Previous Index Next
Page 335
(previous) (Page 000335) (next)
 
FARADAY. 335

himself by the side of Faraday, and in his frank and genial
way entered into conversation with the young man. It was
evident that a person possessing such a charm of manner
and such high intelligence could be no mere servant. On
inquiry Dela Rive was somewhat shocked to find that the
soi—dz‘sant domestique was really préparateur in the labora-
tory of the Royal Institution: and he immediately proposed
that Faraday thenceforth should join the masters instead
of the servants at their meals. To this Davy, probably out
of weak deference to his wife, objected; but an arrangement
was come to that Faraday thenceforward should have his
food in his own room. Rumor states that a dinner in
honor of Faraday was given by De la Rive. This is a
delusion; there was no such banquet; but Faraday never
forgot the kindness of the friend who saw his merit when
he was a mere garpon dc laboratoz‘re.‘

He returned in 1815 to the Royal Institution. Here he
helped Davy for years; he worked also for himself, and
lectured frequently at the City Philosophical Society. He
took lessons in. elocution, happily without damage to his
natural .force, earnestness, and grace of delivery. He was
never pledged to theory, and he changed in opinion as
knowledge advanced. With him life was growth. In those
early lectures we hear him say, “ In knowledge, that man
only is to be contemned and deSpised who is not in a state
of transition.” And again, “ Nothing is more difficult and
requires more caution than philos0phica1 deduction, nor is
there any thing more adverse to its accuracy than fixity of
opinion.” Not that he was wafted about by every wind of

1 While confined last autumn at Geneva by the effects of a fall in the
Alps, my friends, with a kindness I can never forget, did all that friend-
ship could suggest to render my captivity pleasant to me. M. de la Rive
then wrote out for me the full account, of which the foregoing is a con-
densed abstract. It was at the desire of Dr. Bence Jones that I asked
him to do so. The rumor of a banquet at Geneva illustrates the ten
dency to substitute for the youth of 1814 the Faraday of later years.

Previous Index Next