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are the place of sapphires, and it hath dust of gold.”
By minerals, or fossils, are meant all those substances dug out of the earth, which have neither life like animals, nor vegetation like plants. The places from which minerals are taken, are called mines. The most val'u-able minerals are called metals. A metal, while in the earth, is generally mixed up with sto'ny and other matters, and in this state, it gets the name of an ore. The circumstances which, in general, distinguish metals from other minerals, are the following: First, They are brillliant or shining ; Second, They are o-paque', or not trans-pa’rent ; that is, they cannot be seen through like a piece of glass; Third, They are extremely heavy; so much so, that the lightest metal is nearly twice as heavy as the heaviest stone of any other description; Fourth, They are mal'le-a-ble ; that is, they can be beaten out with a hammer without breaking as other stones do; Fifth, They are duc'tile ; that is, they can be drawn out to a great length, in the form of a wire, without breaking; Sixth, They are fu'si-ble ; tìat is, they can melt when suf-fici'ent heat is applied to them for that purpose. The principal metals are gold, silver, copper, iron, lead, and tin.
What do you mean by a mineral or fossil ? What are those places called from which minerals are taken ? What are the most valuable minerals called ? What is the meaning
of opaque? What do we understand by the word mnlieable What do you mean by ductile ? What by fusible? What are the principal metals ?
GOLD AND SILVER
Gold, though undoubtedly not the most useful, is the dearest of all metals. It is also one of the most perfect, the most beautiful, the heaviest, the most malleable, and most ductile. Gold and silver are said to be perfect metals, because they do not lose any of their substance by passing through the fire, and they are not liable to rust. Gold is about half as heavy again as lead. It is so malleable, that a single grain of it, which would be scarcely bigger than a large pin's head, may be beaten out to a surface of fifty square inches. It is so ductile, that in gold wire, as it is called, which is made with silver, overlaid with a small proportion of gold, and drawn out together with it, a grain of gold is made completely to cover a length of three hundred and fifty two feet; and when it is stretched still farther by flattening, it will reach four hundred and one feet. At that rate, the gold of a guinea would reach above nine miles and a half. Gold is a soft metal, being next in this respect to lead ; and, therefore, when it is to be turned to use, it is mixed with a small proportion of some other metal to harden it; this metal, whatever it may be, is enlled its alloy. Our gold coin, for example, has
about one twelfth of alloy, which is a mixture of silver and copper.
One of the principal purposes for which gold is employed, is for coin or money. For this it is very con-ve'nient, on account of its scarcity, a small portion of it being thus of equal value with a very large quantity of any other commodity. Our sovereigns and half-sovereigns are made of it, and so also at one time were guineas and half-guineas. Gold is also used by wealthy people for watch cases, watchi chains, settings for seals, and a variety of other ornaments. And a great proportion of this metal is used in gilding; that is, in covering over some other substance with a thin coating of gold.
Gold is found either in mines under ground, or in the sand of certain rivers. What is thus found in the sand, has also, in all probability, been ori. ginally washed from some mine. There is very little gold in Europe: a small quantity, however, is procured every year in Hungary, where it is picked up by a set of half starved people called gypsies. It is chiefly brought from South A-nier'i-ca, the East In'dies, and the coast of Afri-ca.
Silver is the metal next in value to gold, on account of its scarce'ness. It is also the only other metal which is perfect, or cannot be destroyed by fire, and not li’able to rust. Silver goods, however, are apt to tarn'ish, and on this account re-quire' to be often cleaned; but this may be partly owing to the
quantity of alloy, or ba'ser metal, which must be mixed with silver, as well as with gold, in order to render it fit for being worked. It is not much less malleable and ductile than gold. Its weight is only about half the weight of gold. Both of these metals are more dif'fi-cult to melt than lead.
Silver is in more gen'er-al use than any othe. metal for coin : our crowns, half-crowns, shillings, and six-penny pieces, are all made of it. It is also used by the rich for a variety of articles, both of convenience and ornament; as spoons, fruit-knives, forks, dishes, teapots, candlesticks, watch cases, buckles, buttons, &c. Very frequently, too, such articles are made of baser metals, with a thin coating of silver laid over them; this operation is called plating.
There are no silver mines, properly so called, in this country, but there are in other parts of Europe. The richest silver mines in the world are in South America.
What is the dearest of all metals ? In what does gold differ from all other metals? Why are gold and silver called perfect metals? Into how many square inches may a grain of gold be beaten out ? To what length would the gold of a guinea extend if drawn out into wire ? What are the princi val uses for which gold is employed ? In what countries gold chiefly got ? What is the metal next in value to gold What are silver goods apt to do? To what may tliis be owing? What coins are made of silver? Howy do the rich Ruse it ? Where are the richest silver mines?
WRITTEN IN MARCH.
The cock is crowing, the stream is flowing,
The green field sleeps in the sun;
strongest ; The cattle are grazing, their heads never raising,
So that forty are feeding like one !
Like an army defeated, the snow has retreated, And now does fare ill, on the top of the bare hill ;
The plough-boy is whooping a-non-a-non' : There's joy on the mountains, there's life in the
fountains, Small clouds are sailing, blue sky is prevailing,
Cold and rain are now over and gone.
That butterfly, which you now behold decked out in such beautiful colours, so nimbly frisking from flower to flower, and at times soaring aloft beyond your sight, was once no more than an ugly crawling worm; nay, still more lately, it lay for a time quite motionless and insensible, and, to all appearance, dead. It has gone through many changes. When it first came out of its egg, it was a creeping worm, called a cat'er-pil-lar. It changed its skin va'ri-ous times, which, by the by, is a thing