Characterisation, especially by Letters 493
preparations were made for an operation, and the patient was laid on a table in an adjacent room. Just as the surgeon and doctor were prepared to start, Sir M. C.'s valet came into the room and presented his master's denture on a silver salver ; he had picked it up by the bedside.
Letter to Professor James Ward.
HOTEL VALESCURE, ST RAPHAEL, VAR, FRANCE. March 24, 1893.
DEAR MR WARD, Thank you heartily for your careful and valuable criticism, which I have read and re-read and shall I hope profit by. The object I had in speaking about what was called the measure of the Imagination, at a Royal Institution lecture, was to invite criticism and to hear. objections before taking much further pains in experiment, and to get opinions as to what it is that such experiments measure. (I had a good look at James' book first.) Probably we shall meet before long at Trinity, and I should be very glad of the opportunity then of talking a little further about it, and of submitting myself to your questions. It would be a great help towards clearing my own mind.
As regards a measure of familiarity, it does not seem to me an absurd notion. The maximum of familiarity with objects gives the complete sense of being at home. It is very interesting to analyse this feeling when returning to familiar haunts. Complete strangeness can also be imagined pretty easily, for every one has now and then dropped into very strange surroundings and the feeling is easily recalled. Between the two limits there must be intermediate conditions which it is possible, very rudely, to appreciate. About Weber or Fechner : I know only too well the inadequacy of the statement, but having first looked at James, Sully and a few others, I thought that the very brief statement, reserved as it was, might pass. I wanted chiefly to show that a spiral balance might represent with sufficient approximation and in a very conspicuous manner, the narrowness of the limits of the scale of sensation. I know well that many quite disagree with the view that increased sensation is produced by accumulation of increments, but for my own part I habitually use the imagined sense of waxing fatigue (for example), from zero up to extreme fatigue, as a standard whereby to judge how tired I really amn on any particular occasion.
But I must not tax your patience further and can only repeat how very grateful I am' for your criticisms.
It is lovely weather here on the Riviera. 1, and my wife too, had both suffered in England from influenza and came out ten days ago, with the happiest results. Very sincerely yours, FRANCIS GALTON.
What a blank Croom Robertson's* death has left
The Oxford Honorary Degree.
To Francis Galton. From the Rev. Bartholomew Price, D.D.
PEMBROKE COLLEGE, OXFORD. May 22, 1894.
DEAR GALTON, I had yesterday the great pleasure of proposing to our University Council that in recognition of your long and excellent service to science and especially of your anthropological work, the Honorary Degree of D.C.L. should be conferred upon you at the ensuing Commemoration; and I have the greater pleasure of informing you that the proposal was received and carried most enthusiastically, and with such observations as would be most gratifying to you, were I at liberty to repeat them. Will you kindly inform me, whether you will accept the proffered Honour, which is, as you are perhaps aware, the highest of its kind that the University bestows on distinguished persons, whether its own children or extranei, so that I may report to the Council on Monday next. The Commemoration takes place on Wednesday, June 20, at 12 o'clock. It is usual for the Proposer to entertain his candidate at the time of the Encaenia, but owing to the death, of one of our daughters, Mrs Price and I shall be absentt from Oxford
Professor Croom Robertson was an old friend of Galton, and a portrait of Croom Robertson and his wife was highly valued by him. It is now in the possession of the present writer who greatly appreciated the kindness and friendly aid of one of his early colleagues at University College.