Front Cover
 Title Page
 Questions and answers
 Back Cover

Group Title: The child's guide to knowledge : being a collection of useful and familiar questions and answers on every-day subjects, adapted for young persons, and arranged in the most simple and easy language
Title: The child's guide to knowledge
Full Citation
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00020338/00001
 Material Information
Title: The child's guide to knowledge being a collection of useful and familiar questions and answers on every-day subjects, adapted for young persons, and arranged in the most simple and easy language
Physical Description: <2>, v, 408 p. : ; 15 cm.
Language: English
Creator: Ward, R.
Simpkin, Marshall and Co ( Publisher )
Gilbert & Rivington ( Printer )
Publisher: Simpkin, Marshall, & Co.
Place of Publication: London
Manufacturer: Gilbert & Rivington
Publication Date: 1852
Edition: 21st ed., greatly enl., with several additional subjects.
Subject: Children's questions and answers   ( lcsh )
Publishers' advertisements -- 1852   ( rbgenr )
Questions and answers -- 1852   ( rbgenr )
Bldn -- 1852
Genre: Publishers' advertisements   ( rbgenr )
Questions and answers   ( rbgenr )
non-fiction   ( marcgt )
Spatial Coverage: England -- London
Citation/Reference: Halkett & Laing,
Citation/Reference: NUC pre-56,
Citation/Reference: BLC,
Citation/Reference: Osborne Coll.,
Statement of Responsibility: by a lady.
General Note: Publisher's advertisement: 2 p. prior to t.p.
General Note: Includes index: p. 394-408.
General Note: Attributed to Mrs. R. Ward <i.e. Fanny Ward> by NUC pre-56, Halkett & Liang, and BLC. Osborne attributes this work to Fanny Umphelby. Other attributions in national database include Eliza Robbins.
Funding: Brittle Books Program
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: UF00020338
Volume ID: VID00001
Source Institution: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier: aleph - 002239367
oclc - 45759537
notis - ALH9894

Table of Contents
    Front Cover
        Front Cover 1
        Front Cover 2
        Advertising 1
        Advertising 2
    Title Page
        Page i
        Page ii
        Page iii
        Page iv
        Page v
        Page vi
    Questions and answers
        Page 1
        Page 2
        Page 3
        Page 4
        Page 5
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    Back Cover
        Back Cover
Full Text

The Baldwin Library



4* S., M., and Co.'s Complete &Ahol Catalogue mf be had graoa.

ALLSON'S CHILD'S FRENCH FRIEND ................. 8mo. 2 0
ALLISON'S LA PETITE FRANqAISa; Vocabulary, &c.... ISmo. 2 0
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7r.aptsti for roung sersons,



Price Three ShillingS.

[Cntem at Stationmr' taIL]

GILBRT & RIVINGTON, Printers, St. John's Square, London.


THE most common-place subjects, and those which
occur most frequently in almost every conversa-
tion, are, by youth, either totally disregarded, or
but imperfectly understood.

This indifference arises from the erroneous sup.
position, that words and subjects, so constantly in
use are, in a general sense, sufficiently understood
by every one, and therefore that inquiries as to
how, where, when, &c., would be redundant, and
that particular information would be unimportant,
or at least unnecessary.

To convince youth of the importance and neces-
sity of a thorough acquaintance with such sub-
jects, and to habituate them to inquiry, by tracing
the connexion and bearing of one subject on an-


other, is the object which the authoress of this
volume has in its publication.

Having been for some time accustomed to the
education of children, she ever found that to pro-
duce, eqCourage and satisfy an inquisitive curiosity
upon every subject, was attended with the double
advantage-of information and amusement to her

She is aware that the extent of this undertaking
is limited; but to enlarge upon the plan, and to
enter more into detail, would be to destroy the
object of the work, which is to concentrate the
more important points of information; and she
would affectionately recommend to her young
friends a consultation and perusal of other books,
Which enter more at length upon the various sub-
jects here embraced. Many little interesting
anecdotes, connected with the various subjects, are
introduced to impress them more strongly on the
mind of the youthful learner, and render them
amusing to commit to memory. For the success
which has attended twenty editions of this little
book, the authoress is sensible that she is indebted
greatly to her friends ; and the sale of several
thousand copies is to her a flattering testimony


that it has been well received. The second edition
was enlarged to double the extent of the first, and
the subsequent editions have been considerably

It has not been thought advisable to introduce
any wood-cuts or engravings, which might take off
the attention of children, for whom this little book
is professedly designed; and the authoress trusts
that the simplicity of the language, in which the
information is conveyed, renders picture illustra-
tion altogether unnecessary; she believes, indeed,
they would not add to, but rather detract from,
the usefulness of the work.

The authoress cannot conclude this address
without expressing the hope of meeting that re-
ward for her labour, which of all others will be
most acceptable to her,-that of having been in-
strumental in the improvement of the youthful



ADDITIONAL matter to the extent of about ten
pages has been introduced into this edition;
which contains articles on Californian gold, Cod-
liver oil, Gutta percha, the Koh-i-noor diamond,
and several other new subjects: some slight
errors and inaccuracies in former editions have
been carefully rectified.
The authoress has much reason to feel grateful
for the favour which her kind friends and a
liberal public continue to extend to her little
work: and she avails herself of this opportunity
of returning them her sincere thanks. She hopes
to prove her sense of their kindness, by endea-
vouring to render her labours less unworthy of
their extensive patronage.
May lat, 1851.

THE authoress feels greatly indebted to the kind
patronage of a liberal public;-and, to prevent
disappointment, a good supply of this little book
is always kept on hand, so that it may never be
reported out of print.
April 9th, 1852.



QUESTION. What is the world ?
ANSWER. The earth we live on.
Q. Who made it?
A. The great and good God.
Q. Are there not many things in it
you would like to know about?
A. Yes, very much.
Q. Pray, then, what is bread made of ?
A. Flour.
Q. What is flour?
A. Wheat ground into powder by
the miller.
Q. What injury is wheat liable to?
A. To three kinds of diseases, called
blight, mildew, and smut.


Q. What is blight?
A. When the leaves of the plants
and stalk are shrunk up and withered.
Q. What is mildew?
A. When the straw -and ear are
Q. What is smut ?
A. When the ears instead of being
filled with grain, look black, and are
full of dark brown powder.
Q. What is bran?
A. The husk of wheat. Brown bread
is made by leaving the bran amongst
the flour.
Q. Has bread always been made of
wheat only?
A. No; barley, oats, and rye, have
been more used than wheat in former
times; wheaten bread being then es-
teemed a great luxury.
Q. Do not the people in the north of
England, Scotland, and Wales, live even
now upon oaten cakes ?
A. Yes; and from habit prefer them
to bread made of wheat.
Q. What is starch ?


A. Wheat steeped in water, and ex-
posed for some days to the heat of the
Q. What does this produce?
A. A floury slimy sediment at the
bottom of the water.
Q. What do they do with this ?
A. Clean and dry it well in an oven,
or by the heat of the sun.
Q. What is its use?
A. To stiffen linen or muslin.
Q. What vegetable do they use in-
stead of wheat, when it is scarce ?
A. The potato.
Q. Is not hair-powder made from
starch ?
A. Yes; it is only starch ground to a
fine powder and scented.
Q. What is semolina?
A. A light and wholesome food for.
invalids, formed from wheat-flour; it
also makes excellent puddings.
Q. What is macaroni ?
A. Fine wheat-flour, mixed with the
white of eggs: it comes from Italy,
Sickly, and Germany.


Q. What does its name signify?
A. A paste: it is eaten on the Con-
tinent with milk, and in soups and pud-
Q. How do we serve it up?
A. In a dish with grated cheese, milk,
and other things.
Q. What is vermicelli ?
A. A mixture the same as macaroni.
Q. How are they both formed into
long slender threads, like worms ?
A. By being forced through a num-
ber of little holes in the end of a pipe
or chest, like a colander.
Q. What makes the difference then
between macaroni and vermicelli?
A. Macaroni is pressed through holes
as large as a small pea: vermicelli,
through holes as small as possible; and
it looks like threads.
Q. Does not the same mixture appear
in the shops in another form ?
A. Yes; in the shape of thin broad
ribbons, which are preferred by many to
the piping for making macaroni.
Q. What is it then called


A. Sassagna.
Q. Where is it brought from ?
A. Italy, and is used in soups and
other things.
Q. What is rye?
A. A kind of grain, which, mixed
with wheat, was at one time much used
for bread.
Q. What is this grain principally used
for now?
A. The distillation of spirits.
Q. What are oats?
A. The seeds or grains of an annual
plant well known in Europe.
Q. What do you mean by annual?
A. Yearly; or being obliged to sow
the grain, or plant it afresh every year.
Q. What are the principal uses of
A. To feed horses, and to make groats
and oatmeal.
Q. What are groats or grits ?
A. Only oats freed from their husks;
they are much used to make gruel. i
Q. What is oatmeal?
A. Ground oats. It is made into


cakes and biscuits in the northern parts
of England and Scotland.
Q. What is barley?
A. A well-known kind of corn, the
most valuable of all grain after wheat.
Q. Where does it grow wild?
A. In Sicily, and in other parts of
the south of Europe.
Q. Where is Sicily?
A. A fine island in the Mediterranean
Q. What is the principal use to which
it is applied in this country ?
A. For the making of malt, which is
barley steeped in water for three or four
Q. Is this all the process?
A. No; it is taken out and lies till it
begins to sprout.
Q. What is then done with it?
A. It is dried in a kiln, heated with
coke, charcoal, or straw.
Q. What is coke?
A. Sea-coal burnt into a kind of cin-
der, used where great heat is required
without smoke.


