212 ENGLISH MEN OF SCIENCE. [CRAP.
the practical investigation of it for oneself. At this point of a man's mental progress the help of a friend may be of immense assistance ; he may give elementary hints which will remove formidable difficulties to a beginner, who is utterly unused to experiment. It is told, I think, of a scholar, that he laboured for successive days to make with his own hands in his own chambers a plum-pudding according to a time-honoured family recipe, but he produced nothing except thick pastes or stirabouts of different degrees of lumpiness, revolting to the sight. At length he confided his difficulties to a lady, who explained that in making plumpuddings it was a matter of course, and therefore not spoken of in the recipe, to put the ingredients into a bag before beginning to boil them. The example of a friend encourages a young man to overcome his diffidence and to firmly
occupy any position that he knows by his own judgment to be true. Perhaps the greatest help
of all is the consciousness of strength which is
given by co-operation on not very unequal terms
with a veteran in performance and reputation.