536 Life and Letters of Francis Galton
42, RUTLAND GATE, S. W. February 5, 1905.
DEAREST MILLY, I shall be glad to hear next Saturday how you have tided over your many small calamities-indeed rather big ones. It was a great pleasure finding Bessy so unusually well and bright. She will be now at Claverdon. Thanks to Eva's dragonship, I managed it all without fatigue, including a sight of Edward and his wife and of Erasmus. But after returning, and not I think in consequence of the trip, I got poorly and the Doctor kept me in bed all yesterday and to-day up to the afternoon. Just a slight feverish attack and need for a dose. He tells me I may keep an engagement of lunching quietly to-morrow with Major Leonard Darwin. I want to hear all the latest news about George Darwin's preparations for South Africa. He has a particularly; strong staff of associates, as Presidents of the several Sections of the British Association. Schuster has been here frequently and is working away. He gets into his rooms at University College to-morrow, and spends half of each week there and half at his home in Oxford. Our Committee meets on the 10th to arrange particulars. I have already drafted an 11 unauthorised programme," which will be read with my other paper at the "So so" Society on the 14th, Schuster going on with it if I break down. I shall try some of Warren's (£10,000 a year) method. You know, be had to lecture at Leamington when at the height of his fame. He awoke with a stomach attack. His wife, gave him some brandy. As he travelled down he felt no better and took more. He went to Jephson who said-take a couple of glasses of port. At length the lecture-hour came and he was got somehow into his, seat on the platform, where he sat with eyes shut and arms folded. The chairman arrived late and at once began with a modest disclaimer of his own power of speaking, but "that does not matter as you will now hear the eloquence of our distinguished guest, Mr Warren." Warren sat still - his neighbour nudged him, saying"Warren, get up." With difficulty he did so.' Then, looking round the eager audience with bloodshot eyes, he simply uttered the words "Bow, wow, wow'' and collapsed back into his chair. About the Darwins, Mrs Litchfield has just sent me a charming two volume Life and Letters of her mother*. It is privately printed. The second volume is particularly interesting. I have taken salon-lits from Calais to Bordighera on the 20th. We leave London on the 16th and stay at Calais in' the meantime. Love to all of you.
Ever affectionately, FRAxets GaLTOr.
Insevco ,ce Data.
During the, course of this year (1905) Francis Galton endeavoured to move the Institute of Actuaries to undertake, or prompt the Life Insurance Companies to undertake, an inquiry into the heredity of disease. To the outsider
the proposal seems not only of great scientific interest, but of the highest, com=mercial importance to the business of life insurance. The biometricians had
shown definitely that length of life and general health were inherited characters. Galton's somewhat slender data indicated that certain diseases tend to run in families (see our Vol. 111A, pp.. 70-76). My own wore numerous family schedules, are convincing in their evidence that most broad classes of disease, whether as cause of death or of ailment during life, have familial incidence. But when we remember the variety of familial relationships, and these for the two sexes, the range of age groups and the number of even broad classes .of disease, it will be recognised that the full data for a thousand families, covering fifteen to twenty thousand individuals, are far from adequate to obtain
a definite numerical answer to such a question as the following: A.B., of age a, has a certain' number of. relatives C, D, E, F, ... who died at ages c, d, e,
f, ... of diseases .belonging to certain broad classes, and a .certain' number of relatives C', D', E', F', ....of ages c', d', e', f who are now suffering from
Mrs Charles Darwin's A Century of Family Letters issued some years after to the