DIRECTOR   Lambert MacFarland


It is, therefore, only by the consideration of individuals that the questions, constantly discussed among mineralogists as to the superiority to be assigned to the chemical composition or to the physical properties of minerals, can be set at rest. When the nature of the body under consideration is not perfectly defined, and when the reasoning is carried on in too general a way, as has always been the case, each mineralogist is apt to overrate the value of properties which his taste or circumstances have made him most familiar with, and it is difficult to pronounce in so arbitrary a matter. But when an individual is given which is well defined in form, in properties, and in chemical composition, it becomes evident that all these attributes, the form, the properties, and the composition, are equally inherent in the nature and essential to the existence of such an individual, and so they stand on an equal footing one with the other. It is one of the great advantages of the consideration of individual bodies, that these individuals are the most real and natural syntheses of properties or characters, in regard to which every other attempt to synthesis would be arbitrary and fantastical. § 16. Let us now follow in regard to our mineral individuals • As is evident, by his having admitted into his method aSriform and liquid matter, where no trace of individuality is to be found, and as may be likewise demonstrated, in examining the part which crystallization acts in his manner of considering solid minerals. the same principles and modes of study that have been long adopted in zoology and botany for individuals belonging to these two kingdoms. As the comparison must be instituted in the distinctive characters of these individuals, and as those characters, which, in living individuals, are the organs of which they are composed, are, in the individuals belonging to inorganized nature, the various physical and chemical properties with which they are endowed *, let us first begin by a study, as close and as complete as possible, of these properties, just as the zoologist or botanist begins his labour by abstract considerations and study of the organs, of the phenomena exhibited by them in relation to the animals or plants themselves, or to the other bodies in nature, which may have some influence upon them.