Gambar halaman
PDF
ePub

twelve ounces, to form one ounce of silk. Moreover, when the worms have not been properly managed, there is no certainty, as to the quantity of the cocoons that will be gathered ; and it happens continually, that the same cultivator will, from the same quantity of eggs, and the same quality of the leaves, obtain, at one time, a number of cocoons, at another time few, and sometimes none.' p. 64.

It would be impossible for us to go into any further detail of the rearing of the silkworm. Nothing but a general glance can be given, in the few pages that are allotted to us for treating of a subject so extensive, in which repetitions are unavoidable, and which does not admit of conciseness. Most of the writers on this subject, have, independently of a minute exposition of the daily proceedings in the feeding and treatment of the worm, recapitulated their directions in tables, in which are indicated, in the fewest words that can be employed, the task of each day, though the several ages of the insects; the quantity of food that must be administered; the temperature and the space which the worms require ; and the care which must be taken for their cleanliness and the preservation of their health. Such a table may be found in the report of Mr Rush, borrowed from M. Bonafon's Treatise on the rearing of silkworms. (Paris, 1824.) We regret that our limits do not permit us to lay it before the reader.

We take it now for granted, that the worms have attained their perfect maturity, though many dangers have beset their existence, and a host of enemies,-fowls, mice, rats, weasels, ants, and spiders, may have lain in wait for them, and notwithstanding the various diseases to which they are liable. We suppose that they have already a deeper yellow color, that their rings have a more gold-like hue, and that their muzzle has become of a brighter red than before, which are the signs that they are near the close of their fifth age. The fumigations which must also have taken place during the former ages, should now be repeated twice a day, the air frequently renewed, and the attention to cleanliness redoubled. .Generally on the last day of the fifth age they cease to eat, and move their heads as in search of something. They become transparent like ripe, yellow plums, and seek a change of place; their skins become wrinkled, and their bodies soften.

Bundles of twigs, which must be ready and arranged in bunches, are then put above the wicker trays, so as to touch the lower part of them, and bent in the form of an arch, to enable the worms to climb up without falling. On the first day they often need some assistance in that migration, and much care.

When the worms begin to spin their cocoons, it is very essential that no noise should disturb them in their labor, otherwise they would break their thread, and the cocoon would, consequently, be less perfect. Though the formation of the cocoons requires only three days, or three and a half, it is, nevertheless, thought prudent not to take them from the hurdles before the eighth or ninth day after the worms' first rising. They are then laid in baskets, and the floss, in which they have been formed, is taken off. A selection is made for future breeding, whilst the rest are destined for the reel. For the former purpose, two ounces may be saved out of one pound and a half of male and female cocoons. There are, besides, double cocoons, which, according to Sauvage, invariably produce a moth of each sex, and, according to Mr Nysten, contain moths of both sexes in unequal proportion. The seed cocoons are laid on tables, in layers, disposed in such manner as to be accessible to the air ; the temperature of which must not exceed seventy-three degrees. In this state of the atmosphere of the laboratory, they lose in ten days seven and a half per cent. by the dying of the chrysalis alone.

We must omit saying anything in regard to the last period of the silkworms in the state of moths, their coming forth, the laying of the eggs, and the means by which these may be preserved. It will be sufficient to mention, that 'fourteen ounces of cocoons produce, on an average, an ounce of supposes a hundred pair of moths. (Doc. p. 105). Eight pounds of cocoons, of the first quality, yield from sixteen to eighteen and a half ounces of silk. Fifty-five pounds of the second quality produce one hundred and nine ounces of raw silk. In Languedoc, one quintal of cocoons (104 lbs. Amer.) yields from nine to ten pounds of spun silk; and the produce of one ounce of eggs varies between five and ten pounds of silk. (Trans. Soc. Arts. London. vol. XLIII.)

Before the cocoons can be reeled, the floss or loose silk which covers the outside, must be stripped off; the white ones must be separated from the yellow; the good from the useless (and there are nine different qualities in regard to the silk they yield.) The sorted cocoons are thrown into hot water, the VOL. XXVII.NO. 61.

59

eggs, which

temperature of which must be regulated according to the quality of the food upon which the caterpillar has been fed, and the firmness of the cocoons. This process serves to kill the moths; and, therefore, if the cocoons can be reeled off, as soon as they are formed, and before the moths are evolved, it becomes unnecessary, and the reeling is then easier, and the silk of a superior quality. But when it has become indispensable to kill the chrysalides, it may be done, not only by steam, but also by the heat of an oven. Both methods are described and discussed in the report. In Italy, the cocoons are, for the same purpose, exposed to the ardent heat of the sun, during three days.

Each cocoon consists of a single thread, the length of which varies from nine hundred to one thousand and two hundred feet.

