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through the thickness of the solid and crystallized masses by the aid of pick and wedge, or gunpowder.
9. As you advance in a salt-mine the scene widens, and the internal space is revealed to you. It is then difficult not to admire this simple but grand architecture; these empty spaces extending in the darkness like the nave of an immense subterranean church; these works, which have the shape, colour, and transparency of sugar-candy; these massive pillars, whose fronts shine in the reflection of the light you carry in your hand; and more than all this, the religious character which silence and night shed over these labours of human industry.
10. From time to time you see one or more of the workmen's lights flashing in the dark extremity of the mine. As the men move about these lights vaguely shadow forth human forms like those we fancy to ourselves inhabiting a wizard's cave. From time to time, too, the habitual silence of these vaults is violently disturbed by explosions that sound like thunder; it is the powder dislocating the limbs of the rock. You walk over a pile of ruins; the uneven floor is covered with gigantic fragments of crystal, which have principally a yellow or reddish colour, though some are white and transparent as glass. At the sight of these rocks, this mineral wealth, which seems to grow again beneath the strokes of the pick or the train of gunpowder—for the mass appears inexhaustible—you cannot but believe in a wise Providence of nature.
11. Man likes to imagine that for him, and in view of his wants, these enormous magazines of salt were swallowed in the earth; that departed seas laboured for him and built these rocks at an infinitely remote period, when none of the animal forms now living on the surface of the British Isles had left the mould of creation.
12. At length we reached the end of the mine; some workmen were engaged here in extracting blocks of salt, which were piled up nearly to the roof. Among the workmen some were performing a very hard task,—they were digging out large pieces of crystal in the thickness of the wall, or forming the channel which, when filled with powder, would blow up the masses of rock. The number of workmen and the mode of transport vary according to the importance of the mine; in the one I was visiting, fifty men extract weekly fifteen hundred tons of raw salt. In other mines, horses, ponies, and donkeys are employed to draw the blocks of salt on a tramway.
13. From the mouth of the pit the rock-salt is conveyed to the boiling-house, where it is purified and assumes the whiteness of snow. These boiling-houses are clumsy buildings, with furnace and tall chimneys, which at night flare in the sky like torches; you ascend by a wooden ladder to a platform, in the centre of which steams a cauldron, open and of but slight depth, about twenty feet long by twelve feet wide. Into this, the salt is thrown, more or less loaded with earthy matter, and just as it is brought from the bowels of the earth. When it has been boiled for six or seven hours, it is collected on barrows, and conveyed to a hot room, where it is left to dry for some days.
14. From this moment the salt is made, and it only remains to place it in the storehouse. The whiteness of the manufactured salt contrasts strikingly with the gloomy and smoke-stained walls of the factory, and the surrounding heaps of coals.
15. The sight of such works arouses more than one thought as to the care and sacrifices required for the preparation of the most ordinary matters. The Cheshire furnaces have roared, the engine-wheels have turned, the lives of workmen have even been destroyed, in more than one instance, by various accidents, before man can enjoy on his table a thing so trifling as a pinch of salt.—Esquiros.
i oscillated, moved backward and c-ystallize, form crystals.
forward. pötrified, turned to stone. monotonous, without variety. subsoil, under soil.
momentarily, every moment. terrestrial revolutions, the dif- venerable, old-looking.
ferent changes that the earth's excavation, digging out. surface has undergone in the architecture, style of building. course of ages.
subterranean, underground. Northwich, a town in Mid dislocating, separating.
Cheshire, on the river Weaver. inexhaustible, cannot be expell-mell, in confusion.
hausted. shaft, entrance to the pit. extracting, getting out.
