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Catechism of Familiar Things; Their History, and the Events Which Led to Their Discovery, A

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<SPAN name="CHAPTER_XIV" id="CHAPTER_XIV"></SPAN>CHAPTER XIV.</h2> <h3><span class="smcap">Gold, Silver, Lead, Tin, Platina, Sulphur, Gems or Precious Stones, as Diamonds, Rubies, Emeralds, Turquois, Pearls, Mother-or-Pearls, and Ivory.</span></h3> <p><b>What is Gold?</b></p> <p>The purest and most precious of metals: it is sometimes found in solid masses, as in California, Peru, Hungary, &amp;c.; in a shape resembling the branches of plants; in thin plates covering other bodies, as in Siberia; sometimes in a crystal form. It, however, generally occurs in a metallic state, and most commonly in the form of grains.</p> <p><b>What is it called when found in a perfect metallic form?</b></p> <p>Native gold: it is, however, seldom met with perfectly pure, being frequently alloyed with silver, copper, iron, or platina; sometimes concealed in other minerals; from which, if sufficiently abundant, it is extracted by art.</p> <p><b>Where and in what manner is Gold generally found?</b></p> <p>All parts of the earth afford gold; though with great difference in point of purity and abundance. It is chiefly obtained from mines. Many rivers contain gold in their sands, especially those of California and Guinea. Gold mines are of rare occurrence in Europe, but the metal is found in some of its rivers; among its mines, those of Upper Hungary are the most considerable. China and Japan are rich in this metal; many parts of Asia also possess it. Australia produces quantities of the metal. It is also found in the eastern parts and interior of Africa, where gold dust is collected in great quantities from earth deposited by the rivers. But it is in America that gold is found in the greatest abundance, particularly in the State of California, and in some parts of South America, as Brazil, Peru, Chili, &amp;c.</p> <div class="blockquot"><p><i>Guinea</i>, a country of Western Africa.</p></div><p><span class="pagenum"><SPAN name="Page_119" id="Page_119"></SPAN>[119]</span></p> <p><b>What are the uses of Gold?</b></p> <p>It is used for money, jewelry, plate, &amp;c. It is also employed in various ways in the arts.</p> <p><b>What is the character of Gold?</b></p> <p>Gold is so ductile and malleable, that an ounce of it may be drawn into a thread of 73 leagues in length; or beaten into 160 leaves of 9 inches square, and thin enough to be carried away by the slightest wind. It readily assumes any form that human art can bestow upon it: its color is unalterable, and the beautiful polish of which it is susceptible, renders it the best of all metals for ornamental purposes. It is indestructible by air, water, or fire. Gold is the heaviest of all metals, except platina; it is neither very elastic, nor very hard.</p> <div class="blockquot"><p><i>League</i>, a measure of length containing three miles.</p> <p><i>Indestructible</i>, incapable of being destroyed.</p></div> <p><b>Is not the use of Gold quite ancient?</b></p> <p>Yes; it appears to have been very early known to the inhabitants of the world. In the 13th Chapter of Genesis, Abram is spoken of as very rich in silver and gold; and in the 2d Chapter of the same book, the "land of Hevilath" (now in the eastern part of Arabia Felix,) is pointed out as having gold. Arabia was famed for the fineness and quality of its gold. In the time of Solomon, the gold of Ophir seems to have been much esteemed, as it is recorded that the gold used in the building of the Temple was brought from that place by the merchant-vessels of Hiram, King of Tyre. Ophir is supposed to have been situated somewhere in the East Indies.</p> <p><b>What is Silver?</b></p> <p>A beautiful white shining metal, next to gold in value, and, like that precious substance, of great antiquity. It is found in Sweden, Norway, and the polar latitudes: when it occurs in hot climates, it is generally amidst mountains, covered with perpetual snow.</p> <div class="blockquot"><p><i>Latitude</i>, breadth, width; in Geography, the distance of a place in degrees, north or south, from the Equator.</p></div><p><span class="pagenum"><SPAN name="Page_120" id="Page_120"></SPAN>[120]</span></p> <p><b>Where are the richest Silver Mines found?