The reeling is not equally easy with all sorts of cocoons, a vast deal depending on their quality and the temperature of the water employed for the soaking. Mr Rush's report is accompanied with a plate representing an apparatus, which it would be necessary to copy in order to give the slightest idea of the manner of using it; and, in the document, not only is this done with great accuracy, but the explanation hardly admits of an abbreviation. Those who have no idea of the thousand little attentions which this business requires, will wonder on reading the fifteenth chapter of this copious and elaborate performance. It contains, also, much valuable information about various engines, reels, and looms, the most recent improvements in that branch of machinery. We cannot but greatly applaud the care which has been bestowed in annexing a sufficient number of plates for the better understanding of the text.

We have now gone as rapidly and directly as possible through the two stages of the culture of the silk-the raising of the mulberry tree, and the breeding of the silkworm; and we do not enter into the consideration of the fabrication of silk stuffs, for which the country is perhaps not yet prepared. It will be, at first, sufficiently beneficial to possess raw, carded, and spun silk in sufficient quantity for sending considerable supplies abroad. We find in a statement of the raw silk imported into England, from all parts of the world, that in 1814, it amounted to one million, six hundred and thirty-four thousand, five hundred and one pounds; and in 1824, to three millions, three hundred and eighty two thousand, three hundred and fifty-seven.* Italy, which is not better situated in regard to the culture of silk than a large portion of the United States, furnishes to the English fabrics about eight hundred thousand pounds' weight. The Bengal silk is complained of by the British manufacturers, on account of its defective preparation ; by bestowing more care on his produce, the American cultivator could have in England the advantage over the British East Indies. It is a fact well worthy of notice, and the accuracy of which seems warranted by its having been brought before a Committee of both Houses of Parliament, that the labor in preparing new silk affords much more employment to the country producing it, than any other raw material.f It appears from an official document, that the value of the imports of raw silk into France, during the year 1824, amounted to thirty-seven million, one hundred and forty-nine thousand, nine hundred and sixty francs.I

* The official values of these imports are £703,009 and £1,464,994.

† According to Arthur Young, the province of Valencia produced, in 1787, two million pounds of silk, the value of which he rates at two million pounds sterling ; a sum equal in amount, at that epoch, to all the other productions of that portion of Spain. # Cocoons,

39,255 Soies grèges, Douppoins

78,975 Autres de toute sorte

6,504,960 u moulinées, Douppoins

72,710 Autres de toute sorte

25,658,640 teintes,

46,665 écrue

1,241,172 bourre filée (fleuret écru)

3,504,475 filée (fleuret teint)

108 Tableau des Douanes Royales de France.

Art. X.-1. Geschichte der Moldau und Wallachey, nebst

der Historischen und Statistischen Literatur beyder Lander.

History of Moldavia and Wallachia, with the Historical and Statistical Literature of the two countries. By JOHN

CHRISTIAN VON ENGEL. 2 volumes. 4to. Halle. 1804. 2. Ιστορία της Βλαχίας Πολιτική και Γεωγραφική, από της Αρχαιοτάτης αυτής Καταστάσεως έως το 1774"Έτους. Νύν πρώτον φιλοτίμω Δαπάνη εκδοθείσα των τιμιωτάτων και φιλογενών Αυταδέλφων Τουνουσλή.

Political and Geographical History of Wallachia, from its Oldest Establishment to the Year 1774. Now first printed at the Expense of the worthy and patriotic Brethren Tunusli. Vienna. 1806. . 8vo.

The attention of the civilized world is fixed, with no small degree of interest, at the present moment, on the provinces, of which we propose to say something in this article. The contest which has recently commenced between the Porte and Russia, has sprung from the relations of these provinces to the two great powers; and here is the theatre of the first events of the struggle. The first work which we have named at the head of this article, is a portion of a larger one, entitled a "History of Hungary and the Neighboring Regions,' a work of prodigious industry and learning, the most valuable on the subject treated, within our knowledge. The second work, on the history of the two provinces, is a meagre and almost worthless sketch, in modern Greek, scarcely repaying the trouble of a perusal.

The earliest history of the tribes, which occupied the space between the Danube and Dniester, on the one hand, and the frontiers of modern Hungary on the other, is wrapped in obscurity. From their appearance in authentic history, they were known under the name of Getæ and Daci, and their country was called Dacia. About the year 88, the Romans declared war against them, and Domitian marched against Decebalus, their king. The disgraceful peace which followed, was of short duration; and Trajan was finally moved, by the turbulence of these tribes, to undertake their entire subjection. He threw a bridge across the Danube, took the capital of their prince, the modern Belgrade, and constituted the

« SebelumnyaLanjutkan »