as a disease, commonly in the dog, and the infection is 
communicated to others by biting, or by allowing the saliva or froth of 
the mad animal to fall upon, or be injected into a wound on the bodies 
of others. The saliva of an ox or a man, laboring under the hydro- 
phobia, is as dangerous and fatal as that of the dog that originated 
the disease. Instant and complete incision, or cutting out the wounded 
parts, is probably the most certain preventive of the disease ; yet, un- 
fortunately, there is no effectual remedy for it. When an animal has 
been bitten, he must be carefully examined to ascertain all the wounded 
parts, as the smallest stratch may be fatal, and cutting or burning — • 
Bometimes done — one part, will be of little avail, if others are over- 
looked. Animals rare'.y show that dread of water, when mad, that 



THE FARMER AT HOME. J59 

characterizes the disease in man ; and they will frequently drink freely 
till the last. Amone animals, there are two kinds of the disease ; the 
dumb madness and the excited or raving madness. In the first, the 
animal is frequently harmless through the Avhole of the disease ; in 
the second he is most ferocious, and seems eager to destroy whatever 
comes in his way. But in all cases, no chance for mischief should be 
allowed, as the disease at all times seems suddenly to change, and the 
dog or the bull will inflict the most terrible injuries. Singular as it 
may seem, the milk, or even the flesh of animals suffering from mad- 
ness, may be used without the least danger. The poison is no where 
evolved except in the saliva, and however unpleasant it might be to 
the imagination to feed on the milk or flesh of a rabid animal, no fatal, 
or indeed, injurious results, need be apprehended. 

MAGPIE. This crafty and well known bird is found in both con- 
tinents, though it is much more limited in its range in America, being 
confined to the northern and western regions. In its habits and man- 
ners, it much resembles its brethren the crows ; like them, it indis- 
criminately feeds on both animal and vegetable food ; it is peculiarly 
destructive to the eggs and young of the feebler tribes of birds. It is 
about eighteen inches in length, and weighs from eight to nine ounces. 
It has a black bill, wings and tail ; but the latter are variegated with 
white, green, purple, and blue, of different shades. 

The construction of the nests of these birds shows great art, they 
having a thorny cover, and the entrance being at the side. The 
female lays from five to seven pale-greenish eggs, closely spotted with 
black. When taken young, they readily become domesticated, and 
learn to repeat many words, and even sentences, as well as to imitate 
every noise within hearing. This faculty appears to have been known 
to the ancients, as Plutarch relates an account of the performances of 
one of these birds, belonging to a barber in Rome. 

MAGNESIA. A species of earth, of great benefit in correcting 
acidity of the stomach. It is of the class of what are called alkaline 
earths ; and having an affinity for acids, it attracts to itself whatever 
acid it finds in the stomach, and forming with it a purgative salt, it 
produces several easy motions of the bowels, and so removes the 
acidity, heartburn, and other unpleasant symptoms Magnesia may 
be taken to the extent of a tea-spoonful twice or thrice a day, accoi'd- 
ing to the urgency of the symptoms ; and it may be mixed with water, 
or peppermint water, or any similar fluid, to diminish its insipidity. 
Magnesia may be safely and usefully given to children, even when 
very young, mixed with thin gruel. The best magnesia is what is 
called burnt or calcined magnesia. Magnesia is either found in 
nature, combined with the carbonic acid, or it is obtained in that com- 
bination in the process of preparing it from Epsom salts, which are 
magnesia combined with sulphuric acid. This carbonate of magnesia 
answers the purpose of correcting acidity, and is cheaper, h it in soma 



2b'0 



THE FARMER AT HOME. 



eases may be disadvantageous, on account of their being an escape of 
carbonic acid, which gives rise to flatulency in the stomach and 
bowels. By exposing the carbonate of magnesia to a strong heat for 
a pi-oper length of time, the carbonic acid is driven ofl", and the pure 
magnesia remains, which is then termed pui'e, calcined or burnt mag- 
nesia. Double the quantity of the carbonate is required to produce 
the same effect as the calcined magnesia. 

MAGNETIC NEEDLE. A small bar of iron, to which, by 
artificial means, the peculiar arrangement of the magnet has been 
transferred, by which it points in the magnetic meridian ; and the 
direction of this meridian being known, the course of ships at sea is 
thereby determined. It also dips or inclines from the plane of the 
horizon, pointing towards the apparent centre of a magnetic sphere, 
existing, as it Avere, with the sphere of the earth, the varying poles 
of which seem to be at right angles to the plane of the ecliptic. 

MAHOGANY. The mahogany tree is a native of the warmest 
parts of America, and grows also in the islands of Cuba, Jamaica, 
Hispaniola, and the Bahama islands. It abounded in the low lands 
of Jamaica formerly, but it is now found only on hills, and places 
difficult of access. This tree grows tall and straight, rising often sixty 
feet from the spur to the limbs ; and is about four feet in diameter. 
The foliage is a beautiful deep green, and the appearance made by 
the whole tree very elegant. The flowers are of a reddish or saffron 
color, and the fruit of an oval form, about the size of a turkey's egg. 
Some of them have reached to a monstrous size, exceeding one hun- 
dred feet in height. In felling these trees, the most beautiful part is 
commonly left behind. The negro workmen raise a scaffolding of 
four or five feet elevation from the ground, and hack up the trunk, 
which they cut into balks. The part below, extending to the root, is 
not only of larger diameter, but of a closer texture than the other 
parts, most elegantly diversified with shades or clouds, or dotted like 
ermine with spots : it takes the highest polish, with a singular lustre. 
This part is only to be come at by digging below the spur, to the 
depth of two or three feet, and cutting it through ; which is so labori- 
ous an operation, that few attempt it, except they are curious in the 
choice of their wood, or to serve a pai'ticular purpose. 

The mahogany tree thrives in most soils, but varies in texture and 
grain, according to the nature of the soil. On rocks, it is of a smaller 
size ; but very hard and weighty, and of a close grain, and beauti- 
fully shaded ; while the produce of the low and richer lands is ob- 
served to be more light and porous, of a paler color, and open grain ; 
and that of mixed soils to hold a medium between both. This con- 
stitutes the difference between the Jamaica wood and that which is 
collected from the coast of Cuba and the Spanish Main : the former 
is mostly found on rocky eminences ; the latter is cut in swampy soils, 
near the sea coast. The superior value of the Jamaica wood, for 



THK FAR]\[ER AT lOMB. 261 

beauty of colonngr, firmness, and duralility, may therefore be easily 
accounted for ; and a large quantity of balks and planks is brought 
from the Spanish American coast? to Jamaica, to be shipped from 
thence to Great Britain. This wood is generally hard, takes a fine 
polish, and is found to answer better than any other sort, in all kinds 
of cabinet ware. It is a very strong timber, and was frequently used 
as such in Jamaica in former times. It is said to be used sometimes 
in ship building ; a purpose for which it would be remarkably adapted, 
if not too costly ; being very durable, capable of resisting gun shots, 
and burying the shots without splintering. 

MALT LIGIUORS. Malt liquors contain a considerable portion 
of imtritive matter, and a less proportion of spirit than wine ; and 
they also contain a bitter principle derived from the hop, with some 
soporific properties. Those who use much malt liquor generally grow 
fat. They have the muscular strength increased, and the general 
health for a time improved ; but if carried to excess, and if proper 
exercise be not taken, a fulness of the system is induced, and it is 
rendered liable to all the diseases which such a state brings on. As 
very concentrated nourishment wall not be well digested, because the 
stomach requires a certain bulk as well as quality of food, in order to 
the production of good chyme, malt liquors agree best Avith those in 
the poorer walks of life, whose food, though bulky, is not very nutri- 
tive, but whose stomachs are enabled by the stimulus of the hop to 
extract a good deal of nourishment from what they eat. Malt liquors 
are infinitely preferable to spirits for the laboriug classes ; but those 
who live well, and indulge in a variety of dishes, have no need of 
the stronger kinds of malt liquors ; though table beer would assist 
their digestion very considerably. The principal kinds of malt liquor 
in use are. beer, ale, and porter. 

MAMMEE TREE. Mammee tree, or West India Apricot ; a 
large and beautiful tree, native of tropical America, and interesting 
from the qualities of the fruit, which is highly esteemed. This fruit 
is large, roundish, and contains a bright yellow, firm pulp, which is 
enveloped with a thick, leathery rind : within this outer rind is a 
second very delicate one, closely adhering to the pulp, which should 
be cautiously removed, otherwise it leaves a bitter taste in the mouth, 
not very strong at first, but gradually increasing, and continuing for 
two or three days. The taste is peculiar, sweet, and very agi'eeable, 
and is accompanied with an aromatic and pleasant odor. The leaves 
are oval, obtuse, very entire, smooth, and six or eight inches in length. 
The flowers are white, an inch and a half in diameter, and difl'use a 
delightful perfume. 

MANCHINEEL. A West Indian tree, celebrated for the poi- 
sonous qualities of the milky juice which abounds in every part of it. 
When a drop of this juice is applied to the skin, it causes the same 
sensation as a burning coal, and quickly produces a vesicle. The 



262 THE FARMER AT HOME. 

Indians use it for poisoning the points of their arrows, which preserve 
their venom for a long time. The workmen employed in felling these 
trees first build a fire round the trunks, in order to make the juice 
evaporate, and cover their eyes with gauze ; but, notwithstanding 
these precautions, they are subject to be incommoded with the dust. 
The accounts, however, which represent it as dangerous to sleep in 
the shade, or to come in contact with the rain which has fallen upon 
this tree, are highly exaggerated. The inhabitants of Martinique 
formerly burnt entire forests of the manchineel, in order to free their 
dwellings from its presence. 

MANGEL WURZEL. Mangel Wurzel, or the root of scarcity, 
is a root much celebrated as food for cattle. It is a species of beta. 
It is a biennial plant ; the root is large and fleshy, sometimes a foot 
in diameter. It rises above the ground several inches, and is thick- 
est at the top, tapering gradually downwards. The color of the roots 
vary ; being white, yellow, and red. It is good fodder for cows, and 
for rabbits, and produces great plenty of leaves, which are very palat- 
able and wholesome for cattle. It is chiefly cultivated in Gei-many. 

MANURES. All agents used by agriculturists to preserve or 
restore the productiveness of the soil, are properly called manures. 
All soils, after being cultivated and subjected to the exhausting influ- 
ence of continual harvests, become deficient in mineral and organic 
elements, which must be replaced artificially, or total barrenness 
will ensue. Manuring is the process by which this end is accom- 
plished, and for it there is no substitute. If the supply be less than 
the crops require, the soil increases in barrenness ; if it just replaces 
what has been removed by the crops, the fertility remains the same ; 
if more be added than the crops require, the fertility of the land is 
increased. 

The whole science of manuring consists in supplying to the soil 
those indispensable elements which have become exhausted. The 
richest manure may be applied to a failing soil, and if it lacks a par- 
ticular element which the crops require, and which the soil does not 
contain, the soil grows barren, notwithstanding the manuring. Farm- 
yard manure probably contains the greatest number of elements 
necessary to fertility ; but particular plants require special manures. 
The remains of plants, together with the excrement* and carcases of 
animals, if returned to the soil before decomposition, must contain all 
the mineral, organic, and gaseous elements, which the plants derived 
from the soil or the atmosphere. These must pass through the difier- 
ent processes of decomposition, before they assume their original gas- 
eous and earthy forms, and become available for the f)od of plants. 

Manures operate beneficially on the soil in several ways. First, 
by serving directly in some instmces as the food of plants. Second, 
by causing chemical changes in the soil, by which other substances 
are prepared to be taken up as nutriment by their roots. Third, by 



THE FARMER AT HOME. 263 

neutraliziiifr noxious substances in the soil, which prevent the growth 
of vefjetation. The operation of lime on a cold, sour, peat soil, or one 
■which abounds in sulphate of iron, is an example of this principle. 
Fourth, manures change, according to their bulk and texture, the 
mechanical properties of soils. Fifth, manures may change more or 
less, according to their various properties, the chemical character of a 
soil, in relation to its light, heat, air, and Avater. Sand, used upon a 
clay soil, for the purpose of rendering it more loose and friable, would 
be as properly a manure as farm-yard or any other variety Clay 
used to ameliorate a sandy soil, is also in effect a manure. Manures 
have been classified in various ways, according to their supposed 
operation and nature. The most simple and convenient division, and 
one which is usually adopted at present, is that which arranges all of 
them into three classes— animal, vegetable, and mineral manures. 
The first class includes all substances of animal origin ; the second 
includes all those of vegetable origin ; and the third, all those directly 
from the mineral kingdom. 

The success of a farmer depends mainly on the abundance of his 
manures, and the skill with which he preserves and applies them. 
Most farmers, with a little extra efibrt, might double and even quad- 
ruple the amount of their fertilizers. Till turning their attention to 
the subject few would realize how easily it is done. Every farm 
abounds with the materials that might be collected for them. Hogs, 
especially, if supplied with these materials, would make manure 
enough to pay for all they eat. To do this in the best manner, there 
should be among farmers a competition, to see who will collect the 
most ; and each one should avail himself of his neighbor's experience. 
And above all, no one should be without a good Mudi Book ; that of 
Browne is the best. 

MAPLE SUGAR. The manufacture of maple sugar has been, 
and still may be an important business in several of our northern 
States. Should proper attention be paid to it, the importance may 
rise above what it ever has been There will alwaj^s be thousands 
of families who would find it much easier to produce the sugar for 
their own use than to buy it. In the early settlements of the country 
the process was very simple. Those who made the least would bring 
the sap of the maple to their own houses, and there reduce it to sugar. 
Others who made it in larger quantities, and whose maple forests 
were at an inconvenient distance for doing that, would construct cheap 
cabins in the midst of them, in which to shelter themselves during 
the season of collecting the sap. In front of such cabins they would 
have suspended in the open air, large kettles constanily filled with 
the precious liquid. Here by night and by day would be seen the 
rousing fires beneath the kettles, the flames afibrding cheerfulness and 
warmth to those M'ho watched them, and filling the air with their 
wide spreading illuminations. With the increase of facilities to 



264 THE FARMER AT HOME. 

reduce the labor of manufacturing maple sugar incident to the pro- 
gress of the country, these rude and simple fixtures have been super- 
seded ; and, instead of them, will now be found in large maple forests, 
commodious houses with kettles placed on brick furnaces, where the 
labor can be done with greater facility and less personal toil and ex- 
posure. As little as has generally been thought of this American 
product, the amount manufactured has some years reached nearly forty 
millions of pounds. One hundred good trees will produce sap suffi- 
cient to make from three to five hundred pounds of sugar. The 
season for it is in March and April. 

MAPLK trees. There are several species of the maple in this 
country ; the most important and valuable is the sugar maple. This 
tree is found in great abundance in the northern portions of the 
United States and in Canada. The labor of procuring the sap and 
converting it into sugar is exceedingly onerous, but it is required at 
that season of the year when the general operations of the farm least 
demand it. The finest sugar is made from the sap that flows the 
earliest ; and care should be taken that the sap is always boiled down 
before the process of fermentation or souring commences. In the lat- 
ter part of the sugar season, after the buds begin to swell, the con- 
version of sap into sugar becomes more diflicult, and that made is not 
as fine flavored as that earlier produced. The sap flows from the 
alburnum or sap wood, and this should not be wounded to the depth 
of more than an inch or an inch and a half. Some of the other varieties 
of maple produce those beautiful woods called curled or birdseye 
maple, and which ai'e so much in demand by cabinet-makers. 

It would be difficult to imagine what wiser and better thing can be 
done by farmers than to transplant the sugar maple. If there were 
to be au hundred only on each farm, how much value would thereby 
be given to it. Only a moderate sized piece of land would be wanted 
for them, and they would yield sap sufficient to supply the family with 
sugar. And independent of such an use, a number of such trees 
about our dwellinss would be in the highest deo^ree ornamental, and 
furnishing delightful shades in summer for man and beast. And if 
each laud holder were to plant these trees by the road side opposite 
his own premises, how much would be added to the beauty of rural 
scenery I It would be the admiration of all travellers. Let every 
man in a township or county do this ; and let there be on every farm 
an hundred or more of these trees, and no one can tell what may be 
he advantage of it to posterity. It would be better to the farmer's 
children than money invested at twelve per cent. In fifteen or 
twenty years after being transplanted, these little trees, if in the order 
of an orchard, would make a delightful and magnificent forest ; and 
if by the road side, aad about the neat cottage or the stately mansion, 
would in their season impart a delicious fragrance to the atmosphere, 
conducing to the health and the pleasure of all inhaling it. Wf 



THE FARMER AT HOME. 265 

would like to see Agricultural Societies encourage the growth of the 
sugar maple. Let them give premiums for its culture. 

MARBLE. This is the popular name of any species of calcareous 
stone or mineral, of a compact texture, and of a beautiful appearance, 
and susceptible of a good polish. The varieties are numerous and 
greatly diversified in color, as well as in the fineness of their structure. 
Some of it is white, some of it black, and some variegated with every 
possible shade and delicate blending and combining of different 
hues. Marble is limestone, or a stone which may be calcined to lime, 
a carbonate of lime ; but what is usually denominated limestone is of 
a coarse and inferior quality. Marble of various degrees of beauty is 
abundant and found in difierent parts of the country. 

MARE. Some diflerence of opinion exists among farmers as to 
the comparative value of mares or geldings for labor ; but it is thought 
when everything is taken into consideration, the former will be 
deemed the most profitable. Mares are as lasting and durable as 
geldings, do not usually cost as much, and should any accident render 
them permanently lame, or unfit for labor, or even if remaining sound, 
they can bs used for breeding. There is no necessity for the mare 
lying idle when with foal. Moderate labor, even to the period of 
foaling, will be better for her and for the foal, as she will be in more 
vigorous health than if idle. It is a singular fact, that the Arabs, 
noted for the beauty and value of their horses, use none but mares. 
These they find more hardy, capable of longer endurance over the 
deserts, than geldings, and prize and retain them accordingly. Mr. 
Youatt lays down as a rule, and it is one we are confident every 
breeder of horses who understands his business will concede is correct, 
" that the value of a foal depends a great deal more on the dam than 
the sire." Farmers, however, too often forget this fact, and in raising 
horses, go on the supposition that every mare is a mare, and every colt 
a colt, whether they are worth raising or not. A little attention to 
this point would benefit the breeder by adding to his pro-its, and 
greatly improve the appearance and actual value of farm horses. In 
those parts of the country where grass, and hay, and grain, are plenty, 
and are so far removed from a market, as to make it necessary to con- 
sume them on the premises, the breeding of horses is a profitable de- 
partment of rural economy. 

MARL. Any earthy substance in which the proportion of calca- 
reous matter exceeds that of the sand or clay, is styled in the popular 
language, a marl ; of this there are four principal varieties : first, clay 
marl ; second, sand marl ; third, slate or stony marl ; fourth, shell 
marl ; of these, the last is commonly the richest in calcareous matter. 
All these kinds of marls are to be found in many of the States of our 
tFnion, and are variously valued, owing to the peculiar requirements 
of adjacent soils. Clay marls are particularly useful to sandy soils, 
and if snread on the surface of sods, remainine for winter's frosts to 



266 THE FARMER AT HOME. 

render them pulverulent, the marl not only impi Dves the growth ol* 
grass from its action as a mulch, but by slow solution, loth its alumin- 
ous and calcareous portions are carried into the soil, rendering the soil 
more retentive of manures and less liable to sufl'er from the effects of 
drought. Sand marl is also useful for clay soils, and to any soil defi- 
cient of lime. Slate or magnesian marls are seldom of much value, 
and should only be used in localities where better marls or lime can- 
not be procured. Shell marls are of various qualities, some of them 
containing both sulphate and pliosphate of lime, and therefore are of 
great value. This kind of marl forms in part the subsoil of a small 
portion of land near Jersey City, and on which cabbages have been 
grown every year for half a century. 

Marl, like lime, strictly speaking, is not a manure. When added 
to the soil, it acts as an ameliorator in improving its texture and mo- 
difying its natural condition, rather than by giving materials for the 
growth of vegetation. Its action upon the soil, and the benefits de- 
rived from its application, are akin to those of lime, for it is, in fact, 
but the carbonate of lime reduced to powder, and mixed with earthy 
matters. It slakes and expands when exposed to the air, and in com- 
mon with lime, possesses the property of rendering stifi' soils friable 
and easier of cultivation, and of giving more compactness to those too 
sandy and light. It also promotes the decomposition of vegetable 
matter, neutralizes acids, and induces the formation of the nitrates 
requisite to the highest fertility. It gives activity to the inert vege- 
table matters often present in barren soils, as its successful employment 
in the renovation of over-cropped and worn-out lands in many districts 
in this country, particularly along the seaboard and in the South- 
western States, most abundantly prove. 

MASTICATION. This is the aotion of chewing, or of agitating 
the solid parts of our food between the teeth, by means of the motion 
of the jaws, the tongue, and the lips, whereby it is broken into small 
pieces, impregnated with saliva, and so fitted for deglutition and a more 
easy digestion. 

MASTIFF. This species of dog is peculiar to England. It is 
nearly of the size of a Newfoundland dog, strong and active, possessing 
great sagacity, and is commonly employed as a watch dog. The 
mastiff is said seldom to use violence against intruders, unless resisted, 
and even then he will sometimes only throw down the person, and 
hold him for hours, without doing hiin further injury, till he is relieved. 
He has a large head, with short pendent ears, and thick lips hanging 
down on each side. In the reign of James I., a contest was exhibited 
between three mastills and a lion, in which the king of beasts was 
compelled to seek for safety in flight. 

MASTODON, OR MAMMOTH. This animal, which must have 
been many times larger than the elephant is now extinct, and all 
that remains to attest its former existence a'e the bones, which are 



THE FARMER AT HOME. 267 

found deeply imbedded in the earth. These bones have been disco- 
vered in various parts of the United States, but as yet only one nearly 
entire skeleton has been obtained. This was dug up near Nevvburg, 
in the Slate of New York, and was placed in the museum at Phila- 
delphia. It is impossible to determine to what race this huge animal 
belonged, except that its formation and modes of living were analogous 
to those of the elephant. That he was not of the same species, is 
probable ; that he was nearly allied to the rhinoceros and hippopot- 
amus, is also probable. The bones of prodigiously large animals of 
the elephant kind, have been found in Siberia, and those of the mas- 
todon have been found in various parts of Europe. 

MATERIA MEDICA. Every substance employed in the cure 
of disease, whether in its natural state, or after having undergone 
various preparations, belongs to the Materia Medica, in the extended 
acceptation of the words. But in most pharmacopceias, the Materia 
Medica is confined to simples, and to those preparations which are 
seldom prepared by the apothecary himself, but commonly purchased 
by him, as articles of commerce, from druggists and others. Syste- 
matic authors on this branch of medical knowledge, have bestowed 
much pains in contriving scientific arrangements of these articles. 
Some have classed them according to their natural resemblances ; 
others according to their active constituent principles ; and others 
according to their real or supposed virtues. Each of these arrange- 
ments has its particular advantages. The first will probably be pre- 
ferred by the natural historian, the second by the chemist, and the last 
by the physiologist. But every scientific classification hitherto pro- 
posed, is liable to numerous objections. Accordingly, in the pharma- 
copceias published by the Colleges of Physicians of London, Dublin, 
and Edinburgh, the articles of the Materia Medica are arranged in 
alphabetical order, and the same plan is now almost universally 
adopted. 

MEAD. An agreeable liquor made of honey and water. There 
are many receipts for making mead, of which the following is one of 
the best. Take four gallons of water, and as much honey as will 
make it bear an egg; add to this the rind of three lemons, boil it, and 
scum it well as it rises. Then take it ofi' the fire, and add three 
lemons cut in pieces ; pour it into a clean tub or open vessel, and let 
it work for three days ; then scum it well and pour ofi' the clear part 
into a cask, and let it stand open till it ceases to make a hissing noise ; 
then stop it up close, and in three months' time it will be fine and fit 
for bottling. If you would give it a finer flavor, take cloves, mace, 
and nutmeg, of each four drams ; beat them small, tie the powder in 
a piece of cloth, and put it into the cask. 

MEADOW. That part of the farm fro n which, in temperate or 
northern latitudes, hay is made for the wintering of domestic stock, 
is usually called meadow. Under the old system of farming, the 



2C8 



THE FARMER AT HOME. 



meadow was never disturbed by the plough, but for years in succes- 
sion was reserved for the scythe ; conseq,uently wlien it was possible 
the meadow was found on low lands, or those naturally wet, and to 
preserve its fertility, much of the manure of the farm was applied to 
the surface dressings, to the great detriment of the tillage land and 
the crops. Under the improved or rotative system of husbandry, 
every part of the farm is alike subjected to the plough and the 
scythe, as the meadow changes as often as the wheat or the 
corn field. To do this, every part of the farm is made capable of 
growing any of the cultivated crops, by draining, and while the 
average product of the whole farm is greatly increased, the quantity 
and quality of the hay made, will be proportionally improved. The 
grasses best adapted for meadows where a rotation is practiced, are 
the clovers, timothy, orchard grass, herds grass, and perhaps some of 
the foreign grasses may be found useful ; but at present nothing is 
known equal to clover and timothy. 

In seeding down lands, too little seed is generally used, whether 
the land is to be meadow or pasture. Heavy seeding makes a closer 
turf, liner hay, sweeter and better pasture, and by giving more roots 
restores the exhaustion consequent on cropping, much sooner. In 
seeding lands they should always be thoroughly rotted. It will assist 
the covering and germination of the seeds, and render the surface 
level and smooth for the scythe. Lands intended for mowing should 
not be trodden or poached by the feet of cattle in spring, as such 
poaching renders the surface uneven, destroys the roots of plants, and 
is of little service to animals. Where, however, it is inconvenient to 
subject meadow land to the plough, and the grasses and the product 
decline, such meadows may be restored by occasionally giving them 
a liberal dressing of compost manure, sowing them afresh with a por- 
tion of the most valuable grasses, and giving them a very heavy 
harrowing in all directions. This will dislodge the masses that clog 
the surface in old meadows, loosen the surface and promote atmos- 
pheric action, and give a new and more vigorous growth of grass plants. 

MEALS. The quantity of food taken at regular intervals is com- 
monly understood by the term meal. One of the most important 
circumstances about meals is tlieir regularity, both as to number, and 
the periods at which they are taken. Habit has such an influence on 
the appetite of hunger, as well as on many other of our sensations, 
that it will return at the stated hour of eating ; and if it be not 
appeased, the stomach will cease its cravings, though no aliment has 
been supplied. But hunger will in many persons recur before the 
time usually allotted for the regular meal ; and it will often be neces- 
sary to take some food, to enable the stomach to hold out till its 
accustomed period. In a healthy person, whose digestion is good, 
who has taken sufficient exercise, and who in a morning has taken 
no very substantial or copious repast, the luncheon will probably be a 



THE FARMER AT HOME. 269 

matter of indispensable necessity ; but many of those who take 
huicheon find it to spoil the digestion both of itself and of their dinner ; 
much more will this be felt by the dyspeptic patient, who needs his 
stomach to be undisturbed during the digestion of his regular meals, 
and who should not exhaust his powers by calling them too frequently 
into action. If additional food be taken before the former portions 
are assimilated, the process will be disturbed ; and however plausible 
may be the maxim, that the stomach will be best managed and the 
strength improved, by taking small quantities of food very frequently, 
yet this is not found to be true ; in fact, the invalid thrives much 
better by regular meals at proper intervals, than by that constant 
throwing in of supply as fast as a morbid craving calls for it, or as a 
false theory says it should be swallowed. 

The number of meals to be taken cannot be subjected to any con- 
stant rule. Most people take three in the day ; one copious and 
substantial, the others more sparing, and with a larger proportion of 
fluid. Some hardly consider tea as a meal, and some dispense alto- 
gether with supper. Those who dine plentifully, and dine late, that 
is to say, any time after five, may well dispense with supper ; but 
those who dine before three, will find it for their comfort to take a 
light supper before going to bed. The quantity of food to be taken at 
each meal, it is quite impossible to limit by weight or measure. It 
is a moral duty to stop short at the point where nature is satisfied, as 
indicated by a certain feeling of satiety that few persons may not be 
conscious of experiencing at every meal ; and those who are at all in 
bad health, especially with dyspeptic symptoms, ought to be still more 
watchful of the coming on of this sensation. 

It is proper for those who in general feed to the full, to practice 
abstinence occasionally, by avoiding solid food, and taking some weak 
broth. By incessant copious feeding, that state will be induced which 
is called high health, but from which the transition is easy and proba- 
ble, to fevers and various other complaints. Convalescents should be 
very cautious not to urge too hastily their return to strength and 
vigor. After an acute disease, the person, weak and emaciated, has 
a good appetite ; but it is dangerous to ind\ilge this, lest he bring his 
system too rapidly to that state which, reli>.tively to him, is that of 
high excitement ; and liability to inflammatory diseases. When habits 
ai-e once formed with respect to the quantity and quality of food, they 
should not be suddenly altered. Some have no doubt been successful, 
in rapidly changing from a nutritious and stimulant diet to a spare 
one ; but it is generally safer to alter the habits by degrees, provided 
it be really and steadily done. On the other hand, it is equally well 
known, that those who have been long fasting run the greatest risk of 
sufiering, even fatally, by the sudden use of too much nourishing 
food. 

MECHANICAL PO VERS. The mechanical powers are simple 



270 THE FARMER AT HOME. 

instr:'ments or machines in the hands of man. by which he is enabled 
to raise great weights, and overcome such resistances as his natural 
strength could never effect without them. They are six in number, 
the lever, the pulley, the wheel and axle, the inclined plane, the 
wedge, and the screw, one or more of which enters into the composi- 
tion of every machine. In order to understand the power of a 
machine, four things are to be considered ; the power that acts, which 
consists in the effort of men and horses, of weights, springs, running 
waters, wind, and steam ; the resistance which is to be overcome by 
the power, which is generally a weight to be moved ; the centre of 
motion, or, as it is termed in mechanics, the fulcrum, which is the 
point about which all the parts of a body move ; and lastly, the 
respective velocities of the power, and of the resistance, which must 
depend upon their respective distances from the axis of motion. The 
power and weight are said to balance each other, or to be in equili- 
brium, when the effort of the one to produce motion in one direction, is 
equal to the effort of the other to produce it in the opposite direction. 
The power of a machine is calculated, when it is in a state of equi- 
librium, that is, when the power just balances the resistance opposed, 
and the momentum of each is equal. 

MELON. A species of cucumber, indigenous in warm climates, 
where its juicy fruit is highly acceptable. In cold ones, its coolness 
is somewhat dangerous. The cantalupe melon is in principal estima- 
tion. To raise melons with a proper regard to wholesoraeness and 
flavor, that water which is usually given, in order to increase their 
size, should be kept away. 

