Bauhaus-Universität Weimar

186 MEMORIES OF MY LIFE 
breath is suddenly checked. A very little seems 
sufficient to divert attention from that desire, and to 
leave the sense only of being ill and on the point of 
swooning. My chief experiences may seem hardly 
credible ; they were due to a fancy of mine to obtain 
distinct vision when diving. The convex eyeball 
stamps a concave lens in the water, whose effect has 
to be neutralised by a convex lens. This has to be 
very “ strong,” because the refractive power of a lens 
is greatly diminished by immersion in water. My 
first experiment was in a bath, using the two objectives 
of my opera-glass in combination, and with some 
success. I then had spectacles made for me, which I 
described at the British Association in 1865 [19]. 
With these I could read the print of a newspaper 
perfectly under water, when it was held at the exact 
distance of clear vision, but the range of clear vision 
was small. I amused myself very frequently with 
this new hobby, and being most interested in the act 
of reading, constantly forgot that I was nearly suffo¬ 
cating myself, and was recalled to the fact not by any 
gasping desire for breath, but purely by a sense of 
illness, that alarmed me. It disappeared immediately 
after raising the head out of water and inhaling two 
or three good whiffs of air. 
Mr. Alexander Macmillan asked me in the later 
fifties to undertake the editorship of a volume to be 
called Vacation Tourists [1 x], which would be repeated 
annually if the venture succeeded. His view was 
that many able young men travelled every summer, 
each of whom would have enough to say to make a 
good article, and that a collection of their contributions 
would suffice for an interesting annual volume. I
        

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