Eugenics as a Creed and the Last Decade o f Galton's Life 251
(Address) HOTEL BRISTOL, ROME. Dec. 13, 1902.
MY DEAR KARL PEARSON, Your letter awaited me here at Bordighera, on arriving this afternoon. The plan that most commends itself to me is that of paying off the £70, so as to leave the Guarantee Fund untouched up to the present time, and to use the £30, as you suggest, for getting good work done especially in plates, that would otherwise be left undone. But please use your full discretion.
I rather shrink from my name being used as you kindly propose. It is difficult to express what is wanted without any appearance of glorification, viz.: that I feel that the £100 could not be bestowed more appropriately than on Biometrika. It is especially difficult to express this without provoking the rejoinder that that is precisely the view that a Consultative Editor of the periodical might be expected to take ! Don't put anything in type to the above effect without my seeing it first, please. r
This blessed Riviera air ! There ought to be a Goddess of that name and many temples to her, all along the coast.
I was amused to read long quotations from you, in the largest of type, impressed into doing duty as a puff for the Encyclopaedia Britannica, by the "Times." It was about the advantage of science to modern civilisation and consequently the advantage to everybody of buying that scientific encyclopaedia. Anyhow they found your weighty words very suitable to their own commercial object.
We stay 4 days here, 2 at Alassio, 2 at Pisa, and reach Rome on the 22nd. Wishing you all well through the horrid wintry weather. Ever very sincerely, FRANCIS GALTON.
I wrote the above in bad light, when I find both spelling and grammatic composition difficult on paper. Please on these grounds excuse the many corrections.
7, WELL ROAD, HAMPSTEAD, N.W. Dec. 27, 1902.
MY DEAR FRANCIS GALTON, It is with a feeling of shame that I take up my pen, for I had fully intended to write you a letter to await your arrival in Rome. But a slight attack of influenza and a general feeling of inertia following on it have made me reluctant to do ought but the most necessary things. Now your letter comes to reproach me for not having bestirred myself to send you a Christmas greeting. I forward with this some Biometrika proofs for Part II of Vol. II. I expect you will have received Part I ere this. It is very late, but I sent the MS. to Press in August last ! They are very dilatory. I have asked Yule to modify his article by giving a general popular account of association to start with. I think Lutz's paper is interesting as strengthening at least for one character the effect of a change of sex. The mouse paper in Part I is not quite definite enough, but I hope to get a second paper in Part II, on further results. The Shirley Poppy paper contains a great deal of work, and I wish it were more definite, but until we get a Biometric Farm where secular experiments of this kind can be carried out under uniform conditions, I don't think we can do much better. So far as it goes, it is quite in favour of plants obeying laws of inheritance very like those known to hold for man and horse. I hope to have a paper on the Law of Ancestral Heredity showing really what it assumes and how far we can at present assert it to hold.
It is pleasant to hear of breakfast out of doors in Alassio, and of the sun too hot to sit in at Baliano ! I have just received 200 ants from Petrie's settlement and hear of 100 hornets in spirit coming. Please don't forget the celandines, if you get further south and find the collecting not too irksome. I shall hope to get the paper on the first series out in the next Biometrika.
Pray send me any point in the finger-print investigation which you think I might elucidate. I am much interested in its possibilities, and think it ought to be rendered available for heredity. Weldon is now in Sicily, most happy over snail finds. Yours very sincerely, KARL PEARSON.
(6) Work and Correspondence of 1903. In 1903, largely as a result, if
indirectly, of Galton's influence, a Royal Commission was suggested for the purpose of inquiring into the asserted deterioration of the British race owing to bad environmental conditions. Galton grasped at once that a report of such a commission dealing only with possible degeneration would be of small service unless a larger object were kept in view in the course of the inquiry