Eugenics as a Creed and the Last Decade of Galton's Life 323
You will be amused to know how general now is the use of your word Eugenics ! I hear most respectable middle-class matrons saying, if children are weakly, "Ah, that was not a eugenic marriage!"
We are going two or three miles from Petworth for the Long Vacation. Have you made your plans? I hope you have been feeling quite well again and well over that unfortunate slip. Your lecture is doing much good. I expect mine will be out by the end of the month and we shall be able to get up quite a talk concerning Eugenics in the journals.
I want to ask you about the new rooms for the Laboratory. The College is ready to give two rooms next the new Biometric Laboratory, which will be open in October in the main buildings. Of course this would make matters much easier for me, and easier for the Eugenics folk, who have to come and see me; but you must let me know your views. I propose a social gathering of some kind, when the new laboratories are opened in October, to bring biometric and eugenic folk together, and to advertise the whole thing. Always yours affectionately, KARL PEARSON.
Has the new nurse appointment proved a success?
42, RUTLAND GATE, S.W. July 12, 1907.
MY DEAR KARL PEARSON, Thanks for Palin Elderton's letter which I return. My domestic servants' insurance is through the X. Society, and absolves me from troubles like yours, for I have to pay retrospectively at the close of each year for extra servants. Leonard Darwin, who is in touch with politicians, has again urged me to ask you to offer "hereditary" evidence before the Poor Law Royal Commission. He fears that the subject will otherwise be wholly ignored in what is likely to become the basis of legislation for many years to come. I suppose the point is to afford evidence: (1) that the undesirables contribute largely to the naturally undesirable portion of the population, (2) that natural undesirability is a fact, (3) that various forms of charity unnecessarily promote the propagation of the less fit, and (4) that the methods of restraining it are important to consider. It seems to me that (2) ought to be "rubbed in," also (3). Can you not do something in this way by writing to the Secretary of the Poor Law Royal Commission enclosing a programme of what you are prepared to testify? According to Leonard Darwin the present occasion is a most important one to interfere in. Excuse my interference ! Ever affectionately yours, FRANCIS GALTON.
Last night I wrote to accept one of the houses that have been inquired about. It. is in Hindhead (Haslemere), and rejoices in the name of "Yaffles." "Yaffle" in the patois of the district means, I am told, a green woodpecker. The garden of the house adjoins that of Mrs Tyndall who has lived there ever since her husband died. She will be a nice neighbour. I go there on Aug. 1 for 6 weeks. There is a railway connection, I see, between Haslemere and Petworth, and the distance direct between the two places seems on Bradshaw's map to be only about 10 miles. So I trust we shall meet as heretofore not infrequently.
ROCK HOUSE, RIVER COMMON, PETWORTH, SUSSEX. July, 1907 [after the 12th].
MY DEAR FRANCIS GALTON, Your letter to band. The "Yaffle" is a fairly common name for the green woodpecker in the South. I have heard him a good deal here and we always call him the "Yaffie." You will be open and high up, but I hope Mrs Tyndall has removed her Husband's big screens !
To-day I feel incapable of writing to any Secretary of a Royal Commission, for I am hit by a slight attack of 'flu which is I find just dying out here. As I have no fever, I think I may write to you safely. If Major Darwin would send me the Secretary's address I would write to him and forward a copy of the Eugenics lecture which will reach me shortly. I hate, however, suggesting myself to anybody ; I suppose if they wanted my evidence they would ask for it.
Affectionately, KARL PEARSON. 42, RUTLAND GATE, S. W. July 29, 1907.
MY DEAR KARL PEARSON, It seems long since I wrote, for I have had a most interesting stay in a large moated house in Suffolk. Clear water all round it, no smell, stables away from it, draw-bridges raised each night as they have been for some hundreds of years, etc. etc. It is Helmingham Hall, where the widow of Lord Tollemache lives. The son and heir is at a more