Page:An account of the manufacture of the bla.pdf/21

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finally put into the ground. And yet these plants are doing well; at least the greater part of them. I will give another instance of their hardiness. Last year the Government sent a deputation of three scientific gentlemen to examine the Assam Tea plant, Dr. Wallich, Mr. Griffith, and Mr. McClelland,—the two former Botanists, the latter a Geologist. Dr. Wallich who conducted the deputation, requested me to accompany them. being the only European who had ever visited the Tea tracts, as the different localities are called. One day after having seen some Tea in company with these gentlemen, and as we were returning, I was informed by some natives of another patch or tract of Tea that had been cut down. We went and examined it, and found the plants just coming up, about 6 inches high. On enquiry we were told that the villagers took the Tea plant to be so much jungle, and therefore nearly cut all of it down close to the ground, and set fire to the whole, and then planted paddy or rice on the spot. The crop of paddy had just been cut and brought in; when we saw the plants, the shoots were coming up from the roots and old stumps, thick and numerous. Some Tea plants I noticed had only been cut a foot, and some two to four feet from the ground; all these threw out numerous shoots and leaves an inch or two below where they had been cut. I afterwards converted this piece of ground into a Tea garden on account of the Government, and now it is one of the finest I have; where there was formerly one Tea plant, there are now upwards of a dozen, the new shoots from the old cuttings forming a fine bush, and shewing a great contrast to some of the original trees, which I have permitted to stand, with slender trunks and a few branches only at the top. This tract of garden has yielded