GUIDE TO -(NOWLEDGE;
USEFUL AND FAMILIAR QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS
ON EVERY-DAY SUBJECTS,
Adapted for Young Persons,
AND ARRANGED IN THE MOST SIMPLE AND EASY
BY A LADY.
PUBLISHED BY SIMPKIN, MARSHALL, & Co.
AND SOLD BY ALL BOOKSELLERS.
Price Three Shillings.
The right of Translation and Reproduction is reserved.
(Qnterte at Stationer' %.aII.)
GILBERT AND RIVINGTON, PRINTERS, STJOHN'S SQUARE, LONDON.
THE most common-place subjects, and those
which occur most frequently in almost every
conversation, are,, by youth, either totally dis-
regarded, or but imperfectly understood.
This indifference arises from the erroneous
supposition, that words and subjects so con-
stantly 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
necessity of a thorough acquaintance with such
subjects, and to habituate them to inquiry, by
tracing the connexion and bearing of one subject
on another, 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
produce, encourage, and satisfy an inquisitive
curiosity upon every subject, was attended with
the double advantage-of information and
amusement to her pupils.
She is aware that the extent of this under-
taking is limited ; but to enlarge upon the plan,
and 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 subjects 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 forty-one 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 improved.
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 illustration 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
reward for her labour, which of all others will
be most acceptable to her,-that of having been
instrumental in the improvement of the youthful
THE THIRTY-SIXTH EDITION.
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 re-
turning them her sincere thanks. She hopes to
prove her sense of their kindness by endeavour-
ing to render her labours less unworthy of their
extensive patronage, and with this view the
present edition has been carefully revised.
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.
THE THIRTY-NINTH EDITION.
Twelve pages have been added to this
GUIDE TO KNOWLEDGE.
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?
Q. What is flour ?
A. Wheat ground into powder by the
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, become black, and are
full of dark brown powder.
Q. What is bran ?
A. The husk or skin 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
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,
Sicily, and Germany.
Q. What does its name signify ?
A. A paste: it is eaten on the Con-
tinent with milk, and in soups and
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 nnm-
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 ap-
pear 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 ?
Q. Where is it brought from ?
A. Italy, and it is used in soups and
Q. What is rye ?
A. A kind of grain which, mixed
with wheat, was at one time much used
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
Q. What are groats or grits ?
A. Only oats freed from their husks;
they are much used to make gruel.
Q. What is oatmeal ?
A. Ground oats. It is made into
cakes and biscuits and porridge 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
barley 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 c6ke ?
A. Coal burnt in close 'ovens into a
kind of cinder, used where great heat is
required without smoke.
Q. What is charcoal ?
SA. Wood half-burnt or charred by
being heaped up into piles or stacks,
covered with turf, and made to burn;
but as the air cannot get to it, it smoul-
Q. Is not charcoal useful in different
A. Yes; when a strong fire is wanted
without smoke, and for making gun-
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 off, and called wort.
Q. What is next done ?
A. It is then boiled with some hops,
which give it a bitter taste, and serve
to keep it from becoming sour; after-
wards 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
Q. What is yeast ?
A. The matter produced by the fer-
mentation of malt liquor.
Q. Are there not several degrees of
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 highly-dried
brown malt and hops, fermented with,.
Q. How long has porter been brewed
A. Since the year 1730: 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
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 liquor 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-Saxons.
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
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 introduced into
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 Australia and
Q. How is sago 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
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, called Patna rice.
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
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 churning.
Q. What is churning ?
A. Agitating cream in a vessel called
a churn, which causes the butter to
separate from the milk.
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. What is clotted cream ?
A. It is made by exposing the milk
to heat without boiling, after it has pre-
viously stood about twelve hours; this
produces a thick scum, more solid than
ordinary cream, which is called clotted
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, Ireland 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 suckling 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 in which we see it ?
A. The curds are dressed as dry as
possible, salted, put into shapes, and
again pressed down tightly to form a
cheese. The moisture squeezed out is
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
almost every English household ?
A. Cheshire and Gloucester, so called
from the places noted for them: Cheshire
cheeses are so large as often to exceed
one hundred pounds' weight each.
