424 Life and Letters of Francis Galton A last brief letter closes the correspondence
10 SOUTH STREET, PARK LANE, W. June 13,'91.
Statistical Inquiry Essays.
MY DEAR SIR, I sorrowfully acknowledge your just award that the season is now too far advanced for you to attempt to carry out the preliminaries. I can only hope that when the vacations are over I may still appeal to your wisdom. You have been more than kind. And no one could do for the matter what you would. I trust your Demography is making favourable
progress. I am ever yours gratefully, FLORENCE NIGHTINGALE.
One carf but regret this conclusion to what might have been a great success, the realisation of an ideal common to two of the most remarkable minds of the nineteenth century. They were both "passionate statisticians," both saw a great need-a need which still largely exists-and both had shown themselves capable of carrying great enterprises to successful conclusions. Yet somehow Francis Galton seemed to overlook the very kernel of Florence Nightingale's scheme, and the whole vanished in a trivial essay project. Yet the correspondence was, I believe, not without influence on Galton himself, and probably contributed not a little to guide him consciously or unconsciously when he came to make his own foundation in linking it up with a school of statistical training. An additional twenty years demonstrated to him not only the futility of advisory committees, but how little in the way of research could be achieved by the offer of small monetary prizes.
Something would certainly have failed in this chapter, if we had been unable to show even this slender link between the master builder of the modern theory of statistics and the "Passionate Statistician" whose mind had been so deeply stirred by his greatest forerunner, Quetelet
"I might have done it for you. So it seems Perhaps not. All is as God over-rules. Besides, incentives come from the soul's self,
The rest avail not."