504 Life and Letters of Francis Galton
42, RUTLAND GATE, S.W. January 4, 1898.
MY DEAR PROFESSOR K. PEARSON, You have indeed sent me a most cherished New Year greeting. It delights me beyond measure to find that you are harmonising what seemed disjointed, and cutting out and replacing the rotten planks of my propositions. We shall make something out of heredity at last; all the more, when new and more abundant data arrive for testing the soundness of each advance. I wish many more mathematicians would attack the subject. A mere statement of your results-what can be done-would perhaps help to make people understand that there is a science of heredity, approximately understood at present, but sure to be developed. Let me please keep the MS. for two or three days. I have gone through; it superficially twice, but want further time to do it more thoroughly. I will write again. You are very flattering to me. Very sincerely yours, FRANCIS GALTON.
42, RUTLAND GATE, S.W. January 10, 1898.
MY DEAR PROFESSOR K. PEARSON, You overwhelm me with sentiments of gratitude. I cannot help feeling them partly in respect to your most flattering references to myself, but really and honestly chiefly in respect to your furtherance of the just understanding of the effects of heredity. The subject is so enormously important that my own personal interests in it are quite secondary. It is indeed a big work that you are carrying on and which you have advanced to a point at which the results cannot but impress the scientific public, being large and palpable, simple .and consistent. I hope on those grounds that you may see your way to publish it soon. It will be a vast encouragement to those who collect and to those who furnish data, to be assured that there is a clear and very important object in view, in collecting them, and that their efforts will not be wasted. Such remarks as I might venture to make, would be of little importance to you. I wish however that you would not mind the appearance of prolixity, in expressing the first paragraph on p. 3 at greater length, so that its meaning should be unmistakably clear. Also, if you use the word "mid-parent of the 5th order" instead of "mid-ancestry of the 5th order," the word "parent" in that context should be defined. It is true that we say grand-parent, etc., but "parent strictly means either a father or mother. I am stupid in realising the meaning of the new values of r', r", etc. (p. 8). I wish you could somehow make the rationale of it clearer, as distinguished from the mathematical proof. In the comments, p. 22, on the contents of p. 21, would it not be well to be somewhat more diffuse, in order to do away with the mistaken idea that first presents itself to the mind, that they contradict the well-observed fact that pedigree stock are very "even," i.e. they vary little among themselves. It is the fraternal
neral regression that you speak of, and therefore the ratio may well be maintained,
all the same. Your coefficient of stability will be of great use and importance. But all is so valuable. Very sincerely yours, FRANCIS GALTON.
The cross-heredity is a charming piece of work. It has just reached me.
42, RUTLAND GATE, S.W. January 25, 1898.
DEAR PROFESSOR K. PEARSON, The memoir you send, and which I return, is full of interest to me. The cephalic index seems an admirable subject for hereditary inquiry, making observations on school-children available, and it is excellent too for Christmas family gatherings. The index of conjugal fidelity in a race is delicious! I am very glad to see how closely theory and observation run together in all Indian kinships except the paterno-filial. Not the least of your many achievements is that of "enthusing" (as Americans say) such competent workers as you do. I hope Miss Cicely Fawcett will continue her investigations.
Very faithfully yours, FRANCIS GALTON.
Of course I shall be at the Royal Society on Monday. I am grieved that influenza still grips you.