“...It has been thought desirable to give you and the world some image of MICHAEL FARADAY, as a scientific investigator and discoverer. The attempt to respond to this desire has been to me a labour of difficulty, if also a labour of love. For however well acquainted I may be with the researches and discoveries of that great master—however numerous the illustrations which occur to me of the loftiness of Faraday’s character and the beauty of his life—still to grasp him and his researches as a whole; to seize upon the ideas which guided him, and connected them; to gain entrance into that strong and active brain, and read from it the riddle of the world—this is a work not easy of performance, and all but impossible amid the distraction of duties of another kind. That I should at one period or another speak to you regarding Faraday and his work is natural, if not inevitable; but I did not expect to be called upon to speak so soon. Still the bare suggestion that this is the fit and proper time for speech sent me immediately to my task: from it I have returned with such results as I could gather, and also with the wish that those results were more worthy than they are of the greatness of my theme...”
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