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LONDON:

!

SAVILL AND EDWARDS, PRINTERS, CHANDOS STREET,

COVENT GARDEN,

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PREFACE.

To place before the youthful student a compact and concise compendium of the leading and most universally important branches of Science has been my principal object in the preparation of this little volume.

To adapt the work to the capacity of all, I have endeavoured to divest the different subjects treated in it of hard and dry technicalities, and to clothe them in the more attractive garb of fairy tales—a task by no means easy.

That I have been obliged, in the composition of the work, to consult a crowd of authorities, need

. hardly be stated, nor will any more formal enumeration or systematic acknowledgment be expected.

In the fanciful sketches which illustrate these pages, my friend Mr. C. H. Bennett has most fully entered into the spirit in which I conceived the work.

I have to tender my sincere thanks to my esteemed friend Dr. G. L. Strauss, who came to my aid, at a time when severe indisposition seemed to threaten that many of these Fairy Tales of Science should remain untold.

J. C. B.

STOCKWELL, 1858.

CONTENTS.

The Age of Monsters.
The griffins and dragons of fairy mythology–The monsters

revealed by science The ancient ocean and its inhabitants
-The Cetiosaurus — The Plesiosaurus - Aspect of the
country of the Dinosaurians-Crocodiles—Turtles—The
Hyläosaurus and Megalosaurus—A fearful conflict-An
uncultivated garden-No trace of man- -The Iguanodon,
a huge herbivorous monster—The Pterodactyle, a flying
reptile-Wealden beds—The stone book

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pp. 1–14

The Amber Spirit.
The fairy messenger–Thales and the Amber Spirit-Ancient

explanation of lightning and meteors— Man's devices for
enslaving the spirit—Globe of sulphur-Conductors and
non-conductors Electrical machines—The Leyden jar-
How to draw the spirit from the clouds—The voltaic pile
– Deflections of the magnetic needle—The spirit employed
as a courier-The electric telegraph explained—Systems
of Wheatstone, Morse, Bain, and Bakewell—Telegraphic
wires — Submarine telegraphs — France and England
brought within a speaking distance of each other–Irish
cable-Atlantic cable--The spirit taught to measure time
-Bain's electric clock--The electrotype—The spirit's ver-
satility.

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pp. 15-28
The Four Elements.
The ancient doctrine of the four elements—Docomposition of

wood—Universality of the mighty elements—Health and
disease—The true elementary bodies—A burning candle
Fire the result of chemical action—The destroying element
- Chemical compounds — Composition of combustible
bodies—Air the great supporter of life—Analysis of air-
Uniformity of composition—Immensity of the atmosphere
– Properties of carbonic acid—Ammonia—Watery vapour
- Compounds of nitrogen and oxygen—Carbonic oxide-
Water in the liquid, solid, and aëriform states—Analysis
and synthesis—Decomposition of water by potassium-
Wonderful revelations—Water a product of combustion-
Synthesis of water-Earth an indefinite substance - The
sixty-three elements of the chemist-Principal ingredients
of earth-Silica, alumina, and lime—Salt, pyrites, and
fluorspar-Metals and metalloids—Composition of plants
and animals—The marvels of chemistry_True interpreta-
tion of the ancient dogma .

pp. 29–51

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The Life of an Atom.
The strange vicissitudes of particles of matter-A talking

atom – His relatives — His existence as a rock-forming
atom-First glimpse of the outer world-Sets out on his
travels—Launched into the ocean-A roving life, The
coral polype—Terrestrial mutations—The atom liberated by
volcanic agency—The joys of an aërial atom-Plants of
the carboniferous period—The atom again a captive
Coal— Modern career of the atom-His philosophical
speculations

pp. 53–64

A Little Bit.
The nature of matter-Illustrations of its divisibility—The

ultimate particles of a body never in actual contact-

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