Characterisation, especially by Letters 509
by (seven hours) steamer on Wednesday, and then plans are uncertain for a few days, but we ultimately get from Morocco somehow to Malaga and thence on to Granada, which, as our timetable now stands, we should leave on April 14; but I dare say we may find it wiser to give more time to this forthcoming and most interesting bit of travel. It is perfect English summer here. I began writing this letter at 6 a.m. this morning, with the windows wide open. The sky has been cloudless for many days and we read with wonder about snow, not only with you, but at Nice also. It is a grievous affair about the Earl of Warwick's property. I will give your messages to Eva, but must close now for the post. With best loves to all.
Ever affectionately yours, FRANCIS GALTON.
Tell me about your own health when you write; please do.
Address next to: Hotel de Rome, Madrid, Spain, but I shall not get there till about the 18th, and propose staying till the 25th, at least.
DEAREST EMMA AND BESSY, Your joint letters of April 1 reached me to-day at Tangiers, Thursday, April 6th. We were called out of bed yesterday when in Cadiz at 4 a.m. and finally, in such a bustle and clamour, landed here about 2 p.m.; since when we have been busy sight-seeing. It is such a very Oriental-looking town with crowded streets of costumed natives; a most complete change after Spain. We passed Cape Trafalgar, and Eva made sketches as we did so, and has copied and will send herewith one for you, Bessy. What a historical part of the world we are in! Cadiz is a flat Portland Island, connected with the mainland by a long narrow strip of land, corresponding to the Chesil Bank. We had a breezy passage, calm sea at first and then abundance of "white horses." Among other things here, we saw a snake charmer who put out his tongue for the snake to bite, which it did very thoroughly, opening its mouth very wide and fixing on to it. Then he put out his tongue for us to see and sure enough there were the two bleeding punctures made by the two teeth. Then he chewed straw for a while, and putting out his tongue again-hey presto.-it was healed.
I called to-day on the wife of the British Consul, Lady Nicholson, to whom Mrs Robb gave me a letter. He is the son of an old acquaintance of mine, Admiral Sir Frederick N. (no relation of Marianne's*)-such a beautiful situation and gardens.. Sir William Dalby, the aurist, turned up to-day, and gave me a full medical account of Douglas's last illness. The details were much as I had heard from Marianne, but he did not think his sufferings had been so terribly great as she seemed to think, when speaking to me about them. He, his son, Eva and I have been to a Moorish coffee-house with singing, and in the middle of our cups were rushed out to see a Moorish bridal procession. The paving of the narrow streets is atrocious, but I have not yet had a tumble. My cough came on a very little in consequence of a draughty railway carriage from Seville, and it was fortunate for me that it did, for I was hesitating about accepting a very flattering invitation to the jubilee in July of a university in America. They wanted me to give three lectures or conferences, said their usual fee was £100 but begged me if I did not think that enough to ask for more, and assured me of various honours. The writer is a man I highly esteem, he is the President, but I am not strong enough; my voice might fail and I should disappoint. But I am sorry to refuse, having some new things to say that appear suitable for the occasion. Anyhow I have refused. I must close the letter now for to-morrow morning's post, and send Evelyne's sketch with her best love. The yellow in the sketch seemed to be pure sand. There is of course much more to tell that has interested us greatly, but it is hard to explain briefly. We are both in excellent health. Good-bye, best loves to all.
Ever affectionately, FRANCIS GALTON.
I am glad, dear Emma, of the fairly good account you give of yourself and hope you are now regularly in for spring at last. It is too hot here in the middle of the day for out of doors and we always have taken a long siesta then. It has been a very healthy life. You must not risk measles, though the risk may be very small.
Marianne Nicholson, wife of Sir Douglas Galton.