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| plants. These owe their existence, on the particular The name of this acid is derived from a plant, in spot they occupy, to the ruins deposited there by scientific language called Oxalis acetosella. Its com- their predecessors. Hence we learn, that whilst “ we mon name is wood-sorrel. From the juice of this often overlook what is petty, nothing, however small, plant oxalic acid may be obtained in considerable is deemed worthless, or is disregarded by Him whom quantities, as it may also from that of the Rumex no name or language can sufficiently describe, whose acetosa, or common sorrel, and the several varieties of power is omnipotence, whose presence is universal, rhubarb.
whose knowledge is omniscience, whose creations Oxalic acid was discovered about sixty years ago extend and constitute space, and whose existence is by SCHEELE, a celebrated Prussian chemist. There eternity." is reason to believe that it exists in a much greater
Oxalic acid is easily made by dissolving lump-sugar number of plants than is generally suspected. in aqua-fortis (nitric acid), a circumstance which has It having been remarked that the shoes of persons
caused it to be sometimes called acid of sugar. By who had been walking in a field of chick-peas * were the action of nitric acid, many other substances curiously corroded, it occurred to a French chemist besides sugar are converted into oxalic acid. Of that this effect must have been produced by some these we may here mention starch, gum, most of the property possessed by the plant. On cutting off vegetable acids, several varieties of fruit, wool, hair, some of the fine hairs of the chick-pea, they were silk, and the whites of eggs. found to yield an acid liquor, which, on further ex To chemists, the composition of oxalic acid is a amination, proved to be an aqueous solution of pure subject of great interest, and has engaged a very oxalic acid. It rarely happens, however, that the large share of their attention. We fear it would not acid is found pure. In the plants we have men be so to our general readers, for whose sake we pur: tioned, as furnishing it in the greatest abundance, posely abstain from employing a greater number of it almost always occurs in combination either with chemical, and other scientific terms, than are really potash or lime.
necessary. Compounds formed of oxalic acid and other sub Those who have read an account of oil of vitriol stances are denominated oxalates. Hence the union (sulphuric acid) I, will probably remember that oxygen of the acid with potash constitutes oxalate of potash. | is there mentioned as imparting to sulphur its acid with lime, oxalate of lime, and so on with many
properties. In the instance before us we are equally others.
indebted to its agency. Oxygen is the acidifying It has lately been ascertained that several kinds of principle in oxalic acid, which contains it combined lichen t, a species of plants which are generally, in certain proportions with carbon (the chemical although improperly, called mosses, contain nearly
name for charcoal). The acid crystallizes in slender half their weight of oxalate of lime. These plants, four and six-sided prisms, which, when quite pure, we are informed, thrive in barren places, and even are perfectly white and very brilliant. on rocks, where no other vegetable could exist for At a temperature of 50°, pure oxalic acid requires a single day; their peculiar constitution admirably about fifteen times its own weight of water to dissolve adapting them for preparing the way for a higher
it; at 57°, nine times its weight is sufficient; the order of vegetable life.
solubility rapidly increasing with the increase of temBy this simple fact we are forcibly reminded that perature. As the oxalic acid of commerce frequently
contains minute quantities of nitric acid, the presence of design ; exhibiting, in their minutest particulars, of the latter so greatly facilitates the solvent properspecial thought and foresight. To an unreflecting
ties of water, that at 60' it often happens that oxalic observer, the humble lichen just mentioned may
acid may be dissolved in twice or three times its appear so insignificant, as scarcely to deserve the weight of that fluid. name of a plant. Let him not thence infer a waste,
Oxalic acid, as may be justly inferred from its or a misapplication, of creative power. The Most name, is sour. Its acid properties are so intense, that High has formed nothing in vain. In the economy
if one grain be dissolved in 3600 grains of water, of nature an important office has been assigned to
there will be sufficient acidity to be perceptible to the the lichen, and for its due performance it is endowed
taste ; and Professor Brande informs us, that in with functions no less remarkable than those of the
200,000 (two hundred thousand) times its weight of most fragrant flower, the most beautiful shrub, or
water, the acid may be detected by means of a very the most stately tree. In common with other vege
simple test. table productions, the lichen possesses, what may
The uses of oxalic acid are not very numerous. with propriety be termed, a power of selecting those In the arts, it is chiefly employed by calico-printers, particles of matter which are best fitted for its growth and by straw and Leghorn bonnet-makers.