</b></p> <p>In South America, especially among the Andes; the mines of Mexico, and those of Nevada, also, are rich in this metal. The richest and most important silver mines in Europe are those of K&ouml;nigsberg, in Norway, and of Andalusia, in Spain. With the exception of gold, silver is the most ductile of all metals: a single grain may be extended into a plate 126 inches long, and half an inch broad. It is capable of still further extension, but its tenacity is inferior even to that of iron or copper. A silver wire one-tenth of an inch thick will scarcely bear a weight of 290 pounds, whilst a gold wire of the same thickness will support nearly double that weight. Like some other metals, it is unalterable by air or moisture, but by an intense heat may be volatilized, being sometimes found in the soot of chimneys where large quantities are melted.</p> <div class="blockquot"><p><i>Volatilized</i>, made to fly off by evaporation.</p></div> <p><b>In what state is Silver usually found?</b></p> <p>It is rarely found in a state of purity, being generally mixed with other metals, as gold, lead, &amp;c. Masses of native silver are of no determinate form; being found sometimes in small branches, sometimes in threads, or very frequently in leaves, as in the Siberian mines. Native, or pure silver is chiefly found in the mines of Potosi. Silver was used as money in commerce 1100 years before the foundation of Rome.</p> <div class="blockquot"><p><i>Commerce</i>, trade of one nation with another, or different persons, &amp;c. with each other.</p></div> <p><b>What is Tin?</b></p> <p>A white metal, softer than any other excepting lead, more elastic, and more sonorous. Though tin is the lightest of all metals, its ore is, when rich, the heaviest of all metallic ores. It has both smell and taste; is less ductile than some harder metals, though it may be beaten into very thin leaves; and it fuses so quickly, that it requires a heat much less than is sufficient to make it red-hot.</p><p><span class="pagenum"><SPAN name="Page_121" id="Page_121"></SPAN>[121]</span></p> <p><b>Was not the use of Tin very early known?</b></p> <p>Tin was found in Britain from the earliest ages; the Phenicians traded to Cornwall for this metal 600 years before Christ.</p> <p><b>Where are the principal Tin Mines?</b></p> <p>In Saxony, Cornwall, and Bohemia. Tin is also found in Spain, Sumatra, Siam, Mexico, and Chili. A few specimens have been found at Goshen, in Massachusetts.</p> <div class="blockquot"><p><i>Specimens</i>, samples.</p></div> <p><b>In what state is Tin generally found?</b></p> <p>Tin is sometimes found native or pure, but most frequently alloyed with other metals: the working of tin mines is attended with much difficulty, on account of their great depth, and the hard rocks which obstruct the progress of the miners, who are often obliged to cut through them. This metal is very useful in the making of domestic utensils, for coating the inside of copper and iron vessels, and for various other purposes.</p> <div class="blockquot"><p><i>Obstruct</i>, to stand in the way.</p></div> <p><b>What is Lead?</b></p> <p>A coarse, heavy metal, of a bluish grey color: it is so soft and flexible, that it is easily cut with a knife, and rolled out into sheets, &amp;c.; it is very fusible and inelastic, but less ductile and sonorous, than any other metal. Next to gold, platina, and mercury, it is the heaviest of the metals, being eleven times heavier than an equal bulk of water. This metal loses its malleability in proportion as it is heated: as soon as it melts it calcines, and greyish-colored ashes are formed on its surface; when returning from a fluid to a solid state, it is easily divided into small grains or powder, or formed into shot, &amp;c. Lead was in common use among the ancients.</p> <div class="blockquot"><p><i>Flexible</i>, yielding, easily bent.</p> <p><i>Sonorous</i>, giving sound when struck.</p></div> <p><b>Where is Lead found?</b></p> <p>In various countries; but it abounds principally in Great Britain and Spain; the lead mines of Illinois, Wisconsin, and Iowa, are among the richest in the world. Lead is a metal of <span class="pagenum"><SPAN name="Page_122" id="Page_122"></SPAN>[122]</span>great utility; it easily melts and mixes with gold, silver, and copper; hence it is employed in refining gold and silver, as it separates all the dirt and impurities from them; it is much used in building, particularly for covering gutters, pipes, &amp;c.; lead is also used in varnishes and oil-painting, and makes the basis of the glazing of all the earthen and pottery wares.</p> <div class="blockquot"><p><i>Refining</i>, cleansing, purifying.</p> <p><i>Varnishes</i>, preparations for beautifying and preserving various articles.</p></div> <p><b>What is peculiar to the ore of Lead?</b></p> <p>The ore of this metal is so poisonous, that the steam arising from the furnaces in which it is smelted infects the grass of all the neighboring places, and kills the animals which feed on it: culinary vessels lined with a mixture of tin and lead, are apt to convey pernicious qualities to the food prepared in them. There are various preparations of lead, serving for different purposes.