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Light does not pass through metals; they are
Metals are the heaviest substances which are known in the world. Take a piece of paper just as big as a dollar, in one hand, and a dollar in the other-which is the heaviest ? Metals are heavy. Paper is light.
Take a hammer and a little piece of brickstrike the brick with the hammer-the brick flies into numerous little particles. Take a piece of lead, beat it with the hammer, it spreads larger and larger the longer it is beaten. This property of spreading under the hammer is malleability. A substance which spreads, when it is beaten, is malleable. The brick is not malleable, it is brittle. Lead is malleable. All metals except quicksilver are malleable. One name for a hammer is mallet.
Metals can be drawn out to wire. Iron, and brass, and gold wire are used for many purposes. When a lump of any substance can be drawn out into a string, it is ductile. Molasses, when it is boiled becomes hard-a lump of it can be pulled out very long, and can be twisted without breaking. In the same manner a lump of gold, iron, or brass, can be drawn into wire. Gold can be
drawn to a wire as fine as a hair.
Metals are ductile.
This sticking together of the parts of a substance is called cohesion or tenacity. no tenacity, but gold has.
Metals will melt-a lump of wax, or of snow will melt very quickly; it takes a longer time and hotter fire to melt metals than to melt snow. Melting is fusion.
Substances which melt are fusible. Some substances when they are put into the fire fall to powder, as wood, which falls to the powder called ashes. A substance which is changed by fire to powder is calcined. Metals are fusible.
A metal is a brilliant, opaque, heavy, malleable, ductile, and fusible mineral.
Metals are found in all countries. Some countries produce much greater quantities than othVery little gold is found in Europe. Asiatic Russia, and South America, produce large quantities; Africa affords some. There is a great deal of silver also in South America. Rich gold and silver mines are in Potosi, in the country of Peru. There are rich silver mines in Mexico, in North America, and some gold is found in the United States.
Look at a silver dollar. Once that dollar was in the mine. Some people went there and found the silver ore; they carried it to a large oven called a furnace, where was a very hot fire. The fire melted the silver, which ran out from the other things mixed with it: they did not melt, so the silver was found by itself, pure. The pure silver is too soft to be used by itself, without the addition of some other metal to make it a little harder.
A small quantity of copper is added to the silver this is called alloy.
The metal used for money is carried to a place
called the mint; there it is cut into small pieces and weighed. Every true dollar weighs exactly so much; every half dollar weighs half as much as a whole dollar. The piece of silver intended for the dollar, or half dollar, is stamped.
Children have seen a watch seal, and have seen the figure upon the watch seal stamped upon sealing wax. In the same manner, the head of liberty, the letters, and the date of the year, which may be seen on eagles, dollars, and cents, are stamped upon them. Metal money which has this stamp is called corn.
Bank notes are pieces of paper used for money. Some people who have a great quantity of money put it together in a place called the bank; here they keep the coin. Coin is made of metals of different value-gold, silver, and copper. The American coin of the greatest value is the eagle, equivalent to ten dollars.
The eagle is a beautiful gold piece. Half eagles, worth five dollars, are equally handsome. Dollars, half, and quarter dollars, and some coins of inferior value in common use, are silver. Cents, each the hundreth of a dollar, are made of copper. Metal money is heavy, and therefore inconvenient to carry about in large quantities. To remedy this inconvenience bank notes were invented. A bank is a depository of money- -a safe place to keep it in. The directors of the bank, instead of circulating the coin or property of the bank, issue, or send out. papers stamped with the value of money which belongs to the community-to those who employ it.
Before money was invented, barter or exchange
was practised. A man who wanted a new coat, and possessed a fleece from the back of his sheep, would give the wool to another man, in exchange for a coat, which the other man might possess; or, perhaps he would give two fleeces of wool for cloth enough to make one garment. A laboring man would take from another for whom he worked, food, or clothes.
But this was not an easy mode of doing business, because persons might not like or want articles offered in exchange, so it was found best to use money; an article which every body agrees to value alike, and which every one will take, and every one will give, in exchange for things which are useful or agreeable.
Pure, means without mixture. We say clear brandy, when we mean brandy alone. That is not right it is pure brandy. Water alone, in a glass, is pure water; brandy alone, is pure brandy; mix the brandy and water together--then neither the brandy nor water are pure.
THE silver mines of South America once belonged to Spain. People think if they have a great deal of money they shall be happy. Some money is necessary; we cannot have what we want unless we can buy it. But if we have much more money than we need we are not happier for it. We should take care of our money,
and not spend it foolishly; but we should not love it too much-if we do we shall become avaricious.
Some people believe if they have money, that it makes them of more importance than if they had it not; they believe that they need not try to make themselves agreeable; that they need not do any work; that they need not improve their minds, or learn any thing. Just so the people of Spain thought, when they had got a great quantity of gold from South America. They had so much money, they knew they could send to the poorer countries of Europe, and buy whatever they wanted.
They left off making what is necessary to wear; they left off cultivating the ground; and they left off improving their minds; and so while all the people of other countries were growing more industrious, more learned, and more respectable, these rich Spaniards were becoming more idle, more ignorant, more proud, and more despicable, than any other people of Europe.
The way that the Spaniards came to possess these mines was this.
DISCOVERY OF AMERICA.
ABOUT three hundred and thirty years ago there lived a wise man named Christopher Columbus. He was the son of a wool-comber of the city of Genoa in Italy. He was instructed, when a boy, in Latin, drawing, and mathema. tics, besides reading and writing. He excelled so much as a scholar that when he first grew to be a man he was capable of earning a livelihood in teaching, or practising, any of the