Lehrjahre and Wanderjahre 161
party has had in Devonshire we find that we have had the fewer rainy days. This of course does not include misty days. I have been deluded enough lately to climb mountains to see the sunrise, it is certainly the best regime that I know to cure romance. I for my part never felt less spiritual or more corporeal than I did when I got to the bottom of them. I had a long walk in that manner the day before yesterday. Happening to look out of the window about 12 after reading, I found that it was the most beautiful night that we had yet had. So pocketing my whisky flask and putting on my pea-coat and plaid, I walked to the town and got up a party to go, slept under a table for 35 minutes, drank some whisky punch, and then walked up Blencathra, ignominiously called " Saddleback," stayed on the top about an hour and then got back by 7 a.m., it was about 16 miles. As the morning was splendid I then got up another party for Ennerdale. Then slept 25 minutes and walked off, and we walked the whole day, up two high mountains. I got back by 8- p.m. and after all I really was not so very tired. Keswick is at the present moment all wrestling and dancing. The champion in the former has been declared, having thrown some 10 opponents, but even he is now taken off his legs under the influence of brandy and water.
In the dancing department of course I assisted, and had for my partner a damsel whom I had observed in the morning employed in the unpoetical position of all fours, scrubbing stone steps with great diligence.-I have today committed a most dreadful offence in the eye of the law. I happened to be walking in a field when I saw a bull looking intensely ferocious, so I picked up a stone of a size corresponding to my fears which was therefore very large. Thus armed I ran to the nearest gate for escape ; when up jumped a hare. All thoughts of the Game Laws vanished, as also of the bull. I threw the stone with a most lucky aim, and knocked the gentleman over and then I soon got over the gate and gave him the coup-de-grace with my shillelah. I shall eat him tomorrow or the next day. We are getting very dull; we read the Tunes through, advertisements and all everyday, and often ask for the catalogue of the circulating library. Under these circumstances, Good bye and believe me ever
Your affectionate son, FRAS. GALTON.
The letters to Tertius from Keswick cease with this date. The Galtons were staying at No. 9 on the Cliff [N.g. cliff of Francis's letter see p. 158], Scarborough, and Emma Galton states in her diary that on Sept. 3 she rode from Castle Howard Park to the Lakes. Tertius Galton was fond of riding expeditions with his daughters, and he probably took a chill on this occasion. But we have no details of the illness at Keswick. The party got home to Leamington on Sept. 21, and on Sept.. 26, Miss Galton records in her diary " Papa very ill indeed." Francis Galton, in the " annual register " of his life, speaks of his father's first serious illness occurring at Keswick. Doubtless much help was given by the Gurneys at Keswick, for we find from this time - the intimacy between Gurneys and Galtons extended and visits are paid to Keswick as well as to St James's Square.
P. G. 21