290 Life and Letters of Francis Galton
Looking back on it now, I think Huxley was morally wrong ; he used all the force of his name and position to get a younger man, who was really responsible for the movement, out of the way in order that he might carry out a different scheme. I was formally wrong, but morally right, and nobody saw, not even Weldon, that I, having taken a false step, was doing what was painful to me to put myself right with men whom I had induced-often by much talk and persuasion-to join a movement for a great ideal of academic reform.
Now you will see that I cannot put all this directly into Weldon's Life. But it was a remarkable instance in which his admiration for his hero, and personal affection for a friend came into opposition, and he succeeded in preserving both, and this although I never gave him as I have given you the grounds for what I did. It is this element in the whole matter which makes the account of Weldon's relation to the University movement, as you find it, obscure.
I have put in six more lines about the Evolution Committee emphasising what your aims were and how they were rendered unavailing by the members pulling in different directions and the struggle of different schools. To my mind the absence of such an experimental farm as you suggested has been the great drawback of the past years. We want a land " Marine Biological Association." But it would never have been possible to combine the thoroughness of Weldon with the slipshod character of the rival school. Friction would have destroyed everything. The only hope is that a Dohrn may arise some day, a man with the energy and force of character to carry it out which marked him-. The worst of it is that the Americans have already got such a station under the Carnegie Institution, but so far they have done nothing very profitable with it ; it needs as chief a very clear strong thinker. The success of these things always lies in the strength of the individual who dominates the whole. Dohrn must have been splendid....
I enclose a letter to you, which seems to me to confirm my version of the first origin of the 1893 Committee. In 1896 Nov. or Dec. you were so weary of Z.'s incessant letters to the Committee-tbe originals or copies occupy an entire box in Weldon's papers-that you suggested Z. should be added to the Committee. Now was the old Committee dissolved and anew one formed, or as I suggest were Bateson, Dyer and myself * added to the old Committee and shortly after many others? There is no definite statement in Weldon's letters, but between Nov. 1896 and February 1897 the Committee appears to have taken a new lease of life, the old statistical object is dropped, many new members appear and the whole scheme of breeding and inquiry by circulars to breeders comes into being. Can you throw any light on these points? I enclose the circular that Weldon in his letter says he has sent to Darwin, Poulton and Macalister, and received their assent to. Weldon in a letter of Dec. 4, 1893, says
"I am writing to ask people to meet on Saturday at 3.0 (Dec. 9th) as you (F. G.) suggested, but at the Savile Club, 107 Piccadilly." He states that as the Royal Society is not available on Saturdays he has chosen the Savile. Perhaps the locus was changed later I
Might I have the enclosed back, so that all the papers may be in order and together, if there is need for any further reference ? Also will you return the enclosed poem in W. F. R. W.'s handwriting ? Is it a translation and if so of what ? It reads rather as if it were. If not, what made him choose this metre, and what is it the prologue to ? It is the only poem I have found. What is the reference to Macrobius ? Affectionately yours, KARL PEARSON.
42, RUTLAND GATE, S.W. July 16, 1906.
MY DEAR KARL PEARSON, I have found my (scanty) diaries of 1891-1897, and have been to the R. Soc. to read the minute book of the Evol. Cttee and refresh my memory. The sequence of affairs was I think this, so far as I was cognisant.-First Michael Foster's call on meI have no record of this,-about the then talked of Cttee. Second the Savile Club meeting, of which I have no recollection, but believe it must have been just an informal ratification of views previously well discussed. My diary notes the engagement. Third the appointment of a R. Soc. Cttee, in the Minutes of whose first meeting Jan. 25, 1896, a letter was read from me to the R. Soc. "suggesting the desirability of appointing a Cttee for conducting statistical inquiries into the measurable characteristics of plants and animals." Also, a letter from the R. Soc. appointing us, myself (as chairman), F. Darwin, Profs. A. Macalister, Meldola, Poulton and Weldon, giving us £50 to start with, and recommending us to apply to the Govt Grant Cttee for any further sums we might think necessary.
* The R.S. records show that I was added in 1896: seep. 126 above.