This historic book may have numerous typos and missing text
Purchasers can download a free scanned copy of the original book (without typos) from the publisher. Not indexed. Not illustrated. 1864 Excerpt: ...is of a more complicated kind than the chemistry of the vegetable; and we obtain from animal substances compounds we cannot get from vegetable and mineral substances. You know that man is but a poor chemist in his laboratory, as compared with a plant. Take a spire of wheat, expose it to the action of carbonic-acid gas and ammonia,--that little plant takes up those elements in the most marvellous way, and converts them to its own use in its wonderful laboratory; and, lo! there is the cellulose, the oil, the starch, the sugar, the albumen, and fibrine; and those little plants are doing this in every moment of their existence, for the use of man and the animal kingdom. Thus the vegetable exercises an influence on the animal kingdom; and the animal takes up the starch and the sugar, the oil, the albumen, and the fibrine out of the plants, especially the latter, and they loosen and change their chemical affinities. An animal is more easily decomposed than a vegetable. If you doubt that, pitch a log of wood and a dog into & stagnant pool: the dog, in a very few days, becomes in such a state that you would not like to come near him, while the wood may lie for years before it becomes decomposed. We intercept, then, as it were, the elements of animal bodies while they are undergoing these changes. There are skins: we throw tannic acid onthem during their change, and they become leather; and there is the fatty matter, of which we make soap: we catch hold of these substances while the chemicalchange is going on in them, and we employ them and turn them to a hundred uses in the arts of life. Then there are certain things in the animal kingdom which come to us as disagreeable odours. There is the muscovy cat, with its stinking scent; yet the animal iscaught, and we ...