Q. What is charcoal?
A. Wood half burnt: it is heaped up
into piles or stacks, covered with turf,
and as the air cannot get to it, it smo-
Q. Is not charcoal useful in different
manufactures ?
A. Yes; when a strong fire is wanted
without smoke.
Q. What is the use of malt?
A. To make ale and beer: hot water
is added to the malt; the liquor thus
produced, after it has remained some
time, is drawn offand called wort.
Q. What is next done I
A. It is then boiled with some hops,
which give it a bitter taste, and serve
to keep it sweet and good; afterwards
it undergoes fermentation, and is put
into a cask.
Q. What do you mean by fermenta-
A. It means a working, which pro-
duces a peculiar sour, over-ripe flavour.
Q. How is that flavour removed?
A. It subsides of itself: the cask is


then stopped down, and the beer be-
comes clear and drinkable.
Q. Is it not requisite for all beer and
wine to ferment ?
A. Yes; and yeast is used to assist it.
Q. What is yeast?
A. The fermentation of malt.
Q. Are there not several degrees of
fermentation ?
A. Yes: the first degree is vinous or
spirituous; the second, acid or sour; and
the third, putrid.
Q. What are hops?
A. The dried flower-buds of a most
beautiful plant, which grows twining
round long poles.
Q. Where are the principal hop-
A. In Kent, and near Farnham, in
Q. What is porter?
A. A liquor made of malt and hops
fermented with yeast.
Q. How long has porter been brewed ?
A. Not above a century: a brewer
of the name of Harwood invented this


liquor, which was to unite the flavour
of ale, beer, and an inferior kind of beer
called twopenny.
Q. Was it not considered a strength-
ening drink ?
A. Yes; and was so much drunk by
porters and other working people, that
it was in time called porter.
Q. Is not the liquid known by the
name of beer a very ancient beverage ?
A. Yes; for the Egyptians made a
liquor called barley-wine, which was
probably a kind of beer; and it was
the favourite drink of the Anglo-
Q. Had not the city of Chester, in
the time of the Saxons, a severe law
against those who brewed bad ale ?
A. Yes; they were either to be placed
in a ducking-chair, and plunged into a
pool of muddy water, or to forfeit four
shillings. /
Q. Did they use hops in their beer ?
A. No; hops were first used in the
breweries of the Netherlands, in the
beginning of the fourteenth century.


Q. When were they used in Eng-
A. Not till nearly two centuries after-
Q. Which of our kings forbade brew-
ers to put hops and sulphur into ale ?
A. Henry the Eighth: but towards
the end of his son's reign, the royal
and national taste began to change, and
privileges were then granted to hop-
Q. What is pearl-barley?
A. It is barley freed from its husks,
and formed into round grains about the
size of small shot, of pearly whiteness,
which has given it the name of pearl-
Q. What is sago ?
A. The inner pith of a species of
palm-tree growing in the Moluccas and
Q. Where are these islands situated?
A. In Asia, between New Holland
and China. .
Q. How is it prepared for use ?
A. The tree is sawn into pieces, the


pith taken out, and ground to a fine
Q. What is then done with it ?
A. It is rubbed through a fine hair
sieve, mixed with water into a thick
paste, and dried in a furnace.
Q. What is tapioca?
A. A fine flour, prepared, like sago,
into small grains, from the root of a
South American plant called cassava.
Q. For what is it used ?
A. It affords a nourishing food, and
is made into jelly, puddings, &c.
Q. What is rice ?
A. The seed of a grass-like plant
that grows in Asia and in some parts of
Q. What country produces two crops
every year ?
A. China; they sow it in March and
Q. What does this plant require?
A. A great deal of water.
Q. Is it not the principal food of the
lower class of people in Asia ?
A. Yes; its general name there is
paddy. B 6


Q. To whom were the Americans in-
debted for this grain?
A. To a Mr. Dubois, treasurer of the
East India Company, who gave a small
bag of this grain to a merchant of Caro-
Q. Are we not at present chiefly sup-
plied from America with rice ?
A. Yes; and the Carolina rice is
much the finest, the grains being double
the size of that which comes from the
East Indies.
Q. What very strong spirit is ob-
tained from rice ?
A. That called arrack is partly made
from it, being also mixed with toddy,
which is the juice of the cocoa-nut tree.
Q. What is millet?
A. A small seed brought into this
country from the East Indies, chiefly
used for puddings; it is also an excel-
lent seed for fattening poultry.
Q. What is butter?
A. It is made from cream by churn-
Q. What is cream ?


A. The richest and lightest part of
milk; it collects on the top, and is
skimmed off and churned into butter.
Q. Did the Greeks or Romans make
use of butter in their cookery?
A. No: the ancients accustomed
themselves to the use of fine oil: and at
this day butter is very little used in Italy,
Spain, Portugal, and the southern parts
of France, where the olive abounds.
Q. What countries are famous for
their butter ?
A. England and Holland.
Q. What is butter called in India ?
A. Ghee, and is mostly prepared from
the milk of buffaloes: the Arabs are
extravagantly fond of it.
Q. How is butter made in Chili
A. The cream is put into large gourds
or dry skins, which are then slung across
a donkey's back, and the animal is kept
trotting round a yard till the butter is
Q. What is cheese ?
A. Milk or cream curdled, by being
warmed and mixed with rennet.


Q. What is rennet?
A. The stomach of a sucking calf,
well cleaned and filled with salt: a cer-
tain quantity of this brine is poured into
the warm milk which it curdles.
Q. How is the cheese made into the
shape we see it in?
A. The curds are pressed as dry as
possible, salted, put into shapes, and
again pressed down tightly to form a
Q. Which is the richest English
A. That called Stilton, which is made
in Huntingdonshire, Leicestershire, Rut-
landshire, and Northamptonshire. It
owes its excellence to the rich pasture
on which the cows are fed.
Q. What famous cheeses are found in
every English household ?
A. Cheshire and Gloucester, so called
from the places noted for them: Che-
shire cheeses are so large as often to ex-
ceed one hundred pounds' weight each.
Q. To what may their excellence. be
attributed ?


A. To the age they are kept, the rich-
ness of the land, and the keeping so large
a number of cows as to make such a
cheese without adding a second meal's
Q. What English cheese is thought
little inferior to Parmesan ?
A. That known by the name of Ched-
der, made in Somersetshire, where the
rich pastures afford a sort of grass which
gives it that peculiar flavour.
Q. What is Parmesan?
A. The most celebrated foreign cheese,
made wholly from the milk of cows feed-
ing in the rich pasturage of Lombardy,
about Parma and Pavia. It is prepared
in a very peculiar way, with much care
and trouble, and flavoured with saffron.
Q. What other foreign cheese is some-
times introduced ?
A. That called Gruyere, made in a
small town of Switzerland, in the canton
of Friburg. It is a mixture of goats'
or ewes' milk, and very strong in fla-
Q. What place has rendered itself


famous by presenting an enormous cheese
to Queen Victoria ?
A. The village of West Pennard, near
Glastonbury, in Somersetshire, which, in
order to evince its loyalty, resolved a
cheese should be made from the milk
of all the cows in the parish, and when
ripened, should be presented to Her
Q. How was this accomplished ?
A. An immense vat was constructed to
receive it, with the royal arms and many
other rich embellishments carved upon
it. On the anniversary of the Queen's
coronation, about fifty of the wives and
daughters of the subscribers assembled
at the house of Mr. George Nash, with
one meals milk from 737 cows which
were kept in the parish.
Q. How much milk did this amount to?
A. Upwards of twenty hogsheads to
convert into curd, which occupied the
most active labours of the contributors
from six in the morning till six at night,
Q. What was the size of this noble
cheese ?


A. It measured nine feet round, three
feet one inch across, and twenty-two
inches deep. It was presented to the
Queen at Buckingham Palace, Feb. 19,
Q. What is lard?
A. The fat of swine: it is melted and
run into bladders that have been cleaned
with great care.
Q. What is its great use?
A. It is much employed in cooking,
and is valuable to the doctor in making
up his ointments, &c.
Q. What is brawn ?
A. It is the flesh of the boar pickled
in a peculiar manner.
Q. What is suet?
A. The solid fat found chiefly about
the kidneys of sheep and oxen, very
useful in cooking.
Q. What are hams?
A. The thighs of bogs salted and dried.
Q. What are the Wcstphalia hams ?
A. The thighs of the wild hog and
bear, and such animals as are well fed
and roam about at pleasure.


Q. Have they not a singular flavour ?
A. Yes; in consequence of their being
smoked some months in chimneys where
wood only is burnt.
Q. Why are they called Westphalia
A. Because the circle of Westphalia,
in Germany, is famous for them.
Q. What is bacon?
A. The sides and belly of a hog,
salted, dried, and smoked.
Q. What is tea?
A. The dried leaves of an evergreen
shrub which grows in China, Japan, and
Q. Where are these places?
A. In Asia.
Q. What is the difference between
green tea and black tea ?
A. Some travellers tell us there is
but one sort of plant, and that all the
difference in tea arises from the leaves
being young or fully grown, the nature
of the soil, culture, and manner of drying.
Q. But do botanists agree in this
opinion ?


