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194   Life and Letters of Francis Galton

I now, with fear and trembling lest you should finally vote me a continued bore, venture to enclose copies of some queries I have just had printed and am circulating, after having obtained by personal inquiries a good deal of very curious information on the points in question. I venture to ask you more particularly, because the `visualising' faculty of Dr Darwin appears to have been remarkable and of a peculiar order and it is possible that yours, through inheritance, may also be similarly peculiar. It is perfectly marvellous bow the faculty varies, and moreover some very able men intellectually do not possess it. They do their work by words, I am in correspondence with Max Muller about this, who is an outre "nominalist."

Very sincerely yours, FRANCIS GALTON.

Thanks for.Bowditch (children's growth) which you kindly sent me.


MY DEAR GALTON, I have answered the questions, as well as I could, but they are miserably answered, for I have never tried looking into my own mind. Unless others answer very much better than I can do, you will get no good from your queries. Do you not think that you ought to have age of the answers? I think so, because I can call up faces of many schoolboys, not seen for 60 years, with much distinctness, but now-a-days I may talk with a man for an hour, and see him several times consecutively, and after a month I am utterly unable to recollect what.he is at all like. The picture is quite washed out.

I am extremely glad that you approve of the little life of our grandfather; for I have been repenting that I ever undertook it as work quite beyond my tether. The first set of proofsheets was a good deal fuller, but I followed my family's advice and struck out much.

Ever yours very sincerely, CHARLES DARWIN.

QUESTIONS ON THE FACULTY OF VISUALISING'. For explanations see the other side of this paper. The replies will be used for statistical purposes only and should be addressed to:



1. Illumination. 2. Definition.

3. Completeness.

4. Colouring.

5. Extent of field of view.

Different kinds of Imagery. 6. Printed pages.

Furniture. Persons.



Military Movements. Mechanism.

Moderate, but my solitary breakfast was early and morning dark.
Some objects quite defined, a slice of cold beef, some grapes and

a pear, the state of my plate when I had finished and a few

other objects are as distinct as if I had photos before me. Very moderately so.

The objects above-named perfectly coloured. Rather small.

I cannot remember a single sentence, but I remember the place

of the sentences and the kind of type.

I have never attended to it.

I remember the faces of persons formerly well-known vividly,

and can make them do anything I like. Remembrance vivid and distinct and gives me pleasure. No.


Never tried.

and I would add, an examination of the innumerable paintings of him from various aspects. He was in no sense a bloodless man, but clearly a man of many crotchets and peculiarities of temperament. I have had the privilege of examining a considerable number of Erasmus Darwin's letters and papers, and feel that his true characterisation remains to be drawn. The final portrait will not be that of Schimmelpenninck, but again not that of Charles Darwin. Meanwhile I find my imagination persists in coupling the supposed extremes : Samuel Johnson and Erasmus Darwin !

1 For the nature and occasion of these questions the reader must consult Chapter XII.