Childhood and Boyhood 91 the harsh discipline of a classical school into the fascinating field of scientific observation'.
But the year was to be memorable in other ways. The house at Claverdon, the country home of the Galtons, was taken in hand. In June the Coronation of Queen Victoria took place. On the 26th Francis Galton went up to London to stay with Darwin in his lodgings, and spent most of the time with his sisters at the Howard Galtons in Portman Square. It was his first long stay in London, and his friends took him out each day sight-seeing. Every house had thrown out balconies, and scaffolding, and galleries, covered with crimson cloth, had been built for spectators. The Hudson Gurneys (see Plate XLVII) had obtained a ticket for Sister Bessie in the Abbey itself. Uncle Howard and Sister Emma were at the Reform Club, Darwin at a Mr Collins', the Hubert Galtons in St James' Street, and Francis got a seat in Pall Mall for 30s. Sister Bessie (Mrs Wheler) describes the excitement both inside and outside the Abbey very vividly for us, the crowds, the illuminations, the ceremony and the feelings of the day itself.
I have frequently thought that Galton's idea of carrying, when in a crowd, a block of wood or a brick in brown paper which he let down by a piece of string and stood upon, as well as his "hyperscope," a simple tube with two parallel mirrors at 45 degrees to its axis, were devices impressed upon him by his experience at these coronation festivities ; they satisfied his desire to see over the heads of a mass of people. Unfortunately no letter of Francis himself, describing the events, has been preserved. But the formal beginning of the new reign was the formal beginning of Francis Galton's "adolescence. Henceforth he was no longer a boy, but an apprentice, starting his craft ; rather early, it is true-at sixteen years of age-and rather old-fashionedly, but he was strong in character, and given freedom, he could and would absorb all that his active mind needed for its sustenance.
' There is an excellent letter, dated Leamington, December 9, 1837, from Samuel
Tertius to his son, announcing the medical appointment. He writes
"I really believe, if you turn the opportunities you will have at the Hospital to the best account and avail yourself of the advantages of explanation that my medical friends there will be disposed to give you, if they find you willing to profit by them, that you will begin your medical career very propitiously. You must be careful to avoid low company and not be led astray by any pupils there that may not be equally well disposed -but 1 have great confidence in your wish to do what is right, and when we meet at your approaching holidays, we will talk over all your plans and arrangements in good earnest and particularly in reference to your masters and studies whilst at the Hospital."