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XII.
LIFE AND LETTERS 0F FARADA Y.

UNDERTAKEN and executed in a reverent and loving
spirit, the Work of Dr. Bence Jones makes Faraday the
virtual writer of his own life. Everybody now knows the
story of the philosopher’s birth; that his father was a
smith; that he was born at Newington Butts in 1791;
that he slid along the London pavements, a bright-eyed
errand-boy, with a load of brown curls upon his head and a
packet of newspapers under his arm; that the lad’s master
was a bookseller and bookbinder—a kindly man, who
became attached to the little fellow and in due time made
him his apprentice without fee; that during his appren-
ticeship he found his appetite for knowledge provoked and
strengthened by the books he 'stitched.and covered. Thus
he grew in wisdom and stature to his year of legal man-
hood, when he appears in the volumes before us as a writer
of letters, which reveal his occupation, acquirements, and
tone of mind. His correspondent was Mr. Abbott, a mem-
ber of the Society of Friends, who, with a forecast of his
friend’s greatness, preserved his letters and produced them
at the proper time.

In later years Faraday always carried in his pocket a
blank card on which he jetted down in pencil his thoughts
and memoranda. He made his notes in the laboratory,
in the theatre, and in the streets. This distrust of his
memory reveals itself in his first letter to Abbott. To a

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