A Catechism of Familiar Things; eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 189 pages of information about A Catechism of Familiar Things;.

The goddess of love and beauty, who was an object of adoration in the idolatrous ages, when men ignorantly knelt down and worshipped stocks and stones, which their own hands had fashioned after the likeness of things on the earth, or imaginary creations of their fancy;—­or, again, the sun, moon, and stars, instead of the one and only true God.  In those times, every nation had its peculiar deities, to whom were paid divine rites and honors, and to whose names costly temples were dedicated:  these deities were divided into two classes, superior and inferior.  Venus was one of the Grecian goddesses, supposed by them to have sprung from the froth of the sea.  Kings and celebrated warriors, and sages too, after death, frequently received divine honors; as Confucius, the founder of the Chinese empire, who, after death, was worshipped by that people as a god.  Romulus, the first king of Rome, likewise, was thus adored by the Romans; and many similar instances of the same species of idolatry amongst other nations might be recorded.

     Deities, fabulous gods or goddesses.

     Idolatrous, given to the worship of idols.

     Superior, higher in rank.

     Inferior, of a lower rank.

     Sage, a wise man.

CHAPTER XIV.

GOLD, SILVER, LEAD, TIN, PLATINA, SULPHUR, GEMS OR PRECIOUS STONES, AS DIAMONDS, RUBIES, EMERALDS, TURQUOIS, PEARLS, MOTHER-OR-PEARLS, AND IVORY.

What is Gold?

The purest and most precious of metals:  it is sometimes found in solid masses, as in California, Peru, Hungary, &c.; in a shape resembling the branches of plants; in thin plates covering other bodies, as in Siberia; sometimes in a crystal form.  It, however, generally occurs in a metallic state, and most commonly in the form of grains.

What is it called when found in a perfect metallic form?

Native gold:  it is, however, seldom met with perfectly pure, being frequently alloyed with silver, copper, iron, or platina; sometimes concealed in other minerals; from which, if sufficiently abundant, it is extracted by art.

Where and in what manner is Gold generally found?

All parts of the earth afford gold; though with great difference in point of purity and abundance.  It is chiefly obtained from mines.  Many rivers contain gold in their sands, especially those of California and Guinea.  Gold mines are of rare occurrence in Europe, but the metal is found in some of its rivers; among its mines, those of Upper Hungary are the most considerable.  China and Japan are rich in this metal; many parts of Asia also possess it.  Australia produces quantities of the metal.  It is also found in the eastern parts and interior of Africa, where gold dust is collected in great quantities from earth deposited by the rivers.  But it is in America that gold is found in the greatest abundance, particularly in the State of California, and in some parts of South America, as Brazil, Peru, Chili, &c.

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A Catechism of Familiar Things; from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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