Correspondence with Charles Darwin 175
42, RUTLAND GATE, Nov. 7/72.
MY DEAR DARWIN, Accept very best thanks for Expression which I have been devouring; you will, I am sure, receive numberless letters of hints corroborative of the points you make; even I could and will send some. But I write specially to say that if you care to send any more printed circulars of queries, I can dispose of three this very month most excellently for you. One by an expedition up the Congo, another by a man from the Zanzibar side into Africa and a third by a very intelligent German (English speaking) head of a missionary college on his way to my old country in Africa.
Would you have a short note sent me,-pray do not write yourself-about the rabbits.
Ever sincerely yours, FRANCIS GALTON.
P.S. You do not I think mention in Expression what I thought was universal among
blubbering children (when not trying to see if harm or help was coming out of the corner of
one eye) of pressing the knuckles against the eyeballs; thereby, reinforcing the orbicularis. What a curious custom hand-shaking is and how rapidly savages take to it in their inter
course with Europeans.
I have a pamphlet of yours to send back.
DOWN, BECHENHAM, KENT. Nov. 8th. [1872?]
MY DEAR GALTON, I was going in a day or two to have written to you about the rabbits.
Those which you saw when here (the last lot) and which were then in the transition mottled condition have now all got their perfect coats, and are perfectly true in character. They are now ready to breed, or soon will be; do you want one more generation? If the next one is as true as all the others, it seems to me quite superfluous to. go on trying.
Many thanks for your note and offer to send out the queries; but my career is so nearly closed, that I do not think it worth while. What little more I can do, shall be chiefly new work.
I ought to have thought of crying children rubbing their eyes with their knuckles; but I did not think of it, and cannot explain it. As far as my memory serves, they do not do so whilst roaring, in which case compression would be of use. I think it is at the close of a crying fit, as if they wished to stop their eyes crying, or probably to relieve the irritation from the
'salt tears. I wish I knew more about the knuckles and crying.
I am rejoiced that your sister is recovering so well: when you next see her pray give her my very kindest remembrances. My dear Galton, Yours very sincerely, CH. DARWIN.
What a tremendous stir-up your excellent article on 'Prayer' has made in England and America.
42, RUTLAND GATE, Nov. 15/72.
MY DEAR DARWIN, I have left your kind letter of ten days since unanswered, having some possible rabbit combinations in view which have ended in nothing. The experiments have, I quite agree, been carried on long enough. It would be a crowning point to them if your groom could get a prize at some show for those he has reared up so carefully, as it would attest their purity of breed. There is such a show, I believe, impending at the Crystal Palace. Enclosed is a £2 cheque. Will you kindly tip him with it for me, assuring him how indebted I feel for his attention. I don't know bow I can repay you!
Would it not be worth while before abandoning the whole affair to get a litter from each of the available does, not with a view of keeping the young, but simply of seeing whether any are born mottled, and if not of then killing them? The reason being, that the mixed breed are so very apt to take wholly after one or the other ancestor, and one might get no other evidence of impure blood than a rare instance of a decidedly mongrel birth.
However I leave this quite in your hands, knowing that it means 5 or 6 weeks more trouble with the rabbits.
I read and re-read your Expression with infinite instruction and pleasure, and feel sure that its influence will soon be seen at the Royal Academy. Enclosed is a small addition to the note about the family on p. 34.
My sister Emma, I am rejoiced *to say, is now at the seaside steadily mending in perfect quiet and in full hopes of complete restoration to health. I wish most heartily that yours was better. Ever sincerely yours, FRANCIS GALTON.