6 MEMORIES OF MY LIFE
was desired to steady himself by laying one finger on Captain Barclay's shoulder, who thereupon lifted and landed him on the table. I was not present at the feat, but heard it often described by word and gesture. However, the Captain rather strained his shoulder by performing it, as he confessed to my father afterwards. Captain Barclay's endurance of long continued fatigue was exceptional to a very high degree. The memoirs of his life are well worth reading.
My grandmother's half-sister was wife of Hudson
Gurney (1775-1864), " antiquary and verse writer,
friend of Lord Aberdeen," to again quote the Index to the ,Diet. Nat. Biog. H e was a man of large fortune, and my two sisters, Bessy and Emma, paid long visits to his house in St. James's Square, where his wife was very kind to them, and where they saw much good London society.
My grandfather and grandmother Galton were practically Quakers all their lives, and so was one of their daughters, but the rest of their children fell off and joined the Established Church. Still, we saw not a little of our Quaker relations. A story was current
in our family about myself, as a shy told naughty
child, being quite subdued by the charm of Mrs. Fry (1780-1845). She did not even look at me, but merely held out her open hand with comfits in it, and went on speaking to others in her singularly sweet voice. I gradually worked my way nearer to her; then she quietly took me on her knees, where I sat for long in perfect content.
My grandparents on the other side were Darwins, my grandfather being Dr. Erasmus Darwin (17311802), physician, poet, and philosopher, and the very