The Mirror of Literature, Amusement, and Instruction eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 49 pages of information about The Mirror of Literature, Amusement, and Instruction.

The fine, bright, red colour of some Gloucester cheese has been fraudulently produced by red lead, which, we need scarcely observe, is a violent poison.  The ingredient now employed for this purpose, (to the exclusion of every thing else) in Cheshire and Gloucestershire, is annatto, a dye prepared from the seeds of a tree of South America.  It is perfectly harmless in the proportion in which it is used; an ounce of genuine annatto being sufficient to colour a hundred weight of cheese.  It may, however, be questioned whether annatto is not sometimes adulterated with red lead.

Gouda cheese, the best made in Holland, is prized for its soundness, which is referable to muriatic acid being used in curdling the milk instead of rennet.  This renders it pungent, and preserves it from mites.  Parmesan cheese, so called from Parma in Italy, where it is manufactured, and highly prized, is merely a skim-milk cheese, which owes its rich flavour to the fine herbage of the meadows along the Po, where the cows feed.

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The finer salt sold under this denomination is made by placing the salt, after evaporation, in conical baskets, and passing through it a saturated solution of salt, which dissolves, and carries off the muriate of magnesia or lime.  Pure salt should not become moist by exposure to the air.

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The imitation of gold sold with this taking name is nothing more than the alloy formerly called Pinchbeck, and made by melting zinc, in a certain proportion, with copper and brass, so as in colour to approach that of gold.

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[Our old friend Tom Cringle (of Blackwood,) occasionally spins or splits his Log too small.  The incidents are weakened in the drawing out, or exaggerated in the telling; but they are sometimes relieved by brilliant descriptive touches, such as the following, introduced to set off the fate of one of Tom’s heroes at Santiago.]

The Butterfly, Chameleon, and Serpent.

Glancing bright in the sunshine, a most beautiful butterfly fluttered in the air, in the very middle of the open window.  When we first saw it, it was flitting gaily and happily amongst the plants and flowers that were blooming in the balcony, but it gradually became more and more slow on the wing, and at last poised itself unusually steadily for an insect of its class.  Below it, on the window sill, near the wall, with head erect, and its little basilisk eyes upturned towards the lovely fly, crouched a chameleon lizard, its beautiful body, when I first looked at

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The Mirror of Literature, Amusement, and Instruction from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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