Q. To what may their excellence be
A. To the age they are kept, the
richness of the land, and the keeping
so large a number of cows as to make
such a cheese without adding a second
Q. What English cheese is thought
little inferior to Parmesan ?
A. That known by the name of Ched-
dar, made in Somersetshire, where the
rich pastures afford a sort of grass which
S gives it that peculiar flavour.
!)P I Q. What is Parmesan ?
A. The most celebratedforeign 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
sometimes introduced ?
A. That called Gruyere, made in a
small town of Switzerland, in the canton
of Friburg. It is a mixture of goats'
and ewes' milk, and very strong in
0 11 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 immensevat 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 meal's milk from 737,/
cW-i:.vs which were kept in the parish.
'; Q. How much milk did this amount to?
SA. Upwards of twenty hogsheads to
convert into curd, which occupied the
most active labours of all the contributors
from six in the morning till six at night.
Q. What was the size of this noble
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 pigs, salted and
Q. What are Westphalia hams ?
A. The thighs of the wild hog and
boar, 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 Westphalia, a province
of Prussia, is famous for them.
Q. What is bacon ?
A. The sides of a hog, salted, dried
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
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 mou n
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
Q. When is the third gathering ?
A. In August, when all the leaves
have arrived at their full size: this tea
is coarser and lower in price.
Q. Which are the principal black
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 the hands of men to roll them;
after this they are roasted again in
larger quantities, and are sometimes
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.
Q. What does the word Congon sig-
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.
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 Russia, 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 tea
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
A. Single, Hyson, and Gunpowder.
Q. How is it generally thought that
green tea is prepared ?
A. The leaves are dried by heat im-
mediately after being gathered, then
thrown upon cast-iron plates, and very
much rubbed betwixt men's hands to
roll them tightly.
Q. Is this all the process ?
A. No; they are picked, cleansed
from dust several times, again dried,
and at last put hot into the chests in
which they are packed.
d_ Q. What does the name Singlo signify?
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
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
A. Yes; they called it the wonderful
European herb, attributing to it nume-
Q. Are not large quantities of sage-
leaves, dried like tea, annually exported
by 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. JWise : 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
i a pound.
Q. What is the quantity now sent
every year from China to this country ?
A. Upwards of ninety millions of
Q. Who first retailed tea publicly in
A. Thomas Garway, in Exchange-
alley, about 1660; his house was the
daily resort of noblemen, physicians,
and merchants, as he recommended it
for the cure of all disorders.
Q. Iow do the Japanese use their
A. They grind it to powder as we do
Q. Is not their manner of serving it
A. Yes; they place before the com-
pany the tea-things, and a box full of
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
A. Thrice at least in the day, and
without milk or sugar. It is 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 group of islands between, North
and South America. 3 .
Q. Is not sugar one of the most
ancient productions of India ?
A. Yes; its Sanscrit name Sukkhar
is obviously the origin of its European
name, as Sukkhar-kaind is of sugar-candy. "
Q. Which West Indian island pro-
duces the finest sugar in the world ?
A. Cuba: a great number of slaves
c 9 "2
were formerly imported every year from
A~ a for the cultivation of this neces-
Q. Is the detestable traffic in slaves
still continued ?
A. In the British dominions slavery
is entirely abolished; in other countries
it is also abolished, or much diminished;
and chiefly through the great exertions
Q. Did not the abolition of slavery
in the British settlements, cost the Eng-
lish a great deal of money ?
A. Yes; they paid 220,000,000 to
the slave-owners as a compensation for
setting 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-
A. It is like a tall stick or reed, from
eight to about twenty feet high, 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
S A. When the leaves begin to hang
and look dead, they cut down the cane
Sand 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. Is it then fit for use ?
A. No; it must be boiled several
times with a little slaked lime, the white
of eggs, or other things to clear it,
when it becomes partially hardened or
Q. What is next done ?
A. It is allowed to cool, and then
placed in casks for about three weeks,
during which the coarse remains of the
syrup, called molasses, are drained away
into vessels placed beneath.
