124 Life and Letters of Francis Galton
is no use on my part to blarney about `full of contrition' and so -forth, but beginning from to-day, I will send you by every Monday's post my accounts for the week preceding ; and in case of omission, I wish that you would write and blow me up. Please tell me by return of post-how much I am in arrear, as not understanding your figures I cannot calculate it.
Good Bye, and believe me ever,
Your affectionate son, FRAS. GALTON."
How we should have valued the answer of Tertius Galton to this letter of his son Francis ! How few young men at College nowadays would satisfy their father's desire for a weekly account of all expenditure, and how neat and elaborate are the little weekly accounts we find sent to Tertius after this date ! To us it would have seemed more reasonable to grant a fixed allowance and to make no inquiry, if it were not exceeded, as to the details of expenditure. But Tertius Galton had his own views, and he insisted on the most elaborate system of petty cash accounts. Can we assert that Francis Galton's business habits and his full appreciation of the value of money arose from his father's training? - Is it not rather probable that the instinct of elaboration and organisation was already there, for we find it taking strange forms in several of Francis Galton's relatives'?
A further letter about expenses is dated June 24 (by the recipient Tertius !).
" I am very glad indeed to find that my private expenses have not been extravagant.
On consideration I have determined to give up Norway and Sweden for the following reasons. First that although I should otherwise have enough time for
1 Thus one of Tertius Galton's sisters had a triple inkstand with three coloured inks, triple penwipers and pens ; every conceivable apparatus for writing, printed envelopes for her various banks and business correspondents ; printed questions for her grooms, "Has the mare had her corn?" etc., etc. ; a dozen or more cash boxes elaborately arranged to receive in separate labelled compartments each kind of coin from each type of her property. The apparatus for the instruction and relief of the poor-tracts, ounces of tea and sugar, worsted stockings, bundles for mother's aid, etc., etc., were arranged in separate indexed presses, with records of all transactions relating thereto. The crockery ware of the store-room and housekeeper's room was all lettered, and all metal articles, pans and pots were duly labelled, as were the garden tools, and there were corresponding labels on the pegs on which they were hung. As many as 100 painted labels have been counted in a flower bed of hers of 12 square feet. In short, we appreciate what Francis Galton meant when he said that the desire to classify and organise which existed in his family, he felt at times as almost a danger in himself.