and by straw and Leghorn bonnet.m
In and maturity. Man, with all his justly-valued stores domestic economy, it is used for cleaning boot-tops. of knowledge, would labour in vain, were he to
This circumstance, viewed in connexion with the attempt to make oxalate of lime out of the materials
carelessness with which medicines are sometimes the lichen has to work with. That little plant “ toils vended and taken, and the resemblance which the not, neither does it spin,” but it manifests capabilities
crystals of the acid bear externally to those of Epsom for appropriating from the rock, or other surface to
salt (sulphate of magnesia), has occasioned many which it adheres, from the moisture with which it
fatal instances of poisoning. It is gratifying, how. is occasionally refreshed, and from the atmosphere
ever, to observe that these accidents occur less frewith which it is surrounded, just what is necessary
quently than formerly. for its nourishment, whilst that of an opposite ten
Nothing can be easier than to detect an error of dency is uniformly rejected. At length it falls into
the kind to which we have alluded,—by simply tasting decay, and in its place springs up a distinct order of
the crystals, or, if they have been dissolved, the • The chick-pea is a native of Spain. It is smaller than the
solution. By doing this, even should it happen to common pea.
be oxalic acid, no mischief can possibly ensue; and + Lichens appear in the form of thin flat crusts, covering rocks
as that is intensely sour, it cannot for a moment and the bark of trees, or in foliaceous expansions, or branched like be mistaken for Epsom salt, the flavour of which, a shrub in miniature. Some of them resemble 'elly, whilst others consist only of a powdery substance.
# See Saturday Magazine, Vol. X., p. 139.
although not positively salt or bitter, yet partakes in calico, paper, and so forth; giving us cables, ropes, an eminent degree of both. Moreover, if the crystals thread, &c. of the two substances be closely examined, it will | To the chemist all these things appear still more be found that they are not exactly alike, and the remarkable, when he finds that the woody fibre, or exercise even of ordinary caution, first, by observing, ligneous part of vegetables, is analogous in comand next by tasting, will enable most persons to dis postion to the neutral products, starch, gum, and tinguish the one from the other.
sugar; and that they are in fact mutually conSeveral acids which are termed poisons, destroy vertible; for woody fibre is a hydrate of carbon. life, when taken into the stomach, solely by their regarded in reference to its atomic constitution; so violent action upon the parts with which they come that, assuming, as just stated, that the woody fibre of in contact. It seems, however, that oxalic acid is a moderate-sized oak weighs sixty tons, we have here literally a very active poison; instances having oc- a consolidation of thirty tons of charcoal or carbon, curred in which it has proved fatal when diluted with and thirty tons of water. large quantities of water, and used as an acidulated When woody fibre comes before us as an article of drink. A quarter of an ounce of the crystals, it is diet, it has other curious and important bearings. If believed, is sufficient to produce death.
any form of lignin, such as saw.dust (cleansed from It is imperative on those who have occasion for all foreign bodies, such as resin, extractive matter, this dangerous material, not only to put it in a place &c.), rags, or paper, be rubbed up with a little sulof security, but they ought never to keep it with | phuric acid, taking care that the action of the acid medicines of any kind. In addition to this, let us does not go to the extent of charring, and if the acid impress on them that no circumstances can ever | be afterwards abstracted by adding to the mixture justify them in permitting it to be purchased by an alkali, or some powdered chalk, it will be found children.
