Microscopist Quotes (2 quotes)
“Going fishing!” How often the question has been asked by acquaintances, as they have met me, with rod and basket, on an excursion after materials for microscopic study. “Yes!” has been the invariable answer, for it saved much detention and explanation; and now, behold! I offer them the results of that fishing. No fish for the stomach, but, as the old French microscopist Joblet observed, “some of the most remarkable fishes that have ever been seen”; and food-fishes for the intellect.
I had this experience at the age of eight. My parents gave me a microscope. I don’t recall why, but no matter. I then found my own little world, completely wild and unconstrained, no plastic, no teacher, no books, no anything predictable. At first I did not know the names of the water-drop denizens or what they were doing. But neither did the pioneer microscopists. Like them, I graduated to looking at butterfly scales and other miscellaneous objects. I never thought of what I was doing in such a way, but it was pure science. As true as could be of any child so engaged, I was kin to Leeuwenhoek, who said that his work “was not pursued in order to gain the praise I now enjoy, but chiefly from a craving after knowledge, which I notice resides in me more that most other men.”