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The pernicious result of this neglect is found in the inaccuracy and looseness of style so prevalent. The present work has been written with a view to supply what the author believes to be a desideratum in Elementary Education; and though he is far from intending it should be regarded as complete, he hopes it will be found to contain principles sufficiently suggestive to enable those who use it to continue the study to any extent for themselves.


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It is a common observation, that there are no two objects in nature exactly alike: that however close their apparent resemblance to each other may be, the one will be found upon examination to possess some shade, some almost imperceptible tinge of difference, by which it may be distinguished from the other. But it is not to the superficial observer that these nice varieties are evident. He who contents himself with a general or casual view of things must remain in ignorance of all those nicely distinctive properties of substances, which render them, in certain respects, independent of each other. He can have no knowledge of their peculiar qualities

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but must look upon them as belonging to the general mass of natural matter; and though the most indifferent spectator cannot fail to be struck with their more prominent properties, he can have no information respecting their distinctive character or uses. This observation is quite as true of art as of nature. Here, though the artisan exert his utmost skill to make one object exactly like another, we shall find, upon a close inspection, that he never wholly succeeds in his attempt. Some slight variety, in shape, form, colour, or weight, will be discovered, sufficient to distinguish the copy from the original. It may, indeed, be more difficult to distinguish between objects purposely constructed alike; still, however, the truth will remain, that a close examination will not fail to detect a peculiarity in substance, construction, dimension, or some other quality, sufficient to mark a difference between the two objects.

Of Nature's intention in making this wonderful variety in her works, it is not necessary here to speak, nor indeed is the present work suited for such a discussion. One reflection, however, which the consideration of this variety will naturally suggest to our minds, bears more directly upon the subject before us. It is this: that the

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