172 MEMORIES OF MY LIFE
the variety and amount of information he had written in it, in his small, clear handwriting.
Lawrence Oliphant had a most winning manner and a marvellous facility of expression. I have served on more Council meetings than could easily be reckoned, and am only too familiar with the often recurring difficulty of finding a phrase that shall cover just as much of the question under discussion as is generally accepted, without touching any part on which there is disagreement. Oliphant had the art of hitting upon the appropriate phrase on these occasions more deftly and aptly than any one else whom I can remember. We worked together most pleasantly as joint secretaries under the presidency of John Crawfurd, the Ethnologist, who nicknamed us his two sons.
I had the great pleasure of again falling in with Mansfield Parkyns of Abyssinian fame, at Admiral Murray's hospitable gatherings.
Among many other distinguished travellers who were in England during the fifties, I should mention Dr. Barth, who was a learned and simple-minded man. The five volumes of his travels in North Africa have the merits and demerits of many German books, being; full of information but deterrent in form. I suspect that few Englishmen have read them through as conscientiously as I did. He was a great believer in the importance of the Hausa language to traders and settlers. It was then practically unknown even to professed linguists, so lie brought over with him a bright Ilausa boy to help him and others in learning it. I never knew exactly what happened, but it seems there was evidence that the boy had expressed a wish