The Commercial Products of the Vegetable Kingdom
by P. L. Simmonds
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The native apparatus for distilling the rose-water is of the simplest construction; it consists of a large copper or iron boiler well tinned, capable of holding from eight to twelve gallons, having a large body with a rather narrow neck, and a mouth about eight inches in diameter; on the top of this is fixed an old dekchee, or cooking vessel, with a hole in the centre to receive the tube or worm.

This tube is composed of two pieces of bamboo, fastened at an acute angle, and it is covered the whole length with a strong binding of corded string, over which is a luting of earth to prevent the vapour from escaping. The small end, about two feet long, is fixed into the hole in the centre of the head, where it is well luted with flower and water. The lower arm or end of the tube is carried down into a long-necked vessel or receiver, called a bhulka. This is placed in a handee of water, which, as it gets hot, is changed. The head of the still is luted on to the body, and the long arm of the tube in the bhulka is also well provided with a cushion of cloth, so as to keep in all vapour. The boiler is let into an earthen furnace, and the whole is ready for operation. There is such a variety of rose-water manufactured in the bazar, and so much that bears the name, which is nothing more than a mixture of sandal oil, that it is impossible to lay down the plan which is adopted. The best rose-water, however, in the bazar, may be computed as bearing the proportion of one thousand roses to a seer of water; this, perhaps, may be considered as the best procurable.

From one thousand roses most generally a seer and a half of rose-water is distilled, and perhaps from this even the attar has been removed. The boiler of the still will hold from eight to twelve or sixteen thousand roses. On eight thousand roses from ten to eleven seers of water will be placed, and eight seers of rose-water will be distilled. This after distillation is placed in a carboy of glass, and is exposed to the sun for several days to become pucka (ripe); it is then stopped with cotton, and has a covering of moist clay put over it; this becoming hard, effectually prevents the scent from escaping. The price of this will be from twelve to sixteen rupees. This is the best that can be procured.

Attar of Roses.—To procure the attar, the roses are put into the still, and the water passes over gradually, as in the case of the rose-water process; after the whole has come over, the rose-water is placed in a large metal basin, which is covered with wetted muslin, tied over to prevent insects or dust getting into it; this vessel is let into the ground about two feet, which has been previously wetted with water, and it is allowed to remain quiet during the whole night. The attar is always made at the beginning of the season, when the nights are cool; in the morning the little film of attar which is formed upon the surface of the rose-water during the night is removed by means of a feather, and it is then carefully placed in a small phial; and, day after day, as the collection is made, it is placed for a short period in the sun, and after a sufficient quantity has been procured, it is poured off clear, and of the color of amber, into small phials. Pure attar, when it has been removed only three or four days, has a pale greenish hue; by keeping it loses this, and in a few weeks' time it becomes of a pale yellow. The first few days distillation does not produce such fine attar as comes off afterwards, in consequence of the dust or little particles of dirt in the still and the tube being mixed with it. This is readily separated, from its sinking to the bottom of the attar, which melts at a temperature of 84 degrees. From one lac of roses it is generally calculated that 180 grains, or one tolah, of attar can be procured; more than this can be obtained if the roses are full-sized, and the nights cold to allow of the congelation. The attar purchased in the bazar is generally adulterated, mixed with sandal oil, or sweet oil; not even the richest native will give the price at which the purest attar alone can be obtained, and the purest attar that is made is sold only to Europeans. During the past year it has been selling from 80 to 90 rupees the tolah; the year before it might have been purchased for 50 rupees.

General Remarks.—Native stills are let out at so much per day or week, and it frequently occurs that the residents prepare some rose-water for their own use as a present to their friends, to secure their being provided with that which is the best. The natives never remove the calices of the rose-flowers, but place the whole into the still as it comes from the garden.

The best plan appears to be to have these removed, as by this means the rose-water may be preserved a longer time, and is not spoiled by the acid smell occasionally met with in the native rose-water. It is usual to calculate 100 bottles to one lac of roses. The rose-water should always be twice distilled; over ten thousand roses water may be put to allow of sixteen or twenty bottles coming out; the following day these twenty bottles are placed over eight thousand more roses, and about eighteen bottles of rose-water are distilled. This may be considered the best to be met with. The attar is so much lighter than the rose-water, that, previous to use, it is better to expose the rose-water to the sun for a few days, to allow of its being well mixed; and rose-water that has been kept six months is always better than that which has recently been made.

At the commencement of the rose season, people from all parts come to make their purchases, and very large quantities are prepared and sold. There are about thirty-six places in the city of Ghazeepore where rose-water is distilled. These people generally put a large quantity of sandal oil into the receiver, the oil is afterwards carefully removed and sold as sandal attar, and the water put into carboys and disposed of as rose-water. At the time of sale a few drops of sandal oil are placed on the neck of the carboy to give it fresh scent, and to many of the natives it appears perfectly immaterial whether the scent arises solely from the sandal oil or from the roses. Large quantities of sandal oil are every year brought up from the south and expended in this way.

6. The chief use the natives appear to make of the rose water, or the sandal attar as they term it, is at the period of their festivals and weddings. It is then distributed largely to the guests as they arrive, and sprinkled with profusion in the apartments. A large quantity of rose water is sold at Benares, and many of the native Rajahs send over to Ghazipoor for its purchase. Most of the rose water, as soon as distilled, is taken away, and after six months from the termination of the manufacture there are not more than four or five places where it is to be met with.

I should consider that the value of the roses sold for the manufacture of rose water may be estimated at 15,000 to 20,000 rupees a year; and from the usual price asked for the rose water, and for which it is sold, I should consider there is a profit of 40,000 rupees. The natives are very fond of using the rose water as medicine, or as a vehicle for other mixtures, and they consume a good deal of the petals for the conserve of roses, or goolcond as they call it.

The roses of Ghazipoor, on the river Ganges, are cultivated in enormous fields of hundreds of acres. The delightful odor from these fields can be scented at seven miles distance on the river. The valuable article of commerce known as attar of roses is made here in the following manner:—On 40 pounds of roses are poured 60 pounds of water, and they are then distilled over a slow fire, and 30 pounds of rose water obtained. This rose water is then poured over 40 pounds of fresh roses, and from that is distilled at most 20 pounds of rose water; this is then exposed to the cold night air, and in the morning a small quantity of oil is found on the surface. From 80 pounds of roses, about 200,000, at the utmost an ounce and a-half of oil is obtained; and even at Ghazipoor it costs 40 rupees (4l.) an ounce.

Five guineas have been often paid for one ounce of attar of roses. The most approved mode of ascertaining its quality is to drop it on a piece of paper; its strength is ascertained by the quickness with which it evaporates, and its worth by its leaving no stains on the paper. The best otto is manufactured at Constantinople.

A volatile oil, erroneously called oil of spikenard, is met with in the shops, which is obtained from a plant which has been named by Dr. Royle, the Andropogon Calamus aromaticus.

The true spikenard of the ancients is supposed to have been obtained from the Nardostachys Jatamansi, a plant of the Valerian family. Dr. Stenhouse describes rather minutely ("Journal Pharm. Soc." vol. iv. p. 276) a species of East India grass oil, said to be the produce of Andropogon Ivaracusa, which he believes to be what is usually called the oil of Namur. It has a very fragrant aromatic odor, slightly resembling that of otto of roses, but not nearly so rich. Its taste is sharp and agreeable, approaching that of oil of lemons. It has a deep yellow color, and contains a good deal of resinous matter.

LEMON GRASS (Andropogon schoenanthus).—This fragrant grass, which is now cultivated very generally throughout the West Indies, in the gardens of the planters, as an elegant and powerful diaphoratic, was doubtless introduced from the East. The active principle of the leaves seems to reside in the essential oil which they contain. Lemon grass oil forms an important article of export from Ceylon, amounting in value to nearly L7,000 annually.

The Andropogon schoenanthus, which may be seen covering all the Kandian hills, is the best possible pasture for cattle—at least as long as it is young. This species of grass is very hard, and grows to the height of seven feet, and sometimes higher, and has a strong but extremely pleasant acid taste. It derives its name from having, when crushed, an odor like that of the lemon, so strong, that after a time it becomes quite heavy and sickening, although grateful and refreshing at first. It covers the hills in patches—those, at least, that are not overgrown with jungle and underwood—and it is to be found nowhere but in the Kandian district. Spontaneous ignition frequently takes place, and the appearance of the burning grass is described as most magnificent. A few days after, from the midst of this parched, blackened, and apparently dead ground, lovely young green shoots begin to arise—for the roots of this extraordinary grass have not even been injured, far less destroyed, by the fire; and in a very short time the whole brow of the mountain is again overspread with tufts of beautiful green waving grass.—("Journal of Agriculture.")

Otto of khuskhus or scented grass, from another species, A. digitalis, obtained at Ulwar in the States of Rajpootanah, was shown at the Great Exhibition in 1851, and Newar oil (from A. maritima) from Agra.

CITRONELLA OIL.—In the Southern province of Ceylon some half dozen estates about Galle are cultivated with citronella grass. The exports of this oil from Ceylon in the last three years have been as follows:—1850, 86,048 oz., valued at L3,344; 1851, 114,959 oz., valued at L3,742; in 1852, 131,780 oz., valued at L2,806.

