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486   Life and Letters of Francis Calton


replace them by new ones taken at hazard, because these imperfect prints are all Whorls and owe their imperfection to their bigness. They must be made the best of.

If anything in this letter, etc., is insufficiently explained, pray write to me at once.

Very faithfully yours, FRANCIS GALTON.

A Mr T. V. Hodgson, a microscopist of Mason Science College, who writes from 52, Francis Road, Edgbaston, has sent me beautiful finger-prints to see, and offers to take further prints. I suggested that he should make your acquaintance and show you what I had written to him as an introduction.

42, RUTLAND GATE, S.W. November 12, 1891.

DEAR MR COLLINS, I am sure that I appreciate the general principles that easy writing makes hard reading and that what has to be said ought to be logically put. Alas, for one's incompetence to do what is right! But I can assure you that I will well go over all your suggestions and will re-write the chapter.

Let me wait a while, before speaking of the next chapters, as I have had quite a bother about the best plan of the index which has rendered much of what was written nugatory and introduces much modification in already drawn-up tables, so I am behindhand.

Did I tell you that I have another batch of negro prints?

Very faithfully yours, FRANCIS GALTON.

Letters of Galton to Dr W. F. Sheppard*.

"CARDRONA," BERKHAMSTED, HERTS. May 17, 1926.

DEAR PEARSON, Would you care to look at the letters I had from Galton between 1891 and 1907 1 There is not much of interest to the general public in them: they are rather of interest in showing the amount of trouble he was prepared to take in helping other people on. Indeed, looking at the letters now, I seem to have caused him an unjustifiable amount of trouble! His criticisms of my successive efforts were of great value to me. On the whole I think my mathematical work has been fairly lucid; what there is of lucidity in it I really owe to Galton's criticisms. Yours sincerely, W. F. SHEPPARD.

42, RUTLAND GATE, S.W. December 3, 1891.

DEAR SIR, Hearty thanks for your full and very interesting account of your Number-forms. They have clearly grown in your case, together with the years, and seem to have done so automatically with possibly a little conscious assistance on your part. The wonder is why a particular "form" is so congenial to each several mind. What is the relation between the form and the peculiarities of association, in the working of the mind? If you can trace any such relation in your own modes of thought I should be exceedingly glad to hear of it. I fancy I have some slight clue to a relation, but it is very slight, and when I last thought on the matter, I did not find out any good way of putting the notion to the test. With renewed thanks,

Faithfully yours, FRANCIS GALTON.

42, RUTLAND' GATE, S.W. October 24, 1892.

DEAR MR SHEPPARD, Am I right in supposing that it was you who were Senior Wrangler in 1884? It is needless to say how highly, under those conditions, I value your mathematical remarks. They shall be carefully considered. In the meantime I have read them somewhat cursorily. I wholly agree with you that the book would have been made much better, by giving a brief resume of the mathematical results. It is obscure and confused as it stands, largely owing to misgivings as to how far the basis of the whole would be accepted as established. I think now this might be assumed. What is greatly wanted is a clean elegant resume of all the theoretical work concerned in the social and biographical problems to which the exponential law has been applied. I believe the time is ripe for any competent mathematician to do this with much credit to himself. I am not competent and know it. Edgeworth has his own work and interests, and fails in sustained clearness of expression. He is moreover somewhat over fond of using higher and more mathematics than is always necessary. Watson is over busy

For further letters to Howard Collins, see pp. 488 et seq. I hesitated to break too seriously the chronological sequence of letters and papers in this Chapter.


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