266 Life and Letters of Francis Galton
A second paper by Galton is published in this volume of Sociological ,Studies (pp. 8~-99). It is entitled: "A Eugenic Investigation, Index to Achievements of Near Kinsfolk of some of the Fellows of the Royal Society." It is a preliminary notice of the material later dealt with by Galton and Schuster in Noteworthy Families *. As we have already very fully considered the latter work, discussion of this preliminary study is unnecessary. A few lines from the "Preface" indicating how confident Galton had become on certain points may, however, be cited here:
" It is now practically certain from wide and exact observations, that the physical characters of all living beings, whether men, other animals or plants, are subject approximately to the same laws of heredity. Also that mental qualities such as ability and character, which are only partially measurable, follow the same laws as the physical and measurable ones. The obvious result of this is that the experience gained in establishing improved breeds of domestic animals and plants is a safe guide to speculations on the theoretical possibility ofllstablishing improved breeds of the human race.
It is not intended to enter here into such speculations, but to emphasise the undoubted fact that members of gifted families are, on. the whole, appreciably more likely than the generality of their countrymen to produce gifted offspring." (pp. 85-6.)
Two more letters of this year-out of many others-may be printed here because they show not only the affection Galton bore to his lieutenants but also the encouragement he was continually giving them.
42, RUTLAND GATE, S. W. May 30, 1904.
MY DEAR KARL PEARSON, What an admirable paper you have just sent me. Such literature will help to unite many scattered forces of a higher order than journalists in the good cause. They exist and want to be found out and incorporated. I have been staying some days in a country house with Sir John Gorst, who is very keen and earnest about the degeneracy of the Board School Children. He thinks the Scotch Commissioners' Report, which I have not yet read, a very good one, but doubts the adequacy of the forthcoming (probably in July) report of the English Commission. When it is out he thinks that strong action of any or all kinds would be peculiarly effective. He does not seem to know much about heredity. I will send him your paper after re-reading it comfortably. He is or was a mathematician.
I never congratulated you on your wonderful show of skull photos at the R. Soc.
Very sincerely yours, FRANCIS GALTON. 42, RUTLAND GATE, S.W. May 31, 1904.
MY DEAR KARL PEARSON, Your remarks before the Eugenics lecture have just reached me in print. I had no idea at the time (owing to deafness) that you were saying such very kindsuch over-kind things of me. I write at once fearing you may have thought my silence on the subject since, due to apathy; which it was not, but purely to ignorance.
Ever sincerely yours, FRANCIS GALTON.
(8) Work and Correspondence of 1905. The meeting at the Sociological Society in the previous year had undoubtedly been a success, it attracted a really widespread attention to Eugenics, and this among a circle less rigidly specialist and academically scientific than Galton's two earlier audiences. So pleased was he with the result that early in this year (February 14) he read a further paper on "Restrictions in Marriage t" before the Sociological Society with Dr E. Westermarck in the chair.
* See our pp. 113-121.
t Sociological Papers, Vol. Ii, 1905, pp. 1-53.