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for the royal navy. The woods imported from foreign countries are chiefly teak from the East Indies, which is useful for many naval purposes; mahogany, from which articles of furniture are made ; cedar, valuable for its fragrance and durability ; rose and satin wood, useful in ornamental cabinet-making ; logwood and Brazilwood, used in dyeing; and many others.
The bark of many trees forms an important article of commerce; that of the cork-tree, the cinnamon, and the Peruvian bark of South America, being the most valuable. The bark of the oak and larch is used in tanning
Passing from trees to shrubs, we may mention the teaplant, the sugar-cane, the coffee-shrub, and the cottontree.
Nutmegs are the fruit of a tree that grows in the Moluccas or Spice Islands ; pepper is obtained from a shrub that grows abundantly in the Islands of Java and Sumatra; red pepper is of a different species, being derived from the seeds of a plant called the capsicum. The flowers or buds of some plants are the parts valuable in commerce, such as cloves, the flower of a tree found chiefly at Amboyna; and capers, the bad of a trailing shrub produced abundantly in the South of France. From several trees various viscid juices exude, which harden in the open air, and form the resins and gums of commerce. Some of the pine tribes yield tar and turpentine. Frankincense is produced in Arabia ; camphor is the gum of a tree in the Islands of Borneo, Ceylon, &c.; gamboge is brought from Cambodia in the East Indies, and caoutchouc or Indian-rubber exudes from a tree which is found both in Asia and America. Amber is generally considered to be a gum or resin, but there is some difficulty in accounting for its production ; it is usually found floating on the sea, or cast on the shore ; ambergris, an inflammable fragrant substance, is of equally dubious formation ; but it is probable that it is a secretion of the whale.
In the lower ranks of vegetables, the most valuable as articles of commerce are hemp and flax, indigo which yields a beautiful blue, tobacco which affords the well known articles of luxury tobacco and snuff, and ginger the root of a species of rush in the East Indies.
Various extracts called oils, are obtained from vegetable substances; the principal are olive oil, procured from Spain and Italy ; castor oil, extracted from the fruit of the Palma Christi, a native of South America ; and linseed oil, derived from the seeds of flax. Wines and ardent spirits are also obtained from vegetable substances. Wine is the fermented juice of the grape; brandy is procured from the same fruit by distillation; gin is obtained by distilling malt with juniper-berries; whisky is derived solely from the malt. Malt is a preparation of barley ; the grain is steeped in water until it is completely sodden ; it is then laid in heaps to ferment; as soon as signs of vegetation are perceived, the grain is dried to prevent its progress, and it then becomes malt. The reason of this proceeding is, that barley and indeed other grains contain a quantity of saccharine, or sugary matter, which yields a vinous liquor when fermented, and spirits when distilled. This saccharine matter is most fully developed when vegetation is about to commence, but becomes exhausted as it proceeds ; the grain is therefore forced to begin to grow, and then when its saccharine powers have been put forth the progress is arrested, in order that these powers may be retained.
The last portion of vegetable commerce that we shall notice, is the articles derived from the ashes of different plants. These are by a common name called kalies or alkalies. The principal are,-potash, which is chiefly brought from the United States ; soda or kelp, which is obtained from the ashes of a marine plant growing on the sea-shore of the British Islands; ap.d barilla, a stronger species of soda, which is imported from Spain. These are principally valuable for their cleansing qualities ; but since they would injure and corrode if applied by themselves, they are combined with tallow, and thus form soap, which possesses all the useful properties of the kalies, free from those that would hurt and destroy.
The principal animal productions imported into Britain are the hair and fur of beasts, their skins and their teeth. From the extreme North of America is procured the fur of the beaver, used in the manufacture of the finer sort of hats. Wool, for broad-cloth, is imported from Spain, Saxony, and New Holland. Mohair is produced by a species of goat in Angora ; and silk is the production of a caterpillar called the silkworm. Besides the different kinds of leather that are made from the skins of animals, there are,
parchment, which is prepared from the skins of sheep, and vellum, made from those of young calves. The parings of leather, when boiled, form glue; fish-glue, or isinglass, is obtained by boiling certain parts of various fishes. The tusks of the elephant furnish us with ivory ; and whalebone is a substance found in the jaw of the whale, where it is a substitute for teeth.
