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114   Life and Letters of Francis Galton

In February the question of Clubs arises. Francis had met his Uncle Howard at the Hubert Galtons, and the relative advantages of the Oxford and Cambridge, the Athenaeum and the Parthenon had been discussed. Uncle Howard had promised to get him proposed and seconded for the Athenaeum, the Library being mentioned as a chief advantage. Actually it was not till fifteen years later, in 1855, that Galton, then distinguished as an African traveller, was elected under Rule II to the Athenaeum. He always spoke -with great pleasure of the friendly meetings with many different minds at that Club, and already at 18 he had directed his thoughts towards it.

We have seen that Galton had started his College career with Anatomy, Physiology and Chemistry. He appears during this term to have worked more definitely for preliminary science, adding more Chemistry, some Botany and apparently Forensic Medicine to his studies. But the exact range of subjects he took up and the nature of the "matriculation" to which he frequently refers are not clear from the letters. In March we find plans being made for a visit to Paris with Sister Emma and his father-thus in a letter of the 28th:

" I have got my passport drawn out, but they will not give it me until I get from you a certificate stating that I go abroad with your approbation, I being a minor; so please send me one, couched in the following manner

This is to certify that my son, Francis Galton, is leaving England for France with my entire approbation.


Only think of the man's insolence in requiring one ; it was almost saying : ' Does your mother know you're out.' To get your passport you must attend once yourself and can represent the family. The times of attendance are between one and three, No. 6, Poland St., Oxford St. You must tell me however the day before you appear as I must get a ticket to fill up. Just come crammed full of information about Names, Height, Eyes, Hair, Complexion, Ages, and all that sort of thing which you know of Emma and Stone. Perhaps the 'Varmints' will want me next to write you a certificate certifying my approbation. The passports are `free, gratis and for nothing,' as they say to the hospital patients. The Viseing I know nothing about as I have no passport to Vise yet. I am almost sure I can do that. Hodgson has just made his appearance, says he saw you and Darwin the other day-he looks very ill.

Now then for accounts."

The letter concludes with the usual summary of accounts'. We

1 Existing letters show that Tertius Galton's other sons, e.g. Erasmus, although much older than Francis, were at the same time returning equally elaborate accounts

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