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1 It is most probable that the "black lead" of Pliny was our lead, and the "white lead" our tin. Beckmann has considered these Chapters at great length, Vol. II. p. 209, et seq. Bohn's Edition.
2 Supposed to have been derived from the Oriental word Kastîra.
3 What is here adduced as a fabulous narrative is not very remote from the truth; the Scilly Isles and Cornwall being the principal sources of the tin now employed in Europe. Small boats, corresponding to the description here given, were very lately still in use among the inhabitants of some parts of the south-west coast of England [and on the Severn]. Pliny has already spoken of these boats in B. vii. c. 57.—B. See also B. iv. c. 30, as to the coracles of the ancient Britons.
4 The ores of tin are known to exist in Gallicia; but the mines in that country are very scanty compared to those of Cornwall.—B.
5 "Talutium" is mentioned in B. xxxiii. c. 21.
6 Tin ore is among the heaviest of minerals, though the specific gravity of the metal is small. M. Hæfer is of opinion that these pebbles contained platinum.
7 Or tin. The greater fusibility of the tin producing this separation.—B.
8 We may conclude that the "plumbum nigrum," or "black lead" of Pliny is the Galena or sulphuret of lead of the moderns; it is frequently what is termed argentiferous, i. e. united with an ore of silver, and this in such quantity as to cause it to be worked for the purpose of procuring the silver.—B. See Beckmann, Vol. II. p. 210.
9 "Instead of oil, workmen use at present 'colophonium,' or some other resin."—Beckmann, Vol. II. p. 223. See also B. xxxiii. c. 20.
10 Iliad, xi. 25, and xxiii. 561.—B.
11 Ajasson considers this to be Bismuth; but it is more probable that Beckmann is right in his conclusion, supported by Agricola, Entzel, Fallopius, Savot, Bernia, and Jung, that it was a compound metal, the Werk of the German smelting houses: a metal not much unlike our pewter, probably. See Beckmann, Hist. Inv. Vol. II. pp. 209, 212, 224. Bohn's Edition.
12 See B. xxxiii. c. 31, and c. 53 of this Book.
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