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tion of the government of Ireland, will not only be the means of opening a rich vien of wealth to the province of Munster, but of adding strength to those“ wooden walls,” to which under the direction of a wise Providence, we owe much of our commercial prosperity ard national glory:

The plant to which I allude, and on which, accurate experiments have been now made, (I believe for the first time) is the Tritoma Uvaria, of which Curtis, in his Botanical Magazine, (Vol. 20, page 758) says, " the “ Tritoma Uvaria is a native of the Cape of Good Hope, cultivated in our “ gardens since the year 1707, blooms in autumn, but will not bear the frosts of our English winter without protection from the cold.”

However true this assertion of Mr. Curtis may be with respect to the climate of England, yet, the Tritoma Uvaria has become perfectly domesticated in Ireland, and is now to be found in abundance in almost every gentleman's garden in the county of Cork, where it is exposed to all the variations of our climate, and where it may be seen flourishing without ex, periencing the slightest injury from the sun of summer, the rains of aulumn, or the frosts of winter; and in which, although only considered since its introduction into this country, as an ornament to the parterre and pleasure ground of the cultivator, yet has now, although a stranger and of foreign birth, given hopeful promise to become a naturalized benefactor of our native land.

The claims of the Tritoma Uvaria to the attention of the Lords of the Admiralty, and to the patronage of the Irish Government, are:--- First,that the fibre of this flax is stronger than the fibre of the hemp of flax, hitherto cultivated in Europe. The firbres of the Tritoma, appear to be of two kinds; the one which may be called the wiry fibre, as in specimen, No. 2,* seems to possess even in the untwisted state a peculiar degree of strength ;-submitted to sudden tension, a single fibre will be found to give a ringing sound, like that emitted from a fibre of Indian weed, or silk worm's gut, when undergoing the same operation. The secondary fibres seem to resemble raw silk in colour and softness, but are apparently of a much stronger quality, as in thread, No. 3. These two kinds of fibre are easily seperable from each other, as the leaf of the Tris toma contains few of the former, and these placed on its outer edges, while a great proportion of the whole plant is made up of the latter, joined together by a green pulpy matter, from which they are easily detachable.Secondly;-the quantity of Aaxen fibre afforded by the Tritoma, is greater in proportion to the weight of the green plant, than that afforded by common hemp. The leaves within which the fibre of the Tritoma is contained, measure generally from three to three and a half feet, and on plants of four years old may be reckoned about sixteen in number.

From the rapid encrease of the root-shoots, or off-setts of the Tritoma, the facility of its propagation may be easily deduced; while the produc. tiveness of the plant itself, and its capabilities of yielding flax, appear to be so great in proportion to the surface of the ground occupied in its growth, that the calculation of the produce might call up the smile of in, credulity on the features of those, who have not contemplated the produce of a single plant, and measured the acre of ground on which it grew. On a

Specimens of the fax in the untwisted and twisted state, were inclosed with this letter to Mr. Croker,

very moderate computation, an acre of land, planted with off-sets of the Tritoma Uvaria, would, on the second year's growth, yield a produce of fibre double of that yielded by either the common flax or hemp; on the fourth and fifth years, a two-fold of this produce might be expected, nor can the writer of this letter conjecture what might be the surprising returns to the cultivator after the plants had arrived at full maturity and vigour.

Thirdly, the Tritoma Uvaria requires neither an annual sowing nor planting, as do hemp and fax in Europe, the seeds of which, call for a great expenditure of national wealth. When once planted, all replacing of the Tritoma Uvaria on the same soil ceases: the weeding or cleansing of the ground, together with the collection of its luxuriant leaves in the coinmencement of Winter, seem the only marks of attention which it demands from the agriculturist for all the rich treasures which it is calculated to afford him.

Fourthly, the Tritoma Uvaria is not affected by the moisture or dryness of climate. The leaf appears fit for cutting, or rather pulling, in November, and earlier if necessary. The plant having flowered in August, and the seed on the flower stalk being ripe in the beginning of October. This period seems the fittest for the performance of the double operation of pulling the leaves, and collecting the seed, (which in moderately warm Summers is found to be sufficiently abundant,) the place of which, even in case of failure, can be amply supplied by the root-shoots or off-sets which are produced in such numbers as to answer the most rapid propagation of the plant, that the cultivator may require. Nor from all the experiments that have been made, can any apparent difference be discovered in the leaves of the plant during the months of September, October and November, except the ripening of the seed, and the decay of the flower stalk; during these three months, the plant seems to wait with unalterable patience for the convenience of man, who may at any period of that time, approach and reap the advantages which it offers. On the other hand the cultivation of hemp and fax requires much watchfulness, care and experience in the agriculturist, to ascertain the proper period for pulling them from the field, and committing them to the steep-pond. His ignorance of one of these points, may, in moist seusons, occasion the disappointment of bis hopes, at the very moment he had calculated on repayment for his toil. It is well known that even the delay of a single day may occasion serious loss to the cultivator of common fax in the performance of those operations, as should wet weather set in at the time when this delicate plant is fitted to be taken from the ground, in the short space of a night, a fatal disease attacks the whole crop, known to the farmer by the name of “ Firing,” being, as has been commonly supposed, the effects of a blight by lightning, but which is in reality occasioned by a fungus or mushroom, aitaching itself to the stem of the fax, and from its power of attracting the oxigen of the atmosphere, destroys the fibre of the flax, causing the appearance of small burnt spots on the stem of the plant, from which appearance it is probable the vulgar emistake respecting the nature of firing has taken its rise.

