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MALACHITE

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Originally appearing in Volume V17, Page 456 of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.
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MALACHITE, a copper-ore of fine green colour, sometimes polished as an ornamental stone. The name is derived from Gr. µaMaxrl, the mallow, in allusion to the colour of the mineral being rather like that of the mallow-leaf. Malachite was perhaps one of the green minerals described by Theophrastus under the general name of o-yapaybos; and according to the late Rev. C. W. King it was probably the smaragdus medicus of Pliny, whilst his molochites seems to have been a different stone from our malachite and may have been a green jasper. It is suggested by J. L. Myres (Ency. Bib.) that malachite may have been the Heb. soham, of the high priest's breastplate. Malachite is a basic cupric carbonate, represented by the formula CuCOaCu(HO)2, and has usually been formed by the action of meteoric agencies on other copper-minerals; hence it is found in the upper part of ore-deposits, often as an incrustation, and occasionally as a pseudomorph after cuprite, chalcocite, &c. When formed, as commonly happens, by the alteration of copper-pyrites the iron of this mineral usually takes the form of limonite, which may remain associated with the malachite. Occasionally, though but rarely, malachite occurs in small dark-green prismatic crystals of the monoclinic system. Its usual mode of occurrence is in nodular or stalagmitic forms, with a mammillated, reniform or botryoidal surface, whilst in other cases it forms fibrous, compact or even earthy masses. The nodules, though commonly dull on the outside, may display on fracture a beautiful zonary structure, the successive layers often succeeding each other as curved deposits of light and dark tints. The colours include various shades of apple-green, grass-green, emerald-green and verdigris-green. Certain varieties exhibit a finely fibrous structure, producing on the fractured surface a soft silky sheen. Whilst malachite is found in greater or less quantity in most copper-mines, the finer varieties useful for ornamental purposes are of very limited occurrence, and the lapidary has generally drawn his supply from Russia and Australia. The principal source in recent years has been the Medno-Rudiansk mine near Nizhne Tagilsk, on the Siberian side of the Urals, but it was formerly obtained from mines near Bogoslovsk to the north and Gumishev to the south of this locality. A mass from Gumishev, preserved in the museum of the Mining Institute of St Petersburg weighs 3240 lb, and still larger masses have been found near Nizhne Tagilsk. The mineral is prized in a In ii. 16 the Targum renders " If thou hatest her put her away." It is characteristic of later Judaism that an arbitrary exegesis trans-formed the above anticipation of the doctrine of marriage laid down in the gospel into an express sanction of the right of the husband to put away his wife at will. * " The permanence of Judaism depended on the religious separateness of the Jews " (Ryle, Ezra and Nehemiah, p. 143).' 5 Matt. xvii. 3, 4, 10–13; xxvii. 47, 49; John i. 21, 25. his time was the outcome of a lowered morality, not of a clearer spiritual vision."' A strong sense of the unique privileges of the children of Jacob, the objects of electing love (i. 2), the children of the Divine Father (ii. to), is combined with an equally strong assurance of Yahweh's righteousness notwithstanding the many miseries that pressed on the unhappy inhabitants of Judaea. At an earlier date the prophet Haggai had taught that the people could not expect Yahweh's blessing while the Temple lay in ruins. In Malachi's time the Temple was built (i. to) and the priests waited in their office, but still a curse seemed to rest on the nation's labours (iii. 9). To Malachi the reason of this is plain. The " law of Moses " was forgotten (iv. 4 [iii. 22]); let the people return to Yahweh, and He will return to them. It was in vain to complain, saying, " Every one that doeth evil is good in the eyes of Yahweh," or " Where is the God of judgment ?"