Recognized HTML document
Previous Index Next

96   Life and Letters of Francis Galton

their nature-for had it gone by blood, it would have descended through the female line which is not the case...."

Then after attributing most of their faults to smoking, Francis continues :   `

"So evidently their nature is good but unfortunately much spoilt. And their Eilwagen-their jolting is awful. N.B. (Don't read this aloud) I have got one boil and two blisters in such awkward positions that when sitting back I rest upon all three ; when bolt upright on two, and when like a heron, I balance myself on one side upon one fl! My feet are in a worse predicament having 3 blisters besides two agricultural crops. This is all from their Eilwagen or Diligences. Next time I go abroad, I shall most certainly get my mackintosh double behind and blow it up like an air cushion.... I am getting more contrite about not learning the lingo. I certainly shall next time."

Then from Munich through the Tyrol, and the Bavarian light blue and white colours-"trop tendre " for national colours as a Frenchman observed to Francis-are replaced by the yellow and black, the " awful Austrian stripe."

"But it was to be gone through, accordingly the coach stopped before the bar, when out popped an Austrian officer with mustachios like sweep's brushes looking thunder and lightning. ' Kein Tabac' growled or rather roared the officer in interrogation (Tobacco is an imperial monopoly). Three ' Kein Tabacs' followed each other uttered in a most submissive tone of voice from us, like the echoes of Oberwessel. The officer's eyes flared. He pointed to the luggage, down in the, twinkling of an eye it came and was opened. He looked awful at my green bags with black strings, in which two or three dirty shirts were esconced, and terrible at the other luggage ; he made- signs that every thing must come out, when in the moment 3 Zwanzigers (a coin about lod.) touched his hand-a galvanic shock seemed to thrill his whole system. The sour of his disposition, like the acid in Volta's pole seemed only to increase the change. The flare of his eye changed in an instant to a twinkle, the baggage was shut up and the officer-fell into a ' paroxysm of bows' and away we drove. Got into Linz at 3 in the morning of the 26th and at 7 we were steaming down the Danube in one of the early voyages of steamers on this part."

Again there is a fraternal " tag " to this first Vienna letter

" DEAR BESSY, You will be glad to hear for the honour of our country that the steamers on the Danube like those on the Rhine are all worked by English Engineers, and the orders all given in English."

In Vienna Dr Seligmann took our travellers the round of the hospitals' and museums

' In his letters from Vienna Francis does not mention the incident of the young and buxom female lunatic, who, on a visit to the asylum female ward, rushed forward and clasped him tightly to her bosom as her lost Fritz1 (Memories, p. 25). He was probably too shy to record it then.

Previous Index Next