Open main menu

Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 44.djvu/524

This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.

I go to Niagara next week, so that the fortnight will be one of relaxation in part and in part of preparation.

I have pledged myself to lecture in New Haven in January. They would be sorely disappointed if I did not do this. . . . I remain here till Wednesday, when I propose starting for Niagara.

The following letter gives Tyndall's first impressions of Niagara Falls:

International Hotel, Niagara Falls, Monday morning, November 4, 1872.

My Dear Youmans: I came here on Friday afternoon and have been active ever since. The first impression made upon me by the Falls was tame, because my point of view was not a good one; but they have grown in strength and majesty as I have seen more of them, I had a somewhat exciting day on Saturday, penetrating into unexpected regions under the Horseshoe Fall. I had a fine, strong fellow with me as guide; he had been put upon his mettle, and he led me into extraordinary places—into places, indeed, where no prudent man ought to be found. . . .

I remain here doing some work until Thursday, when T start for Philadelphia. If I find from my assistants that matters are all right in Philadelphia, I may be induced to stay till Friday. There is nothing, I suppose, to be arranged regarding New York? If there were, I could go that way and have a word with you.

I am stronger than when I came, and my work will gradually become easier to me—at least I hope so. I quitted Boston on Thursday, not completing all I wished to do, nor seeing all I wished to see. Still, my sojourn there was a most pleasant one. The only drawback was that many people—thousands I was told wished to hear the lectures who were unable to hear them.

With kind regards to Mrs. Youmans and your sister, also to Mr. Appleton,

Believe me ever faithfully yours,
John Tyndall.
I find by contact with intelligent people here and there that you are well known in your own country and that your work is duly appreciated.

In the following letters Prof. Tyndall gives his impressions of his audiences in Philadelphia, Baltimore, and Washington:

Philadelphia, November 23, 1872.

My Dear Youmans: The second ordeal has been passed, and I believe successfully. The audience at first might have damped a person who reckoned on applause, for the Quaker element is strong in Philadelphia, and Quakers eschew the clapping of hands. But the attention was unflagging throughout. I drew heavily upon their patience, occupying them sometimes for nearly two hours. I did not see one yawn in the assembly, nor one mark of weariness from beginning to end.

They warmed up, moreover, and behaved very much as other Christians in the end. I hardly think any Englishman ever spoke so freely to an American audience as I did to mine last night. I repeated one of De Tocqueville's hardest sayings with reference to the poverty of their achievements in the higher walks of science. I took to pieces the claims of the so-called practical man, not attenuating his merit in the slightest, but opening to their view a region of antecedent discovery to which practical men were not contributors, but from which they