Q. What is then done with it ?
A. It is barrelled and sent to Eng-
land, and called raw sugar, which is the
coarsest brown sugar.
Q. Is not raw sugar often refined ?
A. Yes; and the refining produces
30 CLAYED AND LOAF SUGAR.
two varieties, called clayed and loaf
Q. How is clayed sugar prepared ?
A. The raw sugar is converted into
syrup, which is left for some hours to
harden in moulds; these are covered
with white sugar, over which wet clay
is firmly pressed down, so that the mois-
ture drains through the mould and takes
the colour from the sugar; this process
is repeated until it becomes almost
Q. What is then done ?
A. It is dried and crushed to powder
Q. How is loaf sugar prepared ?
A. The raw sugar is converted into
syrup with hot water, and filtered
through canvas bags, and afterwards
through powdered charcoal; this makes
the syrup a colourless liquid.
Q. What is the next process ?
A. This liquid is boiled and placed in
moulds of a conical form, in which it
becomes hard and white, the coarse
part draining off, and being called
Q. What is sugar-candy?
A. It is sugar boiled to a syrup and
cleared; 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
confectionery, and eat incredible quanti-
Q. What is barley-sugar ?
A. It is 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 ?
A. No; rum is distilled from the
molasses, or coarse part of sugar, which
is skimmed off when boiling, or drained
from the casks in which it is placed.
Q. What place is celebrated for rum ?
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 wars of Napo-
leon I. sugar was 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 the island of Cey-
lon, Arabia, and the East and West
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
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
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
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. Where is Mocha situated ?
A. On the Red Sea, just through the
dangerous straits of Bab-el-mandeb, or
the Gate of Tears.
34 COFFEE INTRODUCED INTO ENGLAND.
Q. How did they acquire such a
melancholy 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 them
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 was 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. Who 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
Q. What class of people were after-
Swards employed as bankers in Eng-
S A. The goldsmiths, in the time of the
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
Q. What is chicory ?
A. A plant chiefly cultivated in Hol-
land and Germany: it is grown also in
Q. To what purpose is it chiefly
A. Its roots are dried and prepared:
they are then ground and mixed with
Q. What is cocoa ?
A. The seeds of the cocoa, or choco-
late plant, which grows in South Ame-
rica and other tropical climates.
Q. Are cocoa plants and cocoa-nut
trees the same ?
A. No; although they both grow in
the same countries.
Q. What is chocolate ?
A. A kind of cake, or hard paste,
which is made of the pulp of the cocoa,
or chocolate seed, gently roasted and
mixed with sugar, clove, cinnamon, and
Q. Where does the chocolate plant
A. Chiefly in Brazil and the West
Indies. The flower is very beautiful;
its fruit is contained in a pod, like a cu-
cumber in shape; each pod has twenty
or thirty seeds in it, something like
Q. How are these seeds prepared for
A. They are gently roasted, pounded
in a mortar, and ground.
Q. How is it formed into paste and
A. By the help of water, and whilst
hot is put into tin moulds.
Q. Who introduced chocolate into
A. The Spaniards. The best is
brought from Caraccas. It should be
used new, for it will not keep more than
Q. Where is Caraccas ?
A. A province of the Republic of
Venezuela, in South America, bounded
on the north by 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 Indies ?
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 network 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 species of laurel-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 Ma-
labar, and other parts of the East
Q. Where is the island of Ceylon ?
A. In Asia, at the entrance of the
Gulf of Bengal.
Q. At what season do they strip the
cinnamon-trees of their bark ?
A. From the beginning of May to
the end of October; 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
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 ciinamon-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
Sthe 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
tl'-e growing in the Molucca Islands.
Q. Did not the Dutch take great
i' ins to cultivate it ?
A.. Yes; and they carried on a very
riih trade in this article with the rest of
Q. What is pepper ?
A. The dried berry of a creeping
kind of shrub.
Q. Where does it grow ?
40 BLACK AND WHITE PEPPER.
A. In many parts of the East Indies:
the best comes from Malabar; the least
esteemed from Java and Sumatra.
Q. How do these berries grow ?
A. In clusters of from twenty to
thirty, somewhat like a bunch of cur-
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.
