Sand

sb. sand —see Sond
sb. a gift —see Sond

Sand of the Sea and Desert

That sand is an assemblage of small stones may be seen with the eye unarmed with art; yet how few are equally aware of the synonymous nature of the sand of the sea and of the land! Quartz, in the form of sand, covers almost entirely the bottom of the sea. It is spread over the banks of rivers, and forms vast plains, even at a very considerable elevation above the level of the sea, as the desert of Sahara in Africa, of Kobi in Asia, and many others. This quartz is produced, at least in part, from the disintegration of the primitive granite rocks. The currents of water carry it along, and when it is in very small, light, and rounded grains, even the wind transports it from one place to another. The hills are thus made to move like waves, and a deluge of sand frequently inundates the neighbouring countries:

“So where o'er wide Numidian wastes extend,Sudden the impetuous hurricanes descend.”—Addison's Cato.

To illustrate the trite axiom, that nothing is lost, let us glance at the most important use of sand:

“Quartz in the form of sand,” observes Maltebrun, “furnishes, by fusion, one of the most useful substances we have, namely glass, which, being less hard than the crystals of quartz, can be made equally transparent, and is equally serviceable to our wants and to our pleasures. There it shines in walls of crystal in the palaces of the great, reflecting the charms of a hundred assembled beauties; there, in the hand of the philosopher, it discovers to us the worlds that revolve above us in the immensity of space, and the no less astonishing wonders that we tread beneath our feet.”