312 Life and Letters of Francis Galton
case before the Commission. He considered that the biographer might give good evidence as he had thought on this side of the question. Anyhow Galton was not to answer his letter, but "to set something going to stir up such muddy opinion."
7, WELL ROAD, HAMPSTEAD, N.W. -April 8, 1907.
MY DEAR FRANCIS GALTON, May I come and see you? I expect I have been rather foolish. In order to work I have been staying at home for the Easter vacation ; it is the first time for more than 20, years, and I expect it won't pay. But the arrears were so overwhelming that I ought to stay at home, I think, for a year. There is material which has been waiting for years to be put into paper-form, and it is not fair to some of my co-workers to go on leaving it untouched. College teaching-a good deal of an elementary kind, but of the bread and butter sort-has gone on increasing year by year, so that I get little time for research work during term. I have, however, taken a bold step and written to the authorities suggesting that I ought to have some of the work taken off my hands. If one were in Germany, or had accepted one of the posts that have been offered in America, one would by fifty be able to do the work one is best fitted for. But this in England is only possible at Oxford and Cambridge; at all the newer Universities one has to undertake endless teaching work, which has no relation to the field of one's greatest efficiency. Now I have had my grumble out, and you can put it down to solitude and dyspepsia !-My wife and bairns are away and I have had several days of solitary meals, and 10 to 12 hours a day of solid work.
At meals I have read : (i) Rentoul : his exaggerations and fallacious statistics spoil an otherwise strong case. He is wretchedly careless also in expression-rather a medical Bernard Shaw. In fact he displeases me. (ii) I skimmed Plato's Republic and Laws again for eugenic passages, but they don't amount to much beyond the "purification" of the City by sending off the degenerates to form what is termed a " colony "! (iii) I read, much to my own pleasure, George Gissing's Private Papers of Henry Ryecroft. It is quite different from anything I have previously read of Gissing ; over and over again false and annoying, but it is really literature, and there are some fine passages-pessimistic though they be. If you do not know it, it is worth considering.
Sheppard has computed the first half of your table and is progressing with the second, but for high values it means a good deal of work. He promises it in a few days now. The Press has been taking holiday and I have no proofs of the Eugenics paper yet. We have reduced the wasp material and I ,have written up the paper; we find that workers are the most variable, then the drones and lastly the queens. This is noteworthy because the drones are said to be more variable than the workers in the case of bees. I have also written a reply to Y.'s attack on my Huxley Lecture. It is the hardest task possible to have to reply to an old pupil and friend, who smites you without talking it over with you first!
- Now when may I come and see you ? When will you be alone ? I could come Thursday about 3.30, if that would suit you. Affectionately, K. P.
P.S. I return Leonard Darwin's letter and enclose the others which you need not return. There is much to be done yet before statesmen of the Lord - -. type will realise what statecraft has to learn from the Science of Man !
I wish you had felt up to the "Herbert Spencer" Lecture.
42, RUTLAND GATE, S.W. April 9, 1907.
yMy DEAR KARL PEARSON, By all means come on Thursday about 3.30 as you propose. If ou care for a change, and to dine quietly and to sleep here, you would be most welcome ; but send a line in time to prepare bedroom. Don't bring dressing things. I fear you are much overworked. You shall see the packet of Evolution Committee papers when you come, and you can then settle whether I shall post them to you after you leave. I have not seen Y.'s attack. If you come to sleep here, why not stay on? You shall have all the comfort and privacy I can give you. I am quite alone now, and should be delighted if you would do so. There is an extraordinary battalion of family griefs just now, the two appendicitis cases of my niece's sons are going on very badly, and she herself is utterly overwrought and ill....Nay, there is still more to the bad-but I won't croak and bore. Ever affectionately yours, FRANCIS GALTON.