Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 4.djvu/650

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632

THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY.

not speaking of ourselves alone, but of our Canadian friends on the other side of the St. Lawrence. We must join together in generous emulation of the best that is done in Europe. In her Majesty's representative, Lord Dufferin, they will find an eager appreciation of all that they may do. Together we must try to refute what De Tocqueville has said about us, that communities such as ours can never have a love of pure science. But, whatever may be the glory of our future intellectual life, let us both never forget what we owe to England. Hers is the language which we speak, hers are all our ideas of liberty and law. To her literature, as to a fountain of light, we repair. The torch of science that is shining here was kindled at her midnight lamp."

The President of Cornell University, to which Mr. Goldwin Smith belongs, used, on the same evening, these remarkable words: "We are greatly stirred, at times, as this fraud or that scoundrel is dragged to light, and there rise cries and moans over the corruption of the times; but, my friends, these frauds and these scoundrels are not the corruption of the times. They are the mere pustules which the body politic throws to the surface. Thank God that there is vitality enough left to throw them to the surface. The disease is below all this, infinitely more wide-spread. What is that disease? I believe that it is, first of all, indifference; indifference to truth as truth; next, skepticism, by which I do not mean inability to believe this or that dogma, but the skepticism which refuses to believe that there is any power in the universe strong enough, large enough, good enough, to make the thorough search for the truth safe in every line of investigation; next, infidelity, by which I do not mean want of fidelity to this or that dominant creed, but want of fidelity to that which underlies all creeds, the idea that the true and the good are one; and, finally, materialism, by which I do not mean this or that scientific theory of the universe, but that devotion to the mere husks and rinds of-good, that struggle for place and pelf, that faith in mere material comfort and wealth, which eats out of human hearts all patriotism, and which is the very opposite to the spirit which gives energy to scientific achievement. . . . I believe that the little army of scientific men furnish a very precious germ, from which better ideas may spring; . . . and I trust that love, admiration, and gratitude, between men of science on both sides of the Atlantic, may add new cords and give strength to old cords which unite the hearts of the two great English speaking nations."

On the same occasion, in reference to the question of international amity, I ventured to say this much: "Among the motives which prompted me, at the time of accepting your invitation, was this: I thought, and friends of mine here thought, that a man withdrawn from the arena of politics, who had been fortunate enough to gain a measure of the good-will of the American people, might do something toward softening political asperities. I referred to this point in Boston, but my references to it have grown more and more scanty, until, in the three cities last visited, they disappeared altogether. And this not because I had the subject less at heart, but because, as your great countryman, Emerson, might express it, any reference of the kind would be like the sound of a scythe in December, entirely out of place. During my four months' residence in the United States I have not heard a single whisper hostile to England."

This, sir, will sufficiently indicate to you my experience of the feeling of the people of the United States toward this country. Either they do not hate us, as alleged; or, if they do, the manner in which they suppressed this feeling, out of consideration for a guest, proves them to be the most courteous of nations.

I am, sir, your obedient servant,
John Tyndall.
Athenæum Club, Saturday, Jan. 11th.

Population of New Guinea.—Captain C. J. Moresby, of the British Navy, who visited New Guinea during the past year, to complete the unfinished survey of the late Captain Owen Stanley, reports that the whole coast country of the eastern half of that island is well peopled with a copper-colored race, quite distinct from the black Papuans of the western portion. This lighter-colored race are a friendly and intelligent people. They gladly received their strange visitors at their villages, and the crew of Captain