FROM this day natural philosophy, and particularly chemistry, in
the most comprehensive sense of the term, became nearly my sole
occupation. I read with ardour those works, so full of genius
and discrimination, which modern inquirers have written on these
subjects. I attended the lectures, and cultivated the
acquaintance, of the men of science of the university; and I
found even in M. Krempe a great deal of sound sense and real
information, combined, it is true, with a repulsive physiognomy
and manners, but not on that account the less valuable. In M.
Waldman I found a true friend. His gentleness was never tinged
by dogmatism; and his instructions were given with an air of
frankness and good nature that banished every idea of pedantry.
It was, perhaps, the amiable character of this man that inclined
me more to that branch of natural philosophy which he professed,
than an intrinsic love for the science itself. But this state
of mind had place only in the first steps towards knowledge:
the more fully I entered into the science, the more exclusively
I pursued it for its own sake. That application, which at first
had been a matter of duty and resolution, now became so ardent
and eager, that the stars often disappeared in the light of
morning whilst I was yet engaged in my laboratory.