Q. What is allspice ?
A. The fruit of the beautiful pimento-
Q. Where does it grow ?
A. In Jamaica and other parts of the
Q. Why is it called allspice ?
A. Because it is thought to possess
I the flavour of all 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 ?
A. A rush; and the knotty root
spreads itself over the surface of the
Q. How do the Indians use it ?
A. When fresh gathered it is soft,
and in that state it is eaten by them as
Q. Does it not likewise make a fine
A. Yes; a most delicious one, and it
is reckoned a great delicacy.
Q. What is mustard?
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 cut into slices,
which are wrapped up in the leaf of the
black-pepper vine, and sprinkled with
quick-lime; the natives chew it in such
quantities, 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 men.
Q. Would they not consider it great
rudeness if you refused it ?
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 the anise-seeds from Malta
and Spain; they are very valuable in
Q. What are cardamoms ?
A. The seeds of an East Indian plant,
which are brought into Europe in their
pods, and are very valuable in medi-
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 fields 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 Enm'i.i,
in medicine and in making curry pow-
der,. and seasoning many dishes.
Q. What is it chiefly valuable for now ?
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
Q. Where is it extensively culti-
A. In the gardens and provision
grounds of the West Indies.
Q. From what circumstance does it
derive its name ?
A. From the Indians using the root
of another species of it, called gaalcga,
as an antidote to the venom commu-
nicated 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,
Q. Is it not more productive than
any other plant cultivated for the use of
A. Yes; especially in Mexico and
Peru, and other very hot climates,
where a single grain yields four hundred-
Q. What is saffron ?
A. The orange-coloured stigma, or
centre part of a purple kind of crocus,
which is gathered every morning as soon
as the flower has been opened by the
influence of the sun.
Q. What part of them is used ?
A. The upper part of the stigma is
picked out, and the rest of the flower
thrown away; they are dried in a kiln,
and made into cakes.
Q. Where did 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. Where does it now chiefly grow ?
A. In Spain, France, and Ger-
Q. What is the use of saffron ?
A. A yellow colour is prepared from
it, used in dyeing, and sometimes in
medicine; it dissolves in water.
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 Pontefract, in
Q. What is Spanish liquorice ?
A. The root and juice of the same
plant, which grows in great quantities
Q. What is wine ?
A. The fermented juice of grapes and
Q. What causes the great variety in
the colour and quality of wines ?
S A. The different species of grapes,
| produced by the varieties of soil, cultiva-
Stion, and climate, and the peculiar mode
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
carefully pressed and fermented sepa-
rately from the skins, it forms a white
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 causes 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 live
hundred pipes would glut the market;
now we receive annually about twenty-
five thousand pipes.
WHITE PORT-LISBON--MADEIRA. 49
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 wine ?
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 valu-
able white wine ?
A. Yes; particularly after it has been
ripened by a voyage or two to the East
Indies : it is then called East Indian
Q. What is Malmsey Madeira ? *
A. Arich, 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 which
produced this fine wine ?
A. In Candia, and in Malvesia, one of
50 SHERRY-MOUNTAIN WINE-TENT.
the Greek Islands; they were afterwards
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
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 Andalu-
sia 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
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 the grapes 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 and Sherry ?
A. From Cadiz.
Q. Where is Cadiz ?
A. A fortified city in Spain, in
Andalusia, with a good harbour; it
is the centre of the Spanish com-
merce to America and the West In-
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,
Q. Do not Hungary and Germany
produce many excellent wines ?
A. Yes; Tokay, Hock, Rhenish,
and Moselle are the most cele-
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
Q. What is the hill called that pro-
duces the grapes of which this wine is
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 wars at the be-
ginning of this century, many of the
nobility had wines in their cellars that
were more than a hundred years old.
Q. Had they not lost all their good-
A. No; they had been made so rich
and good, that they had remained un-
Sinjured, even by so great an age.
Q. Are not the French wines cele-
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 Cham-
A. The wine that has gone through
Sthe whole process of.fermentation.
54 VIN DE GRAVES-PONTAC-BURGUNDY.
Q. What is sparkling Champagne ?
A. That which has been bottled be-
fore the fermentation was complete.