</p> <div class="blockquot"><p><i>Infects</i>, corrupts.</p> <p><i>Culinary</i>, adapted to the purposes of cooking.</p> <p><i>Pernicious</i>, hurtful, dangerous.</p> <p><i>Ore</i>, the mineral soil, earth, or stone dug out of the mines, which contains the metal.</p></div> <p><b>What is Black Lead?</b></p> <p>It is a kind of mineral, of a deep shining black or bluish color, soft and unctuous to the touch; it is insoluble in acids, and infusible by fire. Black lead has been found in many parts of the world, in a state of greater or less purity, but it is the English black lead which is the most esteemed.</p> <div class="blockquot"><p><i>Insoluble</i>, incapable of dissolving.</p> <p><i>Infusible</i>, not capable of being melted.</p></div> <p><b>Is Black Lead a proper term for this mineral?</b></p> <p>No; because, in reality, there is not a particle of lead in it. On the spot where it is procured, it is called by two or three different names, but the most usual is Plumbago.</p> <p><b>Where is the best Black Lead found?</b></p> <p>The best and greatest quantity is found in England, in a mine near Keswick, in Cumberland. It is much used for pencils or crayons, for writing, drawing, &amp;c.; for this purpose it is sawn <span class="pagenum"><SPAN name="Page_123" id="Page_123"></SPAN>[123]</span>into slips, and fitted into a groove in a strip of soft wood, as cedar, &amp;c., over which another is placed and fastened with glue.</p> <p><b>What is Platina?</b></p> <p>A metallic substance, more recently discovered than the metals already described; and analogous to the perfect metals, especially gold,&mdash;many of whose properties it possesses.</p> <div class="blockquot"><p><i>Analogous</i>, bearing a resemblance.</p></div> <p><b>Whence is its name derived?</b></p> <p>It is the diminutive of <i>plata</i>, silver, to which it appears very similar; platina being a silver-colored metal, in small grains.</p> <div class="blockquot"><p><i>Diminutive</i>, a word lessening the meaning of the original.</p></div> <p><b>Whence is it obtained?</b></p> <p>Mostly from Russia, and, also from South America. Its color does not tarnish by exposure to the air, and appears to be equally permanent with that of pure gold; the metal is indestructible by fire. Platina is capable of being alloyed with all metals; is fused with difficulty, but by great labor may be rendered malleable: it is also the heaviest metal, being 21 times heavier than water.</p> <div class="blockquot"><p><i>Permanent</i>, lasting.</p></div> <p><b>Are there any other Metals besides those already mentioned?</b></p> <p>In addition to the metals known and used by the ancients, the chemical science of later ages has, by decomposing other earths, added more than thirty to the number of metals, some of them more curious than useful; several of these are lighter than water. All the metals possess different and distinct properties from each other. They are divided into two classes, the malleable and the brittle metals. These last may be again divided into two others,&mdash;namely, those which are easily, and those which are with difficulty fused.</p> <p><b>What do you mean by Metallurgy?</b></p> <p>The art of obtaining metals from their ores, comprising the <span class="pagenum"><SPAN name="Page_124" id="Page_124"></SPAN>[124]</span>processes of assaying, refining, smelting, &amp;c. By assaying is meant, the particular manner of examining an ore or mixed metal, according to its nature, so as to discover not only what metals and what proportions of metal may be obtained from it, but also what other mineral substances or earths may be contained in it.</p> <p><b>What do the terms Refining and Smelting signify?</b></p> <p>Refining is the art of rendering the metal free from all impurities. Smelting means the melting of a metal from its ore in a smelting furnace, in order to separate the metallic parts from the sulphur, arsenic, and the earthy and stony substances with which they may be combined.</p> <p><b>What is Sulphur?</b></p> <p>An inflammable, fossil substance, of a dry, solid, friable nature, melting with a small proportion of heat;&mdash;when fired in the open air, burning almost entirely away with a blue flame and noxious vapor. It is abundantly diffused in many places, especially where metallic minerals are found; but more particularly in those districts where subterranean fires and volcanoes exist. It is also found combined with many different substances.</p> <p><b>Describe the nature of Sulphur, and the places where it is mostly found.