PATCHOULY.—Under this name are imported into this country the dried foliaceous tops of a strongly odoriferous labiate plant, growing three feet high in India and China, called in Bengalee and Hindu, pucha pat. About 46 cases, of from 50 to 110 lbs. each, were imported from China, by the way of New York, in 1844. The price asked was 6s. per pound. Very little is known of the plant yielding it. Mr. George Porter, late of the island of Pinang, stated that it grows wild there and on the opposite shores of the Malay peninsula. Dr. Wallich says, that it obviously belongs to the family Labiatae. Viney, in the "French Journal of Pharmacy," suggests that it is the Plectranthus graveolens of R. Brown. It forms a shrub of two or three feet in height. It is the Pogostemon patchouly. The odor of the dried plant is strong and peculiar, and to some persons not agreeable. The dried tops imported into England are a foot or more in length. In India it is used as an ingredient in tobacco for smoking, and for scenting the hair of women. In Europe it is principally used for perfumery purposes, it being a favorite with the French, who import it largely from Bourbon. The Arabs use and export it more than any other nation. Their annual pilgrimship takes up an immense quantity of the leaf. They use it principally for stuffing mattrasses and pillows, and assert that it is very efficacious in preventing contagion and prolonging life. It requires no sort of preparation, being simply gathered and dried in the sun; too much drying, however, is hurtful, inasmuch as it renders the leaf liable to crumble to dust in packing and stowing on board. The characteristic smell of Chinese or Indian ink is owing to an admixture of this plant in its manufacture. M. de Hugel found the plant growing wild near Canton. By distillation it yields a volatile oil, on which the odor and remarkable properties depend. This oil is in common use in India for imparting the peculiar fragrance of the leaf to clothes among the superior classes of natives. The origin of its use is this:—A few years ago, real Indian shawls bore an extravagant price, and purchasers could always distinguish them by their odor; in fact, they were perfumed with Patchouly; the French manufacturers at length discovered this secret, and used to import the plant to perfume articles of their make, and thus palm off homespun shawls as real India! Some people put the dry leaves in a muslin bag, and thus use it as we do lavender, scenting drawers in which linen is kept; this is the best way to use it, as this odor, like musk, is most agreeable when very dilute.—("Gardeners' Chronicle.")

The root of some parasitical plant, under the name of kritz, is used in Cashmere to wash the celebrated shawls, soap is used only for white shawls.

From the flowers of the Bengal quince (AEgle marmemolos) a fragant liquid is distilled in Ceylon known as marmala water, which is much used as a perfume for sprinkling by the natives.

Jasmine oil is distilled from Jasminum sambac and grandiflora.

SAPONACEOUS PLANTS.—Many plants furnish abroad useful substitutes for common soap. The aril which surrounds the seed and the roots of Sapindus Saponaria, an evergreen tree, I have seen used as soap in South America and the West Indies under the name of soap berries. The seed vessels are very acrid, they lather freely in water and will cleanse more linen than thirty times their weight of soap, but in time they corrode or burn the linen. Humboldt says that proceeding along the river Carenicuar, in the Gulf of Cariaco, he saw the Indian women washing their linen with the fruit of this tree, there called the parapara. Some other species of Sapindus and of Gypsophila have similar properties. The bruised leaves and roots of Saponaria officinalis, a British species, form a lather which much resembles that of soap, and is similarly efficacious in removing grease spots. The bark of many species of Quillaia, as Q. saponaria, when beaten between stones, makes a lather which can be used as a substitute for soap, in washing woollens and silk clothes, and to clean colors in dyeing, in Chili and Brazil, but it turns linen yellow. The fruit of Bromelia Pinguin is equally useful. A vegetable soap was prepared some years ago in Jamaica from the leaves of the American aloe (Agave Americana) which was found as detergent as Castile soap for washing linen, and had the superior quality of mixing and forming a lather with salt water as well as fresh. Dr. Robinson, the naturalist, thus describes the process he adopted in 1767, and for which he was awarded a grant by the House of Assembly:—"The lower leaves of the Curaca or Coratoe (Agave karatu) were passed between heavy rollers to express the juice, which, after being strained through a hair cloth, was merely inspissated by the action of the sun, or a slow fire, and cast into balls or casks. The only precaution necessary was to allow no mixture of any unctuous materials, which destroyed the efficacy of the soap. A vegetable soap, which has been found excellent for washing silk, &c, may be thus obtained. To one part of the skin of the Ackee add one and a half part of the Agave karatu, macerated in one part of boiling water for twenty-four hours, and with the extract from this decoction mix four per cent. of rosin. In Brazil, soap is made from the ashes of the bassura or broom plant (Sidu lanceolata) which abounds with alkali. There are also some soap barks and pods of native plants used in China. Several other plants have been employed in different countries as a substitute for soap. The bark of Quillaia saponaria renders water frothy and is used as a detergent by wool dyers. Saponaria vaccana is common in India. The pericarp of Sapindus emarginatus mixed with water froths like soap. Saponaceous berries are found in Java.

The soap-worts to which the genus Sapindus belongs are tropical plants. The fruit of many species of Sapindus is used as a substitute for soap, as Sapindus acuminata, Laurifolius emarginatus and detergens, all East Indian plants.



The chief plants furnishing the drugs of commerce, and which enter largely into tropical agriculture, are the narcotic plants, especially tobacco, the poppy for opium, and the betel nut and leaf; as masticatories—but there are very many others to which the attention of the cultivator may profitably be directed. I have already trenched so largely upon my space, that I cannot do that justice to the plants coming under this section I could have wished. There are very many, however, of which I must make incidental mention. Some few medicinal plants have been already alluded to in former sections, particularly in that on dye-stuffs, &c.

THE COCA PLANT grows about four or five feet high, with pale bright green leaves, somewhat resembling in shape those of the orange tree. The leaves are picked from the trees three or four times a year, and carefully dried in the shade; they are then packed in small baskets. The greatest quantity is grown about 30 leagues from Cicacica, among the Yunnos on the frontiers of the Yunghos. Some is also cultivated near to Huacaibamba.

The natives in several parts of Peru chew these leaves as Europeans do tobacco, particularly in the mining districts, when at work in the mines or travelling; and such is the sustenance that they derive from them, that they frequently take no food for four or five days. I have often (observes Mr. Stevenson) been assured by them, that whilst they have a good supply of coca they feel neither hunger, thirst, nor fatigue, and that without impairing their health they can remain eight to ten days and nights without sleep. The leaves are almost insipid, but when a small quantity of lime is mixed with them, they have a very agreeable sweet taste. The natives generally carry with them a leather pouch containing coca, and a small calabash holding lime or the ashes of the molle to mix with them.

Cocculus indicus, or Indian berries.—This is the commercial name for the berries or fruit of the Menispermum Cocculus of Linnaeus, M. heteroclitum of Roxburgh, Animerta paniculata of Colebrooke, A. Cocculus of Wright and Arnot, and Cocculus suberosus of Decandolle. It is a strong climbing shrub or tree, native of Malabar, Ceylon, and the Eastern Islands. The seeds or drupes contain a bitter poisonous acid, and are used for the purpose of stupefying fish, and, in the form of a black extract, for fraudulently increasing the intoxicating power of malt liquors; one pound of the berries, it is said, will go as far in brewing as a sack of malt. The berry is kidney-shaped, with a white kernel. Whilst the imports in 1846 were but 246 bags, in 1850 they had increased to 2,359 bags of about 1 cwt. each. The price is 19s. to 24s. the cwt.

A crystalline, poisonous, narcotic principle called picrotoxin, has been detected in these seeds, and occasionally employed externally in some cutaneous diseases. Cocculus crispus is used in intermittent fevers and liver complaints.

The annual imports now average 250 tons, and nearly the whole is consumed for illegal purposes by brewers. Though the practice is nominally discountenanced by the Legislature under the penalty of L200 upon the brewer and L500 upon the seller, yet under the recent tariff great encouragement is given to the introduction of these berries, the duty having been reduced from 7s. 6d. to 5s. the cwt.

The capsules and seeds of Xanthoxylum hostile are also employed for the same purpose as cocculus indicus. The bark of Walseria piscidia, a native of the Circar mountains, also intoxicates fish.

About 250 tons of Nux vomica, another species of dried flat seed possessing intoxicating properties, are also imported annually for the same purposes, and they fetch about 6s. to 8s. the cwt.

BETEL LEAF.—Piper Betel, a scandent species of the shrubby evergreen tribe of plants belonging to the pepper family, furnishes the celebrated betel leaf of the Southern Asiatics, in which they enclose a few slices of the areca nut and a little shell lime; this they chew to sweeten the breath, and to keep off the pangs of hunger, and it acts also as a narcotic.

Such is the immense consumption of this masticatory, termed Pan, in the East, that it forms nearly as extensive an article of commerce as that of tobacco in the West. The tax on the leaf forms a considerable portion of the local revenue of Pinang; in 1805, the tax yielded as much as 5,400 dollars.

