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877
MATE—MATÉ

after the assing of the White Matches Prohibition Act 1908, which forbade the manufacture and importation of such matches from the 1st of January 1910; though to avoid hardship to retailers and others holding large stocks it permitted their sale for a year longer. Phosphorous sulphide (sesquisulphide of phosphorus) is one of the substances widely employed as a substitute for yellow phosphorus in matches which will strike anywhere without the need of a specially prepared surface.

Safety matches contain no phosphorus in the heads; according to one formula that has been published the mixture with which they are tipped consists of chlorate of potash, 32 parts; bichromate of potash, 12; red lead, 32; sulphide of antimony, 24; while the ingredients of a suitable rubbing surface are eight parts of amorphous phosphorus to nine of sulphide of antimony. There is no doubt, however, that there is considerable diversity in the composition of the mixtures actually employed.

“ Vestas ” are matches in which short pieces of thin “ wax taper ” are used in place of wooden splints. Fusees or vesuvians consist of large oval heads fixed on a round splint. These heads consist of a porous mixture of charcoal, saltpetre, cascarilla or other scented bark, glass and gum, tipped with common igniting composition. When lighted they form a glowing mass, without fiame. It is calculated that in the principal European countries from six to ten matches are used for each inhabitant daily, and the world's annual output must reach a total which requires twelve or thirteen figures for its expression. In the United States the manufacture is under the control of the Diamond Match Company, formed in 1881; which company also has an important share in the industry in Great Britain, where it has established large works. Similarly the manufacture of safety matches in Sweden is largely controlled by one big combination. In France matches are a government monopoly, and are both dear in price and inferior in quality, as compared with other countries where the industry is left to private enterprise. The French government formerly leased the manufacture to a company (Société générale des allumettes chimiques), but since 1800 it has been undertaken directly by the state.


MATE (a corruption of make, from O. Eng. gemaca, a “ comrade ”), a companion. In the language of the sea, the mate is the companion or assistant of the master, or of any officer at the head of a division of the crew. In the merchant service the mates are the officers who serve under the master, commonly called the captain, navigate the vessel under his direction, and replace him if he dies, or is disabled. In a war-ship mates serve under the gunner, boatswain, carpenter, &c. They are officers told off to attend to a particular part of the ship, as for example mate of the upper deck, whose duty is to see that it is kept clean, or mate of the hold, who is employed to serve out the water and other stores, and to keep the weights adjusted so as to preserve the trim—or balance-of the ship. (For “ mate ” in chess, see CHESS.)


MATÉ, or PARAGUAY TEA, the dried leaves of Ilex paraguariensis,1 an evergreen shrub or small tree belonging to the same genus as the common holly, a plant to which it bears some resemblance in size and habit. The leaves are from 6 to 8 in. long, shortly stalked, with a somewhat acute tip and finely toothed at the margin. The small white flowers grow in forked clusters in the axils of the leaves; the sepals, petals and stamens are four in number, or occasionally five; and the berry is 4-seeded. The plant grows abundantly in Paraguay, and the south of Brazil, forming woods called yerbales. One of the principal centres of the maté industry is the Villa Real, a small town above Asuncion on the Paraguay river; another is the Villa de San Xavier, in the district between the rivers Uruguay and Parana. Although maté appears to have been used from time immemorial by the Indians, the Jesuits were the first to attempt its cultivation. This was begun at their branch missions in Paraguay and the province of Rio Grande de San Pedro, where some plantations still exist, and ield the best tea that is made. From this circumstance the names Jesuits' tea, tea of the Missions, St Bartholomew's tea, &c., are sometimes applied to mate. Under cultivation the quality of the tea improves, but the plant remains a small shrub with numerous stems, instead of forming, as in the wild state, a tree with a rounded head. From cultivated plants the leaves are gathered every two or three years, that interval being necessary for restoration to végorous growth. The collection 0 maté is, however, chiefly e ected by Indians employed for that purpose by merchants, who pay a money consideration to government for the privilege. lVhe n a yerbal or maté wood is found, the Indians, who usually travel in companies of about twenty-five in number, build wigwams

I; gigantea, I. ovalifolia, I . Humholdtiana, and I nigropunctala, besigles several varieties of these species, are also used for preparing mat .

and settle down to the work for about six months. Their first operation is to prepare an open space, called a talacua, about 6 ft. square, in which the surface of the soil is beaten hard and smooth with mallets. The leafy branches of the maté are then cut down and placed on the tatacua, where they undergo a preliminary roasting from a fire kindled around it. An arch of poles, or of hurdles, is then erected above it, on which the maté is placed, a fire being lighted underneath. This part of the process demands some care, since by it the leaves have to be rendered brittle enough to be easily pulverized, and the aroma has to be developed, the necessary amount of heat being only learned by experience. After drying, the leaves are reduced to coarse powder in mortars formed of pits in the earth well rammed. Mate so prepared is called caa gazu or yerva do polos, and is chiefly used in Brazil. In Paraguay and the vicinity of Parana in the Argentine Republic, the leaves are deprived of the midrib before roasting; this is called aaa-miri. A very superior quality, or caa-cuys, is also prepared in Paraguay from the scarcely expanded buds. Another method of drying mate has been adopte, the leaves being heated in large cast-iron pans set in brickwork, in the same way that tea is dried in China; it is afterwards powdered by machinery.


Maté (I lex paraguariensis).

Portion of plant. Flower, drupe and nuts. Part of under-side of leaf showing minute glands, natural size.

The different methods of preparation influence to a certain extent the value of the product, the maté prepared in Paraguay being considered the best, that of Oran and Paranagua very inferior. The leaves when dried are packed tightly in serons or oblon packages made of raw hides, which are then carefully sewed up. These shrink by exposure to the sun, and in a couple of days form compact parcels each containing about 200 lb of tea; in this form it keeps well. The tea is generally prepared for use in a small silver-mounted calabash, made of the fruit of Crescentia cujete (Cuca) or of Lagenf aria (Cabaco), usually about the size of a large orange, the tapering end of the latter serving for a handle. In the top of the calabash, or maté,2 circular hole about the size of a florin is made, and through this opening the tea is sucked by means of a bombilla. This instrument consists of a small tube 6 or 7 in. long, formed either of metal or a reed, which has at one end a bulb made either of extremely fine basket-work or of metal perforated with minute holes, so as to prevent the particles of the tea-leaves from being drawn up into the mouth. Some sugar and a little hot water are first placed in the gourd, the yerva is then added, and finally the vessel is filled to the brim with boiling water, or milk previously heated by a spirit lamp.

The word caa signified the plant in the native Indian language. The Spaniards gave it a similar name, yerba. Maté comes from the language of the Incas, and originally means a calabash. The Paraguay tea was called at first yerva do maté, and then, the yerva being dropped, the name malé came to signify the same thing.