434 Life and Letters of Francis Galton
closer and closer year by year, even to his death. Beyond near friends, then few in number, and his younger relatives, in two generations of descent, to whom his sweet disposition rather than his scientific talents had endeared him, there was an outside world which hardly realised that, with Francis Galton, the last of the great Victorian scientists had passed away. The friend of Darwin, of Wallace, of Hooker, of Tyndall*, of Huxley and of Herbert Spencer- had survived them all, and closed their era with the creation of a new science. It is too early yet to say whether the truths that it may give to the world are destined to form the religion of progressive states, the creed of a new type of mankind ; or whether those who understand are still too few to impress upon the inert masses that by studying and then applying biological laws to his own species man may step over the corpses of his failures into a hard-won kingdom. There was little in the obituary notices that showed a real understanding of what Galton had achieved, still less any recognition of the possibilities of his work for the future of mankind.
Even the memorial tablet in the church at Claverdon Leys, prepared as
IN MEMORY OF
SIR FRANCIS GALTON. F.R.S.
BORN 16TH FEBRUARY 1822 DIED 17TH JANUARY 1911
YOUNGEST SON OF SAMUEL TERTIUS GALTON
AND FRANCES ANN VIOLETTA HIS WIFE
DAUGHTER OF ERASMUS DARWIN. F.R.S.
MANY BRANCHES OF SCIENCE OWE MUCH TO HIS LABOURS, BUT THE DOMINANT IDEA OF HIS LIFE'S WORK WAS TO MEASURE THE INFLUENCE OF HEREDITY ON THE MENTAL AND PHYSICAL ATTRIBUTES OF MANKIND.
it was under the care of loving friends, lacks any reference to the crowning achievement of Galton's life. I would add to its last line the words : "in order that a true knowledge of natural inheritance might enable man to lift himself to a loftier level."
There was a unity underlying all Galton's varied work-even to that last creation Kantsaywhere-which only reveals itself when, after much inquiry and retrospection, we view it as a whole and with a spirit trained to his modes of
* MY DEAR GALTON, Herbert Spencer and myself are both low in health, would you come with us to-morrow (Saturday) to the Isle of Wight and help the sea air to restore us?
Yours ever, JOHN TYNDALL. ROYAL INSTITUTION (dated " Friday " only, but in the '70's).
t DEAR CALTON, This day week, the 16th at 7, a few friends will dine with me hereFrederic Harrison and Morley of the Fortnightly among others. Will you give me the pleasure of your company as one of the number? Sincerely yours, HERBERT SPENCER.
ATHENAEUM CLUB, 9 Varch, -1878.