The life of Airy was essentially that of a hard-working, business man, and differed from that of other hard-working people only in the quality and variety of his work. It was not an exciting life, but it was full of interest, and his work brought him into close relations with many scientific men, and with many men high in the State. His real business life commenced after he became Astronomer Royal, and from that time forward, during the 46 years that he remained in office, he was so entirely wrapped up in the duties of his post that the history of the Observatory is the history of his life.
emarkable. He was made for work and could not long be happy without it. Whatever subject he was engaged upon, he kept his object clearly in view, and made straight for it, aiming far more at clearness and directness than at elegance of periods or symmetry of arrangement. He wrote his letters with great ease and rapidity: and having written them he very rarely had occasion to re-write them, though he often added insertions and interlineations, even in the most important official letters. Without this it would have been impossible for him to have turned out the enormous quantity of correspondence that he did. He never dictated letters, and only availed himself of clerical assistance in matters of the most ordinary routine. In his excursions, as in his work, he was always energetic, and could not endure inaction. Whatever there was of interest in the places that he visited he examined thoroughly and without delay, and then passed on. And he thus accomplished a great deal in a short vacation. His letters written
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