240 MEMORIES OF MY LIFE
Smith (1826-1883) of Oxford, to whose memory the highest tributes have been paid, notably by Sir Mountstuart E. Grant Duff. It was delightful to watch his facility in dealing with difficulties, whether of administration or expression. The Chairman usually has to remain in the Office after the meetings are closed to write letters connected with what has just been transacted. The Secretary, Mr. Robert Scott, was of course present at those times, and he told me of a peculiarity of Henry Smith that I should never have guessed, namely, that when an important letter had to be written, it was his habit to begin by filling a half-sheet and then tearing it up to begin afresh. I myself am very familiar with the way in which the mind settles itself while writing the address and date and the " Dear Sir," but should have thought from the exceptional rapidity of the ordinary working of Henry Smith's mind that he would have been the last person to need a long pause to give his ideas time to crystallise.
Notwithstanding his multifarious duties and interests, he worked hard at the inquiries of the moment. In one of these I was closely associated with him, namely, in an attempt to analyse the extremely complex system of ocean currents round the Cape and up the West Coast of South Africa. They admit of being identified and distinguished partly by their direction and partly by their temperature. Volumes of cold water coming from the direction of the South Pole sometimes plunge far below the surface and reappear in the midst of an otherwise unbroken surface current.
I t was a great shock and grief to us all when,