This mineral, of which we obtained some fine specimens on Staten Island, occurs extremely plentifully here, constituting five or six per cent. of a large proportion of the rock, and in every imaginable condition, from a smooth, even, dark colored mass apparently devoid of crystalline form, to druses of very small but beautiful crystals, which are obtained by selecting a vein with an opening say from a quarter to a half-inch between it and one or, if possible, both points of its contact with the inclosing rock, and cutting away the massive magnesite and rock around it, when fine druses and masses or geodes may be generally found and carefully cut out. The crystals are generally less than a quarter of an inch long, and the selection of a cabinet specimen should be based more upon their form of aggregation that the size of the crystals. Nearly all the veins hold more or less of these masses through their total extent, but many have been removed, and consequently a careful search over the veins for the above indications, of which there are still plenty undeveloped or but partly so, would well repay an hour or more of cutting into, by the specimens obtained.

Patience is an excellent and very necessary virtue in searching for pockets of minerals, and is even more necessary here among the multitudinous barren veins. One hint I might add, which is of final importance, and the ignorance of which has so far preserved this old locality from exhaustion, is that every specimen of this kind in the serpentine, of any great uniqueness, is to be found within five feet from the upper or surface end of the vein, which in this locality is inaccessible in the more favored parts without a ladder or similar arrangement upon which one may work to reach them. Here the veins will be found to be very far disintegrated and cavernous, thus possessing the requisite conditions of occurrence (this is also true of Staten Island, but there more or less inaccessible) for this mineral and similar ones that occur in geodes or drused incrustations, while it is just vice versa for those occurring in closely packed veins, as brucite, soapstone, asbestos, etc., where they occur in finer specimens, where they are the more compact, which is deep underground. This is also partly true of the zeolites and granular limestone species with included minerals.

I do not think there is any rule, at least I have not observed it in an extended mineralogical experience; but if they favor any part, it is undoubtedly the top, as in the granular limestone and granite; however, they generally fall subordinate to the first principle, as they more frequently, in this formation, with the exception of chromic iron, occur not in the serpentine but in the veins therein contained; for instance, crystals of dolomite are found deeper in the rock as they occur in the denser soapstone, which becomes so at a more or less considerable depth, with spinel, zircon, etc., of the granular limestone. They occur generally in pockets within five feat from the surface, but they can hardly be called included minerals, as they are rather, as their mention suggests, pockets, and adjacent or in contact with the intruded granite or metamorphosed rock joining the formation at this point. This is seemingly at variance when we consider datholite, but when we do find it in pockets a hundred and fifty feet below the surface, in the Weehawken tunnel, it is not in the trap, but on the surface of what was a cleft or empty vein, since filled up with chlorite extending from the surface down, while natrolite, etc., by the trap having clefts of such variable and often great depth, allowed the solution of the portion thus contributed that infiltered from the surface easy access to the beds in which they lie, the mode of access being since filled with densely packed calcite, which was present in over-abundance. This is not applicable to serpentine, as the clefts are never of any great depth, and the five feet before mentioned are a proportionately great depth from the surface.

As I mentioned in commencing this paper (Part I), every part of the success of a trip lies in knowing where to find the minerals sought; and by close observation of these relations much more direction may be obtained than by my trying to describe the exact point in a locality where I have obtained them or seen them. There is much more satisfaction in finding rich pockets independently of direction, and by close observance of indications rather than chance, or by having them pointed out; for the one that reads this, and goes ahead of you to the spot, and either destroys the remainder by promiscuous cuttings, or carries them off in bulk, as there are many who go to a locality, and what they cannot carry off they destroy, give you a disappointment in finding nothing; consequently, I have considered that this digression from our subject in detail was pardonable, that one may be independent of the stated parts of the locality, and not too confidently rely on them, as I am sometimes disappointed myself in localities and pockets that I discover in spare time by finding that some one has been there between times, and carried off the remainder. The characteristics of magnesite I have detailed under that head under Pavilion Hill, Staten Island; but it may be well to repeat them briefly here.

Form as above described, from a white to darker dirty color. Specific gravity, 2.8-3; hardness, about 3.5. Before the blowpipe it is infusible, and not reduced to quicklime, which distinguishes it from dolomite, which it frequently resembles in the latter's massive form, common here in veins. It dissolves in acid readily with but little effervescence, which little, however, distinguishes it from brucite, which it sometimes resembles and which has a much lower-specific gravity when pure.