In whose reign were the salt-mines of Cheshire first worked? What does tradition say about them? Who discovered these mines? In what year? What is the thickness of the two masses of salt rock found at Northwich? Describe the pit's mouth. How deep was the pit? In what respect does a salt-mine differ from a coal-mine? What is there to admire in a salt-mine? Describe the appearance and colour of the salt. How is the salt detached from the measures ? What reflections does a visit to a salt-mine suggest? How is the salt purified ? Describe a boiling-pan. What shape are the blocks of salt when they are put into the drying-house? What thoughts are likely to be suggested by a sight of the works?
PREFIXES DERIVED FROM THE LATIN.
Prefixes modify the meaning of the words to which they are joined: thus pro means before, and retro means behind: hence the word prospect signifies a looking forward, and retrospect, a looking backward.
The final consonant of a prefix is frequently changed in order to avoid an unpleasant sound: thus instead of saying ad-cuse, ad-firm, ad-tend, the prefix ad is changed to ac, af, or at, as will be seen in the following list. A, ab, or abs, away, from: a-vert, ab-use, abs-tain. Ad (ac-, af-, al-, an-, ap-, as-, at-), to, towards : ad-monish, ac-cuse,
af-firm, al-lude, an-nihilate, ap-ply, as-sent, at-tend. Ante (anti-), before: ante-diluvian, anti-cipate. Circum (circu-), around: circum-ference, circu-it. Con (col-, com-, co-), together : con-sent, col-lect, com-pare, co-equal. Contra (counter-), against, in opposition to: contra-dict, counter-act. De, down from: de-grade, de-scend. Dis (dif-, di-), apart, in different directions : dis-sent, dif-ference, di
lute. Ex (ef-, e-), out of: ex-pel, ef-fect, e-ject. Extra, beyond: extra-ordinary. In (il-, im-, ir-), in, into: in-tend, il-lusion, im-pel, ir-rigate. In (il-, im-, ir-), not:* in-activity, il-legal, im-possible, ir-regular. Inter, between : inter-fere. Intro, within: intro-duce. Ob (oc-, of-, op-), in front of, a jainst: ob-ject, oc-cur, of-fer, op-pose. Per (pel-, pur-), through: per-suade, pel-lucid, pur-sue. Post, after : post-pone, post-script. Præ (pre-), before, over: pre-side, pre-fix. Præter, past, beyond, except: præter-natural. Pro, onward, forth: pro-pose, pro-duce, pro-spect. Re, back: re-pel, re-mit. Retro, backwards, behind : retro-spect, retro-grade. Se, apart: se-duce, se-clude. Sub (suc
, suf-, sup-, su-), under: sub-scribe, suc-cour, suf-fer, support, su-spect. Subter, under: subter-ranean. Super (sur-), abore: super-sede, sur-mount. Trans (tra-), beyond, across: trans-act, tra-dition.
* Un- has the same meaning, but it is strictly an English prefix, as un-kind. This prefix, in, or un, is called a privative, because it takes away the meaning of the simple word: e.g. "unkind," means "not kind,” Compare “a,” among the Greek prefixes.
PREFIXES DERIVED FROM THE GREEK.
Amphi, both, two: amphi-bious.
DERIVATIONS OF SOME OF THE WORDS OCCURRING
IN THIS BOOK.
I. DERIVATIVES FROM THE LATIN.
Suggestive Notes. 1. Latin nouns are generally given in the nominative and genitive cases, in order to show the root of the word more clearly: as rex, reg-is.
2. Latin verbs are generally given in the infinitive and past participle, so that the two forms of the word may be expressed: as ag-ere, act-um.
3. Words derived from the Latin are of two kinds: the first kind consists of those which have come directly from the Latin language, which generally are easily recognized; as from rex, reg-is comes regal; from lex, leg-is comes legal.
4. The second kind consists of those which have come into our language through the Norman-French, introduced at the time when William the Conqueror and his Norman descendants ruled in England. The French language is called a Romance language, like the Spanish, Portuguese, and Italian, because all these languages were derived from the Latin spoken by the Roman soldiers. These NormanFrench words were therefore for the most part taken from Latin,