Recognized HTML document
Previous Index Next

Eugenics as a Creed and the Last Decade of Galton's Life   325

told that the wife's virtue was not beyond question and that she had had a fancy for a heterozygous paramour ! That point has indeed already been suggested in this inquiry !

I have been rather pleased. In my Homotyposis paper I dealt with sweet-peas and felt pretty certain that they must be cross-fertilised, because of the numerical constants. Of course it looks commonsense from the blended forms one sees everywhere. But Darwin in Cross and Self Fertilisation of Plants strongly believes that in England they are not so. Now I have watched the whole process here. The bee works in a sort of frantic manner, pushes both flaps down and the pistil rises from its case, and usually he sweeps both sides of it with his hind legs. The bees I have seen have their belly and the whole of their hind legs covered with the pollen of the sweet-pea, and there is not the least doubt that there must be a great deal of cross fertilisation. Darwin speaks of the difficulty of access of the bee, but it is singular that with his great accuracy of observation he should have missed the simplicity of the whole thing. It is really rather striking to watch the bee at work. If you have any sweet-peas in that beautiful Yafies garden, do try and confirm my observation. Affectionately yours, KARL PEARSON.

I am not sure that this bee is the ordinary hive bee; it looks a somewhat stouter insect, but of much the same type. I have not seen more than two working at the same time on a long row of sweet-peas, although there might be 5 or 6 at the same instant on a small lavender bush, but these bees would, I found, very quickly visit 20 or 30 flowers*.


MY DEAR KARL PEARSON, The caricature of you is uncommonly good, though of course not flattering. Even the upper part of the back is distinctive, but the remainder of the dwarfed body is not good. I will keep it, if you don't want it back.

Schuster's paper in the Eugenics Laboratory Publications reached me yesterday and very interesting it is. I will write to him. I shall be very glad to see Heron's paper " in slip."

About the sweet-peas, when I reared them all those years ago, I selected them on the advice of both Hooker and Darwin, and was assured also that in nursery gardens rows of peas of different colours were often planted side by side, and that no cross fertilisation was ever observed. But I have with my own eyes seen, as you have, bees (of some kind) visiting flowers in succession without, or with little, regard to their colours and supposed their visits to be innocuous, though why, I have never been able to understand. There are only a few sweet-peas here, at the bottom of the garden, and no hive bees anywhere about, but bees of alien kinds, so I cannot easily repeat your observation in respect to hive bees.

It was a very great pleasure to see you last Saturday, and to have a long talk. To-day, we drove to Linchmere and saw in the church a brass tablet to Salvin (the S. American botanist, who had a property near here). You may recollect him at the meetings of the R. S. Evolution Committee. He was usually reticent but very helpful on occasions and always a thorough gentleman. Ever affectionately yours, FRANCIS GALTON.

On and after Thursday Sept. 12-QUEDLEY, SHOTTERMILL, HASLEMERE.

YAFFLES. Sept. 8, 1907.

MY DEAR KARL PEARSON, I have rented the above house for 2 months certain, with option of continuing through the winter. It is pretty and has 13 acres lawn and garden with a well-warmed greenhouse into which the drawing-room opens. So I have a fair chance of pulling through the winter in it. What "Quedley" means, I don't yet know. I gather from a letter from Gifi that the new part of Biometrika is out and has been received in Rutland Gate. If so, it will soon reach me. I see that Schuster's article has attracted favourable newspaper notice. The enclosed (don't return it) is a good example.

All goes on quietly here. I have at last got into good working order a method of "lexiconising" silhouettes. I can't conceive why artists and anthropologists have never succeeded in sharply determining points of reference in the human features, when it is so easy to obtain them by the intersection of tangents. The enclosed (don't return it) shows my primary triangulation. The C, N and F (obtained by intersections) are closely approximate expressions for the tip of chin, of nose, and of " nasion " (to adopt the word you used). With a small repertory of descriptive symbols, I find it feasible to give a formula for any profile, whence a very respectable duplicate of it can easily be drawn. Types of races ought to be readily defined and compared

* See the present volume, pp. 6-7.

Previous Index Next