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ent in some degree, and justifies, perhaps, but, when chemically examined, it proved the occasional complaint of the grittiness to consist of silex, combined with potash, of maple-sugar. But it is a native grit, -in the form in which it exists in grassand not chargeable upon the sugar-mak- es; and, upon further inquiry, it was asers. It is nothing less than flint, which the certained that a stack of hay had stood roots of the maple absorbed, while it was upon the spot, of which nothing remained dissolved in water in the soil. The sap, but the ashes, the whole having been igstill holding the flint in solution, flows out, nited by the lightning. clear as water, when the tree is tapped ; There is nothing in Nature more strikbut when it is concentrated by boiling, ing to the novice than the first suggesthe silicious mineral is deposited in little tions of the various, and apparently concrystals, so that the bottom of the pan tradictory, at least unexpected, positions appears to be covered with sand. We in which the same mineral is found. Now could not select a more interesting exam- carbon is one of the minerals whose exple of the very wide diffusion of some changes are peculiarly interesting. Chemcompound substances than this one of ists say that the diamond is the only insilicic acid. It is found in the mineral stance in Nature of pure carbon: it burns and vegetable kingdoms. Being a min- in oxygen under the influence of intense eral, it cannot be appropriated to ani- heat, and leaves no ashes. Next to this mal uses, without being decomposed and strange gradation is charcoal, which transformed into an organic condition ; comes within a very little of being a diabut in the numerous species of plants mond. But just that little interval is whose stalks require stiffening against the apparently so great, that none but a winds,—in the grasses and canes, includ- chemist would suspect there was any reing all our ains, the sugar-cane, and lationship between them. Then come all the bamboo,-a silicate (an actual flint) those immense beds of coal which comis taken up by the roots and stored away pose one of the geological strata of the in the stalks as a stiffener. The rough, earth's crust, a stratum that was formed sharp edge of a blade of grass sometimes before the appearance of the animated makes an ugly cut on one's finger by creation, when the earth was clothed with means of the flint it contains. Silex is a gigantic forest, whose mighty trunks the chief ingredient in quartz rock, which buried themselves with their fallen leaves, is so widely diffused over the earth, and and became, in time, a continuous bed enters into the composition of most of the of carbonaceous stone. precious stones. The ruby, the emerald, If we look at the vegetable and anithe topaz, the amethyst, chalcedony, car- mal kingdoms, we find carbon entering nelian, jasper, agate, and garnet, and all into the composition of every tissue. But the beautiful vårieties of rock crystal, are there are certain tissues and anatomical mostly or entirely silex. Glass is a com- elements (as physicians say) which are pound of silex and pearlash. One who formed largely of carbon and have no is curious in such things may make glass nitrogen whatever. These are oils and out of a straw, by burning it and heating fats and everything related to them. the ashes with a blowpipe. A little glob- What will be chiefly interesting, howule of pure glass will form as the ashes ever, to our readers, is the power of are consumed. The following curious in- transformation of one of these substances stance, quoted by that interesting physi- into another. Starch, gum, and sugar ologist, Dr. Carpenter, shows the same can all be changed into fat. The exeffect upon a large scale. A melted mass planation of it is in the fact, that these of glassy substance was found on a mead- substances are all chemically alike,-that ow between Mannheim and Heidelberg, is, they all have nearly the same proporin Germany, after a thunder-storm. It tions of carbon, oxygen, and hydrogen, was, at first, supposed to be a meteor; and no nitrogen ; but by slight differences in the combination of these ele- son, when they live heartily on sugar; the ments, they exist in Nature as so many Chinese grow fat on an exclusively rice distinct substances. Their approach to diet,—and rice is chiefly starch. But one identity is further confirmed by the fact, of the most interesting observations of that starch can be made into gum, and the transformation of sugar into a fat is either of them into sugar, in the labora- that made by Huber upon bees. It was tory. The transformation of starch and the discovery, that bees make their wax gum
