70 Life and Letters of Francis Galton
in the phrase he used to mutter, at four years old, when his sister called him to lessons
" Oh stay thee, my Adela stay, She beckons and I must pursue."
Still there is another side to the picture, and we note that at three years and a quarter the small Francis was able to trot, canter, and gallop upon a large Galloway. The Galtons certainly encouraged outdoor sports and exercises.
In 1830 a great change came over Francis' life. Although only eight and a half years old his father determined to send him to a large boarding school at Boulogne kept by a Mr Bury. It is difficult to appreciate now-a-days the motives which induced parents-in an age when the child death-rate was appalling even in the upper middle classes-to _ place quite young children in distant boarding schools. Francis Galton himself (Memories, p. 16) suggests that he was sent to Mr Bury's to acquire a good French accent. " What I did learn was the detestable and limited patois that my eighty schoolfellows were compelled to speak under the penalty of a fine," and the final judgment he gives on this school with its apparently poor feeding, frequent birchings and bad supervision runs as follows : " The school was hateful to me in many ways, and loveable in none, so I was heartily glad to be taken away from it in 1832."
Violetta Galton in her little record endeavours to assure herself of the happiness of Francis. He had left home on September 3, 1830 with his father ; they had slept in London that night, and they had visited St Paul's and its dome next day. At 11 o'clock they embarked on the " Lord Melville " steamer for Calais, where they arrived late at night. The next day they went by "The Telegraph " to Boulogne, and in the evening, after seeing the sights, his father left him at the school in the old Convent, close to what is now the Cathedral. Tertius Galton waited a week in Boulogne
"to assure himself of the dear child's perfect happiness. He did not shed a tear, or seem at all uncomfortable at parting with his father, but to the last repeated how happy and comfortable he was, and how kind Mrs Neive, the housekeeper, and every
body was to him."
So Violetta Galton tried to console herself, but she sat down and wrote the little record of her son which has been preserved to this day, and she placed at the front the silhouette, which I have reproduced-