and the bases remain free. The metals of strontites, barytes, and magnesia are all that I have yet experimented upon in this way ; but I doubt not the other earths will afford similar results.
I have been able to obtain the bases of the earths in your method from the neutral salts containing them, as well as from the moistened earths. Thus a globule of quicksilver placed upon moist muriate of barytes soon contains the metal of barytes and so on for the other neutral earthy compound.
I have read two papers2 on the decomposition of the earths and the nature of their bases to the Royal Society ; they are printing, and I shall have the pleasure of transmitting you copies.
Your discovery of the amalgamation of the basis of ammonia has afforded me the highest degree of pleasure. The fact is no less new and unexpected, than extraordinary and important. I have repeated your experiments with entire success : and I find that, by placing the mercury upon moistened carbonate or muriate of ammonia, the result is obtained with great facility.
May not hydrogene and nitrogene be metals in the state of elastic vapeur ? Should this not be the case and your brilliant hypothesis of the composition of metals3 be true, we may hope at some period for a rational Alchemy.
I trust you will pursue these most valuable researches.
It will always afford me the highest satisfaction to communicate with you on these new objects of science.
I consider this letter as addressed in common to you and your worthy follow labourer, Dr Pontin, to whom I must beg you to present my compliments.
|I have the honour to be
with the highest respect,
Sir, your obliged and obedient servant
For professor Berzelius.