Cabinet of Natural Philosophy - Page 3 - PROPERTIES OF MATTER. - Photos of the moment

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CHAP. 1.
more ordinary classes of phenomena cease to excite by
their novelty. Attention is drawn from the discovery
what is new, to the examination of what is familiar.
From the external world the mind turns in upon itself,
and the feverish astonishment ot childhood gives place
to the more calm contemplation of incipient maturity.
The vast and heterogeneous mass of phenomena collected
by past experience is brought under review. The great
work of comparison begins. Memory produces her
stores, and reason arranges them. Then succeed those
first attempts at generalisation which mark the dawn
science in the mind.
To compaye, to classify, to generalise, seem to be
instinctive propensities peculiar to man. They separate
him from inferior animals by a wide chasm. It is
to these powers that all the higher mental attributes
may be traced, and it is from their right application
that all progress in science must arise. Without these
powers, the phenomena of nature would continue a
confused heap of Crude facts, with which the memory
might be loaded, but from which the intellect would
derive no advantage. Comparison and generalisation
are the great digestive organs of the mind, by which
(Aüly nutrition can be extracted from this mass of in-
tellectual food, and without which, observation the most
extensive, and attention the most unremitting, can be
productive of no real or useful advancement in know-
( 3.) Upon reviewing those properties of bodies which
the senses most frequently present to us, we observe
that very few of them are essential to, and inseparable
from, matter. The greater number may be called par-
tfcular or peculiar qualities, being found in some bo-
dies but not in others. Thus the property of attracting
iron is peculiar to the loadstone, and not observable in
other substances. One body excites the sensation of
green, another of red, and a third is deprived of all
colour, A few characteristic and essential qualities are,
however, inseparable from matter in whatever state* or

In the Public Domain - from an edition of a book published in 1839
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