208 Life and Letters of Francis Galton
as unreasoning. Speaking on his own initiative to the present writer about a friend who had then recently joined the Catholic Church, he said : " Yes, I think it will be a real help, a controlling factor in X's conduct," and then he added : " How impossible it would all be for you or me!" It appears to the writer that the recognition of the relativity of religion and its individual temperamental value was attained at this time, if a positive view of life which suited his own temperament only came to Galton with the Origin of Species. Much light would doubtless have been thrown on this point had the Egyptian and Syrian letters been preserved. But the fact that they did contain evidence of Galton's religious development may be the very reason why they have wholly perished.
The years which succeeded Galton's return from Syria are a blank except for what he has himself told us in his Memories, Chapter viii. The four years in question, he himself entitled "Hunting and Shooting." He writes
"I returned to my mother and sister, who then occupied Claverdon, much in need of a little rest. I was also conscious that with all my varied experiences, I was ignorant of the very ABC of the life of an English country gentleman, such as most of the friends
of my family had been familiar with from childhood. I was totally unused to hunting, and I had no proper experience of shooting. This deficiency was remedied during the next three or four years " (Memories, p. 110).
We find Galton for the following three years spending part of his time in Leamington, hunting with a set chiefly noteworthy for their extravagance and recklessness ; part of his time on Scottish moors, shooting grouse, or sailing in the Hebrides, and lastly part of his time -which amounted to weeks and months-in London, walking and riding with friends or attending meets of the Royal Stag Hounds. A few letters of Henry Hallam, spared apparently from the holocaust, indicate the thoughts most prominent in the mind's of both young men-their ambition was to shoot 100 brace in a day, to kill 87 hares in a quarter of an hour, to avoid the tailor-like habit of putting a bullet into the haunch of a stag ; the most provoking thing was to fail in a shot,--" I would have given my eyes to have brought the animal down." Landseer was not the man and the artist, but " the crackshot never missing and quite up to all the dodges of the sport ; he had got and shot and killed his animal very neatly." The shooting experience was undoubtedly of value to Galton in his later