Press enter after choosing selection

Gas And Sunbeams

Gas And Sunbeams image
Parent Issue
Day
24
Month
May
Year
1872
Copyright
Public Domain
OCR Text

If wo conceive the anthracite coal cleared of all but its List. atoms of oxygeu, hydrogen and nitrogen, tiil it has beoome all but puro carbon, it would beoome - as it has booouio in cortain rocks ofiiiniKiiisü antiquity, graphite - what we miseall black load. And after that it can go through ono trausformatiou mofe, and that the most startling of all. It would need ouly perfaot puriflcation and erystallizatiou to becoma a diamond ; nothing loss. Wc may oonstder thu coal uion tho fire as thu middle türm of a serios, of whioh tho first terin is livo wood, and the last diaiuoud ; and indulge safoly in tho ftmcy that evory diamond in the world bas, probably at somo remotu time, forinud part of a growiug plant. A woiidorful transfonuation, whioh will look to us moro ttrango, moru truly pjetioal, the more steadily we ooaaidei it. Thu coal on the firo : the tablo at whioh 1 write - what aio thoy made of? Gas and suiibeains, witlt a small percentage of ash, or earthy Balts, which need Uardto V),: taken iuto account. (jus and suuboains. Btrange, but truo. ïhu lii'o of the growiug plant - and what that Ufo is, who can toll ? - laid Uold dí' tho gasus in dr and iu tho soil - oí Lhü oarbonio aoid, tlie atmosphcric air, tho water; i'or that, too, is gus. It drank thom in through its vootlots, it breathed them in thvough its Leaf-porea, t'uat it might distill thom into sap and luid andleaf aad wood. Bat it had to t;ike in anothor eleinont, without whioh Un: diltUlation and tho shaping could never liLivo taken plooe. It had to drink in tlie suubear.is - that mystevious and complox ..hicli is forever ponrisg froin the su:i, and íuaking itsolf partly palpable to our senses is heat and light. So the lito ot tho plant soizud tho smiboams, aud absorbed them ; buriod thcm in itselí - no longet as light and lieat, but as invi.-ibl; chumiciil foroe, lockud up i'or ages in that woody ñbiü. So it i. Lord Lytton told us long ago, in a biiautif ui song, how 11 The AViud aud tho 13oam lovetl the Rose." But nature's pretty poetry was moro boautit'ul than man's. Tho wind and the beam loved the ro.m so wull that they mada tlio rose, or ruthur tho roso took thu wind aud thu beam, and built up out of them, by hor own innur life, her exquisito textux-e, hao and l'ragranco. WhatnextV The rose dios; tho timbor-troe dios, dooays down into vogetablo fibre, and is turnod to coal ; but the plant caimot altogether undo its work. Even in doath and decay it caunot sot free tho sunbeams iinprisonud iu its tiásuo. The 8Un-foroe ui:iystty shul up, :igo after ago, invisiblo but strong; workiug at its own prisou-colls ; transmutod by man into the íuanitold products.of coal, - coko, pei trolouai, mineral pitch, gases, coal-tar, bonzolo, delicate aniline dyes, and whatnot, till its day of deliveraneo comes. Alan digs it, throws it on tho firu, a black, doad-sooming lurap. A corner, :m atüiu of it wanna tül it reacb.es the ïgnitiug point ; the temperatura at whieü it is able to combino Wlth oxygerl. And thon, like a dortnaiit live thing, awaking after ages to the senso of its own powers, its owu needs, the wholo lump is soizod, atora after otoin, with an intui:tious hunger for that oxygon whioh it lost centuries Bince in the bosom of tha oaith. It drinks tho oxygen at cvery poro and burns. And so tho spcll of ages is broken. Tho sun-force burst its prison-culls, and blozua into the freu atmogpbere ae liö'1' and heat onco moro ; roturain in a moment into me forma in whicli it entend tho growing lofif a thousuud coiiurics sinco. liec. Charles Kimjdcij.

Article

Subjects
Old News
Michigan Argus