Page:Philosophical Transactions - Volume 095.djvu/359

This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.
325
Dr. Wollaston on the Discovery of Palladium.

sulphate of iron, by muriate of tin, by prussiate of potash, by each of the pure alkalis, and by hydrosulphurets.

The predpitate obtained in each case was also found to be reducible by mere heat to a white metal, that, except in very small quantities, could not be fused alone by the blowpipe, but could very readily be fused with sulphur, with arsenic, or with phosphorus, and in all other respects resembled the original metal.

The only hypothesis, on which I thought it possible that I could be deceived, arose from the recollection of the error, which subsisted for a few years, respecting the compound formerly called siderite. It was possible that some metallic or other fixed acid might unite too intimately with either a known or an unknown metal to be separated by the more common simple affinities. I consequently made such attempts as appeared best calculated to disunite a compound so constituted.

Having boiled the oxide with pure alkalis, and found it to be unaltered, I thought the affinities of lime or lead might be more likely to detect the presence of the phosphoric or of any known metallic acid; and accordingly I made various attempts by muriate and nitrate of lime, as well as by nitrate of lead, to effect a decomposition of the supposed compound. In the experiment on which I placed the greatest reliance, I poured liquid muriate of lime into a solution of palladium in nitro-muriatic acid, and evaporated the mixture to dryness, intending thereby to expel any excess of acid that might have been left in the solution, and to render either phosphate of lime, or any compound of lime with a metallic acid, insoluble in water. The residuum however was very readily dissolved by water, and