178 MEMORIES OF MY LIFE
Prehistoric Times, and had attracted the friendship of most of the men of the day who were -destined to become famous in science. His week-end invitations were always most instructive and grateful. I t is difficult justly to express the value of such opportunities of friendly and unhurried converse. I received great kindness and much warm welcome at his house, and was captivated by the ingenuity of his experiments on ants and bees.
Amongst many friends whose acquaintance I first made at Sir John Lubbock's was Herbert Spencer, then struggling with difficulties connected with his serial publications. They were removed by the unexpected visit of an American gentleman, with a gold watch, who made a brief oration to the effect that Spencer's admirers in America feared the cessation of his publications in pamphlet form owing to financial reasons. That they had consequently subscribed and invested a (handsome) sum in his name in Consols, and had further deputed him-the speaker-to present the gold watch as a token of their esteem. It was a touching and cheering event to Spencer, who always wore the watch. It, moreover, went well, which was not invariably the case with costly presentation watches in those days.
I met Herbert Spencer frequently at the Athenaeum, and had many conversations with him there. He was always ready to listen sympathetically to new views and to express his opinion on them, but he disliked to argue. I persuaded him once to go with me to see the Derby, in company with a near relative of mine who was an Oxford clerical don. These two were perhaps as incongruous a pair in