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From the Fort of Ham, in 1843, Faraday received a let-
ter addressed to him by Prince Louis Napoleon Bonaparte.
He read this letter to me many years ago, and the desire,
shown in various ways by the French Emperor, to turn
modern science to account, has often reminded me of it
since. At the age of thirty-five the prisoner of Ham speaks
of “rendering his captivity less sad by studying the great
discoveries ” which science owes to Faraday; and he asks
a question which reveals his cast of thought at the time:
“ What is the most simple combination to give to a voltaic
battery, in order to'produce a spark capable of setting fire
to powder under water or under ground ? ” Should the
necessity arise, the French Emperor will not lack at the
outset the best appliances of modern science; while we, I
fear, shall have to learn the magnitude of the resources we
are now neglecting amid the pangs of actual war.1

One turns with renewed pleasure to Faraday’s letters
to his wife, published in the second volume. Here surely
the loving essence of the man appears more distinctly than
anywhere else. From the house of Dr. Percy, in Birming-
ham, he writes thus :

“ Here—even here—the moment I leave the table I
wish I were with you IN QUIET. Oh, what happiness is
ours! My runs into the world in this way only serve to
make me esteem that happiness the more.”

And again °

“ We have been to a grand conversazione in the town-
hall, and I have now returned to my room to talk with you,
as the pleasantest and happiest thing that I can do. Noth-
ing rests me so much as communion with you. I feel it
even now as I write, and catch myself saying the words
aloud as I write them.”

1 The“ science” has since been applied with astonishing effect by
those who had studied it far more thoroughly than the Emperor of the
French. ‘

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