518 Life and Letters of Francis Galton
~being very bad. Macalister, however, saw it and says it is more gorgeous than any other he has seen. But it is of late date, only as far back as Rehoboam; Abraham's time is thought here to be rather late. The interest now is in the people who lived here before the pyramids were built, ending with about 4000 B.C. There are beautiful flint knives of far earlier date, the most beautiful I have ever seen in workmanship and in art. The Nile is very low and is running out fast. One of the people connected with the irrigation told Lord Northampton that he expected it might become a mere chain of pools before the next freshet. Maud Butler returns to-morrow from Assouan, and will stay a fortnight at our hotel, which will be pleasant. I did to-day a somewhat silly thing. They imitate ancient Egyptian things, sometimes very well, at Luxor (mostly to sell as originals), so wanting a small seal I gave them my hieroglyphic to cut on an imitation "scarab" for 4/-. The man proved to be a poor hand and has made for me the enclosed, which is legible but very badly cut. However it will serve its purpose. Both Petrie and an Egyptologist (Dr Lieblein) approved it. I have no right to a cartouche, -l not being a king, but Maud Butler, whose pet name was "Queenie,"
might use one. We have had no war news to-day. How glad Bob* G5
must be that he was not fatter, else the bullets that went through ~/,\
his clothes might have gone through his body. Nelson's cocked hat
was once shot through; had lie been a taller man, he would have zf~h died long before Trafalgar. I am glad that Gascoigne Trench is going
out. He knows the work that is needed, and is still young enough. Guy's * 'V\^/V\ recurrence of Indian fever will make it unlikely that he should be passed as fit for service now. I am glad that you all keep fairly well notwithstanding the wretched weather you have had. Give my love to Darwin and to Erasmus when you see them next. I am very glad that George Darwin receives those family mementoes. He is the best representative of the Darwin family, and had great affection for the Admiral, of whom he saw much at Malta (I think) when flag-lieutenant to the Admiral's ship. feel the war fever in his veins, from his brother-in-law's going out so pluckily and from his many neighbours doing the same. I see in the newspapers a quoted chorus of disapprovals of Arthur Balfour's speech, which 1 myself like very much.
Professor Sayce has just called and taken us off to tea in
his boat. It is the largest and broadest on the river, its yard
arm is 134 feet long, so three of them end to end would reach r 1
far higher than any English Cathedral; I think Strasburg is (Professor Sayce's boat.) only 400 feet high.
Eva sends you a drawing of her only surviving pet, with her best love. It is about scale. Ever very affectionately, FRANCIS GALTON.
Address still to HOTEL ANGLETERRE, CAIRO.. EGYPT. Sunday, March 4, 1900. Posted March 5.
DEAREST EMMA AND Bassy, We are still at Helouan (Tewfik Palace Hotel) but the above is our address. The last letter I had from you was dated Feb. 16 ; it was received Feb. 22, and was answered the same day. We are quite well, but are bothered by the difficulties in the way of simply camping out in the Desert, which I thought had been overcome, but are still going on. According to what an excellent dragoman now assures us, there is always a risk with the Bedouins unless elaborate and costly arrangements are made. We shall hear more from him after his inquiries. There has been something of interest nearly every day since I wrote. On Friday I drove with Professor Schweinfurth in one carriage, and Admiral and Mrs Blomfield in another, across the desert and along valleys for two or three hours. Then we picnicked, botanised and geologised for four hours and then returned, after seeing (1) an ancient barrage, built of stones, in the time of the Early Pharaohs, to dam the water when it ran down the creek, (2) some true Jericho roses, of which I send a few (see further on). If you dip them in water they begin to expand, almost instantly, into a true flower. The false Jericho rose is the one usually so called, but it is merely a seed-vessel with dry fibres grasping it, and which expands imperfectly and slowly.
Edward Wheler must
Sons of Galton's niece, Mrs Lethbridge.