168 Life and Letters of Francis Galton
From April and May of this year no letters have survived ; we do not know whether Galton went on reading with Hopkins or went in for his College May. We lose also all account of how he came to join a reading party under Cay ley and Venables' which went in June to Aberfeldy, in Perthshire.
On June 15 he is staying with the Kays at Terrace House, Battersea, and writes to his father that ' he is leaving by boat for Dundee in an hour and a half. He describes his journey to town, how he has dined with Partridge, seen the Missourian (which he holds to be falsely articulated in order to increase the apparent height), and heard Robert le Diable-all told with the usual quaint humour. The first letter from Aberfeldy is five days later and some of it may be given here
ABERFELDY, June 19, 1842.
MY DEAR FATHER,
My proceedings have gone on splendidly but the voyage from London to Dundee was all that could be horrible; instead of taking 36 we were 50 hours, a swell of a most abominable description inclined slightly to our course so that the rolling was
dreadful. Everybody (104 in all, 30 was the usual number) was wretchedly sick. I as usual dreadfully so.-Otherwise we had a jolly voyage; most of our party on board and the two tutors. Cayley is unanimously voted a brick and a most gentlemanly-minded
man. Some of the passengers too had seen much life. One was a traveller in the interior of Africa, shot elephants, lions, etc. etc Perth is beautiful to a degree, ditto the lady
inhabitants I hear Sir Neil Menzies is a most hospitable person, but I have not yet sent my letter of introduction. In haste
Your affectionate son, FRAS. GALTON.
The reading party on this occasion consisted of the two Kays, Fowell and Charles Buxton, Galton and Yeoman 2. We may reasonably expect that play rather predominated over work. The reading party gave a ball
The Cambridge party requests the honour of -- company on Wednesday the 31st instant. Dancing will commence at 8 o'clock.
BREADALBANE ARMS, ABERFELDIE.
There were 29 " Dancing Ladies " and only 22 " Dancing Gentlemen," but as " 7 Cantabs " are included in the latter we may safely
1 Venables, afterwards Canon of Lincoln, was 33rd Wrangler and in the second class, Classical Tripos.
2 Yeoman was 27th Wrangler, and third class, Classical Tripos in 1845, I think the Buxtons and Kays took poll degrees.