A heavy blue-gray metal much used in giving stability to light lovers -- particularly to those who love not wisely but other men's wives. Lead is also of great service as a counterpoise to an argument of such weight that it turns the scale of debate the wrong way. An interesting fact in the chemistry of international controversy is that at the point of contact of two patriotisms lead is precipitated in great quantities. Hail, holy Lead! -- of human feuds the great And universal arbiter; endowed With penetration to pierce any cloud Fogging the field of controversial hate, And with a sift, inevitable, straight, Searching precision find the unavowed But vital point. Thy judgment, when allowed By the chirurgeon, settles the debate. O useful metal! -- were it not for thee We'd grapple one another's ears alway: But when we hear thee buzzing like a bee We, like old Muhlenberg, "care not to stay." And when the quick have run away like pellets Jack Satan smelts the dead to make new bullets.
One of the elements, a heavy, pliable, inelastic metal, having a bright, bluish color, but easily tarnished. It is both malleable and ductile, though with little tenacity, and is used for tubes, sheets, bullets, etc. Its specific gravity is 11.37. It is easily fusible (melting point 327.5° C), forms alloys with other metals, and is an ingredient of solder and type metal. Atomic number 82. Atomic weight, 207.2. Symbol Pb (L. Plumbum). It is chiefly obtained from the mineral galena, lead sulphide.