108 Life and Letters of Francis Galton
to increase "wisibly afore my werry eyes." What could I do? Partridge said it was a carbuncle, but I, knew better. For I had as soon as I had seen it, read 12 different authors on that point, and thus prepared, I was determined to fight vigorously. I pitched a lancet into it, poulticed it all night, swallowed a fearful dose of blue pilll and colocynth, and an ounce and a half of salts next morning. They felt very aggravating in my stomach, but at 3 p.m. the boil was almost colourless and gone down wonderfully. Tuesday, fast improving, lancet cut healing. Wednesday, all but well, left off stickingplaster. Thursday, cured. Extreme cases, require extreme measures. Please write and tell me when the Gurneys come. How often ought I to call on the Horners-ditto on Chas. Darwin, who left his card here the other day. I drink tea with Mr James Yates' tomorrow. Good Bye, love to Mammy, Delly etc.
Tell Darwin that I have lots of tales to tell him. Partridge [sends] complts.
In the next few letters we find the question of €uture education still prominent. Clearly Tertius Galton was emphasising the importance of laboratory work, especially in chemistry, and there appeared little chance of it at Cambridge. Francis' social side was having considerable claims made on it, and he was working and playing hard at the same time. Again, as at Birmingham, the rushlight was doubled up and burning at both ends. - „
Nov. 5, 1839.
MY DEAR FATHER
I was invited to tea by the Homers, very kind invite, but unfortunately signed Anne (I think) Horner. Now as I had not the slightest earthly idea whether there was such a person as Mrs Horner or not, I did not know whom Anne meant, and therefore I could not answer, so as soon as I had time I set off to call. But they had directed their note Bedford Street, Russell Square, and when I got to Russell Square, I could find no such place. I went to B. Street, Bedford Square, Upper B. Place and knocked at every No. 2 in the neighbourhood. At last I called a consultation of three policemen, who after some debating gave over my case as hopeless ; what could I do? Their name was not down in the Court Guide. The next day I made an expedition to 2 other Bedford Streets, but no go. Then came the day I was to take tea with them, and it suddenly struck me that the numbers in Lower B. Place might be different from those in Upper B. Place. I tooled there and luckily it was right; the Lyells were there, and one of the Homers had just returned from Germany, St Petersburg etc.; they were very kind to me. Mr Homer was in the North. I shortly after called upon Charles Darwin 2, who was most good-natured etc., he has been unwell. I called upon Mr James
' The well-known Unitarian and Antiquary of Lauderdale House, Highgate, and founder of the Yates Chairs at University College, London.
2 Charles Darwin had returned from his voyage in the "Beagle"; had been married in January of this year (1839) and was living in Upper Gower Street.