into sugar is also constantly going out of honey, and not of pollen, as was on in the ripening of fruits. When coun- formerly believed. When Huber shut try-dames make currant-jellies and cur- up some bees in a close hive, and kept rant-wine, they know very well, that, if them supplied with pure honey or with they allow the berries to get dead-ripe, sugar alone, they subsisted upon it, and their jelly will not be so firm as when soon began to build the comb. Wax is they seize an early opportunity and gath- a fat, and the honey which is eaten by er them when first fully red. They may the bee is partly transformed into wax in also have observed that jelly made late, his body. In about twenty-four hours besides being less firm, is much more after his stomach has been filled with likely to candy. At first, the currants honey, thin plates of wax appear .on contain hardly any sugar, but more gum the scales of his abdomen, having oozed and vegetable jelly (glue); when dead- through eight little openings in the scales ripe, they have twelve times as much su- and there hardened. Of this they build gar as at first, and the gum and glue are their cells. much diminished. The gummy and gluey We have wandered far from the conmaterials have been transformed into su- sideration of the propensity of certain gar. Every ripe fruit gives ug evidence species of plants to take up special comof the same manufacture of sugar that pound substances from the earth; but the has gone on under the stimulus of the wide-spread silex, with which we set out, sun's rays; and in the greatest source of displayed so interesting a field of obsersugar, the cane, the process is the same. vation, that it could not be resisted, and A French physician, M. Bernard, has, encouraged a disposition to rove, which within the last twelve years, discovered has been to us instructive and entertainthat the liver of animals is constantlying. To return to plants,—we find they making sugar out of all kinds of food, make use of compounds for certain spewhile the lungs are all the time undoing cial ends; but, as we have seen, the whole the work of the liver and turning it back vegetable kingdom uses the eight or ten into its chemical elements. And although, primitive elements which it has in comin the laboratory of the liver, it is discov- mon with the animals, and out of these ered that no alimentary substance is quite alone forms the infinite variety of proddeficient in sweetness, yet there, as else- ucts which we derive from it for food where, starch and gum yield a far greater and various economical and asthetical amount of it than animal substances. purposes. Among the many processes
We have stated that starch and gum of Nature whose contemplation fills us can be turned into sugar by art,— but as with ever new delight, this power of the no chemist has yet succeeded in imitating adaptation of a few means to an infinite an animal substance, the change of these number of ends is one of the most enthree into fat takes place only in the body. chanting. We endeavor to explain by There are proofs enough within general chemical laws the reduction of the mateobservation, that one object of this por- rials which earth and air furnish, to a form tion of our diet is the supply of fat. The in which they can be appropriated by the Esquimaux fattens on his diet of blubber tree ; by endosmose and exosmose we and train-oil; the slaves on the sugar- think we have overcome the obstacles to plantations grow fat in the boiling-sea- a clear coinprehension of the circulation of the sap; and by a cell-theory we be- oysters, or is embodied in the vast coral lieve we have explained the whole growth reefs that shoot out from the islands of of wood and leaves and fruit. But what the West Indies, or is deposited year afmicroscope or what alembic shall ever tell ter year by dying shell-fish, which are us why a collection of tubes and cells in slowly carpeting the ocean-bed with their one tree creates the most wholesome and remains. Much of this same Venice mardelicious fruit, while in another an organ ble has doubtless been appropriated by ization precisely similar, so far as we can fishes from the sea-water which dissolved discern, produces only harsh and poison- it, been transformed into their bones, cast ous berries? why the acacia tribe elab- upon the soil of Italy, disintegrated, and orate their gum, the pine family turpen- imbibed by the thirsty roots of forests in tine, the almond prussic acid, the sorrels sight of the very walls from which it partoxalic acid ? why the tall calisaya-tree ed. And who can say that parts of it do of the Andes deposits in its bark the val- not now adorn the necks of some Veuable medicine cinchona, and the oak, netian dames, in coral, or more costly the hemlock, the tea-plant, and many oth- pearls ? What says Ariel to the orphaners, make use of similar repositories to ed Ferdinand ? lay up stores of tannic acid ? The num- “ Full fathom five thy father lies; berless combinations of the same mate- Of his bones are coral made; rials, and the wonderful power which Those are pearls that were his eyes: rests in a single seed to bring about with Nothing of him that doth fade unvarying uniformity its own distinct re
But doth suffer a sea-change sult, attest to us every day the admira
