Childhood and Boyhood 87
them (sic). I do not like the Dr taking our class at school, he expects the grammar said more perfectly than we can, & thrashes the lower part of the class for every mistake they make in construing; this morning he thrashed 11 fellows in 8 minutes!! So we
have no peace at home through Earp, and no peace at school through the Dr. I wish Papa had taken me away at the Holidays, but of course he won't; he has no reason that I know of except about changing schools, as forgetting that I am not getting on the
least and every day is a day wasted. How is it then expected that if I leave school at 17 as Pater has told me, I shall know enough to pass examination at college and again, as you know how easily Latin and Greek are forgotten am I to turn away wholly from
classics to doctoring, which of course [will] confuse me and make me forget the greatest part of what little I have learnt. How much better it would be to remove me before it is too late. But, however, I suppose Papa will not change, and therefore I must bear
the consequences. Good bye, and believe me, Your affectionate brother, F. GALTON.
Adhle, like a good sister, sent Francis' letter on to her father with a postscript added
"I have just received this letter and send it on for your perusal in case you should like to make any inquiries, as poor Francis appears much downcast...."
Tertius Galton must have shortly afterwards communicated with Dr Jeune, for there is a letter of the latter's dated Dec. 7, 1836. He thanks Mr Galton for his frankness and confidence, and promises to communicate with him if he considers a change requisite in the course of ]Francis' education, or if a public school instruction is really not calculated to form his mind. Dr Jeune saw that Francis had great powers, and believed that if he would apply them he would hold a very distinguished position both in his school and later in the world. He then states that he had that very evening been struck with the vigour of a translation from Cicero which Francis had sent up to him, and that, although there were undoubted inaccuracies in the exercise, it still proved that he possessed a mind of no vulgar order. Dr Jeune is sure that Mr Galton will second his exertions by paternal advice.
The letter is one of a conscientious man who has not the least insight into the wants of such a nature as Francis Galton's. Here was a boy of immense physical and mental activity, longing for employment of hand and head, and no occupation is found for him but a drill in grammar with imposition and cane as sanctions ! The harshness of treatment is no doubt modified now in many of our schools ; the warfare of master and boy is not so continuous. But is the workshop, the laboratory, and the field expedition, the combination of observation and physical exertion universally provided even now to meet the needs of such natures as Galton's ? Have we even now-a-days any true test