</b></p> <p>Sulphur almost pure, called native or virgin sulphur, is found in volcanoes and grottoes, in the form of transparent crystals; but the greatest quantity which exists naturally is combined with metals in ores. Sulphur is both fusible and volatile,&mdash;which qualities enable us to procure it from those minerals by the process of sublimation: it unites easily, in different degrees, with all metallic matters, excepting gold, platina, and zinc.</p> <div class="blockquot"><p><i>Sublimation</i>, the act of bringing a solid substance into the state of vapor by heat, and condensing it again by cold.</p></div> <p><b>Are not its uses very extensive?</b></p> <p>Yes, both in the arts and in chemistry: it is well known to <span class="pagenum"><SPAN name="Page_125" id="Page_125"></SPAN>[125]</span>be a principal ingredient in the preparation of gunpowder and fire-works; it is also used for whitening wool, straw, silk, &amp;c.; many other matters exposed to the vapors of sulphur when burning, quickly lose their color, which no other substance had been able to destroy. Sulphur is also frequently found in mineral waters.</p> <p><b>Whence are the greatest quantities of Sulphur brought?</b></p> <p>The largest quantities are brought from Saxony, in irregular masses, which are afterwards melted and cast into small rolls. There are about four species of sulphur; namely, the yellow native sulphur, which in its purest state is clear, and of a pale straw color, found in the gold mines of Peru; in Hungary, and some other places: the green native sulphur, which is harder than the other, is found in small crust-like masses; this sort is chiefly confined to Mount Vesuvius: and the grey native sulphur, common in Iceland and many other places. Native sulphur is also found at the coal mines, near Richmond, Virginia; in Connecticut, Pennsylvania, and other parts of the United States.</p> <p><b>Which is the most rare and beautiful of all the kinds?</b></p> <p>The red native sulphur; it is mostly of a fine glowing red, very bright and transparent; it is found, like the first-mentioned sort, in the gold mines of Peru. Common sulphur, such as is used in trade and the arts, is of a pale yellow color; and possesses a peculiar and disagreeable smell, particularly when heated or rubbed. This is mostly extracted from the metallic sulphurets, and is commonly called brimstone. It is the sort employed in making matches.</p> <p><b>Is there not another substance also employed in the manufacture of matches?</b></p> <p>Yes: Phosphorus, a peculiar substance, chiefly of animal origin. It is mostly procured by the decomposition of the phosphoric acid which is found in bones. It was accidentally <span class="pagenum"><SPAN name="Page_126" id="Page_126"></SPAN>[126]</span>discovered at Hamburgh, in 1669, by an alchemist named Brandt.</p> <div class="blockquot"><p><i>Alchemist</i>, one skilled in Alchemy.<SPAN name="FNanchor_15_15" id="FNanchor_15_15"></SPAN><SPAN href="#Footnote_15_15" class="fnanchor">[15]</SPAN></p></div> <div class="footnotes"><p><SPAN name="Footnote_15_15" id="Footnote_15_15"></SPAN><SPAN href="#FNanchor_15_15"><span class="label">[15]</span></SPAN> See Chapter XVIII., article <SPAN href="#CHEMISTRY">Chemistry</SPAN>.</p> </div> <p><b>What is the nature of Phosphorus?</b></p> <p>It is a solid, inflammable substance, which burns when in contact with atmospheric air. It is used in various chemical experiments, and for making matches; for various kinds of fire-works, &amp;c. It will combine with all metals except gold and zinc; and also with some earths. Some animals, as the glow-worm, possess very peculiar phosphorescent qualities.</p> <div class="blockquot"><p><i>Phosphorescent</i>, having a phosphoric property, emitting peculiar light like phosphorus.</p></div> <p><b>What is Arsenic?</b></p> <p>A heavy metallic substance, very volatile, and highly inflammable; so caustic or corrosive to animals, as to become a violent poison in all its states. In its metallic state it is used in several of the arts: it is employed in the manufacture of factitious metals: it is of use to the dyer in forming some of his colors; and for that purpose is generally combined with potassa. It is used in the making of small shot, and also in the manufacture of glass, to which it gives transparency; in whitening copper; in calico printing; in the preparation of colors for the painter; and in the working of platina, and some other metals, to render them more easily fusible.</p> <div class="blockquot"><p><i>Caustic</i>, dry, burning.</p> <p><i>Corrosive</i>, apt to corrode, to eat away, to penetrate.</p></div> <p><b>How is the white powdered arsenic prepared?