190 Life and Letters of Francis Galton
The following dateless letter is written soon after Galton had settled in London again
MY DEAR FATHER,
I am afraid that I have two unanswered letters on the score against me, and thank you much for the letter of introduction to Mr Walker contained in the last. I will tell you the result after I have taken it. I meet with numbers of my Cambridge friends so that I am pretty sure of a call every day and this with working till about 4 at medicine, and again before going to bed makes my existence about as jolly and as cozy as I ever expect to aspire to. Mr Hallam gave me a ticket for the private view of the fresco-paintings now in Westminster Hall (on Saturday). They are said to be decidedly inferior to what was expected, and nearly half of them were rejected as unworthy of exhibition. The two best (and I had come to the same conclusion without hearing it before) are considered to be << Rachel and Jacob" by Cope and a study by Armitage, a female figure looking something like Britannia'. Armitage and Cope were two of the three that got £300 prizes for their cartoons last year.
Dr Todd is very good natured to me. He has invited me to spend next Sunday with him at a country cottage of his near Streatham Common.
I enclose you two scrawls on one piece of paper intended respectively to represent different views of my room. Tell Bessy that since she was in it, my landlord has allowed me a glorious damask green little bit of a sofa which fits as snugly as possible into the room. [Picture of a most uncomfortable-looking, philistine piece of furniture.]
Sir Arthur Brooke said he would take me to see Alexis the mesmeriser about whom so much has been written in the Times, Chronicle and Herald by and in reply to Colonel Gurwood. I thought I had better go as he is said to be by far the most successful clairvoyant; he won't, exhibit publicly and this time Mr Ramsay Clarke had him in his room. It was entirely a failure, he certainly played at cards with his eyes blindfolded but that is not conclusive; but in not one instance could he read words written aside, and put into boxes, which he professed to be able to do.
Will you be so kind as to let me know on what days Warwick Castle is visible as Mr Hallam spends a day next week over Warwick, Coventry and Kenilworth, not Leamington. If you have any thin guide book to those places which might be sent easily by post I should be much obliged if you would send it to me, as I want to do everything obliging for the I' Antik Vogel." Emma will explain.
Your affectionate son, F. G.
[P.S.] Dear Emma, She is sweeter than ever. F. G.
We know that Francis was in Cambridge on May 13, probably June, July and August were the extent of his stay in London and the limit of his medical studies at St George's. His address seems to have
' It may comfort some of my readers to know that Francis Galton thrice wrote this name and crossed it out, before he reached the above spelling.