VIII.-MANUFACTURES. The word manufacture, which means fabrication by the land, has become singularly inapplicable to the thing which it is said to denote. The human hand now performs but a comparatively small part in most of those processes to which the name of manufactures is given ; and in some of the most stupendous and wonderful of them, its aid is hardly at all employed. Where the steamengine plies its mighty energies, man has in many cases little more to do than to look on. If the expression, a manufacturing country, were to be taken in its literal sense, as meaning a country where articles were generally made by the hand, it would be much more truly applicable to Spain, or Russia, or Poland, or Hindostan, or indeed to any other country of the earth than to ours. We are, of all nations, the one that does least by the hand.
When we say, therefore, that England is a manufacturing country, and Poland is not, we mean merely that great numbers of articles of use and of luxury are fabricated in the former country, without any necessary reference to the mode in which they are fabricated. But it so happens that such articles cannot be fabricated in great abundance except by means of machinery; and therefore we often use the term manufacturing as nearly synonymous with mechanical, or at least as implying the extensive agency of machinery.
Surrounded as we are in this country by the wonders of mechanical invention, he amongst us must be singularly destitute of enlightened curiosity who feels no desire to understand the operation of those beautiful and most effective contrivances which he everywhere sees or hears in motion; or to trace through the various stages of their fabrication those numberless articles of use and of ornament of which every one of our shops, and it may almost be said of our houses, is full. The history of some of the most apparently trivial or insignificant of these productions, of a pin or a needle for instance, is often a rich succession of the most exquisite efforts of ingenuityof the most important results obtained by the simplest means; and of a velocity and at the same time perfection of operation which, to the unaccustomed observer, would seem little short of miraculous. The wonders of our manufactures are not less deserving of our examination, because they are performed in the very
midst of us, and may be made perfectly intelligible to all who care to understand them.
The accumulation of skill and science which has been directed to diminish the difficulty of producing manufactured goods, has not been beneficial to that country alone in which it is concentrated ; distant kingdoms have participated in its advantages. The luxurious natives of the East, and the ruder inhabitants of the African desert, are alike indebted to our looms. The produce of our factories has preceded even our most enterprising travellers. The cotton of India is conveyed by British ships round half our planet to be woven by British skill in the factories of Lancashire : it is again set in motion by British capital, and transported to the very plains on which it grew, is repurchased by the owners of the soil which gave it birth, at a cheaper price than that at which their coarse machinery enables them to manufacture it themselves. At Calicut, in the East Indies (whence the cotton cloth called calico derives its name) the price of labour is one-seventh of that in England, and yet the market is supplied from British looms.
IX. ON THE INVENTION AND IMPROVEMENTS
AS APPLIED TO THE MANUFACTURE OF COTTON.
To the improvements in machinery, Great Britain is entirely indebted for the extent of cotton manufactures, which are now upon an immense scale ; and vas. quantities of cotton goods are exported annually to every part of the world. Formerly cotton was spun in the same manner in which we spin flax; but in the year 1769, Richard Arkwright, a barber in Preston, invented the principal part of the machinery for spinning cotton, and thereby gave bread to about two millions of people, instead of fifty thousand, or forty persons instead of one; increased the importation of cotton wool from less than two millions of pounds per annum, to three hundred millions ; set in motion six millions of spindles, instead of fifty thousand, or a hundred and twenty times the number formerly employed; and increased the annual produce of the manufacture from two hundred thousand pounds sterling to thirty-six millions, which is in the proportion of a hundred and eighty to one! It is impossible, in this short notice, to describe even the chief portion of Sir Richard Arkwright's invention ; an account of its results may suffice to show its importance.
The fineness to which the cotton thread can be drawn out, by this machinery, may he gathered from the fact, that Mr John Pollard, of Manchester, spun in the year 1792, no fewer than two hundred and seventy-eight hanks of yarn, forming a thread upwards of one hundred and thirty-two miles in length, from a single pound of raw cotton. Of the rapidity with which some portions of the machinery work, you may form an idea, when you learn that the very finest thread, which is used in making lace, is passed through the strong flame of a lamp, which burns off the fibres, without burning the thread itself. The velocity with which the thread moves is so great, that you cannot perceive any motion at all. The line of thread passing off a wheel through the flame, looks as if it were perfectly at rest; and it appears a miracle that it is not burned.