Recognized HTML document
Previous Index Next

Eugenics as a Creed and the Last Decade of Galton's Life 21t

cousins must stand on exactly the same footing for good or ill as the marriage of a descendant with an ascendant in the second degree. About 75 °/, of the asylums in the country have already sent their reports with statistics and Heron has had a good deal of work in arranging and sorting them. The net result is that there appear to be about half-a-dozen men who might be both capable and willing to take elaborate family histories of the insane in their charge; the collec

tion of such histories should be started at once. Always affectionately, KARL PEARSON.

Francis Galton did not come to live in Hampstead. I do not think, however delightful it would have been for me, that his health would have stood the winters there as well as at Hindhead or Haslemere, where he passed the winter months after he had ceased to feel able to spend them abroad. Thus 42, Rutland Gate remained his house to the end, and nowlargely at the suggestion of his faithful servant Gifi-carries on the balustrade above the porch a tablet with the following words


1822- 1911




42, RUTLAND GATE, S. W. April 8, 1907.

MY DEAR KARL PEARSON, I am anxious to learn that you are well. You wrote of digestive troubles-which sap strength-are they past I Yesterday I came across a long -missing packet, which I had labelled "Old Papers of the Evolution Committee, R. Soc.--of probably no present value. Might be useful if a Darwinian Institute were ever founded*." It would have been valuable to you when writing the Memoir on Weldon, containing as it does many letters from him. Whether you would care to see the packet now, I cannot guess. You shall have it at once if you like. I have only looked cursorily through its contents, but find them decidedly interesting as giving the various opinions of a variety of experts. What is of more present interest to you now is the enclosed letter from Leonard Darwin. I send it without comment. It may at least suggest a phrase in your forthcoming lecture at Oxford. Please return it when done with.

The Vice-Chancellor has asked me through Poulton to give the " Herbert Spencer " Lecture, but I have declined on the ground of infirm and uncertain health .... I was delighted to hear yesterday that the Petries expect to add a unit to the forthcoming generation.

Ever affectionately yours, FRANCIS GALTON.

Major Leonard Darwin's letter referred to a brief talk with a distinguished politician about the Poor Law Commission ; the conversation was very unsatisfactory. Darwin had spoken of the eugenic aspect of the matter, but the minister showed no interest and said doctors did not believe in heredity, or words to that effect. Major Darwin was very anxious that a combined effort should be made on the part of scientists to place their aspect of the

* See pp. 128-135 above.

Previous Index Next