100 Life and Letters of Francis Galton
natured etc., but snobs. - the Dispenser is not at all a blackguard, but you do not become intimate with him, which I am glad to see as I shall be much under him."
On Nov. 10 we have an amusing - account of work' in the Hospital
"There is an immense deal of work here. It does not come in one long pull but in a series of jerks of labour between intervals of rest, like playing a pike with a click reel. I will give you a sort of diary of the evening of the day before yesterday. z past 5 p.m. went round all the wards (No joke I assure you)-made up about 15 prescriptions. Awful headache etc. Entered in the Hospital Books records etc. of patients ; writing in my case book etc., hard work till 9. Supper. Went round several of the wards again. Accident came in-broken leg, had to assist setting it. I past 11, had to read medicine etc. 12, very sleepy indeed, lighted my candle to go to bed. A ring at the Accident Bell; found that it was a tremendous fracture. Was not finished till 2 past 1. Went to bed and in the arms of Porpus. 3 a.m. in the morning : a tremendous knocking at the door; awful compound fracture, kept me up till 5. Went to Bed-up again-at 7 o'clock.-Rather tiring work on the whole, but very entertaining. Attended a post mortem and dissection 2 days ago-Horror-Horror-Horror ! I do not know when I shall get over the impression. It was a woman whose wounds I had assisted to dress. I made her medicine and prescribed once or twice for her. My first regular patient died also, yesterday morning. However as it was a burn, my mind is perfectly easy. Don't tell this it won't sound well. I shall set up a case of instruments soon. I can write prescriptions splendidly, and moreover begin to understand all the humbug of medicine, which is not a little. I am very sorry that you have got the gout, if I were at home I would prescribe for you with great pleasure. Tell Bessy that I have some valuable receipts-such as splendid Tooth-Powders-Glorious Perfumes-Beautiful Varnishes. Also Lucy's Biscuit Pie Crust answers very well.
I expect to cut Gil Blas quite out. I can hardly refrain from sending you a splendid receipt for cure of the Gibberish.
Good Bye and Believe me ever,
Your affectionate Son, FRANCIS GALTON.
Please send my Delphin Horace, and Ainsworth's Dictionary, and Schrevelius' Lexicon."
In November we find Galton busy with his German and Mathematical instructors ; he is sending for Snowball's Trigonometry. He has had " what they call a grand field-day, six important operations." "The M.D.s are really most good-natured to me. I am allowed to spend a Sunday every now and then out." A letter of Dec. 5, 1838, deserves reproduction in its entirety-it is so characteristic of Galton's varied interests, of his fund of quiet humour and of his liability to overwork himself !