Illustrations of Character.

Illustrations of Character.

Thus far I have confined myself to topics mainly interesting to the man of science, endeavouring, however, to treat them in a manner unrepellent to the general reader who might wish to obtain a notion of Faraday as a worker. On others will fall the duty of presenting to the world a picture of the man. But I know you will permit me to add to the foregoing analysis a few personal reminiscences and remarks, tending to connect Faraday with a wider world than that of science--namely, with the general human heart.

One word in reference to his married life, in addition to what has been already said, may find a place here. As in the former case, Faraday shall be his own spokesman. The following paragraph, though written in the third person, is from his hand:--'On June 12, 1821, he married, an event which more than any other contributed to his earthly happiness and healthful state of mind. The union has continued for twenty-eight years and has in no wise changed, except in the depth and strength of its character.'

Faraday's immediate forefathers lived in a little place called Clapham Wood Hall, in Yorkshire. Here dwelt Robert Faraday and Elizabeth his wife, who had ten children, one of them, James Faraday, born in 1761, being father to the philosopher. A family tradition exists that the Faradays came originally from Ireland. Faraday himself has more than once expressed to me his belief that his blood was in part Celtic, but how much of it was so, or when the infusion took place, he was unable to say. He could imitate the Irish brogue, and his wonderful vivacity may have been in part due to his extraction. But there were other qualities which we should hardly think of deriving from Ireland. The most prominent of these was his sense of order, which ran like a luminous beam through all the transactions of his life. The most entangled and complicated matters fell into harmony in his hands. His mode of keeping accounts excited the admiration of the managing board of this Institution. And his science was similarly ordered. In his Experimental Researches, he numbered every paragraph, and welded their various parts together by incessant reference. His private notes of the Experimental Researches, which are happily preserved, are similarly numbered: their last paragraph bears the figure 16,041. His working qualities, moreover, showed the tenacity of the Teuton. His nature was impulsive, but there was a force behind the impulse which did not permit it to retreat. If in his warm moments he formed a resolution, in his cool ones he made that resolution good. Thus his fire was that of a solid combustible, not that of a gas, which blazes suddenly, and dies as suddenly away.

And here I must claim your tolerance for the limits by which I am confined. No materials for a life of Faraday are in my hands, and what I have now to say has arisen almost wholly out of our close personal relationship.

Letters of his, covering a period of sixteen years, are before me, each one of which contains some characteristic utterance;--strong, yet delicate in counsel, joyful in encouragement, and warm in affection. References which would be pleasant to such of them as still live are made to Humboldt, Biot, Dumas, Chevreul, Magnus, and Arago. Accident brought these names prominently forward; but many others would be required to complete his list of continental friends. He prized the love and sympathy of men--prized it almost more than the renown which his science brought him. Nearly a dozen years ago it fell to my lot to write a review of his 'Experimental Researches' for the 'Philosophical Magazine.' After he had read it, he took me by the hand, and said, 'Tyndall, the sweetest reward of my work is the sympathy and good will which it has caused to flow in upon me from all quarters of the world.' Among his letters I find little sparks of kindness, precious to no one but myself, but more precious to me than all. He would peep into the laboratory when he thought me weary, and take me upstairs with him to rest. And if I happened to be absent, he would leave a little note for me, couched in this or some other similar form:-- 'Dear Tyndall,--I was looking for you, because we were at tea-- we have not yet done--will you come up?' I frequently shared his early dinner; almost always, in fact, while my lectures were going on. There was no trace of asceticism in his nature. He preferred the meat and wine of life to its locusts and wild honey. Never once during an intimacy of fifteen years did he mention religion to me, save when I drew him on to the subject. He then spoke to me without hesitation or reluctance; not with any apparent desire to 'improve the occasion,' but to give me such information as I sought. He believed the human heart to be swayed by a power to which

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