and Houzeau's friends had no hesitation in asserting that he was the only Belgian who could supply the requisite faculties. But there was much against him. He had been long away, and was politically discredited and unorthodox. Even when his nomination had been put into the hands of the king for the royal signature, the ministers interposed objections. "He is a freethinker," they said. "That is a matter for his conscience," the king replied. "But he is a republican, too," they added. "That is my business," said Leopold, and wrote his name confirming the appointment. Even Rogier, who was responsible for Houzeau's dismissal in 1849, told the king that, if he were now minister, he would appoint him. "I owe him a reparation," he said.
Houzeau took charge of the observatory on the 17th of June, 1876. His views as to the renovation of the institution were approved. New instruments were obtained; the meteorological department was fitted up; a spectroscopic department was instituted; a daily meteorological bulletin was started, which he attended to personally for the first six months; popular lectures were instituted, the library was enlarged, new life was given to the publications, a catalogue was made of the astronomical and meteorological works in Belgian libraries; Ciel et Terre, one of the most valuable scientific periodicals of Europe, was begun, and vigorous activity was instituted in every department. During the six years that he remained here he published The Study of Nature, its Charms and its Dangers; his General Uranometry; an Elementary Treatise on Meteorology (with M. Lancaster), and special papers. In 1878, as Vice-President of the Geographical Society, he received Mr. Stanley on his return from his Congo expedition.
Houzeau revisited Jamaica, spending five months there, in 1878. In 1880 he was delegated as the Belgian representative in the Meteorological Congress at Rome, and visited Italy for the first time. In 1882 he led one of the two Belgian expeditions to America—one to Texas and the other to Chili—to observe the transit of Venus. Visiting San Antonio again, he gave lectures there on scientific subjects, and particularly on the transit. He had found the climate of Belgium too severe for his enfeebled constitution, and determined not to return there. He came back to France, and settled down for a year at Orthez, near Pau; then, wishing to be nearer to Brussels and to libraries while preparing his Astronomical Bibliography, removed to Blois. In November, 1883, he resigned his position in the observatory. His father dying in August, 1885, he resolved to return to his native land to take care of his mother, to whom he was always a dutiful son. The demands of his Astronomical Bibliography obliged him to go to Brussels, where his labors on that important work were varied by occupation with his Annuaire populaire, lectures for