MEMORIES OF MY LIFE
year, and had the reputation among his college fellows of extraordinary sublety and insight as a mathematician. He was perhaps a little too nice and critical about his own work, losing time in overpolishing, so that the amount of what he produced was lessened. He wrote on the Kinetic Theory bf Gases.
I may mention two anecdotes about him. He had been a good Alpine climber and met with various incidents. One was that he and a friend, F. Vaughan Hawkins, set off at a good, pace to vanquish some new but not' difficult peak, and passed on their way a somewhat plodding party of German philosophers bound on the same errand. One of Watson's shoes had shown previous signs of damage, but he thought he could manage to get on for a day or two longer if he now and then covered it with an indiarubber galosh that he then took with him for such emergencies. It was a cumbrous addition, but succeeded fairly, and he and his friend reached the top long before the Germans, whom they thought no more about. However, shortly after, a Swiss-German newspaper gave a somewhat grandiose account of the ascent of the mountain in question by Professors This and That, in which it was remarked that the Professors would have been the very first to reach its summit had not two jealous Englishmen provided themselves with " Gummi Schuhe " and so were able to outstrip them.
The other anecdote refers to the circumstances under which Watson became Rector of a valuable living, that of Berkswell, near Coventry. I repeat the tale to the best of my remembrance as he told it me,