130 Life and Letters of Francis Galton
I found the Sentinel standing with a fixed bayonet. I however kept still and soon went to sleep. Set off at 3 in the morning (Sunday) and got'to Giessen at 4,1 p.m., tooled to the inn and on inquiry fortunately found Miller there. In the evening walked about the town round the ramparts etc., etc. Miller introduced- me to Playfair, late chemical assistant to Graham, to Gilbert, also assistant to Thompson, and to Herr Bettenbacher, a Vienna professor, all studying at Liebig's. - Went to bed, slept gloriously, up at 6 this morning, went to the Laboratory, heard Liebig lecture, saw all that was going on. Made arrangements with the German Professor for daily lessons. My present plans are as follows. Work hard at Giessen for a fortnight till I can speak it tolerably. I shall then expect letters from you with Berlin, Dresden or Hanover introductions ; go to one of these places, and mix in society and lark for 3 weeks at least, and shall be in England on the 14th of September.-Please write to Hodgson and tell him about my alteration mentioning that Miller thinks it the best thing that I can do. Write an answer please by return of post and another letter with introductions (if you approve of the plan) as soon as you can get them.
I am most comfortably housed etc., eating, drinking and sleeping cost 3 shillings a day. I dine with the chemicalizers at 6 o'clock. There are great top-sawyers amongst them. We always speak German. I am much vexed at losing my Chemistry, but I shall gain far more by stewing away at German, than I should had -I worked at Chemistry, Liebig's arrangements being as I had expected. I have enjoyed myself excessively,
Good bye. yr affectionate Son,
FRAS. GALTON. -
Miller and myself are great chums and we talk German to each other most unintelligibly. I have no doubt that the linguists at the table d'li6te will have `much discussion on what the tongue is in which we converse.
Of the men mentioned in this letter several reached distinction later. William Allen Miller-also a Birmingham General Hospital man-became Professor of Chemistry at King's College, London, and later, especially in conjunction with Huggins, made noteworthy chemical investigations. Playfair, afterward Lord Playfair, was well-known to our generation both as chemist and politician. But the mood of Francis Galton was at this moment neither for research nor intellectual society. He could npt possibly have settled down to either chemical analysis or " stewing at German." The roving lust had seized him and it was to hold him for many years, until indeed it should itself become subservient to his love of scientific inquiry.