Childhood and Boyhood 83
Bridge, the maids escaping but the butler being injured. The family usually posted, sometimes in their own carriage.
It is worth recording that the first mechanical design of Francis that has been preserved dates from July 17, during this Aberystwith stay. It is entitled : "Francis Galton's Aerostatic Project, 17 July, 1835." It represents a flying machine with five passengers, a pilot and (?) an engineer. It was apparently designed to work by rather large flapping wings, with a sort of oscillating steam-engine. The mechanism of the flapping indicated in two additional rough sketches is not very clear. I do not know how far it was suggested by his Grandfather Erasmus' lines on air-ships
The only record of the autumn of this year is a letter from Dr Jeune of August 26, reporting the marked throw-back in Francis'_ educational progress due to his illness. He reports him, however, in excellent health and spirits with a good appetite, and notes that his vigour in cricket and football promise well for the continuance of his health. From the beginning of 1836, however, we have a small pocket diary. It is full of the frank outpourings of a very healthy boy, who has clearly no one to guide his tastes and sympathies. I shall give a few extracts
Saturday. Jan. 2. Took Pincher with a cord and Crab and Game a walk. Darwin
came back from Brum. I went to the Younge's party, _pretty good tuck.
Monday, Jan. 4. Went to shoot at Claverdon, killed a partridge. Went to Wood's party. Friday, Jan. 7. Invited to Mrs Proby, did not go. Went hunting, pony fell over me
and hurt my leg; they had a run of an hour and 10 minutes.
Wednesday, Jan. 13. Thawed. Went to Mr Curtis who gave me some feathers, and
taught me a good deal about artificial flies.
Thursday, Jan. 14. Had a dinner party ; the Dr' came here, much against my liking. Wednesday, Jan. 20. The old Dr went away with Dar to Brum. I walked out with Jones to fire my cannon.
I Earlier when Grandfather Galton took his family to Tenby, in Wales, he used to hire the only two hackney carriages in Birmingham to take part of his party. 2 " Or on wide-waving wings expanded bear
The flying-chariot through the fields of air.
Fair crews triumphant, leaning from above,
Shall wave their fluttering kerchiefs as they move ; Or warrior-bands alarm the gaping crowd, And armies shrink beneath the shadowy cloud."
The Botanic Garden, Canto i, 1. 291.
"There seems no probable method of flying conveniently but by steam or some other
explosive material, which another half century may probably discover." Note to 1. 254.
:3 Dr Jeune.