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James Dewar, 1842–1923: a Friday Evening Lecture to the Members of the Royal Institution, on January 18, 1924

Nature volume 114, page 48 (12 July 1924) | Download Citation



EULOGY, whether spoken or written, makes greater demands upon judgment, knowledge, and taste than any literary task-so difficult is it, while maintaining equipoise between the elements that compose virility and virtue, to avoid transgression into adulation too fervid or into praise too faint. When eulogy relates, however, to a friend who has passed beyond mortal life, the task is to some writers made easier, for thoughts then spring from the depths in proverbial abundance, and there is more of reverence to steady the balance” It is in these circumstances that Prof. Armstrong pays tribute to his friend James Dewar. He extols the great philosopher in terms the substance of which is already familiar to those who early in the year followed the proceedings of the Royal Institution; but it is well that the discourse then so finely wrought in the rough, and now polished, and set in the gold of generous appreciation, should take this permanent form. Here and there some comparisons may be too vivid, here and there the detail may be weak, and the allusions may occasionally be inconsequent and in excess, but the work as a whole reveals with truth and justice the skill, genius, character, and nobility of purpose of James Dewar, in a manner to encourage and to inspire all who study it in a mood to respond.

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