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He was very catholic in his musical tastes, except perhaps that Italian opera never greatly fascinated him. Wagner's operas, on the other hand, became a great delight, particularly after a visit to Baireuth in 1889, where he saw ‘Parsifal' and ` Meistersinger.'
Politics interested Mr. Romanes moderately. He was by nature and by family tradition a Conservative, but he cared very little for parties, and admired great men on whichever side of the House they sat.
Perhaps of all living politicians, the one for whom he had the greatest enthusiasm and respect was Mr. Arthur Balfour. For him, both as a politician and as a thinker, Mr. Romanes had an unbounded admiration. In 1880 came the first of many visits to Oxford. This time Mr. Romanes and his wife were Mr. Francis Paget's guests, and met in his rooms at Christ Church Dr. Liddon and Mr. Scott Holland.
EXTRACTS FROM JOURNAL'
Feb. 1881.–Went to Mr. Norman Lockyer. Several people, including William Black, the novelist, were there. After Mr. Lockyer had shown us several experiments in spectrum analysis, a lady asked him
What is the use of the spectroscope ? Called on Mr. Cotter Morison and saw some beautiful books. He is a wonderfully good talker.
June 1881.—Dinner at the Spottiswoodes'. Mr. Browning was there and talked much about Victor Hugo. He mentioned that when Wordsworth was told that Miss Barrett had married Mr. Browning, he replied, “It's a good thing these two understand each other, for no one else understands them.'
1 It should be explained that the writer of this memoir is responsible for the Journal, but as it was kept for the benefit of both husband and wife a few extracts are given.
Garvock, Perthshire : November 5, 1881. My dearest Charlotte,- I thought you would like the photos, and your letter to-day more than justifies my anticipation. Coming events cast their shadows before, and it will not now be long before you see the former. These are both exceedingly well. I wish you could see little Ethel dancing. It is now her greatest amusement, and she does it with all the state and gravity of an eighteenth century grande dame.
Many thanks for your prompt action about the proofs. You did everything in the best possible way, as I knew you would. It is a great blessing you were in London at the time, as the caretaker would be sure to have made some mistake, and time is pressing.
The duke has answered me in this week's Nature,' and likewise has Carpenter. I have written a rejoinder for next week's issue in a tone which I have tried to make at once dignified and blunt.
I send you a riddle which I have just made. See if you can answer it in your next.
• My first is found in Scripture,
My second hangs in air,
Yet maps can tell you where.
A word, yet not a word,
I'm bigger by a third.'1
Yours ever the same,
GEORGE. 1 The answer is the word six.
In this Journal constant mention occurs of concerts and of the pleasure given by amateur musical friends. The late Professor Rowe's name often occurs; he succeeded Professor Clifford at University College, and besides his great mathematical attainments he was also a most accomplished musician. He played Schumann especially in the most poetic way.
Journal, Feb. 1882.-Lecture by Professor Tyndall on the action of molecular heat. Triumphant vindication of his own work against Magnus and Tait.
April 2.—Sunday, the 25th, we spent at Oxford, met the Warden of Keble in Mr. F. Paget's rooms, as a year ago we had met Dr. Liddon. Met Mr. Vernon Harcourt at Christ Church.
May.—Met Shorthouse, author of 'John Inglesant,' at the F. Pollocks'. He spoke of Mr. ScottHolland's review of his book. Sir F. Bramwell lectured the other day at the Royal Institution on the making of the Channel tunnel, and was as amusing as usual. Tea with Dr. and Mrs. Huggins in their pretty house, which is full of beautiful things. Much talk about spiritualism.
June.—Interesting talk with Mr. J. R. Green. Both J. R. G. and G. J. R. agreed that Herbert Spencer, Professor Huxley, and Leslie Stephen only represented one side of the question, i.e. that conduct can only be called moral when it is beneficial to the race, and that the ethical quality of an action is determined solely by its effects as beneficial or injurious. This purely mechanical view of morality deprives morality of what both speakers considered the essential elements of morality as such, i.e. the feeling of right and wrong, so that, e.g., ants and bees, according to this canon, have a right to be considered more truly moral than men.
The view taken by J. R. G. and G. J. R. was that the essential element of morality resided in feeling and inclination.
To Miss C. E. Romanes.
18 Cornwall Terrace : June My dearest Charlotte,—We are all well and lively. Ascot and an “at home' yesterday ; to-day artists' studios, dinner at the Pagets', and Sanderson's lecture ; to-morrow, College of Surgeons' reception and dinner party of our own; and next week, one, two, or three engagements for every day. 'Babylon is in full swing, and I heard yesterday, from the head of the Census department, that for the last ten years it has been growing at the rate of 1,000 per week.
I have only time to write a few lines to thank you and the mother for the very jolly letters received this inorning, and to let you know that we are all well.
The reason of my haste now is this extraordinary discovery that has been made in the Botanical Gardens, and which you have probably read about in the Times.' Medusæ have been found in swarms in the fresh-water tank of the Victoria Regina Lily, Such a thing as a fresh-water Medusa has never been heard of before, and I want to lose no time in getting to work upon his physiology. You see, when I don't go to the jelly-fish the jelly-fish come to me, and I am bound to have jelly-fish wherever I go.
It would have been very odd if I had been the discoverer, as I should have been had I known that there was a living Victoria Regis, for then I should have gone to see the plant, and would not have failed to see the Medusæ. Only in that case I might have begun to grow superstitious, and to think that in some way my fate was bound up in jelly-fish.
I must get to work soon because all the naturalists are in a high state of excitement, and there has been a regular scramble for priority.
The worst about this jelly-fish is that it will only live in a temperature of 90°, so I shall have to work at it in the Victoria House, which is kept at a temperature of 100°, and makes one'sweat.' But I shall not work long at a time.
From 1882 to 1890 Mr. Romanes rented Geanies, a beautiful place overlooking the Moray Firth. It belongs to a cousin of the Romanes family, Captain Murray, of the 81st Regiment. Captain Murray's mother and sisters lived not far away, and the Murrays and Romanes formed a little coterie in that not very populous neighbourhood.
He continued to be an ardent sportsman, and probably his happiest days were those he spent tramping over moors or plodding through turnips in those October days of perfect beauty, which seem especially peculiar to Scotland.
The surroundings of Geanies, without being romantically beautiful, have a charm of their own. There is a certain melancholy and loneliness about the inland landscape round Geanies which appealed strongly to him. It is a place abounding in every