—vain to ask " Wherein shall we return?" Obedience to the law is the sure path to blessing (ii. 17-111. I2). He calls the people to repentance, and he enforces the call by proclaiming the approach of Yahweh in judgment against the sorcerers, the adulterers, the false swearers, the oppressors of the poor, the orphan and the stranger. Then it shall be seen that He is indeed a God of righteous judgment, distinguishing between those that serve Him and those that serve Him not. The Sun of Righteousness shall shine forth on those that fear Yahweh's name; they shall go forth with joy, and tread the wicked under foot. The conception of the day of final decision, when Yahweh shall come suddenly to His temple (iii. I) and confound those who think the presumptuous godless happy (iii. 15), is taken from earlier prophets, but is applied wholly within the Jewish nation. The day of Yahweh would be a curse, not a blessing, if it found the nation in its present state: the priests listlessly performing a fraudulent service (i. 7–ii. 9), the people bound by marriage to heathen women, while the tears of the daughters of Israel, thrust aside to make way for strangers, cover the altar (ii. II-16), all faith in divine justice gone (ii. 17; iii. 14 seq.), sorcery, uncleanness, falsehood and oppression rampant (iii. 5), the house of God deprived of its dues (iii. 8), and the true fearers of God a little flock gathered together in private exercises of religion (perhaps the germ of the later synagogue) in the midst of a godless nation (iii. 16). That the day of Yahweh is delayed in such a state of things is but a new proof of His unchanging love (iii. 6), which refuses to consume the sons of Jacob. Meantime He is about to send His messenger to prepare His way before Him. The prophet Elijah must reappear to bring back the hearts of fathers and children before the great and terrible day of Yahweh come. Elijah was the advocate of national decision in the great concerns of Israel's religion; and it is such decision, a clear recognition of what the service of Yahweh means, a purging of His professed worshippers from hypocritical and half-hearted service (iii. 3) that Malachi with his intense religious earnestness sees to be the only salvation of the nation. In thus looking to the return of the ancient prophet to do the work for which later prophecy is too weak, Malachi unconsciously signalizes the decay of the order of which he was one of the last representatives; and the somewhat mechanical measure which he applies to the people's sins, as for example when he teaches that if the sacred dues were rightly paid prosperous seasons would at once return (iii. to), heralds the advent of that system of formal legalism which thought that all religious duty could be reduced to a system of set rules. Yet Malachi himself is no mere formalist. To him, as to the Deuteronomic legislation, the forms of legal observance are of value only as the fitting expression of Israel's peculiar sonship and service, and he shows himself a true prophet when he contrasts the worthless ministry of unwilling priests with the pure offering of prayer and praise that rises from the implicit monotheism of even Gentile worship2 (i. II), or when he asserts i Welch in D.B. iii. 220. 2 This remarkable utterance is sometimes (as by W.R.S.) interreted of the worship of Jews scattered in the Dispersion: reasons For the above view are given by Driver. Russia for use in mosaic-work, and for the manufacture of vases, snuff-boxes and various ornamental objects. Even folding doors, mantelpieces, table-tops and other articles of furniture have been executed in malachite, the objects being veneered with thin slabs cleverly fitted together so as to preserve the pattern, and having the interspaces filled up with fragments and powder of malachite applied with a cement. The malachite is sawn into slabs, ground with emery and polished with tripoli. Its hardness is less than 4, but it takes a good polish like marble: it is rather denser than marble, having a specific gravity of 3.7 to 4, but it is more difficult to work, in consequence of a tendency to break along the curved planes of deposition. Exceptionally fine examples of the application of malachite are seen in some of the columns of St Isaac's Cathedral in St Petersburg, which are hollow iron columns encrusted with malachite. Large masses of ornamental malachite have been found in Australia, especially at the old Burra Burra copper-mine in South Australia. The Copper Queen and other mines in Arizona have yielded fine specimens of malachite associated with azurite, and polished slabs of the mixed minerals some-times show the vivid green and the deep blue carbonate in very striking contrast. This natural association, cut as an ornamental stone, has been named, by Dr G. F. Kunz, azurmalachite. Malachite is occasionally used for cameo-work, and some fine antique examples are known. It was formerly worn as an amulet to preserve the wearer from lightning, contagion and witchcraft. The mineral, when ground, has been used as a pigment under the name of " mountain green." The coarser masses are extensively used, with other minerals, as ores of copper, malachite containing about 57 % of metal. " Blue malachite ' is a name sometimes given to azurite (q.v.), whilst " siliceous malachite " is a term inappropriately applied to chrysocolla (q.v.). (F. W. R.*)
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STANISLAW MALACHOWSKI (1736-1809)

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