Eugenics as a Creed and the Last -Decade of Galton's Life 239
concerning these matters ' may be printed here. It bears witness to the widespread admiration and affection felt for Francis Galton '.
TRINITY COLLEGE, CAMBRIDGE. 19 November, 1902.
MY DEAR MR GALTON, It was only today I heard, with very great pleasure, that your old College has done itself the honour of asking you to become one of its Honorary Fellows. We are proud of the distinction which you confer on the College, and we trust that you will not refuse to accept this mark of our sense of the great services you have rendered to science. To me the act of the College gives a personal pleasure, for I shall never forget your kindness to me at a critical time of my life, and I am happy and proud to think that I have enjoyed the privilege of your friendship ever since.
Let me take this opportunity of congratulating you on receiving the Darwin Medal. It is a high distinction, and I am sure you have richly deserved it.
Believe me, dear Mr Galton,
Yours most sincerely, J. G. FRAZER.
As I have said on p. 235 the current of Galton's thoughts in these years and his strong affection will be best made clear to the reader if I print here a small selection of the correspondence which passed between us in the years 1900-1902. The letters indicate Galton's essential generosity of mind, the close terms of intimacy he was on with Weldon and myself,-who were proud to feel ourselves in some measure his lieutenants,-and the keen interest he had in the early struggles of Biometrika. The feeling of the younger men among us, who got into close touch with Francis Galton, was something like that of Aristides to Socrates
"I always made progress whenever I was in your neighbourhood, even if it were only in the same house, without being in the same room; but my advancement was greater if I were in the same room, and greater still if I could keep my eyes fixed upon you." It was not Galton's power of solving problems : suggestive as he was, his analysis often lacked power to cope with them. It was the atmosphere he cast round every scientific question; he carried his intimates into a rarefied air, where the one aim was to reach the goal of truth, not heeding who should get there first, or who should tell the tale of its discovery. I think the like conception expressed in different words is provided by Mrs Sidney Webb t
"Owing to our [the `Potter girls'] intimacy with Herbert Spencer we were friendly with the group of distinguished scientific men who met together at the monthly dinner of the famous `X-Club.' And here I should like to recall that among these scientists, the one who stays in my mind as the ideal man of science is, not Huxley or Tyndall, Hooker or Lubbock, still less my guide, philosopher and friend Herbert Spencer, but Francis Galton whom I used to observe
* Sir James Frazer in kindly granting me permission to print his letter remarks "that the `critical time of my life' referred to in my letter was in 1885, when my Trinity Fellowship would in the ordinary course have expired and the question of renewal came before the College Council. In the same year, shortly before, at Mr Galton's suggestion, I had read my first anthropological paper (' On some burial customs as illustrative of the primitive theory of the soul') before the Anthropological Institute, with Mr Galton as President in the chair, and when the question of the renewal of my Fellowship was raised shortly afterwards, I believe that Francis Galton and my ever-lamented friend Robertson Smith used their powerful influence to ensure the renewal and were successful. It was indeed a turning point in my life, and I shall never cease to be grateful to the two friends who stood by me at that critical time ... He [Galton] was indeed an admirable and lovable man from every point of view."
t Beatrice Webb, My Apprenticeship, pp. 134-5, 1926.