MRS. ISABELLA BEETON- 3 -
CHAPTER XIV.—General observations on the sheep and lamb.
678. OF ALL WILD or DOMESTICATED ANIMALS, the sheep is, withoutexception, the most useful to man as a food, and the most necessary to his health andcomfort; for it not only supplies him with the lightest and most nutritious of meats,but, in the absence of the cow, its udder yields him milk, cream, and a sound thoughinferior cheese; while from its fat he obtains light, and from its fleece broadcloth,kerseymere, blankets, gloves, and hose. Its bones when burnt make an animalcharcoal—ivory black—to polish his boots, and when powdered, a manure for thecultivation of his wheat; the skin, either split or whole, is made into a mat for hiscarriage, a housing for his horse, or a lining for his hat, and many other usefulpurposes besides, being extensively employed in the manufacture of parchment; andfinally, when oppressed by care and sorrow, the harmonious strains that carry suchsoothing contentment to the heart, are elicited from the musical strings, preparedalmost exclusively from the intestines of the sheep.679. THIS VALUABLE ANIMAL, of which England is estimated to maintain anaverage stock of 32,000,000, belongs to the class already indicated under the ox,—the
; to the order of
, or cud-chewing animal; to the tribe of
, or horned quadrupeds; and the genus
, or the "sheep." The sheep maybe either with or without horns; when present, however, they have always thispeculiarity, that they spring from a triangular base, are spiral in form, and lateral, atthe side of the , in situation. The fleece of the sheep is of two sorts, either short and