</b></p> <p>By submitting the ore to a strong heat in a peculiar kind of furnace; this produces a dark grey powder, which is again heated in close iron vessels; this separates it from its impurities, and the arsenic is obtained in thick, solid masses; these, by exposure to the air, fall into a fine, white powder.</p> <p><span class="pagenum"><SPAN name="Page_127" id="Page_127"></SPAN>[127]</span></p> <p><b>From what is the word Arsenic derived?</b></p> <p>From a Greek word, signifying <i>masculine</i>&mdash;powerful (as a poison). Arsenic is dug out of mines in Saxony, near Goslar; in Bohemia; in England, in the Mendip Hills, in great quantities. It has so strong a corrosive quality as sometimes to burn the hands and feet of the miners; it is a deadly poison for all known animals. This poisonous mineral is not found native in its perfect form, being generally united with metallic ores.</p> <p><b>What do you mean by Gems?</b></p> <p>The word gem is used as a common name for all precious stones or jewels; they consist of the siliceous earths; and are much valued for their lustre, transparency, color, hardness, and rarity. There are many different kinds of precious stones, each distinguished by its peculiar character.</p> <p><b>How are they divided?</b></p> <p>Into the pellucid gems, which are of great lustre, and extremely hard, as the diamond; the semi-pellucid, those which are not so transparent, but yet of great beauty; those of one color, as the emerald or turquois; and those variegated or veined with different colors. Gems are sometimes found of regular shapes, with a natural polish, near the beds of rivers after great rains; these are of the pebble kind. Sometimes they are found of irregular shapes, with a rough coat, in mines and the clefts of rocks. Pearls, though not stones, are also ranked among the number of gems.</p> <div class="blockquot"><p><i>Pellucid</i>, clear as a drop of water.</p> <p><i>Semi-pellucid</i>, half pellucid.</p></div> <p><b><SPAN name="DIAMOND" id="DIAMOND"></SPAN>Describe the Diamond.</b></p> <p>The diamond is a precious stone, the first in rank of all the gems, and valued for its beautiful lustre; it is the hardest of all stones, as well as the most valuable. The most esteemed are colorless. A diamond in its natural state as it comes out of the mine, and before it is cut, is called rough, because it has no brilliancy, but is covered with an earthy crust. The diamond <span class="pagenum"><SPAN name="Page_128" id="Page_128"></SPAN>[128]</span>is the Adamant of the ancients; hence the expression "hard as adamant," from its being the hardest substance in nature. The cutting of diamonds is a work of labor, and requires great skill; the polishing is performed by a mill of simple construction.</p> <p><b>Where are they mostly found?</b></p> <p>In yellow ochreous earths; in mines; and likewise in torrents, which have torn them from their beds. In former times, all the diamonds that were known were brought from the famous mines of Golconda, in Hindostan; the islands of Molucca and Borneo have also produced many valuable stones. The diamond mines of Golconda are now so exhausted, that they are not thought worth the expense of working; these gems are now brought chiefly from Brazil, in South America.</p> <p><b>What is meant by Ochreous?</b></p> <p>Consisting of ochre, a kind of earth with a rough and dusty surface, composed of fine, soft, clayey particles, which readily separate in water. There are various colored ochres, as red, yellow, blue, green, &amp;c.; they are very useful in many of the arts.</p> <p><b>What term is used to denote the quality of the Diamond?</b></p> <p>In speaking of the value of diamonds, we distinguish them as "diamonds of the first water," meaning those which possess the greatest perfection and purity, which ought to be that of the clearest drop of water: when they fall short of this perfection, they are said to be "of the second or third water," and so on till the stone may be properly called a colored one.</p> <p><b>What is the Ruby?</b></p> <p>A beautiful gem of a red color; in its perfect state it is of great value. The ruby is often found perfectly pure and free from all spots or blemishes; but its value is much more frequently lessened by them, especially in the larger stones. It is very hard, being second only to the diamond in this respect; and is often naturally so bright and pure on the surface as to <span class="pagenum"><SPAN name="Page_129" id="Page_129"></SPAN>[129]</span>need no polishing; it is often worn in rings, &amp;c., in its rough or native state. The color of rubies varies from the deepest to the palest red, all having more or less of a purplish tinge, which is more plainly perceived in the deeper colored specimens than in the paler ones.