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2. Davy à Berzelius.
5 novembre 1808.


Be pleased to accept of my sincere thanks for your very valuable communications4.

I regret very much my ignorance of the language in which they are written, but I am beginning to learn it, and I hope soon to profit by these labours which have led to so great an extension of analytical Chemistry.

I take the liberty of sending you a copy of my paper on the decomposition of the earths. Your most important discovery of the amalgamation of ammonia has been and still is a fruitful source of experiments to me.

I have made a number of experiments on the action of sodium and potassium in bodies not hitherto decompounded and with very extraordinary results.

These experiments seem to prove the existence of oxygene in muriatic, boracic, and fluoric acids and render it probable in hydrogene, nitrogene, the diamond, sulphur, and phosphorus.

You, I doubt not, before this time are acquainted with the capital experiment of Gay-Lussac and Thénard on the production of the metals of potash and soda by chemical means. — I have referred to the process in my paper on the earths and likewise to their experiments on the action of potassium on ammonia, which I have often repeated5, and which turns out a proof of the existence of oxygene in ammonia (if indeed after your experiments any proof could be needed), and which does not at all show the existence of hydrogene in potassium.

I have employed a person to translate your work on Animal chemistry, and I have sent your papers in the journals, which you were so kind as to transmit to me, to the