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Warden of Keble and Dr. Liddon married them, and the whole service was very impressive.
June.—Mr. Spottiswoode's death has been a terrible blow. Service at the Abbey. We put off our party on June 27th ; it seemed improper to have a party, mainly composed of scientific people, the very day after the death of the President of the Royal Society.
12th.- Dinner at the Pagets'. Met Browning, who is entirely on Carlyle's side à propos of Froude's recent revelations.
13th.—Went to. Cambridge to stay with the Humphrys. Sir John Lubbock, Mr. Watts, Mr. M. Arnold get their degrees.
15th. Went to Professor and Mrs. Allman, at Parkston. He is a most fascinating naturalist of the old type, caring for birds, and beasts, and flowers.
Met Mr. E. Clodd the other night, who alluded to 'Physicus'? and the tone of depression in the book (* Candid Examination of Theism '), which depression he does not understand and rather despises.
This year Mr. Romanes and Professor Ewart set up a small laboratory on the Geanies coast, and the Journal notes:
Professor Ewart could not get the farmhouse he hoped, and this was unfortunate, as he had written to the British Association and invited one or two
* Mr. Browning told the same story of the Carlyles at this party which Mrs. Ritchie narrates in Tennyson, Ruskin, and Browning, pp. 198, 199.
2 The nom de plume adopted in writing Candid Examination of Theism,
foreigners to come and work and live in this farmhouse. In vain were the foreigners warned not to come, for one evening in walked a young Dane, who preceded a postcard he had sent announcing his arrival. Very nice, and extremely embarrassed at finding himself in a country house where people dressed for dinner.
However, he got accommodation in the neighbourhood and worked at Ascidians, but the experiment of inviting stray foreign scientists was abandoned.
Sept.—The Allmans, Turners, and Mr. Lockyer have been here, and we have been getting up some private theatricals.
Jan. 1884.—Lecture at the Royal Institution on the Darwinian Theory of Instinct.'
To Miss C. E. Romanes.
January 5, 1884. I am preparing a beautiful surprise for Ethel after she comes down again. The library is to have its end wall papered and panelled, the conservatory is to be painted green, and filled with stands of flowers, and the little room is to have the window filled with stained glass, the walls, ceiling, and doors, beautifully papered and decorated. I expect my book to pay the bills. Is not this a nice idea ?
Little Ethel's ideas about writing, by the way, are original. A few days ago she wanted me to play at gee-gee. I said, 'No, Ethel, father is writing. She asked, "Writing letters or writing book ?' I said, Writing book.' Whereupon she made the shrewd remark—Father not writing to anybody, father can play gee-gee.' So much for her estimate of my popularity as an author.
Journal, April.—Lecture at Manchester; stayed with Professor Boyd Dawkins.
Mr. Romanes attended Canon Curteis' Boyle Lectures’ at Whitehall.
Journal, March 1883.-G. Lectured at One of the hearers asked whether in the lecturer's opinion man or animals had first appeared on the earth! G. spent a pleasant day at Bromsgrove with the F. Pagets.'
To James Romanes, Esq.
18 Cornwall Terrace, Regent's Park, N.W.: June 1, 1884. My dearest James, Little Ethel has just brought me the enclosed letter to send to you. She had written it as far as the up and down lines go, and said it was to tell you how much she loved you, and how sorry she was that she should not see you when she goes to Geanies. She then asked me to tell her how to write kiss. I told her that in letters they write kiss by a cross, and then she made the crosses. She also made me promise to send you the letter at once, without any delay; and as the idea of writing you a letter was entirely her own, I do as I was told. You may take it as a definite expression of the emotions, even though it be not a very intelligible expression of ideas.
She wants to know why you are going away, and whether you will write to her when you are away, and a heap of other questions of the same kind.
We are all well now, and I am just going with the two Ethels to a children's service, which they both enjoy. It is very pretty to hear the little one singing with the other children, which she does perfectly in tune.
They are waiting for me now, so with best love from all,
Yours ever the same,
GEORGE. To Mrs. Romanes. There is nothing to tell you to-day except that I dined with the and one thing after another was more comical than the last. The boys both spontaneously expressed their desire to write to you. The enclosed is the result. It does not seem much as to quantity, but if you knew the time and labour it required you would value it highly. I am going to the theatre with the Pollocks after lunch, and then to read my paper.
In 1885 came the first warnings of ill-health. Mr. Romanes had a short but very sharp illness, and after that year he suffered frequently from gout, which necessitated visits to various foreign cures.' He was a perfect travelling companion, he liked to have arrangements made for him, and was never discomposed if anything went wrong, never put out by any of the ordinary mischances of travel. Although he always professed indifference to architecture and art, he would grow quite boyishly enthusiastic over some cathedral,
as his sonnets to Amiens, and Christ Church, Oxford, testify, and for sculpture he had a real love.
In May 1885 came the first marked public utterance which showed that Mr. Romanes was now in a very different mental attitude to that in which he wrote his · Candid Examination of Theism.'
He delivered the Rede Lecture at Cambridge, and in it he criticises the materialistic position. (It must be remembered that his anti-Theistic book was published anonymously, and at that time he had no intention of ever referring to it.)
The reaction set in very soon after the Candid Examination was published.
He was severe, as it seemed often to those who knew him best, unduly severe with himself, and often described himself as utterly agnostic when possibly bewildered' would have better described him.
Through these years, underneath all the outward happiness, the intense love for scientific work, there was the same longing and craving for the old belief, and before his eyes was always the question, 'Is Christian faith possible or intellectually justifiable in the face of scientific discovery?'
These years between 1879 and 1890 were years of frequent despondency, of almost despair, but also of incessant seeking after truth, and year after year he grew gradually nearer Christian belief.
The letters which follow will be interesting in this place. They arose out of a correspondence in Nature.'
1 See sonnets, The Bible of Amiens, and Christ Church, Oxford. 2 See Nature, January 25, 1883.