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FIRESIDE
EDUCATION.
INTRODUCTION: COMMONNESS A SOURCE OF IN­DIFFERENCE.
It is a curious fact that objects, at once the most familiar and the most useful, are apt to be the last on which we bestow careful investi­gation and reflection. The great elements of physical nature, earth, air, heat, and water, the very instruments by which we live, move and have our being,—how seldom do even these excite more than a passing notice. We till the soil, indeed, for it is the fertile parent of our daily bread; yet we rarely look beyond the sur­face and attempt to unfold the mysteries that lie beneath. The air is inhaled at every breath, yet we care not whence it cometh or whither it goeth. The principle of heat is the supporter of animal and vegetable life throughout the universe; yet, though it greets us each morning 2
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