Page:Philosophical Transactions - Volume 001.djvu/25

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by which oftentimes some of the workmen come up and down. The other, which is the usual way, is at the beginning not difficult, the descent not being much; the greatest trouble is, that in several places you cannot stand upright: but this holds not long, before you come to descend in earnest by perpendicular Ladders, where the weight of on's body is found very sensible. At the end of each Ladder, there are boards a cross, where we may breath a little. The Ladders, as was said, are perpendicular, but being imagined produced, do not make one Ladder, but several parallel ones. Being at the bottom, we saw no more than we saw before, only the place, whence the Mineral came. All the way down, and the bottom, where there are several lanes cut out in the Mountain, is lined and propt with great pieces of Firr-trees, as thick as they can be set. They dig the Mineral with Pick-axes, following the veins: 'tis for the most part hard as a stone, but more weighty; of a Liver-colour, or that of Crocus Metallorum. I hope shortly to shew you some of it. There is also some soft Earth, in which you plainly see the Mercury in little particles. Besides this, there are oftentimes found in the Mines round stones like Flints, of several bignesses, very like those Globes of Hair, which I have often seen in England, taken out of Oxes bellies. There are also several Marcasites and stones, which seem to have specks of Gold in them, but upon tryal they say, they find none in them. These round stones are some of them very ponderous, and well impregnated with Mercury; others light, having little or none in them. The manner of getting the Mercury is this: They take of the Earth, brought up in Buckets, and put it into a Sive, whose bottom is made of wires at so great a distance, that you may put your finger betwixt them: 'tis carried to a stream of running water, and wash'd as long as any thing will pass through the Sive. That Earth which passeth not, is laid aside upon another heap: that which passeth, reserved in the hole, G. in Fig. 1. and taken up again by the second Man, and so on, to about ten or twelve sives proportionably less. It often happens in the first hole, where the second Man takes up his