340 Life and Letters of Francis Galton
(b) The Darwin- Wallace Celebration of the Linnean Society of London, 1st July, 1908.
Two things remain impressed on the biographer's mind as memories of that day. I first felt the strong need Francis Galton had for a supporting arm. By the time the medals had been distributed, and the recipients* had spoken, the fatigue had so tried Galton that he had to leave the meeting. I saw that he rose with difficulty, and leaving my seat also, saw him home. He had spoken well, but the exertion and the closeness of the day had severely taxed him.
The other memory is also a sad one; we had met to do honour to a great
English leader of scientific thought, one whom I take it we all respected,
and to whom many of us felt we owed a deep debt of gratitude ; he had given
us, as Galton said, a keen sense of intellectual freedom. It was, as it were,
a memorial service of thanksgiving, which all men of science could join in
together, irrespective of divergence of scientific creeds. Some wag on the
Linnean Executive had placed William Bateson in the chair adjacent to mine.
I awaited his coming with expectation, determined that our greeting should
disappoint the wag. But Bateson refused it, sat sideways on his chair, with
his back to me, the whole of the medal distribution, and no doubt the wag was
amused by what was simply pain to me-pain, that a distinguished biologist
should refuse to join harmoniously with a biometrician, however despised, in a
common service of reverence to one so immeasurably greater than either of us.
Dr Dukinfield H. Scott, the President, addressing Galton, spoke as follows'
" Evolution, as understood by Darwin and Wallace, depends upon three factors, Heredity, Variation and Natural Selection. In the study of the first of these factors, Heredity, the work of the present day is characterised by the application of exact methods, whether on biometrical or Mendelian lines. It was you, Dr Galton, who first showed the way by which exact measurement could be applied to the problems of evolution and heredity, and indicated that their laws must be susceptible of proof. You have pointed out a new method, and the possibility of a more logical treatment of evolutionary questions. By establishing such principles as that of
Regression to Mediocrity' you have added new laws to-evolution, and under the name of ' Cessation of Selection' you have suggested an explanation of degeneration following disuse, anticipating that afterwards independently proposed and elaborated by Weismann $, and called by him Panmixia.
"The ingenuity of your methods, your energy and enthusiasm in applying them, and your constant interest in the work of others, and readiness to help them, have made you a great
* Alfred Russel Wallace, Sir Joseph D. Hooker, Ernst Haeckel, August Weismann, E. Strasburger, Francis Galton and E. Ray Lankester, all of whom but Haeckel and Weismann were then present; the last remaining leader, Lankester, died just ten days before I wrote these lines.
t The Darwin- Wallace Celebration, held on Thursday, 1st July, 1908, by the Linnean Society
of London, London, published by the Society, 1908. The work contains admirable portraits of Darwin and of the medallists, pp. 24-26.
11 think it desirable to publish the following letter from August Weismann. It admits the priority of Francis Galton in the main idea involved in the continuity of the germ-plasm.
FRANcis GALTON, EsQ., LoxnoN. FRErsuRO i. BR. 23 Febr. 1889.
SiR, You had the kindness to send to me your new book " Natural Inheritance " and a whole series of smaller papers you published before on the same subject. I thank you very much for your kindness and I am indeed very glad to have now all your memoirs at once at hand for consulting them. Till now I did not know all of them, but some ones, for instance "A Theory of Heredity" from 1875. It was Mr Herdman of Liverpool