Rumphius describes six species of this vine, besides several wild and cultivated varieties. It is very easily reared in the Indian islands, but in the countries of the Deccan requires manuring, frequent watering and great care, and in the northern parts of Hindostan it becomes an exotic very difficult to rear. The vine affords leaves fit for use in the second year, and continues to yield for more than thirty, the quantity diminishing as the plants grow older.

ARECA PALM (Acacia Catechu).—This is a fine, slender, graceful tree, rising from 20 to 30 feet high, which, being a native of the East, is found abundant in many of the forests of India, from 16 to 30 degs. of latitude. The principal places of its growth are the Burmese territories, a large province on the Malabar coast called the Concan, and the forests skirting the northern parts of Bengal, under the hills which divide it from Nepaul, the south and west coasts of Ceylon, the south of China, &c., the Malay Peninsula, Sumatra and the Eastern islands, it produces fruit at five years old, and continues bearing till about its twenty-fifth year, when it withers and dies. It thrives at a greater distance from the sea, and in more elevated regions than the coco-nut palm. In Prince of Wales Island some hundreds of thousands of these palms are cultivated.

The seeds or nuts form a chief ingredient in the celebrated eastern masticatory called Pan and which seems to owe its stimulating properties to the leaves of the Piper Betel. When prepared for use, the nut is cut into slices and wrapped in the fresh leaves of the betel pepper vine, together with a quantity of quicklime (Chunam) to give it a flavor. The flavor is peculiar, between an herbaceous and an aromatic taste.

All classes, male and female, chew it; they say it sweetens the breath, strengthens the stomach, and preserves the teeth, to which it gives a reddish hue; there is probably less objection to its use than tobacco or opium, and its taste is more pleasant; but, if taken to excess, it will produce stupor like other narcotics, and even intoxication. The nuts grow in large bunches at the top, and when ripe are red and have a beautiful appearance; they resemble the nutmeg in shape and color, but are larger and harder. When gathered they are laid in heaps until the shell be somewhat rotted, and then dried in the sun, after which the process of shelling commences. The trees vary in their yield from 300 to 1,000 nuts, averaging about 14 lbs.; which the cultivators sell at about half a dollar (2s.) a picul of 133 lbs. As these palms are planted usually at the distance of 71/2 feet, it follows that the produce of an acre is about 10,841 lbs. The tree bears but once in a year generally, but there are green nuts enough to eat all the year long. Betel nut is a staple article of import into China; 25,000 piculs annually is the amount returned, but there is an immense quantity imported in Chinese junks from Hainan, of which there is no account kept. In the single port of Canton alone, 15,565 piculs were imported in 1844, and about 400 to Ningpo. 3,005 piculs of betel nuts, valued at 8,700 dollars, were imported into Canton in 1850, and as much as 4,000 tons of areca nuts are shipped annually from Ceylon.

The astringent extract obtained from the seeds of the Areca-palm constitutes two (or perhaps more) kinds of the catechu of the shops. According to Dr. Heyne ("Tracts Hist. and Statist. on India"), it is largely procured in Mysore, about Sirah, in the following manner:—

The nuts are taken as they come from the tree and boiled for some hours in an iron vessel. They are then taken out, and the remaining water is inspissated by continual boiling. This process furnishes Kassu, or most astringent terra japonica, which is black and mixed with paddy criu, husks, and other impurities. After the nuts are dried, they are put into a fresh quantity of water, boiled again; and this water being inspissated, like the former, yields the best or dearest kind of catechu, called Coony. It is yellowish brown, has an earthy fracture, and is free from the admixture of foreign bodies.

Most of the betel nuts imported into China come from Java, Singapore, and Pinang. Betel nut is not so generally used in the South of China as among the Southern Islands, and in the north of China it is a luxury, as the pepper does not grow freely there. Formerly there was a considerable trade in betel nuts with the Coromandel coast, from whence the natives brought back manufactured goods and other necessaries in return, but this has ceased for some time. The common price was 20,000 for a dollar. These nuts are seldom imported into England, though they might be of use as a dye in some manufactures.

The natives of the East chew the fruit of Elate sylvestris, (which is something like a wild plum), in the same manner as the areca nut, with the leaf of the betel pepper and quick lime.

The inner wood furnishes a kind of Catechu or Cutch, which contains much tannin and is a powerful astringent. It is obtained by the simple process of boiling the heart of the wood for a few hours, when it assumes the appearance and consistency of tar. It hardens by cooling, and when formed into small squares and dried in the sun is fit for the market.

The produce of Bombay is of uniform texture and of a dark red color. That of Concan and other parts of India is of chocolate color, and marked inside with red streaks.

The analysis of Sir H. Davy gave the following result:—

Bombay. Concan. Tannin 54.5 48.5 Extractive 34.0 36.5 Mucilage 6.5 8.0 Insoluble matters, sand, lime, &c. 5.0 7.0 ——- ——- 100. 100.

Catechu is in extensive use in India for tanning purposes, and of late years it has entirely superseded madder in the calico works of Europe for dyeing a golden coffee-brown, one pound of catechu being found equivalent to six pounds of madder.

Value of the areca nuts exported from Ceylon to the British Colonies and foreign States in the years named:—

L. 1839 22,956 1840 23,096 1841 22,428 1842 29,222 1843 27,028 1844 20,978 1845 31,836 1846 34,209 1847 35,723 1848 42,482 1849 31,746 1850 42,907 1851 54,846 1852 52,230


OPIUM is the concrete inspissated juice of the white poppy, Papaver somniferum and its varieties, obtained by scratching the capsules and collecting the exuding juice. The plant has been long known, and is perhaps one of the earliest described. It is a native of Western Asia and probably also of the South of Europe, but it has been distributed over various countries.

In 1826 the imports of opium into the United Kingdom were 79,829 lbs., of which 28,329 lbs. were consumed in this country. The imports and consumption in subsequent years are shown by the following figures:—

Imports. Consumption. lbs. lbs. 1827 113,140 17,322 1830 209,076 22,668 1833 106,846 35,407 1836 130,794 38,943 1839 196,247 41,682 1842 72,373 47,432 1845 259,644 38,229 1848 200,019 61,055 1819 105,724 44,177 1850 126,318 42,324 1851 118,024 50,682 1852 205,780 62,521

Few who have not looked into the statistics of this trade, are aware of the enormous consumption of opium all over the world, but chiefly in China and India.

In 1845, 18,792 chests of opium were sent from Calcutta to China, and nearly the same number of the Malwa opium from Bombay and Damaun. The total production of India exported to China, in 1844, was 21,526 chests from Bengal, and 18,321 from Bombay, in all 39,847 chests. The number of persons in China given to the consumption of opium was estimated, in 1837, at three millions, and the average quantity smoked by each individual is about 171/2 grains a day. The consumption of Indian opium (independent of Turkey opium) in China has gradually increased from 3,210 chests in 1817, to 9,969 chests in 1827, and about 40,000 chests in 1837, valued at 25,000,000 dollars. Now it has reached 50,000 to 60,000 chests. Notwithstanding severe penalties, imprisonment, temporary banishment, and even death, the number of those who smoke opium has multiplied exceedingly, and the contraband trade in the drug is carried on to so large an extent, that it is to be feared the practice will become general throughout the empire.

According to Mr. E. Thornton's statistics, the production of opium in Bengal has increased cent. per cent. in the last ten years:—

Chests. 1840-41 17,858 1841-42 18,827 1842-43 18,362 1843-44 15,104 1844-45 18,350 1845-46 21,437 1846-47 21,648 1847-48 30,515 1848-49 36,000

The chest is about 140 lbs., so that the production in 1849 was 5,040,000 lbs.

According to the statements annexed to the statistical papers relating to India, the income from the opium monopoly is obtained by two principal means, namely, by a system of allowing the cultivation of the poppy by the natives of British India on account of Government, and by the impost of a heavy duty on opium grown and manufactured in foreign states, but brought in transit to a British port for exportation. The former system obtains in Bengal, the latter in Bombay. According to the statements published, Bengal opium yields a profit of 7s. 6d. per lb., whilst the duty derived in the Bombay presidency is only equal to a surplus of 5s. 8d. per lb. By these means the total revenue realised by the opium monopoly, in Bengal and Bombay, in the year 1849-50 yielded L3,309,637.

