Lehrjahre and Wanderjahre 99
Returned to Birmingham Francis Galton plunged at once into his medical studies. The dozen pages in Galton's Memories which deal with this first medical experience are perhaps the most fascinating in that book, not only for the picture they throw on hospital life in the first half of the 19th century, but also for the indication they give of the great advantage clinical experience was to Galton himself. I do not propose to reproduce what Galton has told so well, but merely to supplement his account from letters written to his father Tertius during this period.
A first letter of Oct. 101 deals with thd- supplementary studies Francis was planning.
Wednesday [Oct.] 10th, LEAMINGTON.
My DEAR GOVERNOR,
I have just returned from Birmingham where I dined yesterday with Dr Booth and the day before with Hodgson. Hodgson advised me now to read some medicine and Dr Booth has lent me the book, but when I mentioned that I intended to go on with German whilst I was at Leamington, he said that I had certainly better not, but give up my time to Pharmacy. Accordingly I have not called upon the Pole, as I know that you wish me to knock under to Hodgson in everything of that sort. He and the Dr were both very good-natured to me. I was sorry to hear from Hodgson rather differently to what I had before understood. His words were "that I must expect every possible annoyance both in society and in continual interruptions ; that I shall never have a minute that I can call my own," and he spoke very strongly on the subject By the bye Hodgson says that my masters must be German and Mathematics twice a week, and he will inquire about them. Not drawing ; he says that I shall have quite sufficient to do with these
Ten days later Francis again writes of his mathematical and German studies
"I will see if Mr Mason can give me lessons or not in mathematics Mr Jones is
spoken of as the best German Tutor Would you be so kind as to send me my German Grammar and Elementary Book and Klopstock and a few Tracts. Adele will do this. Also please ask Emma to put out from my knickknack cupboard a little instrument for boiling water, it consists of a cylindrical copper vessel-a sort of boiler with a bent pipe running out of it, and a spirit lamp. [Picture.] There is a hospital seat at St Paul's which I attend. Tomorrow there will be an amputation of the leg, when I shall see
how I can stand fire I am rather anxious to begin dressing myself, as it is a bore seeing some pretty little operation going on where you cannot be the performer.' By the bye would you tell me if I am to dress for Mr Hodgson or not as I really do not know what you have fixed on in that way. All the 'higher powers' are. very good
' Sent to his father who was staying at Hadzor.