A. No: some think there are at least
two species, differing in their leaves,
and more particularly in their flowers;
that of the Bohea, or black tea flower,
having six petals, and that of the green
tea shrub having nine.
Q. What is now the prevailing opi-
A. That black and green tea are pro-
duced from the same plant.
Q. Is it a plant of slow growth ?
A. Yes; it must have reached three
years' growth before any leaves are fit
to be plucked; it then bears plenty of
very good ones: it does not exceed a
man's height in seven years.
Q. Where do the finest tea shrubs
A. In Japan, on one particular moun-
tain, which is most carefully guarded.
Q. Are not the leaves from these
trees gathered with equal care ?
A. Yes; each leaf is plucked sepa-
rately, and when the tea is fully pre-
pared it is kept for the Emperor's use,
and called the imperial tea.


Q. Are there not three seasons for
gathering the leaves?
A. Yes; the first is in March, when
the leaves are very small and not a
week old: this tea is very expensive,
and bought only by the grandees.
Q. When is the second gathering?
A. In April: at this time some leaves
are fully grown, and others are still
young, but they are all plucked and
afterwards sorted.
Q. When is the third gathering?
A. In June, when all the leaves have
arrived at their full size: this tea is
coarser and lower in price.
Q. Which are the principal black teas ?
A. Bohea, Congou, Souchong, and
Q. What is Bohea, or Voo-zee ?
A. The lowest quality of black tea,
so called from the country in which it
is produced; it is a mixture of small
and large leaves.
Q. How are they prepared for use?
A. As the leaves are picked, they are
put into flat baskets, placed in the sun or


air from morning till night; after which
they are thrown by small quantities into
a cast-iron pan, which is made very hot.
Q. What is then done?
A. They are twice stirred with the
hand, then taken out and rubbed be-
tween men's hands to roll them; after
this they are roasted again in larger
quantities, and sometimes are put into
baskets over a charcoal fire.
Q. When the tea is sufficiently dried,
what is done with it?
A. It is spread on a table, and the
leaves that are unrolled, yellow, broken,
or too large, are picked out; the rest
are packed up for sale.
Q. What is Congou, or Congou-fou?
A. A superior kind of Bohea, less
dusty, with larger leaves: they are ga-
thered with peculiar care, and are said
to be beaten with flat sticks or bamboos,
after they have been withered by the.
sun or air, and have acquired toughness
enough to keep them from breaking.
QWhatdoes the word Congou signify?
A* It means, in the Chinese, "much
care or trouble "


Q. What is Souchong?
A. It signifies, in the Chinese, a small
good thing :" very little true Souchong is
sold in Europe.
Q. Why?
A. Because, among a whole planta-
tion, there may be only found one single
tree the leaves of which are thought
good enough to be called Souchong,
and even of these only the best and
youngest are taken.
Q. What is Pekoe?
A. The finest of the black teas, chiefly
drunk in Sweden and Denmark: it is
made from the tenderest leaves of trees
three years old, gathered just after they
have been in bloom, and has some of the
small white flowers of the tree mixed
with it.
Q. What sort of a flower does the tea
shrub bear ?
A. It is like our wild white rose, and
its root is like that of the pear-tree.
Q. Which are the principal green teas ?
A. Single, Hyson, and Gunpowoer.
Q. How is it generally thought SM"a
green tea is prepared?


A. The leaves are roasted immediately
after being gathered, then thrown upon
cast-iron plates, and very much rubbed
betwixt men's hands to roll them
Q. Is this all the process?
A. No; they are picked, cleansed
from dust several times, roasted, and at
last put hot into the chests in which
they are packed.
Q. What does the name Single sig-
nify ?
A. The tea is so named from the
place in which it is cultivated.
Q. What is Hyson tea?
A. It has its name from the East
Indian merchant who first sold this tea
to the Europeans.
Q. What is Gunpowder tea?
A. The finest of the green teas; it
consists of the unopened leaf buds,
which are gathered and dried with pecu-
liar care, but at a much lower degree of
heat, so that they retain more of their
original flavour and colour.
Q. What does it look like?


A. Small shot, and has a beautiful
bloom, which will not bear the breath.
Q. Who first introduced tea into
Europe ?
A. A Dutch merchant, in 1610; who
obtained it from the Chinese by ex-
changing dried sage with them.
Q. Were they not very fond of this
herb ?
A. Yes; they called it the wonderful
European herb, attributing to it nume-
rous virtues.
Q. Are not large quantities of sage-
leaves, dried like tea, annually exported
b the Dutch to China ?
A. Yes.; and they esteem them so
superior to tea, that for every pound of
sage they allow four pounds of tea.
Q. What does its name, sage, signify ?
A. Wise; the French bestowed it on
account of the property ascribed to it of
strengthening the memory, and thus
making people wise.
Q. In which of our kings' reigns did
the East India Company give the first
order for tea?


A. In that of Charles II., in 1669; it
consisted only of two canisters, weighing
143 lbs., and was sold at fifty shillings a
Q. Whatis the quantity now sent
every year from China?
A. Upwards of fifty millions of
pounds' weight.
Q. Who first retailed tea publicly in
London ?
A. Thomas Garway in Exchange
Alley, about 1660; his house was the
daily resort of noblemen, physician, and
merchants, s he recommended it for the
cure of all disorders.
Q. How do the Japanese use their
A. They grind it to powder as we do
Q. Is not their manner of serving it
curious ?
A. Yes; they place before the com-
pany the tea-things, and a box full of
finely powdered tea.
Q. What follows?
A. The cups are then filled with


warm water, and as much powder as will
lie on the point of a knife is thrown into
each cup and stirred till the liquor begins
to foam.
Q. Is it then presented to the com-
A. Yes; who sip it while warm:
this custom prevails in many parts of
Q. How often do the Chinese take tea?
A. Thrice at least in the day, and with-
out milk or sugar. Itis a constant offering
to a guest, and forms a portion of every
sacrifice to their idols.
Q. What is sugar ?
A. The juice of a certain cane, first
brought from China to the West Indies,
where it now flourishes.
Q. Where are the West Indies?
A. A set of islands between North
and South America.
Q. Is not sugar' one of the most an-
cient productions of India?
A. Yes: its Sanscrit name Sukkhar
is obviously the origin of its European
name, as Sukkhar-kund is of sugar-candy.


Q. Which West Indian island pro-
duces the finest sugar in the world ?
A. Cuba; a great number of slaves
were formerly imported every year from
Africa for the cultivation of this neces-
sary article.
Q. Is the detestable traffic in slaves
still continued ?
A. In the British settlements slavery
is entirely abolished; in other countries
it is much diminished; and chiefly
through the great exertions of England.
Q. Did not the abolition of slavery in
the British settlements cost the English
a great deal of money ?
A. Yes; they paid 20,000,000 to the
slave owners as a compensation for set-
ting their slaves free; and large sums of
money have since been spent in endea-
vouring to suppress the slave trade.
Q. What sort of a plant is the sugar-
cane ?
A. It is like a tall stick, with a bunch
of green leaves at the top, in the middle
of which is a flower.
Q. How do they make sugar of this ?


A. When the leaves begin to hang
and look dead, they cut down the cane
and carry it to the mill to be crushed.
Q. What is the mill?
A. It consists of three wooden rollers,
covered with steel plates, which press and
squeeze out the juice.
Q. What is then done with it ?
A. It is boiled six times, and then
barrelled and sent to England.
Q. Is it then fit for use ?
A. No; it must be boiled again with
white of eggs, and other things, to clear
it, after which it is fit for use.
Q. How do they make lump sugar?
A. By pouring the juice thus cleared
into shapes, and baking it till quite hard.
Q. What is treacle or molasses ?
A. The coarse remains of the sugar
Q. What is sugar-candy?
A. It is sugar boiled and cleared till
it becomes thick; it is then poured over
sticks or strings placed across small tubs,
and baked in a very hot stove.
Q. Where do they make sugar-candy


in profusion, of all the colours of the
A. At Constantinople, where there is
a street of confectioners famous for their
sweetmeats. The women almost live on
confectionary, and eat incredible quan-
Q. How many cooks do the sultan's
eight hundred wives and women em-
ploy in the manufacture of this article
alone ?
A. Five hundred, who consume daily
upwards of two thousand pounds of
sugar! It is the most expensive item
of the seraglio kitchen.
Q. What is barley sugar?
A. It is also sugar boiled in water, to
which lemon-juice is added; and then it
is rolled and twisted into sticks.
Q. Have you told me all that is done
with sugar I
A. No; rum is distilled from the
molasses, or coarse part of sugar, which
is skimmed off when boiling.
Q. What place is celebrated for


A. Jamaica; an island in the West
Indies belonging to the English.
Q. Has not sugar been extracted from
other things besides the sugar-cane ?
A. Yes; during the war, Napoleon
had sugar made from beet root; and
juice extracted from the birch and elm
has also been used when the proper
sugar could not be obtained.
Q. What is coffee ?
A. The berry of an evergreen shrub,
which grows in Arabia and the East and
West Indies.
Q. Where is Arabia?
A. In Asia.
Q. What sort of a berry is it ?
A. When ripe it is red, and not very
unlike our cherry: the berries are then
gathered, and dried on mats placed in
the sun.
Q. What does this cause ?
A. The outer pulp, or skin, to be
easily removed with the help of mills,
afterwards the berries are again dried.
Q. What else must be done to it ?
A. It must be roasted, ground, and


boiled in water; it is then a delightful
Q. In which West Indian island was
coffee first planted ?
A. In Jamaica.
Q. How much coffee does one tree
A. Generally not more than one
pound; but a tree in great vigour will
produce three or four pounds.
Q. What place is universally ad-
mitted to furnish coffee of the finest
quality ?
A. Mocha, in Arabia: it is grown at
some distance in the interior, in the
sheltered valleys of the "happy" region,
whence it is brought down to this port
upon the backs of camels.
Q. How is Mocha situated?
A. On the Red Sea, just through the
dangerous straits of Bab-el-Mandeb, or
the Gate of Tears.
Q. How did they acquire such a me-
lancholy title ?
A. From the dismal end which there
too frequently awaits the ill-fated vessel.

