Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 2.djvu/230

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thatch covering the houses is made with the prepared mid-ribs of its leaves, and secured with cord twisted from the cocoa-fibre, from which also nets and fishing-lines are made. The plaited strips of the leaf supply material for baskets in which the freshly-gathered nuts are stored. Cocoa-cloth is . an article of manufacture. Torches are made by twisting together a sufficient number of dry leaflets, the end of the mid-rib serving as the handle; from these leaflets, when split, mats are woven. As to the fibrous husk of the nut known as coir, its utility is without limit. Besides floor-cloths and mats, which are generally employed in this country for offices, and from their strength of texture are unrivalled, the coir is manufactured into rope, and is extensively used on board ship; and in the "country" trading-ships of India it entirely supersedes manila and hemp, as being equally strong and durable, and infinitely cheaper.

Pipes, bottles, and drinking-vessels for native use, oftentimes polished and handsomely mounted, are made of cocoa-nuts, from which the white meat is extracted, without injuring the shell, by pouring out the milk, filling it with salt, and burying it in the hot sand until the kernel is decomposed, when it is removed from one of the three holes in the "monkey's" face. Thus countless are the benefits conferred on man by the palm, forming, as it does, one of the most useful of all the gifts of Providence. The South-Sea Islanders, we are informed by those who have been among them, make books out of the leaf-strips similar to the papyrus of the ancient Egyptians. Canoes are built of the pliable planks, which, when grooved and bored, are stitched together with coir-twine, are propelled by cocoa-wood paddles, masted with a slender young palm, and rigged with coir-cordage, which carries a mat-sail; thus, ready for sea, freighted with a cargo of nuts, oil, lamp-black, vinegar, sugar, and arrack (all the produce of the palm), and finally stored with nut-food for the voyage, the sole remaining requisite to make a successful commercial venture, but one that man cannot command, is a propitious breeze.—Food Journal.




IN studying the history of insanity, we are surprised to find that the same mild treatment now universally adopted was very clearly prescribed by the chief professors of medical science in the beginning of our era. Thus, Aretæus the Cappadocian recommends the use only of the supplest cords, to restrain violent maniacs, "for," says he, "to resort to any cruel measures of restraint will increase rather than allay the over-excitement." Galen was the first to maintain that all