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This treatise, consisting of a reprint of the author's contributions to various magazines, is issued merely as an elementary work on the science.
Metallography is simply a description of the Metals, their various properties, their history, the localities in which they are found, and the principal uses to which they are applied. The term itself, though not to be found in the smaller English dictionaries, is no newlycoined expression.
The notes on each metal, of which this work chiefly consists, were not originally intended for publication, but for the writer's own private use. Although they have been carefully revised by the author, he nevertheless believes that there are still inaccuracies to be found. Notwith. standing, however, its imperfections, it is hoped that this handbook will be found useful, easy, and well-adapted for that class of persons for whom it is now published.
18, Peel Street, Bedford,
January 1, 1871.
“Yes, yes, all have a voice! the Heavens above,
The Larth beneath, and things that under earth
NOTHING, perhaps, tends more to enlarge our ideas of the wisdom and power of the Divine Being, and, consequently, to exalt the mind, than to contemplate some particular work of nature, and consider how admirably it is adapted to answer the purpose for which it was intended. If we accustom ourselves to this, our opinion must coincide with that of the Psalmist-we must be convinced that none but “ a fool ” can say, “ There is no God!” For
" That there is a God,
All nature cries aloud through all her works ;" and being convinced of this, how naturally should we, with another bard, exclaim
" And if a God there is, that God how great!” What “work of nature," then, deserves more of our attention than the Metals—that class of elementary bodies which, either separately or in combination, appeal daily and even hourly, to our senses in the implements and utensils of civilized life, and exercise a very important influence upon the comfort of all mankind ? Had it not been for their existence, our dwelling-houses would have been supplied with only a very small proportion of the various articles of comfort, elegance, and even luxury, which they now contain. There are, indeed, very few things in our homes which are not indebted to one, at least, of the metals for their shape
and appearance; while there are hundreds, yes, and we might have said thousands, of articles which we daily see and employ for one purpose or another, made either entirely or partly of metals.
The Science of the Metals, however, has not reached that high position among the studies of young persons, and, indeed, among those of the more educated masses of the people, to which it is no doubt destined before long to attain—a station which, in all probability, will not be second to Natural History, or Astronomy. Nevertheless, in describing the various metallic substances which the Great Creator of the Universe has placed in the bowels of the earth for man, each of which, no doubt, were intended by Him for some special purpose; or, rather, we should have said, in calling attention to the various metals which man from time to time has eliminated, and added to his great collection, or Museum of Metals,” if we may use the phrase, -it is not our intention to imitate the majority of our contemporary authors of scientific works, and speak in what is termed a “popular style" (that is, not to employ any technicality or expression which belongs almost exclusively to the science, but to bring down the science to the acquirements of the individual), for we prefer to copy the minority, who endeavour to conduct the pupil step by step into the subject; because, as it is, indisputably, highly essential that the chemist should know and understand all the peculiar terms employed in chemistry, it is no less important for the student in Mineralogy and Metallography to understand the various expressions made use of in those sciences. We shall, therefore, not refrain from employing such phrases or terms, taking care at the same time, to explain and illustrate them as we proceed.