Dictionarium polygraphicum. Brasil, Brazil.

Dictionarium Polygraphicum:
Or, The Whole Body of Arts Regularly Digested.
Vol I.
London: Printed for C. Hitch and C. Davis in Pater-noster Row, and S. Austen in St. Paul's Church Yard. MDCCXXXV.
BRASIL, BRAZIL a wood so call’d, because first brought from Brazil, a province of south America. It has various names, according to the places it comes from. Thus we have Brazil of Fernambouc, Brasil of Japan, of Lumon, of st. Martha; and lastly Brasílette, brought from the Antilles.

The Brazil-tree commonly grows in dry, barren places, and in the middle of rocks; it is very thick and large, and usually crooked and knotty. Its flowers, which are of a beautiful red, exhale a very agreeable scent, good for comforting and strengthening the brain.

Though the tree be very thick, it is covered with so thick a bark, that when the savages have taken it off the wood, a trunk, which was before the thickness of a man, is scarce equal to that of his leg.

Brasíl wood is very heavy, dry, crackles much in the fire, and scarce raises any smoke, by reason of its extreme dryness.

None of the several kinds have any pith, except that of Japan. That of Fernambouc is esteem'd the best.

It must be chosen in thick pieces, close, sound without any bark; and such as upon being split from pale, becomes reddish; and being chewed, has a sugary taste.

It is much us'd in dying, where it serves for a red colour, but it gives but a spurious colour, and easily evaporates and fades; nor is the wood to be us'd without alum and tartar. From the Brazil of Fernambouc is drawn a kind of Carmine by means of acids.

There is also a liquid lacca made of it for painting in miniature.

To make LAKE or Tincture of BRAZILE.
The Brazile meant here is that which the dyers make use of. Take of the finest that comes from Fernambouck, that being the best.

The way of extracting this tincture is the same as that from Kermes (see KERMES) and may be effected two ways, either with the menstruum first prescrib'd, or with strong waters; only observe not to put so much alum to each ounce of Brazile as to the berries; for that tincture is deeper than this from Brazile, and consequently requires more stuff; therefore use only in this as much as you think reasonable, experience will be the best guide.

Take notice too, that when you do it by the first menstruum, there is a greater quantity required of Brazile than was prescrib'd of Kermes-berries, to each pound of shearings.

In every thing else follow the former directions, and you’ll have a fine colour or lake less chargeable, and altogether as good as the tincture of Kermes, for painting.

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