Characterisation, especially by Letters 503
Address, 42, RUTLAND GATE, S.W. GRAND HOTEL, ROYAT. August 15, 1897.
DEAREST EnmiA, I hardly know how much time has really passed since I wrote, for each day has been divided into two or three by intermediate dozes or sleeps and the last week has been terribly long. Dear Louisa was buried with simple decorum yesterday in the cemetery of Clermont-Ferrand. The day was lovely, the mountains looked singularly imposing, the English Chaplain, Mr Wilcox (of Battersea Park Road) officiated, and a most kindly and tactful clergyman, Mr Jennings, the clergyman of St Stephen's in Cheltenham, who is now copying documents at my side, came with me to the grave. The landlord of the Hotell came also, and acted as a perfect courier in managing all the numerous details and formalities. A feeling allusion was made in the sermon of to-day, and appropriate hymns were sung. I shall, I trust, see you for a day before long and can tell more and answer questions. Mme de Falbe has written a full and independent letter to Spencer Butler, describing all she knew, and filling in some needed details. She could not help, or come herself, during the latter part of the illness, being then, and still is, confined to her bedroom by doctor's orders, but she sent a useful maid. You will easily understand how desolate I have felt, but thanks largely to Mr Jennings' tact, consideration and manly sympathy, I have already, perhaps, gone through the bitterest period, though I look forward with dread to the most painful task of distributing her familiar personalia, etc. Dearest Louisa,-I havevery much to be grateful for, but our long-continued wedded life must anyhowhave come to an end before long. We have had our day, but I did not expect to be the survivor. I got for the first time in touch with England yesterday, through receiving a telegram from Spencer Butler, who is still in London. I thought lie had gone to the Engadine. I have had also to-day a telegram from Gill. These telegrams are a boon to me. People generally do not (and I did not) realise that you can telegraph in English if you please. Ill any case the cost is only 2d. a word. I hope to get to-morrow, or at all events by Tuesday, any letter you may have sent to Grenoble. On Tuesday evening I propose to start home, arriving there on Wednesday evening. I am anxious to hear about yourself; it seems to me that I have not heard for a fortnight, but, as already said, I am astray as to time, and my papers are huddled up in disorder.
Of course Bessy will understand that in writing to you I write also to her and, through her, both to Edward and Lucy *. I had not written either to Darwin, Erasmus or Milly, but have done so to-day, and enclose the two latter letters for you kindly to address and forward. Excuse more for I must husband strength. Ever very affectionately, FRAxcIs GALTON.
Examination showed the cause of Louisa's long ill-health and final death to be an extremely small stomach and an extremely constricted outlet due to her illness 19 years ago. The stomach was barely one third the natural size, and the outlet leading out of it no larger than would just contain a common lead pencil.
42, RUTLAND GATE, S.W. October 13, 1897.
DEAR MRs HERTz, An absurd piece of ill luck has prevented my yet reading von Lippmann's pamphlet. I am just now sorting accumulations of pamphlets, letters, etc., and the pamphlet in question seems to have got into one of the heaps of unsorted materials, whence in due time it will emerge, but at present I cannot find it. I should be much gratified if he does not lose but reads mine, of which I enclose a copy.
There is to me no difficulty in fraternal variation. The wonder would be if brothers did not vary considering the multitude of unseen disturbing influences on the general tendency of like to produce like. In my theory, the prophecy is that so many per cent. of individuals having like progenitors, will be this or that, and it is the nearly exact fulfilment of the prophecy that the memoir is intended to show. The Basset hounds of the same family are by no means all of the same colour, but the per cent. law holds good notwithstanding. Imagine a pair, whose ancestors are all known, to produce 100 puppies; then, what I prophesy is that from knowledge of the ancestry I can tell how many of them would be T and how many Nt. The "coefficient" expresses that number. It varies according to the case from 96 to 52 in my Table VI.
Very truly yours, FRANOIs GALTON.
* Mr and Mrs Edward Wheler-Galton. The latter appears as "M. L." in later letters, probably to distinguish her from other members of the family with the same Christian names. t T = Tricolour, N = Non-tricolour.