Transition Studies 65
I say, all these things, will you go in for it, and allow me to join? Home is a restless man, as regards his movements, and could be induced to go to and fro. I am sure I could-if I could ensure a dozen seances, at which only our two selves and Home were together. (Others might be in the room, if you liked, but, I would say, not present within reach.)
It is impossible, I see, to prearrange experiments. One must take what comes, and seize upon momentary means of checking results. Home encourages going under the table and peering everywhere (I did so and held his feet while the table&moved), so I am sure you need not feel like a spectator in the boxes while a conjuror is performing on the stage. He and Miss F. just want civil treatment and a show of interest. Of course, while one is civil and obliging, it is perfectly easy to be wary. Pray tell me what you think of the proposal in Crookes' letter. Very sincerely yours, F. GALTON.
42 Rutland Gate, S.W. May 26, '72.
MY DEAR DARWIN I feel perfectly ashamed to apply again to you in my recurring rabbit difficulty', which is this: I have (after some losses) got 3 does and a buck of the stock you so kindly took charge of cross-circulated, and so have means of protracting the experiments to another generation of breeding from them and seeing if their young show any signs of mongrelism. They do not thrive over well in London, also we could not keep them during summer at our house, because the servants in charge when we leave could not be troubled with them. Is it possible that any of your men could take charge of them and let them breed, seeing if the young show any colour, then killing the litter and breeding afresh, 2 or 3 times over? I would most gladly pay even a large sum-many times the cost of their maintenance-to any man who would really attend to them. Can you help me?
As regards spiritualism nothing new that I have seen since I wrote, for Home and Miss F. have been both absent. I wrote a letter of overtures to Home when I enclosed yours, but got no reply. I have kept up communication with Crookes, and am satisfied that he has the investigation thoroughly in hand, and delays publication on grounds of desiring a little more completeness of data. He is a most industrious taker of notes.
How very kind your letter was about Home. It grieved me much that you had to speak in such terms about your health. Ever sincerely yours, FRANCIS GALTON.
Three days later, to a letter arranging to lunch at Down, Galton adds the postscript : "The spiritualists have given me up, I fear. I can't get another invite to a seance." Darwin evidently wrote about this time to Galton asking the latter to introduce a friend to the spiritualistic fraternity, for on June 7, 1872, Galton writes from Rutland Gate:
MY DEAR DARWIN I did not reply yesterday about the Spiritualists as I expected that day and this to have heard from Mr Home, and Crookes is out of Town. It will give me great pleasure to do what I can for X.Y. but I rather doubt whether I shall have power to do much. I can't myself get to these seances as often as I like-indeed I have had no opportunity for a long time past. The fact is, that first class mediums are very few in number and are always acting. Also that Crookes and others are working their very best at the subject and entertain a full belief that they will be able to establish something important and lastly what, I see, is a real difficulty with them, the introduction of a stranger always disturbs the seances. I say all this to excuse me in your eyes, if I don't fulfil your wishes as you would like; but I will do my best and write-whenever I have anything to say to X.Y. as you propose.
The person most likely to help would, I think, be Lord L.
I wonder if I have offended Home by my last letter to him-he has never replied and I hear incidentally there is to be an important seance this very night! Alas for me! Ever yours
sincerely, FRANCIS GALTON.
The last letter to Darwin concerning Home was in November of 187-2. In the concluding paragraph of a further communication regarding the nosestroking family Galton writes
1 This refers to a continuation of the 'Pangenesis' experiments after the publication of the memoir of 1871 to be discussed later.