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Collectanea Chemica, ed. by A.E. Waite, [1893], at

p. 58 p. 59


IF there had been any English publication upon this curious and momentous subject, easy to be met with, that deserved regard, the public had not been troubled with this. The operations herein described are all within the compass of Nature; they are laid down in plain language, and the reasoning upon them is suited to a common apprehension, where there is a chemical turn of mind. Anyone inclining to these studies, if poor, will do well to mind his proper business, without attempting the Philosophical Work, as the necessary apparatus must require more expense and time than he can spare; but such as are of ability may well undertake it, both as a recreation and useful employment, in which an ingenious labourer may be retained as an assistant for the manual operations, at such a daily allowance as

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may be proportioned to his labour and sufficient for a subsistence. No more can be expected by a man who is modest and pious: one that is vicious can never be depended upon in a work of consequence like this, where patience is a main requisite, together with a punctilious veracity in reciting every variation of the matter during a tedious process from seven to nine months.

Whoever will therefore undertake this process must needs have an assistant; and, we again repeat it, such an one whose fidelity, above all things, may be safely relied upon; true, faithful, and religious; being, like his employer, acute to investigate the phenomena of Nature, especially in chemical processes.

Those who are accustomed to treat this science with contempt may doubtless ridicule anything written expressly upon it without examining what is advanced in its support, the title only of a book being of a sufficient reason with many for their disregarding the contents. We shall leave

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such superficial people in quiet possession of that unhappy self-sufficiency they have acquired, and rather apologise for the plainness with which this process is delivered to those possessors of it, if any, and yet alive, who may be displeased with our public spirit in communicating what has so long been considered as a sacred deposition with a few Philosophers.

Next: Chapter I. The Introduction