102 Life and Letters of Francis Galton
I am turned `Doctor' I find that I can decide on nothing beforehand; this is not my first disappointment. I do not know if I told you what a public character I have become. Four distinct times in walking in Bull Street and New Street have I been surrounded by various juvenile members of the Rag-Tag and Bobtail division of the inhabitants and addressed not with hurrahs, but with `I say ould chap, gie us some medicine,' also `There goes the Doctor' and other phrases pointing to my profession."
On January the 8th, 1839, Galton is still at his post, and his experience is increasing ! He reports to his father his first experiment in dentistry
"I tried my hand at toothdrawing the other day. A boy came in looking very deplorable, walked up to me and opened his mouth. I looked awfully wise and the boy sat down in perfect confidence. I did not manage the first proceedings well, for first
R I put in the key (that is the tooth instrument) the wrong way, then I could not catch hold of the right tooth with it. At last I got hold. I then took my breath to enable me to give a harder wrench ; one-two-three, and away I went. A confused sort of murmur something like that of a bee in a foxglove proceeded from the boy's mouth, he kicked at me awfully. I wrenched the harder. When, hang the thing,-crash went the tooth. It really was dreadfully decayed-and out came my instrument. I seized hold of the broken bits-the boy's hands were of course over his mouth and eyes from the pain, so he could see nothing-and immediately threw them on the fire and most unconcernedly took another survey of the gentleman's jaws. The tooth was snapped right off. Well, I pacified him, told him that one half the tooth was out and I would take out the other (knowing full well that he would not let me touch it again) and that it was a double one. But, as I had expected, he would not let me proceed. Well there was another tooth which he wanted out and against which I took proceedings. I at last fixed the instrument splendidly and tugged away like a sailor at a handspike, when the boy, roaring this time like a lion with his head in a bag, broke away from me and the sawbone that was holding his head, bolted straight out, cursing all the Hospital Doctors right manfully. So much for my first tooth-drawing."
To his sister Adele he writes under a fortnight later
" I have been rather invalided and was sent off for a few days to Moor Hall to recruit. I shall look you up at Leamington some of these fine days, but not just yet. Hang it, it is now past ten in the evening and a car is just rolling up to the door, so I must finish, perhaps it may be a broken leg, so Good bye, etc."
The next day he adds a postscript
" It was only a bad scald. This morning Hodgson gave me a letter from the Governor to him, and in reply, first of all my arm is all but well, it was an old sore which I had forgotten when dissecting, it broke out of course and then subsided ; about a week or ten days after that it broke out again, and gave me some trouble. Then as to my general health my headaches are better than they were once-a great deal better, and I have of course a little hospital fever &c., but that is all. About my mind which Lucy attacks I shall not say much, except that it is werry uncomfortable, but I shall soon get over all hospital horrors, etc., etc. I am in a great hurry as I want to get a