Lest objection should be taken to this large annual revenue derived from the cultivation of a drug, the unnatural consumption of which would be suppressed under any other European government, the Court of Directors is very anxious to show the benefit which the country derives from this monopoly; they say "that as the price of opium is almost wholly paid by foreign consumers, and the largest return is obtained with the smallest outlay, the best interests of India would, appear to be consulted." Nobody at all acquainted with the financial resources and the capabilities of any country, would hazard such an assertion. By paying cultivators for the restricted growth of the poppy a price hardly yielding more than the average rate of wages to the common laborer, I do not see in what way the best interests of India are consulted, nor is it clear that the population derives any benefit by being prohibited altogether from manufacturing a drug, which may be brought from another country in transitu on the payment of a heavy duty; unless indeed the Court of Directors are of opinion that in the event of the abolition of the monopoly, the people of the country would have to make up for the loss of the revenue by submitting to some other mode of direct or indirect taxation. There is an inconsistency in the statements of the Court of Directors, which is absolutely amusing. "The free cultivation of the poppy," say the Directors, "would doubtless lead to the larger outlay of capital, and to greater economy in production; but the poppy requires the richest description of land, and its extended cultivation must therefore displace other products." How very considerate on the part of the Directors, but how strongly at variance with facts, since all the fear of displacing other products, and all this appropriation of the richest description of land for other purposes has not prevented the Indian Government, within less than ten years, from more than doubling the cultivation of the poppy and the manufacture of opium. The Directors tell us that the heavy transit duty charged at Bombay is to discourage production, but they do not say whether that discouragement applies, as one would imagine, to those foreign districts which have to pay the transit duty for their production. If so, the assertion is again at variance with facts, because in a subsequent statement they say, "It is stated that neither the price of opium, nor the extent of cultivation in Malwa, has been affected by the great enhancement of the pass duty, which has taken place since 1845."

The following will show that the Company loses no opportunity of applying the screw:—

The subjugation of Scinde afforded opportunity for the levy of a higher rate. Down to the period of that event, a large portion of the opium of Malwa had been conveyed through Scinde to Kurrachee, and thence onward to the Portuguese ports of Diu and Demaun. That route is now closed, and it was reasonably expected that an advance might be made in the charge of passes without the risk of loss to the revenue from a diminished demand for them. The rate was accordingly increased in October, 1843, from 125 to 200 rupees per chest. Upon the principle that it was desirable to fix the price at the highest amount that could be levied, without forcing the trade into other channels, a further increase was made in 1845. when it was determined that the charge should be 300 rupees per chest. Under the like views it was, in 1847, raised to 400 rupees per chest.

The company was perfectly correct, for though the quantity of opium did not increase, the revenue did; and whilst in 1840-41 16,773 chests yielded an income of only 22,046,452 rupees—16,500 chests brought in 1849-50 actually 72,094,835 rupees into the coffers of the Government of Bombay. But the people of India earned not a pice by it, and those richest descriptions of land, which it was so desirable to reserve for other produce than the poppy, remained barren.

The white variety of the poppy is that which is exclusively brought under cultivation for the production of the drug in India and Egypt. For the successful culture of opium a mild climate, plentiful irrigation, a rich soil, and diligent husbandry are indispensable. One acre of well cultivated ground will yield from 70 lbs. to 100 lbs. of "chick," or inspissated juice, the price of which varies from 6s. to 12s. a pound, so that an acre will yield from L20 to L60 worth of opium at one crop. Three pounds of chick will produce one pound of opium, from a third to a fifth of the weight being lost in evaporation. A chief chemical feature, which distinguishes Bengal opium from that of Turkey and Egypt, is the large proportion which the narcotine in the former bears to the morphia, and this proportion is constant in all seasons. It is a matter of importance to ascertain whether the treatment which the juice receives after its collection can influence in any way the amount of alkaloids, or of the other principles in opium. In Turkey it is the custom to beat up the juice with saliva, in Malwa it is immersed as collected in linseed oil, whilst in Bengal it is brought to the required consistence by mere exposure to the air in the shade, though, at the same time, all the watery particles of the juice that will separate are drained off, and used in making Lewah, or inferior opium.

The lands selected for poppy cultivation are generally situated in the vicinity of villages, where the facilities for manuring and irrigation are greatest. In such situations and when the soil is rich, it is frequently the practice with the cultivators to take a crop of Indian corn, maize, or vegetables off the ground during the rainy season, and after the removal of this in September, to dress and manure the ground for the subsequent poppy sowings. In other situations, however, and when the soil is not rich, the poppy crop is the only one taken off the ground during the year, and from the commencement of the rains in June or July, until October, the ground is dressed and cleaned by successive ploughings and weedings, and manured to the extent which the means of the cultivator will permit. In the final preparation of the land in October and November, the soil, after being well loosened and turned up by the plough, is crushed and broken down by the passage of a heavy log of wood over its surface, and it is in this state ready for sowing.

The amount of produce from various lands differs considerably. Under very favorable circumstances of soil and season, as much as twelve or even thirteen seers (26 lbs.) of standard opium may be, obtained from each biggah of 27,225 square feet. "Under less favorable conditions the turn-out may not exceed three or four seers, but the usual amount of produce varies from six to eight seers per biggah.

The chemical examination of different soils in connection with their opium-producing powers, presents a field for profitable and interesting inquiry; nor is the least important part of the investigation that which has reference to variations in the proportions of the alkaloids (especially the morphia and narcotine), which occur in opium produced in various localities. That atmospheric causes exert a certain influence in determining these variations is probable; that they influence the amount of produce, and cause alterations in the physical appearance of the drug, are facts well known to every cultivator: thus the effect of dew is to facilitate the flow of the juice from the wounded capsule, rendering it abundant in quantity, but causing it at the same time to be dark and liquid. An easterly wind (which in India is usually concomitant with a damp state of atmosphere), retards the flow of juice, and renders it dark and liquid. A moderate westerly wind, with dew at night, form the atmospheric conditions most favorable for collection, both as regards the quantity and quality of the exudation. If, however, the westerly wind (which is an extremely dry wind) blow violently, the exudation from the capsules is sparing. Whilst the effect of meteorological phenomena in producing the above results are well marked, their action in altering the relative proportions of the chemical constituents of the juice of the poppy plant is more obscure, and it is highly probable that the chemical composition of the soil plays a most important part in this respect. Dr. O'Shaughnessy is certainly the most accomplished chemist who had ever, in India, turned his attention to the subject, and he has published the results of his analyses of specimens of opium from the different divisions of the Behar Agency, which are worthy of much attention. In the opium from eight divisions of the agency, he found the quantity of morphia to range from 13/4 grains to 31/2 grains per cent., and the amount of the narcotine to vary from 3/4 grain to 31/2 grains per cent., the consistence of the various specimens being between 75 and 79 per cent. In the opium from the Hazareebaugh district (the consistence of the drug being 77), he found 41/2 per cent, of morphia, and 4 per cent, narcotine; whilst from a specimen of Patna-garden opium he extracted no less than 103/4 per cent. of morphia, and 6 per cent. of narcotine, the consistence of the drug being 87. With respect to the last specimen, Dr. O'Shaughnessy mentions that the poppies which produced it were irrigated three times during the season, and that no manure was employed upon the soil. It is much to be regretted that these interesting results were not coupled with an analysis of the soils from which the specimens were produced, for to chemical variations in it must be attributed the widely different results recorded above.

Opium as a medicine has been used from the earliest ages; but when it was first resorted to as a luxury, it is impossible to state, though it is not at all improbable that this was coeval with its employment in medicine, for how often do we find that, from having been first administered as a sedative for pain, it has been continued until it has taken the place of the evil. Such must have happened from the earliest ages, as it happens daily in the present; but as a national vice it was not known until the spread of Islamism, when, by the tenets of the Prophet, wine and fermented liquors being prohibited, it came in their stead along with the bang or hasch-schash (made from hemp), coffee, and tobacco. From the Arabs the inhabitants of the Eastern Archipelago most probably imbibed their predilection for opium, although their particular manner of using it has evidently been derived from the Chinese. China, where at present it is so extensively used, cannot be said to have indulged long in the vice. Previous to 1767 the number of chests imported did not exceed 200 yearly; now the average is 50,000 to 60,000. In 1773 the East India Company made their first venture in opium, and in 1796 it was declared a crime to smoke opium.

In different countries we find opium consumed in different ways. In England it is either used in a solid state, made into pills, or a tincture in the shape of laudanum. Insidiously it is given to children under a variety of quack forms, such as "Godfrey's cordial," &c. In India the pure opium is either dissolved in water and so used, or rolled into pills. It is there a common practice to give it to children when very young, by mothers, who require to work and cannot at the same time nurse their offspring. In China it is either smoked or swallowed in the shape of Tye. In Bally it is first adulterated with China paper, and then rolled up with the fibres of a particular kind of plantain. It is then inserted into a hole made at the end of a small bamboo, and smoked. In Java and Sumatra it is often mixed with sugar and the ripe fruit of the plantain. In Turkey it is usually taken in pills, and those who do so, avoid drinking any water after swallowing them, as this is said to produce violent colics; but to make it more palatable, it is sometimes mixed with syrups or thickened juices; in this form, however, it is less intoxicating, and resembles mead. It is then taken with a spoon, or is dried in small cakes, with the words "Mash Allah," or "Word of God," imprinted on them. When the dose of two or three drachms a day no longer produces the beatific intoxication, so eagerly sought by the opiophagi, they mix the opium with corrosive sublimate, increasing the quantity of the latter till it reaches ten grains a day. It then acts as a stimulant. In addition to its being used in the shape of pills, it is frequently mixed with hellebore and hemp, and forms a mixture known by the name of majoon, whose properties are different from that of opium, and may account in a great measure for the want of similitude in the effect of the drug on the Turk and the Chinese.