Q. What is Vin de Graves ?
A. A French wine, made near Bor-
Q. What is Pontac ?
A. Another French wine, made in
Q. What are Frontignac and Musca-
A. White wines, the delicious pro-
ductions of Languedoc.
Q. From what is the name Muscadel
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
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 Bordeaux.
Q. What do the French call the in-
ferior kinds of this wine ?
A. Vin ordinaire; it is the common
beverage of the working classes in France.
Q. Are not the wines of France
coming into more general use in this
A. Yes; in consequence of the treaty
of commerce entered into between Eng-
land and France in 1860, whereby the
duties on wine were reduced.
Q. To whom do we chiefly owe the
great advantages likely to result from
this treaty ?
A. To Napoleon III., Emperor of the
French, and to our eminent statesman,
Mr. Richard Cobden, who died in 1865.
Q. Was not a similar treaty of com-
merce entered into with Austria in that
A. Yes; and we may expect a large
increase in the consumption of the
wines of Hungary, which are said to be
even cheaper than those of France.
Q. What is Hermitage ?
A. A wine produced from Th;l,.l-
on the east bank of the Rhone; there
are two sorts, red and white.
Q. What town in France is famous
for this wine ?
A. The little town of Tain, near
Lyons; it is made from a smallblack
grape, of a rough flavour.
Q. What is C6te R1tie ?
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 wine, produced from the
vineyards of Mount Vesuvius.
Q. What was Falernian wine ?
A. It was a wine much celebrated by
the ancient poets, particularly Virgil
CONSTANTIA-SCHIRAZ WINE. 57
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
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
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 ?
A, At Martinique, one of the West
Q. What is Hippocras?
A. A costly beverage, used chiefly at
royal banquets, in which the champion,
out of a golden cup, pledged the king at
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
ja t6h,- Mediterranean; it is an herb
;i hiich -iows on rocks and old ruins.
Q. What is Ratafia ?
A. A cordial prepared by infusing
,:i ii:.iundly the kernels of several kinds
,)--f frtit, particularly of cherries and
i.ric;-:t.s adding also sugar, cinnamon,
loi-s., l-nd other spices.
u. Q. What is Sherbet ?
A. A kind of lemonade, made from
the juir of the lime, a very favourite
be v\ ,:,:, in Egypt and Turkey.
A. 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 only fermented, spirits are
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 to be distilled: the spirit or
alcohol rises in vapour and passes into
a tube surrounded by cold water, which
condenses it into a liquid.
Q. Whence have we the finest
A. From Bordeaux, Languedoc, and
the department of Charente; from the
latter comes the well-known Cognac
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.
HOLLANDS OR GENEVA-GIN. 61
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 it is thought
very inferior, though much used, as the
duty on French brandy renders it more
Q. What is Hollands or Geneva ?
A. It is a spirit made from grain in
Holland, where the only true Geneva is
distilled; it is flavoured with juniper
Q. Why is it called Geneva ?
A. From genievre, the French word
Q. F om whence are juniper berries
'iml ,pIIrti.,- ?
A. From Holland and Italy.
t,. What is English gin ?
A. It is a spirit distilled from malt,
flthiv,.ied with oil of turpentine, and by
.infusing a few juniper berries and some
Q. What is whisky ?
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-
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
Q. What is cider ?
A. The fermented juice of apples.
Q. What counties are particularly
famous for cider?
PERRY-VINEGAR-VIRGIN HONEY. 63
A. Herefordshire, Devonshire, and
the surrounding districts.
Q. What is perry ?
A. The fermented juice of pears.
Q. What counties are famous for
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 heat of the sun, or heating it in a
stove, and thereby producing fermenta-
Q. What is mead?
A. A liquor made from honey and
water, fermented with yeast.
Q. What is honey ?
A. The syrup of flowers, drawn from
the opened buds by the industrious
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 Mloon
its origin from a custom prevailing
64 MANNA-ASSES' MILK.
among an ancient Gothic people of
A. No doubt; for they drank mead,
or metheglin, as it was called, for thirty
days after a wedding.