that the wood has been changed into a species of gum. · When, by accident or design, oxalic acid has been if we now boil this gum for some hours in acidulated taken or administered, the symptoms of which are water, (imitating the process for the conversion of great pain, with a burning sensation at the stomach, starch into sugar,) it gradually becomes converted accompanied by violent retchings, prompt measures into sugar, hay, straw, leaves, shavings, in short, are demanded. There may not always be a choice any form of ligneous fibre, may be similarly converted; of antidotes at hand, but we will enumerate several, and although we do this but clumsily and inconveany one of wbich, if judiciously and instantly applied, niently in our laboratories, being, as we are, but might be the means of preserving life. Chalk, Nature's journeymen, Nature herself carries on these whiting, or magnesia, mixed either with warm or transmutations with the most wonderful results, as cold water, are the best antidotes with which we are we see in the ripening of fruits, where the hard acquainted. In the absence of all these, which is woody texture gradually softens down into sweet and not very likely, soda, lime, or even soap and water, luscious pulp, as in the ripening of the pear, the may be substituted. The object must be, not only grape, the strawberry, and, in short, almost all to dislodge the poison from the stomach, but to fruits. arrest its influence on the system generally, and this | Lastly, let us look at the effect of heat on wood. will be effected by the means we have indicated, as | If we burn wood in the open air, it undergoes appaoxalic acid forms with lime, magnesia, and soda, salts rent, but far from real, destruction, as we have already which are not poisonous. In such a case, however, remarked: burned with imperfect access of air, its it is scarcely necessary to remark that no time should most volatile and combustible parts go off, and its be lost in procuring medical assistance. .. R. R. charcoal, or at least a considerable part of it, remains :
if distilled, instead of burned, tar, oil, water, and
vinegar, are produced; but if pure woody fibre, such WOODY FIBRE,
as beech saw-dust, from which all soluble matters
have been carefully washed out, be reduced to a very AS AN ARTICLE OF Food.
fine powder, and then cautiously roasted or baked, it A most important article of vegetable food, however acquires characters not unlike those of corn-four, unpromising it may at first sight appear, is LIGNIN, ) and when duly mixed with yeast, or leaven, it feror Woody FIBRE. It is true, that wood, or saw ments, and makes an uniform spongy bread, much dust, does not sound palatable; but when we con more palatable than that usually eaten by the peasider it, spun, as it were, into those delicate tissues santry of many parts of Europe, and infinitely preof cells and tubes which form the receptacles of the ferable to that which is made in times of scarcity pulp and juices of our most delicious fruits, some from bran and the husks of corn. times yielding an agreeable and crisp resistance, as Such is a short outline of the history of the Woody in the apple; and at others, melting down in a more FIBRE, considered merely in reference to its chemical attenuated form, as in the beurré pear and the peach; properties; and should a subject be at any time or as forming the more substantial skeleton, as it required for an essay on the power, wisdom, and were, of our eatable vegetables, as in the lettuce, goodness of God in the works of the creation, a cabbage, French bean, and others; we at once see more prolific or apposite one could scarcely be its claims to a place among esculent, and even nutri selected. tive principles.
[Abridged from the Magazine of Popular Science.] The accumulation of the elements of which woody fibre is composed, by the organic powers of the vegetable world, is something very surprising : the dry timber of an average-sized oak weighs, for in- | As the harmony and solidity of a building can only be stance, about sixty tons; its durability, and its den secured by a strict attention to every part of the structure, sity in some kinds of timber, is also wonderful; so
which can then, and then only, be considered as complete, are its uses and applications in the varied forms into
when nothing can be withdrawn or altered, without a
striking injury to the whole; so also in education, if any which it is elaborated by the hand of Nature; as in
Nature; as in part whatever be either omitted or displaced, there will hemp, flax, cotton, &c., and the different fabrics into always be some defect or obliquity remaining which injures which it is manufactured, such as canyass, linen, the whole effect. --Bishor OTTER,
POPULAR LEGENDS AND FICTIONS. | day, news came that a fishing yawl had been lost ip
the Roust, and that the whole of the crew had been
drowned. SUPERSTITIONS OF THE SHETLANDERS.
