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56.   MEMORIES OF MY LIFE

Spoglio, in visiting the wonderful caves of Adelsberg. A view over the Adriatic when driving up the mountain-side on the way to that place, remains still in my mind as one of the three or four most glorious views that I have had the privilege to see. The long walk underground at Adelsberg, the black and vicious stream that ran through it, looking like a river of death, and the fantastic stalactites and stalagmites were indeed astonishing. I bought two of the curious creatures called Proteus, that live in these underground waters. They have no real eyes, but sightless dots in the place of them ; their colour is that of the buried portion of stems of celery (etiolated, as it is commonly called), and they have both gills and lungs. They were the first living creatures of their kind brought to England. I gave them to King's College ; one soon died, the other lived and was yearly lectured on, as I heard, until fate in the form of a cat ended him.

I went from Trieste by steamer to Venice, and thence by diligence to Milan, whence I travelled by diligence to Geneva, with the bottle containing the two Proteus under my thin coat, for fear of the water freezing while crossing the Alps. At Geneva I had a few evening hours to spare, which I spent at the theatre, and thence on by diligence to Boulogne. I t took me either seven days and eight nights, or conversely, to reach Boulogne from Milan, and it was of course tiring to sit up and be shaken in a diligence during that long time. My legs began to swell before I reached Boulogne, but the two or three hours of lying down in the Channel steamer quite restored them.