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204   Life and Letters of Francis Galton


MY DEAR GALTON, I have nothing to say against your new form of epitaph. Indeed I think it is quite just. I am not quite sure, however, whether a `topic' can be `explored.' But it is easier to criticise than to suggest something better. Charles Darwin used to scold me for not appreciating the `Vestiges' (that flimsiest of books) so you may judge how tenderly he looked at his grandfather's work. He had the noble weakness of thinking too much of other people's doings and too little of his own. I wish none of us had worse sins to be forgiven.

Ever yours very sincerely, T. H. HUXLEY.

Did Era smus Darwin possess vivid imagination, incessant activity and energy of mind, great originality of thought, prophetic spirit both in science and the mechanical arts, bad he the true spirit of the philosopher-all which characteristics Charles Darwin ascribed to him,-or did he contribute little or nothing to posterity? Personally I see no truer way of answering that question than pointing to the achievements of his grandchildren, his great grandchildren and great great grandchildren. Their scientific worth and mechanical ingenuity, their originality of thought and energy of mind suggest that Charles Darwin's judgment was not in this case the product of a `noble weakness.' But those who have had a friend in the least approaching Darwin in largeness of mind and charm of character will fully appreciate Huxley's criticism on the first of Galton's epitaphs which ventured to name Erasmus in the same breath as his own hero Charles. On our Plate XX the reader will find the final `epitaph,' and its phraseology may obtain for him a deeper meaning in view of this correspondence -between Galton and Huxley.


In order not to break the thread of Chapters XI and XII, I have placed here the continuation for six years of the above correspondence. It is not an unfitting place for it, because the letters not only provide further evidence of Galton's admiration for Darwin, but indicate how occupied his mind was during these years with psychological problems. The "visualised numerals," and the " visions of the sane " are discussed in Chapter XI, and composite photographs (" photographies cumulees ") in Chapter XII.

GENuvE, 8 nov. 1879.

MONK CHER MONSIEUR, J'ai lu avec beaucoup de plaisir les opuscules que vous avez bien voulu m'envoyer. Les photographies cumulees m'ont paru curieuses. Elles serviront probablement daps plusieurs cas et pour diverses recherches de medecine, physiologie etc. On peut en inferer aussi certaines consequences utiles dans les arts. Je me propose, par ce motif, de montrer vos generic images dans une seance de notre societe des arts oil se trouvent toujours des dessinateurs, des photographes, etc. Si vous publiez d'autres essais, je vous serai tres oblige de me les envoyer avant le mois de janvier prochain.

L'aspect de vos criminels confirme ce que je lisais bier dans un article scientifique signe de Parville dans le Temps, sur les cranes de 36 assassins fran~ais. Leurs cranes etaient larges d'une tempe a l'autre.

Les observations psychometriques dont vous decrivez les resultats me semblent bien difficiles a faire. Cependant je sais, par experience, qu'on arrive en se donnant de la peine a constater des faits de cette nature. J'ai aussi observe des choses analogues pendant la nuit, et ce que j'ai conclu appuie votre opinion par des approchements assez interessants.