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116.-IRON. This is the most common of all metals, and is lighter than silver, copper or lead. It is found in large quantities in Staffordshire and in South Wales. Steel, of which knives, razors, and so many useful things are made, is iron purified and improved by fire. Iron is used for all sorts of tools, such as spades, ploughs, wheels, axes, and chisels. The blacksmith makes horse-shoes of it. When two pieces of iron are heated to a white heat, and hammered together, they form one strong piece. This is called welding, and cannot be done to any other metal. Some of the largest iron works in England are in the Forest of Dean, in Gloucestershire, and in Shropshire.
117 -- LEAD. The lead mines in England are in the Mendip hills in Somersetshire, and in Derbyshire. In these mines the miners work by candle-light. To empty water out of the mines, they use leathern bags, drawn up by ropes. Lead is the softest of common metals. It is much used for making water-pipes, and for lining cisterns. Bullets and shot are also made of it. Makers of leaden vessels and workers in lead are called plumbers. Lead also forms the substance of which the types, or letters used in printing books, are made. The white-lead and red-lead used by painters, are preparations of this metal.
118. TIN. Cornwall is the county in which tin is found. It was known in very ancient times that tin could be obtained there. The chief use of this metal is as a coating to other metals, such as iron pots and saucepans. Common pewter is compounded of tin and copper, nineteen parts of tin being added, by melting, to one part of copper. As the law orders all quarts and pints used in giving liquor to be stamped, this metal is used for them, as it admits of being stamped more easily than others. Formerly it was much used for articles which are now made of earthenware. Britannia metal is a superior kind of pewter.
119.- COAL. The coal spoken of in the Bible is charcoal, or charred wood. The coal which we burn is dug out of the earth, and is found in beds or layers. The largest coal fields in England are in Northumberland, Durham, Warwickshire, Staffordshire, and South Wales. It has not prevailed in this country, as fuel for more than 300 years. Coal, when heated in iron vessels, gives out gas, which is conveyed in iron-pipes, and is of great use in giving light. Coke is coal from which the gas has been taken; and as it gives a clear fire without smoke, is used in stoves. It is very dangerous to sleep in a room where there has been a fire of charcoal; and sometimes charcoal is put into stoves.
120.—GLASS. Glass is a mineral substance, made by melting together sand or flint, with either potash or soda. In making white glass, the materials used are fine sand, potash, litharge, and red lead. These, after being thoroughly purified, are melted down, by being exposed to an intense heat, in large pots made of clay, and built into immense furnaces. This process usually takes three days; at the end of which time the liquid, resembling, in some degree, hot sealing-wax, is ready to be formed into any shape. Iron tubes are put into it, and some of the substance adheres to one end; upon which air is blown through the tubes, and the glass swells out in the shape of hollow balls. In this way bottles, tumblers, and other articles are made. Window glass is made by spreading the liquid substance on flat iron plates.
Herald of the host of Flowers!
Should have left thee in the Earth,
From the snow-drop, Reader wise!
On the ground or in the skies.
With a song more soft and sweet; * In dictating these lessons, the names of the authors may, of course, be omitted.
In return thou shalt receive
123.—THE DAISY. [WILLIAM WORDSWORTH.]
Or on his reason;