Recognized HTML document
Previous Index Next

388   Life and Letters of Francis Galton


might achieve more with another personnel, but the new blood would want training afresh, and I fear facing anything extra at present. I feel very deeply the kindness with which you have fallen in with 'all my suggestions, and made it possible for me to work the Laboratory with a minimum of additional labour. As you know, I never can find the right words to express what I think or feel, but you will try and interpret the spirit under them.

What is producing the most unfortunate effect at the present time is the recent sneering attack of Bateson *. It is difficult to determine whether it is better to spend energy on replying to such criticisms or to leave them unregarded and go on with my own work. In the latter case the unthinking public assumes them to be valid and that no reply is possible. In the former, one wastes the energy that should be spent on permanent work on attacking a man whose whole position changes from year to year. For example, he used to assert that Albinism in man was a Mendelian unit character ; now that with six years' work I have got some data and facts as to albinism, Bateson, knowing this, finds it "a case to which Mendelian rules do not apply." Controversy in such a case is impossible, it becomes wrangling.

The enclosed may interest you, if Heron has not sent it to you. We are here in our "wooden house" with much pleasure as to our environment and hopes for restfulness. The rooms give one a sense of space and light, and the furnishing is graceful and comfortable. The "stoeps" are pleasant and the green fields run up to us on every side. Our landlady, to judge by her books, must have a wide range of taste in French, German and scientific literature. I find Huxley's scientific (not popular) essays and Frank Balfour alongside George Meredith and Zola! She has been round the world (to judge from her photographs) and has qualified as a medical practitioner!

I hope your summer resort will be an equal success. If there be any chance of your being within motor distance, please let me know, for I might get to you, if the fatigue were too great for you to get here. Always affectionately, KARL PEARSON.


42, RUTLAND GATE, S. W. August 7, 1909.

MY DEAR KARL PEARSON, On Tuesday we go for two months to Fox Holm, Cobham, Surrey, and really there is now good hope of a belated summer. I am very wishful to know how you all are. For my part, I creak on, not unhappily but little usefully. However, I have small jobs on hand which interest me. One of these I shall want before long to consult you about. It is due to the proposal of Ploetz's society to give some sort of diploma to those who rank eugenically in the uppermost quarter of the population. I have long considered how some such scheme could be practically worked out, and am putting my ideas on paper. Ploetz (I strongly suspect on your initiative t) has asked me to accept the Hon. Vice-Presidentship of the Society. They have only five Hon. Members, among whom are Haeckel and Weismann. It is a great honour.

You may like to hear that, overpersuaded by you and by Miss Biggs, I have had my bust modelled by Sir George Frampton, R. A. Friends quite approve of it. It is to be cast in bronze and will be ready before Xmas. The various operations are tedious but are now in the hands of specialists. How carefully good artists work! It was a delight to watch his touch. The model was finished two days ago. I have got a very nice house. Fox Holm is between Byfleet and Cobham. It is just South of St George's Hill; 3 miles from Weybridge (via Byfleet), 2 miles from Cobham. I should indeed be grateful if you could come over to us some day. I am far too infirm to get about, without much care, or would find my way to you. We motor down on Tuesday. Possibly I may find motoring less fatiguing than hitherto. Two hours of it a few days ago was as much as I could bear. Ever affectionately yours, FRANCIS GALTON.


PAYABLES, WOODCOTE, NEAR READING. August 8, 1909.

MY DEAR FRANCIS GALTON, I was very glad to get your letter this morning, for I was beginning to fear that you might be ill, as I had no news direct or indirect. We have had several "ups" and not a few "downs," since the beginning of July. Item, My boy has got into College at Winchester, which we hardly expected and he is carrying off his honours nicely and is thoroughly enjoying his holiday. Item, I went to Oxford to give away the prizes at his school,


* See above, p. 288, and compare pp. 406-408. t I knew nothing about the matter. K. P.


Previous Index Next