158 Life and Letters of Francis Galton
invariably sets in about this time. I do not know of any house in Keswick which you could take (bona fide) as they are all small and mostly dark and dirty. The inn is very good, good bedrooms etc., and has been honoured by Queen Adelaide's sleeping in it, if that be any inducement to you, but Ambleside has many good lodging houses. I received the enclosed letter from Christian the day before yesterday. We have had beautiful weather the last 4 days, and have already been making several excursions, to Buttermere, where the celebrated beauty whom Hatfield the robber eloped with some 20 years since, lived, and where several uncommonly pretty girls keep up the character of the place still. We have also been up Helvellyn. They said it would take us 3 hours to reach the top, but it occupied only 21 to get up, stay 25 minutes at the top, and be at the bottom on the other side. The country people are exceptionally hospitable, they give us no end of milk, oatcakes, home-made cheese etc., and it is difficult to make them take anything in return, so our plan is to ask if they have any children and pick out one of the curly headed young scrubs, and visibly slip a shilling or two, according to the probable extent of our united appetites, into his hand. Yesterday after taking a stroll up Skiddaw we went to the perfection of a farm house. A very pretty Creole niece of the farmer chatted, smiled, gave us milk etc. and set off a musical snuff-box playing, then brought a nosegay, and lastly sat down with us to grub. She asked if we were any of the Cambridge gentlemen, and on our saying that we were she told us that 2 or 3 years ago there was a large party at Keswick who were a "sad set of scamps." So you see what a reputation Cambridge has got. Whewell, wonderful to say, has fallen in love with an Ullswater beauty, Miss Marshall, and is going to marry her. She is very rich and of very good family, hence our continual conversation at Browtop is in surmises as to how Whewell would set to work to make love, he is nearly 50, she a little more than 20
We like Browtop excessively, the only fault in the situation of Keswick being that it is in a wide valley, so that there are but few walks within a short distance. The hills are all quite green so that we can run down them at a capital pace. Mathison tried sliding down one of them, but he reached the bottom a complete cherub having scarcely whereon to sit, owing to the friction
We hear that a party of Cantabs at Ambleside think of migrating to Keswick, it will be a great bore if they come as we are enough already. Armitage the to-be senior wrangler of the February after next is one of them.
Dear Bessy I know that this letter is a stupid one but I really have nothing to say for myself. Write soon and tell me about Scarborough.
Good-bye and believe me ever your affectionate
Son Brother '
Sunday, Aug. 1st, 1841.
MY DEAR FATHER,
I received this morning £15 all correct enclosed in an envelope stamped "too late"; for which thanks. The letter before this one was dated from 11 N.g. cliff."