Q. Who first introduced coffee into
A. Mr. Daniel Edwards, a Turkey
merchant, in 1652; he brought with him
a Greek servant, of the name of Pasqua,
who understood the method of roasting
the berries, and making it into a drink.
Q. Where was the first coffee-house
opened in London?
A. In George-yard, Lombard-street,
by this Pasqua.
Q. Has not Lombard-street always
been a noted place ?
A. Yes; it is named after a set of
Lombard Jews who settled in England
in the reign of Edward the First, and
whose business was to lend money on
Q. What set of men now live there,
and continue to do the same?
A. Bankers. Their name originates
from the Italian Jews keeping benches
in the market-places for the exchange of
bills, &c.; banco, being the Italian for
Bench, was in time corrupted to banker
in English.


Q. What class of people were after-
wards employed as bankers in England ?
A. The goldsmiths, in the time of the
Q. Why?
A. Because the rich merchants, who
before the civil wars had always deposited
their money at the Mint in the Tower,
no longer thought it safe there, and em-
ployed the goldsmiths to take care of it
for them
Q. What is chicory ?
A. A plant chiefly cultivated in Hol-
land and Germany: it is grown also in
Q. To whatpurpose is it chieflyapplied?
A. Its roots are dried and prepared:
they are then ground and mixed with
Q. What is cocoa?
A. The kernel of a nut which grows
in South America.
Q. What is chocolate?
A. A kind of cake or hard paste,
which is made of the pulp of the cacao,
or chocolate-nut, mixed with sugar, clove,
cinnamon, and other spices.

Q. Where does the chocolate-treegrow?
A. In America and the West Indies.
The flower is very beautiful; its fruit is
contained in a pod, like a cucumber in
shape; each pod has twenty or thirty
nuts in it, something like almonds.
Q. Howare those nuts prepared foruse?
A. They are cut into slices, laid on
skins, and dried in the sun; gently
roasted,pounded in a mortar, and ground.
Q. How is it formed into paste and
cakes ?
A. By the help of water, and whilst
hot is put into tin moulds.
Q. Who introduced chocolate into
Europe ?
A. The Spaniards. The best is
brought from the Caraccas. It should
be used new, for it will not keep more
than two years.
Q. Where are the Caraccas ?
A. Islands in the Caribbean Sea.
Q. What are nutmegs ?
A. The kernels of a fruit which grows
on a large handsome tree, in many of
the East Indian islands.
Q. Where are the East Indid ?


A. In Asia.
Q. What common English fruit is the
nutmeg like ?
A. A walnut, being enclosed in the
same sort of spongy coat, which is
stripped off in the woods.
Q. Does not this husk open at one
end when the fruit is ripe ?
A. Yes; and when this coat is taken
off, a very fine scarlet net-work is seen,
which is called mace.
Q. Does it keep this fine colour ?
A. No; after it is exposed to the
sun, and dried, it turns to a yellowish
Q. What is cinnamon ?
A. The dried under-bark of the
branches of a tree.
Q. Where does this tree grow?
A. Principally in the island of Cey-
lon, and forms one of the chief articles
of its trade; but it also grows in Mala-
bar, and other parts of the East Indies.
Q. Where is the island of Ceylon?
A. In Asia, at the entrance of the
Gulf of Bengal.


Q. How often do they strip the cin-
namon-trees of their bark?
A. Twice a year; they rip up the
bark with a knife, then cut it into
slices, which curl up in drying, and
the smaller pieces are slipped into the
larger ones.
Q. Are there not persons who taste
and chew it, to examine its quality?
A. Yes; and it is very disagreeable
work; few can do it for more than two
days together, as it deprives the tongue
and lips of all moisture.
Q. Is the bark of the cinnamon-tree
the only part that is valuable?
A. No; the leaves, fruit, and root, all
yield oil of considerable value.
Q. What did they formerly make of
the oil from the fruit ?
A. Candles, for the sole use of the
king; their smell was delightful.
Q. What are cloves ?
A. The flower-buds of an East Indian
tree growing in the Molucca Islands. ,,
Q. Did not the Dutch take gl-
pains to cultivate it?


A. Yes; and they carried on a very
rich trade in this article with the rest of
the world.
Q. What is pepper?
A. The dried berry of a creeping
kind of shrub.
Q. Where does it grow ?
A. In many parts of the East Indies.
Q. How do these berries grow ?
A. In clusters of from twenty to thirty,
somewhat like a bunch of currants.
Q. What colour are they?
A. First green; but they change to
a bright red when ripe, and after they
are dried they become black.
Q. Are black and white pepper the
fruit of the same shrub ?
A. Yes: the berries are only dried
for black pepper; but for white pepper
the best and soundest of the berries are
chosen, steeped in sea-water, and dried
in the sun.
Q. What does this cause ?
A. The skin to shrivel, which is then
easily rubbed off by the hand, and leaves
the berry white.
/ D


Q. What is allspice?
A. The fruit of the beautiful pimento-
Q. Where does it grow?
A. In Jamaica and other parts of the
West Indies.
Q. Why is it called allspice ?
A. Because it is thought to possess
the flavour of all the other spices.
Q. What is ginger ?
A. The dried root and under-ground
stem of a reed-like plant. It derives its
name from, and abounds in the moun-
tainous district of Gingi, to the east of
Pondicherry, and is cultivated all over
the tropics of Asia and America.
Q. What plant does it resemble t
A. A rush; and the knotty root
spreads itself over the surface of the
Q. How do the Indians use it I
A. When fresh gathered it is soft,
and in that state it is eaten by them as
a salad. .
Q. Does it not likewise make a fine
preserve ?


A. Yes; a most delicious one, and it
is reckoned a great delicacy.
Q. What is mustard 1
A. It is made from the powdered
seeds of a plant which grows wild in
some parts of England; but it is culti-
vated with great success in Durham.
Q. What is the betel-nut, which we
hear so much of the Indians chewing
A. It is the nut of a beautiful tree,
called the areca palm, the tallest and
slenderest of the species; it is culti-
vated all over India for the sake of the
Q. How is the nut prepared ?
A. It is dried and out into slices,
which are wrapped up in the leaf of the
black pepper vine, and sprinkled with
quick-lime; they eat it in such quan-
tities, that their lips become quite red,
and their teeth black.
Q. Do they not consider this a
A. Yes; and they carry the prepared
nut about their persons in boxes, as we
do snuff, and present it to each other;

this is done by women as well as
Q. Would they not consider it great
rudeness if you refused it ?
A. Yes.
Q. What are anise-seeds ?
A. The seeds of an annual plant
which grows wild in Egypt, Syria, and
other eastern countries.
Q. Did we not try to cultivate this
plant in this country ?
A. Yes; but our climate is too cold,
and we obtain them from Malta and
Spain; they are very valuable in medi-
Q. What are cardamoms ?
A. The seeds of an East Atdian
plant, which are brought into Europe
in their pods, and are very valuable in
.Q. Do not the Indians use them in
great quantities in their food ?
A. Yes; and they also mix them
with betel, and chew them.
Q. What is caraway-seed ?
A. A small well-known seed, much

used by pastry-cooks in cakes, and very
useful in medicine.
Q. Does not this plant grow wild in
many parts of England ?
A. Yes; particularly about Bury St.
Edmund's, in Suffolk; and it is much
grown in Essex and Kent.
Q. How do they thresh it?
A. In the field on a cloth, in the
same manner as rape-seed.
Q. What are coriander-seeds ?
A. The seeds of a plant much grown
in Essex and Kent, and used by distil-
lers, druggists, and confectioners.
Q. What is turmeric ?
A. The root of an East Indian plant,
like .ginger, used in India and Europe,
in medicine, and in making curry pow-
der, and seasoning many dishes.
Q. What is it chiefly valuable for
A. For giving a rich yellow dye to
silk and linen, and improving the fine
red dye of cochineal.
Q. What is arrow-root ?
A. The root of a plant growing in the

East and West Indies: there are three
species of it; that used for food is called
the starch plant, and requires a long pre-
Q. Where is it extensively culti-
vated ?
A. In the gardens and provision
grounds of the West Indies.
Q. From what circumstance does it
derive its name I
A. From the Indians using the juice
of the root of another species of it, called
galanga, to extract the venom communi-
cated by their poisoned arrows, and the
stings of venomous insects.
Q. What is maize or Indian corn
A. A grain much cultivated in Ame-
rica, for it yields two crops in the
year, and is used for bread, puddings,
cakes, &o.
Q. What is saffron ?
SA. The orange-coloured petal, or cen-
tre part of a purple kind of crocus: the
flowers are gathered every morning just
before they open,
Q. What part of them is used ?