MERCURY. This a mineral or metallic fluid, vulgarly called 
quicksilver, and distinguished from all other metals by its extreme 
iijsibility, which is such, that it does not assume the solid state, until 
cooled to the 39th degree below on Fahrenheit's thermometer, and 
of course is always fluid in temperate climates. It is volatile, and 
rises in small portions at the common temperature of the air ; it 
readily combines with gold, silver, lead, tin, bismuth, and zinc, and 
on that account is usefully employed in the silvering of looking-glasses, 
making barometers and thermometers, and for various other purposes. 

MERIDIAN. Meridian is a great circle passing through the 
poles of the earth, and some given place on its surface. It therefore 
divides this surface into two hemispheres, the eastern and the western. 
As the terrestrial meridian is the circle over which the sun is at noon, 
it is consequently in the plane of the celestial meridian with which 
the centre of the sun coincides at that time. Now as, by the earth's 
revolution about its axis from west to east once in twenty-four hours, 
every part of the equator is successively presented to the sun, all 
places that are situated eastM^ard or westward of each other have 
their respective meridians It is, therefore, always the same hour of 
the day at all places situated on the same meridian. The first meri 



THE FARMER AT HOME. 



27. 



dian of a country is that from which its geographers, navigators, and 
astronomers, commence their re^^oniiig of longitude ; and, the meri- 
dians having nothing in themselves to distinguish them from each 
other, the fixing upon any one for this purpose is quite arbitrary ; 
hence different perscnis, nations, and ages, have commenced their 
longitudes at diflt?rent points, which has inti'oduced no small confusion 
into geography. But national and even scientific jealousies are too 
strongly prevalent for us to hope that the world will, at an early 
period, fix on a common first meridian. 

MERINO SHEEP. The variety of sheep known by this name 
is long in the limbs, but the bone is small ; the breast and back are 
narrow, and the sides are rather flat ; the fore shoulders and bosoms 
are heavy, and the skin under the throat is loose and flabby, or indeed 
pendulous ; the forehead and cheeks are covered with coarse long 



0M:. 




MERINO RAM. 



hair, but the lower part of the face is smooth and velvety ; the head 
is large, and the forehead rather low. The male carries compara- 
tively large horns, spirally contorted, the curvature often being very 
graceful. The females are mostly destitute of horns, and where these 
appendages are present, they are small. The wool of the Merino 
sheep is exquisitely fine, and admirable for its felting properties. Mr. 
Youatt gives confirmatid n to the general testimony in favor of the 



272 THE FARMER AT HOME. 

article, but also in favor of the large amount annually yielded by each 
individual sheep. The length and density of the wool furnishes the 
animal with excellent protection against cold ; and consequently ren- 
ders it well adapted to the varying latitudes to which it has been 
removed. 

The growing of wool in our country is of the greatest importance 
to the American farmer. The amount of it wanted for home con- 
sumption is incalculable. In al the Northern States, the principal 
of our clothing is made from it. No country could prosper if obliged 
to import all that it needed for a population now large and destined 
to increase to an unlimited extent. It is believed also that wool, with 
our facilities for producing it, in a commercial view is equally deserv- 
ing consideration, both with the political economist, and the agricul- 
turist. Hence, with our enterprising citizens, the introduction of 
Merino has long been an object of attention. If in some cases, as 
in most new enterprises, there has been manifested a wildness of cal- 
culation that eventuated in individual loss, there can be no doubt, 
that if the pioneers in these eflbrts have not invariably or generally 
made themselves rich, they have rendered an excellent service to their 
countrymen. Another generation will profit from the experience of 
the present one, so that hereafter fine wool will be one of the great 
staples of the American States. 

METHEGLIN. A species of mead ; one of the most pleasant 
and general drinks the northern parts of Europe aflbrd, and much 
used among the ancient inhabitants. There are various methods of 
making it ; one of the best is the following :' — Put as much new 
honey, naturally running from the comb, into spring water, as that 
when the honey is thoroughly dissolved, an egg will not sink to the 
bottom, but be just suspended in it ; boil this liquor for an hour or 
more, till the egg swim well above the liquor ; when very cool, next 
morning, it may be barrelled up, addinsf to each fifteen gallons an 
ounce of ginger, as much of mace and cloves, and half as much cinna- 
mon, all grossly pounded ; a spoonful of yeast may also be added at 
the bunghole to promote the fermentation. When it has done work- 
ing it may be closely stopped up ; and after it has stood a month it 
should be drawn oft" into bottles. 

MIGRATION. The migration of birds, as the swallow, quail, 
stork, crane, field-fare, woodcock, nightingale, and other birds of pass- 
age, is a very curious article in natural history, and furnishes a 
notable instance of the powerful instinct impressed by the Creator. 
Dr. Derham observes two things remai-kable in this subject : the first, 
that these untaught, unthinking creatures, should know the proper 
times for their passage, when to come, and when to go ; as also, that 
some should come when others go. No doubt the temperature of the 
air, as to cold and heat, and their natural propensity to breed their 
young, are the great incentives to those creatures to change their habi- 



THE FARMER AT HOME. 



273 



tations. But why should they at all change their habitation ? and 
why is not some certain place to be found, in all the terraqueous globe, 
affording them convenient food and habitation all the year round ^ 
The second, that they should know what way to steer their course, 
and whither to go. What instinct is it that moves a poor foolish bird 
to venture over vast tracts of land and sea. If it be said, that by their 
high ascents up into the air, they can see across the seas ; yet what 
should tear^h or persuade them that another land is more proper for 
the purpose than this ? that Britain, for instance, should afford them 
better accommodation than Egypt ? than the Canaries ? than Spain ? 
or any other of the intermediate countries? 

The manner of the birds of passage journeying to their southern 
abode may vary, according to the different structui'e of their bodies, 
and their power of supporting themselves in the air. Those birds 
with short wings, though they are incapable of such long flights as 
the swallow, or of flying with so much celerity, yet may pass to less 
distant places, and by slower movements. Swallows and cuckoos may 
perform their passage in a very short time ; but there is for them no 
necessity for speed, since every day's passage affords them an increase 
of warmth, and a continuance of food. Providence, which has guided 
the defenceless animals in many other instances to the safest methods 
of performing their necessary works, may have instructed many of 
these birds which have shorter passages to make, or places to stop at 
by the way, to fly only in the night, that they may be secure from 
the birds of prey ; and Mr. Catesby gives a proof that some species 
do so, from his own observation ; for, lying on the deck of a sloop on 
the north side of Cuba, himself and the whole company heard succes- 
sively, for three nights, flights of rice birds, which are easily distin- 
guished from all other birds by- their notes, and which were passing 
over their heads northerly ; which is their direct way from Cuba, and 
the southern continent of America, from whence they get to Carolina, 
annually, about the time that rice begins to ripen, and from whence 
they return southward again, when it is gathered, and they are 
become fat. 

MILK. The fluid secreted in the breasts of females for the nour- 
ishment of their young. That of the cow being furnished in greatest 
abundance, is of much importance as an article of diet. By boihng 
milk, its albuminous part is not coagulated into a mass like the white 
of an egg, on account of the larger quantity of water through which it 
is diffused ; but a thin film rises to the surface, which, if removed, is 
replaced by another, and if this be continued, the whole of the albu- 
men will be removed. This renders the milk less nutritive, but more 
easily digestible ; and hence many delicate stomachs can take boiled 
milk, who could not take it in its natural state. As milk is sufficiently 
nourishing, and holds'a just medium between the spare nutriment of 
vegetables and the stimulant nature of animal food, it is directed with 

TO* 



274 1HE FARMER AT HOME. 

great benefit to patients laborinj; under various diseases. One of those 
in which we find it advisable to direct a r.iilk diet most frequently, iis 
consumption, as nourishment enough is supplied by it to the body 
without any tendency to increase the inflammatory diathesis, which 
we so much dread in this disease. When consumption is further 
advanced, the milk of the ass has been considered not only as nutri- 
tive but medicinal ; and, in conjunction with other observances, 
should be dii'ected, when there is the means of procuring it in suffi- 
cient quantity. 

With respect to milk, considered as the food designed by nature 
for the early periods of infancy ; in general, the milk of most parents 
agrees well with their offspring, but in some cases, it proves too pur- 
gative, or too flatulent, and the child is not properly nourished. In 
some cases, it may be necessary for the woman to desist from suckling 
her child, or to make a complete alteration in her diet, manner of 
living, and place of abode ; by which the milk may perhaps become 
more congenial to the stomach of the child. Human milk is of easy 
digestion, light, and very nutritious, requiring little labor from the 
stomach, and easily convertible into chyle. It contains a larger pro- 
portion than any other milks, of the fat or buttery part ; and having 
less of the cui'dy or cheesy part, it is more digestible. 

MILL. A combination of machinery to effect purposes which 
require great force. The force employed is sometimes water, some- 
times wind,' and at others steam, or horses. The principle is always 
the same ; a main shaft enters the works, to which wheels with cogs 
arc affixed, and the power being the contrary of the velocity, small 
wheels give great power, and large wheels less power ; other wheels 
are then connected with these in various directions, and the resulting 
force applied to any desirable object. When corn is to be ground, 
large stones, cut in grooves, are made to work one against the other in 
such manner as to break or pulverize the grain. There ax'C also bark 
mills, paper mills, and oil mills, which operate by the force of percus- 
sion ; also, silk, cotton, and flax mills, which perform sundry 
operations ; and saw mills, which revolve circular saws with great 
energy and precision. 

MINER'S BEE-HOUSE. The cut connected with this article, 
is from an original design, and is not so much for general use as for 
an ornament to flower gardens or lawns of a gentleman keeping bees. 
The idea of Mr. Miner, to connect with the bee-culture an object of 
architectural taste and I'ural beauty, deserves a public acknowledgment, 
and is worthy the consideration of apiarian amateurs. We scarcely 
know a branch in rural economy, invested with more absorbing in- 
terest than the physiology of the honey-bee ; and as much as we have 
been delighted for years, to study its habits, the volume from which 
this cut is copied, has inspired us with additioifal desire for increased 
knowledge on the subject. We know not a more interesting book to 



THE FAIJMER AT HOME. 



275 



persons haviiiji the least taste for the topics on which it treats. Not 
haviii": had the long experience that he has had iu relation to them, 
nor the leisure to make them subjects of critical investigation, we feel 
ourselves incompetent to express an opinion upon some of the results 
to which his inquiries have led him. 01' this, however, we can affirm, 
that no man seemingly is more able to give a well authenticated theory 
than Mr. Miner. He has labored long in forming his conclusions ; his 
success in the bee-culture has rarely been equalled ; and he has even 
a passion, we should judge, for this department of natural history. 
We have never tried his hives, represented in the cut. aiul, of course, 
cannot speak of them from experience, but we have such confidence 
in his sufficiency to make improvement in bee-hive?, that we should 
not hesitate to think well of those he has devised, and we can espe- 
cially recommend, in sincerity, to every person keeping bees, " The 
American Bee Keeper's Manual," to which we hav^ above alluded. 




■'■OS ft reuse 



MINER'S FANCY BEE-HOUSE. 



MILLET. The common name of a plant which grows naturally 
in India, whence it was first imported into Europe. It is greatly cul- 



276 THE FARMER AT HO.MK 

tivated in Italy, Spain, and ihe southern part of France, for the food C'f 
men as well as that of poultrj'. It may also be raised in this climate. 
This is a plant that delights in a lifrht sandy soil, prepared in the same 
manner as for maize ; and in siich lands it branches out into many 
stalks, sometimes thirty or forty, not iinlike reetls either in their shape 
or leaves, of which there is one at each joint* The top of each stalk 
is terminated by a large, loose panicle, which hangs on one side, with 
a chafiy flower, which is succeeded by a small round seed, about the 
bigness of a turnip or cabbage seed, of a yellowish white color in one 
variety, and of a dark red inclining to black in another, which are the 
small millet, and the large, a distinction which some make, as only 
varieties of the same species. It is likewise said to thrive extremely 
well in strong land ; but will not do in stony ground, or where the 
bottom is of either a chalky or clayey nature. 

Miller advises, that it should be sown in the beginning of April, 
that it may ripen in August ; but in warmer climates, the general 
rule is to sow it either between the middle and the end of May, or 
about midsummer. The former crop is reaped at the end of Septem- 
ber, and the latter about the end of October. The seed is usually 
sown in furrows, very thin, and covered with the plough or rake. 
The largest sort should be sown thinnest, because it branches most. 
When the plants are about a month old, the ground should be stirred 
round them with a hand hoe, as A\ell to lay fresh earth to their roots, 
as they require much nourishment, as to clear them from weeds, 
which they afterwards prevent by ovei'-topping them. At the same 
time, the millet plants should be thinned out wherever they grow too 
close, so as to leave in general, about six inches between each plant. 

MINERAL. In Natural History, is used, in general, for all fos- 
sil bodies, whether simple or compound, dug out of a mine. Minerals 
are inorganized or inanimate bodies, that increase in volume by the 
juxtaposition of parts, and the force of attraction. The early natur- 
alists divided minerals into a great number of classes ; but, by the 
moderns, they are divided only into three sections. Under the first 
are arranged earths and stones which have no taste, and do not bum 
Avhen heated with contact of air ; under the second, saline matters, 
having more or less taste, which melt in water, and do not burn ; 
and under the third, combustible substances, not soluble in water, and 
exhibiting a flame, more or less evident, when exposed to a fire Math 
access of air. 

MIEROR. Mirror is used for any polished body that forms the 
images of objects, by reflection of the rays of light. Mirrors are either 
plain, convex, or concave. The first ]-eflect the rays of light in a 
direction exactly similar to that in which they fall upon them, and 
therefore represent bodies of their natural magnitude. The convex 
ones make the rays diverge much more than before reflection, and 
therefore greatly diminish the images of those objects which they 



THK FAEMER AT HOME. 277 

show ; while the concave ones, by collecting the rays into a focus, not 
only magnify the objects they show, but will burn very fiercely when 
exposed to the rays of the sun ; and hence they are commonly known 
by the name of burning mirrors. In ancient times mirrors were made 
of some kind of metal ; and from a passage in the Mosaic writings 
we learn that the mirrors used by the Jewish women were made of 
brass. The Jews certainly had been taught to use that kind of 
mirrors by the Egyptians ; whence it is probable that brazen mirrors 
were the first kind used in the world. Any metal, indeed, when well 
polished, will reflect very powerfully, but silver reflects the most, 
though it is too expensive a material for common use. Gold also is 
very powerful ; and metals, or even wood gilded and polished, will 
act very powerfully as burning mirrors. Even polished ivory, or 
straw nicely plaited together, will form mirrors capable of burning, if 
large. Since the invention of glass, and the application of quicksilver 
to it, became generally known, it has been universally employed for 
those plain mirrors used as ornaments to houses ; but in making 
reflecting telescopes they have been much inferior to metallic ones. 

MISLETOE. A plant which alwa3's grows on trees, and was 
thought, therefore, to be an excrescence of the tree ; but it has been 
found to be propagated by the seed or berry which is conveyed by the 
misletoe thrush from one tree to another ; this bird being fond of these 
seeds, it sometimes happens that the viscous part of the berry sticks 
to his beak, and, in his attempts to disengage himself from it by strik- 
ing his beak against the bark of the tree, the berry sticks to the 
latter ; and if it happen to light on a smooth part, it will take root, 
and sprout out the next winter. This plant adheres most readily to 
the ash and other smooth rinded trees, as the apple. 

MOCKING BIRD. The mocking bird, like the nightingale, is 
destitute of brilliant plumage, but his ibi-m is beautiful, delicate and 
symmetrical in its proportions. His motions are easy, rapid and 
graceful, perpetually animated with a playful caprice, and a look that 
appears full of shrewdness and intelligence. He listens with silent 
attention to each passing sound, treasures up lessons from any thing 
vocal, and is capable of imitating with exactness, both in measure 
and accent, the notes of all the feathered creation. As if conscious 
of his unrivalled powers of sor g ; and animated by the harmony of 
his own voice, his music is as it were, accompanied by chromatic 
dancing and expressive gestures ; he spreads and closes his light and 
fanning wings, expands his silvered tail, and with buoyant gaity, and 
enthusiastic ecstasy, he sweeps around, and mounts and descends into 
the air from his lofty spray, as his song swells to loudness, or dies 
away in sinking whispers. While thus engaged, so various is his 
talent, that it might be supposed a tria. of skill from all the assembled 
birds of the country ; and so perfect his imitations, that even the 



278 THE FARMER AT HOME. 

sportsman is at tii:ies deceived, and sent in quest c' Thirds that have 
no existence around. 

The feathered tribes themselves are decoyed by the fancied call of 
their mates ; or dive with fear into the thicket, at the well- feigned 
scream of the hawk. Soon reconciled to the usurping fancy of man, 
the mocking bird often becomes familiar with his master ; playfully 
attacks him through the bars of his cage ; or at large in a room, rest- 
less and capricious, he seems to try every expedient of a lively imagi- 
nation, that may conduce to his amusement. Nothing escapes his 
intelligent and discerning eye or faithful ear. He whistles perhaps 
for the dog, who, deceived, runs to meet his master ; the cries of the 
chicken in distress, bring out the clucking mother to the protection of 
her brood. The barking of the dog, the piteous wailing of the puppy, 
the mewing of the cat, the action of a saw, or the creaking of a 
wheelbarrow, quickly follow, with exactness. He repeats a tune of 
considerable length; imitates the warbling of the Canary, the lisping 
of the Indigo bird, and the mellow whistle of the Cardinal, in a man- 
ner so superior to the originals, that mortified and astonished, they 
withdraw from his presence, or listen in silence, as he continues to 
triumph by renewing his etlbrts. 

In the cage, also, nearly as in the woods, he is full of life and 
action, while engaged in song ; throwing him.self round with inspiring 
animation, and as it were, moving in time to the melody of his own 
accents. Even the hours of night, which consign nearly all other 
other birds to rest and silence, like the nightingale, he often employs 
in song, serenading the houseless hunter and silent cottager to repose, 
as the rising moon illuminates the darkness of the shadowy scene. 
His capricious fondness for contrast and perpetual variety, appears to 
deteriorate his powers. His lofty inaitations of the musical brown 
thrush, are perhaps interrupted by the crowing of the cock, or the 
barking of the dog ; the plaintive warblings of the blue bird are then 
blended with the wild scream and chatter of the swallow or the 
cackling of the hen ; amid the simple lay of the native robin, we are 
surprised with the vociferation of the whip-poor-will ; while the notes 
of the garrulous jay, woodpecker, wren, and many others succeed, 
with such an appearance of reality, that we almost imagine ourselves 
in the presence of the originals, and can scarcely realize the fact, that 
the whole of this singular concert is the effort of a single bird. 

MOLASSES. This is the gross fluid matter remaining of sugar 
after refining, and which no boiling will bring to a consistence more 
solid than that of syrup ; hence it is also called syrup of sugar. Pro- 
perly, molasses is nothing else but the sediments of coarse or brown 
sugar, and that is the refuse of other sugars not capable of being 
whitened and reduced into loaves. Molasses is used in the prepara- 
tion of tobacco, and large quantities of it are distilled into rum. As 
well known, it is extensively used as a cheap substitute for sugar and 



THE FARMER AT HOME. 279 

as such is generally considered favorable to health as well as nutri- 
tious. But the products of it, when distilled, are most deleterious, 
especially if freely used as a beverage. 

MONEY. The circulation of gold and silver in different ages 
and in different parts of the world, is a curious and interesting, but, 
in some respects, a difficult subject ol investigation. It appears that 
those metals were used as a medium of com;;ierce so early as in the 
time of Abraham ; and that they served as ornamental articles of 
dress, in a period little less remote ; and, indeed, although we have 
no authentic information relative to this particular, it is extremely 
probable that gold and silver were used as ornaments before they were 
established as a medium of commerce, and the standard whereby to 
estimate the comparative value of other articles. We may collect 
from sacred history, that gold and silver, as well as divers kinds of 
precious stones, wei'e sufficiently plentiful in Egypt at the time of the 
egress of the Israelites ; and the valuable offerings of the people for 
the construction of the tabernacle, M'ith all the rich materials of which 
that structure was composed, as well as those used for the high priest's 
garment, and in the whole apparatus of religion, were furnished out 
of those treasures which they had carried from that country ; for no 
other channel can be discovered, or even with any appearance of pro- 
bability imagined, by which the Israelites could at that period be sup- 
plied with such plenty of those valuable commodities ; for they had 
not then obtained any wealth by the plunder of enemies ; the spoils 
of Midian being the first considerable acquisition of this kind after 
their departure from Egypt ; and the Midianitish war was an event 
posterior to the construction of the tabernacle. 

In regard to commerce, there is no mention made, nor the least 
appearance of any being carried on by the Israelites, whereby they 
could have obtained such a stock of valuable materials so soon after 
their entrance into the wilderness. In their conquests of the land of 
Canaan, they appear to have sometimes obtained a considerable 
booty ; but it is not until the reign of David that we observe that 
profusion of wealth, which seems astonishing in a period of such 
remote antiquity. And the abundance of gold and silver which Jeru- 
salem displayed in the succeeding reign of Solomon, has staggered the 
credulity of some readers of the Jewish history. It appears, however, 
that those metals were at that time very plentiful in Egypt, and in 
several countries of Asia. The history of David's wars and conquests, 
make it appear evident that very considerable quantities of gold and 
silver had, by some means, been introduced into the countries situated 
between the Euphrates and the Levant Sea ; and it seems that this 
influx of wealth must have been, in a great measure, the effects of 
the trade carried on by the Tyrians and Egyptians with the eastern 
and southern parts of the world. In whatever parts of Africa or 
Asia these metale were found, it is probable, that they were introduced 



280 THE FARMER AT HOME. 

into Egypt, and the western parts of Asia, by the Arabian, Egyptian, 
and Tyrian merchants. The Egyptians, especially, might bring a 
considerable part of them by their caravans, which, from time imme- 
morial, travelled into Ethiopia, under which name all the interior and 
southern parts of Africa were formerly comprehended ; as the Ethio- 
pian caravans in like manner traded into Egypt. 

In the flourishing ag6s of Greece, gold and silver began to be 
plentifully introduced into that countiy, particularly after the conquest 
of Persia by Alexander, which caused the wealth of that empire to 
circulate westward. During this time Rome was exceedingly poor, 
and her warlike citizens possessed a very small quantity of those 
valuable metals, until the conquest of Macedonia and the Greciaik 
kingdoms of Asia, caused the riches of the east to flow into her bosom. 
After the Goths and other northern nations began to make successful 
inroads into the Roman empire, the plunder of its provinces put them 
in possession of part of its riches ; and gold and silver, "with which 
they had before been almost wholly unacquainted, began by their pre- 
datory wars to be introduced among them. After the total subversion 
of the western empire, those riches, which Rome had accumulated by 
so many centuries of successful rapine, were by degrees difiused over 
all Europe, and gold and silver introduced into the regions of the north. 

It is common to imagine that the more money a country possesses 
the more atHuent is its condition. And that is usually the case. But 
the cause is often mistaken for the eflect. A great quantity of it is 
necessary to circulate a great quantity of commodities. Rich flourish- 
ing countries require abundance of money, and possess the means of 
obtaining it; but this abtmdance is the consequence, not the cause 
of their wealth, which consists in the commodities circulated, rather 
than in the circulating medium. The wealth which proceeds from 
industry resembles the copious yet tranquil stream, which passing silent- 
ly, and almost invisibly, enriches the whole extent of country through 
which it flows ; but the treasures of the new world, like a swelling 
torrent, were seen, heard, felt, and admired ; yet their first operation 
was to desolate and lay waste the spot on which they fell. The shock 
was sudden ; the contrast was too great. Spain overflowed with 
specie, while other nations were comparatively poor in the extreme. 
The prices of labor, of provisions, and of manufactures, bore propor- 
tion to the quantity of circulating cash. The consequence is obvious ; 
in the poor countries industry advanced ; in the more wealthy it de- 
clined. 

MONKEY. The general name of the ape, baboon, and simia 
tribe, the several varieties of which are principally found in the tro- 
pical climates. They inhabit forests in prodigious numbers, and, 
though mischievous, their manners are fantastical and interesting. 
They have hands like man, and also walk on two legs, but they prac- 
tice no arts beyond the necessities of the hour. They are afl'ectiouate 



THE FARMER AT HOME. 281 

to their younfj, and often exhibit great sagacity^ but their brain is 
smaller than that of man, and they are without his risible muscles, and 
less in size. They throw missiles with great dexterity, and live on 
vegetables. 

MONSOONS. In the Indian ocean these winds are partly general, 
and blow all the year round the same way, as in the Ethiopic Ocean ; 
and partly periodical, that is, half the ye^" blow one way, and the 
other half nearly on the opposite points ; and these points and times 
of shifting differ in different parts of this ocean. These latter are 
what we call monsoons. The shifting of these monsoons is not all at 
once ; in some places the time of the change is attended with calms, 
in others with variable winds, and particularly those of China, at 
ceasing to be westerly, are very apt to be tempestuous ; and such is 
their violence, that they seem to be of the nature of the West India 
hurricanes, and render the navigation of those seas very unsafe. 
These tempests the seamen call the breaking up of the monsoons. 
Monsoons take their name from an ancient pilot, who first crossed the 
Indian sea by means hereof ; but others derive the name from a Por- 
tuguese word, signifying motion or change of wind and sea. Lucre- 
tius and Apollouius mention annual winds which arise every year, 
which seem to be the same with what in the East Indies we now call 
monsoons. 

MONSTER. A monster is a birth or production of a living being, 
degenerating from the proper and usual disposition of parts in the 
species to which it belongs : as, when there are too many members, 
or too few ; or some of them are extravagantly out of proportion, either 
on the side of excess or defect. Aristotle defines a monster to be a 
defect of nature, when, acting towards some end, it cannot attend to 
it, from some of its principles being corrupted. Monsters do not pro- 
pagate their kind ; for which reason some rank mules among the 
number of monsters, as also hermaphrodites. Monster is also used for 
an animal enormous for bulk ; such as the elephant among terrestrial 
quadrupeds, and the shark and the whale among sea animals ; for 
other animals remarkable for fierceness and cruelty ; and for animals 
of an extraordinary species, arising from the copulation of one animal 
with another of a difl'erent genus. 

MONTH. In Chronology, the twelfth part of a year, otherwise 
called a calendar month, to distinguish it from the astronomical month, 
which is either solar or lunar. A solar month, or the time in which 
the sun passes through a whole sign of the zodiac, is thirty days six- 
teen hours twenty-nine minutes five seconds ; a lunar month, or the 
period of one lunation, is twenty-nine days twelve hours forty-four 
minutes. 

MOON. Our moon is one of the heavenly bodies often ranked 
among the planets ; but more properly a satellite, or secondary planet. 
As all tKe other planets move primarily round the sun, so does the moon 



282 THE FARMER AT HOME. 

round the earth ; her orbit is an ellipsis, in which she is retained by 
the force of gravity ; performing' her revolution round the earth, from 
change to change, in twenty-nine days, twelve hours and forty-four 
minutes, and round the sun with it every year ; she goes round her 
orbit in twenty-seven days, seven hours, and forty-three minutes, 
moving about 2290 miles every hour ; and turns round her axis 
exactly in the time that she goes round the earth, which is the reason 
of her keeping always the same side towards us ; and that her day 
and night taken together are as long as our lunar month. 

Among the ancients the moon was an object of prime regard. 
By the Hebrews she was more regarded than the sun, and they were 
more inclined to worship her as a deity. The new moons or first 
days of every month, were kept as festivals among them, which were 
celebrated with sound of trumpets, entertainments, and sacrifice. Peo- 
ple were not obliged on these days to rest. The feasts of new moons 
were the miniature representation of the feast of trumpets, which was 
held on the first of the month Tisri, which was the beginning of the 
civil year. The Jews, not being acquainted with the physical causes 
of eclipses, looked upon them, whether of sun or moon, as signs of the 
divine displeasure. The Grecians looked upon the moon as favorable 
to marriage ; and the full moons or the times of conjunction of the 
sun or moon, were held the most lucky seasons for celebrating mar- 
riages ; because they imagined the moon to have great influence over 
generation. The full moon was held favorable for any undertaking 
by the Spartans; and no motives could induce them to enter upon an 
expedition, march an army, or attack an enemy, till the full of the 
moon. The moon was supposed both by Greeks and Romans to 
preside over childbirth. The patricians at Rome wore a crescent on 
their shoes, to distinguish them from the other orders of men. This 
crescent was called Lanula. Some say it was of ivory, others that it 
was worked upon the shoe, others that it was only a particular kind 
of fibula or buckle. 

MOROCCO. This is a fine kind of leather, prepared of the skin 
of an animal of the goat kind, in the countries of the Levant. The 
name was probably taken from the kingdom of Morocco, whence the 
manner of preparing it was borrowed. The skins are steeped twenty- 
four hours in a river, taken out, stretched on the leg, beat with the 
knife, returned into the water for twenty-four hours, rebeaten on the 
leg, re-steeped, thrown into a vat, and, for three weeks taken out and 
returned every morning, to dispose them to peel. Being taken out 
for the last time, they are scraped with the knife, and when the hair 
is quite off', thrown into pails of fresh water, where lhey are rinsed, 
then the flesh side is scraped, thrown into the pails, and thus alter- 
nately from the leg to the pails, till they leave the Avaler clean. 
They are then put into lukewarm water, with the sumac, and, after 
twelve hours, rinsed in clear water, and scraped on the leg on both 



THE FARMER AT HOME. 283 

fides, pounded in pails, and the water changed three times ; then 
wrung and stretched on the leg, and passed after each other into water, 
with alum dissolved in it. Thus alumed, they are left to drain till 
the morning, then wrung out, pulled on the leg, and folded from head 
to tail, the flesh inward. In this state they receive their first dye, hy 
passing them from one to anothei ni a red liquor, prepared Avith lacca, 
and some other ingredients. 

MOSS. A parasitic plant, something like down, and adheres to 
the trunks of trees, and was formerly supposed to be merely an ex- 
crescence, but is now found to be a perfect plant, having roots, flower, 
and seeds, yet cannot be propagated by seed. It is ollentimes very 
injurious to fruit trees, and ought to be scraped off" in the spring 
season and in moist weather. 

MOTH. The clothes-moth itself is perfectly innocuous. The 
devastation is committed by the caterpillar. This begins to form a 
nest as soon as it quits the egg. For this purpose, having spun a thin 
coating of silk around its body, it cuts filaments of wool or fur close to 
the thread of the cloth, and applies the pieces to the outside of its 
case. This covering it never leaves, except in cases of urgent neces- 
sity. When it wishes to feed, it puts out its head at either end of the 
case, as may be most convenient. When it wishes to change its 
position, it protrudes its head and about half its body, and thus moves 
forward, dragging its case by fixing its hinder legs firmly in it. 
W'hen, from its increase in size, the case becomes too small, it makes 
an addition to it at each end. This operation can be readily traced 
by transferring it from cloth of one color to another, when each addi- 
tion will be conspicuous, from the difference of color. After changing 
into a chrysalis, it remains quiescent for about three weeks, when a 
small nocturnal moth, of a silvery-gray color, comes forth, but too well 
known to almost every mistress of a family. 

