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Lehrjahre and, Wanderjahre   101


Dec. 5, 1838. BIRMINGHAM GENERAL HOSPITAL.

MY DEAR GOVERNOR,

I should have written before but I was waiting for my instruments, to see if my funds were sufficient. They have not yet come, so I write to you at once. Thank you for your letter. I am very glad to hear you are flourishing. Now for business. My

Mathematical Master comes at 7 o'clock Tuesday Evening-my German at I past 6 on Friday Evening. My time is distributed as follows : Up by 8. Breakfast &c. until I to 9. 1 then go round the House with Mr Baker ; afterwards at about 10 I °' postmortemify" should there be a subject, sometimes operations take place etc.; if not, I dispense should there be many out-patients : otherwise I `read Medical Books, and go round with the Surgeons and sometimes Physicians (who by the bye are ABOMINABLY unpunctual). However it is impossible to regulate that part of my time, but my hands are full with the above occupations until 2. Not forgetting by the bye 5 minutes as the clock strikes 11 which are invariably employed by me in swallowing a Digestive Pill. Well, at 2 o'clock I dine etc. till J to 3, I then read Medical Books etc. till I past'5. Then take tea till ~ to 6. Then Mathematics till I to 8. After that I write in the registers I have to keep and [dispatch] a few other little hospital jobs ; also go round a few of the wards etc., and read Horace and Homer on alternate days till ~, past 9, when supper is ready. After supper (at I past 9) I read German an hour or so according to the state of my headache. I walk out when I can-about 2 or 3 times a week, generally between 3 and 5. When I dine out I read Mathematics from 2 to 5 and return to the Hospital at 2 past 8 (if with Dr Booth) ; only just show myself at supper, so I get I of an hour of medical reading from I to 8 to J past 9 and then as before. I also always make this law : should an accident occur such as a fractured leg which takes sometimes 2 hours to set, such as finding splints, making pads etc., I do not continue my studies in my other branches as if nothing had happened, but divide my remaining time between all that I have not done that day. I like Mr Abbot my Mathem. Master very much; be advises me not to read the Calculus until I have read a little of other branches. I have read in the last fortnight the greater part of Analytical Trigonometry, I have got some way in Conic Sections, which I like very much. I expect to have finished them in about a month or 6 weeks, and then for the Calculus. Ask Bessy not to row me for this writing because I really do generally write better, but I cannot make my pen mark and I have no knife in my pocket. Good Bye and believe me ever your affectionate Son,

FRANCIS GALTON.

P.S. You ought to see me vaccinate I do so pitch the lancet into the children's arms. If I take wine I should be the only one that does so at table ; accordingly I cannot do so.

But the rushlight was not merely burning at both ends, it was in the oven itself, and Francis Galton was soon to feel the effects of this overstrain. A letter of Dec. 22 postpones his Christmas home visit, a dresser was ill and he could get more experience by staying

"Tell Bessy that I am fully aware how wrong it is to violate old customs etc., especially that of meeting on Christmas day, but it can't be helped. Really now that


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