A. The upper part of the petal is
picked out, and the rest of the flower
thrown away; they are dried in a kiln,
and made into cakes.
Q. Where does this plant abound ?
A. In Essex, on the borders of Cam-
bridgeshire, where there is a town called
Saffron Walden, from the quantity of
saffron which was formerly grown in the
Q. What is the use of saffron ?
A. A yellow colour is prepared from
the saffron plant, used in dyeing, and it
is valuable in medicine; it dissolves in
Q. What is the orris-root?
A. A root well known from its de-
lightful smell, which is like the violet:
it is used to scent hair-powder and other
Q. From whence is it brought?
A. Chiefly from Leghorn, in Italy.
Q. What is liquorice ?
A. The root and juice of a plant which
grows in abundance in England.
Q. In what part does it abound?

A. Whole fields of it are to be seen
in the neighbourhood of Pontefraqt, in
Q. What is Spanish liquorice?
A. Only the root and juice of the
same plant, which grows in great quan-
tities in Spain.
Q. Where is Spain?
A. In Europe.
Q. What is wine?
A. The fermented juice of grapes and
Q. What causes the great variety in
the colour and quality of wines?
A. The different species of grapes,
produced by the varieties of soil, cultiva-
tion, and climate, and the peculiar mode
of fermentation.
Q. What causes the difference be-
tween red and white wine ?
A. Not so much the quality of the
grape as the preparation of it.
Q. How does this occur?
A. If the juice of the red grape be care-
fully pressed and fermented separately
from the skins, it forms a white wine.


Q. But I suppose if the skins be
pressed, and remain during fermenta-
tion, the wine is red?
A. Yes; but there are white grapes
as well as red, which also cause a differ-
ence in wine.
Q. What wine is much consumed in
A. That called red port.
Q. Where does this wine come from ?
A. Oporto, a rich and handsome town
in Portugal; it has its name from the
city, in the neighbourhood of which the
vines are cultivated.
Q. How long has this wine been so
.much esteemed in England?
A. Not much above a century; for
in the reign of William and Mary five
hundred pipes would glut the market;
now we receive annually about twenty-
five thousand pipes.
Q. Is there not a wine called white
A. Yes; it comes from Portugal, and
was some years ago much used; but now
it is seldom called for.

Q. What is Lisbon
A. A sweet white wine produced near
Lisbon, the capital of Portugal.
Q. From whence does Madeira come ?
A. From the Madeira and Canary
Islands in the north Atlantic Ocean, off
the coast of Africa.
Q. Is it not considered a most valuable
white wine ?
A. Yes; particularly after it has been
ripened by a voyage or two to the East
Indies: it is then called East India
Q. What is Malmsey Madeira ?
A. A rich luscious white wine brought
from Madeira and the Canary Islands;
it used to be called Canary sack, and is
much spoken of in Shakspeare.
Q. Where did the vines grow whih
produced this fine wine ?
A. In Candia, and in Malvesia, one
of the Greek islands; they were after-
wards transplanted to the Canary Islands.
Q. Is much of this wine made ?
A. No; it is so scarce that few per-
sons possess it.

Q. What prince was drowned in a
butt of Malmsey wine ?
A. The Duke of Clarence, brother to
Edward IV.
Q. Where is Candia?
A. An island in the Mediterranean.
Q. What is Sherry?
A. A strong white wine, brought from
Xeres, not far from Seville, in Anda-
lusia, in Spain.
Q. What is Mountain wine ?
A. It is a sweet, luscious, Spanish
white wine, made from the full ripe
grapes which grow on the mountains
around Malaga.
Q. What is Tent wine ?
A. A sweet red wine called Tent, or
into, because it is a white wine coloured:
from this process it becomes a very rich
and excellent red wine.
Q. Is not Tent wine made from the
juice of a particular kind of grape ?
A. Yes; and they are not used for
the wine until some time after they
have been perfectly ripe.

Q. What places produce it?
A. Alicant and Malaga: indeed, the
same grapes which produce Mountain
wine are used for Tent, or tinto, being
only coloured; and this wine is known
there by the name of vino tinto.
Q. From what place do we chiefly
import this wine ?
A. From Cadiz.
Q. Where is Cadiz?
A. A fortified city in Spain, in Anda-
lusia, with a good harbour; it is the
centre of the Spanish commerce to
America and the West Indies.
Q. Where is Malaga ?
A. A city in Grenada, in the south
of Spain: it has a stupendous cathedral,
built by Philip II., while married to
Mary of England.
Q. Where is Alicant ?
A. A city and sea-port of Valencia,
in Spain.
Q. Do not Hungary and Germany
produce many excellent wines?
A. Yes: Tokay, Hock, Rhenish, and
Moselle are the most celebrated.


Q. What is Tokay?
A. A very scarce and expensive wine,
brought from a town of the same name in
Hungary, near which it is chiefly made.
Q. What is the hill called, that pro-
duces the grapes of which this wine is
made ?
A. The Sugar Hill: the common
grapes are mixed with a portion of
luscious, half-dried shrivelled grapes,
which grow on this hill.
Q. What renders it so scarce?
A. The small quantity that is made
of it, and its being principally bought
by the nobility of Hungary.
Q. What German wine is in the
greatest request in England ?
A. Hock: it has its name from the
town of Hockstadt, in Suabia, and is a
pleasant wine in summer.
Q. What are Rhenish and Moselle?
A. They are produced chiefly on the
banks of the Rhine and Moselle rivers,
and have a cool sharp taste.
Q. Are not the Germans very curious
in their wines ?

A. Yes; before the late wars, many
of the nobility had wines in their cellars
that were more than a hundred years
Q. Had they not lost all their good-
ness ?
A. No; they had been made so rich
and good, that they had remained unin-
jured, even by so great an age.
Q. Are not the French wines cele-
brated ?
A. Yes; the most valuable is Cham-
pagne; it is of two kinds, still Cham-
pagne, and sparkling Champagne.
Q. What is still or quiet Champagne ?
A. The wine that has gone through
the whole process of fermentation.
Q. What is sparkling Champagne?
A. That which has been bottled be-
fore the fermentation was complete.
Q. What is Vin de Grave 1
A. A French wine, made near Bour-
Q. What is Pontac?
A. Another French wine, made in

Q. What are Frontignao and Mus-
A. White wines, the delicious pro-
ductions of Languedoc.
Q. From what is the name Muscadel
derived ?
A. Some suppose from the grape
having a little the flavour of musk, and
others from musca, the Latin word for a
fly, because flies are extremely fond of
its grapes.
Q. What is Burgundy ?
A. A fine red wine, which has its
name from the province where it is made.
Q. What is Claret ?
A. A thin highly-flavoured red wine,
much drunk and esteemed in England.
Q. Where does it come from ?
A. The neighbourhood of Bourdeaux.
Q. What is Hermitage ?
A. A red wine produced from vine-
yards on the east bank of the Rhone.
Q. What town in France is famous
for this wine ?
A. The little town of Tain, near
Lyons: it is made from a smaV black
grape, of a rough flavour.

Q. What is C6te R6tie?
A. A wine made from the vineyards
on the opposite side of the river Rhone.
Q. What is Rota wine?
A. A rich and sweet white wine, pro-
duced in Rota, near Seville.
Q. Pray is Italy famous for wines ?
A. It was among the ancients; but
now its wines are thin and bad.
Q. Does it not produce one good sort?
A. Yes; that called Lachryma Christi:
it is a luscious red wine, produced from
the vineyards on Mount Vesuvius.
Q. What was Falernian wine ?
A. It was a wine much celebrated by
the ancient poets, particularly Virgil and
Q. What part of Italy produced it?
A. Falernus, a fertile mountain and
plain of Campania, a part of Italy con-
siderably south-east of Rome.
Q. What is Constantia?
A. A very rich sweet wine, made at
the Cape of Good Hope.
Q. Is there not red as well as white
Constatia ?
A. Yes; it is made about eight miles

from Cape Town, at a farm of the same
Q. What causes the grapes of this
farm to be so very fine ?
A. Some peculiarity in the soil: the
wine is made with great care, no fruit
being used but what is fully ripe and in
the highest perfection.
Q. When is this wine in perfection ?
A. In about two years; when kept
six or seven, it ferments and loses its
Q. What is Schiraz wine ?
A. A fine Persian wine, very much
esteemed: the town of Schiraz is de-
lightfully situated in a fertile plain, and
contains so many beautiful gardens, that
it is styled an earthly Paradise, and the
Athens of Persia.
Q. What people always drink their
wine warm?
A. The Chinese, who also consider it
a great compliment to be congratulated
on their ability to drink a large quantity.
Q. What is noyeau?
A. A delightful cordial, made of

white brandy, and sweet and bitter al-
monds, with other kernels.
Q. Where is the finest made I
A. At Martinique, one of the West
Indian islands.
Q. What was Hippocras ?
A. A costly beverage, used chiefly at
royal banquets, in which the champion,
out of a golden cup, pledged the king
at the coronation.
Q. What was it composed of?
A. Red wine, cinnamon, ginger, and
other spices, run through a woollen bag,
in the same manner as our modern
Q. Why is it called Hippocras
A. From the bag being termed
"Hippocrates' sleeve," through which it
was strained; it was so expensive, that
it was never presented more than once
during the feast.
Q. What is capillaire?
A. A luscious syrup, formed of sugar,
and a juice extracted from a plant called
Q. Where is this plant found?