The usual mode of destroying these pests is by oil of turpentine, 
camphor or tobacco, all of which will answer the purpose to a certain 
degree ; but all have the disadvantage of communicating odors to the 
clothes, to which they have been applied, extremely disagreeable to 
many persons. As moths never attack unwashed wool, and even 
abandon the places where it is kept, this substance may be advan- 
tageously substituted for the above mentioned articles, by placing it 
in layers betweexr clothes, or keeping small parcels in the corners of 
shelves or drawers. For this plan to be effectual, the wool must be 
used as it comes from the back of the animal, before any cleansing 
process has been employed that will deprive it of its natural oil or 
smell. 

MOTT'S AGRICULTURAL FURNACE. This is undoubtedly 
the best apyjuratus for cooking vegetables and other food for stock that 
has been devised. The largest size holds 120 gallons, and the 
Bmallest onh' fifteen gallons, and there are seven intermediate sizes, 



284 



THE FARMEK AT HOME. 



with a progressive increase of capacity. It can be placed and used 
in the open air, or in any enclosed room where the smoke can be con- 
veyed to a chimney through a common stove pipe. It is also well 
adapted to the various household purposes where a large quantity of 
water is to be heated. The cooking is effected with great rapidity, 
and requires only a small amount of fuel. The apparatus consists of 
two kettles, one within the other, and united at the top. The dimen- 
sion of the inner one is so much less than of the outer one as to leave 
a space all round between them from one to three inches, according to 
the size of the kettle. The outside kettle is so connected with the 
furnace at the bottom which receives the fuel, that the heat rises into, 
and circulates in every part of the space between the kettles. No 



-^/a_ 




MOTT'S AGRICULTURAL FURNACE. 



heat, therefore, passes off in the flue, or by mixing with the sur- 
rounding air, till it has been brought in contact with, and expended 
upon the surface, which encloses the substances to be affected by it. 
Our own, which holds thirty gallons, can make water boil in less than 
half an hour ; and then the merest trifle of fuel is wanted to keep up 
the temperature and to complete the process of cooking. We have 
had it in use from three to four years ; and, so great is our confidence 
in the economy of cooking food for stock, and in the adaptation of this 
furnace for the purpose, that we considered the value of it to us the 
first winter was more than an equivalent for its cost, which was fifteen 
dollars. To others of more extensive farming operations the impor- 
tance of its use would be greatly augmented. 



THE FARMER AT HOME. 285 

MOXJLDINESS. A term applied to an appearance in bodies 
which are much exposed to the humidity of the atmosphere, and 
which shows itself by a kind of white down, or lanugo, on their sur- 
face. It is liable to afi'ect diflferent articles of farm produce, unless 
guarded against by depositing them in proper dry places. This 
mouldiness, when viewed with a microscope, affords a curious spec- 
tacle ; being a kind of meadow, out of which arise herbs and floM^ers ; 
some only in the bud, others full blown, and others decayed ; each 
having its little root, stalk and other parts. The same may be ob- 
served of the mouldiness which gathers on the surface of liquid bodies. 
Mr. Bradley observed this mouldiness in a melon very accurately, and 
found the vegetation of these little plants to be exceedingly quick. 
Each plant had its seeds in great abundance, which did not seem to 
be three hours before they began to shoot up ; and in six hours more 
the new plant was complete and mature, and the seed ready to fall. 
When the fruit had been covered with a mould tor six days, its vege- 
tative quality began to abate, and it was entirely gone in two days 
more ; then came on a putrefaction, and the fleshy part of the melon 
yielding nothing but a stinking water, M'hich began to have a gentle 
motion on its surface; and in two days' time maggots appeared, which 
in six more laid themselves up in their bags, where they continued 
four days, and then came out flies. These maggots were owing to 
the eggs of flies deposited in the putrefaction. 

MOULTING. Among farmers, a term signifying the changing 
of the feathers in animals of the domestic bird kind. It is a process 
which takes place annually towards the latter end of the year, when 
care should be taken to have them well fed, and kept as much as pos- 
sible in a sheltered situation. In some sorts of birds, as the goose, 
advantage is taken of this season for collecting the feathers for various 
useful purposes. Moulting is sometimes applied to horses, when they 
alter, change, or cast their coats towards the latter end of autumn. 
As they become weak at this period, they should be well kept, and 
not have too much work. Great care should likewise be taken in the 
cleaning and dressing of them. 

MOUTH. In some creatures the mouth is wide and large, in 
others little and narrow ; in some it is formed with a deep incisure 
into the head, for the better catching and holding of prey, and more 
easy comminution of hard, large, and troublesome food ; and in others 
with a shorter incisure, for the gathering and holding of herbaceous 
food. In birds it is neatly shaped for piercing the air ; hard and 
horny, to supply the want of teeth ; hooked, in the rapacious kind, to 
catch and hold their prey ; long and slender in those that have their 
food to grope for in moorish places ; and broad and long in those that 
search for it in the mud. Nor is the mouth less remarkable in insects ; 
in some it is forcipated, to catch, hold, and tear the prey ; in others, 
aculeated, to pierce and wound animals, and suck their blood ; in 



286 THE FARMER AT HOME. 

others strongly rigid, with jaws and teeth, to gnaw and scrape out 
their food, carry burdens, perforate the earth, nay, the hardest wood, 
and even stones themselves, for houses and nests for their young. 

MUCILAGrE. A soft glutinous substance, made by dissolving 
different kinds of gum ; or the roots, leaves, or other parts of plants 
that abound with it. Mucilaginous drinks and mixtures are very 
useful in disorders of the bowels, and in catarrhs, where our object is 
to cover any acrid matter, so as to prevent its irritating the parts over 
which it passes. A solution of gum arable, an infusion of linseed, or 
water gruel, are all to be considered as mucilaginous drinks. 

MUCK. This is the common name for peat, marsh mud, and 
decaying vegetable matter generally. The value of it in restoring 
fertility to declining soils that have long been used for tillage, is a mat- 
ter of common sense, and has been well tested by the experience of 
our best farmers. The swamps and bogs, and all low lands that have 
been uncultivated, consist, in no small measure, of what has been 
washed upon them from the adjacent hills and uplands, as well as of 
the decayed substances that have there been accumulating for an 
unknown succession of years. These substances are the essence of 
all vegetable composition ; and, whenever collected, duly prepared 
and properly applied to fields to be used for tillage, it is apparent that 
the provident husbandman may expect a good crop. The value, how- 
ever, of muck, as a fertilizer, will greatly depend on the fact of the 
swamp or bog having been able to retain without waste the vegetable 
elements that may have there been collected. For, if there has been 
a stream of water running through it, the soluble portions of the mud 
must have been partially separated from the vegetable remains, and 
washed away ; whereas, the muck taken from those swamps or bog- 
holes, having no mode of discharging their water, except by evapora- 
tion, retain most of the soluble portions of their animal and other 
organic remains, and consequently is richer in nitrogen and fertilizing 
salts. 

In dry seasons, the prudent farmer will be industrious in removing 
or carting muck from evaporated swamps or other sunken places 
on or near his farm, and composting it with the dung or urine of ani- 
mals, night soil, soap suds, or other putrescent matter ; or, what is 
better, to lay it in his barnyard, pigsty, or sheepfold, and let it become 
thoroughly mixed with the dung and urine of his stock. When thus 
managed, the compost is excellent, and suitable for almost any variety 
of soil, though best for those that are sandy and light. The majority 
of farmers in this way might annually double the amount of their 
crops, as well as add much to the value of their farms. All fiirms 
are not alike favorably situated for being thus enriched, but there are 
a few only, and it is believed not any, but what might be vastly ben- 
efited in this way, if the proprietors were duly observant of the means 
for doing it. 



THE FARMER AT HOME. 287 

MURIATIC ACID. Muriatic acid is generally in a liquid form, 
having a strong and pungent smell, and a taste very sour and caustic ; 
exposed to the air, it emits white fumes. It is a solution of the muri- 
atic acid gas in water, which deserves attention in a medical point of 
view, as being employed in fumigation for destroying contagion. It 
is extricated lor this purpose by pouring sulphuric acid on common 
salt, by which the fumes of muriatic acid are disengaged, and sulphate 
of soda is formed. Muriatic acid has been successfully administered in 
typhus and scarlet fever, in the proportion of a dram to a pint of gruel 
or barley water, with sugar or syrup to correct its acidity, and to ren- 
der it more palatable. This mixture is to be used for common drink ; 
but must not be put into a leaden or pewter vessel or spoon. It is 
recommended as good against worms, in the dose of from five to twenty 
drops in a strong infusion of quassia, frequently repeated. 

MURRAIN. Murrain, or gargle, is a contagious disease incident 
to cattle. The symptoms are, a hanging down and swelling of the 
head, abundance of gum in the eyes", rattling in the throat, a short 
breath, palpitation at the heart, staggering, a hot breath, and a 
shining tongue. To prevent this disease, the cattle should stand cool 
in summer, and have plenty of good water. All carrion should be 
speedily bui-ied ; and as the feeding of cattle in wet places, on rotten 
grass and hay, often occasions this disease, dry and sweet fodder 
should be given them. 

MUSCLE. The parts that are usually included under this name 
consist of distinct portions of flesh, susceptible of conti-action and re- 
laxation ; the motions of which, in a natural and healthy state, are 
subject to the will ; and, for this reason, they are called voluntary 
muscles. Besides these, there are other parts of the body that owe 
their power of contraction to their muscular fibres ; thus the heart is 
a muscular texture, forming what is called a hollow muscle ; and the 
stomach, intestines, &c., are enabled to act upon their contents, merely 
because they are provided with muscular fibres ; these are called in- 
voluntary muscles, because their motions are not dependent on the 
will. The muscles of respiration being, in some measure, influenced 
by the will, are said to have a mixed motion. 

MUSHROOM. A plant remarkable for the quickness of its 
growth and decay, for the remarkable bad smell it diliuses when in a 
state of decay, and for yielding a nutritive article for the table. Care 
must be taken that those eaten are of the right sort, as there are sev- 
eral fimguses resembling them that are highly poisonous. The marks 
of good esculent mushrooms are the following. The true mushrooms 
are known by their external whiteness, and by being of a pale red 
within when young, and of a deeper red, or dark, when older ; they 
arc at their first appearance of a round figure, and not much larger 
than a small nut ; after they have a little unfolded their membranes, 
they appear red full, and close ; on the top is a disagreeable softness, 



288 THE FARMER AT HOME. 

equal, and white ; the matter within is very white, with short and 
thick stalks. They grow in fertile grojind and should be gathered 
for eating as soon after springing up as possible, for they then contain 
an oily and a saline part, and if they stay long before they are gath- 
ered, their salts become more active and hurtful. Another species of 
mushrooms, is that kind which produces the circular appearances in 
fields, and called fairy rings. Its substance is tough, and consequently 
it is used only to make catchup, or in powder. 

MUSK. A substance secreted into a kind of bag in the umbilical 
region of the moschus mosciiifer. It is of a brown red color, feels 
unctuous, and has a bitter taste. Its smell is aromatic and intensely 
strong. It is partially soluble in water, which acquires its smell ; 
and in alcohol, but that liquid does not retain the odor of the musk. 
Musk is dissolved by nitric and sulphuric acids, but the odor is by 
them destroyed. Fixed alkalies develope the odor of ammonia. 

MUTTON. Mutton is the flesh of sheep ; and perhaps m no 
one point has the skill of the breeder of animals been more marked, 
than in that of producing breeds of sheep, in which the greatest 
amount of flesh, and the smallest quantity of ofial, seems to have 
reached a point beyond which progress will be difficult. The quality 
of mutton is greatly depending on the age of the animal, and the 
mode of feeding. Its general use in England, has caused great atten- 
tion to producing it of superior quality, and the success has been un- 
rivalled elsewhere. To be first-rate mutton, the sheep should not be 
less than five years old, and as a general rule, it may be said the 
older the mutton the finer the flavor, in this respect differing from 
most other meats. The flesh of mutton five or six years old will be 
firm, dark colored, and when cooked full of the richest gravy, while 
at two or three, the flesh will be comparatively light colored, and be 
soft and flabby. As a general rule wether mutton is superior to that 
of ewes of the same age, though connoisseurs in this flesh assert that 
a maiden or spayed ewe of five years old, produces mutton preferable 
to any other. The south downs are highly prized for mutton, and 
their reputation in this respect abroad, has been well sustained here. 

MUSCiUITOES. Small insects which abound in countless mul- 
titudes in the East and West Indies, and are particularly annoying, 
especially to new comers. They inflict a small wound, which is soon 
surrounded by a pimple, accompanied by troublesome itching ; and 
in some cases so numerous are those annoying bites, that a great 
degree of general fever is induced. The best application is lemon 
juice. It is fortunate that the bites of these insects seem to produce 
a certain change in the blood, which renders it disagreeable tp them 
afterwards, as those who have occasion to visit warm countries often, 
are rarely attacked by them with much violence on their second oi 
subsequent voyages. 

MYRTLE. A genus of plants consisting of aromatic trees or 



THE FARMER AT HOME. 



289 



shrubs, with simple opposite leaves, which are sprinkled with pellucid 
glandular points, and having axillary or terminal white or rose-colored 
flowers. One species, the common myrtle, is a native of the south of 
Europe, and other countries bordering on the Mediterranean. It has 
been celebrated from remote antiquity on account of its fragrance and 
the beauty of its evergreen foliage, and, by different nations, was con- 
secrated to various religious purposes. Myrtle wreaths adorned the 
brows of bloodless victors, and were the symbol of authority for mag- 
istrates at Athens. With the moderns, it has always been a favorite 
ornamental plant, and is commonly cultivated in gardens both in 
Europe and America. Pimento or allspice is the produce of a species 
of myrtle" inhabiting tropical America, and consists of the berries, 
which are collected before they are ripe, and dried in the sun. 

NAIL. A bony excrescence, growing at the ends of the fingers 
and toes of men and animals. The several parts of nails have their 
respective nanies. The extremity is called the apex ; the opposite 
end, the root or base ; and the white part near the latter, somewhat 
resembling a half moon, lunula. The substance of the nail is that of 
the skin, hardened, but firmly connected with it. For this reason, it 
is extremely sensible at its root, where the substance is yet tender ; 
but at the apex, where it is perfectly hardened, capable of being cut 
without pain. 

NANKEEN. A well known cotton stuff, deriving its name from 
the ancient capital of China. According to Van Braam, it is manu- 
factured in the southeast of the province of Kiang-nam upon the 
seashore. The color of nankeen is natural, the cotton down of which 
it is made being of the same tinge with the cloth. The color, as well 
as superior quality of this cotton, seems to be derived from the soil ; 
for it is said that the seeds of the nankeen cotton degenerate in both 
particulars when transplanted to another province, however little 
different in its climate. The common opinion, that the color of the 
stuff is given by a dye, occasioned an order from Europe, some years 
ago, to dye the pieces of nankeen of a deeper color than they had at 
that period ; and the reason of their being then paler than formerly 
is as follows; — "Shortly after the Americans began to trade with 
China, the demand increased to nearly double the quantity it was 
possible to furnish. To supply this deficiency, the manufacturers 
mixed common white cotton with the brown ; this gave it a pale cast, 
which was immediately remarked ; and for this lighter kind no pur- 
chaser could be found till the other was exhausted. But the demand 
ifterwards lessening, the white cotton was no longer mixed with it, 
and the color returned to its former standard." 

NASTURTIUM. Indian Cress is a frequent name for this plant. 
It is a native of South America, and is distinguished for its brilliant 
show of orange and crimson colored flowers. It was carried to Eng- 
land in the sixteenth century. Being a good climber, it is useful in 
13 



290 THE FARMER AT HOME, 

covering a trellis or lattice as a screen, and for its gay dress is often 
made a tenant of the flower garden. As so few culinary vegetables 
are considered ornamental, we heartily recommend the Nasturtium 
to the attention of every person having a kitchen garden. Let it be 
placed in a conspicuous situation. Few things are more attractive in 
appearance ; and it is useful as well as beautiful. In addition to the 
gaiety of its successive blossoms, the fruit, when pickled, is desirable, 
and by many esteemed superior to capers. The tops, too, by some 
are used for salad. 

NATURE Of this word, which occurs so frequently, with sig- 
nifications so various and so difficultly defined, Boyle has given the 
following explication ! — Nature is sometimes used for the author of 
nature, as. Nature has made man partly corporeal and partly imma- 
terial ; for Nature, in this sense, may be used the word Creator. 
Nature sometimes means that on whose account a thing is what it is, 
and is called, as when we define the nature of an eagle ; for nature, 
in this sense, may be used for essence, or quality. Nature sometimes 
means what belongs to a living creature at its nativity, or accrues to 
it by its birth, as when we say a man is noble by nature, or a child 
is naturally froward. This may be expressed by saying, the man M^as 
born so, or the thing was generated such. Nature sometimes means 
an internal principle of local motion, as we say the stone falls, or the 
flame rises, by nature ; for this we may say that the motion up or 
down is spontaneous, or produced by its proper cause. Nature some- 
times signifies the established course of things corporeal, as nature 
makes the night succeed the day ; this may be tei'med established 
order, or settled course. Nature means sometimes the aggregate of 
the powers belonging to a body, especially a living one ; as when 
physicians say that nature is strong, or nature left to herself, will 
do the cure ; for this may ba used constitution, temperament, or 
structure of the body. Nature is put likewise for the system of the 
corporeal works of God ; as there is no phoenix or chimera in nature. 
For nature, thus applied, we may use the M'orld, or the universe. 
Nature is sometimes, indeed commonly taken for a kind of semi-deity ; 
in this sense it is best not to use it at all. 

NAVIGATION. No art or profession has appeared more aston- 
ishing and marvellous than that of navigation, in the state in which 
it is at present. This cannot be made more evident than by taking 
a retrospective view of the tottering, inartificial craft to which navi- 
gation owes its origin ; and by comparing them with the noble and 
majestic edifices now in use, containing a thousand men, with their 
provisions, drink, furniture, Avearing-apparel, and other necessaries for 
many mouths, besides a hundred pieces of heavy ordnance, and carry- 
ing all this vast apparatus safely, on the wings of the wind, across 
immense seas. These majestic floating structures are theresult of the 
ingenuity and united labor of many hundreds of hands, and are com- 



THE FARMER AT HOME. 



291 



posed of a great number of well-proportioned pieces of timber, nicely 
fastened together by means of iron nails and bolts, and rendei.~d so 
tight with tow and pitch, that no water can penetrate into any part. 

To give motion to these enormous machines, lofty pieces of timber 
called masts, have been fixed upright in them ; and sails of linen 
cloth are placed for the purpose of catching the wind, and receiving 
its propelling power. It has been requisite also to add vast quantities 
of cordage and tackling. Yet all these would be insufficient for the 
perfect government and direction of the vessel, if there were not 
fastened to the hinder part of it, by means of hinges and hooks, a 
m0\'^eable piece of wood called the rudder, very small in proportion to 
the whole machine, but the least inclination of which to either side 
is sufficient to give immediately a different direction to the enormous 
mass ; so that two men may direct and govern this ffoating town, 
with the same or with greater ease than a single man can direct a 
boat. Even the vaulted part of the fabric, together with its sharp 
termination underneath, is proportioned according to the nicest calcu- 
lations ; and the length, width, and strength of the sails and tackling, 
are all in due proportion to one another, according to certain rules 
founded upon the principles of the art of ship-building. A violent 
storm of wind will make us tremble with fear in a well-built house, 
in the midst of a populous city ; but the seaman, provided he has a 
good ship, rides with unshaken courage, amidst the enraged waves, 
when the whole surface of the ocean presents to the eye an awful 
scene of immense watery mountains and bottomless precipices. 

NATURAL HISTORY. This branch of useful knowledge is a 
generic term, and presents topics of great interest and utility. It has 
more commonly been used for a systematic description of that part of 
nature which is immediately connected with man and human wants, 
although formerly embracing a w.\der range of investigation. Thus 
limited, natural history is a science both useful and entertaining. It 
is intimately connected with all the other sciences ; and with all the 
arts, from the simplest and rudest to the most complicated and most 
elegant. "We cannot M^ell avoid becoming more or less acquainted 
vinth the manners of animals, the economy of vegetables, and the 
general appearance of nature. From an acquaintance with these, 
many advantages have already accrued to man ; and, from a more 
intimate knowledge of them, many more will doubtless be derived. 
The husbandman ought to know the characters of the tame animals 
which he employs ; what advantages are to be derived from them ', 
whether there are others that would suit his purpose better ; where 
they are to be found ; how they maybe procured, and how supported ; 
the qualities of the soil which he cultivates, and the means of man- 
aging and of improving it ; the nature of the grains and grasses which 
he raises, and whether he might not, with advantage, substitute a 
difTerent species for that in common use. Even the meanest mechanic 



92 



THE FARMER AT HOME. 



hould have a -^^retfy accurate kncwledge of many of the qualities oi 
hose natural objects with which liis craft is connected. The fine 
Its, though usually considered as the peculiar province of imagina- 
ion, depend greatly also upon natural history. 

From the vicissitudes of the seasons acting upon the senses; from 
he presence of surrounding objects ; from the necessity of deriving 
rom them food, clothing, and shelter ; natural history must have been 

I study of the first importance to man, and attended to from the earliest 
leriuds of society. Before the invention of letters, however, the ob- 
ervations and discoveries of individuals were neither likely to be 
ommunicated to those at a distance, nor recorded for the information 
f posterity. In a more polished state of society, the case is diflerent ; 
nd hence we find*Alexander the Great decreeing a collection of ani- 
rials for the examination of Aristotle; and wild beasts, from every 
uarter of the globe, produced and exhibited in the amphitheatres at 
lome. Yet Aristotle is almost the only ancient writer on zoology 
hat merits attention ; for even Pliny and vElian, with this great ex- 
.mple before their eyes, ofil^r us nothing but crude collections, discrimi- 
lated with little taste or judgment, truth and falsehood being blended 

II one common mass : and for many succeeding years, from various 
auscs, all Europe is well known to have been immersed in ignorance 
nd credulity as to the most common facts of this study. 

The bodies, as well of plants as of animals, consist of fluids and 
olids ; they have both vessels designed to contain the fluids, and 
;lands to secrete dilloront juices : while the blood circulates through 
he bodies of animals, the sap of vegetables ascends and descends, so 
s to produce the same effects on the vegetable, which the motion of 
he blood, by the force of the heart and the arteries, produces on the 
.nimal system. These are but a few of the resemblances which have 
)een observed between the species of the animal and those of the 
vegetable kingdom. Almost every one of the parts common to animal 
)odies, has been represented by one naturalist or another, as matched 
ly some correspondent part in vegetable bodies. Such analogies are 
ometiines plain and striking, and sometimes scarcely perceptible, or 
nerely imaginary. They afibrd, however, an agreeable subject of 
peculation ; and it cannot be denied that they increase the difficulty 
if a.scertaining the limits by which these two departments of nature 
ire divided. But however numerous and strong the analogies between 
Luimals and vegetables, however difllcult it may be to discern the 
)re(Mse line Avhich separates the one kingdom from the other, yet the 
eading characteristics are sufficiently distinct. The privileges which 
mimals enjoy above the other parts of the creation, are in most in- 
tances highly conspicuous. 

Animals have an organized structure, which regularly unfolds 
tself, and is nourished and supported by air and food ; they conse- 
[uently possess life, and are subject to death ; they are moreovei 



i 






THE FARMER AT HOME. 2! 

endowed with sensation, and with spontaneous, as well as voluntar 
motion. Vegetables are organized, supported by air and food, endow( 
with life, and subject to death as well as animals. They have, 
some instances spontaneous, though we know not that they ha' 
voluntary motion. They are sensible to the action of nourishmer 
air, and light, and either thrive or languish, according to the whol 
some or hui^tful application of these stimulants. The spontaiieo 
movements of plants are almost as readily to be observed as the 
living principle. The general direction of their branches, and esp 
cially of the upper surface of their leaves, though repeatedly disturbe 
to the light, the unfolding and closing of their flowers at stated time 
or according to favorable or unfavorable circumstances, with some st 
more curious particulars, are actions undoubtedly depending on the 
vital principle, and are performed with the greater facility in propc 
tion as that principle is in its greatest vigor. Plants alone have 
power of deriving nourishment, though not indeed exclusively, fro 
inorganic matter, mere earths, salts, or airs, substances certainly inc 
pable of serving as food for any animals, the latter only feeding ( 
what is or has been organized matter, either of a vegetable or anim 
nature. So that it would seem to be the office of vegetable life alon 
to transform dead matter into organized living bodies. 

NEEDLE. A name given to various small instruments in tl 
useful arts. The most common acceptation of the word is to deno 
the common sewing-needle, which is so well known as to require i 
description : besides this, there is the knitting-needle ; the nettin 
needle ; the glovers-needle, with a triangular point ; the tamboii 
needle, which is made like a hook, and fixed in a handle ; the hoc 
being thrust through the cloth, the thread is caught under the hoo 
and the needle is drawn back, taking the thread with it. Needle 
a name given to a part of the stocking-frame, lace-machine, and mai 
other machines in the "manufactures. The manufacture of sewin 
needles, is one of the most remarkable pursuits of the age, both tec 
nically and locally. In a technical point of view, it is striking for tl 
number of processes which every individual needle passes througl 
while it is not less noteworthy on account of the grouping of tl 
manufacture about one town of England in particular — Redditch, 
Worcestershire — where it has been calculated there are sixty or seven 
millions made every week I In our own country, but few attempts 
this miportant branch of artistic industry have been made. It is sai 
however, that in the recent ones at Newark, (N. J.,) the results pr 
raise a degree of success highly auspicious to the enterprising inc 
viduals who made them. 

NECTARINE. The nectarine is only a variety of the peac 
with a smooth skin. In its growth, habit, and general appearanc 
it is impossible to distinguish it from the peach. The fruit, howeve 
is rather smaller, perfectly smooth, without down and is one of tl 



294 



THE FARMER AT HOME; 



most wax-like and exquisite of all productions for the dessert. In 
flavor, it is ])erhaps scarcely so rich as the finest peach, but it has 
more piquancy, partaking of the noyeau, or peach-leaf flavor. The cul- 
ture of the nectarine is, in all re.speets, precisely similar to that of the 
peach, and its habits, also, are completely the same. It is loii^er lived 
and hardier when budded on the plum, but still the nurserymen here 
usually work it on the peach stock. 



rt-mv^ 




NEWFOUNDLAND DOG. 

NEWFOUNDLAND DOG. The Newfoundland dog is of the 
Spaniel family, but derives its name from the island of which it is a 
native. It is usually of a large size, and has long shagged hair, with 
a coat of fine, soft fur beneath the outer covering, which is almost im- 
penetrable by water. His color is most frequently black ; sometimes 
spotted, and partially flecked or grayish ; and occasionally bufi'. He 
is remarkably docile and obedient to his master ; and, although very 
serviceable as a watch dog, when well trained, is good natured to all 
not suspected of mischievous intentions upon the property of his owner. 
He will defend his master and his master's property, and suffer no 
person to injure the one or the other ; and however extreme may be 
the danger, ho will not leave them for a minute. He seems only 
wanting in speech, in order to make his good feelings and wishes 
known to all around him. 

One of the most striking traits of the Newfoundland dog, is his 
fearlessness of water; and particularly as connected M'ith the preser- 
vation of human life. A writer in the Farmer's Library, Mr. Youatt, 
gives the following narrative illustrative of this trait. A native of 
Germany was travelling one evening on foot in Holland, accompanied 



THE FARMER AT HOME. 295 

by his large dog. Walking on a high bank wh.\ch formed one side of 
the dyke, his foot slipped, and he was precipitated into the water, iind 
being unable to switn, soon became senseless. When he recovered 
his recollection, lie ibund himself in a cottage on the contrary side of 
the dyke, surronnded by peasants, who had been using the means fir 
the recovery of drowned persons. The account given by one of them 
was : that returning home from his labor, he observed, at a consider- 
able distance, a large dog in the water, swimming and dragging, and 
sometimes pushing along, something that he seemed to have great 
difficulty in supporting, but which he at length succeeded in getting 
into a small creek on the opposite side. When the animal had pulled 
what he had hitherto supported, as far out of the water as he was 
able, tiie peasant discovered that it was the body of a man, whose 
face and hands the dog was industriously licking. The peasant 
hastened to a bridge across the dyke, and having obtained assistance, 
the body was conveyed to a neighboring house, where proper means 
soon restored the drowned man to life. Two very considerable bruises, 
M'ith marks of teeth, appeared, one on his shoulder, and the other on 
his poll ; hence it was presumed that the faithful dog had at first 
seized his master by the shoulder, and swam with him in this manner 
for some time, but that his sagacity had prompted him to quit his hold, 
and shift it to the nape of his neck, by which he had been enabled to 
support the head out of the water ; and in this way he had conveyed 
him nearly a quarter of a mile before he had brought him to the 
creek, where the banks were low and accessible. 

NIGHT. That part of the natural day during which the sun is 
underneath the horizon ; or that space wherein it is dusky. Night 
was originally divided by the Hebrews, and other eastern nations, into 
three parts or watchings. The Romans, and afterwards the Jews 
from them, divided the night into ibur parts, or watches, the first of 
which began at sunset and lasted till nine at nisfht, according: to our 
way of reckoning ; the second lasted till midnight ; the third till three 
in the morning ; and the Iburth ended at sunrise. The ancient Gauls 
and Germans divided their time not by days but by nights ; and the 
jjeople of Iceland and the Arabs do the same at this day. The like is 
also observed of our Saxon ancestors. 

NIGHT- AIR. Many diseases are brought on by imprudent 
exposure of the body to the night-air ; and this, at all seasons, in every 
climate, and variety of temperature. The causes of this bad property 
of the night-air, it is not difficult to assign. The heat is almost uni- 
versally several degrees lower than in the daytime ; the air deposits 
d(;w and other moistures ; the pores of the body are open, from the 
exercise and fatigues of the day ; the evening feverishness leaves the 
body in some degree debilitated and susceptible of external impres- 
sions ; and from all these concurrent causes, are produced the various 
effects of cold acting as a check to perspiration ; such as catarrhs. 



296 THE FARMER AT HOME 

sore throats, coughs, consumptions, rheumatisms, asthmas, fevers and 
dysenteries. In warm climates, the night-air and night-dews, with 
their tainted impregnations, act with much malignancy on the unwary, 
who too often, after an imprudent debauch, still more absurdly lays 
himself down in the woods oi verandahs, to receive the full attacks of 
the morbific powers then unusually active. 

