LABYRINTH, in gardening, a winding mazy walk between hedges, through a wood or wilderness. The chief aim is to make the walks so perplexed and intri cate that a person may lose himself in them, and meet with as great a number of disappointments as possible. They are rarely to be met with, except in great and noble gardens, as Versailles, Hamp ton court, &c. There are; two ways of making them ; the first is with single hedges : this method has been practised in England ; and these may, indeed, be best, where there is but a small spot of ground allowed for making them ; but where there is ground enough the double is most eligible. Those made with double hedges, with a considera ble thickness of wood between them, are approved as much better than sin gle ones : this is the manner of making them in France and other places ; of all which that of Versailles is allowed to be the noblest of its kind in the world. It is an error to make them too narrow ; for that makes it necessary to keep the hedges close clipped : but if, ac cording to the foreign practice, they are made wide, they will not stand in need of it. The walks are made with gravel usually set with hornbeam : the path. sacks ought to be ten, twelve, or !bur. teen feet high ; the horn-beam should be kept cut, and the walks rolled.
LAG, gum, in chemistry, is a very sin gular compound, prepared by the female of a very minute insect, the coccus lacca, found on some trees in the East Indies, particularly the banyan fig. The insect is nourished by the tree, fixing itself upon the twigs and extremities of the succu lent branches, where h deposits its eggs, which it glues to the branch by a red liquid, the outside of which hardens by the air, and serves as a cell for the parent insect. This increases in size, and the
young insects at first feed upon the en closed liquid, and after this is expended, they eat through the coat, leaving a hol low red resinous bag,which is " stick-lac." The best lac is procured from the pro vince of Acham, but it is obtained in great plenty on the uncultivated mountains on each side of the Ganges. There are four kinds of lac, viz. " stick-lac," which is lac in its natural state, without any pre paration ; " seed.lac," which is stick.lac broken into small lumps, asd granulated ; "lump-lac," which is seed-lac liquified by fire ; " shelllac," which is a preparation of the stick.lac. By a number of very ac G curate experiments made by Mr Hatchett, it is found that lac consists of a colouring extract of resin, gluten, and wax ; all of them in intimate combinations : the pro portions of the stick-lac are as follow : Resin 68 0 Wax 6.0 Gluten 6 5 Colouring extract . . . 10.0 Extraneous substances . 6.5 96.0 Lac is employed for a variety of pur poses in the arts : the finer specimens are cut into beads for necklaces. It enters largely into the composition of sealing wax, and hard japans or varnishes : and it is much used in dying.
LAC SILIPMZEi8, in medicine, a sulphur separated by acid from its alkaline solu tion. In this state it is thought to be milder and a more efficacious medicine than in its crude state, and is certainly less nauseous to the taste. See ST=1-ilia.