474 Life and Letters of Francis Galton
42, RUTLAND GATE, LONDON. October 4, 1885.
MY DEAR SIR, Excuse delay in reply, as though I date from town Tam still in the country. Let me first cordially thank you for your kind letter and the many interesting remarks it contains.
(1) I have written to the Secretary of the Anthropological to tell you exactly what the annual cost of the journal is, I think' it is £1, viz. 4 parts at 5/- each. Also I told him to send for your acceptance from me, a recent number in which there is an exceedingly good paper about the Jews, illustrated by some rather successful "composite" photographs of Jews by myself, which it may amuse you to look at.
(2) I have ordered both the books you speak of : thank you very much for telling me of the latter especially, I mean that about the sex of the child.
(3) You were so kind as to send me some time ago your investigation into the colour of hair, and I feel myself open to blame for not having drawn attention to it already at the Anthropological or elsewhere, but the fact is that I wanted to work up my own data, and to give both results at the same time. My data are now worked up, but there still remains something to be done, so that there will be a little further delay.
Did you ever consider the physiology of clear green eyes-bright green I mean, such as Dante says Beatrice had? The common often repeated statement that blue eyes are merely the effect of seeing pigment through a semi-transparent medium, and that there is only one sort of pigment, cannot possibly explain the existence of blue and green eyes, both equally translucent. There must be a green pigment somewhere. I have asked all our best physiologists, and have looked through many German and French memoirs, thus far in vain, for a rationale.
I am assured that the pigment particles are not so minute as to affect the light by any iridescent effect. In short, that the blue and green cannot be due to such causes as those that make the waters of the Rhone, blue, and that of some of the Tyrolese rivers, green.
Believe me, Very faithfully yours, FRANCIS GALTON.
This letter is a reply to that of Alphonse de Candolle, published in our
Vol. -if, p. 210.
HOTEL VICTORIA, SORRENTO.. March 24, 1886.
DEAR GEORGE, At last we are in the promised land, most comfortable, and all most beautiful._ It was a disagreeable journey, so far as railway went, to Genoa. Genoa most Italian, and yet quite fresh and full of bustle. Then we tried Nervi but it is cramped. I got a biggish, Ste Agnes *, sort of a walk in the afternoon and we left for Pisa next morning. Pisa glorious. I felt there was more in man than I was wont to think looking at the artistic triumphs there. Next day to Rome (Hotel d'Italie-very recommendable for sunshine, and good generally); Saturday, Sunday and Monday we saw old scenes. We had a very social afternoon with Mrs Grey and Miss Shirreff; also I looked up an Anthropologist (G. Sergi) and saw his studio, and learnt at the Vatican Manufactory much about mosaics, as affording good standards of reference for anthropologists, tints of skin, etc. Left Rome yesterday, Tuesday, morning and got to Sorrento at 8. Slept at another hotel, but rooms not sunny enough so changed here this morning. Vesuvius smokes famously. Yesterday the air was saturated and clouds Jay here and there among the hills at all levels. The steam from Vesuvius mixed with the clouds and occasionally showed itself distinctly as growing in volume as it left the cone. I strongly suspect the sulphur in it formed centres of deposition for the fresh cloud. The effect was rather striking. We shall, I expect, settle here for a full fortnight.
Tell us how you are going on, and what has taken .place at Mentone since we left. Any good excursions? Louisa sends her kindest remembrances, Ever affectionately yours, FRANCIS GALTON.
To GEORGE DARWIN, ESQ.
April 9, . In a dull railway carriage, all alone.
MY DEAR GEORGE, You will be in England I suppose now, so I write there and to the Meteorological Office. Both your letters came safely. The first reached me just after I wrote,
Presumably the well-known excursion from Mentone.