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fixed on pistils, stamens, and nerves of leaves that he was unable to observe at some distance two 
young and pretty girls, of modest demeanor, who were gathering flowers in a vast meadow. 
This accidental meeting decided the fate of our associate. Until then the idea of marriage had 
never even presented itself to his mind. You fancy, perhaps, the idea will quietly take root there, 
and germinate by degrees; but romantic imaginations do not proceed in this way. Ampère would have 
been married that very day. The woman of his choice — the only one he ever would have married — 
was one of those two young girls seen in the distance, with whose family he was not acquainted, of 
whose name he was ignorant, and whose voice had never reached his ear. But the affair was not so 
speedily disposed of. It was not until three years afterward that the young girl of the solitary 
stream and meadow, Mademoiselle Julie Carron, became Madame Ampère. 
But Ampère was without fortune, and before giving their daughter to him the parents of 
Mademoiselle Carron prudently exacted that he should consider the expenses entailed by marriage, 
and, as is commonly said in the world, establish himself in some business. You will smile, I am 
sure, to hear that, entirely engrossed by his passion, Ampère allowed them seriously to propose his 
applying for a position in some shop, where, from morning until night, he would unfold and fold and 
unfold again the beautiful Lyonnese silks; where his duty would consist principally in detaining the 
purchasers by engaging them in agreeable conversation, in adhering strictly to a fixed price, but 
without impatience; in descanting at large on the quality of the fabrics, the taste of the 
trimmings, and the fastness of the colors. 
Ampère, without having taken any part in the discussion, escaped this great danger. Science 
winning the day in a family council, he left his beloved mountains and proceeded to Lyons to give 
private lessons in mathematics. 


The period now reached in the life of Ampère is marked by more than one memorable event. In this 
he formed those intimate friendships which stood the test of, without being shaken by, the political 
crises and disorder of more than half a century. The new friends, animated by the same tastes, met 
every morning, at an early hour, at the house of one of the number, M. Lenoir, who cannot be 
described more clearly than as one of the best, gentlest, and most benevolent men who has ever 
honored the human race. There, in the Place des Cordeliers, before sunrise, in the fifth 
story of the house, seven or eight young men compensated themselves, in advance, for the weariness 
of the day devoted to business, by reading aloud the chemistry of Lavoisier; a work 
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