280 Life and Letters of Francis Galton
If Galton's character seemed to me at first to change between 1890 and 1910, it was only because with ever increasing intimacy I learnt to understand him better and better.
7, WELL ROAD, HAMPSTEAD, N.W. Feb. 16, 1906.
MY DEAR FRANCIS GALTON, Very hearty thanks to Miss Biggs and yourself for your consoling words as to the plate of poppy petals. I feared you would be as disgusted with them as I felt, but you have not the originals to place beside them. I think, however, we shall succeed in getting something better in the final proof. Your paper reached me safely the day before yesterday, and I have read it through thrice. It seems to me most suggestive and I want very much to be making "isoscopes" and practically trying how it works. It would be most satisfactory to find it giving a higher average degree of resemblance between relatives than between strangers. You use I suppose one eye only to see both objects simultaneously? Would it not be well to get a simple instrument made by Beck or Baker from your drawings with an ocular micrometer, and test on photographs? or are you thinking of finger-prints? Would you like the paper in Biometrika or do you want a wider audience? I need not say we shall be most pleased to have it. Affectionately yours, KARL PEARSON.
Thus matters seemed to be slipping back into their old channels, with work in the foremost place. Easter was to be spent by us at Longcot with the Weldons near at hand in little Woolstone inn at the foot of the hill marked by the White Horse (or rather "White Dragon"). There were the usual plans for further work, visits to Oxford to see the mice and cycle-rides to make lay studies of church architecture. Weldon was not in good health, he was depressed and thought a visit to a picture gallery in London would be a relief. He went, and from the gallery passed to a nursing home, and died within twenty-four hours of double pneumonia.
42, RUTLAND GATE, S.W. April 16, 1906.
MY DEAR PEARSON, Weldon's death is a terrible and disastrous blow, so utterly unexpected. Few if any men will feel it more deeply than you who were so intimately associated with him, not many more than I do. We have lost a loved friend, and Biometry has lost one of its protagonists. I feel intensely miserable about it and shall feel the void he has left for probably the rest of my life. I should greatly have liked to pay the last tribute of friendship to his remains by attending the funeral, but I dare not risk it. Among other things an incipient mild phlebitis in a leg prevents my standing during many minutes and my doctor is strict on this.
I do indeed pity.Mrs Weldon from my heart. How deeply your Wife will feel it all, and how helpful she is sure to be, as you are. Give my kindest remembrances to her. We go to the country on Wednesday but letters will be forwarded from here. It will be a sad day.
Affectionately yours, FRANCIS GALTON.
The first part of the funeral service was in the chapel of Merton College, and to my surprise I saw Galton there.
THE AVENUE HOUSE, BISHOPTON, STRATFORD-ON-AVON. April 19, 1906.
MY DEAR KARL PEARSON, The card of invitation showed it was possible for me to attend the first part of the funeral without harm, so as you saw I went, and came on here by a later train. It is inexpressibly sad. I do not myself yet fully know all the circumstances, but the more I know the more pity full * it seems. I should be very grateful for tidings about Mrs Weldon, into whose sorrow I could not venture yesterday to intrude. If you or Mrs Pearson have the
* So Galton wrote, and the words express more than 11 pitiful."