Eugenics as a Creed and the Last Decade of Galton's Life 235
scientific and the practical standpoint possible ; to fill up by research the gaps in our ignorance and make every stepping-stone safe and secure. He would be content if his lecture justified men " in following every path in a resolute and hopeful spirit that seems to lead towards that end." And he concludes
"The magnitude of the inquiry is enormous, but its object is one of the highest man can accomplish.... We cannot doubt the existence of a great power ready to hand and capable of being directed with vast benefit as soon as we shall have learned to understand and apply it. To
no nation is a high human breed more necessary than to our own, for we plant our stock all over the world and lay the foundation of the dispositions and capacities of future millions of the human race." (p. 538.)
Thus Galton concludes the second Huxley Lecture of the Anthropological Institute; it is possibly the only one of the series which is destined to live, for it founded a new science, which in truth carried with it the germs of a great future social movement. But the seed fell on barren soil, it found no echo in the researches of British anthropologists, and the lecture, perhaps the most weighty paper their Institute had heard, was never fully published in their Journal. It attracted more attention and bore ampler fruit in America than in this country.
Nothing daunted Galton determined to appeal to a wider public and another class of mind. From now on he made it his chief purpose to spend his remaining years and energies iii teaching the public that they had to take Eugenics as seriously as any other branch of science with practical applications.
It must not be supposed, however, that Galton's devotion of his remaining years to Eugenics cut him off entirely from other interests and from his habitual helpfulness to other allied causes. I find that the letters interchanged between us during the years 1900 to 1902 turn largely on the foundation of Biometrika, and it is pleasing to recall the sympathy expressed and the help which the Master's letters in those days of stress were to Weldon and myself, his disciples. Unfortunately it is not possible to understand the setting of Galton's letters or the frank and generous relationship between the older man and his lieutenants without publishing certain letters of the latter, which maintain the thread of the narrative. My own correspondence with Francis Galton is scattered over nineteen years, and only small portions of it can be published in this chapter. I shall select here a portion from the correspondence for the years 1900-1902, which, we must remember, were marked for Galton by (i) the foundation of Biometrika, (ii) the delivery of the Huxley Lecture, (iii) the award of the Darwin Medal, and (iv) the election to an Honorary Fellowship at Trinity College, Cambridge.
The following letters bearing on these points may first be cited as throwing light on parts of that correspondence
INNISFAIL, HILLS ROAD, CAMBRIDGE. 24 June 1901.
MY DEAR MR GALTON, I have been commissioned by the Council of the Anthropological Institute to ask whether you would do us the honour to deliver the Huxley Lecture this autumn or early winter, and at the same time to receive the Huxley Medal.