In civilized life, and in crowded towns, how many fall victims to 
their own imprudence, in exposing themselves to the cold, the damp, 
and the frostiness of the night-air. Issuing from warm apartments 
with blazing fires, or from crowded churches, theatres, or ball-rooms, 
with exhausted strength, profuse perspiration, thin dresses, and much 
of the person uncovered, how many are arrested with the benumbing 
cold and the universal shivering, which prove the forerunner of dan- 
gerous inflammation of the brain, of the lungs, or of the bowels, which 
either cut them off in a few days, or lay the foundation of consump- 
tion or other lingering illnesses. Such being the dangers of exposure 
to the night-air, it ought to be inculcated on all, both young and old, 
to guard against them, by avoiding all rash and hasty changes of 
place and temperature, by hardening the frame by due exercise and 
walking in the open air in the daytime ; and on occasions when the 
night-air must be braved, taking care to be sufficiently clothed ; and 
to avoid drawing in the cold air too strong or hastily with the mouth 
open. 

NIGHTMARE. Nervous or indisposed persons are oppressed 
during sleep with a heavy pressing sensation on the chest, by which 
respiration is impeded, or the circulation of blood intercepted, to such 
a degree as to threaten suffocation. Frightftd ideas are recollected on 
waking, which occupied the dreaming mind. Frequent attempts are 
made to cry out, but often without effect, and the horrors and agita- 
tions felt by the patient are inexpressibly frightful. The sensations 
generally originate in a large quantity of wind or indigestible matter 
in the stomach of supper-eaters, which pressing the stomach against 
the diaphragm, impede respiration, or render it short and convulsed. 
Inflated intestines may likewise produce similar effects, or mental 
perturbations. 

There is another species of nightmare mentioned by authors, which 
has a more dangerous tendency ; and this arises from an impeded 
circulation of blood in the lungs, when lying down, or too great relax- 
ation of the heart and its impelling powers. Epilepsy, apoplexy, or 
sudden death, are sometimes among the consequences of this species 
of disturbed sleeep. 

NIGHT-SOIL. Human excrements are usually known under this 
name, which is one of the best fertilisers. The history of the use of 
the night-soil, as a manure, is attended with ditliculties ; for the very 
nature of it predisposes every experimentalist in our country as well 
as England, to bo silent as to his knowledge of its powers. Many 



THE FARMER AT HOME 297 

absurd prejudices are entertained by the laboring classes ; such as the 
imaginary taste it imparts to vegetables, when added to the soil ; and 
in the earliest authorities, it is mentioned with cautious reserve. 
Long experience, however, has taught many nations the value of this 
manure. In China it is preserved w 'th the greatest care, mixed 
with a fat marl ; and according to Sir George Staunton, is made into 
cakes, which after being dried in the sun, constitute a regular article 
of traffic between the citizens and the cultivators of that singular 
empire. The same useful practice is carried on in Belgium. What 
we too often throw into our rivers, or allow to waste itself in the open 
air, or in deep vaults, the more thoughtful Belgians turn to account ; 
what is a nuisance in American cities, is a source of revenue at 
Brussels. 

The best mode of preparing night-soil for use is by mixing it with 
powdered charcoal, half burnt peet, or soil that is rich in vegetable 
matter, duick lime has been applied to it for a similar purpose ; 
but, although it destroys the odor, it dissipates, at the same time, a 
large portion of the ammonia. During the decomposition of night soil, 
an evolution of carbonic acid, ammonia, sulphureted and phosphu- 
reted hydrogen takes place. After the escape of these gases, the odor 
ceases, and the remainder, when dried, constitutes what is sold in 
large cities under the name of poudrette. The odor of recent night- 
soil may be destroyed, and the volatile elements retained, by adding 
to it gypsum, or dilute sulphuric acid. This manure is used in the 
form of compost and as a top dressing in the form of poudrette. One 
of our most scientific writers remarks, that rich as are the liquid eva- 
cuations of the barn-yard and horse-stable, they are surpassed by those 
of the farmer's own dwelling, especially when it is considered with 
what ease these last may be preserved. If it be a fact, that each 
man, as asserted, evacuates annually, enough to manure an acre of 
land, it is easy to form some estimate how much might be added to 
our agricultural products without material increase of lafeor, if all the 
night-soil of the country, in cities especially, were properly saved. 

NITRE. Saltpetre ; a perfect neutral salt, formed by the union 
of the nitrous acid with the fixed alkali of tartar. It is found im- 
mersed in imperceptible particles, in earthy substances, as the parti- 
cles of metals in their ores ; but sometimes it is gathered native and 
pure, in the form of an efflorescence, or shapeless salt, either on its 
ore, or on old walls. The earth from which nitre is made, both in 
Persia and the East Indies, is a kind of marl, found on the bare sides 
of hills exposed to the northern or eastern winds, and never in any 
other situation. The people of those countries collect large quantities 
of this earth ; and having a large and deep pit, lined with a hard and 
tenacious kind of clay, they till it half full of water, and into this they 
throw the earth. When this is broken and moulded to powder, they 
add more water, and, mixing the whole together, sufier it to remain 
13* 



298 THE FARMER AT HOME. 

four or five days. After this, they open a hole made in one of the 
sides of the pit, which lets out all the clear water into a channel 
of about a foot wide, which is also lined with clay, and through 
which it runs into a very wide and shallow pit, which is pre- 
pared in a level ground, secured by slight walls on all but the 
northeast side, and open to the sun at the top. Here the water 
evaporates by degrees ; and the salt which it had imbibed from the 
earth, cystallizes into small, brownish white, hexaedral, but usually 
imperfect crystals. This is the rough saltpetre brought from the East 
Indies. There are some other methods of procuring it ; but the far 
greater part of the nitre used in the world, is prepared in this manner. 
^Saltpetre is of great use in various manufactures. Besides being the 
basis of gunpowder, it is employed in making white glass, and is of 
the same use as common salt in preserving meats. From the same 
substance, also, are prepared Grlauber's spirit of nitre, sweet spirit of 
nitre, vitriolated nitre, and aquafortis. 

NITROfiBN. Nitrogen, also called Azote ; a substance existing 
in great abundance, but is never found except in combination with 
some other body. It is a principal component part of the air we 
breathe, which consists of 78 parts of nitrogen, and 22 of oxygen. It 
is accordingly hei-e united with oxygen, and a certain portion of caloric 
and light. The nitrogen and oxygen of the atmospheric air may be 
separated, so that we may have the nitrogen by itself, but then only 
in a state of gas, and its properties are very ditierent from those of 
the atmospheric air. Nitrogen gas will not support animal life. It 
is a little heavier than atmospheric air, elastic, and capable of expan- 
sion and condensation. It produces no change on vegetable colors, 
and when mixed with limewater does not make it milky, as does 
carbonic acid gas. Nitrogen gas and oxygen gas artificially mixed, 
in proportions in which air is found in the atmosphere, have exactly 
the same properties as atmospheric air, which they become, in every 
respect. All animal and vegetable substances contain a large propor- 
tion of nitrogen. * 

NORMAN HORSE. It is not the design of the present work to 
discuss the nice points resulting from the crosses of our best farm 
animals. This is left for more elaborate treatises, and to persons more 
competent to the task. We aim only at calling attention to some of 
these most prominent points. By them it will be perceived that there 
is a vast difierence in the appearance and also in the merits of them, 
and heuce the great importance to our rural interests, that general 
public attention should be directed to the subject. Of the horse fam- 
ily there is much iti the Norman branch to elicit observation. They 
are of Arabian descent, and are much used in France, particularly for 
drawing the heavy diligence coaches. The admired Canada horses 
are more or less a mixture of this stock. A writer in the British 
(duarterly Journal of Agriculture, say"-, the Norman horses are capital 



THE FARMER AT HOME. 



299 



in the collar for hard work and scanty fare. They are enduring and 
energetic beyond description ; also that they are gentle and docile ; 
never kicking or becoming otherwise vicious ; so that any person may 
pass about hundreds of them in perfect security. For further particu- 
lars respecting these horses, see Genesee Farmer, Albany Cultivator, 
Allen's Domestic Animals, and a valuable work on the Structure and 
the Diseases of the Horse, published by Derby and Miller, Auburn, 
N. y., being Youatt revised an** enlarged, by W. C.Spooneraud Henry 
S. Randall. 




NORMAN HORSE . 

NORTH. One of the four cardinal points of the Avorld ; being 
that point of the horizon which is directly opposite to the sun in 
meridian. The north wind is generally accompanied with a con- 
siderable degree of cold. It sometimes blows M'ith almost irresistible 
fury. It is often mentioned by the classic authors under the name of 
Boreas, which is of Greek original. 

NUT, COCOA. The fruit of the cocos nucifera of Linnaius. 
Within the nut is found a kernel, as pleasant as an almond, and also 
a large quantity of liquor resembling milk, which the Indians greedily 
drink before the fruit -a ripe, it being then plejisant, but when the nut 



SQO THE FARMER AT HOME. 

is matured the liquor becomes sour. Some full frrown nuts will con- 
tain a pint or more of this milk, the frequent drinking of which seems 
to have no bad eflects upon the Indians ; yet we should be cautious 
of making- too free with it at first, for when Lionel Wafer was at a 
small island in the South Sea, where the tree giew in plenty, some of 
his men were so delighted with it, that at parting they were resolved 
to drink their fill, which they did ; but their appetites had like to have 
cost them their lives, for though they were not drunk, yet they were 
BO chilled and benumbed, tha' they could not stand, and were obliged 
to be carried aboard by those who had more prudence than them- 
selves, and it was many days before they recovei'ed. The shells of 
these nuts being hard, and capable of receiving a polish, are often cut 
transversely, when, being mounted on stands, and having their edges 
silvered or gilt, or otherwise ornamented, they serve the purpose of 
drinking cups. The leaves of the tree are used for thatching, for 
brooms, baskets, and other utensils ; and of the reticular web growing 
at their base the Indian women make cauls and aprons. 

NUTS. There are several kinds of nuts used as articles of diet ; 
but they are not in general to be much recommended. They abound 
in oily matter, are viscid and glutinous, and are apt with many peo- 
ple to prove very difficult of digestion. Dr. Paris thinks it would be 
wise to banish nuts from our tables, for there is a fascination in them, 
which will lead most persons who begin to eat them, to take a quan- 
tity which the best disposed stomach cannot bear with impunity. 
Hoffman observes, that dysenteric complaints are always more com- 
mon in those years in which the harvest of nuts is plentiful ; and 
there is not a physician in any practice who will be inclined to doubt 
his statement. 

NUTMEG. In natural history, the kernel of a large fruit, not 
unlike the peach, the produce of a tree called by botanists Myristica. 
The nutmeg is separated from its investient coat, the mace, before it 
is sent over to us ; except that the whole fruit is sometimes imported 
in preserve, by way of sweetmeat, or as a curiosity. The nutmeg, as 
we receive it, is of a roundish or oval figure, of a tolerably compact 
and firm texture, but easily cut with a knife, and falling to pieces on 
a smart blow. Its surface is not smooth, but furrowed with a num- 
ber of wrinkles, running in various directions, though principally 
longitudinally. It is of a grayish brown color on the outside, and oi 
a beautiful variegated hue within, being marbled with brown and 
yellow variegations, running in perfect irregularity through its whole 
substance. It is very unctuous and fatty to the touch, when powdered, 
and is of an extremely agreeable smell, and of an aromatic taste, 
without the heat that attends that kind of flavor in most of the other 
species The largest, heaviest, and most rmctuous of the nutmegs to 
be chosen ; such are in shape of an oliv , and of the most fragrant 
smell. 



THE FAILMIiR AT HOME 301 

NUTRITION. Ill Physiology, a function common to all organ- 
ized bodies,, in which their various component tissues convert nutritive 
matter into their ovv^n substance and add it to the particles which pre- 
viously entered into their composition. The materials of nutrition are 
pi'epared by several previous processes ; by digestion, in which the 
Ibod is altered ui its qualities, and reduced to a homogeneous mass ; by 
absorption, in which this nutritive part of the aliment is extracted and 
conveyed into the blood ; by circulation and respiration, in which this 
nutritive matter is converted into blood. Nutrition is the completion 
of the functions of assimilation ; the aliment, animalised by the series 
of processes just enumerated, and rendered similar to the substance of 
the being which it is to nourish, is applied to the organs, whose waste 
it is to repair ; and this identification of the nutritive matter to our 
organs, which take it up, and appropriate it to themselves, constitutes 
nutrition, in which there is a real conversion of the aliment into our 
own substance. 

The component particles of an animal body are in a state of con- 
stant change ; the old ones are detached and removed by the absorb- 
ents, and their place is supplied by new matter laid down by the 
arteries. Until the body has attained its full size, the movement of 
composition predominates over that of decomposition, and all the parts 
increase ; when the growth is completed, and there is no apparent 
change of bulk, they are moved and the added portions balance each 
other ; and, as the body declines, the absorption exceeds the addition 
of new matter. But, at all times, there is an interior motion of the 
component parts. Hence the body has been compared by a French 
physiologist to the vessel of the Argonauts, so often repaired in the course 
of a long and perilous navigation, that on her return, no part of her 
former materials remained. 

An animal body probably contains none of the same molecules at 
two distant periods. The experiments peribrmed by mixing madder 
with the food of animals, prove most unquestionably this incessant de- 
composition of animated and living matter. This mixture, in conse- 
quence of a chemical affinity between the madder and phosphate of 
lime, dyes all the bones of a red color ; when the madder is left off for a 
sufficient length of time, the color disappears. It is obvious, that the 
calcareous phosphate in the osseous system previous to the commence- 
ment of the experiment, must be gradually removed, and it.s place 
supplied by the* colored earth ; while this is again absorbed in its 
turn, after the madder is discontinued, to make room for a new un- 
colored deposition. If the hardest and most solid parts, apparently 
the most calculated to resist decay, are undergoing perpetual motion 
of decomposition and regeneration ; there can be little doubt that this 
motion must be far more rapid in those, whose power of cohesion is 
much inferior ; for example, in the fluids. In the nails, hair, and 
cuticle, a constant growth is so regularly observed, that it is not ne- 



302 THE FARMER AT HOME. 

cessary to particularise, the phenomena. The fact is not so apparent 
in the soft parts, although we :;annot doubt of its existence. 

OAK. Among the most useful of the productions of temperate 
climates are the dilierent species of oak, truly the pride of the north- 
ern hemisphere, to which part of the globe they are almost exclu- 
sively couhued, with the the exception of a few on the mountainous 
parts of the equatorial regions. They are shrubs, or trees, many of 
them of the largest size. More than eighty species are known, of 
which one half inhabit North America, either within the territory of 
the United States, or on the mountains of Mexico. Among the va- 
rious uses to which the wood is applied, the most important is ship 
building. The European oak is tougher and more durable than our 
own ; but if the American vessels are more liable to decay than the 
European, it is more owing to the timber not being thoroughly sea- 
soned, than to any other cause. In Europe, it is usual, after stripping 
the oak of its bark, to leave it standing ibr three or four years before 
it is cut lor use. The European oak, which is most common there, 
and is so highly prized for its wood, has leaves resembling th»se of 
our white oak, and it attains a height of from sixty to one hundred 
feet, with a trunk six to twelve feet or more in circumference. 

Previous to the introduction of mahogany, oak was much used for 
furniture. Old specimens produce a very beautiful effect when carved, 
as may be seen in many of the large and ancient European mansions 
as well as churches. Some of those specimens denote a magnificent 
size attained by the tree, as well as a beautiful texture. In Dudley 
Castle there is, or was, an oak table seventy-five feet long and three 
feet wide, formed from one plank ; and at Goodj'ieh Castle is an oak 
beam sixty-six feet long by two feet square its whole length. The 
mainmast of the Royal Sovereign, built in the reign of Charles I., 
was ninety-nine feet long by three feet diameter at the lower end, and 
formed out of one piece of oak. These samples will give an idea of 
the size to which the oak in Europe has attained. The quantity 
of tliis timber used, especially in ship-building, is as wonderful as the 
magnitude of the trees. It is said that fifty acres of oak plantation 
are required to produce the timber for a seventy-four gun ship ; and 
that when the British Royal Navy was the largest, say in the early 
part of the present century, the ships composing it contained in their 
structure more than eleven hundred thousand loads of oak. 

OAK BARK. The bark of the oak, which is very useful in tan- 
ning. The bark of oak trees was formerly thought to be extremely 
useful in vegetation. One load, Mr. Mills in his Treatise on 
Husbandry informs us, of oak bai'k, laid in a heap and rotted, after 
the tanners have used it for dressing of leather, will do more service 
to stiffen cold land, and its effects will last longer than two loads of 
the richest dung ; but this has been strenuously controverted. The 
bark, in medicine, is also a strong astringent ; and hence is recora- 



THE FARMER AT HOME. 3O3 

mended in haemorrhages, alvine fluxes, and other preternatural or 
immoderate secretions ; and in these it is sometimes attended with 
good effects. Some have alleged that by the use of this bark every 
purpose can be answered which may be obtained from Peruvian bark. 
But, after several very fair trials, this is found not to be the case. Be- 
sides the bark, the buds, the acorns, and their cups are used ; as also 
the galls, which are excrescences, caused by insects, on the oaks of 
the eastern countries, of which there are divers sorts ; some perfectly 
round and smooth, some rougher with small protuberances, but all 
generally having a round hole in them. 

OAK,. A long piece of timber, flat at one end, and round or 
square at the other, used to make a vessel advance upon the water 
The flat part, which is dipped into the water, is called the blade, and 
that which is within the board is termed the loom, whose extremity, 
being small enough to be grasped by the rowers, is called the handle. 
To push the boat or vessel forwards by means of this instrument, the 
rowers turn their backs forwards, and, dipping the blade of the oar in 
the water, pull the handle forward, so that the blade, at the same 
time, may move aft in the water. But since the blade cannot be so 
moved without striking the water, this impulsion is the same as if 
the water were to strike the blade from the stern towards the head ; the 
vessel is therefore necessarily moved according to the direction. Hence 
it follows, that she will advance with greater rapidity, by as much as 
the oar strikes the water more forcibly ; consequently, an oar acts up- 
on the side of a boat or vessel like a lever of the second class, whose 
fulcrum is the station upon which the oar rests on the boat's gun- 
wale . 

OATS. The great use of oats, and the ease with which they are 
raised on almost every kind of soil, from the heaviest loam to the 
lightest sand, have made them occupy a place in almost every rota- 
tion of crops. It is said that the best oats are raised in Scotland and 
Friesland. The average yield on good soils is from thirty to forty 
bushels per acre, and on the richest soils when well cultivated, the 
produce has been over one hundred bushels to the acre. The oat is 
exposed to fewer injuries than other grain, being seldom affected by 
rust, smut, or insects. It succeeds best in cold and moist countries. 
The meal is nutritious, and, in some countries, forms an important 
article of food, for instance in Ireland particularly ; but the bread 
made of it is rather indifftjrent in quality, and somewhat bitter. Beer 
is made from this grain in Britain and Poland ; and it is besides dis- 
tilled to procure ardent spirits. Oats are the best food for horses, and 
for this purpose, in our own country, are principally cultivated. 

OIL STONE. In Natural History, is a stone of a whitish color, 
with a faint mixture of a bluish grey ; and it is sometimes ornament- 
ed with black spots and dendritse. It is of a moderately fine and 
compact texture, hard and heavy, and capable of a tolerable polish. 



304 THE FARMER AT HOME. 

It is not acted upon by acids, gives fire very freely with steel, and 
when burnt, acquii'es a pure white color. This stone has not yet 
been found in England ; but in the eastern parts, and in G-ennauy, 
there are large strata of it. It is much used by our artificers for set- 
ting a fine edge on their tools, and is only used with oil, which by 
degrees changes its color to a deep brown. 

OLIVE OIL. This is prepared from the fruit of the olive when 
fully ripe, by pressing it gently ; it then yields the purest oil, but an 
inferior kind is procured by heating the remainder, and squeezing the 
fruit more strongly. Olive oil enters largely into the diet of many 
nations, and is much used in medicine and pharmacy. When good, 
it is of a pale yellow color, of a bland taste, and without smell ; when 
long kept, it becomes rancid. When taken internally, it acts as a 
mild laxative, but not many stomachs can retain enough for this pur- 
pose. It is sometimes given in pretty large doses for the expulsion of 
worms, particularly some kinds of taenia or tapeworm. And it may 
also be given internally in small doses, with mucilage and other ad- 
ditions, as an emulsion in cases of catarrh and sore throat. In cases 
where certain poisons have been swallowed, large quantities of oil 
are given to correct the acrimony of the substance swallowed. When 
applied externally, it acts as an emolient, and forms a good medium 
for frictions which are designed to promote absorption, and to discuss 
indolent swellings. Warm oil rubbed on the belly, gives much I'eliei 
in dysentery and other abdominal complaints ; and the same applica- 
tion is one of the best means for dispersing the knots in the breasts 
of childbed women, in the first days of their confniement. Olive oil 
is an ingredient in many pla.sters and ointments. Combined with 
hartshorn, it forms the volatile liniment, so useful as an external 
stimulant. Some have said that anointing the body with oil prevents 
a person from receiving the infection of the plague. 

OLIVE TREE. The olive tree, in all ages, has been greatly 
celebrated, and held in peculiar estimation, as the bounteous gift of 
heaven ; it was formerly exhibited in the religious ceremonies of the 
Jews, and is still considered as emblematic of peace and plenty. 
The utility of the fruit is very extensive. Pickled olives, which are 
of two kinds, Spanish and French, are extremely grateful to many 
stomachs, and said to excite appetite and promote digestion ; they are 
prepared from the green unripe fruit, which is repeatedly steeped in 
water, to which some quicklime or alkaline salt is added, in order to 
shorten the operation ; after this they are washed and preserved in a 
pickle of common salt and water, to which an aromatic is sometimes 
added. The principal consumption, however, of this fruit, is in the 
preparation of the common salad oil, which is obtained by grinding 
and pressing them when thoroughly ripe ; the finer and purer oil 
issues first by gentle pressure, and the inferioi sorts on heating what is 
left, and pressing it more strongly. The bes" olive oil is of a bright 



THE FARMER AT HOME. 305 

pale amber color, bland to the taste, and without any smell ; it be- 
comes rancid by age, and sooner if" kept in a warm situation. 

With regard to its utility, oil, in some shape, forms a considerable 
part of our food, both animal and vegetable, and affords much nour- 
ishment. With some, however, oily substances do not unite with the 
contents of the stomach, and are frequently brought up by eructation ; 
this happens more especially to those whose stomachs abound with acid. 
Oil, considered as a medicine, is supposed to correct acrimony, and 
to lubricate and relax the fibres ; and therefore has been recommend- 
ed internally, to obviate the effects of various stimuli, which produce 
irritation, and consequent inflammation ; on this ground it has gene- 
rally been prescribed in coughs, catarrhal affections, and erosions. 
Oil rubbed over the body is said to be of great service in dropsies, 
particularly ascites. Olive oil enters several officinal compositions, 
and when united with water, bv the intervention of alkali, is usually 
ofiven in coughs and hoarsenesses. 

ONIONS. Of the several varieties of onions, the yellow or silver 
skinned, and the large red, are the best for a general crop. The 
bulbs are handsome, of firgn growth, and keep well through the win- 
ter. The New England white are handsome for the table, and are 
very suitable for pickling, as well as to pull when quite young, and 
generally prove a very profitable crop. The admirable Portuguese 
onions are only raised in perfection near the seashore, in places moist- 
ened by the tide ; hence moisture and a little salt should be secured 
to the growing plants. It is a well established fact, that the mild or 
strong qualities of the onion depend more on climate and cultivation 
than on any inherent property of it ; as those grown in Spain, Portu- 
gal, Madeira, and Teneriffe, are more benignant in their flavor than 
those cultivated in the northern parts of Europe or of the United 
States. And the inhabitants of the warmer climates, as in the trop- 
ics, requiring their meats and soups highly seasoned, prefer onions of 
the strongest flavor ; while those of more temperate and colder 
regions, who more frequently eat them served up with melted butter 
or white sauce, seek the opposite property, mild and sweet. 

The onion is supposed to be a native of Spain, yet that is not an 
established fact. The history of its culture is not fully known. This, 
however is known, that wherever the ground is duly prepared, and 
the cultivation is properly obsei'ved, the crop is highly profitable. 
They require a rich friable soil ; a situation enjoying the full influ- 
ence of the sun, and entirely free from trees, which are very inimical 
to them. If the soil be poor, or exhausted, abundance of dung should 
be applied in the preceding autumn or winter, and the ground thrown 
into ridges. By these means it becomes well decomposed and incor- 
porated with the soil ; for rank, unreduced dung, is generally injurious 
to the crop. If, therefore, the application of manure is neglected until 
spring, it should be taken from an old hot-bed, or other .source whencp 



306 THE FARMER AT HOME. 

it is to be Kad, in a thoroughly putrescent state, and turned in only 
to a moderate depth. A dressing also of gypsum, soot, and wood 
ashes is favorable to the growth of onions ; and we have found neither 
better than finely decomposed hen-dung. 

OPHIR. In Sacred Geography, the place from which Solomon 
procured the gold and other precious articles with which he enriched 
himself, and adorned the temple of Jerusalem. Concerning the pai't 
of the world in which Ophir was situated, there have been many and 
various opinions and conjectures ; some of them extremely fanciful, 
not to say absurd ; and others supported and elucidated with no in- 
considerable portion of ingenuity and learning ; still, however, the 
exact situation of this place is undetermined, though the opinion that 
it was somewhere either on the eastern or western coast of Africa 
seems the most plausible, and to obtain the sanction of the most 
learned and well informed writers, who have discussed or adverted to 
this point of sacred geography. 

OPTICS. Optics is the science which treats of light, and of the 
instruments by which it is applied to useful purposes. It is one of the 
most interesting branches of natural philosophy, but not one of the 
easiest to understand ; it will be necessary, therefore, that you give to 
it the whole of your attention. Light, when emanated from the sun, 
or any other luminous body, is projected forwards in straight lines in 
every possible direction ; so that the luminous body is not only the 
centre from whence all the rays proceed, but every point of it may 
be considered as a centre which radiates light in every direction. The 
particles of light are so extremely minute, that although they are pro- 
jected in different directions, and cross each other, yet they are never 
known to interfere, and impede each other's course. It is still a dis- 
puted point, however, whether light be a substance composed of par- 
ticles like other bodies. In some respects, it is obedi^-nt to the laws 
which govern bodies ; in others, it appears to be independent of them : 
thus, though its course is guided by the laws of motion, it does not 
seem to be influenced by the laws of gravity. It has never been dis- 
covered to have weight, though a variety of interesting experiments 
have been made with a view of ascertaining that point. Some sup- 
pose that the rays of light, instead of being particles, consist of the 
undulations of an elastic medium, which fills all space, and which 
produces the sensation of light to the eye, just as the vibrations of 
the air produce the sensation of sound to the ear. Most of the phe- 
nomena may be accounted for by either hypothesis, but that of their 
being particles apjilies more happily to some of the facts respecting 
the modifications of light by refraction and reflection. 

OPIUM. In chemistry and medicine, an inspissated gummy juice, 
which is obtained from the head of the "papaper somniforum." It 
is imported from Persia, Arabia, and other warm parts of Asia, in flat 
cakes, covered with leaves, to prevent their sticking together. It has 



THE FARMER AT HOME. 3O7 

a reddish brown color, and strong peculiar smell : its taste at first is 
nauseous and bittei-, but this soon becomes acrid, and produces a .slight 
warmth in the mouth. A peculiar substance has been detected in 
opium, to which it is supposed the properties it possesses of producing 
sleep are owing. On account of this property, this substance has re- 
ceived the name of narcotic matter. Is is obtained from the milky 
juices of some plants, as those of the poppy, lettuce, and some others. 
Opium, which is extracted from the poppy, is prepared by the follow- 
ing process : The heads of the white poppy, which is cultivated in 
diflerent countries of the east for this purpose, are wounded with a 
sharp instrument : a milky juice flows out, which concretes, and is 
collected and formed into cakes. In this state opium is a tenacious 
substance, of a brownish color ; has a peculiar smell, and a disagree- 
able bitter taste. It becomes soft with a moderate heat. It readily 
takes fire, and burns rapidly. 

OE.ANG OUTANG. Cuvier thus describes this animal. The 
average height of the species is from three to four feet. The body is 
covered with coarse red hairs. The forehead equals in height one-half 
of the rest of the visage. The face is bluish. There are neither 
pouches in the cheeks, nor callosities on the posteriors. The hinder 
thumbs are remarkably short. This celebrated ape resembles man 
more nearly than any other animal, in the form of the head and the 
volume of the brain. The natural history of the orang outang has 
been miserably disfigured by the mixture of it with that of other apes 
of the larger size, more especially with that of the Chimpanse. Upon 
a critical examination, it is ascertained that he inhabits the most ori- 
ental countries only, as Malacca, Cochin China, and particularly the 
great island of Borneo, whence he has been brought to Europe by way 
of Java, though but rarely. He is gentle, easily tamed, and capable 
of attachment. From the character of his physical conformation, he 
can arrive at some facility in the imitation of several human actions ; 
but his intelligence by no means equals the exaggerated accounts we 
have received of it, nor does it appear to surpass much that of the 
canine species. Camper has discovered and ably described two mem- 
branous sacks, which produce a thickness and hoarseness in the voice ; 
but he was wrong in believing that the nails are always wanting on 
the hinder thumbs 

ORANGE. A low, evergreen, branching tree, bearing oblong 
oval, acute, smooth and shining leaves, inserted on winged leafstalks, 
by which character it is easily distinguished from the lemon. The 
flowers are white, contaiiring about twenty stamens, and are disposed 
in clusters of from two to six upon a common peduncle. The fruit i.s 
globose, bright yellow, and contains a pulp, which consists of a col- 
lection of oblong vesicles, filled with a sugary and refreshing juice : 
it is, besides, divided into eight or ten compartments, each containing 
several seeds. The principal varieties are the sweet or China, and 



308 



THK FARMER AT HOME. 



the bitter or Seville orange ; the Maltese orange is also deserving of 
notice, from its red pulp. Though now extensively cultivaled in the 
south of Europe, the introduction of the orange is of modern date, 
and it was unknown in that continent till about the beginning of the 
fifteenth century. At the present time, it forms an extensive branch 
of commerce between the Mediterranean and the more northern coun- 
tries. It is exceedingly long lived, and is still esteemed young at the 
age of a century. An essential oil is obtained from the flowers, which 
is hardly less esteemed than the celebrated ottar of roses. 

