Discourses: Biological and Geological Essays

Published: 1894
Language: English
Wordcount: 96,573 / 295 pg
Flesch-Kincaid Reading Ease: 51.8
LoC Category: QH
Downloads: 714
Added to site: 2006.05.11
mnybks.net#: 13534
Origin: gutenberg.org
Genres: Nature, Essays
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Excerpt

at many other ways of showing that chalk is essentially nothing but carbonic acid and quicklime. Chemists enunciate the result of all the experiments which prove this, by stating that chalk is almost wholly composed of "carbonate of lime."

It is desirable for us to start from the knowledge of this fact, though it may not seem to help us very far towards what we seek. For carbonate of lime is a widely-spread substance, and is met with under very various conditions. All sorts of limestones are composed of more or less pure carbonate of lime. The crust which is often deposited by waters which have drained through limestone rocks, in the form of what are called stalagmites and stalactites, is carbonate of lime. Or, to take a more familiar example, the fur on the inside of a tea-kettle is carbonate of lime; and, for anything chemistry tells us to the contrary, the chalk might be a kind of gigantic fur upon the bottom of the earth-kettle, which is kept pretty hot below.

Let us try another method of ma

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