Recognized HTML document
Previous Index Next

Eugenics as a Creed and the Last Decade of Galton's Life 357


MY DEAR KARL PEARSON, I write at once and will send the corrected notice of the Mtwins as soon as I get it back. The facts had got mixed, and if re-sorted would I believe be right. J. K- M- had issue; L- M- (now apparently on his death bed) had not. He was unmarried.

It gives me great pleasure to hear so favourable an account of Heron's lecture. Mrs Gotto wrote to the same effect as you did. I wrote and thanked him for it. It would be a good thing if, as you suggest, Heron could be made to lecture, or hold a class in some form at University College, as he has gifts for success. I do not "know the ropes" well enough to venture to say more than that the idea seems most desirable. Did he show you a long German poem on Eugenics by Sophia Martin, wife of a Professor at Rostock, Mecklenburg? I am told that it is not bad at all, and possibly may be rated as really good poetry.

Enclosed I send a rough idea in outline. It may be a familiar one (and might be wrong!), but seems worth sending. Beyond its measurement, there is no fact in correlation that is more interesting than the proportion in which the causes of variation are (1) unknown or neglected, and (2) known; and it is so easy to deduce this from r in the simple cases of linear correlation between normal variables. How far it might be extended to other correlations I have no clear idea, but it seems very improbable that much could be done in that way.

Affectionately yours, FRANCIS GALTON. 7, WELL ROAD, HAMPSTEAD, N. W. December 13, 1908.

MY DEAR FRANCIS GALTON, You will have been expecting to hear from me about Miss Elderton's paper, but alas! I could not get to hear it. I have been crippled with lumbago for a week and was perforce absent. I had a very tiring week previously, culminating in a meeting at the Royal Society of Medicine, where I went to ask help for the Treasury, but found myself the subject of a very bitter attack from a disciple of Bateson's called N. I am not a ready debater and find it hard to marshal my arguments in reply to a set speech of nearly 70 minutes designed to prove that biometry was sheer rubbish, and that medical men would be fools to give any help to a biometrician. It is on these occasions I miss so much Weldon's ready repartee and light cavalry charges into the foe ! I don't know how far I saved defeat; if I did it at all, it was owing to the unmeasured abuse of my opponent. But it put the final touch to the very heavy week and I broke down on Saturday. I have crawled down and round the Laboratory for two or three days, after two days in bed and one on_ the sofa, but I am back on the sofa again to-day wondering whether the muscles of my back will ever do proper duty again ! Heron gave a good account of Miss Elderton's paper, but I wish I could have been there to give her some aid.

On other matters some progress has to be reported. 12 pedigree plates and 4 plates of half tone illustrations for the Treasury of Human Inheritance are now ready and some of the text is now set up. We shall have it out by January certainly. Also the first sheets of the long-delayed memoir on the Inheritance of Visual Characters have come in. I shall hope to send you proofs of a Note of mine for Biometrika and shall welcome any criticisms. I hope all goes well.

Affectionately, KARL PEARSON.

Nettleship has got two albino bitches satisfactorily crossed by the albino dog. It will be most exciting to see the result of this attempt to create an albino race of dogs. I had an albino hen offered me the other day, but I did not see how to keep it!


MY DEAR KARL PEARSON, Your bulletin distresses me. Lumbago is so painful and depressing. I have just been reading the biography of Alice Hopkins (daughter of the Cambridge coach). She had sciatica, and spoke of 21-feet of pain. I sympathise much with you, as you may well be assured.

Yesterday I received a pedigree of the M- twins, about whom you sent a paper for verification. Enclosed I send it in a correct form. Also, after reading your Skin Colour of Crosses, I jotted down a recollection of my own which impressed me much. You can make any use of it you like. The paper is very instructive. I have pencilled a few words on p. 3 which seemed wanted.

Previous Index Next