Eugenics as a Creed and the Last Decade of Galton's Life 339
of what he held to be unnecessary mathematics into discussions where he felt certain elementary theory could have provided a solution.
Galton's physical strength was indeed waning, he was seriously unwell during the Easter of 1908. His mind still remained as fertile as ever in ideas, he was continually planning new projects, but the mental energy needed to carry through serious investigation was failing him.
42, RUTLAND GATE, S.W. May 18, 1908.
MY DEAR KARL PEARSON, At length, I am to be allowed an hour's drive-after quite a long bout of bronchitis and asthma. It began herein Easter week and has kept me for 10 days or so mostly in bed, and quite invalided. I have contrived twice to get people here to dine, half on business, but though leaving them early it rather overtaxed me. The doctor declares that I am'fast getting well at last. You may judge how incompetent I have been by the fact that even yet I have not tackled the last part of Biometrika. But I have nearly got my °' Memories " off my hands.
A letter of yours, April 28, has only come into my hands this morning. The housemaid had dropped it, and so it lay unopened behind a box in the hall.
That Eugenics Education Society promises better than I could have hoped. Crackanthorpe is serious about it, and Professor Inge has joined it ! I can't find that Crichton-Browne has as yet done much. A. acts as a restrainer, but is very eager, and they have got a particularly bright lady Secretary who acts and works hard for the love of the thing. I have not yet ventured to join it, but as soon as I am assured it is in safe management, shall do so.
I hope you are all the better for Hindhead. I am eager to get (in half an hour) my first out-of-doors view of this May time. Ever affectionately, FRANCIS GALTON.
The appearance of the Eugenics Education Society-another child of Galton's fertile mind-in these letters may be best explained by printing here the rough draft of a letter of Galton to Montague Crackanthorpe, dated so far back as December 16, 1906. Having established his Research Institute, Galton now turned, as he had done in the case of Finger Prints, to the popularisation of the principles of Eugenics.
May I consult with you on the following?
Is not the time ripe for some association of capable men who are really interested in Eugenics, and might not the existing Eugenics Office of the London University serve as a centre? If you think so and cared to suggest the outline of a working plan and a few good names, I should be grateful. I am too much of an invalid to push forward any undertaking except by letter. Still I think something useful might be done even in that manner. I do not yet see the way clearly and am desirous of fresh ideas.
Edgar Schuster has resigned his Research Fellowship, the future of the Office is just now uncertain. One idea is to have a "Fellow" at £250 a year, a Student at £100 in addition to the very capable Secretary, of good actuarial blood, who is already there and is familiar with the ways of the Office. Do you know of any capable man who would be a likely candidate for the vacant Fellowship? Hitherto it has been an annually renewable post. The Office is in Gower St, in rooms rented by University College and near to the Biometric Laboratory of Prof. Karl Pearson, who is a pillar of strength.