A similar story is told of some women in the island MANY of the superstitions of the Shetlanders may be of Fetlar, who, when a boat's crew had perished in supposed to have descended from their Scandinavian the bay of Femzie, were detected sitting round a well, forefathers, and to be parts of that system which muttering mysterious words over a wooden bowl that prevailed when the heathen worship of Odin, and was supernaturally agitated. the belief of Valhalla, prevailed over all the North. The accompaniment of an incantation by some But there are other parts of these superstitions which process indicative of the progress of the magical purprobably had their origin in the peculiar local situa pose that is meditated, may be found in many of the tion of the Shetlanders, as a people inhabiting a wild wild superstitions of Scandinavia, of which the foland solitary country, and exposed to all the danger lowing is a specimen. While the Nornies, or destinies, and uncertainties of a seafaring life. We accordingly of Pagan times, were within the recesses of a gloomy find that the sea-monster called the Kraken, said to cave, dooming, in a wild song, the fate of the warriors appear like a floating island, is still believed to exist; who were to fall with the Earl of Orkney in an and that mermen and mermaids are said to be seen engagement on the Irish coast, they were employed upon the shores, and around the remote and solitary | in a strange loom, where human entrails formed the isles. Seals, and some other animals, are regarded materials for the warp, foemen's heads for treadles, as beings of an intelligent nature, who have come up and swords dipped in gore for shuttles. When the from a beautiful and splendid world, far below the incantation was ended, the women each tore a portion depth of the ocean ; and many curious stories are of the cloth, and, mounting their horses, six rode current of wonderful adventures which certain indi away towards the north, and six to the south. viduals have had with these incarnate spirits.
There is also in Scandinavia an ancient rhyme Some of these stories are exceedingly amusing, and called the Quern Song, wherein two female slaves the reader will find a few such in a work published of a gigantic form sing a strange ditty, while they some years ago by Dr. Hibbert, relative to the Orkney are employed in labouring in a quern of immense and Shetland Isles. We cannot, however, omit magnitude, in which they grind riches to a sea-king; noticing that the Shelty, or Shetland pony, is, as he but being dissatisfied with the oppression of their ought to be, a most important personage in the system master, in making them work throughout the whole of superstition. It is in this shape that they suppose of the night, they grind against the same warrior a that the god, or spirit, who presides over the waters | destructive army. makes himself visible; and he is also believed to have The ceremony practised by Norna of the Fitful the power of seeing the ghosts of those who have Head, for restoring the heart of Minna, as described recently departed:
in the Pirate by Sir Walter Scott, by melting lead and When a medical gentleman, (says Dr. Hibbert,) of the dropping it into water, is still in use; as is also that last century, was returning home from visiting a female, of dropping pieces of money into the chapel of Our whom he had left at least alive, the Shelty on which he rode
Lady. In the island of Foula, Dr. Hibbert's guide suddenly began to snort and gallop; and, on looking behind
endeavoured to point out to him the situation of the him, to see the cause of the alarm, he saw the spectred form of the patient he had visited, and soon afterwards
brilliant carbuncle, which throws out its native light heard of her death, which occurred at the exact time when
even amidst the gloom of the darkest night,-a sushe took it into her head to frighten the Shelty and his perstitious belief of which the author of the Pirate rider,
has also made a beautiful application. It was usual with the Shetland sorcerers, like the In some of the northern islands, the Norwegian, ancient Scandinavian magicians, to use incantations. called also the Norse, language, is still spoken.
I know a song, (said Odin,) 'of such virtue, that, were I They also retain the ancient usages of the Celts, as caught in a storm, I could hush the winds, and render the described by the oldest and best authors, but with a air perfectly calm.
strong tincture of the feudal constitution. Their But the warlocks and witches of Thule used, by the shanachies, or story-tellers, supply the place of the same means, to raise tempests, the lay being accom ancient bards, so famous in history, and are the hispanied by some simple process that denoted the ad. torians, or rather genealogists, as well as poets, of the vancement made towards the attainment of the nation and family. malevolent object.
