Previous Nature Studies in the Acadian Land (1899) Next

 

72   IN THE ACADIAN LAND.

a fluid mass ; it will not be broken till the elements shall "melt with fervent heat" and our planet reduced to vapors again. Here in the quartz of the world is oxygen sufficient for another atmosphere ; but it is " retired from circulation"; its terrors are masked and bound by silicon, its affinity. Free in the air, where it is intermingled with nitrogen, its activities produce the heat in all animals, the flames of all fires, the rust on all metals. It gives color to the blood that blushes on a maiden's cheek, kindles the first breath of all infancy, and feeds the torch of life to the last throb of vitality. It dissolves into elemental stuff the lifeless bodies of all creatures. It builds and burns with ceaseless activity and awful energy, tearing down mountains, roaring in the volcano's throat, and yet tending the vital flame in the tiniest insects and pulsing through microscopic structures where all life would cease without its tireless ministrations.

Such, then, is this beneficent but awful agency meekly slumbering in this flint, or quartz, or silica that makes up the material of our veins. Mingled through it are the other minerals, and gold among them. Nothing can be clearer than this to an observer. This quartz was not melted when the metals were introduced


Previous Nature Studies in the Acadian Land (1899) Next