Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 2.djvu/755

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735
ENGLISH AND AMERICAN SCIENCE.

Now, Prof. Tyndall is on the point of leaving us. When he gets back to Albemarle Street, he will remember Broadway. I am sure that you will all join me in wishing him a pleasant voyage over the Atlantic. But I wish him something better than that, I will add—a safe return to America. There is a great deal for him to do here yet. He may tell his friends that he has been to America, but he must not tell them that he has seen the Americans. We who are living: on the Atlantic verge of the continent are only modified Europeans—very slightly modified, indeed. One must go beyond the Alleghanies—yes, and over to the Pacific coast, before he can say he has seen what the American really is. I suppose that Dr. Tyndall has finished his glacier expeditions to Switzerland. Is there nothing here that can tempt him? He and other members of the Alpine Club need not go about the streets of London weeping, like so many broken-hearted Alexanders, that there are no more worlds to conquer. Let them take a look at the Rocky Mountains, and tell us what they think of them. Dr. Tyndall is a lover of Nature. Well! we can show him all kinds of scenery, from where the half-frozen Mackenzie is lazily flowing through a waste of snows on its way toward the Arctic Ocean, to where oranges are growing on the Gulf. Or, if he is tired of inanimate Nature, and is in the mood of Dr. Johnson—you know the story. Boswell said to Johnson one day: "See! What a beautiful afternoon; let us take a walk in the green fields." "No, I won't," replied the grim and gruff lexicographer. "I've seen green fields; one green field is like another green field. They are all alike. No, sir! I'll walk down Cheapside. I like to look at men"—if Dr. Tyndall is in that mood, can we not satisfy his curiosity? Another friend of mine, Mr. Froude, has set us all talking about Ireland. We can show Dr. Tyndall how we take the Irish immigrant, in his corduroy knee-breeches, his smashed-down hat, and his shillalah in his fist, and, in a generation or so, turn him into an ornament of professional life, make him a successful merchant, or familiarize him with all the amenities of elegant society. If that's not enough, we will show him how we take the German, and, wonderful to be said, make him half forget his fatherland and half his mother-tongue, and become an English-speaking American citizen. If that's not enough, we will show him how we have purged the African, the woolly-headed black man, of the paganism of his fore-fathers, and are now trying our hand at Darwinizing him into a respectable voter. If that's not enough, we will show him how, in the trans-Mississippi plains, we are improving the red Indian—alas! I fear my friend will say, improving him off the face of the earth! If that's not enough, we will show him where we have got tens of thousands of Chinese, with picks and shovels, digging Pacific railways. We are mixing European and Asiatic, red Indians and black Africans, together, and I suppose certain English naturalists will tell us that the upshot of the thing will be a survival of the fittest. In San Francisco,