142 Life and Letters of Francis Galton
studies, but complained-even bitterly-of their narrowness. Luckily for him his medical studies had supplemented them at the very point where they were most defective-the training in observation and experiment. In 1840 there was no Natural Science Tripos, and of course Moral Science and History had not been thought of. There were Professors of Chemistry, Botany, Geology, Natural Philosophy and Mineralogy, but as the honours students must read for either the Mathematical or Classical Tripos, these professors did not attract the able students who were working for fellowships. Indeed Laboratory and Museum accommodation was very limited in Cambridge in 1840, and the modern idea of laboratory training may be said to have been practically unknown. In a certain sense Galton's training had been of a far more modern character in London than it could be in Cambridge, but at the same time the intensive study of mathematics was a distinct gain and one which was of great help to Galton. His first letter to his father, after the latter's departure from Cambridge, runs as follows
TRIN. COLL. CAMBRIDGE. Monday, Oct. , 1840.
MY DEAR FATHER,
Thank you for your letter. Six silver teaspoons will be amply sufficient. If you cannot send wine easily from Leamington, the best plan will be to write to your London wine-merchant as there is a carrier direct from there. There are no letters for you from the post, but I enclose one from Adele which I received today in a letter to me from her. I have had as yet no answer from Leonard Horner. O'Brien has not yet returned to Cambridge, but was expected today. He fell desperately in love at Inverary where he went with a party as tutor. I will write to you on completing my arrangements.
My rooms are very comfortable. Emma's pictures are quite at home, as usual, in my bedroom, and I am going to invest in a plaster bust of Newton and get it bronzed over and put up opposite the fireplace [see Plate LI]. I have got everything except my linen which is not quite got ready. I shall however be able to send you my accounts in two days. Theodore has returned, but I cannot find him, he arrived about an hour since.
Perry' gave us his first lecture today; what a pleasure it is to hear a real senior wrangler speak. My organ of veneration is so very strong that I doubt when I shall dare to address him. What a fine sight a surplice night is, the bright light of the wax candles and the white dresses so well contrasting with the dark panelled oak behind gives no slight resemblance to a scene in Revelations I am as happy as possible and am preparing for a long and strong pull at reading. Love to Mater and all.
Your affectionate Son FRGS. GALTON.
1 Senior Wrangler in 1828, Tutor of Trinity, 1837-1841, and afterwards Bishop of Melbourne, 1847-1876.