Page:Percival Lowell - an afterglow.djvu/27

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An Afterglow




Possessed of splendid enthusiasms all phases of life interested him. His jocular moods were delightful. The following extract from a letter received by the author from one of Dr. Lowell's Oxford friends will show how this trait of the many-sided man strongly impressed itself upon those about him:—

". . . I well remember the first or it may be the second time he was at this house. I had a lot of boys here, as I often do, lassoing and shooting in the garden, and the eager boyish way in which he joined them and shot and ran too, and the echo of his laughter as he did it is one of the pleasantest memories of the garden that come back to me. Also, I like to think of him at Flagstaff and the very happy fortnight when I enjoyed his hospitality there. Do you remember how we all tested our unaided eyesight on the big advertisement stuck up on the side of a drygoods store in Flagstaff,—we trying to draw it from the outside of the Observatory, and not verifying it with the telescope till we each had had a shot?"

Driven to his piazza one rainy day to lunch, because of alterations in the dining room, he jocosely named the picture on page 22—taken then—"A Silly-Wet Day!" He was a wit. His bon mots kept his guests in laughter. His dinner stories were sans pareils; sans reproches.