In all appearance it is impregnated with nitre, if not with something more mischievous: we know that mundic, or pyrites, very often contains a proportion of arsenic, mixed with sulphur, vitriol, and mercury. Perhaps it partakes of the acid of some coal mine; for there are coal works in this district.
Then I intimated gently that I would be back that way when the war was over, and would surely send my Cape cart for them if he would be good enough to mind them for me. I fancy an inkling of the truth dawned in that Dutchman's soul at last, for he made no further reference to either garnets or mundic.
But he stopped grinning before the afternoon wore out, for I set him climbing and clambering for little pieces of mundic and tiny patches of garnets in all the toughest places I could find in that mine, and went into ecstasies over each individual piece, until I had quite a load of the rubbish.
Closely allied to this subject is the investigation of the mode in which certain metals are reduced from their solutions by metallic sulphides, or, in common language, the influence which the presence of such substances as mundic and galena may exercise in effecting the deposit of pure metals, such as gold, in mineral lodes.
Lead and tin were alone excepted, probably on account of the great abundance of those metals; in the exportation of which a considerable part of the trade of the kingdom in those days consisted. For the encouragement of the mining trade, the 5th of William and Mary, chap.17, exempted from this prohibition iron, copper, and mundic metal made from British ore.
Thinking, doubtless, that I was like unto the ordinary city fellow who comes at rare intervals to look at a mine, he made me a present of a piece of rock with some worthless garnets in it, also a sample of country rock pregnant with mundic; the garnets and the mundic glittered in the sunshine. I rose to the bait, as I was expected to do, and intimated that I would like a lot of it.