About thirty years ago, a woman of the parish of Dunrossness, known to have a deadly enmity against
ON DIET. a boat's crew that had set off for the Haaf, took a | DR. ARNOTT gives the following amusing summary wooden basin called a cap, and allowed it to float on of the powers of the steam-engine, and of the objects the surface of a tub of water; then, to avoid exciting
upon which they have been employed. suspicion, went on with her usual domestic labours, I
In its present perfect state, the steam-engine appears a and, as if to lighten the burden of them, sang an thing almost endowed with intelligence. It regulates with old Norse ditty. After a verse or two had been re perfect accuracy and uniformity the number of its strokes cited, she sent a child to the tub, and bade him tell in a given time, and counts and records them moreover, to her if the cap was whummilled. The little messenger
tell how much work it has done, as a clock records the beats soon returned with the news that there was a strange
of its pendulum; it regulates the quantity of steam ad
quitted to work, the briskness of the fire, the supply of swell in the water, which caused the bowl to be sadly
water to the boiler, the supply of coals to the fire; it opens tossed about. The witch then sang still more loudly, and shuts its valves with absolute precision as to time and and, for the third time, sent the child to the tub to manner; it oils its joints; it takes out any air that may report the state of the basin, who hastened back accidentally enter any part that should be vacuous: and with the information that the water was frightfully when anything goes wrong, which it cannot of itself rectify, troubled, and that the cap was whummilled.
it warns its attendants by ringing a bell;-yet, with all The enchantress, on hearing the fate of the cap,
these talents, and even when possessing the power of a
hundred horses, it is obedient to the hand of a child :with an air of malignant satisfaction, ceased her never tires, and wants no sleep; it is not subject to malady, song, and said, “The turn is done!" On the same when originally well made; and only refuses to work, when
worn out with age; it is equally active in all climates, and
MARY GRAY'S SONG, will do work of any kind ;--it is a water-pumper, a miner, a sailor, a cotton-spinner, a weaver, a blacksmith, a miller,
I WALKED by mysel' ower the sweet braes o' Yarrow,
When the earth wi' the gowans o' July was drest; &c.; and a small engine, in the character of a steam-pony, may be seen dragging after it on a railroad a hundred tons
But the sang o' the bonny burn sounded like sorrow, of merchandise, or a regiment of soldiers, with greater |
Round ilka house cauld as a last Simmer's nest. speed than that of our fleetest coaches. It is the king of I looked through the lift o' the blue smiling morning, machines, and a permanent realization of the genii of But never ae wee cloud o' mist could I see eastern fable, whose supernatural powers were occasionally | On its way up to heaven, the cottage adorning, at the command of man.
Ilanging white ower the green o' its sheltering tree. In order, however, that the steam-engine may | By the outside I kenned that the inn was forsaken, perform these wonders, and work in any of the capa- That nae tread o' footsteps was heard on the floor; cities which have been enumerated, two things are - loud crawed the cock whare was nane to awaken, necessary. The engine must be fed; and as its And the wild raven croaked on the seat by the door. parts become worn by use, they must be repaired. Sic silence-sic lonesomeness, oh, were bewildering! It must be supplied with coal, wood, charcoal, or I heard nae lass singing when herding her sheep. other combustible matter, and water, which it con- | I met nae bright garlands o' wee rosy children verts into power; and when the machinery is injured,
Dancing on to the school-house just wakened frae sleep. what is imperfect must be changed and replaced. I passed by the school-house—when strangers were coming,
The machinery of the animal frame works under Whose windows with glad faces seemed all alive; the same conditions. In order that it may energize. | Ae moment I hearkened, but heard nae sweet humming, it must have food, and that it may not sensibly be
For a night o' dark væpour can silence the live, deteriorated by use, it must undergo constant repairs. I passed by the pool where the lasses at daw'ing But there is this difference in the two cases. In the
I Used to bleach their white garments wi' daffin and din; animal frame, the source both of its energies and of
But the foam in the silence o' Nature was fa'ing,
And nae laughing rose loud through the roar of the din, its structural restoration is one and the same. Its food furnishes both. The blood, which is formed
I gaed into a small town—when sick o' my roamingfrom our food, flowing to the brain, and the muscles,
Whare once played the viol, the tabor, and flute;
'Twas the hour loved by Labour, the saft smiling gloaming, and the stomach, not merely maintains their power,
Yet the green round the Cross-stane was empty and mute, but in addition carries to the same parts, and to all the rest, the materials of their growth and renovation.