Q. What is manna ?
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 ?
A. It hardens and dries on the trees
like gum, when it is carefully gathered,
and used as a medicine.
Q. Where does the best come from ?
A. Calabria and Sicily.
Q. Where is Calabria ?
A. A district at the extreme south of
the kingdom of Italy.
Q. What animals furnish man with
A. The cow, the goat, and the ass.
Q. Where is goats' milk particularly
A. On board ship, where the goats
thrive better than any other animal.
Q. What is asses' milk good for ?
ORANGES-ST. MICHAEL ORANGES. 65
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
Q. Whence are oranges brought ?
A. From Majorca and Minorca, also
from Lisbon, and most of the islands
and places in the Mediterranean Sea.
Q. Are there not many different kinds?
A. Yes; but the St. Michael's are
the most common and delicious; they
ST. MICHAEL ORANGES.
are imported in large quantities from
Q. Where are the Azores ?
A. A group of islands in the Atlantic
Ocean, about eight hundred miles west
Q. What distinguishes the St. Mi-
chael's from other kinds of oranges ?
A. It is small, with a thin rind, and
without seeds ; the pulp is very sweet
Q. How many oranges will a good
tree bear ?
A. From one thousand to two thousand.
Q. Where is there now an orange-
tree nearly four hundred 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
Q. What story is related concerning
the first orange-tree which was the
SEVILLE ORANGES-SHADDOCK. 67
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. 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 common preserve is chiefly
made from oranges ?
A. Marmalade : the pulp of the
orange is pounded, mixed with sugar,
and then heated and passed through a
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 : it is
known in the English market as the
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
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 coloursfromiron.
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 sauces, and from the rind a delicate
sweetmeat is prepared.
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
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,
Q. Have not most of the fine vege-
tables and delicious fruits we now enjoy
in England been introduced into it from
other countries ?
A. Yes; it was not until the latter
end of the reign of Henry VIII., about
1546, that salads, carrots, turnips, and
other eatable roots, were produced in
Q. What countries furnished England
with vegetables before she cultivated
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.
Q. But what great man is said to have
first planted it in Ireland ?
A. Sir Walter Raleigh, at Youghal,
in the county of Cork, in the reign of
Q. What countyinEngland isthought
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
regard 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 pound.
Q. When were asparagus, artichokes,
cauliflowers, beans, peas, and cabbages
A. About the time of Charles II.
Q. Who first planted cabbages in
A. Sir Anthony Ashley: 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
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 is guano ?
A. A valuable manure found chiefly
on the coasts of Peru and Africa; it
was first imported to England in 1842.
Q. How is it used ?
A.. About three hundredweight is
mixed with thrice that quantity of pul-
verized earth, burnt clay, or mineral
ashes, and is spread over an acre of land.
Q. What is the result ?
A. That even a barren soil becomes
Q. What is beet ?
A. A red vegetable of the turnip tribe,
often called mangel wurzel; it affords
food for cattle during the inclemency of
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 pigs.
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, crabs, medlars,
cranberries, and blackberries, were per-
haps the only fruits of this present
Q. Is there not a difference of opinion
on this subject ?
A. Yes; some consider raspberries,
strawberries, gooseberries, and currants,
to be indigenous or native; but if so,
they were of an inferior kind to those
we now see in our gardens, which
were probably introduced from warmer
Q. From what place had we the
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 propa-
Q. Why do they not raise them from
A. Because they would only be like
wild fruit, and never come to perfection.
Q. Is the pear much cultivated ?
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 joiners'
tools: also the common kind of flat
rulers, and furniture.
Q. What country produced the pine-
A. This best and finest flavoured of
all known fruits was brought to England
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
Indies, whence they have of late years
been imported into England in great
Q. Where are pine-apples as plenti-
ful as blackberries in England ?
A. At Sierra Leone, in Africa.
SQ. 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 crown should be saved
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-
ducing finer grapes for the table than
any other country ?
A. Yes; since artificial heat was
applied, 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 19- 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 turns.
Q. Is there not still a very famous
vine at Hampton Court ?
