22 Life and Letters of Francis Galton
English stage at the close of the 17th century by his courageous attack
on Dryden, Congreve, D'Urfey, and the school of licence in his Short
View of the Immorality and Profaneness of the English Stage (1697)7.
It is one of the weird phases of human history that if our suggestion be correct Elizabeth Collier should be a kinswoman at the same time of the licentious playwright Charles Sedley and the courageous and
indignant non juring bishop Jeremy Collier ! One thing both her kins
men possessed in common-sarcastic wit and a fine command of English
--and that is a heritage which is so rare that none can disregard it.
A few words must be said here of the descendants of Erasmus and Elizabeth Darwin. Of the seven children of this marriage, Edward Darwin the elder died unmarried at 47. We have few details of his character or ability. John Darwin, Rector of Elston, died unmarried at 31, Henry Darwin died as an infant, Emma died unmarried at 34, Harriet married Admiral Maling and died without issue at 35. Thus for our present purposes the family reduces to two : Francis Sacheverel, afterward Sir Francis S. Darwin, and Violetta, afterward Mrs Galton. Sir Francis Darwin (see Plate XVIII) is for us a most interesting figure. In the first place he was godfather to his nephew Francis Galton. In the next place, like his godson he was trained to medicine. A brief autobiographical account of his boyhood illustrated by his daughter Violetta is still in existence, and it shows him as an adventurous, rather wild boy (see Plates X and XIX). Like his godson he soon ceased to pursue medicine as a profession, but in 1808, at 22, he started with four others, one of whom was -Theodore Galton, a younger brother of Francis Galton's father, on a tour through Spain, the Mediterranean and the East. Travelling was not then what it is now, and we come in contact with war, robbers, privateers and the plague in the diary of this two years' tour in the East. Of the five who started, only Dr Francis Darwin returned alive ! The diary of the tour shows a keen antiquarian taste gratified under many difficulties, and we recognise that Francis Darwin not only loved adventure for its own. sake, but was a born naturalist also, whose ready -pencil followed a keen eye, where rock and mineral, plant and
7 I have followed Macaulay (Essays, ed. 1874, p. 588, and History, ed. 1876, v. p. 85), but I have not done so without examination of the originals. Jeremy Collier's Short View does not suit the public taste of to-day, but the question is whether we do
not need a second lustration.