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.332 FRAGMENTS OF SCIENCE.

proposition that no new inquiry should be started between
them before the old one had been exhaustively discussed,
Faraday objects. “Your notion,” he says, “I can hardly
allow, for the following reason: ideas and thoughts spring
up in my mind which are irrevocably lost for want of
noting at the time.” Gentle as he seemed, he wished to
have his own way, and he had it throughout his life.
Difierences of opinion sometimes arose between the two
friends, and then they resolutely faced each other. “I
accept your offer to fight it out with joy, and shall in the
battle of experience cause not pain, but, I hope, pleasure.”
Faraday notes his own impetuosity, and incessantly checks
it. There is at times something mechanical in his self-
restraint. In another nature it would have hardened into
mere “ correctness ” of conduct; but his overflowing affec-
tions prevented this in his case. The habit became a second
nature to him at last, and lent serenity to his later years.

In October, 1812, he was engaged by a Mr. De la
Roche as a journeyman bookbinder; but the situation did
not suit him. His master appears to have been an austere
and passionate man, and Faraday was to the last degree
sensitive. All his life he continued so. He suffered at
times from dejection 3 and a certain grimness, too, pervaded
his moods. “ At present,” he writes to Abbott, “ I am as
serious as you can be, and would not scruple to speak a
truth to any human being, whatever repugnance it might
give rise to. Being in this state of mind, I should have
refrained from writing to you, did I not conceive from the
general tenor of your letters that your mind is, at proper
times, occupied upon serious subjects to the exclusion of
those that are frivolous.” Plainly he had fallen into that
stem Puritan mood which not only crucifies the flesh, affec-
tions, and lusts of him who harbors it, but is often a cause
of disturbed digestion to his friends.

About three months after his engagement with De la

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