A. In the southern parts of France
and the Mediterranean; it is an herb
which grows on rocks and old ruins.
Q. What is ratafia?
A. A cordial prepared by infusing
in brandy the kernels of several kinds
of fruit, particularly of cherries and
apricots, adding also sugar, cinnamon,
cloves, and other spices.
Q. What is sherbet?
A. A kind of lemonade, made from
the juice of the lime, a very favourite
beverage in Egypt and Turkey.
Q. What is brandy?
A. A spirituous liquor distilled from
weak French wines, which are unfit for
Q. What is the difference between
wine and spirits ?
A. Wine is fermented, and spirits
Q. What do you mean by distilling?
A. It is to draw off drop by drop, the
spirit of any body by means of fire placed
above or under the vessels that contain
the liquor: it rises in vapour, which,


not being able to escape, dissolves into
Q. Whence have we the finest brandy?
A. From Bourdeaux, Languedoc, and
Anjou; from the latter comes the well-
known Cognac brandy.
Q. What is the colour of brandy
when it comes from the still ?
A. White as water: it is coloured
partly by the oaken casks in which it is
kept, and partly by burnt sugar and
other harmless things.
Q. Do these things affect the quality
of the spirit ?
A. Not in the least.
Q. Is not a large quantity of brandy
made in this country ?
A. Yes; it is distilled principally from
malt or barley, but is thought very in-
ferior, though much used, as the duty
on French brandy renders it more ex-
pensive. /
Q. What is Hollands or Geneva?
A. It is a grain spirit made in Holland,
where the only true Geneva is distilled;
it is flavoured with juniper berries.


Q. Why is it called Geneva ?
A. From genievre, the French word
for it.
Q. From whence are juniper berries
imported ?
A. From Holland and Italy.
Q. What is English gin ?
A. It is a spirit distilled from malt,
flavoured with oil of turpentine, and by
infusing a few juniper berries and some
Q. What is whiskey?
A. A very strong spirit distilled from
grain, much liked and used by both the
Scotch and Irish.
Q. Has it not a peculiar smoky fla-
vour ?
A. Yes; this arises from the fuel
called peat, which is used to heat the
still, and is a kind of turf dug off the
Q. What are the various liqueurs
known by the names of Eau-d'or, Ma-
raschino, Kirschewasser, &c.made of?
A. They all consist of brandy fla-
voured by the essential oil of aromatic
plants, and sweetened with sugar.

Q. Is not the juice of cherries used
by the Germans in the manufacture of
the last named liqueurs ?
A. Yes; especially in the latter, a
liqueur which bears a high price in the
foreign market.
Q. What is cider !
A. The fermented juice of apples.
Q. What counties are particularly fa-
mous for cider 1
A. Herefordshire, Devonshire, and
the surrounding districts.
Q. What is perry ?
A. The fermented juice of pears.
Q. What counties are famous for it?
A. Worcestershire and Herefordshire.
Q. What is vinegar?
A. An acid liquor made from malt;
but wine, beer, cider, &c. may be turned
into vinegar, by exposing the vessel to
the hot sun.
Q. What is mead?
A. A liquor made from honey and
water, fermented with yeast.
Q. What is honey '
A. The syrup of flower, drawn from
the opened buds by the indusrious bee.

Q. What is virgin-honey ?
A. The honey made by the young
bees, which is purer than any other.
Q. Has not the term Honey Moon its
origin from a custom prevailing among
an ancient Gothic'people of Germany
A. No doubt, for they drank mead,
or metheglin, as it was called, for thirty
days after a wedding.
Q. What is mannal
A. A sweet syrup or sap, that flows
from several kinds of ash-trees, as gum
does from plum-trees.
Q. How is it prepared 1
A. It hardens and dries on the tree
like gum, when it is carefully gathered.
Q. Where does the best come from ?
A. Calabria and Sicily.
Q. Where is Calabria?
A. It is a country of Italy, in the
kingdom of Naples.
Q. What animals furnish man with
milk ?
A. The cow, the goat, and the ass.
Q. Where is goat's milk particularly
valuable I


A. On board ship, where the goats
thrive better than any other animal.
Q. What is asses' milk good for ?
A. It is light and nourishing, and
much drunk by sick persons and chil-
Q. Was not the ass much valued by
the Romans?
A. Yes; and though its milk was not
applied to the purposes of medicine, it
was early converted to the uses of
Q. How?
A. It was supposed by the ladies of
Rome to contribute much, as a wash,
towards whitening their skins.
Q. What empress kept a train of
milch asses in constant attendance upon
A. Nero's consort, that her bath might
be continually replenished with their
Q. Whence are oranges brought ?
A. From Majorca and Minorca, also
Lisbon, and most of the islands and
places in the Mediterranean Sea.


Q. How many oranges will a good
tree bear ?
A. From 1000 to 2000.
Q. Where is there now an orange-
tree nearly 400 years old ?
A. In the gardens of Versailles: it
belonged to the Constable de Bourbon,
in the reign of Francis I., contemporary
with our Henry VIII.
Q. Is it very large
A. It is thirty feet high, and branches
off into two stems, each as large as a
common orange-tree.
Q. What story is related concerning
the first orange-tree, which was the
parent of all the multitudes now in
A. That it was the only plant that
lived out of a great number sent as a
present from Asia to Conde Mellor.
Q. Who was he?
A. Prime minister to the King of
Q. What well-known perfume is
made from the rind of the orange ?
A. Bergamot: it is made near the

town of Bergamo, in Italy; the rind is
cut into small pieces, and the oil pressed
out into glass vessels.
Q. What are Seville oranges ?
A. A large, bitter, dark-coloured and
rough-skinned orange, much used in
medicine and cookery.
Q. What is the shaddock ?
A. A fruit of the orange kind, as
large as the head of a child, common in
both the East and West Indies.
Q. From whom does it derive its
A. From a Captain Shaddock, who
brought it from China, or, as some say,
from Guinea, and planted it in the West
Q. Whence have we lemons ?
A. Principally from Spain and Por-
Q. Of what country is the lemon-tree
a native ?
A. Assyria and Media, in Asia; it was
afterwards planted in Greece and other
southern parts of Europe.
Q. Is not lemon a delightful acid ?

A. Yes, and much used in cookery,
confectionery, and medicine.
Q. Are not lemons also much used by
calico-printers ?
A. Yes, to discharge colours formed
from iron.
Q. What is essential salt of lemons?
A. It is a preparation made from the
juice of sorrel, used for taking out ink-
stains from linen.
Q. What kind of fruit is the citron ?
A. A sort of lemon, only larger and
the pulp firmer; it is principally used in
Q. What is the lime ?
A. A kind of lemon, though a much
smaller fruit, about the size of an egg;
the juice is much preferred to that of the
Q. Where do limes grow
A. In North America and the West
Indies, where they are to be seen at all
entertainments; also in Spain, Portugal,
and Egypt.
Q. Have not all the fine vegetables
and delicious fruits we now enjoy in
E 2


England been introduced into it from
other countries ?
A. Yes; it was not until the latter
end of the reign of Henry VIII., about
1547, that salads, carrots, turnips, and
other eatable roots, were produced in
Q. What countries furnished England
with vegetables before she cultivated
them ?
A. Holland and Flanders: the court
was tolerably supplied, but the rest of the
country scarcely knew the taste of them.
Q. Is not the potato one of the most
useful roots we possess?
A. Yes; it forms the principal food
of many of the poor in this country, and
in Ireland they chiefly live upon it.
Q. To what country are we indebted
for such a valuable plant ?
A. It has been said that Sir Francis
Drake first brought it from Santa Fe, in
New Mexico, North America. L.
Q. But what great man is said to have
first planted them in Ireland ?
SA. Sir Walter Raleigh, at Youghal,


in the county of Cork, in 1610, in the
reign of James I.
Q. What county in England is thought
to excel in this vegetable ?
A. Lancashire; Formby, a few miles
north of Liverpool, is remarkable for
producing the best in the country.
Q. What old story is related with re-
gard to this ?
A. It is said that a vessel laden with
potatoes, .from Ireland to London, was
driven on shore at Formby, which occa-
sioned them to be first planted at that
Q. Was not their progress very
slow ?
A. Yes; they were for a long time
only grown as delicacies in the gardens of
men of fortune, and even in Charles I.'s
time, they are named as articles pro-
vided for the queen's table, at the price
of two shillings per lb.
Q. When were asparagus, artichokes,
cauliflowers, beans, peas, and cabbages
introduced ?
A. About the time of Charles II.

