twenty shillings a week. "I have often wondered since," he observed in an address delivered in the year 1884, "at the amount of genuine happiness which a young fellow of regular habits, not caring for either pipe or mug, may extract even from pay like that." He next found employment in railroad surveying, the railway-building mania in England being then at its height. The remuneration was a little better than in his former position, but the work was terrible. "The day's work in the field," he tells us, "usually began and ended with the day's light, while frequently in the office, and more especially as the awful 30th of November—the latest date at which plans and sections of projected lines could be deposited at the Board of Trade—drew near, there was little difference between day and night, every hour of the twenty-four being absorbed in the work of preparation. Strong men were broken down by the strain and labor of that arduous time. . . . In my own modest sphere I well remember the refreshment I occasionally derived from five minutes' sleep on a deal table with Babbage and Cal let's Logarithms under my head for a pillow." A better school for expelling any sickly dreams or pessimisms that might haunt a young man's brain could not easily be imagined. Possibly more than one rather discouraging philosophical treatise might never have been written had the authors been required to go through a similar experience. At one moment the idea of speculating in railway shares took possession of the young surveyor's mind. He made a purchase in the most legitimate way, and for three weeks was the most miserable of men; when, finding the burden intolerable, he went back to his brokers and "unloaded" at the exact price he had paid.
After four years of railway work Tyndall accepted a position as teacher of mathematics at Queenwood College in Hampshire. Here he learned by practical experience that two factors went to the formation of a teacher, ability to inform and ability to stimulate. To quote his own words in the address already referred to: "A power of character must underlie and enforce the work of the intellect. There are men who can so rouse and energize their pupils as to make the hardest work agreeable. Without this power it is questionable whether the teacher can ever really enjoy his vocation—with it I do not know a higher, nobler, more blessed calling than that of the man who, scorning the cramming so prevalent in our day, converts the knowledge he imparts into a lever to lift, exercise, and strengthen the growing minds committed to his care." After a year of teaching the ardent student gathered all he had saved up to that time, some two hundred pounds, and went over to Germany in order to take a course in science at the University of Marburg, which at the time was enjoying great repute through the lectures of the illustrious chemist Bunsen. It was neither a desire for money nor a desire for fame, he tells us, that took him to Germany. He had been reading Fichte and Emerson and Carlyle, and had been touched by their spirit, "The Alpha and Omega of their teaching was loyalty to duty. Higher knowledge and greater strength were within reach of the man who unflinchingly enacted his best insight." Living was cheap at Marburg in those days: a good dinner could be got for eightpence—a more bounteous dinner, indeed, than so abstemious a liver as Tyndall cared to eat; for it consisted of several courses, while he generally limited himself to one, not caring to waste any of his energy in needless wear and tear of his digestive organs. After studying for a time at Marburg he went to Berlin, where he fell in with a
- My Schools and Schoolmasters. Reprinted in The Popular Science Monthly for January, 1885.