SOCIAL LIFE 187
consented, and found the occupation very agreeable, for it put me into pleasant communication with many whom it was a privilege to know, but excision was often an unwelcome duty. Thus among the many contributions offered for one of the volumes, I had thirteen separate descriptions of sea-sickness. The venture paid its way, but no more, and was discontinued after the third volume.
A total eclipse visible in Spain occurred on July i8, i 86o, and the Government lent their magnificent transport the Himalaya to those who were selected to observe it, by and under the leadership of the then Astronomer-Royal, Mr., afterwards Sir George, Airy (18o1-1892). I applied, and was granted permission to join. We went with great comfort and speed, first to Bilbao, where small parties, of whom mine of four persons was one, were landed. The rest went on to Santander.
Careful preparations had been made in Spain for our comfort, as few of us knew a word of the language, and serious obstructions due to intolerance might otherwise have occurred for want of timely explanation. These excellent arrangements were entirely due to the forethought of Mr. Vignolles, a famous contractor for railways, who was then occupied with those of Spain; One of his many subordinates was allotted as interpreter to each small party ; ours proved to be a most agreeable guide and informant. The position allotted to our party was in the neighbourhood of Logrono, whither we proceeded at once in order to study the neighbourhood and to select a suitable spot. This was quickly found on a picturesque hill called La Guardia, crowned with a convent and village,