NESTS, ESCULENT. A species of nests built by swallows peculiar to the Indian islands, and very much esteemed in China and other parts of the world. These nests resemble in form those of other swallows ; they are formed of a viscid substance, and in external appear ance, as well as consistence, are not un like fibrate ill-concocted isinglass. Escu lent nests are principally found in Java, in caverns usually situated on the sea coast. Nothing satisfactory is known as to the substance of which these nests are composed.
NET, or NEAT. In commerce, some thing pure and unadulterated with any foreign mixture. Thus, wines are said to be net when not falsified ; and coffee, rice, &c., to be so, when the filth and ordures are separated from them. The word net is also used for what remains after the tare has been taken out of any merehandise—i. e., when it is weighed clear of all package. Net Produce (Ital. netto procednto) is used in mercantile language to express what any commodity has yielded, after all tare and charges have been deducted.
NET is a textile fabric of knotted meshes for catching fish, and other pur poses. Each mesh should be so secured as to be incapable of enlargement or diminution. The French Government offered, in 1802, a prize of 10,000 francs to the person who should invent a ma chine for making nets upon automatic principles, and adjudged it to M. Buron, who presented his mechanical invention to the Conservatoire des Arts et Métiers. It does not appear, however, that this machine has accomplished the object in view ; for no establishment was ever mounted to carry it into execution. Nets are usually made by the fishermen and their families during periods of leisure. NEUTRALIZATION. In chemistry, the combination of an acid and alkali in such proportions that the peculiar pro perties of each are rendered inert.