first, which is the common ginger, is cultivated for sale in most of the islands in America, but is a native of the East Indies, and also of some parts of the West Indies, where it is found growing naturally, without culture. The dried roots of this sort furnish a considerable export from the British colonies in America. The only distinction between the black and the white ginger consists in the different modes of curing the roots. The black is rendered fit for preservation by means of boiling water, and the white by exposing it to the sun. As it is necessary to

select the fairest and soundest roots for this purpose, white ginger is commonly one-third dearer than black, in the market.

MR. HARCOURT. This root is planted much in the same manner as potatoes in Great Britain; but is only fit for digging once a year, unless for the purpose of preserving it in in that case it must be taken syrup: up the end of three or four months, whilst its fibres are tender and full of sap.


HENRY. Preserved ginger is a nice sweetmeat. I remember we had some of it at the

entertainment given on account of Sophia's birth-day.

MRS. HARCOURT. Most of the preserves that come from the West Indies are excellent, owing to the fineness of the sugar of which they make the syrup, which, whilst it prevents the fruit from decaying, does not destroy its flavour or colour.

CHARLES. What are the principal commodities returned from England to the WestIndies, in exchange for the things we receive from thence?

MR. HARCOURT. The manufacturers of Birmingham and Manchester; the clothiers of Yorkshire, Gloucestershire, and Wiltshire; the potters of Staffordshire; the proprietors of all the lead, copper, and iron works; have a greater vent in the British West Indies for their respective commodities, than they themselves, perhaps, conceive to be possible. The export of the coarser woollens to the torrid zone, for the use of the negroes, is prodigious. Even sugar itself, the great staple of the West Indies, is frequently returned them in

a refined state, and thus furnishes an article of commerce in a double way.

MRS. HARCOURT. Commerce and traffic, either between nations or individuals, may be divided into two great articles, under one of which all the rest may be classed: viz. the raw material, or natural substances, before they are changed or transformed by the invention of art; such as corn, wool, iron, &c. and the various productions of nature, wrought and altered into innumerable compositions, by the industry and ingenuity of man. The globe which we inhabit, may be compared to a vast storehouse, where an infinite variety of raw materials is laid up, ready for the exercise of invention and diligence. Few things in their natural state are adapted to our use; though scarcely the meanest is void of utility, when compounded with other substances, or transformed by the action of fire, or changed by chemical processes, or wrought by manual labour: a convincing proof that a life of sloth and inactivity is not suited to our nature; and that no rank, however exalted, is exempt from labour. The

vegetable, mineral, and animal kingdoms, each furnish matter for us to work upon. You may remember, that the clear, transparent, beautiful ware, we call glass, is formed only of sand and ashes; and you will presently be informed, that the elegant manufacture of porcelain, or China-ware, is composed of stones. Sophia, pleased with the account of tea, coffee, and chocolate, thought the teaequipage would be completed by the description of the process used in making China, and in consequence has desired me to furnish her with information on the subject, that she might be enabled to amuse you with the result.

AUGUSTA. Stones! how is it possible to produce a thing so smooth, glossy, and delicate as China, from them? And I am still more at a loss to conjecture how they can be formed into such a variety of shapes and figures; or by what means they can be united into such large, flat surfaces, as dishes, bowls, &c.

SOPHIA. By first grinding them into a very fine powder, and afterwards making them into a smooth paste.

HENRY. Paste is soft and yielding, and will not retain its shape when handled. SOPHIA. It must be hardened by fire, before it is in a condition for use.

CHARLES. I have read that the Chinese, the inventors of this curious art, are extremely secret; and so jealous of the eye of strangers, that they will not allow the Europeans to go beyond the suburbs of those cities where factories are established, lest they should discover the mysteries of their different manufactures.

MR. HARCOURT. This is a just representation of them. They are equally unwilling to communicate knowledge, or receive instruction; and if we except the traffic carried on with the different nations of Europe, at Canton, they have scarcely any intercourse with the rest of the world. Missionaries from the society of the Jesuits, have, indeed, been admitted even into Pekin, their capital city, on account of their skill in astronomical knowledge, which recommended them to the notice of the Chinese emperors and grandees; though the object of their journey was the

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