106 Life and Letters of Francis Galton
ditto carpetted; fire etc.; furnished with a most capital library, about 10 skeletons, etc., a loyal cast of St George and the Dragon, and a bust of Harvey, and I don't know what else. A view from the window of the Admiralty with a telegraph at the top continually working and attitudinizing like a skeleton learning gymnastics ; the Horse Guards etc. My bedroom is small and a garret, but the most comfortable one possible not too large nor too small, with bookshelves and a reading desk where I stew away most comfortably
King's College is a very nice place. I am there from 9 till 4 attending lectures and dissecting. There is a sight there which a Frenchman would give his ears to see, viz. a most splendid collection of large green frogs all alive and kicking and croaking too, kept, however, for Dr Todd's Physiological Experiments. Thank you for the microscope it was just the thing; the shirts too were werry acceptable'.
I was quite surprised to hear that you got home without such an amiable personal as myself. I am glad that the tartans were properly appreciated. Good bye etc. FRAS. GALTON.
DEAR PEMMY-I want you to be in the very best humour possibly and the reason is this : in my bedroom there is a yellow wall 12 ft. x 5; now this does not accord with my notions of beauty but-remember you are a capital Pemmy-if there were two watercolour pictures to relieve its monotony, it would be most reputable. Now there is not a single engraving that will do. in all London, they are all either too large and too expensive or too small and good for nothing. Now if you would but paint me two pictures, each about the size of a novel and send them up by some parcel or other I could get them framed in black for 1 bob apiece. I should like something in a Prout style, not three Turks smoking their pipes in a triangle, with one blue hill in the distance and a white river between them, and something on the hill with two uprights and a cross bar like a gibbet only intended for the ruins of an old temple but some building or other well touched up with Indian Ink and reed pen. I shall take such care of them. Now remember the "aspect" of the room is this : pretty well-lighted, 1 window not opposite the wall, which is yellow. The frame will be black. You will now know what sort of things will suit. Tell Bessy that the paws are improving. Hair very bad. Nails middling but better and that "smutty" week is not quite passed. Good bye-You are, at least will be, a nice Pemmy. Love to all
Postscripts and other addenda refer to the presentation of his first cheque at Barclay's Bank. It is clear that Sister Pemmy provided for the artistic element, and Sister Bessy supervised Francis' neatness of attire and personal appearance. Although there are no letters bearing on Francis' transfer from Birmingham to London, it is clear from the next letter I shall quote that his career-a year in London followed by Cambridgemust have been practically settled before he left Birmingham.
' I have retained any intentional wrong spelling, the unintentional slips are somewhat numerous, they would comfort other sufferers, but I have thought it best to remove them. K. P.