In Singapore and China the refuse of the chandu, the prepared extract of opium, is all used by the lower classes. This extract, when consumed, leaves a refuse, consisting of charcoal, empyreumatic oil, some of the salts of opium, and a part of the chandu not consumed. Now one ounce of chandu gives nearly half an ounce of this refuse, called Tye, or Tinco. This is smoked and swallowed by the poorer classes, who only pay half the price of chandu for it. When smoked it yields a further refuse called samshing, and this is even used by the still poorer, although it contains a very small quantity of the narcotic principle. Samshing, however, is never smoked, as it cannot furnish any smoke, but is swallowed, and that not unfrequently mixed with arrack.

Preparation.—In Asia Minor, men, women, and children, a few days after the flower falls from the poppies, proceed to the fields, and with a shell scratch the capsules, wait twenty-four hours, and collect the tears, which amount to two or three grains in weight from each capsule. These being collected and mixed with the scrapings of the shells, worked up with saliva and surrounded by dried leaves, it is then sold, but, generally speaking, not without being still more adulterated with cow's dung, sand, gravel, the petals of flowers, &c. Different kinds of opium are known in the markets of Europe and Asia.

The first in point of quality is the Smyrna, known in commerce as the Turkey or Levant. It occurs in irregular, rounded, flattened masses, seldom exceeding two pounds in weight, and surrounded by leaves of a kind of sorrel; the quantity of morphia said to be derived from average specimens is eight per cent.

Second, Constantinople Opium, two kinds of which are found in the market, one in very voluminous irregular cakes, which are flattened like the Smyrna; this is a good quality. The other kind is in small, flattened, regular cakes, from two to two and a half inches in diameter, and covered with the leaves of the poppy; the quantity of morphia is very uncertain in this description of opium, sometimes mounting as high as 15 per cent., and sometimes descending so low as six, showing the great variety in the quality of the drug.

Third, Egyptian Opium, occurs in round flattened cakes, about 3 inches in diameter, and covered externally with the vestiges of some leaf. It is distinguished from the others by its reddish color, resembling "Socotrine Aloes." The quantity of morphia in this is inferior to the preceding. It has one quality which, when adulterated, ought to be known, that is a musty smell. By keeping it does not blacken like the other kinds.

Fourth, English Opium, is in flat cakes or balls enveloped in leaves. It resembles fine Egyptian opium more than any other kind. Its color is that of hepatic aloes, and in the quantity of morphia it is inferior to the preceding, but in the strength of the mass it is said by one of its most extensive cultivators to be superior.

Fifth, French, and sixth German Opium, require no particular remarks. By a recent notice I find the French are cultivating the poppy in Algeria, from which they get opium giving a small per centage of morphia.

Seventh, Trebizond or Persian Opium, is sometimes met with of a very inferior quality in the form of cylindrical sticks, which by pressure have become angular.

Eighth, Indian Opium, divided into four kinds, Cutch, Malwa, Patna and Benares. Of these Cutch is but little known or cultivated. It occurs in small cakes covered with leaves, and its color is much inferior to Smyrna. Malwa opium is to be met with of two kinds. The inferior is in flattened cakes, without any external covering, dull, opaque, blackish brown externally, internally somewhat darker, and soft. Its color is somewhat like the Smyrna, but less powerful, and with a slight smoky smell. Superior Malwa is in square cakes, about three inches in length and one inch thick. It has the appearance of a well prepared, shining, dry, pharmaceutical extract; its color is blackish brown, its odor less powerful than Smyrna; it is not covered by petals as the following kinds are, but smeared with oil; it is then rubbed with pounded petals.

The Behar, Patna, and Benares Opium, being strictly in the hands of Government, no adulteration can take place, without a most extensive system of fraud; but it will not be uninteresting to trace the progress of the opium from the hands of the natives, to the condition in which it is delivered to the public by the Government.

From the commencement of the hot season to the middle of the rains the Government is ready to receive opium, which is brought by the natives every morning, in batches, varying in quantities from twenty seers to a maund. The examining officer into each jar thrusts his examining rod, which consists of a slit bamboo, and, by experience, he can so judge of the qualities of the specimens before him, which are sorted into lots of No. 1 to No. 4 quality. Opium of the first quality is of a fine chesnut color, aromatic smell, and dense consistence. It is moderately ductile, and, when the mass is torn, breaks with a deeply notched fracture, with sharp needle-like fibres, translucent and ruby red at the edges. It is readily broken down under water, and the solution at first filters of a sherry color, which darkens as the process proceeds. One hundred grains of this yield an extract to cold distilled water of from 35 to 45, and at the temperature of 212 degs., leaves from 20 to 28 per cent., having a consistency of 70 to 72, the consistence of the factory.

The second quality is inferior to the first, and the third quality is possessed of the following properties, black paste, of a very heavy smell, drops from the examining rod, gives off from 40 to 50 per cent, of moisture, and contains a large quantity of "Pasewa;" while the fourth or last number embraces all the kinds which are too bad to be used in the composition of the balls, comprising specimens of all varieties of color and consistence. This number is mixed with water, and only used as a paste to cement the covering of the balls.

The three first qualities are emptied from their jars into large tanks, in which they are kept until the supply of the season has been obtained. The opium is then removed and exposed to the air on shallow wooden frames, until it becomes of the consistency of from 69 to 70, when it is given to the cake maker, who guesses to a drachm the exact weight, and envelops the opium in its covering of petals, cemented by a covering of quality number 4. The balls are then weighed and stored, to undergo a thorough ventilation and drying. Formerly the covering of the balls was composed of the leaves of tobacco; but the late Mr. Flemming introduced the practice of using the petals of the poppy, which was such an improvement that the Court of Directors presented him with 50,000 rupees. The balls, forty in number, are packed in a mango wood case, which consists of two stories with twenty pigeon holes in each, lined with lath and surrounded by the dried leaves of the poppy. Sometimes these balls are so soft as to burst their skins, and much of the liquid opium running out, is lost. In 1823, many of the chests of Patna lost five catties from this cause, and to this day we have the same thing continuing to occur. Patna chests are covered with bullock hides, Benares with gunnies.

Dr. Impey, staff surgeon at Poona, who resided in Malwa from 1843 to 1846, published at Bombay, in 1848, a valuable treatise on the cultivation, preparation, and adulteration of Malwa opium. It was some time before he obtained the permission of the East India Company to publish the result of the experience he had acquired in Malwa, and as Government inspector of opium at Bombay. It is the most practical treatise I have yet met with, although a very elaborate, useful paper, by Mr. Little, surgeon, of Singapore, appears in the 2nd vol. of the "Journal of the Indian Archipelago," from which I have quoted the preceding remarks.

Mr. Little furnishes a complete history of the drug, and the physical and mental effects resulting from its habitual use. There are also some able remarks in Dr. O'Shaughnessy's Bengal Dispensatory:—

For the successful cultivation of opium, a mild climate, plentiful irrigation, a rich soil, and diligent husbandry, are indispensable. In reference to the first of these, Malwa is placed most favorably. The country is in general from 1,300 to 2,000 feet above the level of the sea: the mean temperature is moderate, and range of the thermometer small. Opium is always cultivated in ground near a tank or running stream, so as to be insured at all times of an abundant supply of water. The rich black loam, supposed to be produced by the decomposition of trap, and known by the name of cotton soil, is that prepared for opium. Though fertile and rich enough to produce thirty successive crops of wheat without fallowing, it is not sufficiently rich for the growth of the poppy until largely supplied with manure. There is, in fact, no crop known to the agriculturist, unless sugar cane, that requires so much care and labor as the poppy. The ground is first four times ploughed on four successive days, then carefully harrowed; when manure, at the rate of from eight to ten cart loads an acre, is applied to it; this is scarcely half what is allowed a turnip crop at home. The crop is after this watered once every eight or ten days, the total number of waterings never exceeding nine in all. One beegah takes two days to soak thoroughly in the cold weather, and four as the hot season approaches. Water applied after the petals drop from the flower, causes the whole to wither and decay. When the plants are six inches high, they are weeded and thinned, leaving about a foot and a-half betwixt each plant; in three months they reach maturity, and are then about four feet in height if well cultivated. The full-grown seed-pod measures three and a-half inches vertically, and two and a-half in horizontal diameter. Early in February and March the bleeding process commences. Three small lancet-shaped pieces of iron are bound together with cotton, about one-twelfth of an inch of the blade alone protruding, so that no discretion as to the depth of the wound to be inflicted shall be left to the operator; and this is drawn sharply up from the top of the stalk at the base, to the summit of the pod. The sets of people are so arranged that each plant is bled all over once every three or four days, the bleedings being three or four times repeated on each plant. This operation always begins to be performed about three or four o'clock in the afternoon, the hottest part of the day. The juice appears almost immediately on the wound being inflicted, in the shape of a thick gummy milk, which is thickly covered with a brownish pellicle. The exudation is greatest over night, when the incisions are washed and kept open by the dew. The opium thus derived is scraped off next morning, with a blunt iron tool resembling a cleaver in miniature. Here the work of adulteration begins—the scraper being passed heavily over the seed-pod, so as to carry with it a considerable portion of the beard, or pubescence, which contaminates the drug and increases its apparent quantity. The work of scraping begins at dawn, and must be continued till ten o'clock; during this time a workman will collect seven or eight ounces of what is called "chick." The drug is next thrown into an earthen vessel, and covered over or drowned in linseed oil, at the rate of two parts of oil to one of chick, so as to prevent evaporation. This is the second process of adulteration—the ryot desiring to sell the drug as much drenched with oil as possible, the retailers at the same time refusing to purchase that which is thinner than half dried glue. One acre of well cultivated ground will yield from 70 to 100 pounds of chick. The price of chick varies from three to six rupees a pound, so that an acre will yield from 200 to 600 rupees worth of opium at one crop. Three pounds of chick will produce about two pounds of opium, from a third to a fifth of the weight being lost in evaporation. It now passes into the hands of the Bunniah, who prepares it and brings it to market. From twenty-five to fifty pounds having been collected, is tied up in parcels in double bags of sheeting cloth, which are suspended from the ceilings so as to avoid air and light, while the spare linseed oil is allowed to drop through. This operation is completed in a week or ten days, but the bags are allowed to remain for a month or six weeks, during which period the last of the oil that can be separated comes away; the rest probably absorbs oxygen and becomes thicker, as in paint. This process occupies from April to June or July, when the rain begins. The bags are next taken down and their contents carefully emptied into large vats from ten to fifteen feet in diameter, and six or eight inches thick. Here it is mixed together and worked up with the hands five or six hours, until it has acquired an uniform color and consistence throughout, become tough and capable of being formed into masses. This process is peculiar to Malwa. It is now made up into balls of from eight to ten ounces each, these being thrown, as formed, into a basket full of the chaff of the seeds pod. It is next spread out on ground previously covered with leaves and stalks of the poppy; here it remains for a week or so, when it is turned over and left further to consolidate, until hard enough to bear packing. It is ready for weighing in October or November, and is then sent to market. It is next packed in chests of 150 cakes, the total cost of the drug at the place of production being about fourteen rupees per chest, including all expenses. About 20,000 chests are annually sent from Malwa, at a prime cost charge of two lacs and 80,000 rupees. It may easily be supposed that manipulations so numerous, complex, and tedious, as those described, give the most ample opportunities for the adulteration to which the nature of the drug tempts the fraudulent dealer.

