* Diffusive Acids flow. l. 215. The production of marine acid from decomposing vege∣table and animal matters with vital air, and of nitrous acid from azote and vital air, the former of which is united to its basis by means of the exhalations from vegetable and animal matters, constitute an analogy which induces us to believe that many other acids have either their bases or are united to vital air by means of some part of decomposing vegetable and animal matters.
The great quantities of flint sand whether formed in mountains or in the sea would appear to derive its acid from the new world, as it is found above the strata of lime-stone and granite which constitute the old world, and as the earthy basis of flint is probably calcareous, a great part of it seems to be produced by a conjunction of the new and old world; the recrements of air-breathing animals and vegetables probably afford the acid, and the shells of marine animals the earthy basis, while another part may have derived its calcareous part also from the decomposition of vegetable and animal bodies.
The same mode of reasoning seems applicable to the siliceous stones under various names, as amethyst, onyx, agate, mochoe, opal, &c. which do not seem to have undergone any process from volcanic fires, and as these stones only differ from flint by a greater or less admixture of argillaceous and calcareous earths. The different proportions of which in each kind of stone may be seen in Mr. Kirwan's valuable Elements of Mineralogy. See additional notes, No. XIX.
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