Excerpt from Essays of Jean Rey, Doctor of Medicine: On an Enquiry Into the Cause Wherefore Tin and Lead Increase in Weight on Calcination
Have devoted several hours to the question, and conceiving to have hit the mark I produce from them these Essays of mine. Not without foreseeing very clearly that I shall incur at first the accusation of temerity, since in them I run counter to sundry maxims approved for many centuries by the majority of philosophers. But what temerity can there be in exposing the truth to light of day when one has known it? Might I not more justly be reputed childishly fearful if I dared not divulge it, and sordidly envious if I held it concealed? Of the last two accusations I clear myself, hoping to see myself freed of the first by all intelligent persons, who, after having tasted of my reasons, will, if they find them to their liking, be grateful to me for having set them forth and, if they like them not, will not refrain from praising my efforts to seek the truth in so arduous a question, and will be incited by my example to treat the matter more dextrously, to which I invite them. In any case I shall have testified to the public the desire I have of serving it by letting this paper slip from my hands, although it may be that some hurtful stigma will thereby be graven on my reputation.
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