« VorigeDoorgaan »
Chap. xix. ver. 2. Also, that the foul be without knowledge, it is not good.-Rather--SURELY IT IS NOT GOOD to be WITH. OUT KNOWING ONESELF: for thus wo) is often used; and thus the Syriac also renders ; according to which interpretation the fense is equivalent to the fage maxim of the philofophers, [w% CELLUTOV.' The farther part of this verse is thus tranAated by our Author--' BUT HE THAT HASTILY GOETA WIȚH SPIES SINNETH. To know oneself, says he (which is the work of time) is declared in the preceding hemiftic to be good, but to confort with spies (who conscious they are concerned in a dangerous fort of know. ledge, are hafty in their motions) is a fin. Or, the words may be rendered, HE THAT IS HASTY IN HIS GOINGS (or proceedings) ERRETH; i. e. is liable to err.'
The above specimens we imagine will be agreeable to our Readers, and enable them to judge, in some degree, concerning this performance. In such a number of criticisms it will be no wonder should there be some which appear common, or rather trilling. But, in general, the work seems to be valuable; and no doubt the attentive Reader, in the perusal of it, will find remarks superior to those which we have here collected.
At the end of the book of Job, Dr. Durell adds fome general reflections. He thinks it clear that the Author of the book was a Jew, and that he lived after the time of Moses, He seems inclined to regard it as a poem of the dramatic kind, written with the delign of comforting the Jews in their captivity : the great purport of it being to shew, that temporal evils are not always intended by Providence as punishments for paft crimes, but also for trials of virtue, and for the benefit of instructive example to others; and that patience and submission to the will of Heaven is both the indispensable duty of persons under afflictions, and the most probable means of procuring their deliverance and restoration. In support of the opinion that this book was written about the time of the captivity, Dr. Durell mentions the many Chaldee words, and Chaldee terminations of Hebrew words, which are found throughout it: but a yet more forcible argument, he thinks, is the frequent indireat allufions to the Pentateuch and other books of the Jewith canon ; a long list of wbich is subjoined to his criticisms upon this
part of the Old Testament. We could have wished that our Author had extended his remarks at the conclusion of the book of Plalms, to a greater length, as there are, we apprehend, other particulars relating to it, which equally merited his attention. The books of Proverbs and Ecclesiastes would also have admitted of some general observations which this Writer is, we doubt not, well qualified to make, and might have proved an agreeable addition to his performance. As to the Canticles, he concludes it to have been an epithalamium composed by Solomon on his mar
riage with the daughter of Pharaoh King of Egypt; and this, says he, appears to me the only point of view in which is ought to be confidered.
We observe with pleasure that Dr. Durell intends to publish some remarks on the prophetical writings, which we hope will not be long delayed.
For an account of a former publication of this Author's, in which the parallel prophecies of Jacob and Mofis rela:ing to the twe've tribes are critically considered, we refer the Reader to the 30th volume of our Review, p. 161.
ART. IX. The Natural History of the Tea-Tree, with Observations
on the Medical Qualities of lea, und Ejects of Tea-drinking. By John Coakley Lettlom, M. L. F. S. A. 410. 45o fewed. Dilly. 1772. ANY circumstances relating to the natural history of
this exotic fhrub, and to the manner of preparing or curing its leaves, have been given to the public by Kæmpfer, Le Compte, and o:hers. The medical or dietetic qualities of this plant have been largely discuilied by a ítill greater number of writers, who have maintained very different, and even contradictory opinions, concerning the effects atending the use of it. In the present publication every thing of consequence that has been written on thele tuo heads is very judiciously collected into a narrow compass; and the subject lomewhat farther illustrated by a few additional obfervations peculiar to the Author. We shall collect some of the more material particulars from this performance, 'the contents of which ca:not be uninteresting to tea-drinkers, that is, to a very great majority of our Readers.
The work is naturally divided into two parts; in the first of which is given the natural, and, in the second, the medical history of tea. Its natural history (in which is comprehended an account of the manner of collecting and preparing it) is introduced by a very accurate and minute botanical description of the tea piant, taken from one now in the garden at Sion house, belonging to the Duke of Northunterland, which flowered in October last, and which, notwithstanding the numerous attempts that have been made to introduce this plant amongst using is the first that ever flowered in Europe. This description is well illustrated by an excellent coloured plate, engraved from an original drawing taken of the tree when in its flowering ftate *; from which it appears, that the ica-tree, as Mr. Miller
• The fame plate and desc:iption were lately published by the ingenious Mr. J. Miller, Author of the Illuiration of the Linnen Sexual System. The present Author, as we have been informed, previous to the publication of that p.int and description, procured an elegant Rev. Aug. 17720
rft observed, belongs to the order of Trygynia, and not to that of Monogynia, under which Linnæus bas placed it; having been Ied into that mistake, by not having had any opportunities of cxamining any other than dried specimens of enis Ihrub.
It is only within these three or four years that the curious have been successful enough to introduce into this kingdom a few genuine tea-plants. Such of them as are in the gardens about London, we are here told, thrive very well in the greenhouses in winter; and some bear the open air in summer. • The leaves of many of them are from one to three inches long, not without a fine deep verdure; and the young shoots are Tucculent. It is therefore probable, the Author adds, that in a few years many layers may be procured from them, and the number of the plants may thereby be considerably increased.' Many exotic vegetables, he observes, like human conftitutions, require a certain period before they become naturalized to a change of climate'; and those which, at their first introduction, would not bear our winters without helter, now endure our hardeft froits : so that there is reason to exped that the teatree may, in a few years, be capable of bearing our climate, and at length thrive as if indigenous to this country, like the common potatoe, for which we are indebted to America or Spain.