A. Yes, the Red Hamburg; it has
been known to produce 2200 bunches
averaging one 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
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. Why are not the vineyards in
France and on the Rhine as beautiful ?
A. Because the vines are trained to
straight sticks like our raspberry-bushes
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 to Rome
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 delicious
Q. Where did the apricot and quince
come from ?
A. Epirus, Carthage, Armenia, and
Q. Where is Epirus ?
A. It was part of ancient Greece,
but now forms a portion of Turkey in
Q. Where is Carthage ?
A. In the north of Africa; Queen
Dido founded it: Tunis stands on its
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-
Q. Whence have we cherries ?
A. This well-known fruit formerly
grew wild in the woods near Cerasus,
Q. Where is Pontus ?
A. On the southern coast of the
Q. Who first brought them to Rome ?
A. Lucullus, a Roman general.
Q. And when were they planted in
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 Ire-
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 Kirschwasser; and
sell it to the French and Germans at a
Q. Is not the wood and gum also
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 one hundred men were kept
alive for two months, by putting a little
of this gum into their mouths, and
letting it dissolve.
Q. Who was Hasselquist?
A. A Swedish botanist and natural
historian, born in East Gothland in
Q. Who is said to have introduced
A. Lucullus, who brought them front
Pontus into Italy.
Q. After whom was the filbert named ?
A. Philibert, the king of France, who
caused by art sundry kinds of nuts to
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
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 Tortworth, Gloucester-
A. Yes; it was known as a boundary-
mark in the reign of King John, and
was then supposed to be more than
five hundred years old, making its age
at this time to exceed eleven hundred
Q. What is its diameter ?
A. Fifteen feet; it is forty-five feet
round, and it still continues to bear
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 ?
A. They look half rotten when
brought to table; for they are placed
in moist bran for a fortnight, to prepare
them for eating.
Q. What is the pomegranate ?
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
country from North America and Rus-
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 the guavas ?
A. The guava is a West Indian fruit,
both delicious and wholesome; it is
eaten raw, but it is prepared as a sweet-
meat in many ways, particularly in that
form called guava jelly.
Q. Whence have we tamarinds ?
A. From both the Indies: they make
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
Q. What are plums ?
A. A well-known fruit in England;
the magnum bonum, or egg plum, the
greengage, and many others, all ori-
ginally came from the wild plum.
Q. What are prunes ?
A. French plums dried; they are
usually very prettily packed in boxes,
and exported from France.
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
drying them in the sun.
Q. Where do they come from ?
A. Most of the southern countries of
Europe, but chiefly from Spain.
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
grown in the Isthmus of Corinth,
whence they obtained the name of
Corinths, since corrupted to cur-
Q. Where do they chiefly come from
A. Most of the islands in the Archi-
pelago, and from Zante.
Q. Are the natives acquainted with
the use we make of them ?
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
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-
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 round
boxes called drums, or more usually in
small oblong boxes.
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 de-
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
produces a treble crop of fruit in one
year, and that the fruit always precedes
Q. What are almonds?
A. A kernel which is contained in a
tender shell, with many small holes on
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. Is there not another kind of
A. Yes; it is called the bitter almond
from its taste, and it is smaller nd
flatter than the sweet almond.
Q. Are bitter almonds cultivated in
A. No; they are imported from Bar-
bary in large quantities, but the best are
brought from Provence.
Q. Is the oil of almonds extracted
from both kinds ?
A. Yes; but it is yielded in greater
abundance from the bitter almond.
Q. What are cocoa-nuts ?
A. A woody fruit covered with a
fibrous husk, growing on a species of
palm in most hot climates, with a firm
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 in shape like a
filbert, but very much larger; it yields
an oil when pressed like almonds, and
when fresh, a quantity of milk is found
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. Is there not a nut called the
sapucaia nut ?
A. Yes; it is the fruit of a Brazilian
tree of immense size, the flavour re-
sembling the almond: the monkeys are
particularly fond of this nut.
Q. What are capers ?
A. The unopened flower-bud of a low
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-
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 ad-
dition of vinegar and a little salt, so as
to keep the buds always covered with
Q. What are they useful for ?