Bersfamot is a well known perfume, obtained from the rind of a 
variety of the orange, and has received the name from the town of 
Bergamo, in Italy, where this variety is much cultivated. The wood 
of this tree is fine grained, compact, susceptible of a fine polish, and 
is employed in the arts. The orange, together with the lemon, citron, 
lime, shaddock, and indeed almost the entire family aurantiacece, is a 
native of tropical Asia and the East Indies. A singular exception is 
found in our own country : a species of orange, bearing fruit of a very 
agreeable flavor, is extremely abundant in East Florida, and, accord- 
ing to the testimony of scientific travellers, is undoubtedly native : it 
has not, however, been accurately compared with other species, and, 
what is more remarkable, although mentioned by early travellers, has 
not hitherto found its way into systematic works on our botany. 

ORES. Metals, when found in a state of combination M'ith other 
substances, have the name of ores. They are in general deposited in 
veins of various thickness, and at various depths in the earth. The 
mode of obtaining them is to penetrate from the surface of the earth 
to the vein, and then to follow it in whatever direction it may lie. 
The hollow places thus formed are called mines, and the men cm* 
ployed in them are denominated miners. When the veins are at a 
great depth, or extend to any considerable distance beneath the surface 
of the earth, it is necessary, at intervals, to make openings, or shafts, 
to the surface, for the admission and circulation of air ; and also to 
draw ofl' the water, which collects at the bottom, by means of drains, 
pumps, or steam engines, as the situation or circumstances require. 
After the metallic ores are drawn from the mine, they, in general, go 
through several processes before they are in a state fit for use. Some 
of these are first washed in running water, to clean them from loose, 
earthy particles. They are then piled together with combustible sub- 
stances, and burnt, or roasted, for the purpose of ridding them of the 
sulphur or arsenic with which they may happen to be combined, and 
which rises from them in a state of fume or smoke. Thus having 
been freed from impurities, they undergo the operation of melting, in 
furnaces constructed according to the nature of the respective metals, 
or the uses to which they are subsequently applied. 

ORGANIC REMAINS. A name applied to all those animal 
and vegetable substances which have been dug out of the earth in a 



THE FARMER AT HOME. 3O9 

mineralized state, and serve as stronp: evidences of the universal deluge, 
and the changes which ensued. They also afibrd reason to believe 
that the matter composing the solid parts of the globe, has undergone 
violent and extensive revolutions, and that whole classes of vegetables 
and animals now extinct, have existed on the globe, anterior to the 
present constitution of things. 

ORNITHOLOGY. That branch of natural history which considers 
and describes birds, their natures and kinds, their form, external and in- 
ternal, and teaches their economy and uses ; also, the several orders and 
genera in the alphabetical order. Birds are divided, according to the 
form of their bills, into six orders, viz : Accipitres, as eagles, vultures, 
and hawks : Picse, as crows, jackdaws, humming-birds, and parrots : 
Anseres, as ducks, geese, swans, gulls : Grallae, as herons, woodcocks, 
and ostriches : Gallina?, as peacocks, pheasants, turkies, and common 
fowls : and Passeres, comprehending sparrows, larks, swallows, &c. 

Birds are distinguished from quadrupeds, by their laying eggs : 
they are generally feathered ; some few are hairy, and instead of hands 
or fore-legs, they have wings. Their eggs are covered by a calcareous 
shell, and they consist of a white, or albumen, which first nourishes 
the chick during incubation ; and a yolk, which is so suspended within 
it as to preserve the side on which the little rudiment of the chicken 
is situated continually uppermost, and next to the mother that is sitting 
upon it. The yolk is in great measure received into the abdomen of 
the chicken, a little before the time of its being hatched, and serves 
for its support, like the milk of a quadruped, and like the cotyledons 
of young plants, until the system is become sufficiently strong for ex- 
tracting its own food out of the ordinary nutriment of the species. 

OSTRICH. The ostrich is a bird very anciently known, since it 
is mentioned in the oldest of books. It has furnished the sacred 
writers with some of their most beautiful imagery ; and its flesh was, 
even previous to the days of Moses, apparently a common species of 
food, since we find it interdicted, among other unclean animals, by the 
Jewish legislator. The ostrich is generally considered as the largest 
of birds, but its size serves to deprive it of the principal excellence of 
this class of animals, the power of flying. The medium M'eight of 
this bird, may be estimated at seventy-five or eighty pounds, a weight 
which would require an immense power of wnng to elevate into the 
atmosphere. The head and bill of the ostrich somev/hat resemble those 
of a duck ; and the neck may be compared to that of a swan, but that 
it is much longer ; the legs and thighs resemble those of a hen ; though 
the whole appearance at a distance bears a strong resemblance to that 
of a camel ; it is usually seven feet high from the top of the head 
to the ground, but from the back it is only four ; so that the head and 
neck are above three feet long. Some reach the height of nine feet. 
From the top of the head to the rump, when the neck is stretched out 
in a right line, it is six feet long, and the tail is about a foot more. 



310 THE FARMER AT HOME. 

One of the wings, without the feathers, is a foot and a half; and bein» 
stretched out, with the feathers, is three feet. The plumage is much 
alike in all ; that is, generally black and white ; though some of them 
are said to be gray. The greatest feathers are at the extremities of 
the wings and tail, and the largest are generally white. The next 
row is black and white : and of the small feathers on the back and 
belly, some are white and others black. There are no feathers on the 
sides, nor yet on the thighs, nor under the wings. The lower part of 
the neck, about half way, is covered with still smaller feathers than 
those on the belly and back ; and those, like the former, also are of 
diflerent colors. The head and upper part of the neck are covered 
with hair. 

The season for laying depends on the climate ; in the northern 
parts of Africa it is about the beginning of July; in the south it is 
about the latter end of December. These birds are very prolific, and 
lay generally from thirty to forty eggs in a season, and about twelve 
at one clutch. It has been commonly reported that the female de- 
posits them in the sand; and, covering them up, leaves them to be 
hatched by the heat of the climate, and then permits the young to 
shift for themselves. Very little of this, however, is true : no bird has 
a stronger affection for her young than the ostrich, and none watches 
her eggs with greater assiduity. It happens, indeed, in those hot 
climates, that there is less necessity for the continual incubation of the 
female ; and she more frequently leaves her eggs, M'hich are in no 
fear of being chilled by the weather : but though she sometimes for- 
sakes them by day, she always carefully broods over them by night ; 
nor is it more true that they forsake their young after they are excluded 
the shell. On the contrary, the young ones are not even able to walk 
for several days after they are hatched. During this time the old ones 
are very assiduous in supplying them with grass, and very careful to 
defend them from danger ; nay, they encounter every danger in their 
defence. 

OTTAR OF ROSES. An aromatic oil, obtained from the flowers 
of the rose, but in such small quantities that half an ounce can hardly 
be procured from a hundred pounds of the petals. This oil is solid 
and white at the common temperature oi' the atmosphere, but on the 
application of heat, becomes fluid, and assumes a yellow color. It is 
brought in considerable quantities from Turkey, and is sold at the 
extravagant price of from fifteen to twenty dollars an ounce. That 
from the East Indies, where it is said to be chiefly manufactured, 
when genuine, has been sold at a much more exorbitant price. It is 
frequently adulterated with oil of sandal wood, but the fraud is easily 
detected by those who are af customed to its scent, and also by the 
fluidity. The true ottar of roses is, undoubtedly, the most elegant 
perfume known. 

OTTER. The American otter is about five feet in length, in- 



THK FAKMER AT HOME. 3jj 

cludin": the tail, the length of Avhich is eighteen inches. The color 
of the whole body, except the chin and tnroat, which are dusky white, 
is a glossy brown. The fur throughout is dense and fine. This otter 
inhabits t^outh, as well as various parts of North America, along the 
fresh water streams and lakes, as far north as to the Coppermine river. 
In the Southern, Middle, and Eastern States of the Union, they are 
comparatively scarce, but in the Western States they are in many 
places still found in considerable numbers. On the tributaries of the 
Missouri, they are very common ; but it is in the Hudson's Bay pos- 
sessions that these animals are obtained in the greatest abundance, 
and supply the traders with the largest number of their valuable 
skins. Seventeen thousand and three hundred otter skins have been 
sent to England in one year, by the Hudson's Bay Company. 

Nature appears to have intended the otter for one among her effi- 
cient checks upon the increase of the finny tribes, and every peculiarity 
in its conformation, seems to have this great object in view. The 
length of body, short and flat head, abbreviated ears, dense and close 
fur, flattened tail, and disproportionately short legs, with webbed feet, 
all conspire to facilitate the otter's movements through the water. In 
the crystal depths of the river, few fish can elude this swiftly moving 
and destructive animal, which unites to the qualities enabling him to 
swim with fish-like celerity and ease, the peculiar sagaciousness of a 
class of beings far superior in the intellectual scale to the proper 
tenants of the flood. In vain does the pike scud before his pursuer, 
and spring into the air in eagerness to escape ; or the trout part with 
the velocity of thought from shelter ; in vain does the strong aiul 
supple eel seek the protection of the shelving bank or the tangled 
ooze in the bed of the stream ; the otter supplies by perseverance what 
may be wanting in swiftness, and by cunning where he is deficient in 
strength, and his aflrighted victims, though they may for a short time 
delay, cannot avoid their fate. When once his prey is seized, a single 
eflort of his powerful jaws is sufficient to render its struggles unavail- 
ing ; one crush with his teeth breaks the spine of the fish behind the 
dorsal fin, and deprives it of the ability to direct its motions, even if 
it still retain the least poM'er to move. 

OUNCE. A little weight, the sixteenth part of a pound avoirdu- 
poise, and the twelfth part of a pound troy : the ounce avoirdupoise is 
divided into eight drams, and the ounce troy into twenty pennyweights. 
The avoirdupoise ounce is less than the troy ounce, but the avoirdu- 
poise pound is greater than the troy pound. One hundred and seventy- 
five troy ounces are equal to one hundred and uinety-two avoirdupose 
ounces : but one hundred and forty-four pounds avoirdupose are equal 
to one hundred and seventy-five pounds troy. Therefore one pound 
avoirdupoise, is equal to one pound, two ounces, eleven pennyweights, 
sixteen grains troy. 

OXYGEN. Oxygen is one of the most important agents in na- 



312 1'HE FARMER AT HOIV.E. 

tui'e ; there is scareely a single process, either natural or artificial, in 
which oxygen has not a share, but it is known only in combination 
with other bodies. It forms nearly or quite half of the material of our 
globe. Of every nine pounds of water, eight pounds are oxygen. Of 
air it forms the one-fifth part. Of the solid ground, nearly one-half is 
oxygen ; but to make an estimate correctly we must look at the 
several minerals composing the earth, and then, knowing the amount 
of oxygen in each one of these, we may have an idea of its amount in 
the whole. Silica and alumina are more abundant than all the others 
together ; the former is composed, 24 parts of oxygen, and 22 of sili- 
con, the latter of 24 of oxygen and 27 of aluminum. Water is an 
important constituent of nearly all minerals, and being mainly com- 
posed of oxygen, it helps to enlarge our estimate of the vast amount 
of this element in the formation of our planet. But its importance is 
not more conspicuous in its amount than in the part it acts in the ani- 
mal and vegetable world. Every grown up person consumes 150 
cubic feet of it in his lungs daily. It unites with the carbon of our 
bodies, and then we exhale it as carbonic acid gas. How constantly 
are our lives dependent upon it I If deprived of it from three to five 
minutes, our lives are extinct. Drowning causes death simply by 
depriving us of oxygen. Strangling or choking instantly causes death 
in the same way. 

When we think of hoAv much oxygen is daily consumed by the 
800,000,000 people of our earth, by all the myriads of animals, and 
by all the fires for warming, cooking, and manufacturing purposes, we 
are astonished at its vast daily consumption I How shall the air 
receive a new supply ? Only from the leaves of plants I They imbibe 
carbonic acid in the leaves, decompose it, take the carbonic for build- 
ing up their structures, and give out the oxygen for the support of 
men and animals. We are just as much dependent upon plants for 
the air we breathe as for our food and clothing. And plants are 
equally as dependent on animals for their necessary supplies of car- 
bonic acid. Plants have this power of absoi'bing carbonic acid and 
giving out oxygen only through the influence of the yellow rays of sun- 
light. At night this mysterious process does not go on, and if with a 
prism we decompose the rays of the sun, we find that in the yellow 
rays alone they give out oxygen. Here we see the dependence of one 
part of creation upon another, and how in fact the whole fabric of the 
known universe is a unity ! No science is complete in itself alone, 
because no department of creation is disconnected with the other 
parts. All are most intimately interwoven, and their greatest beauty 
and grandeur is seen in their connections and their harmonious 
operations. Creation is a great machine — no portion of it is for an 
instant at rest. And among all these motions not one is independent. 
Each is caused by the other in a mazy round, and the grand Powder 



THE FARMER AT HOME. 3I3 

which originally started the whole, and now sustains and guides it, 
is God ! 

In all the arts oxygen acts as important a part as in the natural 
world. The smelting of iron, zinc, copper, lead, and mercury, 
is done by oxygen operations. ^nk blackens after writing on 
paper by imbibing oxygen from the air ; cider turns to vinegar from 
the same cause, and so butter becomes rancid, oil thickens, and 
dough sours if it be not baked soon enough. Oil mixed with paint 
makes it hold on ; it imbibes oxygen from the air and turns into 
a solid gum, which is smooth and glossy. If a house be painted 
in extremely hot weather, the oil evaporates and flies away, 
and does not harden on the boards or bricks to keep on the paint. 
Often the parlors of fine houses are painted white with the air kept 
out as much as possible while the operation is going on and until it 
is dry — even the keyholes of the doors are shut up. This keeps out 
the oxygen to some extent, and prevents it from uniting much with 
the oil or turpentine of the paint, and from turning into gum. Hence 
such rooms have a chalky, milky whiteness, and no shining gloss, but 
the work is most deleterious to the health of the painter. The mak- 
ing of varnish is a process for uniting the oxygen of the air with oil, 
spirits of turpentine, and various gums. 

The rusting of metals is but the union of oxygen with their sur- 
faces. Dampness hastens the rusting because of the oxygen dissolved 
in the water. In sickness the death of men and animals is hastened 
by the same cause. Even when we are unable to take food, the 
oxygen we breathe unites with our systems, and carries them oft" little 
by little ; soon we become very thin and light, and the vital organs 
give way. Cooked meats and vegetables are preserved many years 
when shut up away from the oxygen in tin cans that are air tight. 
Winter apples that keep so long have a peculiar gum in the skin 
which prevents the entering of the oxygen. Eggs are said to keep 
long if covered with a thin coating of wax which protects them from 
this destructive gas. Meats after being smoked remain sweet a long 
time, because the creosote of the smoke unites with the albumen of the 
meat and forms an impervious coating which the oxygen cannot 
penetrate. 

PAIRING. In the animal economy this is the union of animals 
in couples for the purposes of rearing their young. All wild birds 
pair ; but with a remarkable difi'erence between such as place their 
nests on trees and such as place them on the ground. The young of 
the former, being hatched blind and without feathers, require the 
nursing care of both parents till they are able to fly. The male feeds 
his mate on the nest, and cheers her with a song. As soon as the 
young are hatched, singing yields to a more necessary occupation, that 
•f providing food for a numerous issue ; a task that employs both 
parents. Eagles, and other birds of prey, build on trees, or on other 
14 



314 THE FARVIER AT HOME. 

inacesssible spots. They not only pair, but continue in pairs all the 
year round ; and the same pair procreates year after year. This 
at least is the case with the eagles ; the male and female hunt 
tojjether, unless during incubation, at which time the female is fed by 
the male. A greater number than a single pair are never seen in 
company. Gregarious birds pair, probably to prevent discord in a 
society confined to a narrow space. This is the case particularly 
with pigeons and rooks. The male and female sit on the eggs alter- 
nately, and divide the care of feeding their young. Eider ducks pair 
like other birds that place their nests on the ground ; and the female 
finishes her nest with down, plucked from her own breast. If the 
nest is destroyed for the down, which is remarkably warm and elastic, 
she makes another nest as before. If she is robbed a second time, she 
makes a third nest ; but the male furnishes the down. The black 
game never pair ; in spring, the cock, on an eminence, crows and 
claps his wings ; and the females within hearing resort to him. 

Pairing birds, excepting those of prey, flock together in February 
to choose their mates. They soon disperse ; and are not seen after- 
wards but in pairs. Pairing is unknown to quadrupeds that feed on 
grass. To such it would be useless ; as the female gives suck to her 
young while she herself is feeding. Beasts of prey, such as lions, 
tigers, wolves, pair not. The female is left to shift for herself and for 
ner young ; which is a laborious task, and often so unsuccessful as to 
shorten the lives of many of them. Pairing is essential to birds of 
prey, because incubation leaves the female no sufficient time to hunt 
for food. Pairing is not necessary to beasts of prey, because their 
young can bear a long fast. Among animals that pair not, males 
fight desperately for a female. The beavers, with respect to pairing, 
resemble birds that place their nests on the ground. As soon as the 
young are produced, the males abandon their stock of food to their 
mates and live at .^arge ; but return frequently to visit them while 
they are suckling their young. Hedgehogs pair, as well as several of 
the monkey kind. We are not well acquainted with the natural his- 
tory of these animals ; but it would appear that the young require 
the nursing care of both parents. Seals have a singular economy. 
Polygamy seems to be a law of nature among them, as a male asso- 
ciates with several females. The sea turtles have no occasion to pair, 
as the female performs her task at once, by laying her eggs in the 
sand. The young are hatched by the sun, and immediately crawl to 
the sea. 

PALMS. A natural family of plants, the pride of tropical cli- 
mates, and which, more than any other, contributes to give a peculiar 
and imposing character to the vegetation of those regions. Their 
lofty, straight and un branching trunks, crowned at the summit by a 
tuft of large radiating leaves, give them an aspect entirely unique, 
and far surpassing that of other trees in majesty. Aside from the 



THE FARMER AT HOME. 



315 



grandeur of their appearance, many of them hardly yield to any other 
vegetables in useful properties. The species are numerous, but are 
not well understood ; and many fruits exist in collections which can- 
not be referred to known genera. 

The stem is simple, or very rarely branching, and is sustained by 
a li^ss of fibrous roots at the base. Though usually attaining the 
stature of a tree, and sometimes ascending to a very great height, in 
some species the stem rises only a few inches above the surface of the 
ground. This stem is cylindrical, but, internally, the fibres are 
arranged in fasicles, and not in concentric circles, as with trees 
generally. The centre is soft, while the circumference is firm and 
hard like horn. In these respects, the palms are analogous to other 
monocotyledonous vegetables. This stem is covered externally with 
the sheaths of the fallen leaves, or with their cicatrices, and is ter- 
minated by a tuft of pinnate or flabelliform leaves. From the midst 
of these arises a simple or branching spadix, on which the numerous 
small flowers are disposed, and which at first is enveloped in one or 
several spathae, or sheaths. Many of the palms appear to be confined 
within narrow limits, and it has been remarked that, whenever a dis- 
trict is characterized by striking peculiarities of soil or climate, it 
appears to be inhabited by peculiar species. All the palms are not 
strictly confined within the tropics, but a few inhabit the warm regions 
on their borders. Five species are found in the United States ; of 
these, the palmetto, or cabbage tree, extends along the Atlantic coast 
as far as north latitude thirty-five degrees ; the others are dwarfs 
and are confined to more southern latitudes. Among the more useful 
of the palms may be mentioned the cocoa-nut, the sago and the 
date. 

PARADISE, BIRD OF. The great beauty of this bird's plu- 
mage, and the deformity of its legs, have been the means of giving 
rise to a variety of fabulous tales. The savage inhabitants of the 
Molucca Islands, of which the bird of paradise is a native, perceiving 
the eagerness with which the Europeans purchased this favorite bird, 
resolved to make it appear diflereut from any other of the feathered 
race ; and, by cutting off' the legs with some degree of ingenuity, 
asserted that it lived wholly in the air ; and this improbable invention 
was actually believed. Of this bird there are two kinds, the most 
common of which is about the size of a pigeon, and the other not 
larger than a lark ; the head, throat, and neck, are of a pale gold 
color, though the hinder part of the former is of a shining green ; the 
body and wings are a beautiful brown, intermixed with purple and 
gold ; the upper part of the tail feathers are a pale yellow, but the 
under ones, which are longer, are a delicate white. Yet, what 
chiefly excites the observation of the curious, are two long naked 
feathers, which spring from the upper part of the back, near the tail ; 
these feathers are usually three feet in length, bearded only at the 



316 



THE FARMER AT HOMK. 



beginning and end ; the shaft of which is a deep black, but thfl 
feathered part is changeable, like the mallard's neck. 




BIRD OF PARADISE. 

These birds, which for beauty exceed all others of the pie kind, asso- 
ciate in large flocks in the Molucca Isles ; br.t, in the Island of Aro, 
they are still more abundantly found ; and, as the country where they 
breed has its tempestuous seasons, when raiiasanJ thunder continually 
disturb the atmosphere, they are supposed at those periods to seek a 
more tranquil clime, and are never seen in the air until it becomes 
composed. The natives, who make a trade of killing and selling the 
bird of paradise to Europeans, hide themselves in those trees to which 



THE l-VRMER AT HOME. 



317 



they resort, and contrive to ccnceal their persons, by forming a bower 
of the branches which are over their heads, from which they shoot at 
their prey with reedy arrows, that only slightly damage the beauty of 
their plumes ; they then take out every part of their entrails, and run 
a hot iron up their body, which dries up the juice ; and, after filling 
them with salts and spioe, they offer them for public sale. It is 
assei-ted by the n itives, that each flock of these curious birds is under 
the dominion of one, that is considered as king, and that this is distin- 
guished by a peculiar brilliance of plumage, which the natives them- 
selves can easily discern ; and if the fowlers are able to destroy their 
monarch, the rest of the flock quickly become their prey. 

PARASOL. It appears from ancient monuments and descriptions 
that this well known instrument, or something exceedingly resem- 
bling it, was used among the ancients, not for the purpose so much 
of preservation from the rays of the sun as in religious ceremonies and 
processions. In the festivals of Ceres and Minerva, the young females 
who celebrated them bore, among other sacred instruments, the par- 
asol ; it was, in fact, one of the most ancient marks of dignity that we 
find indicated either by relics of arts ojr by authors. In process ol 
time, when the Romans began to lay aside the simple habits of their 
forefathers, the parasol, by a natural transition, began to be used for 
the purpose to which it is still applied. The matrons, particularly, 
used to be followed by slaves, whose office was to protect the delicacy 
of their charms by intercepting the solar heat by the agreeable shade 
of the parasols. They were constructed of wands, or twigs, disposed 
in such a manner as to admit of their being put up or down, in much 
the same way as those used at the present day. The substance em- 
ployed, was often of rich stuff', such as silk, of showy colors, and ele- 
gantly embroidered. In many countries, where the sun is powerful, 
it is well known that parasols are used by men, as well as women. 

PARCHMENT. The article called parchment is the skin of 
the sheep, lamb, pig, or calf, prepared for writing with a pen, 
or for inscriptions with types or plates used by engravers. When the 
skin is divested of its hair, or wool, it is placed for some time in a lime 
pit, and then stretched on a square wooden frame drawn tight by pegs. 
When in the frame it is first scraped on the flesh side with a blunt 
iron, then wetted with a moist rag, covered with pounded chalk, and 
rubbed well with pumice stone. After a short pause these operations 
are repeated, but without chalk. The skin is then turned, and 
scraped on the hair side only once. The flesh side is scraped once 
more, and again rubbed over with chalk. All this helns done, and 
when the skin is well dried, it is removed from the frame and sent to 
the parchment maker, who with a sharp instrument further prepares 
the surface for the use to which it is to be applied, by scraping and 
smoothing it. 

PARSNIP. This root is among the most valuable raised in th* 



318 THE FARMER AT HOME, 

garden, for family use, and on the farm for stock. What renders it 
particularly desirable in the family, is its being kept in the ground 
without injury till spring, when there are but few fresh vegetables 
that can be had. It is known also that the flavor of the parsnip is 
improved by remaining in the ground. The customary mou':; of pre- 
paring them for the table is to boil them with meat ; this gives 
additional richness to their juices ; and a still further improvement in 
them is efiected, if afterwards cut into slices and fried brown. The 
slices should be thin, and sometimes, if designed to be very nice, 
the slices before being fried, are dipped into a batter of flour, butter, 
and eggs. Parsnips, as well known, are sweet, and in a small degree 
aromatic, and they contain a moderate percentage of vinous substance 
They are sometimes mashed with potatoes and butter and mixed 
with milk. They also make a kind of marmalade that is by many 
highly relished. 

Of late years the parsnip has been highly commended for field 
culture, yielding a large crop, and being among the most nutritious 
of vegetables for most kinds of stock. Some have fatted pork upon 
it without any other feed ; and the pork was of the best quality. 
Beef is fatted with it, and in the London market such beef is highly 
prized, and commands the highest price. Dairy cows eat them as 
readily as they would carrots ; and the quantity and quality of the 
milk are essentially promoted. The butter made from cows fed with 
parsnips is peculiarly rich. Horses and sheep, too, are not less dis- 
posed to feed upon them, and to give evidence that they are conducive 
to thrift. It is estimated that parsnips may be raised cheaper than 
potatoes. Twelve hundred bushels have been obtained from a single 
acre ; and with the same degree of culture, in ordinary seasons, not 
more than three hundred bushels of potatoes could be had from it. 
They are rarely injured by insects ; and they penetrate so deep into 
the ground as not to be efiected by drought. However, they require 
a rich mellow soil, and in the early part of the season, to be properly 
thinned out and kept free from weeds. 

PARING AND BURNING. This is an operation, in modern 
agriculture, which consists in cutting a thin slice from the surface of 
land which is overgrown with grass, heath, fern, or any other plant 
which form a sward by matting together of their roots. The sods 
are allowed to dry in the sun, to a certain degree, after which they 
are arranged in heaps, and burnt slowly, without flame or violent 
heat. The result is a mixture of burnt earth, charred vegetable fibre, 
and the ashes of that part which is entirely consumed. The object 
of this operation is two-fold — first, to kill the insects and destroy use- 
less and noxious weeds completely ; and secondly, to obtain a power- 
ful manure, impregnated with alkaline salts and carbonaceous matter, 
which experience has shown to be a very powerful promoter of vege- 
tation. The instrumeuts by which this is effected, are either a com- 



THE FARMER AT HOME. 



319 



mon plough with a very flat share, which may be used when the 
surface is very level, without being encumbered with stones or large 
roots, as in low moist meadows, or in most other cases, a paring iron, 
used by hand, the cross bars of which are held by both hands ; and 
the upper parts of the thighs, being protected by two small slips of 
board, push the instrument into the ground, so as to cut a slice of the 
required thickness, which is then turned over by moving the cross 
handle. The labor is severe, and a good workman can scarcely pare 
more than one-sixth of an acre in a day. This mode of paring and 
burning is but bai'ely known in our own countiy. 

PARROT. Of all foreign birds, the parrot is best known to us ; 
it is at once beautiful and docile, and with very little difficulty is 
taught to speak. A grave writer assures us, that one of these birds, 
at command, would repeat a whole sonnet from Petrarch ; and a dis- 
tiller, who had been greatly injured by the malevolence of an inform- 
er that lived opposite to him, taught his parrot the ninth command- 
ment, which the bird was continually repeating, to the entertainment 
of those neigiibors who were acquainted with the ungenerous part the 
despicable man had played. Willoughby tells us that a parrot, be- 
longing to King Henry VII., who then resided at Westminster, in 
his palace by the Thames, had learned many words from the passen- 
gers who took water at that place. One day, sporting on his perch, 
the poor bird fell into the stream, at the same time calling as loud as 
he could, "A boat I twenty pounds for a boat I" A waterman, hear- 
ing the cry, made to the place, where the parrot was floating, and 
taking him up, restored him to the king. As it was known the bird 
was a favorite, the man insisted that he ought to have a reward 
rather equal to his services than his trouble ; and as the parrot had 
cried twenty pounds, he said the king was in honor bound to grant 
it. The king agreed to leave it to the parrot's determination ; which 
the bird hearing, instantly cried out, '• Gift^e the knave a groat." 

PASTRY. Pastry, or dough mixed with butter, is used in a great 
variety of forms, and is grateful to the taste, but injurious to the 
health. It is a fertile source of all the varieties of stomach complaints, 
and is apt to occasion plethora and the apoplectic tendency, as well 
as many skin diseases. At dinner, in the shape of tarts and confec- 
tionary, pastry is thrown into the ^already loaded stomach, and its 
overtaxed powers are unable to digest what is difficult to manage at 
its most vigorous times. To children, pastry is peculiarly unsuitable. 
Its taste is pleasant, and injudicious fondness is apt to indulge them 
with it ; but those children who use it much, are subject to runnings 
from the ears, disorders of the bowels, eruptions on the skin, and in- 
flammatory complaints of various kinds. Pastry should be almost 
totally excluded from the nursery-table. 

PASTURES. The land usually appropriated to permanent pas- 
turage, is that which is mountainous or hilly, or encumbered with 



320 



THE FARMER AT HOME. 



large stones, so as not to bo susceptible of tillage, or if susceptible, oc- 
casioning so much labor, as to render the process inexpedient. Other 
lands which are habitually cultivated, may be benefited by allowing 
them for a few years, after a long period of de v^otion to cropping, to 
be used as pastures. The soil is made better. The roots of the grass 
which remain furnish a large amount of organic matter, which, to a 
soil poor in this constituent, is of great advantage. Land which 
thus lies several years will be more improved than when it lies but a 
single year ; but the first year enriches it more than any succeeding 
year. The result to the land will be nearly the same, whether the 
grass be mown or eaten off by the stock. If farmers have not land 
necessarily appropriated to permanent pasturage, a year or two of 
temporary pasturage, on each of their meadows, might be advisable, 
prior to the regular course of rotation of crops, 

Besides the benefit which the soil derives from the organic mat- 
ters left in it during the pasturage, whether temporary or permanent, 
some of its mineral constituents are, by the action of the air, moisture, 
and the roots of the grass, brought into a soluble state to be of advan- 
tage in the succeeding year. Another advantage of pasturage, es- 
pecially on stiff clay soil, is that it renders it more loose and friable. 
On dry, sandy soils, pasturage is beneficial, by causing the moisture 
to be retained longer, and also the dry organic matters and fine sand 
upon the surface, which would otherwise be blown away by the winds. 
Insects too have an agency in improving lands, by no means to be 
overlooked. They subsist upon the organic matters of the soil, which 
they bring into a minute state oi' division and deposit on the surface 
as they ascend by night through their holes. They furnish also, con- 
siderable organic matter, which is rich in nitrogen, by the death and 
decay of their own bodies. Thus these earth worms and insects, in 
the lapse of a few years, furnish a vast amount of the richest manure 
without the smallest expense, and as a compensation for the nuisance 
occasioned by their existence. 

