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26   Life and Letters of Francis Galion

marked good looks, more Collier than Darwin ; she had considerable artistic faculty, and we are inclined to think that possibly the initials V. G. may be found on the graceful bookplate of her husband. Through her too came longevity into Francis galton's stock from the Colliers. She lived to be 91, her mother Elizabeth Collier to be 85, and Elizabeth Collier's mother to be 961. Francis Galton's brother Erasmus lived to be 94, his brother Darwin to . be 89, his sister Emma to be 93, his sister Bessie to be 98, and Sir Francis himself lived to be 89! This again is not a Darwin characteristic. It was also a longevity associated with persistent freshness of intellect-the 'sole condition under which longevity is of personal or social value. Violetta Darwin (see Plate XX) seems to have been a woman of much character, for thirty years after her husband's death she was the centre of a large household, with excellently kept records, and accounts. She did not permit liberties2, but was warmly loved by her children ; in fact, she had an essential feature of lovableness which she handed down to her son Francis in a marked degree. No servant, no subordinate, ever attempted to take liberties with Francis Galton, and yet no man was more loved by relatives, friends, members of his expeditionary force and of his household 3. To Violetta Galton we owe a quaint little biographical account of her son Francis' childhood, of which the first page and the silhouette are reproduced later.

Passing now to the paternal ancestry of Francis Galton we find ourselves at once in a sterner atmosphere. If we look through the list

1 Francis Galton says so himself in his Memories, p. 7. But we have not been able to verify the statement. There is possibly confusion with Elizabeth (Hill) Darwin.

2 She wrote a quaint Advice to Young Women upon their first going out into Service published in Derby, and dedicated to Miss Harriet Darwin "for the use of her school for poor children." As an extract I take : " When you speak to upper servants, always

add Mr or Mrs before their names, it is a respect due to them; and whenever you happen to meet a Lady or Gentleman, in any part of the House, always courtesy on passing them, as you should remember to be civil."

a This lovable side of his nature is so truly expressed in a letter from one of his great nieces, that I venture to cite her words here

" I expect we all see our friends 'differently ; if I were to write a memoir of Uncle Frank I should just say what a pet he was, and how good tempered and full of delightful naive sayings, and that everybody wanted to kiss him ! I should not bother

about his intellect, which did not come my way."

These sentences give a picture of Francis Galton, which all his intimates know to be true, but which it would be hard to express so well.


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