160 Life and Letters of Francis Galton
August  1841.
MY DEAR FATHER,
You talk of "fear of annoying me with a formal visit" etc. I can assure you that I should enjoy nothing so much as Atwoodizing you over the country. We can give you dinner occasionally at Browtop. You will find Eddis and Mathison very agreeable, and I really think that the very best thing that you can do is to settle in Keswick for a fortnight or 3 weeks. If you will give me a commission for lodgings, I will make every enquiry. Our boat-racing scheme has been given up for on enquiry we find that the competitors must pull on pins, not in rollocks [sketches]. To pull in that manner we unanimously decreed was below the dignity of a Cambridge " oar " as all the beauty of and skill of rowing consists in correct feathering which of course is impracticable with pins. It is altogether a ridiculous piece of business. There actually is no practising on the lake and consequently the pulling at the race must be wretched
Poor Chance my old schoolfellow and chum is dead. He was my chief friend at Dr Jeune's and also at King's College, where he read classics. He was one of the best fellows that I have met with ; he was expected to have distinguished himself. Poor fellow-he died of consumption
Yesterday morning I walked up Skiddaw to see the sunrise. I got to the top of the eastern peak which is not 150 feet lower than the highest one in 40 minutes. Of course saw nothing but mist. I shall, however, try it again tonight-We have got some sails to our boat at Keswick, it is curious how frightened all the boatmen here are of them, they never use them. Even the attendant "cad" upon the party, a man ready to poach, knock down, do anything on an emergency, refused to go into the boat on the ground of having a " wife and 5 small children'."
The postscript to sister Bessie propounds on this occasion a problem in etiquette. Galton and others had dined with the Russian Count, -and the Countess had not received them in very friendly fashion. Meanwhile " the Count (a very punctilious man) had left the town, leaving the Countess behind." Galton had not called since the dinner,
ought he to do so? The final story of the "Count" is told in the Memories, p. 63.
BROWTOP, August 19th, 1841.
MY DEAR FATHER,
Thank you for your letter which I have received this evening. I hope that you will not give up your plans as regards the lakes, for if your only fear is about rainy weather, I do not think you will suffer more in travelling through Westmoreland than elsewhere, since on comparing the state of the weather here with that which a Cambridge
' The danger to sailing boats on Derwentwater from sudden gusts of wind coming down between the mountains is well known to the inhabitants : I remember a fatal accident to a sailing boat occurring during a stay near Keswick.