PEACOCK. If empire were obtained by beauty, and not by 
force, the crested peacock, without dispute, would be the king of 
birds. There is none of the feathered offspring, upon which nature 
has heaped her treasures with such boundless profusion. Of a tall 
stature, majestic step, and elegant proportions, every thing belonging 
to this bird seems to announce a creature of importance and distinc- 
tion. It is crowned with a fine moveable crest, of the richest hue, 
which adorns and heightens, without burdening its head. The plu- 
mage and tail of this magnificent bird are adorned with colors so rich 
and various, that no human art can imitate, nor language describe 
them. When it struts in the sunshine, every moment produces a 
thousand shades of undulating and evanescent colors, that are con 
tinnally replaced by other shades, always diflerent and always adrai 
rably beautiful. 



THE FARMER AT HOME. 



321 



But this brillianv plumage, which exceeds the lustre of the finest 
flowers, fades, like them, every year, and drops in the moulting sea- 
son ; when the poor bird, as if afflicted on account of his loss, and 
afraid to be seen in so humiliating a condition, always seeks to con- 
ceal himself in some gloomy retreat, till the return of spring again 
restores him his splendid dress. At that season he resumes his sta- 
tion in the open field, to receive the homage due to his beauty ; for it 
is alleged, that nothing so much gratifies his pride as the admiration 
of his gaudy apparel. 




PEACOCK. 

Peacocks, though spread over the greatest part of Europe, came 
originally from India ; where they are found in vast flocks, in some 
parts of the hither peninsula and the Islands of the Indian ocean. So 
early as the days of Solomon, they were imported into Judea, by the 
fleets which that monarch equipped upon the Red Sea ; and which, 
in all probability, traded to the coast of Malabar. 

When the peacock was first brought into Greece, it was only to 
gratify the eye with the sight of his plumage. The Romans, howev- 
er, who were richer, and carried by consequence every excess of 
luxury to a greater length, soon served them up as one of their most 
delicate dishes. Hortensius, the orator, is said to have first made the 
14* 



322 THE FARMER AT HOME. 

peacock an article of food. His example was soon followed by the 
epicui'es in Rome, insomuch that the price paid for these birds soon 
became exorbitant. The luxm-ious and effeminate empei'ors that suc- 
ceeded, refining upon the luxury- of former times, took a pride in col- 
lecting immense dishes of the heads or brains of peaccck* ; dainties 
which had nothing to recommend them but the prodigious expense at 
which they were provided. The same thing may be said of their 
flesh, which is hard and dry. But probably the Roman cookery, 
which was carried to a very high degree of perfection, might compen- 
sate for these defects. Only the young at present are deemed good 
eating : the old are seldom dressed, except at some formal and splen- 
did feast. In France, they were formerly served up with all 
their plumage, merely for show ; a purpose for which they are per- 
fectly suited, as their flesh is said to remain unaffected by corruption, 
for a longer period than that of most birds. 

PEACH. The peach is a native of the warm climate of Persia. 
The tree is small and short-lived, but is rapid in its growth. It is 
sometimes known to bear fruit the third year ; but usually not till 
the fourth or fifth. This, however, is but a short time to be in wait- 
ing for fruit of such delicious excellence ; and then, although the tree 
does not long continue to bear, by setting out every year a few new 
trees, the family will annually have a supply of it. The fruit is too 
well known to need description. It flourishes finely in our Middle, 
Western, and Southwestern States ; and occasionally it is found in 
tolerable perfection a-s far north as Vermont and New Hampshire. 
In climates and on soils most congenial to its health and productive- 
ness, the culture of the peach is made a source of large remuneration. 
In New Jersey, Delaware, and Maryland are extensive peach orch- 
ards, in some cases, containing 20,000 trees, and yielding five, ten, 
or fifteen thousand dollars in a year from a single plantation. With 
such an inducement, it is a wonder that the number engaged in the 
business is not greater than it is. Occasionally the buds are destroyed 
by the frosts. 

PEAR. The pear is a tall tree, of upright growth, generally 
smaller than the apple-tree, yet rarely it is found larger. It is a 
native of Europe and Asia, but not of Africa and America. In its 
original state, the fruit was austere and useless for dessert. Gradual 
improvements have been m.ade, so that it is now rich, melting, and 
delicious, and in some of our finest kinds, it seems to be almost in a 
state of perfection. Under favorable circumstances, the pear forms a 
long-lived tree. Some are said to be several hundred years old. A 
Perry pear-tree in Herefordshire, England, produced fifteen hogsheads 
of perry in one year. The branches bent down and took root, cover- 
ing half an acre of land. The Endicott pear-tree is still flourishing 
in Danvers, Massachusetts It was imported by Governor Endicott 
in 1628 Near Vincennes, Illinois, is a pear-tree forty or fifty years 



THE FARMKR AT HOME. 323 

old, that is ten feet in circumference, and its branches extend sixty- 
nine feet. In 1834, it yielded 184 busliels of fruit. The original 
Harvard pear-tree is nine feet in circumference. And the late Mr. 
S. W. Cole, author of the American Fruit Book, a work of great 
merit, and of its size believed to be the best extant, had a wild pear- 
tree that was over seven feet in circumference, and he stated that the 
oldest inhabitants in its vicinity did not remember the time when it 
was much smaller than at present. Our best pears sell at from ten 
to fifteen dollars per barrel ; and from one to two dollars per dozen. 

PEA. The original locality of this hardy annual seems to be 
unknown. It has been cultivated in India, China, and Japan, for 
many centui-ies, and was introduced into this country at the time of 
its first settlement. It probably went to Great Britain from Italy. 
In the reign of Q,ueen Elizabeth, the most delicate varieties were 
brought from Holland, and Fuller observes that they "were fit dain- 
ties for ladies, they came so far, and cost so dear." At the present 
day, the pea is very extensively diffused, and is well known as one of 
the most important culinary plants. The varieties are numerous, 
differing in stature, productiveness, the color of the fl.owers, and the 
time of ripening. They are adapted to almost any dry soil ; yet they 
will give a much better yield on rich land. Fresh manure is not 
good for either peas or beans. They M'ill bear a much heavier soil 
than the bean, good clays being highly favorable to their growth. 
For early table use in the family they are ordinarily raised in the 
garden ; being sowed in drills and furnished with small poles or brush, 
60 that they may occupy the least possible space, and be in a conve- 
nient position for being picked. 

When wanted in larger quantities for families, to be used dry, or 
for stock, they receive a field culture. The land designed for them 
should be ploughed in the fall ; and they may be sown in the spring 
immediately after the hard frosts, either in drills or broadcast. They 
should be covered in the soil to the depth of about two inches. If in 
drills, after they are up, a plough may be used to destroy the weeds. 
Where the soil is adapted to them, and the seed takes well, broad- 
cast sowing is equally efficient in preventing weeds, as their vigorous 
growth effectually overshadows and keeps them under. The best 
kind for field sowing is the grass-pea, and the marrow-fat for garden 
cidture. Earlier kinds should be selected in part for the garden. 
When broadcast, from two to four bushels of seed to the acre is the 
usual quantity used. In the garden, there should, in all parts of 
the season, be successive sowings about once in two weeks. By this 
means a family may be successively kept supplied for months ; or till 
beans and other vegetables are grown. However, the hot weather 
of mid-summer is unfavorable to the growth of peas. 

PEAT. This is a substance of vegetable origin, found wherever 
the soil has been soaked with water which has no outlet, and does 



324 THE FARMER AT HOME. 

not completely evaporate by the heat of the sun. When dried peat 
is examined, it is found to consist of roots and fibres in every stage of 
decomposition, from the natural wood to the complete black vegetable 
mould. From the nature of its formation under the surface of water, 
it acquires a portion of tannin, wdiich has the property of preserving 
animal aiul vegetable matter from decomposition. Hence large 
branches and tx'unks of trees are found embedded in peat, which have 
no mark of decomposition, except what have taken place before the 
wood was completely immersed in the peat. Peat contains all the 
elements of the richest manure, and may. by an easy process, be con- 
verted into humus. For this purpose, the agency of alkalies is the 
most effectual. If the tannin be decomposed, that of the vegetable 
fibre will go on, and soluble humus will be formed. When peat is 
newly dug up, if caustic lime be added to it, before it is dry, the 
moisture of the peat slakes the lime, which acts on the galic acid in 
the peat, and neutralizes it. If this mixture be then excited to fer- 
mentation by the addition of .animal matter, such as urine or dung, 
oxygen is absorbed, and carbonic acid evolved ; and the residue is 
converted into an excellent manure, containing much soluble humus. 
The same may be effected more slowly by mixing peat with clay or 
marl, and allowing the mixture to remain exposed to the atmosphere 
for a considerable time, frequently turning it. But nothing acceler- 
ates this process like the addition of putrescent animal matter, which 
acts as a ferment, and greatly hastens the decomposition. 

PELICAN. The pelican of Africa is much larger in the body 
than a swan, and somewhat of the same color and shape ; its four 
toes are all webbed together, and the form of its neck bears some 
resemblance to the swan's. The singularity which peculiarly distin- 
guishes this bird, chiefly consists in the form of its bill, and the great 
pouch which hangs underneath it, which has given rise to a variety 
of fabulous tales. This enormous bill is fifteen inches, from the point 
to the opening of the mouth, which is a good way back, behind the 
eyes ; at the base it is rather greenish, but varies towards the end to 
reddish blue ; in the beginning it is veiy thick, but tapers off towards 
the point in the form of a hook. To the under chap hangs this extra- 
ordinary bag, which extends along the whole bill, and reaches to the 
neck, and is said to be capable of containing no less than fifteen 
quarts ; this bag the bird has the power of wrinkling up into the hol- 
low of the under jaw ; it is not covered with feathers, but with a soft, 
very smooth down, and, when empty, is scarcely , perceptible ; but 
when the pelican has been successful in fishing, it is astonishing to 
see to what a size it Avill extend ; and it has been asserted, that it 
would contain as many fish as vi'ould satisfy the appetites of six hun- 
gry men. 

PERENNIAL. In Botany, is applied to those plants whose 
roots will abide many years, whether they retain their ieaves in win- 



THE FARMER AT HOME. 



325 



ter or not ; those which retain their leaves are called evergreens ; but 
such as cast their leaves, are called deciduo-us. Some of these have 
annual stalks, vi'hich die to the root every autumn, and shoot uc 
again in the spring 

PERENNIAL PLANTS. In Gardening, are such as are of Ion? 
duration. Such plants as are perpetuated by the roots, whether the 
leaves and stocks decay annually in winter, or always remain, pro- 
vided the roots are of many years duration, are perennial. All plants., 
therefore, with abiding roots, both of the herbaceous, shrub, and tree 
kinds, are perennials ; though in the general acceptation of the word 
perennial, it is most commonly applied to herbaceous vegetables with 
durable roots, more especially those of the flowering kind, which, 
among gardeners, are commonly called simple perennials, particularly 
the fibrous-rooted tribe ; but it is equally applicable to fibrous, tuber- 
ous, and bulbous-rooted plants, whose roots are of several years dura- 
tion ; likewise all shrubs and trees of every denomination, as having 
abiding roots, are perennial plants. 

PERIOD OF LIFE. The natural limit of human life seems to 
be from 80 to 90 years. Few men survive that period — the greater 
majority die long before they even approach it. Of all new-born in- 
fants, one out of four dies the first year. Two fifths only attain their 
sixth year ; and, before the twenty-second year, one half of the gene- 
ration is consigned to the grave. The order which death observes in 
cutting off his victims, is one of the most wonderful phenomena in 
nature — the causes by which it is efi'ected are too numerous and too 
complicated to be here considered in detail. The unhealthy nature 
of certain occupations, the impetuosity of the passions, and the cor- 
ruption of manners, prove no less fatal to life than the original weak- 
ness of the human frame. In general, the mean duration of human 
life is between 30 or 40 years ; that is, out of 30 or 40 individuals, 
one dies every year. 

Rare examples, however, of extreme longevity, of a life of 150 
years and upwards, seem to be common to all countries without dis- 
tinction. If England, the salubrity of which is so highly extolled, 
has furnished three or four examples of men arriving at the age of 
from 150 to 169 years, Hungary, which, generally speaking, is not a 
very healthy country, has seen the celebrated Peter Czartan prolong 
his life to the 185th year, and John Rovin, at the age of 172, had a 
wife of 1G4, and a younger son of 1 17. It is in the Bannat of Teme- 
suar, a very marshy district, and subject to the putrid fever, that these 
examples of longevity, and many others, have been observed. A. 
mode of life, which is sober, and unruffled by tumultuous passions, 
singularly contributes to longevity. According to the author of a very 
curious little work, called the Apology for Fasting, 152 hermits, taken 
in all ages, and under every climate, produce a sum total of ll,58i> 
years of life, and consequently an average of 76 years and a little 



326 THE FARMER AT HOME. 

more than three months for each ; whereas the samf number of 
Academicians, the one half beloufjiug to the Academy of Sciences, 
and the other to that of Belles Lettres, give only 10,51 1 years of life, 
consequently 69 years and a little more than two months for the 
mortal career of each. It is therefore not improbable, that in the 
ages of patriarchal innocence, the period of 150 or even 200 years, 
was much more commonly attained than it is in our times. 

PERSPIRATION OF PLANTS. In vegetable physiology, takes 
place chiefly from the surface of their leaves. In order to collect the 
liquor perspired, it is only necessary to introduce a branch of the plant 
into any sufficiently capacious glass vessel ; when the fluid M^hich 
exudes will trickle down the sides of the glass, in great abundance, 
especially if the experiment be made in sunshine. The liquor thus 
obtained is of a clear watery nature, scarcely distinguishable to our 
senses, or to our chemical inquiries, from the sap of the same plant, 
whatever it may be, procured by wounding its branches before the 
foliage expands. This, which may be termed insensible perspiration 
of plants, becomes in some cases sensible ; as when it runs down, like 
a slight shower, from willow or poplar trees, in hot suiniy weather ; 
or when it collects in drops on the leaves of plaintain trees in a stove. 
Hales and others have made experiments to ascertain the quantity of 
insensible perspiration in various plants. The great annual sun- 
flower was found to perspire about seventeen times as much as the 
ordinary insensible perspiration of the human skin. The Cornelian 
cherry, Cornus mascula, is said to discharge, in twenty-four hours, as 
much fluid as is equal to twice the weight of the whole shrub. Suc- 
culent leaves perspire much slower than others, though they absorb in 
a far more rapid proportion. 

This watery perspiration is the only excrementitious discharge of 
the vegetable body. The sap being carried up into the leaves, where 
it is acted upon by the air and light, for the most important purposes, 
yields those various and highly curious secretions, which, being carried 
down into the bark, afford matter for the increase of the tree, as well 
as for the manifestation of its various qualities. The great bulk of 
the sap which remains, as it does not return to the root, like the blood 
of animals to their heart, can be disposed of no otherwise than by a 
copious evaporation. Dr. Darwin was of opinion that this watery 
perspiration rendered a further service to the plant, by being acted 
upon by light, so as to give out oxygen, which was immediately ab- 
sorbed by the air vessels. 

PEWTER. A factitious metal used in domestic utensils. It is 
vei-y uncertain in its composition. The common utensils of the lowest 
price, are made from an alloy composed of about twenty of tin, three 
of lead, and one of brass. The lead is of no use but to make it 
cheaper, and doubtless on this account is often used in larger propor- 
tion. The brass is intended to give stiffness and hardness, the tin 



THE FARMER AT HOME. 



327 



being of itself much too soft. Another alloy of this kind is made 
without lead, consisting of tin combined Avith antimony, and copper 
in small proportion, to give it hardness This is manufactured into 
almost all the articles which are usually made of plated copper, and 
is known by the name of Britannia metal. The practice of putting 
lead into these alloys is extremely dangerous. Malt liquor, and par- 
ticularly porter, always contain more or less ascetic acid, which cannot 
fail to dissolve some of that deleterious metal. 

Lead may be mixed with tin in any proportion, without destroying 
the malleabihty of the compound metal, whereas the brittle metals, 
and copper, impart a brittleness to the alloy, when they exceed certain 
proportions. Hence lead and tin, with or without other smaller addi- 
tions, form the pewter in ordinary use. Lead being the cheapest of 
the two metals, the manufacturer finds it his interest to employ it in 
as large a proportion as possible ; but danger having been apprehended 
fi'om this noxious metal, the French government appointed a commis- 
sion of some very able chemists to examine the subject ; and they 
found, that M'hen wine or vinegar is allowed to stand in vessels com- 
posed of an alloy of tin ana lead in difl'erent proportions, the tin is 
first dissolved ; whilst the lead is not sensibly oxydated by these liquors, 
except at the line of contact of the air and the liquor, and no sensible 
quantity of lead is dissolved even by vinegar, after standing for some 
days in vessels that contained no more than about eighteen per cent 
of lead. Hence it was concluded, that as no noxious effect is pro- 
duced by the very minute quantity of tin which is dissoh'ed, a pewter 
may be considered as perfectly safe, which contains about eighty or 
eighty-two per cent, of tin ; and where the vessels are employed 
merely for measures, a much less pi'oportion of tin may be allowed. 
But the common pewter of Paris was found to contain no more than 
about twenty-five or thirty per cent, of tin, and the remainder was 
lead. 

PHOSPHATE OF LIME. The substance called phosphate of 
lime, is simply a compound of common lime and phosphoric acid. It 
is an important element in vegetable composition, and is the principal 
constituent of dry bones. Consequently, so far as the soil may be de- 
ficient in the phosphate of lime, the powder made from bones is a 
sure remedy. Eight pounds of bone dust in phosphates, are equal to 
one thousand pounds of hay or wheat straw. The value of bones is 
not dependent alone on the phosphates, but partly upon the gelatine 
and other organic matters which enter into their composition. These 
latter operate in the same way as the other organic tissues of animals. 
Bones are prepared for manure by boiling, by maceration in sulphuric 
acid and water, and by grinding ; the last of which methods is thought 
on all accounts to be preferable. The phosphate of lime is needful for 
the gi'owth of about every description of the cereal family, in the seed, 
in the bran, and in the stem ; for in the ashe« of each it is found more 



328 THE FARMEh AT HvJME. 

or less abundant. However, in most varieties there is not a large 
quantity ; and it is calculated that two hundred and sixty pounds of 
bone dust — less than six bushels — are sufficient for all the phosphates 
contained in the crops which are procured from an acre, in a rotation 
of four years, in turneps, barley, clover, and wheat. Some lands will 
exhibit the benefit of such a dressing for twice or thrice that time. 

PITCH LAKE OF TRINIDAD. Near point La Braye, Tar 
Point, the name assigned to it on account of its characteristic feature, 
in the island of Trinidad, is a lake which, at the first view, appears 
to be an expanse of still water, but which, on a nearer approach, is 
found to be an extensive plain of mineral pitch, with frequent crevices 
and chasms filled with water. On its being visited in the autumnal 
season, the singularity of the scene was so great, that it required some 
time for the spectators to recover themselves from their surprise, so as 
to examine it minutely. The surface of the lake was of an ash color, 
and not polished or smooth, so as to be slippery, but of such a con- 
sistence as to bear any weight. It was not adhesive, although it re- 
ceived in part the impression of the foot, and could be trodden without 
any tremulous motion, several head of cattle browsing on it in perfect 
security. In the summer season, however, the surface is much more 
yielding, and in a state approaching to fluidity, as is evidenced by 
pieces of wood and other substances, recently thrown in, having been 
found enveloped in it. Even large branches of trees, which were a 
foot above the level, had, in some M'ay, become enveloped in the bitu- 
minous matter. 

The interstices, or chasms, are very numerous, ramifying and join- 
ing in every direction ; and being filled with water in the wet season, 
present the only obstacle to walking over the surface. These cavities 
are in general deep in proportion to their width, and many of them 
unfathomable : the water they contain is uncontaminated by the pitch, 
and is the abode of a variety of fishes. The arrangement of the 
chasms is very singular, the sides invariably shelving from the surface, 
so as nearly to meet at the bottom, and then bulging out towards each 
other with a considerable degree of convexity. Several of them have 
been known to close up entirely, without leaving any mark or seam. 
The pitch lake of Trinidad contains many islets covered with grass 
and shrubs, which are the haunts of birds of the most exquisite 
plumage. Its precise extent cannot, any more than its depth, be 
readily ascertained, the line between it and the neighboring soil not 
being well defined ; but its main body may be estimated at three 
miles in circumference. It is bounded on the north and west by the 
sea, and on the south by a rocky eminence, and on the east by the 
usual argillaceous soil of the country. 

PLAYFULNESS OF ANIMALS. Small birds chase each other 
about in play, but perhaps the conduct of the crane and the trumpeter 
is the most extraordinary. The latter stands on one leg, hops about 



THE FARMER AT HOME. 329 

in the most eccentric manner, and throws somersets. This is some- 
times called the mad bird, on account of these singularities. The 
crane expands its wings, runs round in circles, leaps, and, throwing 
little stones and pieces of wood in the air, endeavors to catch them 
again, or pretends tc avoid them, as if afraid. Water birds, such as 
ducks and geese, dive after each other, and cleave the surface of the 
water with outstretched neck and flapping wings, throwing an abun- 
dant spray around. It is amusing to witness the sportive habits of 
turkies. Sometimes the whole flock, more particularly when the 
young brood is about half-grown, will start of! like race horses, upon a 
run, as if a wager were to be awarded to the swiftest. Birds of the 
pie kind are the analogues of mc^ikeys, full of mischief play, and 
mimicry. There is a story told of a tame magpie, which was seen 
busily employed in a garden gathering pebbles, and with much 
solemnity and a studied air, dropping them in a hole about eighteen 
inches deep, made to receive a post.* After dropping each stone, it 
cried currack I triumphantly, and set oft' for another. On examining 
the spot, a poor toad was found in the hole, which the magpie was 
stoning for his amusement. Deer often engage in a sham battle on a 
trial of strength, by twisting their horns together and pushing for the 
mastery. All animals that pretend violence in their play, stop short 
of exercising it ; the dog takes the greatest precaution not to injure 
by his bite ; and the ourang outang, in wrestling with his keeper, 
attempts to throw him and makes feints of biting him. Some animals 
carry out in their play the semblance of catching their prey I young 
cats, for instance, leap after every small and moving object, even to 
the leaves strewed by the autumn wind ; they crouch and steal for- 
ward ready for the spring ; the body quivering and the tail vibrating 
with emotion, they bound on the moving leaf, and again watch, and 
again spring forward at another. Rengger saw young jaguars and 
cuguars playing with round substances like kittens. Young lambs 
collect together on the little hillocks and eminences in their pastures, 
racing and sporting with each other in the most interesting manner. 
Horned cattle, particularly steers and young oxen, may be seen exer- 
cising together with their horns, as if they were taking lessons in 
means of self-defence. And calves will seemingly enjoy their frolics 
and gambols as much as boys in playing ball, or hide and seek. 

PLANTAIN. This fruit is eaten to a remarkable extent by the 
inhabitants of the torrid zone. From its nutritious qualities and 
general use, it may, whether used in a raw or dressed form, be re- 
garded rather as a necessary article of food than as an occasional lux- 
ury. In tropical countries, the plantain is one of the most interesting 
objects of cultivation for the subsistence of man. Three dozen fruits 
will maintain a person, instead of bread, for a week, and appears bet- 
ter suited to him in warm countries than that kind of food. Indeed, 
the plantain is often the whole support of an Indian family. The 



330 THE FARMER AT HOME. 

fruit is produced from among the immense leaves in bunches, weigh- 
mg thirty, sixty, and eighty pounds, of various colors, and of great 
diversity of form. Ii is ususlly long and narrow, of a pale yellow or 
dark red color, with a yellow farinaceous flesh. Br.* in form it varies 
to oblong and nearly spherical ; and in color it oflers all the shades 
and variations of tints that the combination of yellow and red, in dif- 
ferent proportions, can produce. Some sorts are said always to be of 
bright green color. In general, in our climate, Ave place little value 
on it ; to most of us the taste of it is insipid, unless it has had some 
preparation to make it palatable. It is more used in the West Indies 
than on the eastern continent in corresponding latitudes. 

PLOUGHS AND PLOUGHING in rural econorijy denotes the 
stirring and turning over of land with the plough. This is one of the 
most essential operations in the culture of the earth, and requires to 
be performed with the greatest care. Whatever, therefore, may be 
the design of the farmer, or the destination of the ground thus moved, 
it ought never to be ploughed in a wet state ; because the soil cannot 
be improved by such labor. Farther, the plough ought to be carried 
to a considerable depth into the soil ; and, if one turning be not suffi- 
cient, it will be advisable to pass another plough over the same fur- 
row, so that the land may be eflectually stirred ; when, being thus 
exposed to the air, its fertilizing properties will not only be consider- 
ably augmented, but all perennial weeds will be completely eradicated. 
Deep ploughing, however, is unnecessary for land that has been 
recently manured with lime or marl, but, on exhausted soils, it is un- 
commonly beneficial, and has, therefore, been generally recommended 
by the most skilful husbandmen. 

Ploughing increases the food of plants ; as it opens the soil for the 
reception of vegetable aliment from the air and light ; and. the sur- 
face being consequently enlarged, a greater portion of land is thus 
exposed to its influence. Farther, by breaking up the ground, if it 
be too solid, and rendering it firm, in case it be too light, this opera- 
tion greatly tends to improve the earth ; and, as weeds and other 
vegetable substances are thus reduced to a state of putrefaction, it 
promotes the nourishment of the new roots. Lastly, ploughing re- 
moves too great humidity, by forming the land into small ridges, and 
contributes to the eradication of weeds, as it first causes their seeds to 
vegetate, and afterwards tearing up the young plants, exposes their 
roots to the drought, in consequence of which they are deprived of 
their vegetative power. 

The oldest forms of the plough of which we have any description 
in ancient authors, or which are represented on monuments or coins, 
are very simple ; a mere wedge with a crooked handle to guide it, 
and a short beam by which it was drawn, form the whole instrument. 
The Hindoo plough, now in use in many parts of India, seems to dif- 
fer little from the old model. The greatest improvements in modern 



THE FARMER AT HOME. 



331 



ploughs are in the shape of a mould-board, and contrivances for regu- 
lating the line of draught so as to go at an equal depth, and cut oft' a 
regular slice of equal breadth, without any great force being applied 
by the ploughman. In addition to a regard to the form of the plough 
best accomplishing these objects, it is but little less important to com- 
bine lightness with strength, and with a reference to the least resist- 
ance in its progress by friction or otherwise, so as to diminish to the 
lowest possible degree the power to be applied in drawing it onward. 
If by improvements in these latter respects two oxen can accomplish 
what lour oxen formerly did in the same time, and, if in the i'ormer 
respects, a boy is enabled, as ploughman, to perform with ease the 
labor formerly requiring the strongest man, the magnitude of saving 
to the whole agricultural community is immense. The substitution 
of iron for wood in the construction of the plough, and the present 
peculiar adaptation of form for an easy accomplishment of the objects 
to be attained, is a saving to that amount if no more. 




PLOUGH. 



Mechanical philosophy has rarely or never done a better service 
than in making improvements in an agricultural implement, of which 
from fifty to one hundred thousand are manufactured every year. 
We know single establishments that make each ten thousand in a 
year. Hitherto for some years past, so numerous have been the im- 
provements in them, that it might seem that the article at present 
nearly approximates perfection. The kind of ploughs we used half a 
dozen years ago, then recommended as the best to be had, we have 
laid by to be preserved as memorials of a bygone period, and adopted 
others better adapted to our wants. It is scarcely to he presumed 
that one establishment can for any long period produce an implement 
materially of better form than all others ; for any one neglecting to 
adopt improvements of general notoriety, would soon be left without 
patronage. When the particular form of ploughs in particular estab- 
lishments is no longer susceptible of improvement, the reputation of 
them is to be kept up by superior artistic finish, in connection with 
an invariable use of the best wood and iron in their construction. 
The ploughs of Prouty and Mears have an enviable reputation, and 



332 



THE FARMER AT HOME. 



where they can most easily be procured, no one ^\ill be likely to seek 
for better articles ; but the Eagle or "Worcester ploughs, manufactured 
by Ruggles, Nourse, and Mason, occupy the most prominent place in 
public opinion, it appears to us. The oak used at Worcester is pro- 
verbially as tough as leather. In addition to the mechanical skill 
belonging to the establishment, it is believed, that the vievi^s of the 
Hon. F. Hoi brook, pei-haps the most critically scientific ruralist on 
this subject in the country, have been adopted by the proprietors ; 
and to complete their claims to this high excellence, they have re- 
ceived over four hundred premiums for their ploughs from different 
asfricultural societies in the United States. 

PLUM. The plum is a native of Asia, the south of Europe, and 
America; but most of our cultivated kinds are foreign, or descendants 
from them. It is a small tree, of a rather low spreading form, gener- 
ally of rapid growth, and moderate duration. The plum is a fine 
dessert fruit, some varieties being remarkably rich and luscious. It is 
used extensively for preserves, for which it is excellent. Some acid 
and austere kinds are used exclusively for this purpose. It is also 
used for pies, tarts, sauces, and various condiments. In France, dried 
plums are an important article in commerce. Varieties called prunes 
are used in this way. Plums well ripened, and used moderately, are 
nutritious and healthful ; but in excess they are injurious, as they are 
rich and cloying. The great obstacle to the raising of plums is the 
curculio, an insect which, soon after the blossom falls, punctures the 
young fruit, and then lays an egg in the wood. The gum oozes out, 
the egg hatches, the worm eats towards the centre of the plum, which 
falls, often before half growai, and the worm enters the earth, where 
it remains in a pupa state, some say a few weeks, others say till the 
next spring, when it emerges to commit a similar ravage on the fruit 
of the plum tree. As yet no antidotes effectually protect the plum 
against the depredations of this mischievous insect. 

POLAND HENS. Poland fowls, as they are generally called, 
were according to English authors, said to be imported from Holland. 
Their color is a shining black, with a white top-knot of feathers on 
the heads of both cock and hen. They are not so thickly covered 
with feathers as some other breeds, and still less so with down. They 
are quiet' and domestic, neither quarrelsome or mischievous, and their 
eggs of a good size, fine ffavored, and thin shells. The true breed is 
rather above the middling size ; their form is plump and deep, and 
the legs of the best sort are not too long, and most have five claws. 
The top-knot of upright, white feathers, covers so much of the head as 
almost to blind the eyes. The contrast of this perfectly white crest 
with the black plumage, is exceedingly beautiful ; but the top-knot 
of the cock differs from that of the hen — hers being broad and erect 
feathers, while his are narrow and hanging down in every direction ; 
but they must be perfectly white and the rest of the plumage black ; 



THE FARMER AT HOMfc 333 

broken colors, it is said by some, show a cross breed. The Poland 
hens, by many, are esteemed the best layers, seldom wantin<r to set. 
There is a white variety of top-knots, without a feather of any other 
color. These are very beautiful, but not quite so hardy as the black. 
And there is also a gold and black, or pheasant colored variety. But 
these are ecarce in the United States. 




POLAND FOWLS. 

