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Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 18.djvu/89

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HENRY AND FARADAY.

was decided to defer the honor till it would come with greater ├ęclat, when Henry had continued further his researches in electricity. Henry's removal to Washington interrupted these investigations. Wheatstone promised to give me this letter, to convey to Henry as an evidence of the high appreciation which Faraday and he had for his genius; but Wheatstone's untimely death prevented this. Both Faraday and Henry gave much thought to the philosophy of education, and in the main their ideas agreed. I may, in this connection, be excused for reading abstracts from a letter from Henry soon after he had received the news that I had given my son his name. In this letter he gives this information, which may be news to the most of you:

I did not object to Henry as a first name; although I have been sorry that my grandfather, in coming from Scotland to this country, substituted it for Hendrie, a much less common, and, therefore, distinctive name.

He then proceeds:

I hope that both his body and his mind will be so developed by proper training and instruction that he may become an efficient, wise, and good man. I say efficient and wise, because these two characteristics are not always united in the same person. Indeed, most of the inefficiency of the world is due to their separation: wisdom may know what ought to be done, but it requires the aid of efficiency to accomplish the desired object. I hope that in the education of your son due attention may not only be given to the proper development of both these faculties, but also that they will be cultivated in the order of nature: that is, doing before thinking; art before science. By inverting this order much injury is frequently done to a child, especially in the case of the only son of a widowed mother, in which a precocious boy becomes an insignificant man. On examination in such a case, it will be generally found that the boy has never been drilled into expertness in the art of language, of arithmetic, or of spelling, of attention, perseverance, and order, or, in other words, of the habits of an active and efficient life.

Henry was a man of extensive reading, and often surprised his friends by the extent and accuracy of his information, and by the original manner in which he brought his knowledge before them. Not only was he well versed in those subjects in which one might naturally suppose him proficient, but in departments of knowledge entirely distinct from that in which he gained his reputation as an original thinker. Although without a musical ear, he had a nice feeling for the movement of a poem, and was fond of drawing from his retentive memory poetic quotations apt to the occasion. He was a diligent student of mental philosophy, and also took a lively interest in the progress of biological science, especially in following the recent generalizations of Darwin, while the astonishing development of modern research in tracking the history of prehistoric man had for him a peculiar fascination. Yet, with all his learning, reputation, and influence, Henry was as modest as he was pure.

One day, on opening Henry's copy of Young's "Lectures on Natu-