164 Life and Letters of Francis Galton
My cake has long since gone. As it disappeared it looked like a girl dying of consumption, pining away and retaining its sweetness to the last; it was very good. I ingratiated myself much with Mrs Hoppit by sending for her sevenfold offspring and arranging them round the table, when I made an equable division of the remains of the cake between myself and them, and afterwards sent them away laughing, eating and digesting like steam. Twelve out of the fourteen jampots still remain free from the encroachments of the enemy, but decidedly in a state of predestination thereunto.
How is my Mother's foot? and Mary 4 Love to all and good-bye and believe me ever your affectionate son,
P.S. I suppose you all know that the meaning of the F. G. on the outside of my letters is that they are family letters to be opened by anybody and merely addressed to some particular person for the satisfaction of the postmaster.
I do not know how or where the Christmas vacation was spent, presumably at Leamington, yet on Jan. 21, Francis is up at Trinity and from there a few days afterwards joins his sister Emma, who had gone down from London to Keswick with the Gurneys on Dec. 31st. He probably only stayed a few days there, as the results for his " LittleGo'! were sent to his father on March 9th from Cambridge, and that examination must have taken place some weeks earlier
°Hurrah-I'm through. FRAS. GALTON, Wed. 1842." [March 9].
The list shows him to have taken a second class ; J. Kay and another of Hopkins's pupils were also in the second class, seven of them, including Buxton, were in the first. Maine, Clark, Cooper, Dalyell, Stewart and others of Galton's friends appear in the same list.
The earlier letter of Jan. 21 is of some historical interest
Jan. 21, 1842.
MY DEAR FATHER, TRIN. COLL.
Thank you for your letter which I received this morning. The Math. Examination for degrees is just over and as you will see by the accompanying paper Cayley is 1st and Simpson 2nd wrangler; these were very far superior to the rest. Hopkins told me today that Simpson was 1000 marks ahead of the 3rd wrangler and the getting of 500 marks only entitles a man to be a wrangler. The 1st and 2nd wranglers are considered to be the most superior men, for at least many years that Cambridge has produced'. The rest of the Tripos as usual. The examination papers this year are much easier than usual.
1 How difficult it is to see at close quarters ! Stokes had been Senior in 1841, Adams was Senior in 1843, and Thomson (Lord Kelvin) second in 1845. They were the most brilliant years of Cambridge mathematical productivity and 1842 did not stand alone.