Q. Who first planted cabbages in
England ?
A. Sir Anthony Astley: the plants
were brought from Holland; he is re-
presented in his monument with a cab-
bage at his feet.
Q. What is sour-crout ?
A. It is prepared from all kinds of
cabbage, and is a favourite food among
the Germans and people of other north-
ern countries on the Continent.
Q. Were not the Greeks and Romans
well acquainted with these plants ?
A. Yes; and they were much used
and cultivated by them.
Q. Are not turnips a most useful
vegetable ?
A. Yes; they were brought into this
country from Hanover and Germany.
Q. In what county are they now much
cultivated ?
A. In Norfolk; but in all parts of
England they are grown, as they afford
such fine food for sheep and cattle.
Q. What are truffles?
A. A fungus without root, which

grows at the depth of four or five inches
in the earth, from the size of a pea to
that of a potato .
Q. How are they discovered?
A. By means of dogs which are taught
to hunt for them by scent, and when
they smell one, they bark and scratch it
up; in Italy they are hunted for by
Q. How are they served at table ?
A. Either roasted in a fresh state, like
potatoes, or cut into slices and dried, to
flavour sauces and soups.
Q. It does not appear then that our
island possessed many native fruits? .
A. No; nuts, acorns, and crabs, were
the only fruits of this present garden
Q. From what place had we the apple?
A. From Persia: it is produced in an
artificial manner, by a .process termed
Q. What is grafting?
A. It is inserting young shoots of
such trees as bear valuable fruit into the
stock of another tree of a similar nature,


which is plastered and bound up till it
grows to it.
Q. Will it then produce fruit of the
same quality as the tree from which it
was taken ?
A. Yes; and this process is used for
propagating nearly every kind of fruit-
Q. What do you mean by propagating!
A. Increasing.
Q. Why do they not raise them from
seed ?
A. Because they would only be like
wild fruit, and never come to perfection.
Q. Is the pear much cultivated 1I -
A. Yes; it is a well-known garden
fruit: the wood is light and smooth, of
a yellow colour.
Q. What is it useful for?
A. Picture-frames that are to be
stained black; carpenters' and join-
ers' tools: also the common kind of flat
Q. What country produced the pine-
apple 1
A. This best and finest-flavoured of

all known fruits was brought to Eng-
land in 1690, from South America.
Q. Where do they grow in great per-
fection in the open ground?
A. In South America and the West
Q. Where are pine-apples as plentiful
as blackberries in England ?
A. At Sierra Leone, in Africa.
Q. How do we raise this fine fruit in
A. In hot-houses: they are a luxury
for the rich: the pots which contain
them are sunk in beds of bark, after it
has been used by the tanners.
Q. When is this fruit in perfection?
A. From the middle of August to the
end of September: when brought to
table, their leafy crowns should be saved
for planting.
Q. When were green-houses intro-
duced into England ?
A. In the reign of William III.: they
are mentioned as a very curious contriv-
ance to raise and preserve tender plants.
Q. Does not England excel in pro-


during finer grapes for the table than
any other country ?
A. Yes; since artificial heat was ap-
plied, which was about the beginning of
the last century.
Q. Did not the vinery of the Duke
of Portland, at Welbeck, near Worksop,
produce a wonderful bunch of Syrian
A. Yes; about the middle of the last
century; it weighed 191 lbs., and was
sent by the duke as a present to the
Marquis of Rockingham, at Wentworth
House, a distance of twenty miles;
four labourers carried it on a staff by
Q. Is there not still a very famous
vine at Hampton Court ?
A. Yes, the Red Hamburgh; it has
been known to produce 2200 bunches,
averaging 1 lb. each.
Q. Does not the vine attain a very
great age ?
A. Yes; it is said to equal that of
the oak; a vineyard one hundred years
old is reckoned young.


Q. Where are the vineyards the most
beautiful ?
A. Between Rome and Naples; they
are trained to elms and poplars from
branch to branch in all directions, in the
most luxuriant manner.
Q. What country produced the peach?
A. Persia: it was so tender a fruit,
that for many years, of all the Roman
provinces, it grew no nearer than Egypt.
Q. But is it not now universal in
A. Yes; as well as the nectarine,
which is a smooth-skinned variety of
peach, but of a richer and more deli-
cious flavour.
Q. Where did the apricot and quince
come from?
A. Epirus, Carthage, Armenia, and
Q. Where is Epirus ?
A. In Greece.
Q. Where is Carthage?
A. In the north of Africa; Queen Dido
founded it: Tunis stands on its ruins.
Q. Where is Armenia?

A. In Asia, near the Euphrates: it is
a very fertile country, watered by several
fine rivers.
Q. Where is Syria?
A. In Asia; Damascus is the capital.
Q. Is it not supposed that the apricot
is a native of Africa ?
A. Yes; it appears to have come
from thence, through Persia and Greece,
to us, with the name of apricus," which
signifies "sunny."
Q. What country first furnished us
with the gooseberry ?
A. Flanders: it is a most useful com-
mon fruit.
Q. Is not the currant-tree said to
have been first brought from Zante?
A. Yes; and planted in England in
the reign of Henry VIII.
Q. Whence have we cherries?
A. This well-known fruit formerly
grew wild in the woods near Cerasus, in
Q. Where is Pontus?
A. On the southern coast of the Black


Q. Who first brought them to Rome?
A. Lucullus, a Roman general.
Q. And when were they planted in
England ?
A. In Henry the Eighth's time, about
Sittingbourne, in Kent, which is still
famous for its cherry orchards.
Q.' Who first planted them in Ireland ?
A. Sir Walter Raleigh, on his estate
at Youghal, where some of his cherry
and myrtle trees are still to be seen.
Q. Do not the Swiss distil a strong
spirit from the wild black cherry ?
A. Yes; called Kirchewasser; and
sell it to the French and Germans at a
considerable profit.
Q. Is not the wood and gum also
valuable ?
A. Yes; the wood is much used by
turners and cabinet-makers, and the gum
is very nourishing.
Q. What story is related by Hassel-
quist to prove this ?
A. He informs us, that during a siege
more than 100 men were kept alive for
two months, by putting a little of this


gum into their mouths, and letting it
Q. Who was Hasselquist ?
A. A Swedish botanist and natural
historian, born in East Gothland in
Q. Who introduced nuts
A. Lucullus brought them from Pon-
tus into Italy.
Q. After whom was the filbert named 1
A. Philibert, the king of France, who
caused by art sundry kinds of nuts to be
Q. Where do the sweet chestnuts
come from, which are roasted and eaten
in desserts ?
A. Spain and France; those, which
are grown here, are a much smaller fruit
than what we receive from abroad.
Q. Is not the leaf of the Spanish
chestnut very different from the horse-
chestnut ?
A. Yes; the Spanish chestnut has
long pointed leaves, with long tapering
notches at the edges.
Q. Is there not a celebrated Spanish


chestnut-tree at Totworth, Gloucester-
A. Yes; it was known as a boundary-
mark in the reign of King John, and
was then supposed to be more than 500
years old, making its age at this time to
exceed 1100 years. /
Q. What is its diameter ?
A. Fifteen feet; it is forty-five feet
round, and it still continues to bear fruit.
Q. What are medlars ?
A. A native English fruit, having
been remarked more than a century ago
to grow wild in the hedges about Min-
shull, in Cheshire.
Q. What is their appearance 1
A. They look half rotten when brought
to table; for they are placed in moist
bran for a fortnight, to prepare them for
Q. What is the pomegranate 1
A. An apple-shaped fruit, with a thick
rind and a rich scarlet flower, most highly
valued by the Greeks and Romans.
Q. What is its native soil?
A. Africa, especially the neighbour-


hood of Carthage, but the tree grows
wild in the north of India and in Persia;
there is scarcely a part of it that is not
useful and agreeable to man.
Q. In what way ?
A. In the East they mingle the grains
of it in their wine, and use them for
medicine, being much esteemed for their
great astringency; the rind is also much
preferred for tanning the fine Morocco
Q. Does not Solomon speak of the
wine made from it ?
A. Yes; and Persia still makes great
quantities of it.
Q. What are cranberries ?
A. A small red fruit, about the size of
a pea, which grows in the fens in the
north of England, Lincolnshire, and
Q. Is not the collecting of cranberries
a disagreeable employment?
A. Yes; for each berry grows on a
separate stalk, and the gathering is damp,
dirty work.
Q. What town is famous for them ?

A. Longtown, in Cumberland: their
rich flavour is generally esteemed.
Q. Are not many brought to this coun-
try from North America and Russia ?
A. Yes; they are a larger fruit, but
not so pleasant.
Q. What use do the inhabitants of
Sweden make of this fruit ?
A. They use it to clean their silver
Q. What are guavas ?
A. The guava is a West Indian fruit,
both delicious and wholesome; it is eaten
raw, but it is prepared as a sweetmeat
in many ways, particularly in that form
called guava jelly.
Q. Whence have we tamarinds ?
A. From both the Indies: they make
a most delicious preserve.
Q. To what people are we indebted
for the use of tamarinds?
A. To the Arabians: in hot climates
they are used in making a cooling and
agreeable drink.
Q. What are plums ?
A. A well-known fruit in England;


the magnum bonum, or egg plum, the
greengage and many others, all origi-
nally came from the wild plum.
Q. What are prunes ?
A. French plums dried; they are
usually very prettily packed in boxes,
and exported.
Q. What do you mean by exported ?
A. Sent abroad to other nations.
Q. Whence do they principally come ?
A. From Brignolles, a town of Pro-
vence, about thirty miles from Marseilles;
this is one of the most famous places in
France for dried plums; also from Bour-
deaux, a rich town in Guienne.
Q. What are raisins?
A. Very ripe grapes, prepared by dry-
ing them in the sun.
Q. Where do they come from ?
A. Most of the southern countries of
Q. What city produces the finest,
called jar-raisins?
A. Damascus, the capital of Syria.
Q. Where is Syria?
A. A noted country in Asia.


