Page:Experimental researches in chemistry and.djvu/16

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Analysis of Native Caustic Lime[1].

On the native Caustic Lime of Tuscany.

The interesting communication of Dr. Giovacchino Taddei respecting his discovery of caustic lime in the water of the ancient bath of Santa Gonda, in August 1815, induced me to visit the spot. The following is the result of my researches:—

The bath is situated in a laguna in the corner of a field near the high road to Pisa, which divides the plain called La Catena from the mountains of Cigoli and San. Miniato. The soil is a mixture of clay, calcareous earth, siliceous sand, and vegetable matter. There are two sources of water; one issues from the bottom of the laguna, and the other from the side. The first is hot, raising the thermometer of Reaumur to 35¼°. It is so saturated with lime, that upon cooling the water, it

  1. Quarterly Journal of Science, i. 260.

    I reprint this paper at full length. lt was the beginning of my communications to the public, and in its results very important to me. Sir Humphry Davy gave me the analysis to make as a first attempt in chemistry at a time when my fear was greater than my confidence, and both far greater than my knowledge; at a time also when I had no thought of ever writing an original paper on science. The addition of his own comments and the publication of the paper encouraged me to go on making, from time to time, other slight communications, some of which appear in this volume. Their transference from the ‘Quarterly’ into other Journals increased my boldness; and now that forty years have elapsed and I can look back on what the successive communications have led to, I still hope, much as their character has changed, that I have not, either now or forty years ago, been too bold.—M. F.