Characterisation, especially by Letters 521
Tell Bob * I am sorry not to be in England to welcome him and his wife when they call. It is glorious weather here for the most part, and there are nice people in the villas about, but it is early for the visitors and we are the only two in this big hotel. There have never been more than two others, of which we are glad. Eva does much painting and seems as happy and as well as can be. I have as much work as I can do (which is very little), and am quite happy too, and can accomplish a good four miles walk without fatigue. (Alas, I have accomplished a measured 40 miles, but with fatigue, in old days.) Hearty thanks for your congratulations. I am particularly pleased with the Hon. Fellowship of Trinity College, Cambridge.
Ever very affectionately, FRANCIS GALTON. With Eva's love, and both our loves to Amy f.
HOTEL DE L'EUROPE, Ro nE. January 8, 1903.
DEAREST MILLY, Twelfth day is past, but it is not too late to send hearty New Year wishes. On Twelfth day just 50 years ago I first made the acquaintance of Louisa and of her family party. We were married in the autumn of that year.
The post has this instant brought me tidings from Emma of Darwin's death 1. It is more of a shock to me than I could have expected, for many happy incidents of early days crowd the memory. His was a complex character, veins of clay and veins of iron and gold. He was loved by many and admired by many-not, as you know, by all. The most pathetic figure in the funeral cortege would be William Yeates, if paralysis enabled him to attend it. Darwin used to have a terror of death and was extremely moved if he heard unexpectedly of the death of any one he knew. Now he is initiated into the secret and has passed the veil. He is well out of suffering and the sense of incapacity with absence of hope for a better bodily condition. If his infant son had lived and grown up healthy in mind and body, how different his life would have been. I am sure that a candid retrospect would judge his to have been an exceptionally useful one. I can't write more on this sad event.
We are most pleasantly situated in Rome and most healthy. Two days ago we had a glorious afternoon on the Palatine among the recently exhumed foundations of the vast palaces of various Clesars. The overwhelming might and magnitude of ancient Rome struck me more than it has ever done before. I hear that your desired lease is not yet signed, that Frank has gone to Durban, but no news about Guy's suffering nerve. When you write-after Darwin's funeral is overplease tell Ine what your own family news is, and what seems to be the consensus of opinion about Darwin. Emma will I am sure send me Leamington newspapers. I should think that Eddy would much regret his death. Love to Amy from both of us as well as to yourself.
Affectionately yours, FRANCIS GALTON.
I address to Blenheim, but believe you are with Bob.
GRAND HOTEL ROYAL DE SIENNE SUR LA LIZZE, SIENA. April 8, 1903.
DEAREST MILLY, (En route) Alas, your letter of the 12th, or which Emma forwarded to me on that day, and which I am sure was a particularly nice one, is lost, utterly gone astray. Where it now reposes, I have not the slightest idea. We were in two hotels in Ischia and our letters had been addressed to a third, which was not then open, and I suspect that the letter came to grief between those jealous three. And I have been so anxious to hear' of you, more especially of late, now that your African sons are probably back. But I am on my way homewards, hoping to be in London on the 20th, via Bologna, Milan, Cologne and Brussels. We spend Easter Sunday in Milan. Our tour has been most interesting, with interludes of ailments from sewer gas both in Rome and Naples. Our rooms were high up at both places, and the foul air came up the rain-pipes under our noses. But we are fit now, and look forward to the grand Easter music in Milan Cathedral. It was to have been Cologne, but Eva had to spend four days in bed. The glories of the South are great, when there is sun to show them. I have never seen greater beauty of rock, sea and sky than on this journey. Panoramas from the mountain tops both of Capri and of Ischia. Rows and sails round cliffs and a drive on a marvellously beautiful new road, round the peninsula from Amalfi to Sorrento. Also, we have had some simple life
A son of Mrs Lethbridge. f Amy Lethbridge, Galton's great-niece. ~* Galton's eldest brother.