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Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 18.djvu/88

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THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY.

to me and saved me. I could trust a fact, and always cross-examined an assertion. So, when I questioned Mrs. Marcet's book, by such little experiments as I could find means to perform, and found it true to the facts as I could understand them, I felt that I had got hold of an anchor in chemical knowledge, and clung fast to it. Thence my deep veneration for Mrs. Marcet—first as one who had conferred great personal good and pleasure on me; and then as one able to convey the truth and principle of those boundless fields of knowledge which concern natural things to the young, untaught, and inquiring mind.

You may imagine my delight when I came to know Mrs. Marcet personally; how often I cast my thoughts backward, delighting to connect the past and present; how often, when sending a paper to her as a thank-offering, I thought of my first instructress, and such thoughts will remain with me.

Henry wrote on the inside of the cover of Gregory's work the following words:

This book, although by no means a profound work, has, under Providence, exerted a remarkable influence on my life. It accidentally fell into my hands when I was about sixteen years old, and was the first book I ever read with attention. It opened to me a new world of thought and enjoyment; invested things before almost unnoticed with the highest interest; fixed my mind on the study of nature, and caused me to resolve at the time of reading it that I would immediately commence to devote my life to the acquisition of knowledge. J. H.

Each of these philosophers worked with simple instruments mostly constructed by his own hands, and by methods so direct that he appeared to have an almost intuitive perception into the workings of nature; and each gave great care to the composition of his writings, sending his discoveries into the world clothed in simple and elegant English.

Finally, each loved science more than money, and his Creator more than either.

There was sympathy between these men, and Henry loved to dwell on the hours that he and Bache had spent in Faraday's society. I shall never forget Henry's account of his visit to King's College, London, where Faraday, Wheatstone, Daniell and he had met to try and evolve the electric spark from the thermopile. Each in turn attempted it and failed. Then came Henry's turn. He succeeded; calling in the aid of his discovery of the effect of a long inter-polar wire wrapped around a piece of soft iron. Faraday became as wild as a boy, and, jumping up, shouted, "Hurrah for the Yankee experiment!"

And Faraday and Wheatstone reciprocated the high estimation in which Henry held them. During a visit to England, not long before Wheatstone's death, he told me that Faraday and he had, after Henry's classical investigation of the induced currents of different orders, written a joint letter to the council of the Royal Society, urging that the Copley medal, "that laurel-wreath of science," should be bestowed on Henry: On further consultation with members of the council, it