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kind of sea-bird, and it is almost impossible to describe the weird, uncanny effect which the long endless twilight of the summer, the silence broken by hootings of owls, by the scream of a sea-gull, produce on one.
It is an old rambling house with long passages and mysterious staircases, and, as the children found, endless conveniences for playing at hide-and-seek. The library is a most lovely room, lined with bookcases, and leading into an old-fashioned garden, full of sweet-smelling flowers.
It is impossible to imagine a more ideal abode for a poet, a naturalist, a botanist, a sportsman, than this, his summer home; and as Mr. Romanes was, to some extent, all four, Geanies was a place of exceeding happiness to him.
Two of his sonnets are dedicated to his dogs, 'To my Setters,' and To Countess,' and the following letter will show him as a sportsman.
To Mrs. Romanes.
Achalibster, Caithness: August 14, 1883. To-day turned out not at all bad after all; and although there was a good deal too much rain I had a glorious time. Bag twenty brace of grouse, one brace plover, one hare, one duck; I could easily have got more, only Bango got so tired in the afternoon that we knocked off at five o'clock, moreover I did not begin till eleven, as I did not wake till ten! So the twenty brace was shot in about five hours. The new setter · Flora' is a beauty. She is extraordinarily like Bango, but with a prettier face. She is a splendid worker.
1 A moor taken in addition to the low ground shooting of Geanies.
Even at Geanies he always worked for some part of the day, and sport, tennis, boating, filled up the rest of his time.
Very often there was a house party, and the evenings were particularly bright-merry talk, games, very amateurish theatricals, learned discussions. Nothing came amiss to the master of the house. He was always a little apt to be absent-minded and dreamy, and his pet name, bestowed on him by the dearest and merriest of all the merry. Geanies brotherhood' was · Philosopher.' It stuck, and many people only knew him by that name.
No one ever appreciated a good story more than he, and, as a friend has said, “his laugh was so merry and so often heard.'
His own jokes were invariably free from any unkindness, and he did not in the least appreciate repartee or epigram, the point of which lay chiefly, if not wholly, in unkindness. Many friends enlivened his summer home, and all those who paid a second visit were known as the Geanies brotherhood.'
Journal, Geanies, July 26.—Yesterday came the terrible news of Mr. Frank Balfour's sudden death.' His loss is irreparable. It is only a month since we met him at Cambridge, looking so well, quite recovered from his recent illness; we were looking forward to his promised visit.
Sept.—Mr. Lockyer, the Bruntons, and the Burdon 1 Mr. F. Balfour was killed on the Aiguille Blanche de Peuteret, July 1892,
Sandersons have been here. Memorial Poem to Darwin begun.
Nov. 14, Edinburgh.—Met for the first time Mr. and Mrs. Butcher, who were just taking possession of the Greek Chair; also Professor Blackie, who was himself, and talked much of the insolence of John Bull.
Jan. 1883.- Dr. Sanderson is elected Professor of Physiology at Oxford.
To this election was due the ultimate change in Mr. Romanes' life in 1890, when he followed Dr. Sanderson to Oxford, attracted mainly by the facilities for physiological research.
On Jan. 2 of this year (1883) his mother died.
Mr. Romanes lectured at the Royal Institution in January, and immediately afterwards went abroad on one of the only two Continental tours he took simply for pleasure. He much enjoyed this Italian journey, and the rhyming instinct woke up in him greatly. He wrote a good deal about this time, and one of his sonnets has reference to this journey— Florence.' He also made acquaintance for the first time with a good many well-known novels, read to him during a temporary illness at Florence—the precursor, alas, of inany such times of novel-reading. He shared Mr. Darwin's tastes for simple, pure, love stories, and one of the party at Florence well remembers how • The Heir of Redclyffe' brought tears to his eyes. For this and The Chaplet of Pearls,' read to him some years later, he had a great admiration.
Journal, March 28, 1883.- Mr. F. Paget's wedding in St. Paul's, a special anthem by Stainer. The