To the yellow-flowered meadow, and scant'rings o'tillage, The supply of food to the steam-engine, has one
The sheep a' neglected had come frae the glen;
The cushat-dow coo'd in the midst o' the village, purpose only to effect. It is, again, administered
And the swallow had flown to the dwellings o' men ! with absolute precision as to time and quantity; for
Sweet Denholm! not thus, when I lived in thy bosom, it is meted out by those who understand the con
Thy heart lay so still the last night o' the week; struction and working of the machinery, who know
Then nane was so weary that love would nae rouse him, its wants exactly, and have no bias from prejudice or
And Grief gaed to dance with a laugh on his cheek. inclination to supply them otherwise than with ri
Sic thoughts wet my een-as the moonshine was beaming, gorous exactness.
On the kirk-tower that rose up sae silent and white; The food of human beings, more complicated in
The wan ghastly light on the dial was streaming, its objects, is meted out under much less favourable But the still finger told not the hour of the night. circumstances. The party who apportions it, for the
The mirk-time passed slowly in siching and weeping, most part, does not understand the action or the
I wakened, and Nature lay silent in mirth; wants of the machine which he undertakes to supply; | Ower a' holy Scotland the Sabbath was sleeping, and what is more, for a long period is not only And Heaven in beauty came down on the earth. incurious on the subject, but often disposed to repel | The morning smiled on-but nae kirk-bell was ringing. any information which may fall in his way. His Nae plaid or blue bonnet came down frae the hill, motive for conveying aliment into his inside is of a | The kirk-door was shut, but nae psalm tune was singing totally different complexion to a calculated fore And I missed the wee voices sae sweet and so slırill. thought of the needs of his economy: his exclusive | I looked ower the quiet o' Death's empty dwelling, object is to please two senses, and to gratify two The lav'rock walked mute 'mid the sorrowful scene, appetites;—perhaps he besides takes delight in the And fifty brown hillocks wi' fresh mould were swelling whirl into which the machinery is thrown by excess,
Ower the kirk-yard o' Denholm, last Simmer sae green. that fills him with giddy transport, while it endangers The infant had died at the breast o' its míther; and undermines his existence. Well, indeed, may The cradle stood still at the mitherless bed; Dr. Beaumont say, “ In the present state of civilized At play the bairn sunk in the hand o' its brither; society, with the provocatives of the culinary art. | At the fauld on the mountain the shepherd lay dead. and the incentives of highly-seasoned food, brandy, Oh! in Spring-time 'tis eerie, when Winter is over, and wines, the temptations to excess in the indulgence And birds should be glinting ower forest and lea, of the table are rather too strong to be resisted by
When the lint-white and mavis the yellow leaves cover,
And nae blackbird sings loud frae the top of his tree; poor human nature."
Every one wbo has reached the middle of life But eerier far, when the Spring-land rejoices, must have had occasion to observe how much his
And laughs back to heaven with gratitude bright,
To hearken, and naewhere hear sweet human voices; comfort and his powers of exertion depend upon the
When man's soul is dark in the season o' light. state of his stomach, and will have lost some of his
Wilson. original indifference to rules of diet. Such rules must especially interest those, who have the care of others,- of children with delicate health,-of the Verily, old servants are the vouchers of worthy houseaged, who have ceased to exert their former care and keeping: they are like rats in a mansion, or mites in a observation of themselves. And if the principles cheese, bespeaking the antiquity and fatness of their abode. have already been laid down by many writers, no one,
any writers no one WASHINGTON IRVING. it is probable, can attentively reconsider this subject, without seeing some of its bearings more justly and MISUNDERSTANDING and inattention create more uneasiness usefully than his predecessors have done.
in the world than deception and artifice, or, at least, their *-[Abridged from Maro's Philosophy of Living.] I consequences are more universal. -GOETHE.
