120 Life and Letters of Francis Galton
My books are, one folio Seneca, printed Antwerp 1652, very scarce, good type and very valuable; D'Israeli's Essays, which originally .appeared in three volumes, now printed in one ; Songs of England and Scotland, 2 vols. small Svo, all gilt stamped with College arms and so forth,-they are well worth having.
I am quite glad that you like Tenby so much, and the good memory of the Lady at the Post Office is highly laudable'. I had capital fun in France, I do love travelling. Oh, Betsy, if you could but see Mr Y., poor man, so down in the mouth whenever Mrs Y. contradicts him, He was talking to me of his manservant who had married a housemaid and said, "That fellow John, like a great fool, has just been married, the idiot ! A man is good for nothing after marrying ; he would do so though in spite of all that I could say." Poor Y. There is however one thing in him highly commendable, which is that unlike the tame elephants who delight to decoy wild ones into their own state of captivity, he loudly declaims against all marriage in all circumstances He began once during dinner to argue, and after his old style was debating whether " Cause should be considered as the precursor of Effect, or Effect as the consequence of Cause," when the baby, who was sitting on his knee, having previously unobserved insinuated its paw into a wine-glass of Port, splashed a volley of the wine right upon Y.'s white tie, and then upset the glass and what remained in it over- Y.'s knees. I did so pity him, he is irrevocably a family man.
Write occasional epistles. Yours, etc.,
P.S. I think my old schoolfellow C is at Tenby; he is dying of consumption, poor fellow ; he was the kindest boy possible and very talented. Should you find out that he is there, please tell me. I saw Dicky Doyne yesterday.
How little we grasp at 18, what we shall sigh for at 50 as incomparably more weighty than many soiled shirt fronts !
The few days' holiday in France enabled Galton to return to his work with renewed vigour. He was taking several new subjects, and as is the case with each man of original power, they came to him as new worlds to be discovered and conquered afresh.
May 17, 1839 ,
17 NEw ST., SPRING GARDENS.
MY DEAR MOTHER,
When you next write to my father, please tell him' that a letter which I directed to him shortly after my arrival in London at Baden-Baden, was returned to me the other day, opened from the Dead Letter Box, owing to my not having previously paid the sum of ls. 8d., which it seems is necessary, and of which I was not aware. Please tell him this in order to account for his not having received a letter from me. I would write, but as of course by this time he has left Baden-Baden, I do not know his address. As I suppose that by this time you have heard from him,
' See the first -footnote, p.. 83.