POMEGRANATE. The pomegranate is a fruit in the form of 
an apple or quince, full of seeds or kernels, inclosed within a reddish 
pulp, sometimes sweet, sometimes acid. It is so called either from 
the abundance of its grain or kernels, pomum granatum, a kernelled 
apple, or from the country where it was anciently produced, viz. 
Granada. The pomegranate is, however, a native of the south of 
Europe, and grows to the general height of an apple tree ; the 
branches are a little prickly ; the leaves resemble those of the great 
myrtle ; and the fruit, which is composed of red angular grains, is 
inclosed in little distinct cells, the whole of which are enveloped by a 
thick and highly astringent outer rind. Pomegranates are by some 
esteemed. Of the kernels are made syrups and preserves ; the peel 
contains a considerable quantity of astringent matter. 

POND MUD. Small ponds, into which is conveyed the Avasli 
from the circumjacent hills, often contain, at their bottom, a thick 
stratum of very rich, unctuous sediment, which if removed at times 
when the water is dried up by the powerful heat and continual eva- 
poration which occur during the sr Itry months of summer and early 
autumn, makes a most valuable ingredient in compost, and is even a 



334 THE FARTHER AT HOME. 

stroncr and efficient fertilizer when applied to the soil in its trude state, 
especially if the texture of the land on which it is spread, is light and 
dry. All the animal excrement, and decayed vegetable matter pro- 
duced on the surrounding hills, naturally finds its way into these pools 
or ponds, and is there retained till removed, often forming rich muck 
and presenting an almost inexhaustible source of fertility to the farmer 
who is possessed of sufficient enterprise to avail himself of its latent 
wealth. By hauling this rich deposit into his yards — exposing it to 
the free action of the frost and air, in open situations, or by spreading 
it upon the surface of light lands, he will find it productive of highly 
beneficial effects. As a top dressing for grass lands, it possesses great 
efficiency, and retains its energies unimpaired for a longer time than 
stable manure, or perhaps any other decomposable manure that can 
be applied. 

POPPY. The species of poppy are. herbaceous plants, all bearing 
large, brilliant, but fugacious flowers. One of them yields the opium 
of commerce, and the juice of all is lactescent. Most of the species 
are natives of Europe, often occuring as weeds in fields and waste 
places ; but, in this country, we only see them in gardens, cultivated 
for ornament. One, indeed, the papaver nudicaule, is found in all 
the extreme northern regions of the globe. Their roots are annual or 
perennial ; the leaves alternate, and the flowers terminal and droop- 
ing until they are expanded ; the calyx is composed of two leaves, 
and the corolla of four petals ; the stamens are very numerous, and 
the capsule is one-celled, but is divided internally by several longi- 
tudinal partitions, and contains a multitude of seeds. 

PORK. The hog is the only domestic animal that we know of 
no use to man when alive, and therefore seems properly designed for 
food. The Jews, however, the Egyptians, and other inhabitants of 
warm countries, and all the Mahometans at present, reject the use of 
pork. The Greeks gave great commendation to this food, and their 
Athletse were fed with it. The Romans considered it as one of their 
delicacies. With regard to its alkalescency, no proper experiments 
have yet been made ; but, as it is of a gelatinous and succulent na- 
ture, it is probably less so than many others. Upon the whole it 
appears to be a very valuable nutriment. The reason is obvious why 
it was forbidden to the Jews ; tiieir whole ceremonial dispensation 
was typical. Filth was held as an emblem or type of sin. Hence 
the many la'ws respecting frequent washings ; and no animal feeds so 
filthily as swine. Mahomet borrowed this prohibition, as well as 
circumcision and many other parts of his system, from the law of 
Moses. But it is absurd to suppose, as some do, that Moses borrowed 
any thing of this kind from the Egyptians. 

POROSITY. Porosity is a property common to all the bodies of 
nature, at least we know of none in which the particles are contiguoua 
to one another. In some, as sponge and cork, the pores are visible to 



THE FAHMER AT HOME. 



335 



the eye, and in others they may be rendered so by the aid of a micro- 
BCope. Iti bodies, whose pores are not thus manifest, the existence of 
the intervals between the molecules is proved by various circum- 
stances. Thus water or mercury being contained in an open vessel 
of wood over the exhausted receiver of an air-pump will, by the pres- 
sure of the atmosphere, be forced through the wood, and fall thence 
in a shower; liquids also are frequently filtered by being made to 
pass through the pores of paper ; and in the Florentine experiment 
for determining whether or not water is compressible, the fluid was by 
pressure forced through the pores of the vessel of gold in which it was 
contained. Again, the porosity of bodies is inferred from their elas- 
ticity, and the sounds which are heard when the molecules are in a 
state of vibration ; also, in transparent bodies — and the most dense 
metals are, when rendered sufficiently thin, found to be transparent — 
it is inferred from the fact that the particles of light pass through 
them, or that the vibrations of an sethereal fluid takes place among 
the molecules. Finally, the porosity of bodies is proved from the fact 
that they sufi'er contraction of volume by being exposed to cold, and 
by mechanical compression, since such contractions can only take place 
in consequence of the particles being forced closer together than they 
were in the usual states of the bodies. 




P U L T R 



POULTRY. This term includes all the domesticated birds reared 
for the table, fowls, turkeys, geese, ducks, and Guinea hens. It might 
seem a waste of words to attempt proving that poultry should be kept 



336 THE FARMER AT HOME. 

by every family in the country. Most persons may not think it expe- 
dient to keep enough to render any pecuniary profit to be received in 
this way an object worthy of consideration. That there is a profit 
from tlae eggs of hens, when properly managed, beyond what can be 
derived from most branches of rural gain, according to the amount 
invested, has been sufficiently proved. The profit of one hundred 
hens in the year, properly managed, cannot be less than one hundred 
dollars, after paying every expeirse attending them. But if there were 
no pecuniary profit from them, the part they contribute in supplying 
our tables with their most valuable stores, renders them indispensable. 
True, it costs something to feed and shelter them ; and occasionally 
they may interfere with some of our other interests, as well as occa- 
sion us some vexations. Yet, how amply do they compensate us for 
all this I How much do they add to the cheerfulness and gaiety of 
the farm I Who can fail to be interested, and oftentimes delighted 
with the ceaseless clatter of their commingled tones of joy for sunshine 
and food I Were it not for the pompous shouts of the gobler, and the 
lordly crowing of Chanticleer, what an unchanged silence would now 
and then reign about the farmer's door-yard ' But with that and the 
perpetual cackling of an hundred hens, each daily leaving their nests 
after laying, is a specimen of animated nature scarcely elsewhere to 
be witnessed. 

PULVERIZATION. In Agriculture, the separation of the 
earthy particles of soils, in such a manner as to render them of a fine 
mellow mouldy quality, or to partake of the nature of powder. This 
state of mould is obtained in difierent ways, as by frequent ploughing 
and harrowing in the less stifi" sorts of land ; and in those of the more 
heavy and retentive descriptions, by the same means, and the fre- 
quent exposure of them to the influence and efiects of the atmosphere, 
with the growth of such sorts of crops as produce a close thick shade 
upon them. This state of the soil, when produced in lands, has 
various advantages, the roots of plants penetrate it with more readi- 
ness and greater facility. It admits of the particles of moisture more 
equally, and in a more extensive manner, by which the fibrous roots 
of the crops are more fully supplied with nourishment. It likewise 
produces a more equal and regular mixture of the different materials 
of which the soils are constituted and composed, so as to yield the 
nutrition of plants in a more extensive and abundant manner. The 
rains in the vernal months are also, by this means, more abundantly 
drank up and retained, in consequence of their sinking to a greater 
depth, as well as more equally diffused through the diff^erent parts, 
from which much advantage is derived in the support of the crops. 
By this fineue.ss in the particles of the soils, the manures, or other 
ameliorating substances, are also more extensively and more perfectly 
blended and incorporated with them, and of course a more equal and 
abundant supply of nutritious materials provided for the growth and 



THE FARMER AT HOME. 



3«7 



increase of the crops, of whatever kind they may be. And the air of 
the atmosphere is more intimately and abundantly received and blend- 
ed with them. These are a few of the various advantages that may 
be derived from the pulverization of land ; but there are many others 
noticed by writers on agriculture and rural economy. 

PUTREFACTION. This is the spontaneous decomposition of 
animal and vegetable substances, attended by the evolution of fetid 
gases. The putrefactive fermentation of animal substances is usually 
attended by more fetid and noxious exhalations than those arising 
from vegetable products. This appears principally referable to the 
more abundant presence of nitrogen in the former ; and hence those 
vegetables which abound in nitrogeniferous principles, such as most 
of the cruciform plants, exhale peculiarly nauseous effluvia ; hence, 
also, such animal products as are destitute of nitrogen are either un- 
susceptible of what is usually called putrefaction, or suffer it slowly 
and imperceptibly. The putrefactive effluvias are, for the most part, 
easily decomposed, and resolved into new and comparatively inocuous 
compounds by the agency of chlorine ; hence the importance of that 
body as a powerful and rapidly acting disinfectant. The rapidity of 
putrefaction, and the nature of its products are, to a great extent, in- 
fluenced by temperature, moisture, and access of air ; they do not 
ensue below the freezing point, nor in dry substances, nor under the 
entire exclusion of oxyge«. The astringent principle of vegetables, as 
seen in the tanning of leather, is a powerful preserver of most organic 
tissues. The anti-putrefactive powers of salt are well known. When 
a piece of meat is salted, brine runs from it, in consequence of the 
energy with which the salt abstracts the component water of the 
muscular fibre ; the flesh becomes indurated, and its susceptibility to 
putrefactive changes is greatly diminished ; but it becomes at the 
same time less easy of digestion as an article of food. 

dUADRUPED. In its simplest and most general meaning, a 
four footed animal. But as such an interpretation must include a pro- 
digious multiplicity of animals of very different habits and structures ; 
as, for example, not only hoofed and clawed land animals, but lizards, 
tortoises, frogs, and other amphibious reptiles, and perhaps various 
kinds of insects, it has been necessary, in the study of natural history, 
to limit its meaning, in order to be able to apply it to any definite 
purpose, and hence it has generally been restrained to such animals 
as have not only four feet, but a hairy body, produce viviparously, and 
suckle their young. 

ClUASS. This is the name of a liquor in Russia, which serves 
the natives not only for drink, but also for sauce to a number of dishes ; 
and it is the the basis of the favorite cold soup of the North, which is 
made by adding cold meat, cut in pieces, with cucumbers, salted aft.er 
a peculiar manner, or with onions, or garlic, to a bowl of this sub-acid 
liquor. The common Russian quass is prepared by putting into a 
15 



338 THE FARMER AT HOME. 

large pot of cold water, as much rye flour as will make thin dough ; 
this is then placed in an oven moderately heated, for three hours, and 
afterwards taken out and thrown inio a tub of cold water ; the mix- 
ture is worked with a machine like a chocolate mill, till it froths. To 
this liquor is added two basins of the grounds of old quass, leaven or 
a piece of their sour bread ; and the tub is covered with cloth, and 
laid by till the liquor has acquired a sourish taste, which marks its 
being ready for use. 

Q.UINCE. A low, tortuous tree, named after the ancient town 
of Cydon, in Crete, from which place it was said to have been intro- 
duced into the other parts of Europe ; but it appears to grow wild in 
Western Asia, and some of the neighboring parts of Europe. It is 
now cultivated throughout Europe, and in many parts of the United 
States, for the sake of its fruit, which, though hard and austere when 
plucked from the tree, becomes excellent when boiled and eaten with 
sugar, or_ preserved in syrup, or made into marmalade. Cluinces, when 
mixed with other fruit, in cookery, communicate a very pleasant flavor; 
and a delicious wine may be made from their juice, mixed with sugar 
in the proportion of one quart to the pound, and fermented. The 
leaves of the quince tree are simple, alternate, and entire ; the flowers 
are large, Avhite, sometimes with a blush of rose, and are solitary at 
the extremity of the young branches, and the fruit is somewhat pear- 
shaped, yellowish, and cottony, internally containing five cartilaginous 
cells, in each of which the seeds are arranged in two series, to the 
number of eight and upwards, and covered with a mucilaginous sub- 
stance. The character of the numerous seeds is the principal circum- 
stance in its structure, which distinguishes the quince from the apple 
and pear. The quince succeeds best in a light soil ; if it be too rich, 
the fruit becoms insipid, and if too dry, it remains small and coria- 
ceous. 

RADISH. A well known esculent root, imiversally cultivated in 
temperate climates, and in daily use. Several varieties have been 
produced by long cultivation, diflering in the form, size, and color of 
the roots ; either turbinate or round, spindle-shaped ; annual or bien- 
nial ; white, red, violet, or blackish, externally, but always white 
within. The taste is more or less pungent in these diflerent varieties ; 
but they are good only when j'oung, becoming hard, woody, and hollow, 
with age. The radi&h requires a deep, loose soil to attain perfection, 
and it may be produced successively throughout the year, by sowing 
monthly. It is of easy culture, but. during extreme heats, frequent 
irrigation is necessary, which renders the roots more mild and tender. 
The seed will keep five or six years. The stem of the radish is herba- 
ceous, upright, two or three feet high, and rough, with short hairs. 
The leaves are alternati?, the superior ones simple and sessile, the in- 
ferior lyrate, divided into cval or rounded lobes, toothed on the margin, 
with the terminal lobe much the largest. The flowers are white or 



THE FARMER AT HOME. 339 

purplish, disposed in terminal racemes. The pods are ejlindrical, 
acuminated with the style, indehiscent, and s-\veiling into knots, and 
contain rounded seeds. These seeds are olea<iiiious, and in one variety, 
lately introduced from China, the oil is extracted and used for culitiary 
purposes. Radishes are antiscorbutic and stimulant, but are little 
employed in medicine. The plant was originally brought from China 
and Persia, but has been cultivated in Europe from time imme- 
morial. 

RATAN. A genus of palms, but widely diflering in habit from 
the rest of that family, and, in this respect, somewhat resembling the 
grasses. The species have all perennial, long, round, solid, jointed, 
unbranching stems, extremely tough and pliable, often ascending 
among the branches of trees, but without prickles or tendrils. They 
grow in profusion along the banks of rivers in tropical Asia and the 
neighboring islands. All the species are very useful, and are applied 
to various purposes ; the fruit and young stems of all furnish nutri- 
ment, and a drink is obtained from the liquid which flows from wounds 
made in the spadix. 

One species is even cultivated for its fruit, which is about the size 
of a walnut, and covered with scales. Certain species furnish cables, 
cords, and withes of exceeding strength ; others are split into strips 
for making the seats and backs of chairs, baskets, and other light and 
elegant articles of furniture ; those which are larger and firmer, and 
whose joints are more distant, afibrd elegant walking sticks ; in short, 
the economical purposes to which the various species of ratans are 
applied, are very numerous, even in northern climates. A trade in 
ratans, to a considerable extent, is carried on from several of the East 
India islands to China, which is the principal market for them. 

RASPBERRY. In its wild, unimproved state, the raspberry is a 
native of various temperate climates, to be found growing in thickets, 
woodland, and rough mountain districts. Several varieties are known, 
which difier from each in their habits of growth and hardiness, as 
well as in the quality of their fruit. The cultivation of the raspberry 
on an extensive scale for market, is found lo be very profitable, for the 
crop is generally large, and always commands a good price. A Mr. 
Hallock, of Ulster county, in the State of New York, has a plantation 
covering three-fourths of an acre of land, which, in the season of 1848, 
yielded thirty-three hundred baskets of fruit. He sold them in the 
city of New York, at an average price of ten cents per basket, being 
at the rate of four hundred and fifty dollars per acre. Such a return 
cannot be expected from anything besides the very best management. 
An idea that the raspberry will flourish without cultivation, is very 
prevalent among those who consider themselves gardeners. On the 
contrary, it requires a good soil, the occasional application of manure, 
and regular pruning, quite as much as the cherry tree or the grape 
vine. We frequently hear peojde complaining that the improved 



340 



THE FARMER AT HOME. 



varieties, which, they have procured at considerable expense, are but 
little better than the old-fashioned kinds to be found on the roadside. 
The reason is obvious ; the bushes are set perhaps in the most unfavor- 
able part of the premises, and then allowed to take care of themselves. 
To expect that they will yield fruit in abundance, and of the best 
quality, is about as reasonable as it would be to suppose that a boy, 
left to follow his own headstrong will, and allowed to run wild with 
all kinds of associates, can become a respected member of society. 

The ease with which raspberries are produced in the gai'den, 
is a sufficient inducement for every family to pay so much atten- 
tion to the culture as to be furnished with an ample supply for 
its own use, if nothing more. The use of this fruit is not only harm- 
less, but is favorable to health. It ripens at a season of the year when 
something of the kind is peculiarly needful to assist in creating an 
appetite without impairing the digestive powers, or deranging the 
other organs of the animal system. Succeeding the strawberry in 
quick succession, the raspberry seems designed by Providence to answer 
a valuable purpose in supplying us with such a delicious fruit. 

RAY. Rays are defmed, by Sir Isaac Newton, to be the least 
parts of light, whether successive in the same line, or contemporary 
in several lines. For that light consists of parts of both kinds is evi- 
dent, since one may stop what comes this moment in any point, and 
let pass that which comes presently after ; now the least light, or part 
of light, which may be thus stopped, he calls a ray of light. It has 
been found by experiment, that there is a very great difference in the 
heating power of the different rays of light. 

It appears, from the experiments of Dr. Herschel, that this heating 
power increases from the middle of .the spectrum to the red ray, and 
is greatest beyond it, where the rays are invisible. Hence it is 
inferred that the rays of light and caloric nearly accompany each 
other, and that the latter are in different proportions in the different 
colored rays. They are easily separated from each other, as when the 
sun's rays are transmitted through a transparent body, the rays of 
light pass on seemingly undiminished, but the rays of caloric are inter- 
cepted. When the sun's rays are directed to an opaque body, the rays 
of light are reflected, and the rays of caloric ai'e absorbed and 
retained. This is the case with the light of the moon, which, how- 
ever much it be concentrated, gives no indication of being accom- 
panied with heat.. The solar rays pass through transparent bodies 
without increasing their temperature. The atmosphere, for instance, 
receives no increase of temperature by transmitting the'sun's rays, till 
these rays are reflected from other bodies, or are communicated to it 
by bodies which have absorbed them. This is also proved by the 
sun's ravs being transmitted through convex lenses, producing a high 
degree of temperature when they are concentrated, but giving no in- 
crease of temperature to the glass itself By this method the heat 



THE FARMER AT HOME. 34I 

which proceeds from the sun can be greatly increased. Indeed, the 
intensity of temperature produced in this way is equal to that of the 
hottest furnace. This is done, either by reflecting the sun's rays from 
a concave polished mirror, or by concentrating or collecting them by 
the refractive power of convex lenses, and directing the rays thus con- 
centrated on the combustible body. 

If the rays of light, after passing through a medium, enter another 
of a difl^erent density, perpendicular to its surface, they proceed through 
this medium in their original direction. But if they eriter obliquely 
to the surface of a medium, either denser or rarer than what they 
moved in before, they are made to change their direction iu passing 
through that medium. If the medium they enter be denser, they 
move through it in a direction nearer to the perpendicular drawn to 
its surface. On the contrary, when light passes out of a denser into 
a rarer medium, it moves in a direction farther from the perpendicu- 
lar. To prove this, take an upright empty vessel into a darkened 
room, which admits but a single beam of light obliquely tbrough a 
hole in a window shutter. Let the empty vessel stand on the floor, a 
few feet in advance of the window which admits the light, and let it 
be so arranged, that as the beam of light descends towards the floor, 
it first passes over the top of the side of the vessel next the window, 
and strikes the bottom on the side farthest from the window. Let the 
spot where it falls be marked. Now, on filling the vessel with water, 
the /ay, instead of striking the original spot, will fall considerably 
nearer the side towards the window. -v. 

REAPING- MACHINE. The tedious process of reaping or\ 
cutting the different kinds of grain by a sickle is well remembered. 
The labor required being generally at a season of the year when the 
heat of the sun is the most oppressive, the toil is proportionally more 
severe. The introduction of the cradle as a substitute of the sickle 
was indeed a great attainment to the extensive grain culturer ; but to 
such as have from twenty to two or three hundred acres to be cradled, 
the toil was enormous. Nor was this the only evil to be alleviated. 
As soon as grain becomes ripe it should all be cut and harvested 
without delay. If it becomes overripe, or if wet by showers after 
being cut, the damage may become great to the crop. To cut these 
large fields by hand, and to harvest them without being damaged from 
wet or over-ripeness, is not ordinarily to be accomplished. Laborers 
enough to do it is among the impossibilities of the case. The inven- 
tion, therefore, of reaping machines, to relieve laborers from such 
severity of toil, and to save grain from loss and damage, is one of the 
most important acquisitions to agriculture that has* been made. 

Several reaping machines have been presented to the public, of 
varying shades of merit ; but., as good as they all may be, it seems 
now to be an admitted fact, the machine of McCoi-mick takes prece- 
dence. So it may be mferred from the success attending its mission 



342 I^HE FARMER AT HOME. 

to the World's Fair. It would not be feasible, in a short article like 
the present, to exhibit a description of its several parts, enabling the 
reader to understand the perfection of its movement and the rapidity 
of its execution. To realize this, it must be seen when at work ; and 
so wonderful is the result., one would then find a difficulty in oelieving 
the evidence of his own senses. When first offered on sale, the pi-o- 
prietor f^uaranteed that it should, on an average, when at work, cut 
the grain of an acre in forty minutes, or about twenty acres per day ; 
and in case of failm^e the machine might be returned. Yet, although 
several thousands had been sold during the first three years, it was 
stated at the end of that time, that no one had been returned. No 
better evidence can be given that it is satisfactory to the purchasers. 

It is drawn by two horses, to be reheved in due time by two 
others ; and the four are thus to work alternately through the day, 
A boy of sixteen can drive them, and a man is requried to rake the 
grain from the machine into parcels on the ground, as it passes on, of 
a size suitable for sheaves. It will take si.x or seven hands to bind 
the sheaves and put them into shocks, as fast as they are made ready 
It is also affirmed, that in every acre of land, a bushel of wheat that 
would be lost from being trodden down or shell out with the use of 
the cradle, is saved by the machine, which is equal to about three 
quarters of the cost of operating it. The cost of it is one hundred and 
twenty dollars. This and the other reaping machines have under- 
gone, it is believed, since first in use, sundry improvements. When 
any defect was discovered, a remedy was devised as in machinery 
generally. 

REINDEER. Amidst the many striking marks which are every 
where exhibited of the supremacy of that Power that called us into 
life, in no instance do we trace stronger proofs of his beneficence than 
in the formation of that animal called the reindeer. In a country 
where the beauties of nature are unknown, and sterility and. barren- 
ness have established their seat, how dreadful would be the situation 
of its wretched inhabitants but for the advantages tliey enjoy from 
this domesticated frielid I The severity of the climate, which is fatal 
to many quadrupeds, is the means of increasing this animal's strength ; 
for whenever it has been transported into a more genial country, the 
change shortly pi'oves destructive to its life. The comforts of the 
Laplander absolutely depend upon the services he derives from this' 
useful race of animals : they conduct him over tracts that would 
otherwise be impassable, supply him with an abundance of whole- 
some food, and afford his body a covering from the severities of the 
cold. 

The horns of the reindeer resemble the American elk ; and they 
likewise have antlers springing from the brow ; it is not so tall an 
animal as the stag, though it is much stronger, and more calculated 
to endure fatigue. When they fir.^ shed theif coat, their color is 



THE FARMER AT HOME. 343 

browu ; but as the summer approaches, it begins to grow h'ght, and 
varies until it becomes nearly gray ; tlie hair upon its body is thick 
and long, calculated tc defend it iroin the severity of the clime ; and 
contrary to the rest of the deer species, the female is adorned both 
with antlers and horns. 

There are two kinds of reindeer in Lapland ; the one wild, and 
the other tame ; the latter are chiefly used for drawing the sledges, 
as the former will seldom submit to their guide. The sledges are 
built remarkably light, and their bottoms covered with a young deer's 
skin, with the hair placed in a proper direction to glide over the con- 
gealed snow. The person who sits on this vehicle guides the animal 
with a string fastened round the horns, and encourages him to proceed 
by the sound of his voice, or compels him forward by the assistance 
of a goad. The wild breed, when harnessed, are sometimes so refrac- 
tory, that their drivers find it impossible to make them proceed, and 
are obliged to hide themselves under their conveyance to avoid the 
attack it would make upon their lives. There is scarcely a part of 
this animal but what is serviceable to the inhabitants, and proves the 
benevolence of that Power by Avhom it was made ; its flesli, as I have 
observed, supplies them with food ; and though it does not give milk 
in lai-ge quantities, yet it is both nourishing and sweet. As to butter, 
they seldom make any ; but they boil the milk with sorrel, which 
makes it coagulate and grow thick ; they then put into casks, or 
skins, and bury it in the earth as a winter's regale ; but the skin is 
the most valuable part of this animal ; it supplies the inhabitants 
with bedding, clothing, and shoes ; nay, even the blood is preserved 
in small casks, to make sauce with the mari'ow of those which are 
killed in the spring. 

RENNET. The preserved membrane of the calf s stomach is 
called rennet, and it has the property of coagulating the albumen of 
milk, and converting it into curd and whey. The maw is cleaned, 
salted, and stretched upon a small hoop or frame, like parchment. 
Previous to its use, the salt is extracted by washing the rennet ; which 
is then soaked in hot water during the night ; and in the morning 
the infusion is poured into the milk to coagulate it. Coagulation is 
the result of the gastric juice, which is acid ; and acts upon the case- 
ous part of the milk, in the same manner as other acids. It has 
* sometimes happened that no rennet sufficiently good can be had for 
curdling milk In that case, vegetable acids are used for the pur- 
pose. 

REPRODUCTION. This is one of the most important provisions 
of nature, inasmuch as it guards animals and plants against the mul- 
tiplied dangers to which their bodies are exposed. Hence, when 
viewed in the connection with the system of nutrition, altojjether, it 
forms one of those decisive and grand characters which distinguish at 
once the machines th.at proceed from the hand of the Creator, from 



344 



THE FARMER AT HOME 



all, even the most ingenious and boasted productions of human skill. 
The difference is recognized at the first glance ; the distance is im- 
measurable. The springs and wheels of mechanical instruments 
have no power of repairing themselves, when they are bent, broken 
worn, or spoiled ; but such a faculty is enjoyed in various degrees by 
every animal and by every plant. 

At different periods of the year, several organized beings lose, by 
a spontaneous and natural process, certain parts of their bodies, which 
are subsequently renewed. Examples of this occur in the fall of the 
stag's horns ; in the moulting of birds ; in the renewal of the cuticle 
of serpents and other amphibia, of the larvae of insects, and of the 
shell of the Crustacea, and the fall of the leaves of the trees. This 
may be called ordinary or natural reproduction. The stag's horn, or 
antler, as it should be more properly called, is a mass of true bone, 
possessing the structure and characters of osseous substances. In its 
early state it is soft, and traversed by large vessels, which must be 
reproduced every time the new horn is formed. This annual repro- 
duction constitutes, in many points of view, one of the most remark- 
able phenomena of animal physiology. 

The cuticle of the snake is separated every year, and comes off as 
a complete sheath, excepting the aperture, through which the animal 
escapes ; the covering of the cornea is shed with the rest of the exter- 
nal integument. Crustaceous animals, for instance, the crab and lob- 
ster, have a skeleton, which surrounds and contains their soft parts, 
and which serves, at the same time, the purposes of a skin. When 
it has attained its perfect consistence, it grows no more ; but, as the 
soft parts still increase, the shell separates, and is detached, being 
succeeded by a larger one. The calcareous bodies in the stomachs ot 
these animals performing the office of teeth, are shed with the shell. 

The second, or extraordinary kind of reproductive power, is that 
by which wounds, fractures, or any accidental mutilation or loss ot 
parts of an organized body are remedied or restored. This exists in 
very different degrees in different departments of the animal kingdom. 
In man, and such animals as are nearly aUied to him, the property is 
very limited, although sufficiently active to be capable of remedying 
the effects of great injuries. If a bone be broken, a muscle or tendon 
divided, or a piece of skin destroyed, processes are set up in the parts ^ 
by which restoration is accomplished. The ends of the bones are 
joined by an osseous substance, which gives to the part its original 
solidity ; the tendon regains its firmness and power of resistance ; the 
muscle can contract again and move the points of its attachment ; 
and the surface of the body is covered by a new piece of integument. 
The functions of the parts are restored ; but the newly formed matter 
can be always distinguished from the original composition of the body, 
and possesses a weaker vitality. For, in some cases, old ulcers have 



THE FARMER AT HOME. 345 

broken out afresh, and even fractures have been disunited in states of 
great general debility. 

REPTILES. Reptiles are distinguised from birds and quadrupeds 
by their cold blood and single heart, that is, vi'ith only one ventricle, 
and from fish by their respiring through lungs. Their blood is never 
at a much higher temperature than that of the medium in which they 
live. No other animals are capable of enduring so great extremes of 
heat and cold as the reptiles, especially some particular species. 
Frogs, for instance, have continued to live in the human stomach, 
and in lumps of ice. From the peculiar structure of their bodies, 
they are able to suspend their respiration for a considerable time, and 
are also endowed with the faculty of enduring an abstinence that 
would prove fatal to warm-blooded animals. Most of them can live 
in the air as well as in water. Many live indifferently in erther ele- 
ment. Some pass a certain period of life, or certain seasons of the 
year, in one, and the rest in the other ; and some, finally, are confined 
to the water, or to the land. They live chiefly in morasses, swamps, 
and stagnant waters, damp, dark places, caves, and holes in the 
earth. 

As means of defence, nature has given to some of them great 
bodily strength, or sharp teeth, as to the crocodile ; to others a deadly 
poison, as to certain kinds of serpents ; to others, a hard covering, as 
to the tortoise ; to many, a disgusting smell, or an acrid humor, which 
they eject. Some of them have a remarkable power of reproduction, 
by which they renew parts of the body of which they have been de- 
prived. Some can live for an incredibly long time without air, and 
even without food, and some undergo transformations like insects. 
None of them chew their food, but they swallow it whole, and digest 
it at leisure. They are in general extremely tenacious of life, and 
will continue to move, and perform their animal functions, even after 
the severest injuries. Their colors and general appearance are, in 
most instances, disagreeable ; some, however, are decorated with 
the most vivid coloring. Their voices are either harsh and grating, 
or they are entirely dumb. Most reptiles are oviparous. In some, 
particularly in the frosts, the eggs are not fecundated until after their 
expulsion from the female ; hence they are merely provided with a 
thin membranous covering. The eggs of others, as the tortoise's, have 
a soft, tough skin, resembling parchment, while, in other genera, the 
eggs are furnished with a hard, calcareous shell. • In those species 
which are viparous, the eggs are regularly formed, but are hatched 
internally, as in vipers. 