Fifthly, the Tritoma Uvaria seems capable of cultivation in every variety of soil, from the morass to the mountain, and hence appears peculiarly fitted for the province of Munster. The frequent, but hitherto unsuccessful attempts made to introduce the cultivation of common flax, and con


sequently the linen manufacture generally into the South of Ireland, as it has been affected in the North is worthy of attention, as the failure of these attempts apparently proceed from à cause which the cultivation of the Tritoma might remove. The Linum usitatissimum or common flax, requires a highly manured and deep soil, it roots stricking directly downward, and sending out few of those lateral fibres, by which many other plants derive nourishment from the surrounding earth. Hence in the province of Ulster, a crop of flax is invariably sown after the crop of potatoes or turnips, in preparing the ground for which, much manure has been expended, often with a view of contributing to the luxuriant growth of their more profitable successor the flax,

The practice of graffing or burning the surface of the ground, (in order to procure ashes as a manure for potatoes) as also the covering of the land with a light coat of calcarious sand instead of manure, (practices which prevail in many parts of the province of Munster) however they may afford a good crop of potatoes, and even a' tolerable produce of wheat, on the following year, yet appear not calculated to deepen the ground sufficiently for the roots of fax, which, when sown under such circumstances, seems only to come forth to a languid existence, to be short and stunted, as if committed to an unfriendly soil. But in the cultivation of the Tritoma, the necessity of these practices is avoided; a field once planted with its roots, is for ever secured against a farther shallowing of the soil, a mere turning up of the surrounding earth in Spring, appears all the laboar necessary for the cultivation of the Tritoma Úvaria.

Respecting the actual qualities of this flax, another circumstance deserves to be mentioned, (the absolute certainty of which, although not yet corroborated by direct experiment, yet may be fairly concluded from anological reasoning on the natural history, of the other two plants, of which we have been speaking, the Aax and hemp cultivated in Europe) namely, that the Tritomatic fibre is less perishable when exposed to the action of continued moisture, than the fibre of either of these so generally valued materials.

It is well known that in the processes of dressing, or rather in the treatment of these two plants after removal from the field to the steep-pond, a great degree of vigilance is necessary to ascertain the precise period when a check should be given to the fermenting process, as also the time when the seperation of the fibre from the pith, (a process accomplished by grassing the flax) shall have been fully at end, an oversight of 48 hours may cause irreparable injury in the former case ; while a delay of little more time may disserve it in the latter. It has also been proved in a former part of this letter, that the common Aax is liable to be affected by a most destructive disease from the continuance of moist weather at the period of ripening. Now the.Tritoma Uvaria can be proved to have been deluged with rains for whole months, and yet to have retained its fibre totally uninjured. During the Autumn of the year 1823, the writer of this letter witnessed the confirmation of this fact, as well in the Botanic Gardens of Cork, as in the pleasure grounds of Thomas Rochfort, Esq. of Garrets-town, in the county of Cork; in both of which, the plants of the Tritoma appeared perfectly healthy, after having been drenched by seven weeks of almost continued rain, at a time when the crop was fully ripe for the sickle: and the only difference observed by Mr. Hare, (the ingenious gardener of Mr. Rochfort, by whom the present specimens of the Tritoma have been filted for the spinning wheel,) was, that the plants had not been able to perfect their seed as early as in other less humid seasons, while the leaves in which the fibre is contained, had not in the latter end of October given more than usual symptonis of decay. Now reasoning analogically on the natural histories of the Linum Usitatissimum, and the 'Tritoma Uvaria, it would appear a very fair conclusion, that the fibre of the latter must be less permeable by water, than those of the former, and hence the superior value of the Tritoma, as a material for the sails and cordage of our shipping. But let it be remembered, that it is not on account of its value in answering this purpose alone, that the Tritoma lays claim to the attention of the Government of Ireland. The flax of the Tritoma seems capable of being manufactured into cloth of the finest and most durable texture, promising to require little aid from the bleacher to render it of the clearest white, while the polish on the surface of even the raw material might induce us to look for in the manufactured substance, a cloth between the two beautiful fabricks of Damask and Satin. But to what conclusion have we now arrived? Why, to the cheering fact, that we have before us in the cultivation of the Tritoma, the promise of a domestic manufacture which shall afford to the industrious members of every cottage in Munster, profitable and healthful employment, which holds out a sure reward fór active exertion. A reward' independent of the Auctuating changes of annual seed, precarious weather, or limited consumption, which promises to cover our wild heaths and mountains with a profitable verdure, and to stimulate their almost as wild inhabitants to those virtuous exertions, which may enable them to procure for themselves and their fam:lies, the comforts and necessaries of life, and to elevate themselves and their children to the rank of members of civilized society.

