Lehrjahre and Wanderjahre 147
temperature at which the oil feeding the flame should be kept in order to give a maximum of illumination.
On Jan. 25, Galton is in London, at 17, New Street, Spring Gardens, again ; he writes to his father
MY DEAR FATHER,
I set off at 2 this afternoon for Paris, where I intend to stay till the end of the Vacation,-that is to say I should have done, but that plaguy thing conscience prevented me. The placards about Boulogne steamers looked very tempting. I have just been to Bramah about my lock, was more than 14 hour with his top-sawyer man, who was in raptures and most deferential ; he thinks about it today and I call again on Monday to explain anything that he may not fully understand. I enter my caveat for lamp on Monday. Now for proceedings.
Arrived at Brain at 82 p.m., theatre and whiskey grog till 121. Was shut up in the coach with a frowsy fat old gentleman and a fast young gentleman whose lungs were, judging by his breath, entirely composed of full-flavoured cubas and the Cream of the Valley. The latter was not a very pleasant companion for vinous fumes ascending into his cranium displaced what reason had existed there, and showed their presence by causing him primarily to carol forth Nix my dolly pals-2nd1 to sing a very sentimental song, and at last to open the, window and afford me 'a very convincing proof that gin and cigars act as a strong emetic.-Fell asleep and awoke about 10 miles from Bristol. Cross coach had had an accident, waited an hour till it was mended, occupying my time in eating 2 eggs, 4 slices of beef, 2 plates of muffins and half a quartern loaf and then sallied forth and studied St Mary Le Port. Went to Cross, box-seat, a provincial medical man sitting behind with 2 friends, we got into a dreadful quarrel about homoeopathy, and as he was giving in and I was blarnying about Hippocrates, a gust of wind carried my patent gossamer hat down a steep hill into the middle of a pond (what was more natural than that beaver should take to water). The guard reclaimed it, but it presented the appearance of a chemical filter [sketch], as well it might for on inspection I found that its substance was composed of brown paper. The day was beautiful. Arrived at Cross, Erasmus had been in the morning to meet the first coach, and had gone away again. I gigged it to Loxton. Sun shone, quite mild. Somersetshire is really the most beautiful country I have ever seen, north of the Alps (for Bessy), and of all dull pig-headed stupid bipeds the Somersetshire clown. stands preeminent. Arrived at Loxton the manor house commodious but not gaudy'. Eras: girth visibly increased, Delly all smiles and lawn collar, the last mentioned article being as whitewash to a sepulchre or as charity, covering a multitude of deficiencies. They really both look as happy as possible ; don't clash at all being separate all the morning, and in the evening whilst Delly writes letters for 4 hours and reads others for 1 quarter, Rassy pulls Track (the dog) by his tail and ears alternately, causing him to growl ferociously for 1 hour, then sleeps .31; and after that both adjourn to the dinner room to edify 3 maid-servants and a small boy with a learned commentary on the psalms, giving the true interpretation, pronunciation, and critical dissertation upon the most difficult Hebrew or Chaldee words. Was knocked up next morning at 6, of course fell
' See Plate XXIX.