Into something rich and strange." ble wisdom and goodness of the Creator. This is but a hint of the mutability of
These regular, every-day transforma- created things. Marble, sea-shells, the tions of material elements from rock to chalk-cliffs of Dover, the limestone fossils tree, from tree to man, and back through which preserve for us animal forms of a continual circuit, would repay us for species long since extinct, the coral forspending our leisure hours in studying it, mations that are stretching out in danwith our own eyes as well as with the gerous reefs in so many seas of the tropeyes of others. The glance we have given ies, are all identical in their chief ingreis sufficiently suggestive to turn the at- dient, and, as we see, are by natural protention of our readers that way. Before cesses and various accidents constantly parting with them, however, we wish to interchanging their positions. make a few excursions into the natural It ought to be consoling to those who world, to follow out some of the more pe- think a great deal of their bodies, to reculiar and unexpected migrations of ma- Aect, that, if we may tend “to base uses," terial atoms. Suppose we take a little we may also tend to very noble ones. In marble,—which, in chemical constitution, the course of their transmigrations, the is carbonate of lime,- that very marble, elements of a worthless individual may for instance, which forms the palaces of get into far better company than they Venice, against which the waters of the have before enjoyed,— may enter into Mediterranean have dashed for so many brains that immortalize their owner and centuries, and have not dashed in vain. redeem the errors of the old possessor. In their perpetual washing, they have Whoever bases his merit on a long line worn away the stone and carried off its of ancestors who have nothing but a perparticles,- an insignificant amount, it is petuated name to boast of, may be likentrue, but, little as it is, it has not re- ed to the last of many successive tenants mained unused. For that very carbo- of a house who have hired it for their nate of lime, which once shared the proud temporary uses. The inheritance of a state of the “ glorious city in the sea,” brave spirit and a noble mind is a suffinow helps to form the coarse shells of cient justification for a reasonable pride; but not so with the heritage of materi- their friends and kindred to be transportals which are continually interchanging ed hither for filthy gaine and detested with the clod.
use." There need be nothing humiliating in If such traffic be base, what shall we such thoughts; the operations of Nature say of some priests of Nicaragua, who are always admirable. But when the renovate their burial-grounds by exhumrelics of humanity are deliberately ap- ing the bones of the dead, with the earth propriated to such mechanical or scien- that surrounds them, and selling the mass tific purposes as we shall relate, before to the manufacturers of nitre ? No sentithey have entirely lost their original (we ment of reverence for the sepulchres of should say latest) form, then most men their fathers incites them to resist the inwould look upon the act as in some sort roads of foreign pirates — for they mana desecration. With what holy horror ufacture their fathers' bones into gunwould the ancient Egyptians regard the powder. economical uses to which their embalmed Let us turn away from the revolting bodies were appropriated a few centuries picture. The glimpses at Nature's revoago! In the works of Ambrose Paré, lutions which we have enjoyed are more the great surgeon of five French kings in agreeable. We are no advocates for any the sixteenth century, is a full account attempts at preserving the human body of the preparation and administration of from decomposition; that which will re“mummie,”—that is, Egyptian mummies, store the beloved forns of friends most powdered and made into pills and po- readily to their primitive elements, and tions,—" to such as have falne from high avert the possibility of anything so dear places or have beene otherwise bruised.” remaining to excite our aversion or disThe learned physician enters his protest gust, or becoming a pestilential agent, we against the use of it, (which he says is would cordially encourage. There can almost universal with the faculty,) as be no doubt that use would soon render quite inefficacious and disgusting. His cremation as little disagreeable to the disgust, however, arises principally from feelings as consigning the precious rethe fact, that the “mummie” prepared mains to slow decay and food for worms; by the apothecaries must have been de- and few will long be pained at the thought rived “ from the carcases of the basest of mingling at once with the common people of Egypt; for the noblemen and earth and air, and returning to usefulness cheefe of the province, so religiously ad- in other forms, after the soul has passed dicted to the monuments of their ances- to heavenly spheres to enjoy the blesstors, would never suffer the bodyes of ings of immortal life.
