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The Pamphlet Collection of Sir Robert Stout: Volume 85



Bionomy, representing as it does the necessities rather than the refinements of Life, may be said to have less connexion with this than with most other sciences. Lithology has already been selected as the most useful branch, on account of the important materials it supplies for building purposes, among which may be included, besides the common kinds of Stone, most of the ordinary varieties of Marble.

In some cases one may be led into smaller matters by the examination of the ingredients of which compound rocks are composed, as for instance, in distinguishing Granite from Syenite, but their inspection need only be superficial, leaving Crystallography and other technical elements of mineral diagnosis, for the opportunity afforded in the second Period. Even there however, it would be scarcely worth while going seriatim through page 51 the dry pages of a Mineralogical Manual, but a teacher versed in the subject, might unite usefulness with interest, in proceeding upwards through a few groups of his own selection, say for instance:—Stones too expensive for ordinary masonry, but used for decoration; then others choicer still, till he arrived at those costly gems which one has so convenient an opportunity of admiring in the shop windows of the London jewellers. Certain minerals at once peculiar and useful, such as Rock Crystal, Mica, Talc, Steatite, Asbestos and Graphite, might either form a group by themselves, or be relegated to the departments of Domestic Economy where they are used.