In order to enable the cultivator to carry on his agricultural operations, he receives from time to time certain advances, the amount of which reaches in the aggregate to about one-half of the value of the estimated out-turn of produce. If the land has been under cultivation in previous seasons, its average produce is known; if it be new land, and considered by the Sub-Deputy Agent as eligible, then the cultivator, in addition to the usual advances, receives an advance of so much per biggah to enable him to bestow a certain amount of extra care in tilling and dressing the soil. The first advance is made on the completion of the agreement or bundobust, and this takes place in September and October. The second advance is made on the completion of the sowings in November, and the final or Chook payment is made immediately after the delivery and weighing of the produce. Nothing therefore can be fairer to the cultivator than this system of advances; he is subject to no sort of exaction, in the shape of interest or commission on the money which he receives, and it puts within his power the certain means of making a fair profit by the exercise of common care and honesty. It is an established rule in the Agency that the cultivator's accounts of one season shall be definitively settled before the commencement of the next, and that no outstanding balances shall remain over. When a cultivator has from fraud neglected to bring produce to cover his advances, the balances due by him are at once recovered, if necessary by legal means; whereas, if he can satisfactorily show that he has become a defaulter from calamity and uncontrollable circumstances, and that the liquidation of his debt is placed entirely beyond his power, his case is then made the subject of report to the Government by the Agent, with the request that the debt may be written off to profit and loss. These provisions are most wise, for outstanding balances may be made the means of oppression, and to their operation may be traced a considerable amount of litigation and agrarian crime in the indigo districts of lower Bengal. It is clear that when such balances become so large that the cultivator cannot discharge them, he is no longer a free agent, but is perfectly subservient to the will of his creditor, for whom he must cultivate whether he desire it or not. Such burdens may even be handed down from father to son. The fairness of the Agency system, and the justice with which the cultivators are treated, are best evidenced by the readiness with which they come forward to cultivate, and also by the comparative rarity of agrarian crime, arising out of matters connected with the poppy cultivation.

Opium is grown to some extent in Egypt; 39,875 lbs. were produced in 1831, and sold at two dollars a pound.

At the end of October, after the withdrawal of the Nile waters the seed, mixed with a portion of pulverised earth, is sown in a strong soil, in furrows; after fifteen days the plant springs up, and in two months has the thickness of a Turkish pipe, and a height of four feet; the stalk is covered with long, oval leaves, and the fruit, which is greenish, resembles a small orange. Every morning before sunrise, in its progress to maturity, small incisions are made in the sides of the fruit, from which a white liquor distils almost immediately, which is collected in a vessel; it soon becomes black and thickish, and is rolled into balls, which are covered with the washed leaves of the plant; in this state it is sold. The seeds are crushed for lamp oil, and the plant is used for fuel.

A plant known in Jamaica under the name of bull hoof yields a narcotic which has been administered successfully in the shape of tincture and a syrup, instead of opium. This is the Muracuja ocellata, or Passiflora muracuja, of Swartz, an elegant climber, bearing bright scarlet blossoms. There is another species, M. orbiculata, found in Hayti and other islands, which may be expected to partake more or less of the properties of the former. The flowers are the parts most commonly employed.


Several species of Nicotium furnish tobacco; that chiefly used in Europe is procured from N. Tabacum and its numerous varieties, a plant naturally inhabiting the hotter parts of North and South America. The popular narcotic furnished by tobacco is probably in more extensive use than any other, and its only rivals are opium and the betel-nut and leaf of the East. The herb for smoking was brought to England from Tobago, in the West Indies, or from Tobasco, in Mexico (whence the name), by Sir Ralph Lane, in 1586. Seeds were shortly after introduced from the same quarter.

"Tobacco, as used by man," says Du Tour, "gives pleasure to the savage and the philosopher, to the inhabitant of the burning desert and the frozen zone; in short, its use, either in powder, to chew, or to smoke, is universal; and for no other reason than a sort of convulsive motion (sneezing) produced by the first, and a degree of intoxication by the two last modes of use."

Tobacco is an annual plant, attaining a height of six feet, having dingy red, funnel-shaped flowers, and viscid leaves. The leaves are the officinal part, and their active properties depend on a peculiar, oily-like alkaloid, called Nicotin. The flavor and strength of tobacco depend on climate, cultivation, and the mode of manufacture. That most esteemed by the smoker is Havanna tobacco, but the Virginian is the strongest. The small Havanna cigars are prepared from the leaves of Nicotium repanda, Syrian and Turkish tobacco from N. rustica, and fine Shiraz tobacco from N. persica. With the exception of the Macuba tobacco, which is cultivated in Martinique in a peculiar soil, the tobacco of Cuba is considered the finest in the world. That grown in the island of Trinidad is, however, fully equal to it in quality, but all raised in the colony is generally consumed there, and is little known in the English market. This ought not to be the case, for no article would pay better.

The Maryland is a very light tobacco, in thin, yellow leaves; that of Virginia is in large brown leaves, unctuous or somewhat gluey on the surface, having a smell very like the figs of Malaga; that of Havanna is in brownish light leaves, of an agreeable and rather spicy smell,—it forms, as I have already stated, the best cigars. The Carolina tobacco is less unctuous than the Virginian, but in the United States it ranks next to the Maryland. The shag tobacco is dried to the proper point upon sheets of copper, and is cut up by knife-edged chopping stamps. There are said to be four kinds of tobacco reared in Virginia, viz., the sweet-scented, which is considered the best; the big and little, which follows next; then the Frederick; and, lastly, the one and all, the largest kind, and producing most in point of quantity.

According to Loudon ("Encyclo. of Plants"), there are fourteen species of this genus, besides a few varieties. Lindley, however, enumerates 31, but many of these are mere showy species, adapted to flower gardens. I shall therefore follow chiefly London's classification—

1. N. Tabacum, a native of several parts of America, but principally known as Virginian tobacco, having a stem rising from four to six feet or more in height, bearing pink flowers. Of this there are three chief varieties known in America by the popular names of Orinoco, Broad-leaved and Narrow-leaved. Lindley enumerates eight varieties of N. Tabacum.

2. N. macrophylla, or large-leaved tobacco, an ornamental annual, also with pink flowers, native of America, which rises to the height of six feet.

3. N. fruticosa, or shrubby tobacco, an ornamental evergreen shrub, native of China, with pink blossoms, which grows to about three feet.

4. N. undulata, or suaveolens, sweet-scented or New Holland tobacco, a green house perennial, native of New South Wales, with white flowers, which is only two feet high.

5. N. rustica.—The common green or English tobacco, an annual plant, native of America, producing white flowers, which seldom grows higher than three feet.

6. N. paniculata, or panicled tobacco, an annual plant bearing greenish yellow flowers, native of Peru, rises to the height of three feet.

7. N. glutinosa, or clammy-leaved tobacco, also an annual plant, native of Peru, growing to the height of four feet, with bright scarlet flowers.

