SEA-KALE, Crconbe mmitima ; see CRADIBE, a perennial plant with large roundish sinuated sea-green leaves, found on the sea-shores in various parts of Europe, and in Britain. The blanched sprouts have become a very favorite esculent in Britain, although as vet little known on the continent. The common people, on some of the shores of England, have long been in the practice of watching them when they came through the sand, and using them as a pot-herb, but the cultivation of the plant in the kitchen garden became general only at a comparatively recent date. In requires a deep rich soil, and the care of the gardener is bestowed upon the blanching, without which the sprouts are not tender and agreeable, but even acrid. The blanching is accomplished in various ways, by earth, sand, boards, earthenware pots, etc. Sea-kale is generally raised from seed. although also sometimes propagated by offsets or by cuttings of the roots. The seedlings do not yield a crop till the third year; but a plantation of sea-kale remains productive for many years. It is planted in rows, four to six feet apart. It sends its tap-rdot very deep into the ground.
SEAL (Lat. sigiluin, Fr. sceau), an impression on wax or other soft substance made a die or matrix of metal, a gem, or some other material. The stamp which yields ithe impression is sometimes itself called the seal. Ih Egypt, seals in use at'an early period, the matrix generally forming part of a ring (see GTA, RING). Devices of a variety of sorts were in use at Rome, both by the earlier emperors and private indi viduals. The emperors, after the time of Constantine, introduced balks or leaden seals, and their use was continued after the fall of the western empire by the popes, who attached them to documents by cords or bands. On the earlier papal seals are mono grams of the pope; afterward the great seal contained the name of the pope in fifth :tad a cross between the heads of St. Peter and St. Paul, while the papal privy seal, impressed not on lead, but on wax, known as the seal of' the fisherman, represented St. Peter fishing. In the 9th and 10th c: we find Charlemagne, the Byzantine emperors, and the Venetian doges, occasionally sealing with gold, and we have an instance as late as the 16th c. of a gold seal appended to the treaty of the Field of the Cloth of Gold, between Henry VIII. and Francis I.
Seals were not much used in England in Anglo-Saxon times, but they came into general use after the Norman conquest. Oti the royal great seals was time king in armor on a caparisoned horse galloping, his arms being shown on his shield after the period when arms came into use; and the reverse represented the king seated on a throne.
The great seals of Scotland begin with Damn' II. in the end of llth c.. and have also for subject the king on horseback; the counterseal, with the seated figure, being used first by Alexander I., and the earliest appearance of the arms of Scotland being on tile seal of Alexander II. In both countries there were also the privy seals with the royal arms only.
Ecclesiastical seals first appear in tha 9th c., and attained great beauty in the 13th and 14th. They are of the pointed oval form known as vexica piseis ; and have for sub jects, a figure of the bishop, sometimes of the Trinity, the Virgin, or patron saint, seated under an elaborate architectural canopy. The arms of thebishop are often added.
Under the Norman monarchs of England, sealing became a legal formality, necessary to the authentication of a deed; and from the 13th c. onward, the seals of all persons noble or gentle birth represented their armorial ensigns. The seal was generally eppended to the document by passing a strip of parchment or a cord through a slit i s lower edge; and the ends being held together, the wax was pressed or molded round the a a short distance from the eNirernity, and thernatrix impressed on it. Occasionally the seal was not pendant, but•the wax was spread on the deed. The colored wax with the impression was sometimes imbedded in a mass of white wax forming n pmeetive border to it. In England. a seal is still an essential to all legal instruments liy Nvhich real estate is Conveyed; but since subscription lies also become necessary, Ilif; practice of sealing has degetterate.l into a mere formality. The custom was gradually.thtrodueed of covering the wax with white paper, on which the impression was made, and latterly wafers have been considered a sufficient substitute for seals, In Scotland, every freeholder was obliged by statutes of Robert III. and James I. to have his seal of arn.s, an impression of which was kept in the office of the clerk of court, of the shire; and among the Scottish armorial seals Of the 14th and 15th centuries are sonic: of wonderful beauty of execution. At 1540, c. 117, for tha first time made sub scription an essential formality to deeds; but sealing still continued to be necessary till 1584, when it was dispensed with in the case of deeds containing a clause of registra tion, and soon afterward the practice was altogether laid aside.