RESIN. From the various species of pine, there exudes a balsam 
which concretes in the form of tears. It differs somewhat according 
to the peculiar tree from which it is obtained, and by distillation it is 
separated into two distinct ingredients ; oil of turpentine, which is 
volatile, and resin, which is not. If a quantity of pine wool is col' 
15* 



346 THE FARMER AT HOME. 

lected, covered with turf, and then set on fire, the resinous juice 
which would have been dissipated in the open air, maybe collected in 
a suitable receptacle beneath. In this way, tar and pitch, two well 
known articles of commerce, and both of a resinous nature, are usually 
procured. From a shrub that grows in Palestine and Arabia, is ob- 
tained a resin long celebrated for its medical virtues. It is the Balm 
of Gilead, so frequently alluded to in sacred history, and it is highly 
prized by the Turks, who prohibit its exportation. 

No kind of wood is sc durable as that in which the resinous secre- 
tion abounds. It is rarely injured by those insects which devour the 
hardest timber, and the insolubility of resin most effectually secures it 
from the destroying agency of water. As a proof of this fact, it has 
been observed that the cypress gates of Constantinople, erected by the 
Emperor Constantino, were found undecayed a thousand years after 
they were built. It is owing to this secretion that pine is more dura- 
ble than the hardest oak, though at the same time it contains much 
less of the woody fibre, on which the value of timber usually depends. 

RESPIRATION. In Physiology, that function of animal bodies, 
in which the air, either in its elastic state, as it constitutes the atmos- 
phere, or held in solution in water, is brought into contact with some 
organ or organs, undergoing alterations in its own constitution, and 
producing changes in the nature of the animal fluids, which are essen- 
tial to the continuance of life. In the mammalia, birds, and reptiles, 
the respiratory organs consist of lungs, that is, of membranous cavi- 
ties, ditierently comstructed in the three classes, but agreeing in the 
circumstances of alternately receiving and emitting a portion of atmos- 
pherical air. This alternate ingress and egress of air constitutes pro- 
perly what is called in common language breathing, to which the 
philosophical term respiration is synonymous. 

Although the structure of organs in fishes and insects is so different 
from that which we find in mammalia, birds, and reptiles, they per- 
form an analogous oflfice, answer the same general purposes in the 
animal economy, and are considered equally in the light of organs of 
respiration ; this term being employed now to denote the general effect 
produced by these various organizations, without any reference to the 
means through which it is produced ; although it was originally ap- 
plied to the passage of the air to and from the lungs, when the results 
of that process were unknown. 

The functions of the respiratory organs are closely connected with 
the other great processes of the animal economy. The heart, brain, 
and lungs, more particularly influence each other, and present, in their 
miitual relations, numerous and highly interesting considerations for 
the physiologist. 

REVOLVING HAY RAKE. Every person familiar with the 
routine of labor on the farm, must be aware of the excessive toil and 
the frequent pressing urgency for despatch in the season of hay making. 



THE FARMER AT HOME. 



347 



On large farms, where sometimes whole meadows of grass are in 
swath, or in a condition to be raked up, and clouds suddenly arise, de- 
noting showers or a storm, it is well known what alarm is created, 
especially when the whole reliance for guarding against damage is on 
the hand use of the old fashioned rakes. On such emergencies every 
individual within reach is put under requisition, women as well as 
men ; and even the children old enough to manage a rake, are called 
from the neighboring school housj, to engage in the scramble. On 
such occasions, w^hen a boy, we have thus toiled till our hands were 
covered with blisters. We shall never forget it. The necessity for 
such panics and hardships is mostly superseded. The invention of 
the horse-power rake is among the most important of agricultural 
facilities for saving labor. Rarely will it happen, where one of these 
rakes is on a farm, that there will be any necessity for the former 
efforts alluded to in protecting mown hay against damage from rain. 
Among the different horse rakes, we believe the Revolving Rake is 
the best ; and, a man and boy in a day, can rake up the hay of fifteen. 
or twenty acres. 




REVOLVING HORSE RAKE. 

RHINOCEROS. The rhinoceros is an animal which ranks next 
to the elephant, in point of size as well as strength ; it is usually found 
to be about twelve feet long from the tip of the nose to the insertion 
of the tail ; the same in circumference, and about seven in height ; 
the legs not being near so long as those of the elephant. It is diffi- 
cult to convey an accurate idea of this extraordinary animal, from the 
singular appearance produced by the skin, which lies upon the body 
in large folds, and looks like difl^erent coverings of shell, of a dirty 
brown color, and so callous as to turn a cimeter's edge. From the 
snout there issues a curved horn, which sometimes grows near four feet 
in length, with which it is a match for the fiercest animals, though it is 



348 THE FARMEPu AT HOME. 

never the first to commence an attack ; the form of the head resem- 
bles that of a hog ; hut the ears are larger, and star.d erect ; the eyeS; 
though small, are bright and piercing ; and the legs remarkably strong 
and thick. 

Pi,IOE. This plant is cultivated in many parts of the East, in 
South Carolina, in America, and also in Spain, Italy, and Piedmont. 
It is a plant that grows to the height of about two feet and a half, 
with a stalk not unlike that of wheat, but fuller of joints, and with 
leaves resembling that of the leek. It branches out into several stems, 
at tlic top of which the grain grows in clusters, and each of them is 
terminated with an ear or beard, and enclosed in a yellow rough husk. 
When stripped of this, they appear to be of an oval shape, of a shining 
white color, and almost transparent. Eice in China is the most im- 
portant crop. On it the people mainly subsist ; and of course the 
utmost attention is paid to its culture. It is also an important crop 
in some parts of our own country. The cultivation in South Carolina 
is very successful on rich river bottoms, the yield being forty bushels 
or more to the acre, and one hand can manage five acres. For the 
process of cultivation, see the Southern Cultivator, one of the best 
journals in the country. 

RIVER HORSE, or HIPPOPOTAMUS. Probably the Behe- 
moth mentioned in the book of Job. This surprising animal inhabits 
the rivers and lakes of Africa, living, as occasion requires, either in 
the water, or upon the land. He is twice the size of the largest ox. 
He has four legs which are short and thick ; his head is near four 
feet long, and nine feet round ; his jaws are about two feet wide ; and 
his teeth above a foot in length. His skin, generally, is so thick that 
a sword will not pierce it, and even a bullet can hardly enter it ; and 
his voice is loud and horrible. They chiefly keep at the bottom of 
deep lakes and rivers, especially in the day time, catching fish and 
feeding upon them. Sometimes, however, they walk upon the shore, 
and sometimes invade the fields of standing corn ; whence they are 
driven by the cries and shouts of the people who inhabit the country, 
and keep watch against this fearful enemy. This animal is remarka- 
bly constructed for his manner of walking. He is furnished with a 
cloven foot, and, above the pastern, with two small horny substances, 
which bend backward as he walks, so that he leaves on the ground 
an impression which seems to have been made by the pressure of four 
pa\vs to each foot. By this peculiar structure of his feet he is kept 
from sinking, at the bottom of lakes and rivers, and upon oozy shores. 

ROADS. The Romans were distinguished by the vast extent 
and solid construction of their roads, of which several thousand miles 
were made in Italy alone ; while every other country that was brought 
under their sway was more or less intersected by these excellent high- 
ways. The solidity of tlieir construction was fully equal to the 
boldness of their desigr a fact proved by the existence of many that 



THK FARMER AT HOME. 349 

have borne the traffic of nearly two thousand years without material 
injury. The Romans always pave a firm foundation to their roads, 
by ramming down a layer of small stones and broken bricks ; on this 
layer a pavement of large stones was laid, either to fit closely around 
one another, or cemented into a hard and firm causeway. In our 
own country, as yet, but little has been done in the construction of 
public highways on scientific principles. Some attempts have been 
made for the Macadamized roads, and more recently for plank roads ; 
but the latter, although answering a good temporary purpose, will 
soon wear out. 

The plan of M'Adam has generally been found to be free from the 
objections most common in previous eflbrts to construct good roads. 
His plans, as many of our readers know, is to make a deep layer of 
small stones which will lock together, by the frequent pressure upon 
them, into a hard and compact mass, forming a sort of crust nearly 
impervious to water. The quantity of these small stones must depend 
on the quality of the ground beneath ; in many cases a layer of two 
or three feet has been required. In some cases where a deep layer 
would be indispensable, there has been for a foundation to the small 
stones, a layer of large ones, carefully disposed by hand, so as to 
remain without any change of position. It has been found that this 
afibrds an easier draught for horses than where the substratum is of 
earth ; and that a gravel surface is more trying to horses than a 
broken stone surface. Stone tramways have occasionally been applied 
in England to common roads with great advantage. They consist of 
wheel-tracks formed of large blocks of stone, usually granite, over 
which the wheels roll smoothly, while there is an intermediate broken 
stone road for the horses. Iron tramways have sometimes been used. 
It is supposed by many that good tramways, and even Macadamized 
roads, may be constructed so as to answer the purpose for locomotives. 
This has been attempted in France, and with a prospect of satisfac- 
tory results. 

ROLLER. Rollers are important implements in modern farming, 
and are fast coming into general use. They crush all the sods and 
lumps that remain on the top of the ground after the haiTow has passed, 
and force down small stones level with the surface. They render the 
field smooth for the :radle, scythe, and rake, press the earth close 
about the seed, and secure a more sure and quick germination. On 
light and sandy soils they are invaluable, and in all cases their use 
has greatly increased the product. Much benefit is undoubtedly 
found in compressing the surface of light soils, by preventing the 
escape of those gases from the manure so essential to vegetation, and 
which are so rapidly extracted by the sun and winds. 

Great advantage is gained by rolling early in the spring, while the 
ground is soft. Clay lands, by heaving, pull to pieces and displace 
the roots of grain and grasses sown the previous autumn, and the 



350 



THE FARMER AT HOME. 



heavy roller presses the roots and the earth together in their propel 
position, when vegetation goes on again, and thus, in a measure, pre- 
vents what i, termed winter killing. They are variously made of 
wood, stone, and iron. Those of iron are most durable ; those of 
stone may occasionally become impaired by the lossol' fragments where 
there had been old seams ; and those of wood are always liable to 
decay. The one represented in the cut is entirely of iron, except the 




ROLLER. 

tongue and box, which are of wood. Twenty four inches in diameter 
is a good size ; but are' sometimes six inches larger, and then again 
six inches smaller. The rollers are in separate sections, each one 
foot long, placed on a wrought iron arbor on which they turn indepen- 
dently of each other, thus turuing without much friction, and leaving 
the ground smooth. The box is attached to receive stones, either to 
increase the weight of the implement, or that such as are casually 
found on the surface may be removed. Rollers are made of any size 
or weight desired ; and none can be obtained better than those man- 
ufactured by A. B. Allen and Company. New-York. 

ROOT The root is that part of a plant by which it attaches 
itself to the soil in which it grows, or to the substance on which it 
feeds, and is the principal organ of nutrition. The roots by which 
trees and shrubs are supported, appear to be merely elongations ot 
their stems, subdivided into numerous branches, and terminating in 
minute radicles, or absorbents. These extremities resemble the fibrous 
roots of grasses, and are subservient to precisely the same ends, for the 
main body as well as its large branches, sei've only to convey towards 
the 'eaf the nourishment which its minute extremities have derived from 



THE FARMER AT HOME. 35! 

the earth. Like the stern to which it is attached, the former is composed 
of concentric circles corresponding to the age of the tree, and contains 
the same vessels which pervade the other parts of the vegetable texture ; 
but the extreme radicles are always of annual growth, and the deli- 
cacy of their texture renders it difficult to transplant vegetables after 
they are formed. The proper period, therefore, to remove trees and 
shrubs, is late in autumn, after the radicles have ceased to absorb 
moisture from the earth, or in the spring, before a new system of ab- 
sorbents is formed. It may be done with safety in mid-winter, when 
the whole energies of the vegetable are torpid, but during the season 
of vegetation, which requires the constant abstraction of nutriment 
from the earth, it is a work of more difficulty and danger. 

The analogy between the ascending stem and the branching root, 
is more close and better established, than at first view we should be 
prepared to expect, and their only difierence is derived from the dif- 
ferent organs with which they are connected. This is established by 
an experiment which has frequently been performed, and may with- 
out difficulty be repeated. A shrub was bent to the horizon in such 
a manner that half of its branches were covered with earth, and a 
similar proportion of its roots were exposed to the action of air and 
light, without any protection but that of a thin coat of moss, which 
was removed in a few days. In this position the shrub remained for 
a considerable while, after which the remainder of the stem was 
buried beneath, and the whole root raised about the surface of the 
ground. Thus reversed, it continued to grow, the former roots being 
crowned with leaves, and in a few years decorated with flowers, while 
the former branches put forth radical fibres, whereby the shrub de- 
rived its nourishment from the earth. 

Bulbs are by some writers classed with roots, while others regard 
them as an interesting variety of subterranean bud. Certain it is 
that they enclose -the embryo of future plants, till the period of their 
evolution arrives, and in this respect they perform the office of buds. 
Many of them are also composed of concentric scales, nearly allied to 
those which secure the tender leaves and flowers of northern trees, 
from the cold of the winter to which they are exposed. But it is 
equally true they bear a close analogy to the tuberous root, and what- 
ever opinions we adopt respecting their nature and rank, whether we 
class them with roots or with buds, the plants to which they are 
attached will always be regarded with peculiar interest. They are 
amongst the earliest harbingers of spring, and certainly the most 
splendid ornaments of the garden. Among them are the lily, snow- 
drop, tulip, hyacinth, with about forty more interesting plants, equally 
deserving the fostering care of the cultivator. 

All these varieties of roots are formed to secure the same end, to 
fix the plant securely in the earth, to supply it with food, and to pre- 
6eyve its vital though dormant energies, at a season when they could 



552 



THE FARMER AT HOME. 



not be safely aroused into action ; and at the same time, to secure its 
resources against the vicissitudes of moisture and dryness to which the 
vegetables of many countries are perpetually exposed. And a small 
share of attention to the structure and form of each variety, will ena- 
ble us to pursue the best mode of cultivation, and to designate the 
quality of the soil to which they are respectively suited. Of those 
which descend deep into the earth, there are several varieties, and all 
require to have the ground deeply furrowed, before they can be culti- 
vated with advantage. Barren and thin soils are best suited to the 
wide spreading roots, which creep extensively on their surface ; dry 
and sandy plains are adapted to those which penetrate deep for nour- 
ishment, and are supplied with bulbs for its preservation, or with 
downy radicles for its abundant absorption. No one can advan- 
tageously introduce a new plant, till by the examination of its various 
organs, he has learned to what situation it is best adapted, nor can he 
be a successful florist, who is not at the same time an observing 
botanist. 




R T - P U L I, K R . 

ROOT-PULLER. One of the most simple and useful contri- 
vances on a farm that has not been fully subdued, is the Root and 
Bush Puller. The cut annexed will convey an idea of the principle 
on which it becomes so powerful. Let it be attached to bushes, 
clumps of roots, tiud bogs for the purpose of pulling them out of the 
ground. It is made, with two, three, or four claws. These are 
hooked to the bush close to the ground, and to the root wherever it 
may be well secured ; the oxen or horses are attached to it by a chain, 
when the bush and roots are easily hauled out. It will do the work 
of half a dozen men in clearing and grubbing. It may be found at 
the large agricultural warehouses generally. 

ROTATION OF CROPS. It has been found from experience 
that a repetition of the same crops in succession has a peculiar eflecfe 
on the soil, so that if grain of the same nature be sown year after year 
in the same ground, it will not produce the same return of seed, even 
when abundantly manured. It is the formation of the seed which 
principally causes the deterioration of the soil ; for if the crops be fed 
ofl^in a green state, or mown before the seed is formed, the same may 



THE FAEMER AT HOME. 353 

be safely repeated, and no diminution of the plant is apparent. How- 
ever judiciously the land may be manured, it is not practicable to 
raise a crop of wheat or clover, or of many other plants on a soil 
which has shown that, as farmers say, it is tired of the crop ; but 
clover grows well after wheat, and wheat after clover, so that the 
same effect is not produced in the soil by these two crops. In all 
countries where peculiar attention has been paid to agriculture, the 
most advantageous succession of crops is generally known ; and certain 
general principles are commonly adratled as fully established. 

In order to find the crops which may advantageously succeed each 
other in rotation, many circurristances must be taken into considera- 
tion. First of all the quality of the soil, and its fitness for par- 
ticular crops ; next the wants of the farmer and his family, and the 
maintenance of the stock required to produce a sufficient supply of 
manure ; and, next the particular market which lies open to him. 
That which forms the food of man is always the principal object in 
cultivation ; and, in our climate wheat and maize or Indian corn may 
be considered the grains that should have prominence in each rotatioi? 
among our agriculturalists. Eye, barley, and oats, either as substi 
states for them, or for the feeding of stock, are not to be omitted 
Next to grain comes meat, chiefly beef, mutton, and pork, of which th( 
consumption increases with the wealth of a nation and the advance of 
its agriculture. Wheat, maize, and meat are therefore the primarj- 
objects with every farmer ; and he who can raise most wheat and 
Indian corn, and fatten most oxen, or sheep, or pigs, will realize the 
greatest profit. The rotation, therefore, depends on all these con- 
siderations combined. 

RUST. In Rural Economy, a distemper incident to corn, and 
generally called mildew. The ancients generally thought that it 
came from heaven, being ignorant of its true cause. Virgil gives this 
up as an incurable distemper, and tells the farmer that if his corn is 
blighted he must live upon acorns, not supposing that any remedy 
could be devised for such a distemper. Wheat is blighted at seasons, 
first in the blossom, and then its generation is prevented, many of the 
husks being empty in the ear, and the rudiments oi the grains not 
impregnated ; secondly, wheat is blighted when the grains are brought 
to maturity ; and in this case they become light and are of little value 
for making of bread, having scarcely any flour in them. 

Under this term of rust may, perhaps, most properly be arranged, 
and included, that sort of destructive affection of grain, which is 
caused by the funguses and parasitical plants, which fix themselves 
on aiL^ attach themselves to, the stems or other parts of it, so as to 
diminish, interc3pt, or destroy its nutritive properties and qualities. 
The injury done in this way is often more dreadful than that from 
any of the other causes, as whole fields have been known to be utterly 
destroyed, so as not to contain a single grain of wheat in the ear, and 



354 THE FARMEP AT HOME. 

at the same time, the straw rendered totallj' unfit for fodder, possess- 
ins: neither streno^th nor substance in it. The evidence of dillerent 
places fully confirm the existence of fungi, as injurious in this man- 
ner ; as from some it is stated, that as the wet weather continued, 
the rust of fungus made a rapid progress from the ear downwards, 
until, in many instances, it covered the stem from the ear, as far as 
it was unsheathed. From others it is said, that the rust or fungus 
prevented those grains which the maggot had not destroyed from being 
perfected, in a greater or less degree. From others still it is asserted, 
that these parasitical plants multiplied so much on the straw, and on 
the husk and chaff of the ears, that in many cases whole fields put on 
an universal blackened, rusty appearance. From other dillerent per- 
sons, various other circumstances of this nature are also related to be 
met with. 

The best means of preventing and removing affections of this 
nature in this sort of grain crop, are supposed to be those of cultiva- 
ting only the sorts of wheat which are the hardiest in point of quality, 
and the least liable to disease; the sowing of the wheat earlier than 
usual in the season ; the introduction of earlier varieties of it ; the 
giving of a sufficient quantity of seed ; the draining of the land where 
it is inclined to be wet ; the rolling and treading of the land by live 
stock immediately after sowing ; the use of sowing different sorts of 
saline substances as a manure ; the proper regulation and improve- 
ment of the course of crops ; the change of seed, by bringing il fresh 
from other countries; the extirpation of the diseased stems, stalks, or 
blades early in the season, and the instantly cutting down of the crop 
when it is decidedly affected. 

SADDLE. A seat upon a horse's back, contrived for the conven- 
iency of the rider. The ancient Romans are supposed not to have 
made use of saddles and stirrups, and it is thousrht that they did not 
come into use till the time of Constantine the Great, A. D. 340, as 
appears from the Greek historian, Zonaras, who (through his whole his- 
tory) makes no mention of a saddle for a horse, before such time as 
Constans, attempting to deprive his brother Constantine of the empire, 
made head against his army, and entering into the squadron, where 
he himself was, cast him beside the saddle of his horse. 

SAGO. Sago is a simple brought from the East Indies, of con- 
siderable use as a restorative diet. It is produced from a species of 
palm tree, growing in the East Indies. The progress of its vegetation 
in the early stages is very slow. At first it is a mere shrub, thick set 
with thorns ; but, as soon as its stem is once formed, it rises in a short 
time to thirty feet, is about six feet in circumference, and imperceptibly 
loses its thorns. Its ligneous bark is about au inch in thicknest, and 
covers a multitude of long fibres ; which, being interwoven one with 
another, envelope a mass of a gummy kind of meal. As soon as this 
tree is ripe, a whitish dust, which transpires through the pores of the 



THE FARMER AT HOiVrE. 355 

leaves, and adheres to their extremities, proclaims its maturity. The 
Malays then cut it down near the root, divide it into several sections, 
and then scooop out the mass of mealy substance, which is envel- 
oped by, and adheres to the fibres ; they dilute it in water, and then 
pass it through a straining bag of fine cloth, to separate it from the 
fibres. When this paste has lost part of its moisture, by evaporation, 
the Malays throw it into earlhern vessels, of diflerent shapes, where 
they allow it to dry and harden. This paste is wholesome nourishing 
food ; the Indians eat it diluted with water, and sometimes baked or 
boiled. A jelly is sometimes made of it, which is white and of a 
delicious flavor. An inferior kind of Sago is made in the West Indies 
from the pitch of the areca. 

SALIVA. The saliva which is secreted by peculiar glands, and 
which flows into the mouth, is a clear viscid fluid, without taste or 
smell. It has generally a frothy appearance, being mixed with a 
quantity of air. Saliva has a strong attraction for oxygen, which by 
trituration it communicates to some metalic substances, as mercury, 
gold, and silver. When saliva is boiled in water, albumen is precipi- 
tated, and when it is slowly evaporated, muriate ot soda is obtained. 
A vegetable gluten remains behind, which burns with the odor of 
prussic acid. Saliva becomes thick by the action of acids. Oxalic 
acid precipitates lime. Saliva is also inspissated by alchohol. It is 
decomposed by the alkalies ; and the nitrates of lead, of mercury, and 
the silver, precipitate muriatic and phosphoric acids. By distilla- 
tion in a retort, it froths up, afibrds nearly four-fifths of its quantity 01 
water almost pure, a little carbonate of ammonia, some oil, and an 
acid. What remains behind consists of muriate of soda, phosphate 
of soda and of lime. 

SALT. Or the muriate of soda, as it is termed by chemists, is 
one of the most abundant productions of nature, and is found in vast 
quantities in its native state. The waters of the ocean owe their salt- 
ness to it ; it is found in a number of mineral springs ; and it forms 
immense strata in the bowels of the earth, or rising on the surface, 
even to the height of mountains. According as it is produced from 
these sources, it is named sea salt or rock salt Rock salt is solid, 
hard, and more or less transparent, of a white, gray, or reddish color, 
sometimes of a bright or deep red or yellow, and more rarely with spots 
of blue. Its fracture is foliated or fibrous ; generally it is massive, 
but sometimes crystalized in cubes, and its fragments are always of a 
cubical form. The colors are supposed to depend on the oxide or 
muriate of iron. In general it is pure, and hence its taste is purely 
saline ; but sometimes it is bitter, from the presence of foreign salts. 
There are immense mines of it in different countries 

It has been slated that salt is superior for preserving fish and meats 
in proportion to its weight ; and, that American salt being considera- 
bly heavier than Liverpool salt, is superior to it. This comparative 



356 THE FARMER AT HOME. 

difference of weight will appear from the following account of samples 
of salt, manufactured at the Onondaga works, in New York. Tliese 
samples were of four diffei'ent kinds. The coarsest is of the most 
perfect whiteness and purity, and weighs seventy-four pounds to the 
bushel. It is made by evaporating the salt water in the sun, in large 
wooden vats. It is almost as coarse as Turk's Island salt. The 
second quality is about as coarse as St. Ubes' salt, but entirely free 
from all impurity. It weighs sixty-six pounds to the bushel, and is 
made by boiling the brine in wrought iron pans. The third quality 
is a little finer than that called Liverpool coarse salt, and a bushel 
weighs fifty-five pounds. (The Liverpool weighs only fifty pounds to 
the bushel.) The fourth kind is very fine and clean table salt, of the 
very best quality. The water of the salt springs at Salina, is said to 
yield four times as much salt as the water of the ocean. It probably 
proceeds from some vast body of rock salt in the bowels of the earth. 
In a memoir on the Salines, or salt springs, and wells of the Keuhaway 
county, in Virginia, it is stated among other particulars, that at the 
salt works, along the great Kenhaway, there are about sixty furnaces 
in operation, producing from ten to twenty thousand bushels annu- 
ally ; and furnishing the principal supply of this essential article to 
the States of Kentucky, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, the west part of Ten- 
nessee, the northern section of Alabama, and the western counties of 
Virginia. 

The quantity of salt used is immense. In all culinary processes 
it is indispensable. It is as conducive to health as it is agreeable to 
the taste. One could scarcely live without it. Nor is it less neces- 
sary to other animals than to man. There should be a strict regard 
to its being given to oxen and cows, sheep and horses, without any 
long intervals. They will thrive the better for it. And it is equally 
valuable for hogs, especially upon being fattened. Salt is also used in 
agriculture, particularly in forming composts. However, if used with- 
out regard to its chemical qualities, the effects of it may sometimes be 
baneful rather than beneficial ; for it is known to all that to certain 
kinds of vegetable life it is very destructive. If applied to an aspara- 
gus bed, while it destroys grass and certain weeds whose roots are 
near the surface, the growth of the asparagus is promoted. In gene- 
ral its effects are said to be better on good soils than poor ones. If 
cast about trees, the saline properties may indeed destroy insects ; 
but, if the quantity has been too large, so as to penetrate to the mass 
of the roots, the trees have likewise now and then been destroyed. 
Those who use salt in agriculture should be furnished with a directory 
for it, either Brown's American Muck Book, or Dana's Muck Manual. 

SALMON. A celebrated fish belonging to the trout genus, which 
inhabits the northern seas, and ascends the rivers in spring for the 
purpose of depositing its spawn. The excellence of its flesh is well 
known, but it varias somewhat in difierent waters. In certain dis- 



THE FARMER AT HOME. 357 

tricts, the abundance of this fish forms a great soiirce of wealth to the 
inhabitants, and it often forms a chief article of sustenance. The 
salmon inhabits the European coasts, from Spitzbergen to Western 
France, but is never seen in the Mediterranean. On the Western 
shores of the Atlantic it is found from Greenland to the Hudson, but 
is exceedingly rare in the latter river, and never penetrates farther 
south. It ascends the St. Lawrence to Lake Ontario, and enters the 
tributaries of that lake ; but the fall of Niagara presents a barrier to 
its farther progress into the continent. In the North Pacific the 
salmon again makes its appearance, and frequents, in vast numbers, 
the rivers of Northwestern America, Kamtschatka, and Eastern Asia. ' 

A cold climate and clear water seem to be most congenial to its 
constitution. The salmon grows to the length of lour, five or six feet, 
and usually weighs twelve or fifteen pounds. The body is elongated 
and compressed ; the color silver gray, with spots ; the head of mod- 
erate size, and the upper jaw rather the longest. Almost all parts^of 
the mouth, and even the tongue, are furnished with pointed teeth, as 
in the other trouts, and like them, it has an adipose fin upon the lower 
part of the back. All the trouts are voracious and carnivorous, and 
in general seek the purest water. As soon as the ice melts, the sal- 
mon enters the mouths of rivers, and, as has been ascertained, almost 
always of those which gave them birth. They are easily frightened, 
either by a sudden noise or floating timber, and on such occasions 
sometimes turn aside from their course and return to the sea. When 
farther advanced, they make the most determined efforts to surmount 
rapids and cascades, and will leap a fall of twelve or fifteen feet in per- 
pendicular height. If alarmed, they dart away with such rapidity that 
the eye can scarcely follow them. 

When the young are about a foot in length, they descend the rivers 
and take refuge in the ocean. Late in the following spring or in the 
beginning of summer, and after the old ones have ascended, the young 
again enter the rivers, and are then about eighteen inches in length. 
They again seek the ocean on the return of frosts. At two years old, 
the salmon weighs six or eight pounds, and requires five or six years to 
attain the weight of ten or twelve. The salmon fishery is one of the 
most important branches of business in the north of Europe. Im- 
mense quantities of this fish are taken every year, and form a consid- 
erable accession to the general mass of nutriment. The flesh is 
bright orange, but, though delicious to the taste, and very much 
sought after, is difficult of digestion. Formerly the New York market 
was supplied with fresh salmon from the Connecticut river ; but, 
since the erection of mill dams and other obstructions, the fish have 
become scarce there, and now are brought almost exclusively from the 
state of Maine, packed in ice. 

SAMP. A name given to a sort of bread made of the maize, or 
Indian corn. They first water the corn for about half an hour, and 



358 THE FARMER AT HOME. 

then beat it in a mortar, or grind it in a handmill ; they then sift out 
the flour, and winnow the husks from it ; they then mix this into a 
thin paste with water, and bake it in flat loaves, which they call 
samp loaves; or samp bread. Beside this, they have another dish 
prepared of this corn, which they esteem a great delicacy, and call by 
the name of samp, without the addition of loaf or bread. To make 
this, they only bruise or grind the corn to the size of rice, and then 
winnowing away the husks, they boil it gently till it is thoroughly 
tender, and then add to it milk and butter and sugar ; this is not only 
a very wholesome, but a very pleasant dish. It was the first diet of 
our planters when newly settled here, and is still in use as an inno- 
cent food in sickness as well as health. The Indians, who feed on 
this sort of food, are found never to be subject to the stone, and to 
escape several other painiiil diseases. The English have found a Avay 
of making a very good sort of beer of the grain of Indian corn ; they 
do this either by using the bread of it, or else by malting it, as they 
io their own corn. When they make the beer of the maize bread, 
they break or cut it into lumps as big as a man's fist ; they mash 
these in the same manner that we do malt, and boil up the wort in 
the same manner, either with or without hops. 

SAND. The name of sand is given to all mineral matter that 
exists in minute detached grains, and is denominated from the pre- 
vailing substance, as siliceous sand, iron sand. Sand is generally formed 
from the disintegration of hard stones or rocks by the agency of water, 
and the particles of siliceous stones, possessing a greater degree of 
hardness than most other kinds. The greatest part of the sand which 
exists on the seashore, or is spread on the surface of the earth, is sili- 
ceous. Aroillaceous stones, or calcareous stones