8. N. plumbaginifolia, or curled-leaved tobacco, an ornamental deciduous annual, native of America, with white blossoms, rising to the height of two feet.

9. N. pusilla, or primrose-leaved tobacco, an ornamental deciduous biennial, with white flowers, native of Vera Cruz, rising to three feet.

10. N. quadrivalvis, four-valved, or Missouri tobacco, an ornamental annual, native of North America, with white flowers, seldom growing higher than two feet.

11. N. nana, or rocky mount tobacco, a curious greenhouse annual, native of North America, with white blossoms, rising only three inches high.

12. N. Langsdorffii, or Langsdorff's tobacco, an ornamental annual, with greenish yellow flowers, native of Chili, reaching five feet high.

13. N. cerinthoides, or honey-wort tobacco, an ornamental annual, with greenish yellow flowers, native country unknown.

14. N. repanda, or Havanna tobacco, an annual with white flowers, native of Cuba, rising two feet high.

There are a few species, natives of the Province of Buenos Ayres, which may be particularised. N. bonariensis, having white flowers; N. glauca, yellowish green flowers; N. longiflora, white flowers; and N. viscosa, pink flowers.

The important mineral substances presented in Havanna tobacco, examined by Hertung, are in 100 parts of ashes,

Salts of potash 34.15 Salts of lime 51.38 Magnesia 4.09 Phosphates 9.04

These substances were for the most part insoluble in earth, and must have been dissolved during the growth of the crop.

ANALYSIS OF FIVE SAMPLES OF TOBACCO. No. 1. No. 2. No. 3. No. 4. No. 5. Grown on argillaceous soil Grown in calcareous soil. Potash 29.08 30.67 9.68 9.36 10.37 Soda 2.26 — — — .36 Lime 27.67 24.79 49.28 49.44 39.58 Magnesia 7.22 8.57 14.58 15.59 15.04 Chloride of sodium .91 5.95 4.61 3.20 6.39 Chloride of potassium — — 4.44 3.27 2.99 Phosphate of iron 8.78 6.03 5.19 6.72 7.56 Sulphate of lime 6.43 5.60 6.68 6.14 9.42 Silica 17.65 18.39 5.54 6.28 8.34 ——- ——- ——- ——- ——- 100.00 100.00 100.00 100.00 100.00

From the above it will be seen that on the argillaceous soil the tobacco contained a large quantity of alkalies and silica, while on the other hand, the lime, magnesia and chlorides were high in proportion, in the tobacco grown on calcareous soil.

There is no doubt that the manure which contains the largest proportion of alkaline carbonate, magnesia, lime and gypsum, is that best adapted for tobacco.

I give an analysis taken from Prof. Johnston's "Lectures," (2nd edition) of the ash of the tobacco leaf and the composition of a special manure for tobacco:—

Potash 12.14 Soda 0.07 Lime 45.90 Magnesia 13.09 Chloride of sodium 3.49 Chloride of potassium 3.98 Phosphate of iron 5.48 Phosphate of lime 1.49 Sulphate of lime 6.35 Silica 8.01 ——— 100.00

All the ingredients which are necessary to replace 100 lbs. of the ash of tobacco leaves are present in the following mixture:—

Bone dust, sulphuric acid 23 lbs. Carbonate of potash (dry) 31 " Carbonate of soda (dry) 5 " Carbonate of Magnesia 25 " Carbonate of lime (chalk) 60 " ——— 144 "

The following is the result of an analysis of the fresh leaves of tobacco, by Posselt and Reimann ("Mag. Pharm." xxiv. xxv.):—

Nicotine 0.06 Nicotianine 0.01 Extractive matter, slightly bitter 2.37 Gum, with a little malate of lime 1.74 Green resin 0.26 Vegetable albumen 0.26 Substance analogous to gluten 1.04 Malic acid 0.51 Malate of ammonia 0.12 Sulphate of potash 0.04 Chloride of potassium 0.06 Potash combined with malic and nitric acids 0.90 Phosphate of lime 0.16 Lime in union with malic acid 0.24 Silica 0.08 Woody fibre 4.96 Water (traces of starch) 87.21 ——— 100.10

Dr. Covell, in "Silliman's American Journal," vol. vii., shows its components to have been but imperfectly represented in the above German analysis. He found in tobacco by chemical examination—1, gum; 2, a viscid slime, equally soluble in water and alcohol, and precipitable from both by subacetate of lead; 3, tannin; 4, gallic acid; 5, chlorophyle (leaf green); 6, a green pulverulent matter, which dissolves in boiling water, but falls down again when the water cools; 7, a yellow oil, possessing the smell, taste and poisonous qualities of tobacco; 8, a large quantity of a pale yellow resin; 9, nicotine; 10, a white substance, analogous to morphia, soluble in hot, but hardly in cold alcohol; 11, a beautiful orange red dye stuff, soluble only in acids; it deflagrates in the fire, and seems to possess neutral properties; 12, nicotianine. According to Buchner, the seeds of tobacco yield a pale yellow extract to alcohol, which contains a compound of nicotine and sugar.

M.M. Henry and Boutron Charlard found in 100 parts of

Cuba tobacco 8.64 of nicotine. Maryland 5.28 Virginia 10.00 Ile et Vilaine 11.20 Lot et Garonne 8.20

quantities from 12 to 19 times more than were obtained by Posselt and Reimann.—"Ure's Dictionary of Arts and Manufactures."

The following are the results of a series of experiments made by Messrs. Cooper and Brande, for the purpose of ascertaining the quantity of soluble matter in eight samples of tobacco, of detecting the presence and quantity of sugar contained in them, and the nature and relative proportions of their inorganic constituents. An important paper on the state in which Nicotine exists in tobacco, and on the relative proportion of it furnished by different varieties of the plant, has been furnished by Schloessing ("Ann. Ch. et Ph." 3ieme Ser. XIX. 230).

___________ P s P & P t o P s a P s a P m t P o i P m o e o e c e r f e o s e o c e a h e b n e a b r l r . r e r l h r l i r t e r t f r t t u a a u . u d t a u t a c b c i c t m c b c b c e a c i s c e i e l e n e m o e l e l i e r s e e i e r n n e n s n e n n e n e n n , h n n o n e t t o t n i t t t . t e n t d d . i . l . t a . i . i t . a . d . . e n u . n n h s d a Tobacco dried o o b o w o o e o o f o u l at 212 degs. f w f l f i f w f h f s f r f c c a e t a y a i o e o e t w a h m t m d s i l a m s d h x e o i s a e a r h n i l a o t r o n h c t r t o . s c c f c f l r . d a t t c o a o e c r . a y w a r e i e h l , h r h o c a f b r n r l u o m a m t f t t n o b & l e r , i e e a t r l c n i t b r r t h i e . t n h & r . e e c e e e c e i d . n - - - - - 1. Light Missouri} 49 54.9 20.97 2.17 11.73 5.9 leaf and stalk} white 2. Light Missouri} 50 47.7 19.7 1.77 12.83 5.1 0.75 1.50 leaf only } white 3. Dark Missouri } 50 52.4 16.47 4.2 10.14 2.13 leaf and stalk} white 4. Dark Missouri} 51 50.6 13.8 2.17 8.73 2.9 0.35 0.71 leaf only } white 5. Light Virginia} 51.5 53.1 16.4 2.53 8.54 5.33 leaf and stalk} gray- white 6. Light Virginia} 54 46.1 11.97 2.0 6.86 3.11 1.045 2.09 leaf only } green- gray 7. Dark Virginia } 48.5 51.8 14.7 4.8 8.40 1.5 leaf and stalk} gray 8. Dark Virginia} 52 49.8 12.53 2.63 8.20 1.7 1.46 2.93 leaf only } gray

1. The samples were dried and the woody fibre and extract were also dried at 212 degs. The watery infusions of all contained ammoniacal salts. The salts from the ash, which were soluble in water, consisted of sulphates, carbonates, phosphates, and chlorides; the bases being potassa and lime. The solution by hydrochloric acid contained lime, alumina, phosphate of lime, and oxide of iron.

3. Contained oxide of manganese in small quantity; sulphates in watery solution of ash abundant. Hydrochloric solution contained an abundance of lime.

4. A trace of manganese; a trace only of phosphoric acid in watery solution.

5. Contained abundance of oxide of manganese.

6. Abundance of oxide of manganese.

7. A mere trace of oxide of manganese, and a trace of oxide of iron; only a trace of alumina.

8. A trace of oxide of manganese; quantity of oxide of iron very great; only a trace of alumina.

In rich loams, where the solution of the minerals of the soil is rapid, and where 10 to 20 per cent, of vegetable matter is incorporated in the earth, tobacco may be obtained for many years, but it is always an exhausting crop. It has been stated that 170 Lbs. of mineral matter are removed in less than three months from one acre of land, by a crop of tobacco. This is very much more than wheat or other grains abstract from the soil in eight or nine months.

Tobacco is now very extensively cultivated in France and other European countries, in the Levant, the East and West Indies; and a little is grown at the Cape and in the Australian Settlements.