Q. What are currants ?
A. A small dried grape, anciently
growing in the Isthmus of Corinth,
whence they obtained the name of
Corinths, since corrupted to currants.
Q. Where do they chiefly come from
A. Most of the islands in the Archi-
pelago, particularly Zante.
Q. Are the natives acquainted with
the use we make of them 1
A. No; they imagine we use them in
the dyeing of cloth, and are ignorant of
our luxury of Christmas pies and plum-
Q. What are figs ?
A. The rich soft fruit of the fig-tree.
Q. Does it not appear from history,
that the fig-tree was much valued by
the ancients ?
A. Yes; it was the most common and
favourite fruit of the ancient Greeks and
the peasants of Italy.
Q. How are figs prepared for export-
ation ?
A. They are dried in a furnace, or in


the sun after being dipped in a scalding
preparation, made of the ashes of the
Q. Where do they come from;?
A. The best from Turkey, Italy, and
Spain; the finest are packed in boxes
called drums.
Q. Was not the wood of the fig-tree
much valued by the ancients?
A. Yes; for although of a spongy
texture, it is most durable, and on this
account was formerly used in eastern
countries in coffins for embalmed bodies.
Q. Why were the ancient Egyptians
so anxious about preserving their dead ?
A. They believed in the immortality
of the soul, and thought that by pre-
serving the body from corruption, they
were retaining the soul within it till the
day of resurrection.
Q. Have not some of the mummy
cloths been found most beautifully deco-
rated ?
A. Yes; some few are most delicately
and richly embroidered; no doubt the
result of feminine love and undying affec-


tion for some dear departed object: the
Egyptian women excelled in this elegant
Q. Are there not two remarkable cir-
cumstances connected with the natural
history of the fig-tree ?
A. Yes; that in some climates it pro-
duces a treble crop of fruit in one year,
and that the fruit always precedes the
Q. What are almonds ?
A. A kernel which is contained in a
tender shell, with many small holes on
the outside.
Q. What countries furnish us with
this pleasant nut?
A. France, Spain, Italy, and the Le-
vant; they are packed in casks and
Q. What is their use ?
A. They are eaten with raisins in
desserts, also in confectionery, and by
pressure they yield a great deal of oil,
used in medicine.
Q. What are cocoa-nuts ?
A. A weedy fruit, covered with a


fibrous husk, growing in most hot cli-
mates, with a firm white kernel.
Q. Is it not a most beautiful as well
as useful tree ?
A. Yes; it grows from forty to sixty
feet high, and has no leaves except at
the top, which appear like immense
feathers, each fourteen feet long.
Q. How does the fruit.grow on this
curious tree ?
A. The nuts hang down from the
summit in clusters of a dozen or more
Q. Does it not afford food, milk, oil,
clothing, and shelter ?
A. Yes; the nut is like a filbert; it
yields an oil when pressed like almonds,
and, when fresh, a quantity of milk is
found in it.
Q. From what part are cloth, sails,
and cordage made ?
A. From the fibrous substance which
surrounds the nut, and the trunk is made
into boats, so that every part of this tree
is of use.
Q. What are capers ?


A. The unopened flower-bud of a little
creeping shrub which grows wild in the
south of France, and upon the walls of
Rome, Sienna, and Florence.
Q. Where is this shrub largely culti.
vated ?
A. Between Marseilles and Toulon,
also at Toulon and Majorca.
Q. When do the caper-plants begin to
flower ?
.A. Early in May, when women and
children are employed to gather the buds
throughout the season till the beginning
of frost in November.
Q. How are they disposed of?
A. The produce of each day's gather-
ing is thrown into a cask, with the addi-
tion of vinegar and a little salt, so as to
keep the buds always covered with liquor.
Q. What are they useful for
A. They are exported in great quan-
tities, being a favourite sauce for boiled
mutton, and are sometimes used in me-
Q. Whence have we olives?


A. From Italy, Spain, and the south-
ern parts of France.
Q. Are they eaten fresh ?
A. No; they are pickled in salt and
Q. Are they considered healthy ?
A. Not for persons of delicate habits,
on account of the great quantity of oil
contained in them.
Q. What is this oil called?
A. Sweet oil, or oil of olives.
Q. What is it used in ?
A. Salads and many other things.
Q. What people first exported olive-
oil in large quantities ?
A. The Tuscans, and thus it has also
gained the name of Florence oil, but the
purest is said to be obtained from about
Aix, in France.
Q. What people used the ceremony
of washing the feet, and anointing the
head with oil, to a guest ?
A. The Jews; they also considered it
a remedy against the bite of all venom-
ous reptiles.


Q. Who is said to have been cast into
a cauldron of boiling oil at Rome?
A. St. John the Evangelist, by the
command of the Emperor Domitian;
but instead of destroying him he was
not even hurt.
Q. Where was he afterwards ban-
ished to ?
A. The island of Patmos, where he
wrote the Revelation.
Q. Where is Patmos?
A. An island in the Archipelago: St.
John died at Ephesus, in Asia Minor.
Q. What is the olive-tree considered
as a symbol of?
A. Peace.
Q. Is not olive-oil used in medicine ?
A. Yes; it is said to be a remedy
against the bite of the viper.
Q. Are there not two or three differ-
ent kinds of oil, which are of great use ?
A. Yes.
Q. What is common or train oil ?
A. The fat of whales.
Q. What is this fat called ?
A. Blubber; it is found beneath the


skin to the depth of ten or twelve
Q. What is it used for t
A. It is burnt in lamps, and is very
useful in cleaning wool, and in other
Q. Are there any other sorts of oil ?
A. Yes; there is an oil obtained from
rape-seed, by pressure.
Q. What is rape-seed ?
A. A grass-like plant, which grows
on a rich soil, and is so fine that
they thresh it on a large cloth in the
Q. After the oil has been pressed out
of it, what is the remainder called?
A. Oil-cake: it is much used for fat-
tening oxen.
Q. Where does rape-seed grow
A. In several parts of England.
Q. What is neat's-foot oil ?
A. It is procured from the feet of
oxen, and is of great use in preparing
and softening leather.
Q. What is linseed oil ?
A. It is pressed from the seed and


pods of flax, and is useful in medicine
and the arts.
Q. What is cajeput-oil?
A. A beautiful green-coloured oil,
produced from the leaves of a tree-shrub
growing in the East Indies, highly valued
there for many complaints, and used in
the preservation of subjects in natural
Q. Where is it chiefly prepared?
A. In the island of Bouro, one of the
Moluccas, from whence it is imported;
but from its high price it is seldom to
be had genuine.
Q. Has it not a very powerful smell ?
A. Yes; which is remarkably destruc-
tive to insects.
Q. What is cod-liver oill
A. An oil extracted from the putrid
liver of the cod fish by exposing it to heat.
Q. For what is it now much used ?
A. To give strength to persons in con-
sumption and other debilitating diseases.
Q. Is it not highly valuable when
used in this way?
A. Yes; it is perhaps the most effica-


cious medicine that has been used in
England for many years. i
Q. Where is the cod fish caught?
A. Chiefly off the coasts of Newfound-
land in North America.
Q. What is isinglass ?
A. A glue, made of the sounds and
air-bladders of fish.
Q. What fish particularly furnishes
isinglass ?
A. The sturgeon, found in the river
Wolga: the Russians long kept the
secret of preparing it.
Q. What is it useful for ?
A. It is used by brewers and others,
for fining and clearing all fermented
liquors: also in medicine, and in cookery
for making jellies.
Q. Are not vast quantities of sturgeon
caught annually in the Caspian Sea?
A. Yes; from 300,000 to 400,000;
and from a species called the starred
sturgeon, the best caviar and the strong-
est isinglass are obtained.
Q. What is caviar?
A. A food, made from the roes of


the sturgeon, much eaten by the Rus-
sians. 4
Q. What is done with all sturgeons
caught near London?
A. They are taken to the lord mayor,
and by him presented to the sovereign.
Q. What gave rise to this custom ?
A. The flesh of the sturgeon was so
valued in the time of the Emperor Seve-
rus, that it was brought to table by ser-
vants with coronets on their heads, pre-
ceded by music. Its taste can scarcely
be distinguished from veal.
Q. Do not the people of Astrakan dry
these sturgeons in the sun, before the
doors of their houses?
A. Yes; and the smell of them at-
tracts such prodigious swarms of flies
into the city, that the very air seems
alive with them.
Q. Where is the Caspian Sea?
A. It is a great lake in Asia: and
besides sturgeon, it has fine salmon and
Q. Where is Astrakan?
A. A city on the Caspian Sea; rain


seldom falls there, but it is situated on
the banks of the Wolga, which overflows,
and when the water retires, the grass
grows in less than a month.
Q. What is spermaceti ?
A. It is a white fat substance, found
in an immense cavity in the skull of the
whale, distinct from the brain.
Q. Is it not a fluid when the animal
is alive?
A. Yes; but when dead it is found in
solid lumps of a whitish colour.
Q. Is spermaceti found in all whales ?
A. No; it is the oil of a particular
kind of whale, known from the common
whale by having a hunch on its back.
Q. What are the uses of spermaceti ?
A. It is of great use in medicine, for
coughs and inward bruises; and candles
are also made of it.
Q. What are yams ?
A. A certain root used by the Ame-
ricans for feeding their negroes.
Q. Is it not a singular root in shape ?
A. Yes; it is very large, and looks
like a man's leg.

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