Page:Percival Lowell - an afterglow.djvu/26

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Percival Lowell


Dr. Lowell was "a charming host"—as his friend Mr. George Agassiz so well described him in his beautiful tribute. "He liked to have people come—and he liked to have them go!" he was heard to say many times. He cordially greeted people from everywhere at his mountain home and was solicitous that they should have due courtesies given them by his assistants in the dome and by the servants in his house. He was pained if he felt that anyone had been slighted—though a stranger to him. For two and twenty years he elicited much acclaim from travellers from Asia and Europe, from California and our East, who visited the Observatory as they passed through Flagstaff. They all became conscious that he felt keenly the responsibility of being Director and their host. He was simple as he was forceful; and yet at heart he was a hermit. Of an evening one usually found him alone by his fireside with his after-dinner cigar, or rather cigars, for smoking was with him a passion. Frequently, he smilingly quoted the saying: "The only excuse for a dinner is the cigar that follows."