It is pleasant to hear old Gerard discourfing on this lastmentioned foreign dainty, then lately introduced into this kinga dom.-“ Potatoes, says this venerable herbalift, who wrote in 1597, grow in India, &c. and other hotte regions, of which I planted divers rootes (that I bought at the Exchange in London) in my garden, where they flourilhed until winter, at which uime they perished and rotted."-Speaking of the modes of cooking this exotic, he says, “ they were roasted in the afhes; and that fome when they be so roasted, infuse them, and sop them in wine ; and others, to give them the greater grace in eating, do boil them with prunes, and so cat them. And likewile others drefle them (being first roasted) with oile, vinegar, and salt, every man according to his own taste and liking."
Considering the long intercourse which has fubfifted between us and the Chine'e, and the extensive commerce which we have carried on with them for this particular article, it appears asto mithing that it should not yet have been thoroughly decided, by oblervations made upon the spot, whether the green and bohea teas are the produce of one or of different plants. This
engravirg of the tea-plant in the garden of the late Princess Dowager; but having received notice of Mr. Miller's intentions, he agreed with him to unite in one description, and to publith the same plate; both which accordingly accompany this publication.
among many other matters is a proof how little we know concerning that country and people. Our Author, in his bota. nical description of the tea-plant, affirms that there is only one species, and that the difference between the green
and bohea teas depends on the nature of the soil, culture, age, and the manner of drying the leaves. He adds further, that it has even been oblerved that a green tea-tree, planted in the bohea couna try, will produce bohea, and so the contrary;' and that on his examining several hundred Aowers, brought both from the bohea and green tea countries, their botanical characters have always appeared uniform. This question however does not appear to be put out of all doubt ; for we find the Author after wards treating this only as the most probable opinion.
As to the differences in colour and flavour peculiar to these two kinds, and to their varieties, there is reason to suspect chat they are, in some measure, adventitious, or produced by art. The Author has been informed, ! by intelligent persons, who have resided some time at Canton, that the tea about that city affords very little smell while growing. The same is observed of the tea-plants now in England, and also of the dried specimens from China. We are not however, as he observes, to conclude from hence that art alone conveys to teas, when cured, the smell peculiar to each kind; for our vegetables, grasses for instance, have little or no smell till dried and made into hay.' As to the opinion that the green tea owes its verdure to an efflorescence acquired from the plates of copper on which it is supposed to be cured or dried, he fhews that there is ho foundation for this suspicion. The infusions of the fineft imperial and bloom teas undergo no change on the affusion of a volatile alcali; which would detect the minuteft portion of copper contained in them, by turning the liquors blue. The fine
green colour of these teas has, with as little reason, been attributed to green copperas : as this metallic salt would, on its being diffolved in water, immediately act on the aftringent mat. ter of the leaves, and convert the infusion into ink; as happens when a chalybeate water has been employed in the making of tea. On the whole, the Author thinks it not improbable that fome green dye, prepared from vegetable substances, is em•' ployed in the colouring of the leaves of the green teas.
With regard to the commercial history of this fragrant exotic, we shall only observe, that it was first introduced into Europe by the Dutch Éatt India Company, very early in the last century; and that a quantity of it was brought over from Holland by Lord Arlington and Lord Offory, about the year 1666, at which time it was sold for fixty Thillings a pound. But it appears that, before this time, drinking of tea, even in public coffeehouses in this country, was not uncommon; for in 1660
a duty of eight-pence per gallon was laid on the liquor made and fold in all coffeehouses. The present consumption of it is immense. The Author has been told that at least three mil. lions of pounds are allowed for the annual home consumption, not including the incredible quantity smuggled into the kingdom; and that the East India Company have generally in their warehouses a supply for three years.
Had we not too many proofs of the notable uncertainty and diversity of medical positions and opinions-recently exemplified in a very striking instance given in a late publication, where the wholesomenels even of bread has been denied; we should express our astonishment that the virtues or the ill effects of a plant, which has so long constituted a very confiderable article of our diet, should not long ago have been compleatly afcertained; and that the faculty should maintain opinions manifestly contradi&tory concerning it: some of them attributing to it the most extenfive virtues, and others the most pernicious effects. The natural inference, in our opinion, to be drawn from this contrariety is, that it neither poflefles noxious or beneficial powers in any very distinguishable degree. Its extenfive use among all ranks of people-among the rational and the whimsical-muft naturally furnish many occasional initances of its disagreeing, or being thought to disagree, with particular confiitutions : though as many might possibly occur from the use of baum tea, warm water, milk, or any other fingle beverage, if any one of these articles conftituted, like tea, the daily breakfast and evening's entertainment of almost a whole kingdom.
An enquiry into the medical qualities or effects of this plant is the subject of the second part of this performance; from which we thall extract the substance of some of the Au. thor's experiments and observations, made with a view to throw some light on this part of his subject.
From the effects of an infusion of bohea and of green tea, in preferving sweet some small pieces of beef immersed in them, the Author thews that they poflefs an antiseptic power, when applied to the dead animal fibre; and from their ftriking a purple colour with salt of iron he infers their aftringent quality. Thele, it is to be observed, are the properties of the more fixed parts of this plant, and which are not at all impaired by long continued infusion, or even decoction.
On subjecting a large quantity of the best and most highly flavoured green tea to distillation with simple water, an ounce of a very odorous and pellucid water, free from oil, was obtained; three drachms of which, being injected into the cavity of the abdomen and cellular membrane of a frog, produced, in twenty minutes, a general loss of motion and sensibility in one of the hind legs of the animal, which continued four hours,