THE MOUNTAIN OF SALT AT CARDONA, traversed long galleries, supported by crystal columns, and IN SPAIN.
filled with cabinets of topazes and emeralds; the noise
which was made over-head appeared to me to be the sound The City of Cardona, in Catalonia, is famous for the
of the waves of the sea. But the numerous small chapels celebrated Salt Mine represented in the Engraving, I passed through, the melancholy light of the lamps which which is situated close to the river Cardoner, which illuminated the statues of St. Nepomucene and St. Florian, flows through the valley at its foot. The mountain the complaints of the poor Polish peasants who worked in itself is a mass of salt, four or five hundred feet in these mines, and the noise of hammers and pickaxes, soon
undeceived me. But here, in the environs of Cardona, height above the level of the river, and extends for
where I could contemplate at a distance that beautiful a great distance from East to West ; on the river
spectacle of the mountain, as it reared its head in the clear front its sides are nearly perpendicular. That part
| blue sky of Spain, I could fancy that I was gazing on a from which the salt is quarried is about three-quar rainbow fallen to the earth. ters of a mile from the town, in a little valley, one
This mountain of salt includes the ground on which side of which faces that part of the mountain which
the town is built, and extends to about three miles is overlooked by the Castle of Cardona, while the
round it; one division is called the “ Mountain of opposite side is surmounted by a circular portion of
Red Salt," because the red tint predominates, although the same mountain, named the Bosch del sal, or
in reality the colours vary according to the height “ Wood of Salt,” because formerly this portion was
of the sun, or the less or greater quantity of rain covered with a wood of fir-trees : at present it is
that has fallen. At the foot of this mountain a covered with vines, which succeed well in about one
fountain of water gushes from a large cavity, which foot in depth of vegetable earth, with which the salt
extends from the summit to the base; this fountain is covered. The salt is of various colours in the lump,
discharges itself into the river, which, after heavy but when bruised, it is of a beautiful white.
rains, becomes so salt as to destroy the fish, but Nothing is comparable to the appearance of the
three leagues lower down, the water again recovers its Mountain of Cardona at the rising of the sun, for,
freshness. in addition to its beautiful outline, it seems to rise
The whole of the hills are full of crefrom the river like a mountain of precious stones, or
vices, caverns, and even spacious grottoes, filled with
salt stalactites, in the form of bunches of grapes of an immense group of the brilliant prismatic colours,
different colours, and with other singularly-formed produced by the rays of the sun when passed through
crystallizations. The inhabitants have an idea, that a prism.
pieces of this salt are good for the rheumatism, and I have often regretted (says La Borde,) my inability to convey, by means of the graver, any idea of the brilliant
accordingly employ it for that purpose. Numerous tint which time has impressed on these ancient ruins ;
works of art are made by the turner from the more what power can represent the play of the rays of the sun on solid pieces, such as crosses, chandeliers, statues of the reflecting surfaces of this chain of crystal, the dazzling
saints, &c. effect of which the eye itself can scarcely support? My
These salt-works have been worked for a grea: visit to this place recalled to my mind what I experienced
length of time; they are mentioned in a charter of on visiting the salt-mines of Wieliska, in Poland. I had just left school, and full of the reading of Virgil and
Bernard Amat, Viscount of Cardona, in the forty. Homer, I fancied myself transported to the abode of third year of the reign of Philip the First of France, Tethys, or the Palace of Glass of the Nereids; there I that is, in the year 1103.
LONDON: Published by JOHN WILLIAM PARKER, WEST STRAND; and sold by all Booksellers.