« ΠροηγούμενηΣυνέχεια »
this evil. The Geological Society of London, whose“ Transactions” already reflect so much credit upon their Institution, and are become so deservedly popular--assisted, if possible, by deputies from other Societies, might establish a British, if not an European system of Nomenclature. And surely if the valedictory observations of the celebrated and venerable Bishop WATSON, upon the GREAT
IMPORTANCE of mineralogical studies, be worthy of regard', the æra of an universal Peace will not pass without some effort being made for this purpose.
In the description of the Gold and Silver Mines of Hungary, the mineralogical associations of the precious metals, and the whole process relating to the German method of treating their ores, have been detailed within a small compass, and, it is hoped, in a perspicuous manner, that they might become intelligible to every reader.
porphyry, pitchstone porphyry, trup porphyry, quartz porphyry, horn, blende porphyry, &c. Now the last of these rocks has received the appellation of syenite; because, forsootb, the Antients bestowed that name, not upon porphyry, but upon granite !!! . (1) “A Mineralogical College should be instituted ; and skilful men should be sent out, at the public expense, to collect, from every quarter, all that is at present known upon the subject." Bishop Watson's Miscellaneous Tracts, l'ol. ll. p. 438. Lond. 1215.
While collecting materials for this addition to his work, the author was assisted by information from the Archdukes Anton and Reiner, brothers of the present Emperor of Germany, during their visit to those mines; and by the Professors established at Schemnitz under the patronage of the Crown. In giving it to the Public, he is actuated by a hope, however vain it may prore, that the Government of this country, now no longer engaged in foreign wars, will turn their attention to the immense resources of wealth which this nation possesses within itself,—lying neglected, through want of a proper attention to its mines, and of the encouragement which it is its best interest to afford to mineralogical studies. It was the mines of Macedonia that enabled Philip to subdue all the turbulent factions, the colonies, and the states of GREECE: and if the Government of Great Britain were zealously to engage in mining speculations, either by joining with individuals in carrying on researches for this purpose, or by contributing the patronage necessary for the encouragement of such inquiries, Nature has not denied to this country the means of enriching herself by subterraneous treasure. Many of the barren mountains of Scotland consist of metalliferous strata. The same porphyritic rocks are found in our island that have
for centuries provided the miners of Hungary and Transylvania with employment, and their rulers with wealth. Geological Societies are forming in different parts of the kingdom: the nation is therefore awake to the importance of such researches; and the most favourable opportunity is presented of multiplying the means of industry, and thereby opening new sources of wealth. The whole of the western coast of Scotland, that is to say, the main land opposite to Skie, Rum, Canna, Egg, and Coll, from Loch Hourn to the head of Loch Sunart, consists of metalliferous granite (gneiss), abounding in garnets, and other associations of metallic bodies. The strata of the islands of Iona, Coll, Tyr-i, Rum, and Skie, consist of syenite porphyry, hornblende slate, gneiss, pitchstone porphyry, trap, &c.; and these are the matrices of the precious ores found in Hungary and Transylvania. The higher part of the Cuchullin mountains of the Isle of Skie, in particular, consist of strata of the identical porphyry which is known to be metalliferous', lying upon basalt. The author carefully examined all those islands, and the opposite main land of Great Britain, before he undertook his last journey to the Continent;
(1) The Sarum metalliferum of Born.
and from what he has since seen of foreign mines, he is convinced that a proper attention has not yet been paid to the importance of our own mountains.
In the account of antient copser coinage, as of all other cupreous antiquities, the author has always used the word tronze-a term now become absolutely necessary—to distinguish the old chemical compound of cobber and tin, from that of a later age, consisting of copper and zinc, or orichalcum', which is called trass. Thus, at the end of the Seventh Chapter of this Volume, he mentions “Roman, or ecclesiastical brass coins." There was no such substance known in the Heroic ages, nor in the time of the Peloponnesian tar, when copper began to be used for coinage in Greece, as that compound which we call trass: and perhaps there is no better test to decide at once the distinction between a genuine antique bronze, and those spurious imitations of the works of the Antients, of which there exists a complete manufacture at Naples, than to submit the suspected metal to any chemical test which may
(9) “Cadmia-terra quæ in es conjicitur, ut fiat ORICHALCUN." Fol de Ver. Seg.