It is wonderful how Nature provides destructive fits, and the darkness must for the taking off and keeping down of her do its mean and tyrannical things while monsters,-creatures that carry things on- men are asleep; but calmness and sunly by force or fraud: your foxes, wolves, shine triumph immeasurably on the whole. and bears; your anacondas, tigers, and of the cubs of iniquity, only here and
and your cunning or ferocious men there an individual escapes the crebrous of prey, of whom they are the types. perils of adolescence, develops into the Storms may and must now and then rage full beast, and occupies a sublime place and ravage, volcanoes must have their in history ; whereas the genial men of
sunshine, plenty as the fair days of sum- congenial than its reverse to all his plans, mer, pass quietly over from the ruby of and he studied, as he thought, with sinlife's morning to the sapphire of its even- gular success, the various tricks of blinding, too numerous to be written of or ing people to the state of his finances, as distinctly remembered. There are, it is well as of bettering it. While he was quite true, enough biographies of such in supposed to be growing rich very rapidexistence to read the world to sleep by ly, he really was doing so about half as for ages. It can hardly keep awake at all, fast as everybody thought. Chip would except over lives of the other sort; hence, not steal, — that was vulgar. But he one of great and successful villany is a would take every possible advantage of prize for the scribe. In the dearth of other people by keeping close his own such, let us content ourselves with briefly counsels and pumping out theirs. noticing one of the multitude of abortive would slander a piece of property and cubs, its villany nipped — as Nature is then buy it. He would monopolize on a wont to nip it—in the promising bud of short market, and fill his purse by foreits tenderness. Many a flourishing young stalling. Indeed, he was, altogether, one rogue suddenly disappears, and the world of the keen, and greatly admired in busnever knows how or why. But it shall iness circles. know, if it will heed our one-story tale, It was not easy for Chip to love any how Chip Dartmouth of these parts was being but himself, — not even a woman. turned down here,- albeit we cannot at But his smart figure, for which Nature present say whether he has since turned and the tailors had done their best, up elsewhere.
set the general female imagination into Our hero was baptized simply Chip- the most lively action. Many were the worth, in compliment to a rich uncle, who dreams about him, — day-dreams and was expected on that account to remem- night-dreams, – that were dreamed in ber him more largely in his will,- as front of all manner of little filigree birdhe probably did; for he soon left him a nest bonnets and under snowy nightlegacy of twenty thousand dollars, on the caps; and at the slightest encouragement express condition that it should accu- on his part, no doubt, the idea of himself mulate till he was of age, and then be which had been manufactured in many used as a capital to set the young man minds would have been fallen in love up in business. As the inheritance of with. The reality certainly would not kingdoms spoils kings, so this little for- have been. Miss Millicent Hopkins wore tune, though Chip could not finger a mill one of the caps set for Chip, and her he of it during his minority, all the while act- professed vehemently to love. But she ed on him like a controlling magnet, in- was the daughter of a millionnaire of a ducing a strong repellency to good ad- very set temper, who had often said and vice and a general exaltation of views, so sworn that his daughter should not have that, when he came into possession of it, any man who had not proved by more he was already a fast young man in al- than mushroom or retail success in busimost every respect. He had settled it ness that he was able and likely to better as the maxim of his life to gain fast and her fortune. Miss Millicent must plainly spend fast; and having had considerable either be run away with, or fairly won opportunity to spend before he had any on old Hopkins's plan of wholesale, longto gain, he had, on becoming a business winded business success. Miss Millicent's man, some secret deficits to make good good looks, if they did not amount to before he could really be as rich as peo- beauty, did, nevertheless, add something ple supposed him. As his deficits had to the attractiveness of her vast pecuninot been made by daylight, so daylight ary prospects. Chip had obtained the must have nothing to do in wiping them young lady's decided favor without absoout; and hence darkness became more lutely crossing the Rubicon himself, for