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The Jeffersonian cyclopedia;

a comprehensive collection of the views of Thomas Jefferson classified and arranged in alphabetical order under nine thousand titles relating to government, politics, law, education, political economy, finance, science, art, literature, religious freedom, morals, etc.;

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4031. INVENTIONS, Essence d'Orient.—[continued].
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4031. INVENTIONS, Essence d'Orient.—[continued].

Your two phials of Essence
d'Orient * * * got separated from the
letters which accompanied them. * * * The
pearl merchant * * * said you had a very considerable
knowledge in the manner of preparing,
but that there was still one thing wanting
which made the secret of the art; that this is
not only a secret of the art, but of every individual
workman who will not communicate to
his fellows, believing his own method best;
that of ten different workmen, all will practice
different operations, and only one of the ten be
the right one; that the secret consists only in
preparing the fish, all the other parts of the
process in the pearl manufactory being known.
That experience has provide it to be absolutely
impossible for the matter to cross the sea without
being spoiled; but that if you will send
some in the best state you can, he will make
pearls of it, and send to you that you may judge
of them yourself.—
To Francis Hopkinson. Washington ed. ii, 202.
(P. 1787)