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158   Life and Letters of Francis Galton

(3)   42 RUTLAND GATE, S.W. March 17, 1870.

MY DEAR DARWIN, No good news. Bartlett assured me this morning that it was a popular prejudice that young rabbits might not be looked at, reasonable care being taken, so we opened 2 boxes and examined the litters. The first contained four dead young ones all true silver greys. One, however, has a largish light-coloured patch on its nose, but Bartlett tells me that this is not unusual with silver greys as the very tips of their noses are often white. However this patch is somewhat larger and there are faint hopes, I think, that it may prove more considerable than Bartlett believes. I have one more litter yet to come and hope to send you the result by Monday evening post. I have coupled a new pair and re-coupled the 2 does whose litters have failed, one of them with a more suitable mate, and expect the following results:


Date of expected


Buck transfused from

rabbit coloured as below

Doe transfused from

April 14    



April 16    



April 16    

Black and white

Black and white

The quantity of blood transfused was only 1.25 per cent. of the weight of the rabbits which is only the same thing as 30 oz. of blood to an ordinary man. I know this is a very small proportion of the whole amount of blood, but hope by a second operation on the old bucks and by improved operations on all the young ones. to get a great deal more of alien qualities into their veins. Very sincerely yours, FRANCIS GALTON.

In a letter of Mrs Darwin's to her daughter Henrietta dated Down, Sat., Mar. 19 [1870] we read:

"F. [Father] is wonderfully set up by London, but so absorbed about work, etc. and all sorts of things that I shall force him off somewhere before very long. F. Galton's experiments about rabbits (viz. injecting black rabbit's blood into grey and vice versa) are failing, which is a dreadful disappointment to them both. F. Galton said he was quite sick with anxiety till the rabbits accouchements were over, and now one naughty creature ate up her infants and the other has perfectly commonplace ones. He wishes this expert to be kept quite secret as he means to go on, and he thinks he shall be so laughed at, so don't mention   " A Century of Letters, Vol. it, p. 230.

(4)   42, RUTLAND GATE, S.W. March 22, 1870.

MY DEAR DARWIN. Another litter-this time of 4-and all of them are true silver greys.Also, one of the does (mentioned in my last letter as transfused from a black and white) is dead.

My stud now stands as overleaf'. I call each silver grey by the name of the colour of the rabbit from which it has been infused. I also give the particulars of my first batch. You will see that there was much less variety in my pairs then, than there is now. I hope to try a new mode of transfusion upon a wholly new stock, taking younger rabbits and putting much more alien blood into them. Ever very sincerely yours, F. GALTON.

[There follows a list of transfusions into bucks and does of first and second batches.]

(5)   42, RUTLAND GATE, S.W. March 31, 1870.

MY DEAR DARWIN, Better news-decidedly better. I opened the hutches where the young rabbits are, this morning, and found now that the white patch on the nose of which I spoke had become markedly conspicuous and larger, but also that a white vertical bar had begun to

1 I have not thought it needful to reproduce this table, as the details of the experiments are given in the paper as finally published.