At the present time obsidian is sometimes cut and polished as an ornamental stone, but its softness (H = 5 to 5.5) detracts from its value.
In fact, it is not too much to say that it was the sophists who provided those great masters with their consummate instrument, and it detracts but little from the merit of the makers if they were themselves unable to draw from it its finer tones.
In the journals of these evangelists dark pictures are drawn of the religious state of the country, though their censorious tone detracts greatly from their value; but there is no doubt that the efforts of the Haldanes brought about or coincided with a quickening of the religious spirit of Scotland.
As regards the discovery of the connexion between value in exchange and final (or marginal) utility, the priority belongs to Gossen, but this in no way detracts from the great importance of the service which Jevons rendered to English economics by his fresh discovery of the principle, and by the way in which he ultimately forced it into notice.
There is, however, a certain coolness about the hero's affection for his wife which somewhat detracts from the merit of his sacrifice; while the Christian part of the matter is scarcely so well treated as in the Saint Genest of Rotrou or the Virgin Martyr of Massinger.
The circumstance, however, which most seriously detracts from his scientific reputation is his neglect of the discoveries made during his lifetime by the greatest of his contemporaries.
While the scenery of the western slope of the Andes is exceedingly grand, with its deep fjords, glaciers and woods, yet the severity of its climate detracts considerably from its charm.
The fact that the three new consuls had entered upon office and set the constitutional machinery in motion fully six weeks before the completion of the plebiscite, detracts somewhat from the impressiveness of the vox populi on that occasion.
It seems unlikely, therefore, that as a system the Synthetic Philosophy will prove long-lived; but this hardly detracts from its fruitfulness as a source of suggestion, or from the historic influence of many of its conceptions on the culture of the age.
The minuteness of his narrative detracts from its interest; though his arrangement is generally good, here and there the reader finds the thread of a subject broken by the intrusion of incidents not immediately connected with it, and does not pick it up again without an effort.