282 Life and Letters of Francis Galton
7, WELL ROAD, HAMPSTEAD, N.W. April 29, 1906.
MY DEAR FRANCIS GALTON, The scrapbook with the photograph* reached me just before leaving Longcot, and the other book was awaiting my arrival here. I shall endeavour to get an enlargement, for as you say the attitude is very characteristic, but I fear it will not stand much enlarging. Please tell Miss Biggs I will take all care of the book. The other book shall go back to its place on the shelves at Oxford, when I next go down. I found the finger-print books and the letters in going through the papers at Oxford. I shall keep myself free on Friday and you will tell me whether you are able to see me. At times there seems so much to talk to you about and then again it all passes from me. It was possible to go on as long as I was attempting to put the papers at Oxford in order, but I seem now quite dazed, and for the first time in all my teaching experience the idea of facing my students and lec%Iring seems positively repellent,-at times impossible. I feel wholly without energy to start the term, and if I could only see the man able to do my work, I would ask for 6 or 9 months leave of absence. I have only sounded this personal note because I want you to pardon me, if I say or do anything stupid at present. Yours always sincerely, KARL PEARSON.
42, RUTLAND GATE, S.W. April 30, 1906.
MY DEAR KARL PEARSON, The account of your overwrought spirits and energy quite distresses me. I look forward greatly to seeing you here on Friday. If there are hopes of your coming earlier than 4 p.m. on that day please send a postcard that I may not be out. My time is quite at your disposal Anyhow I look forward to some quiet conversation with yourself alone. Ever affectionately, FRANCIS GALTON.
42, RUTLAND GATE, S. W. May 7, 1906.
MY DEAR KARL PEARSON, My attempts have been fruitless to put anything down that you are not already familiar with, about Weldon's characteristics. The extraordinary fulness and accuracy of his letters astonished me. He would write almost a treatise, and insert long tables with apparent ease and as a work of supererogation, which would be a large labour to most men. I suppose too that a certain pertinacity, in the favourable sense of the word, was one of his most marked peculiarities. The extraordinarily wide range of his accurate, not superficial, knowledge, was another feature. He was too kindly a critic of things that I asked him to criticise to be of value to me on those occasions, I am sorry to say. Rightly or wrongly my impression always was that he needed some one very strong scientific end in view to compel him to concentrate his remarkable powers more steadily. But I may be judging incorrectly here. I wish I could think of more, this much is I fear useless to you.
Affectionately yours, FRANCIS GALTON. 7, WELL ROAD, HAMPSTEAD, N.W. May 13, 1906.
DEAR FRANCIS GALTON, I want to ask your opinion about resigning my fellowship of the Royal Society. You will remember that the last paper I contributed to the Society met with a great deal of difficulty in getting accepted-probably was accepted only on account of your nice little speech. But the Secretaries communicated a resolution to me that I should be requested in future contributions not to mix statistics and biology in the same paper. This of course was equivalent to the intimation that they would not accept future biometric papers from me. I was at the time-I think it is more than three years ago-sorely tempted to resign, but did not do so under the impression that it might be looked upon as personal dudgeon. I have not communicated any paper of my own to the R.S. since. The one case where I presented a paper was an application by Miss Cave of our statistical methods to a problem in meteorology. In that case the Secretary wrote and suggested that I should withdraw the paper as the meteorologists did not approve the methods usedt. This I declined to do and after some controversy the paper
* Of Weldon; at his death, but few, and those unsatisfactory, portraits could be found.
f A commentary on this judgment is that the Meteorological Office recently sent round a circular to various persons, including myself, asking if we could provide further correlations of barometric pressures ! Still the pioneers of correlation work in meteorology were hardly treated.