</p> <p><b>Where are Rubies found?</b></p> <p>They are mostly found in gold mines. We have the true rubies only from the East. The Isle of Ceylon has long been celebrated for these gems; they are found in a river which descends from the mountains; they are brighter and more beautiful than those obtained in other parts, but are very rare. Some crystals are frequently found tinged with the true color of the ruby, but these want its lustre and hardness.</p> <p><b>Describe the Emerald.</b></p> <p>It is a precious stone of a beautiful transparent green color, and, when in a state of perfection, nearly equal to the ruby in hardness. The finest and best are found in America, especially among the mountains of Peru; they are also obtained from a few places in the East. These gems are often counterfeited, as are most of the precious stones, there being even false diamonds; the genuine may be known by their extreme hardness and brilliancy.</p> <div class="blockquot"><p><i>Counterfeited</i>, imitated with a view to defraud.</p> <p><i>Genuine</i>, true, real.</p></div> <p><b>What is the Turquois?</b></p> <p>A beautiful blue stone; it is one of the softest of the gems, and some varieties are often used for seals, as they admit of being engraved upon. The turquois is easily imitated, and that often so perfectly as to render it very difficult to distinguish the counterfeit from the true gem.</p> <p><b>In what countries are they found?</b></p> <p>The Oriental Turquois comes from Persia, the Indies, and some parts of Turkey; the turquois is also found in various parts of Europe, as Germany, Spain, and France.</p><p><span class="pagenum"><SPAN name="Page_130" id="Page_130"></SPAN>[130]</span></p> <p><b>What is Engraving?</b></p> <p>The art of cutting metals or precious stones, and representing thereon figures, letters, and devices; the term is, however, more particularly applied to the art of producing figures or designs on metal, &amp;c., for the purpose of being subsequently printed on paper. The ancients are well known to have excelled in engraving on precious stones; many specimens have been preserved, which surpass anything of the kind produced by the moderns. This art is frequently alluded to in the Bible. Engraving on wood, according to some authors, was introduced into Europe from China by Venetian merchants; it is certain the art was practised in eastern and northern Italy as early as the thirteenth century. The invention of copper-plate engraving has been ascribed to a goldsmith of Florence, about the year 1460.</p> <div class="blockquot"><p><i>Device</i>, that which is formed by design.</p> <p><i>Design</i>, a representation of a thing by an outline; a sketch.</p></div> <p><b>Describe Wood Engraving.</b></p> <p>The subject is drawn on a block of box or pear-tree wood with a black-lead pencil, or with a pen and Indian ink; the wood is then cut away, so as to leave the lines which have been drawn, as raised parts. The ink is next applied, and by pressing damp paper upon the block, the impressions are obtained. Albert Durer, a celebrated painter of Germany, brought the art of engraving on wood and metal, and taking off impressions on paper, &amp;c., to great perfection.</p> <p><b>How is engraving on copper, steel, &amp;c., performed?</b></p> <p>This sort of engraving is performed with a sharp-pointed instrument called a <i>graver</i>, by means of which figures, landscapes, &amp;c., are traced upon a flat surface of the metal: the lines are then filled with ink or a similar composition, and the paper pressed on the plate. When taken off, an exact copy of the plate is impressed upon its surface.</p> <p class="center"><ANTIMG src="images/image_12.jpg" alt="COCHINEAL INSECTS AND PLANTS." width="382" height="534" /><br /> <span class="caption">COCHINEAL INSECTS AND PLANTS.</span></p> <p><span class="pagenum"><SPAN name="Page_131" id="Page_131"></SPAN>[131]</span></p> <p><b>What is Lithography?</b></p> <p>A species of engraving on stone, from which impressions can be taken much more expeditiously and economically than from metal. The process depends upon the following principles:&mdash;First, the facility with which calcareous stones imbibe water; second, the power of oily substances to repel water. When drawings are executed upon the stone with crayons composed of oily materials, and the surface of the stone is washed over with water, the moisture is imbibed by the stone, but repelled from the engraving; and when the ink, which also contains oily substances, is applied, it adheres only to the drawing, and not to the other portions of the stone. The block is then passed through a press, and the impressions are taken off; as many as 70,000 perfect copies have been obtained from a single stone.