I am only half-way through Campbell's biography of J.C. Maxwell, and continue to be impressed by his character. It is no wonder that Pupin called him one of the "saints" of science: half the biography has filled my eyes, heart and mind with his shining example of humanity. Alongside his highly important scientific discoveries, he was witty, educated in the classics and in art (he inquires in one letter after Tennyson's illustrations) and most of all, he sought to exercise his conscience and reason. I was often taught about Benjamin Franklin in this respect (his journal of virtues), but Maxwell outshines him. If it is the effort that is golden, then my words here are in fact called for. To demonstrate finally why it is worth taking the time to read about Maxwell, I shall quote the man himself (from a passage in which he wrote about the dearly departed):
              I thought of dead and absent friends, and how they endeavoured when alive to 
              make themselves known to us, and how the impression they had left in us remained 
              untouched and sacred during their absence. Then I thought of those who had left the 
              clearest impression on me,—how some were dead, and their character never known 
              or proved to the world, and their deeds never done as they would have been if they 
              had lived. But this secret knowledge is strengthening as well as sad, if our brother's life 
              is an inheritance to us when he falls, and we rise (like Triamond) to fight his battle as 
              well as our own.

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