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248   Life and Letters of Francis Galton

walked from Rutland Gate to the Green Park cabstand in Piccadilly every horse even on the stand seemed watching him, either with pricked ears, or else disguising its espionage. Hours elapsed before the uncanny sensation wore off and Galton said that he could only too easily re-establish it.

In his third experiment Galton strove to gain an insight into the abject feeling which a savage has for his fetish or idol, and he fixed on the grotesque figure on Punch's wrapper, and made believe in Punch's possession of divine attributes, and his mighty power to reward or punish men according to their treatment of him. The experiment gradually succeeded, and for a long time he retained for Punch's image a large share of the feelings that a barbarian has for his idol and learnt "to appreciate the enormous potency they might have over him."

Personally I have been much puzzled by the resurrection in modern days of the mascot, and by the apparent depth of feeling in some minds with regard to mascots ; re-reading Galton's experiment with Punch, explained to my unimaginative mind how easily such reversions to fetishism may arise in the case of more emotional natures among modern men.

These three experiments aptly illustrate what serious endeavours Galton made to understand and appreciate the workings of his own and other men's minds.


This is the third of the larger works of Francis Galton, but it differs to .some extent from the earlier two in being more completely a summary of the memoirs of the preceding ten to twelve years'. It is true there is a good deal added, but there is a considerable amount omitted, and those omissions to some extent may lead the reader of the book to suppose the conclusions based on less substantial evidence than a reader of the memoirs would have before him. On this account I have considered it best to discuss the memoirs at length, and in this section merely to supplement the earlier sections of this and those of the following chapter by drawing attention to novel points.

Writing of the memoirs he had published since the appearance of Hereditary Genius in 1869 Galton says

"They may have appeared desultory when read in the order in which they appeared, but as they had an underlying connection it seems worth while to bring their substance together in logical sequence into a single volume. I have revised, condensed, largely rewritten, transposed old matter, and interpolated much that is new; but traces of the fragmentary origin of the work still remain, and I do not regret them. They serve to show that the book is intended

to be suggestive, and renounces all claim to be encyclopaedic. I have indeed, with that object, avoided going into details in not a few cases where I should otherwise have written with fullness, especially in the anthropometric part. My general object has been to take -note of the

' Of the twenty-two memoirs on which the work is based seventeen have been already considered in this or earlier chapters, four will be dealt with in Chapter XII and one in Chapter XIII. For the titles of these memoirs: see Appendix, pp. 338-9 of the work. Three memoirs on composite photography (including that on ' Generic Images'), the memoir on the fertility, of Town and Country populations, that on Test Weights and that on Galton's Whistles, together with the questionnaire on visualising, are reproduced on pp. 340-80 of the Appendix.