</p> <div class="blockquot"><p><i>Expeditiously</i>, with celerity or dispatch.</p> <p><i>Economically</i>, with economy; with frugality.</p></div> <p><b>You describe Pearls as being ranked among the number of Gems, although they are not Stones; what kind of substance are they?</b></p> <p>Pearls are excrescences found in the shells of a large species of oyster, which are supposed to be produced by a disease of the fish. The best pearls are generally taken from the most fleshy part of the oyster, near the hinge of the shell, but inferior kinds are found in all parts of the fish, and adhering to the shells. Pearls, from many allusions made to them in the Old Testament, were not only known to the ancients, but were regarded by them as costly and precious gems.</p> <p><b>How do they get the Oysters which contain them?</b></p> <p>By diving under water and picking the oysters from the large beds at the bottom of the sea; or the rocks to which they adhere. The divers cast all the oysters they take into their boats, and carry them ashore, where they deposit them in heaps; they are then left till they become putrid, this being necessary in order to remove the pearls easily from the rough matter by which they are surrounded.</p><p><span class="pagenum"><SPAN name="Page_132" id="Page_132"></SPAN>[132]</span></p> <p><b>What sea produces the best and greatest number of Pearls?</b></p> <p>The finest and greatest quantities are obtained off the coast of Ceylon; the pearl oyster is also found in the seas of the East Indies; in those of America, and in some parts of the European seas; but these last are much inferior. The Oriental pearls are the finest on account of their size, color, and beauty, being of a silvery white; while the Occidental pearls are smaller, and frequently tinged with a yellow or blackish hue.</p> <div class="blockquot"><p><i>Tinged</i>, slightly colored.</p></div> <p><b>Does not the Pearl Oyster produce a substance called Mother-of-Pearl?</b></p> <p>No; the beautiful substance so much used for inlaying boxes, and for ornamental knife-handles, &amp;c., is produced from the shell, not of the pearl oyster, but of another sea-fish of the oyster kind.</p> <p><b>What is Inlaying?</b></p> <p>The art of ornamenting a plain surface of wood, or other material, with thin slices or leaves of a finer wood, of a different kind; as mahogany inlaid with ebony, &amp;c., or with ivory, and other substances. There are two kinds of inlaying; one, of the more ordinary sort, which consists only of compartments of different kinds of wood, inlaid with one another; the other, requiring greater skill, represents flowers, birds, and other figures. The thin plates of wood or other substance, being sawed into slips, and cut into the required forms, are carefully joined, and afterwards strongly glued down on the block of wood, &amp;c., intended to be thus ornamented.</p> <div class="blockquot"><p><i>Compartment</i>, a division, a separate part.</p></div> <p><b>What is Ebony?</b></p> <p>A hard, black-colored wood, growing in the countries of the Levant, &amp;c.; there are, however, several black woods of different kinds which are also called ebony.</p> <p><b>What is Ivory?</b></p> <p>The tooth or tusk of the Elephant, which grows on each side <span class="pagenum"><SPAN name="Page_133" id="Page_133"></SPAN>[133]</span>of his trunk; it is somewhat like a horn in shape. Ivory is much esteemed for its beautiful white color, polish, and fine grain when wrought. It has been used from the remotest ages of antiquity; in the Scriptures we read of Solomon's ivory throne, and also of "vessels of ivory," and "beds of ivory:" by which it appears to have been a chief article of luxury, as well as of trade.</p> <div class="blockquot"><p><i>Remotest</i>, most distant.</p></div> <p><b>Of what countries is the Elephant an inhabitant?</b></p> <p>Of many parts of Asia and Africa. The elephant is the largest quadruped now in existence; it is extremely sagacious, docile and friendly: in the countries where they live they are trained to useful labor, and by their great strength are enabled to perform tasks which a man or horse could not accomplish: among the native princes they were, and even still are, used in war: with them the inhabitants are able to hunt and destroy the lion, tiger, and other beasts of prey. With their long trunk, or proboscis, they can perform almost everything which man can with his hands.</p> <div class="blockquot"><p><i>Quadruped</i>, an animal with four feet.</p></div> <hr style="width: 65%;" /> <h2>
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