Characterisation, especially by Letters 481
going to a special "crammer" up to nearly the last moment, and the other is to require a sufficiency of special knowledge.
This is accomplished in some cases by two examinations, the one at a comparatively early age, to qualify for entering; the second one which is special, and not so severe, but that every lad who passed the first might be expected to succeed in the second. Then if he failed in the first, he would be in the same position as other boys who looked forward to any one of a multiplicity of possible careers. No one however seems satisfied with what is now done either in the Government examinations or in the public school teaching; but no one here has yet had the wit to suggest a course that commends itself to the general judgment as an improvement. The question is apparently a most involved one; so many interests and prospects being seriously affected by any change of system.
As regards the particular question you put, as to any satisfactory employment for a person having the high qualifications you mention, clearly they must exist in abundance, but personally I have not any one of them distinctly in view at present. I should have thought that a private secretaryship to some political person would be eminently a post to try for, or that to some person in the higher branches of commerce or manufacture, who has varied foreign connections. All such posts give a young man excellent opportunities for afterwards succeeding by his own efforts, and adequately educated candidates for them are hardly equal in number to the demand.
In concluding let me express the great pleasure that it gave me to receive your kind letter, for there are now few persons whose sympathy I prize more than your own on those many subjects in which we feel a common interest. You say nothing of your health but I trust and believe that it is maintained more fully by far than in the great majority of your contemporaries. Believe me, very faithfully yours, FRANCIS GALTON.
42, RUTLAND GATE, S.W. January 25, 1890.
DEAREST EMMA, I have hardly anything to tell, owing to being so shut up and seeing and hearing nothing. I ant glad that at least one of the three brothers, Erasmus, is well again. There is ever so much spasmodic asthma with me, it comes on so oddly and violently and then goes. I wish it would say "good bye" finally.
I am trying to get a grand display of weather information stuck
on to the balcony of our office in Victoria St. I have long wanted to show, as soon as it arrives, the weather on the coasts near to London. It does not get into the newspapers until five hours after we receive it. My colleagues agree, and it is now a question of detail. I carpentered a board in the proposed way, and painted the lettering thus [see figure below and we had it up for inspection on Wednesday. Literally on passing the turn to Victoria Station I could i( see the glimmer of the board all that distance off!!-a good I mile. I propose to give the facts for Yarmouth, Dover, the Needles, Scilly, Valencia, Holyhead; all the ways of changing the slips are worked out and feasible, but there are still some details to be fixed and the written permission of the landlord to be obtained. The N E slips would be changed at 8.30 a.m.,
3 p.m., and in summer at 8 p.m. It T R E 5 BR [2E would make much difference to many
persons to know this: for instance, if SEA MoBERATE doubting whether to cross by Dover or G V e1~ C ah'r Harwich or Newhaven. I am sorry that
you think Tertius* not well. I do hope
that Bessy and you continue all right. It is grievous about Temple's j eyes. How depressing eye ailments are. Ever affectionately, FRANCIS GALTON.
* Gallon's nephew, Tertius Galton Moilliet, son of his sister Lucy Harriet Calton, wife of James Moilliet of Cheney Court, co. Hereford.
t A maid of Emma Galton, who had been many years in her service.