Eugenics as a Creed and the Last Decade of Galton's Life 327
QUEDLEY, HASLEMERE. October 2, 1907.
MY DEAR KARL PEARSON, Enclosed I return Heron's paper, with suggested verbal corrections in pencil. The proposal (even if it be not wholly his) of a General Register of the Insane deserves all emphasis and would be a good subject for the Eugenics Office, as such, to "agitate" about. One first step would be in writing an article (by Heron himself, or by someone else) to appear shortly after the publication of his memoir. I wrote to him and have received this morning a clear ground-plan of the new rooms in University College. I am so glad that all is now so compactly under your wing. Shall you have an opening tea party, and when? I should like to come up on purpose, but doubt its wisdom as I feel that fiend Bronchitis is hiding just round the corner, ready for a spring. I have indeed had premonitory symptoms already. Still, if the weather continues fine, I would come up on purpose.
As yet I have not met either of your two friends, Mr Justice Parker or Nettleship. But cards have been interchanged. This place grows upon me and seems more suitable for the winter than any other that I know of. All goes well here. At least one doctor is said to be so good that it seems a waste of opportunity not to be ill while here, and to send for him ! You will be head and ears over in work, so I will not write more now.
Affectionately yours, FRANCIS GALTON. QUEDLEY, HASLEMERE. October 10, 1907.
MY DEAR KARL PEARSON, I hope the delay of two days in my reply has not inconvenienced you. I found it very difficult to put some of -'s scarcely intelligible sentences into readable shape. But it is a most interesting paper and the diagram is very striking to the eye.
I have, thanks to you, seen much of Mr Justice Parker and of Nettleship, both at their several houses and at mine. You have too much now in hand to think of new things, but a suggestion thrown out in conversation with the former deserves bearing in mind, namely a discussion of the parentage of the unemployed, which may prove to be of degenerate quality. It does not seem very difficult to carry it out. Another topic which I discussed with Sir Alfred Lyall and an Indian friend of his, is the feasibility of testing promise and performance in the Indian Civil Service, where appointments go very much by merit. I worked at this some (? 20 or more) years ago and have lots of MS., but I then published nothing, because the data were too few. Now, they are fairly abundant. I should like to talk this over with you some time. About the opening tea at the new rooms, I am quite at your service and would come up for it (and for other things, for two or three nights) whenever you may appoint. There is always uncertainty as to my impending bronchitis, but I will come if I can and you must excuse me if I fail. Will it be an evening conversazione or a late afternoon tea? It is growing autumnal here, but very little of the foliage has yet changed in tint. Where it has changed the effect is beautiful. Haslemere continues to commend itself as a winter residence. I am very grieved at your domestic anxiety, which must increase rather than diminish. You have all my sympathy.
Ever affectionately yours, FRANCIS GALTON. [HAMPSTEAD.] October 16, 1907.
MY DEAR FRANCIS GALTON, I feel I must write you a line to tell you that my Father died at two o'clock yesterday. The operation bad been delayed too long and his whole system was so weakened that the slight shock of the operation was more than he could stand. I feel my energy will be for some time very fully taken up with executorship and trustee work, although I shall have valuable aid in my co-executor, Sir Robert Parker. But it is a difficult and lengthy business to close up a home. There is no one now naturally to continue it, as my Sister and I already have made our own homes and environments. It is difficult to disperse all the hundred and one things one has known from one's childhood ; almost sacrilege to sell them, and yet nobody wants the bulk of them.
My Father was a man of immense will and endless power of work, with a wonderful physique. A cripple from a fall from his pony when a boy, he was yet a splendid shot and a good fly fisher, striding over the fields gun in one hand and stick in the other in a way which out-tired me as a boy. Then he would be up at 4.30 to prepare his briefs, take a standing breakfast at 9, and rush into his brougham ; back at 7 o'clock, dinner over at 8, he was in bed at 9, and so for month on month, we only saw him at these hurried meals, when speaking was scarce allowed.