It is to domestic manufacture, that the province of Munster must ultimately look forward as its harbinger of greatness, prosperity, and peace.It is false to suppose that any single act of the most paternal government, can instantaneously cure all the evils under which the South of Ireland has for centuries laboured, and must continue to labour, until Ireland shall have obtained employment for her population. By such employment can peace be restored to our distracted country.-By such employment shall the lips of the demagogue, and the disturber of public quiet, be silenced, and when the time shall come, that the industry of its inhabitants shall be fairly requited; when the labouring poor man shall be able to earn a sufficiency of wholesome, though most homely food, for himself and his family, a warm covering by day, and a dry bed by night. Then may the inhabitants of Munster expect to reap those advantages of climate and of soil, with which the beneficence of the creator hath so amply enriched them.*

An adequate repayment for labour, would, in a short time, introduce a taste among the peasantry for the conveniencies of life, of which at present they seem totally unconscious, and cheer their minds from that state of desponding carelessness, which is the fruitful parent of too many of their erimes. A lively interest in the actual prosperity of the country should quickly follow, feeling conscious, that idleness and intemperance should have power to sink them lower in the scale of society, (a truth which they seem at present practically to deny) they would become sober and cautious, and would gradually aspire to the attainment of property. Property fairly obtained, has a natural tendency to produce obedience to those laws which

• This merely applies to the wages paid in the country.

have been enacted for the preservation of social rights, and to induce its owner to seek for peace, as well on his own account as for society at large.

Finally, the industry of the province of Munster sufficiently rewarded, and judiciously directed, could not fail to bring about such an order of things, that religion, speaking generally, would be regarded, honesty practiced, and sobriety honored, in those very districts, where midnight rapine, assassinations and turbulence have prevailed so long to our national disgrace; where, instead of reckless extravagance at one time, and emaciating want at another; instead of the wild and fanciful dreams of that miraculous prosperity which the ignorant and visionary may have expected in a moment by the convulsions of empires; instead of these phrenzied arts of lawless violence, the bare mention of which, outrages the feelings of humanity, the naturally cheerful and patient inhabitants of this part of the country would retire to scenes of domestic quietness. Feats and pastimes, productive of health and cheerfulnses, should succeed to the demoniac practices of nightly burnings, abduction and murder, and the South of this beauteous and fertile island become a land of security, prosperity, and peace.

Had professional avocations permitted me, I should have appeared personally at their Lordship's board, to present the specimens which I have now the honor of inclosing to you Sir, as their honorable Secretary. But I feel confident, that in thus entrusting the proofs of this valuable discovery to your care, to be laid before the Lords of the Admiralty, I am committing them to the hands of a gentleman, who is actuated no less by principles of zeal for the service of the navy, than zeal for the interests of Ireland.



Navy Office, 2nd January, 1824. “ We have received Mr. Barrow's letter of the 24th Ultimo, “ transmitting for your consideration and operation, the accompanying ob" servations from the Rev. S. Hans Sloane, of Cork, on the cultivation &c. “ of a plant called “ Tritoma Uvaria,” together with specimens of the

same, and we request you will inform the Lords Commissioners of the Admiralty, that the observations respecting hemp and fax, are founded

upon experience and well known facts; and if the virtues atttributed to. “ the Tritoma by Mr. Sloane, are well founded, it must be considered pre“ ferable to hemp and flax, particularly as relating to its cultivation; but “ the application of it to the manufacture of sail-cloth and cordage, and a “ trial of it when so manufactured, can alone prove how far Mr. Sloane's “expectations are likely to be realized,

“ The harshness in the feel of the Tritoma specimens, is unpromising, and we doubt whether it will take tar. It appears upon a “ trial of the Tritoma fibre, and the fibre of the Russian hemp, that the " latter is the strongest; but if Mr. Sloane will send a sufficient quantity to

The letter on Tritorna U'varia, and the Report from the Admiralty, have been commu, nicated by the Rev. S. Hans Sloane.

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