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3 8 4 FRAGMEN TS OF SCIENCE.

natural laws, and it is the vocation of the man of science to
resolve this noise into its components, and thus to detect
the “music ” in which the foundations of Nature are laid.
The necessity of this detachment of one force from all
other forces is nowhere more strikingly exhibited than in the
phenomena of crystallization. Here, for example, is a so-
lution of common sulphate of soda or Glauber salt. Look-
ing into it mentally, we see the molecules of that liquid,
like disciplined squadrons under a governing ey'e, arranging
themselves into battalions, gathering round distinct centres,
and forming themselves into solid masses, which after a time
assume the visible shape of the crystal now held in my hand.
I may, like an ignorant meddler wishing to hasten matters,
introduce confusion into this order. This may be done by
plunging a glass rod into the vessel; the consequent action
is not the pure expression of the crystalline forces; the
molecules rush together with the confusion of an unorgan-
ized mob, and not with the steady accuracy of a disciplined
host. In this mass of bismuth also we have an example of
confused crystallization; but in the crucible behind me a
slower process is going on: here there is an architect at
work “ who makes no chips, no din,” and who is now build-
ing the particles into crystals, similar in shape and structure
to those beautiful masses which we see upon the table. By
permitting alum to crystallize in this slow way, we obtain
these perfect octahedrons; by allowing carbonate of lime
to crystalize, Nature produces these beautiful rhomboids;
when silica crystallizes, we have formed these hexagonal
prisms capped at the ends by pyramids; by allowing salt-
petre to crystallize we have these prismatic masses, and
when carbon crystallizes, we have the diamond. If we wish
to obtain a perfect crystal, we must allow the molecular
forces free play: if the crystallizing mass be permitted to
rest upon a surface it will be flattened, and to prevent this
a small crystal must be so suspended as to be surrounded

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