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THE GLORY OF GOD IN CREATION.
(PSALM lxxiv. 16, 17.) (THOMAS Moore, the modern poetical glory of Ireland, was born in Dublin, in 1780. His largest works are “Lalla Rookh" and "The Loves of the Angels ;" but his lyrics, entitled “The Irish Melodies," are the most popular of his poetic efforts. His poetry abounds in highly fanciful imagery and patriotic appeals. Mr. Moore is also the author of biographies of Sheridan and of Byron, and of the Eastern romance “The Epicurean.”)
Thou ārt, () God! the life and light!
Of all this wondrous world we scè;
Are but refléctions caught from Thèc:
When Dày, with farewell bēam, delays!
Among the opening clouds of Even,
Through golden vistas into Heaven
When Night, with wings of starry gloom,
O'ershadows all the earth and skíes,
Is sparkling with a thousand eyes—
When youthful Spring around us breathes,
Thy spirit' warms her fragrant sìgh,
Is born' beneath that kindling eỹe :
THE DYING CHRISTIAN TO HIS SOUL.
(ALEXANDER POPE was the son of a linen draper in London, where he was born in 1688. He died in 1714. Pope gives the key-note to the "Augustan Age" of English literature, and stands unrivalled in polished verse on moral subjects. At the early age of twelve, he became the sole director of his own studies, and about the same period, he published his "Ode on Solitude," the first fruits of his poetic genius. Besides being a most voluminous writer, he also published a translation of the Iliad and Odyssey of Homer; the former of which brought him £5000, which he laid out in the purchase of a villa at Twickenham, whither he removed in 1715.)
Vital spārk of heavenly fláme!
With sounds seràphic ring.
O Deáth! whère is thy stíng?
COMPOUNDS OF THE LIGHT METALS.
Alabaster, (alabastron, G.).
| Selenite, (selene, G.) Lit. moon-like. Alum, (alumen, L.) a well-known salt. Silicate, a salt containing silica. Hence alumina and aluminum
Sodium, (soda. Calcium, (cal.x, L.) Hence also cal Stalactite, and
ccreous, containing lime, or having Stalagmite, (stalactos, stalazo, G.) the qualities of lime.
Sulphuric acid, (sulphur, L.) an acid Chlorine, (chloros, G.)
formed by sulphur and oxygen. Indurated, (in, durus, L.) made hard. Hence sulphate, a salt containing Mica, (mico, L.)
sulphuric acid, Porphyry, (porphyra, G.)
COMMON SALT. NEARLY fifty of the simple substances, or elements, of which all matter is composed, are regarded as metals. But of these a considerable number can scarcely be said to exist separately. They are found only in combination, and, though the chemist can separate them, they are of little importance in their simple or metallic state. Some of their compounds, however, are very abundant, and claim our first notice.
Common or culinary salt is one of these compounds. Few better examples could be given of a substance differing entirely from both the elements of which it is composed. There is first a gas, noxious and suffocating, producing violent cough and irritation when inhaled even in exceedingly small quantity. It is one of the non-metallic elements, and, from its greenish-yellow colour, receives the name of chlorine. And what companionship, so to speak, deprives this substance of its colour, collects its particles into the form of a solid, cures it of its deadly properties, and converts it into a healthy and agreeable condiment? That of a metal called sodium, somewhat lighter than water, in which, when warm, it actually takes fire and burns! With the metal itself we are not much acquainted, but its oxide, soda, is a well-known substance.
Such, then, are the ingredients of the only mineral (unless we call water a mineral) which forms a part of our daily food. Its great reservoir is the ocean, in which Providence has given us a supply that may well be regarded as inexhaustible. Some writers say there is enough to cover all Europe to the depth of two or three miles. It may be obtained in any quantity, mixed with a little of some other salts, by simple evaporation of the water in which it is dissolved.
But immense quantities of this substance are also found in a solid form. In a few desert regions, it covers the ground like hoar-frost for hundreds of miles together. Some hills of considerable size are entirely composed of it; one at Cardona, in Spain, is 400 feet high, and about three miles in circumference. Still greater stores lie embedded deep in the bosom of the earth. Salt mines of great extent arc worked in Cheshire, and at several places in continental Europe. The largest and most celebrated are at Wieliczka, in Austrian Poland. There, at a depth of seven or eight hundred feet below the surface of the earth, vast caverns have been excavated, extending over an area of several hundreds of acres. Huge pillars of salt are left to support the roof, and long, lofty passages lead from cavern to cavern, as if they were the chambers of a subterranean palace. The air is dry and salubrious. Many horses live for years in the interior of the mines, in stables hewn for them out of the solid salt, which has the curious cffect of rendering them totally blind. At the bottom are several lakes, navigable by boats; and there is even said to be, in one place, a spring of good fresh water. But perhaps the greatest curiosity of all is a chapel dedicated to St. Anthony. Its walls, its roof, and the columns that support it, are all sculptured in salt; so also is its furniture, including the altar, the candelabra, and other ornaments, the pulpit, the crucifix, and the statues of the virgin and patron saint. These mines naturally attract many visitors, and are really a splendid sight. The vast extent and height of the excavations, and the brilliancy of the walls and pillars, especially when illuminated by torchlight, have a ground and imposing effect.
The salt obtained from mines is called rock salt. When too impure for use, it is dissolved in water, from which it is again separated, sometimes in a crystallized form, by means of cvaporation. Its crystals are cubes; they are seen in the coarse-grained variety used in curing provisions.
Many little trinkets are made of rock salt, but though beautiful, they are not of much value. It can scarcely be necessary to mention the important purposes to which this substance is usually applied.
LIME. ANOTTIER metallic element, difficult to procure, and still more difficult to retain, in its separate state, is calcium, whose oxide is the well-known substance lime. Even the oxide does not occur in nature, except in combination. Its salts, however, are extremely important, especially the carbonate, formed by its union with carbonic acid.
No single substance appears in so many different forms as carbonate of lime, or, as it is sometimes called, calcareous spar. Many a mountainous district owes its grandeur to huge masses of limestone rock, piled one above another in the most picturesque variety. The cavities of the darkest and most rugged of these rocks are lined with white and more or less transparent crystals, whose brilliancy and polish the lapidary's art may imitate, but cannot surpass. Strange as it may seem, the rocks and the crystals they enclose are one and the same substance, composed of the same elements, in exactly the same proportion. They consist of carbonate of lime, sometimes, it is true, mixed with very small quantities of other substances.
Limestone rocks, moreover, contain vast caverns, where the same materials assume, under the fashioning hand of nature, the appearance of a new substance. As water percolates through the rocks above, it carries with it small particles.of the calcareous matter of which they are composed. Collecting in drops on the roof of the cavern, it deposits there a thin film of stony sediment, and then, falling to the floor, it gradually evaporates, and leaves a sediment there also. Every successive drop brings a fresh deposit, until huge pillars are formed, those rising from the floor being called stalagmites, while those which increase from the roof downwards, like great icicles, receive the name of stalactites. Sometimes the two formations meet, and form solid columns from top to bottom of the cavern. These, continually varying in size and appearance, as fresh matter is deposited upon them, eventually fill up the whole cavern, and convert it into a deposit of alabaster.