A good deal of tobacco is raised in Mexico, but only for home consumption, as its export is prohibited. It forms an article of culture in Brazil and some of the South American republics, and is grown to a small extent along the Western shores of Africa. It is from North America, however, that we derive the bulk of our supplies of this great article of commerce, which, with cotton, forms the chief agricultural wealth of the United States.

In 1821, the tobacco exported from the Brazils amounted to 29,192,000 Lbs., but its cultivation was greatly injured by the siege of the capital in 1822-23. Fresh seed was subsequently obtained from Cuba, and in 1835 the exports were 6,051,040 Lbs.

131 cases of Princeza snuff were shipped from Bahia to Lisbon, in 1835; about 60,000 Lbs. per annum of this snuff being now manufactured at Bahia, with the aid of two steam-engines. The exports of tobacco from Bahia increased from 2,048,000 Lbs. in 1833, to 6,051,040 Lbs. in 1835. The average shipments are about 21,000 bales and rolls.

The army of smokers in Great Britain and Ireland consume yearly about six millions of pounds worth of tobacco. The duty alone paid upon snuff and tobacco for the people of Great Britain, averages four-and-a-half millions sterling a year! The quantity consumed—smoked, snuffed, or chewed—during the same period, is about 28 millions of pounds weight, or about four pounds weight per annum for every male adult. Ireland annually pays not less than L800,000 of duty on tobacco and snuff, and only about L30,000 on coffee. For every pound of coffee that the Irish people use, they smoke away about four pounds of tobacco.

North America produces annually upwards of 200 million pounds. The combustion of the mass of vegetable material used in this kingdom would yield about 340 million pounds of carbonic acid gas; so that the yearly produce of carbonic acid gas from tobacco smoking alone cannot be less than 1,000,000,000 lbs.—a large contribution to the annual demand for this gas made upon the atmosphere for the vegetation of the world. Henceforth let no one twit the smoker with idleness and unimportance. Every pipe is an agricultural furnace,—every smoker a manufacturer of vegetation,—the consumer of a weed that he may rear more largely his own provisions.

In the year 1842, 605,000,000 of cigars were made in the German Commercial Union.

In 1839, the revenue on tobacco in this country was about L3,600,000. Of this it has been estimated eleven-twelfths are drawn from the working classes, and one-twelfth from the richer classes. The following is a calculation of the consumption of tobacco per head of the population, estimated from the number of pounds on which duty was paid:—

Consumption per head. Rate of duty. ozs. 1801 {1s. 7 3-10d. England } 17 {1s. 0 7-10d. Ireland.} 1811 2s. 2 13-20d. 191/2 1821 4s. 0d. 11 45 1831 3s. 0d. 12 35 1841 3s. 1 8-10d. 12 4-5 1851 3s. 1 4-5d. 21

Thus it will be seen the consumption is materially affected by the rate of duty.

A memorial presented to the First Lord of the Treasury a few years ago, by the American Chamber of Commerce, and signed by Mr. Thomas Todd, the chairman, furnishes some valuable information, and I am therefore tempted to give it entire:—

The American Chamber of Commerce of Liverpool desire respectfully to bring under the consideration of her Majesty's Government the impolicy of the present high rate of duty on foreign tobacco, and the benefit to commerce, as well as to the revenue, which would arise from such a reduction as would remove the temptation now held out to the smuggler.

The cost of tobacco, including freight and all charges, is from 3d. to 4d. per lb., and the duty is 3s. per lb., being 900 per cent, on the value. A duty so enormously disproportioned to the cost offers an irresistible premium to the illicit trader; for the expense of smuggling tobacco by the cargo, including the first cost, does not exceed 91/2d. per lb., and it has been ascertained that the smuggler receives 6d. per lb. less than the duty, or 2s. 6d. per lb., which yields him a clear profit of 1s. 81/2d. per lb., to the injury not only of the revenue, but of the fair trader.

The effect of this heavy duty in diminishing the consumption of duty-paid tobacco is further exemplified by the fact that, while all other articles of general consumption have progressively increased with the increase of the population, tobacco alone forms an exception, as will appear from the following:—


Population Tea Coffee Tobacco 1801 16,338,102 Duty, 65 a 95 per ct 19d. per lb. 19d. per lb. & 121/2 per ct. & 121/2 per ct. Lbs., 23,163,999 871,846 16,895,752 1811 18,547,720 Duty 96 per cent. 8d. per lb. 261/2d. per lb. Lbs., 24,461,308 6,895,619 21,376,370 1821 21,193,458 Duty, 96 a 100 per ct. 12d. per lb. 4s. per lb. Lbs., 26,043,257 7,593,001 1,823,365 1831 24,271,763 Duty 96a 100 per ct. 6d. per lb. 3s. per lb. Lbs., 30,648,348 22,740,627 19,418,941 1841 26,855,928 Duty, 261/4d. per lb. 6d. per lb. 3s. per lb. Lbs., 36,396,073 28,420,980 22,094,772

The consumption of tobacco in the island of Great Britain, excluding Ireland, and the duty thereon, were in

Consumption. Duty. 1801 10,514,998 lbs. 1s. 7d. 1811 14,923,243 " 2s. 21/2d. 1821 12,983,198 " 4s. 0d. 1831 15,350,018 " 3s. 0d. 1841 16,083,593 " 3s. 0d. 1851 28,062,841 " 3s. 0d.

In the last two periods five per cent is added to all the duties.

Thus, while the consumption of tea and coffee has increased even beyond the ratio of the population, the consumption of tobacco has decreased.

This table also exemplifies the greater productiveness of a low duty compared with a high one; for instance, coffee in 1801, at 1s. 7d. per lb., yielded L77,654; in 1821, at 1s. per lb., L379,650; and, in 1841, at 6d. per lb., L710,524; tobacco in 1821, at 4s. per lb., yielded L3,164,673, and 1841, at 3s. per lb., L3,314,215. But the difference in duty in the latter case was not sufficient to curtail the profits of the smuggler to any material extent.

Cigars afford a remarkable example of the amount of duty being increased by diminishing the rate. In 1828, when the duty was 18s. per lb., duty was paid on 8,600 lbs. only, yielding L7,740. In 1830, when the duty was reduced to 9s. per lb., duty was paid on 66,000 lbs., yielding L29,700; and such has been the increase of consumption, that, in 1841, duty was paid on 213,613 lbs., yielding L100,899.

We would further illustrate the position by the following facts:

In 1798, Ireland, with a population of 4,000,000, consumed 8,000,000 lbs. of tobacco, and now, with more than double the population, she consumes about 3,000,000 lbs. of tobacco less than at the former period. The reason is obvious: in 1789 the duty was 8d. per lb; now it is 3s. In 1798, England and Scotland, with a population of 10,000,000, consumed 10,000,000 lbs. of tobacco, being one half of the relative consumption of Ireland at the same period; the duty in England and Scotland being then 1s. 7d. per lb., and in Ireland only 8d.

But the quantity of tobacco on which duty is paid does not even approximately show the quantity consumed. If the duty now paid on tobacco in the United Kingdom retained the same relative proportion to the population that it held in Ireland in 1798, the duty in 1841 would have been actually levied upon 53,711,856 lbs., instead of 22,094,772 lbs.; and such we believe to be about the actual amount of consumption, the great bulk of the supply being furnished by the illicit trader.

In Prussia, it appears that the consumption of tobacco is at the rate of three pounds per head; while, in England, if we were to judge from the amount on which duty is paid, it is considerably less than one pound per head.

Assuming the actual consumption at only 45,000,000 lbs., or two pounds per head, we believe that a reduction of duty to 1s. per pound would so effectually destroy the illicit trader, that the revenue would gain by the change, not only by bringing upwards of 30,000,000 lbs. under duty, which at present escape, but by the great increase of the consumption consequent upon the encouragement given to the fair trader.

We would not, however, treat the question merely as a matter of revenue. We would strongly represent the injustice which this exorbitant duty inflicts upon those who pursue a legitimate trade, by enabling the smuggler to lessen the extent of their transactions by more than half what they would otherwise be; and we would further earnestly urge upon your consideration the demoralising tendency of such a systematic and extended violation of the law, not only upon those engaged in the illicit trade, also upon those parties who are found to connive at the practice from a sense of the gross injustice and impolicy of a duty so disproportioned to the value of an article of such extensive consumption.

We would refer to the opinion of a committee of the House of Commons on the growth of tobacco in Ireland, in 1840, as follows:—'That it further appears, from the evidence, that smuggling of foreign tobacco is at present carried on to a great extent, and that all the measures now adopted, at great expense to the country, are and will be ineffectual to repress it so long as the temptation of evading a duty equal to twelve times the value of the article on which it is imposed, remains."

We beg, therefore, respectfully to express our opinion, that if the duty on tobacco were reduced to one shilling per pound, it would be alike beneficial to the interests of legitimate commerce; to the consumers, who consist almost entirely of the poorer classes; to the revenue, by increasing the productiveness of the duty, and by greatly diminishing the expenditure so ineffectually incurred to suppress the illicit trade; and to the general morals of society by removing a powerful inducement to infringe the laws.

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