178 Life and Letters of Francis Galton
ascertain how the social virtues arose from the evolution of the herd or endeavour to inquire statistically into the efficacy of prayer.
The following letter must have been written shortly before the Long Vacation, which Francis was planning to pass in Germany with his sister Emma.
MY DEAR FATHER,
I do not think I can get any Weimar introduction from my London medical friends though they may have some acquaintances in Jena. Jena is I find a stage from Weimar. I am making all enquiries I can, and from all I can gather Weimar is decidedly the place for us. The Historical Society flourishes. I speechified there the last meeting. The Epigram Society appears most prosperous, we had its first meeting last night. A great many were sent in, and 5 chosen out of them by ballot. Then we have subscribed for a superb manuscript book with AMOENITATES CANTABRIGIENSES on it, in which such epigrams as are chosen are inserted. I have not time to write out for you the five in question, but they were very fair. I ought to say that we take the word epigram in its most general sense, that is any poem of any character on a given subject with or without point. The subject was Via trita, via tuta (the worn way is the safe way) the Duke of Norfolk's motto. The verses I sent in, they were one of the five, were:
" A plucky lad was he,
" Who fastened quills together, "And tried to cross the sea, "In spite of wind and weather. "Though better to have wept " In silence Minos' ire, "Facts only prove he leapt, "From frying pan to fire. "Shareholders save your load, "Save money, save material, "So keep the turnpike road "And sell your steam aerial."
Your affectionate son, FRAS. GALTON.
The last letter from Cambridge this term is undated but it must have been written in the first few days of June Wednesday Evening [Date ?].
MY DEAR FATHER,
Thank you very much for your kind present to me which will be very acceptable as I do not doubt but that my journey will be somewhat expensive. I will be with you on Monday Evening, as I propose to leave Cambridge for Claverdon by the Eagle on that day. Then I was thinking of staying with you there until Wednesday or Thursday and then joining Emma in London and starting off with her on Monday.
I cannot write a longer letter now as we are being plagued with an Examination, in which, however, I am not trying to do much, as I am quite indifferent as to my place
TRINITY [Date ?].