Page:Experimental researches in electricity.djvu/22
to this Goethe: and he was at times so strong and joyful - his body so active, and his intellect so clear - as to suggest to me the thought that he, like Goethe, would see the younger man laid low. Destiny ruled otherwise, and now he is but a memory to us all. Surely no memory could be more beautiful. He was equally rich in mind and heart. The fairest traits of a character sketched by Paul, found in him perfect illustration. For he was "blameless, vigilant, sober, of good behaviour, apt to teach, not given to filthy lucre." He had not a trace of worldly ambition; he declared his duty to his sovereign by going to the levee once a year, but beyond this he never sought contact with the great. The life of his spirit and of his intellect was so full that the things which men most strive after were absolutely indifferent to him. "Give me health and a day," says the brave Emerson, "and I will make the pomp of emperors ridiculous." In an eminent degree Faraday could say the same. What to him was the splendour of a palace compared with a thunderstorm upon Brighton downs? - what among all the appliances of royalty to compare with the setting sun? I refer to a thunderstorm and a sunset, because these things excited a kind of ecstasy in his mind, and to a mind open to such ecstasy the pomps and pleasures of the world are usually of small account. Nature, not education, rendered Faraday strong and refined. A favourite experiment of his own was representative of himself. He loved to show that water in crystallising excluded all foreign ingredients, however intimately they might be mixed with it. Out of acids, alkalis, or saline solutions, the crystal came sweet and pure. By some such natural process in the formation of this man, beauty and nobleness coalesced, to the exclusion of everything vulgar and low. He did not learn his gentleness in the world, for he withdrew himself from its culture; and still this land of England contained no truer gentleman than he. Not half his greatness was incorporate in his science, for science could not reveal the bravery and delicacy of his heart.
But it is time that I should end these weak words, and lay my poor garland on the grave of this