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Full text of "TheCompleteMemoirsOfGeorgeSherston"

the Astronomer Royal of Scotland. That, so far, was
all I knew and all I needed to know, my ignorance
of astronomy being what it was. Rivers was taking
me up there, and it promised to be a very agreeable
outing, and quite a contrast to that Mecca of psycho-
neuroses, Slateford War Hospital.

Anybody who desires to verify my observations on
the observatory is—or ought to be—at liberty to go
there and see it for himself. But it will be one-sided
verification, since I am unable to visualize, even
vaguely, the actual observatory. Let us therefore
assume it to be a building in all respects worthy of
the lofty investigations which were why it was there
—or, if you prefer it, "to which it was dedicated".
Arrival and admittance having followed one another
in accordance with immemorial usage, the Astrono-
mer Royal welcomed us with the cordiality of a man
who has plenty to spare for his fellow-men—no cor-
diality being required of him by the constellations,
comets, and other self-luminous bodies which he had
spent so much of his time in scrutinizing. I have
known people who would probably have improvised
some such conversational opening as "Well, sir, and
how are the stars? Any new ones lately?"—but I was
too shy to say anything at all to a man so widely
acquainted with the universe. We were introduced to
the fourth member of the quartet, a jocular-looking
parson who rejoiced in the name of Father Rosary,
and was, I inferred, a priest. We then sat down to
luncheon. As I glanced around the room, which had
eighteenth-century charm, I no longer felt shy and
was completely prepared to enjoy myself. This feeling