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blossoins of the tree, is a fibrous substance with which the Hindus make vessels for holding water for “puja' (religious ceremonies). The inner covering of the spathe is called “ phersha” and also “phethra ” in Khulna, and

Khui” in the Noakhali district. It is soft, velvety, transparent and white, and so fine that it can be written upon with ink ; but it is not used for this purpose.

In the Noakhali district the "khui” is much sought after by the Mughs who come from Burma for it. They use it for covering cheroots.

Betel nut trees are planted on highland with a trench dug all around the selected plot. The earth from the trench is used for making an embankment which serves as a wall for the protection of the seedlings from injury by cattle and goats.

Seedlings are obtained from a nursery which is generally close to the homestead. Seeds are sown in the month of February and germinate in about three or four months. They become high enough in a year to be transplanted and are then lifted and placed on land which is previously highly manured with dry cowdung or oil cake and made ready. The young plants are put down here one after another at a distance of 8, 4 or 2 cubits apart from each other and in straight lines.

The number of trees usually found on a bigha of land of 80 cubits square is 350. No account is kept of the outturn of nuts from a bigha of land ; but one of the wise saws of these parts regarding this is :

“Ata chouka dua

Katha prati hazar gua, which being interpreted means :

“ Plant the first line of trees at a distance of eight cubits from each other; the second line at a distance of four cubits from each other; and the third line at a

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distance of two cubits from each other; the outturn of nuts from a cotta of land will then be 1,000.'

Therefore the outturn from a bigha would be 20,000 nuts.

The average number of trees on a bigha of land in the Khulna tract of the Sundarbans has been found to be 350. Taking the outturn at 55 per tree, the number of nuts per bigha would be 19,250, which proves the proverb to be practically correct.

Much damage is done, particularly to young trees, by a caterpillar called “

Kora.poka” which bores through the top of the tre

of the trees and also cuts the tender leaves. The loss of trees from this cause is sometimes great. No method for destroying this insector diminishing its numbers has yet been discovered.

The price of betel nuts fluctuates in the months of October and November according to the harvest. The rate at which nuts are sold varies from two annas to five annas per coori. Taking the rate to be at two annas per coori, the value of nuts from a bigha of land would be Rs. 10-6.

Green nuts are sold in markets and the cost of drying is thus avoided. The cost of bringing to the market may be estimated thus :

Rs. A. P. Cost of plucking from trees on a bigha of land i 6 Rent of land

8 Cost of carriage to market

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Deducting Rs. 3-3 from Rs. 10-6 leaves Rs. 7-3 which are approximately the profits from a bigha of betel nut garden land.

Ripe betel nuts are dried in the sun on matting for 18 or 20 days. The outer covering is then removed and the dried nuts are sold in the markets.

Another method of preparing betel nuts is to soak the ripe nuts for about a month in water.

The outer covering, as soon as sufficiently soft and swollen, is easily removed. The nut is then called “ Maja Supari” and is considered very palatable.

In some places the water, which is red with astringent matter and having a very unpleasant odour, instead of being thrown away, is mixed with lime and mortar and used in building operations. It is believed that betel nut water has the effect of strengthening and uniting the materials especially in connection with the roofs of houses.

Betel nuts are also half dried and stored without removal of their outer covering. They are supposed to keep best in this condition. Betel nuts are counted thus :

One Gha 21 Ghas

One Coori

One Sao (oo) 10 Saos

One Hazar (1,000) There is a large trade in betel nut in the Khulna district, the principal markets being Morrellgunge, Bagherhat, Naobanki and Khulna.

The exports by rail alone to Calcutta, when nuts are sent to Burma and other places, is steadily increasing, and there is also a very large export by boat, but the figures cannot be ascertained.

II nuts

5 Cooris

NEW BOOKS.

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SELECTIONS FROM THE WRITINGS OF GRISH CHUNDER GHOSE.

Edited by his grandson, Manmathanath Ghosh, M.A. Calcutta : lodiao Daily News Press. 1912. Royal 8vo. Rs. 5.

In his Preface to The Life of Grish Chunder Ghose, which was published only last year, the editor promised to present the public with a selection from the writings of that journalist. The promise has now been redeemed, the result being the volume of seven-hundred pages before us.

One cannot but admire the editor's pious and praiseworthy efforts to resuscitate the memory of his grandfather. For it must be confessed that Grish Chunder Ghose has been well nigh forgotten by his countrymen-although most undeservedly so, as we are the first to admit. His fame as a journalist has been completely overshadowed by that of Hurrish Chunder Mookerjee, who died eight years before him, and of Kristo Das Pal, who flourished in after years, to mention two Bengalis But judged by his literary output-and we add this in all. sincerity-Grish Chunder appears to have been able to hold his own against either of those named above.

Of the excellent quality of the work contained in these “ Selections” there can scarcely be two opinions. The extracts are in most cases taken from the Hindoo Patriot and the Bengalee, of both of which Grish Chunder Ghose is described as the founder and first editor, and range from 18 to 1869. There are, however, some gaps to be accounted for by the fact that the editor was unable to lay his hands on the files of the Bengalee for the greater part of the 'sixties. But this is less to be regretted perhaps when the length of the present “ Selections" is considered. The editor does not, however, despair of being able to favour the public with a second series at some future date.

The subjects treated of are more or less varied and interesting, although it must needs follow that many of the events

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referred to, with the arguments they aroused at the time, have long since belonged to the domain of ancient history. The last extract necessarily comes down no further than the year of the writer's death (1869), but that was forty-three years ago. Hence the articles reproduced and the opinions they express can be of little practical value in moulding the thought of aspiring journalists at the present day. Tem pora mutantur, nos et mutamur in illis,

We may here append a few headlines to show the variety of the subjects embraced and the versatility of the writer :“ The Mutiny and the Educated Natives ; ” “ The Paris Exhibition ; ” “ The Gagging Order ; ” “ The Shoe Question again ; " " The Jorasanko Theatre ; " " Annexation of Oude ;”

' “ Tax for Gas Light;" “ The Metropolis and its Safety ; “ How Volunteers guard ;' “ The Trial of the Rev. Mr. Long;” “Death of Prince Albert ;” “ The Durbar at Agra ;' “Thomas Carlyle and Governor Eyre; "« The Famine Commission;" “ The Religion of the Educated Bengalee."

Grish Chunder's articles display not only vigour, but occasionally gleams of humour—a quality for which few Europeans are disposed to give Indians credit. This is also shown in his letters, some of which were included in his Life.

For extracts illustrative of the writer's style we selectalmost at random, for selection becomes no easy matter-the two following:

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RAMDOOLAL DEY, THE BENGALEE MILLIONAIRE.

The first onslaught of the disease which finally extinguished so valuable a life, was made when Ramdoolal was in his 6gth year. Paralysis overtook him suddenly whilst he was writing.

By the advice of the native physicians, he was removed in state to the banks of the Ganges. But Ramdoolal was not wholly insensible. He held the keys of his iron safes in his hand and when his son-in-law, Radha Kissen, offered to take them, he clutched them more firmly, awaiting the approach of his sons, Ashootosh and Promothonath, into whose hands only he abandoned them. In the meantime Messrs. Clarke and

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