278 Life and Letters of Francis Galton
I am rather pleased at the way that has occurred to me of explaining why the men of highest genius have so few able descendants and these often cranks, viz, that there is negative correlation between their faculties,-sensitiveness and dogged work, imagination and good sense, etc.-so that the inheritance of such an unstable combination is improbable. There is much to say, this is only a notice, so to speak.
Ever very sincerely, with kind remembrances to Mrs Pearson, FRANCIS GALTON.
Even letters which touched chiefly on personal matters were sure to contain at least a few sentences as to work.
THE RECTORY, OCKHAM, SURREY. Aug. 25, 1905.
MY DEAR KARL PEARSON, It was with self-restraint that I did not write to say how grieved I was at your domestic sorrow, and how deeply I sympathise with you. I feared to extract a reply and knew you were overworked. This note is merely to enclose my brand-new circular, which I begin to distribute among friends, and hereafter I hope much more widely. If you think any of your lady co-operators especially are likely to help and tike interest, I would gladly send circulars to them. Miss Elderton is established now at the " Eugenics Record Office" and at work there*.
This is a pretty and healthy place, and friends are near. Sir H. Roscoe has a beautiful garden, 600 and more feet above the sea, where everything flourishes. Kindest remembrances to you both. Eva Biggs is at this moment sketching or choosing a sketching place by an artistic but foul pond. Ever sincerely, FRANCIS GALTON.
(9) Events and Correspondence of 1906. During this year I do not think that Galton published any papers, except the Memoir on Resemblance and the humorous little note in Nature on the cutting of a cake (see Vol. ii, p. 329, and above, p. 124). But it was full both for Galton and his biographer of new and sad experiences which, as they were to some extent common to them both, brought them closer together and ripened their friendship. To the one the loss of a sistert, to the other of a mother; to both of an irreplaceable friend and colleague, a death rendered the more bitter by its unexpectedness, and by attendant circumstances, which touched both with nearly equal sorrow. I had started with a keen appreciation of Galton as a scientist, I had learnt to value him as friend and counsellor; I now understood and deeply admired the strength of his humanity and his generosity of mind. The following letters may give some idea of the warmth of feeling that existed between Galton and his two lieutenants, even as the tripartite relationship was dissolved.
7, WELL ROAD, HAMPSTEAD, N.W. Jan. 24, 1906.
MY DEAR FRANCIS GALTON, May I send just a line of very heartfelt sympathy with you in the loss of which I have just heard 2 I know it will be the greater in that you were not in England at the time. I am at the age when these losses begin to be more frequent, and deprive life of much of its old "go"; and just at present one lives a day at a time, with two or three of one's own generation and some of the generation above almost more than threatened. Hence one feels very strongly the closeness and the mystery of death ; and sympathy-which one is helpless to express-goes out to a friend in like case. I have often thought the only real expression of a feeling like this is given by the hand and eye, and not by the tongue, which is so helpless that we had better go on with the old routine of life, speechless on such points.
* As Secretary. Francis Galton hesitated about a woman taking part in academic matters, although he had begun to realise the good work of the women in the Biometric Laboratory. He was comforted by the Principal's opinion, "Sir Arthur Rocker speaks highly of lady secretaries, and generally agrees with what we talked about." Letter to K. P., June 20, 1905.
t "Bessie," Mrs Wheler.