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Documents et études > ARAGO, EULOGY ON AMPÈRE., 1872.
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foremost in the class springs forward and seizes the old man’s hand, another wrests the tumbler 
from his grasp. A scene! Profound silence in the class! The venerable man looks at them ironically. 
“Thank you, gentlemen! Very kind of you!  But you are giving yourselves unnecessary trouble.’ I 
took it for granted that my class understood the laws of gravitation. With your permission, 
gentlemen, I will first drink my eau sucrée, which I want, and will then give you a hint, which 
you appear to want.”  He now drank without further molestation, and then drawing in a 
long breath –"Eh! comment, Messieurs, voulez vous qu’il en est du danger! Ne savez-vous pas 
que le verre est plus pesant que l’eau? " "What, gentlemen! then you thought there was some 
danger! But ain’t you aware that glass is heavier than water! And did you not observe how careful 
I was to drink the contents of the tumbler at a reasonable angle". Then, taking all the tumbler, he 
continued to incline it over the table till it was nearly horizontal, and so on, till the pieces of 
glass fell out, and the class laughed. "Ah! si je l’avais bu à cette angle là! – mais 
j’ai été plus adroit!" Ah! if I had drunk at this inclination! –but I was too knowing for 
that." Here (for it was at the end of his lecture that this little episode occurred) a bright-eyed 
damsel went up and asked some question respecting the course of rays of light through certain media, 
but whether old Ampère referred her to his heart, as we should have done, we could not hear. She 
colored, however; her eyes seemed pleased with the interpretation given to her question whatever it 
might have been, and they walked out together – a "January and May" – separated only by the 
insecure partition of the pasteboard almanac which the elder of the months still kept in his hand. 
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