on the Continent ; around Southampton, in England, these mussels are
known by the whimsical name of " old maids," and the inhabitants of the
northern islands call them smuslin, and consider it a fine supper-dish,
which is by no means unpalatable.*
am informed by Mr. Plisé, who brought a considerable quantity of
pearls from Panama, that he receives four dollars per grain in England,
for those of good size and quality.
Leo bought a pearl for eighty thousand crowns. Tavernier describes one
belonging to the King of Persia, which is said to have cost one million
six hundred thousand livres. Portugal has a pearl in her treasury of
the size of a pear. Two Greeks, residing in Moscow, are in possession
of a pearl weighing twenty-seven and seven eighths carats.
restoring Oriental pearls to their original lustre, which they lose in
the course of time, the following process is resorted to in Ceylon :
the pearls are allowed to be swallowed by chickens, which are then
killed, and the pearls are an hour afterwards taken out of the stomach,
when they are as white and as lustry as if just taken from the shell.