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Sometimes Called China Or Chinese Ink Is Chiefly Brought From








China in oblong cakes, of a musky scent, ready prepared for painting in
water. Varying considerably in body and colour, the best has a shining
black fracture, is finely compact, and homogeneous when rubbed with
water, in which, when largely diluted, it yields no precipitate. Without
the least appearance of particles, its dry surface is covered with a
pellicle of a metallic appearance. When dry on the paper, it resists the
action of water, yet it will give way at once to that action, when it
has been used and dried on marble or ivory, a fact which proves that the
alummed paper forms a strong combination with the ink; possibly a
compound of the latter on an aluminous base, might even be employed in
oil. Different accounts are given of the mode of making this ink, the
principal substance or colouring matter of which is a smoke black,
having all the properties of our lamp black; the variety of its hues and
texture seeming wholly to depend on the degree of burning and levigating
it receives. From certain Chinese documents, we learn that the ink of
Nan-king is the most esteemed; and among the many sorts imported into
this country, we find those of the best quality are prepared with lamp
black of the oil of Sesame; with which are combined camphor, and the





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