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Characterisation, especially by Letters


place, with lots of books, and my club is temporarily closed for repairs. I quite forgot this morning to put your letter in my pocket; I feel sure there was something in it I wanted to write about, and have forgotten it for the moment. All goes on happily with us. We have friends about and the country is delightful. Perhaps too many wasps; one stung Eva yesterday through a thin cuff and left ever so much poison in a stain on the cuff. I read somewhere that more people died-I forget where-of hydrophobia through bites of wolves than of clogs, the reason being that wolves fly at the face, but dogs bite through the clothes, wiping their teeth thereby, so their bites, as a rule, are far less dangerous than those of wolves, though much more numerous. You would enjoy seeing Upton Warren, where the widow of my old friend Charles Buxton still lives. Fondness for animals is the tradition of the   i

house. They have parrots that fly loose in the woods and sometimes build   i nests, and there are very many artificial birds' nests, nailed against trees about five feet above the ground. I was told that they often opened the lids to see how the eggs or broods were getting on. Why don't you try a few

at Edymead? They must be arranged (i) so that a cat can't get at them   / and (ii) so that a tom-tit's reasoning powers would be satisfied that it could not. The birds who used these artificial nests were principally tomtits. There is an excellent library at the Rectory. The clergyman's wife, Mrs Ady, better known as Julia Cartwright, has written not a few im

portant biographies, that of "Madame" (the sister of our Charles II, who   / was married to Monsieur the Duke of Orleans, brother of Louis XIV) is

one of the best and well worth getting from Mudie. She was a far more   ,/

interesting and good person than I had any idea of, and played an important   i

sisterly part in politics. She died before thirty, immensely regretted*.   - One knows so little of the actors on the big stage of the world, so big that there is room for many important ones. Loves to Amy and to all with you.

Affectionately yours, FRANCIS GALTON.

THE RECTORY, OCKHAM, SURREY. September 11, 1905.

DEAREST MILLV, Poor Patrick t, "hors de combat"; add an e and he would be a war-horse, a "horse de combat." You can gather my state of weakness of mind to attempt such a pun. I was bothered here to write a motto for a sundial, and after many attempts wrote this, "Love rules Man, Sunshine rules Me"-not wholly bad; anyhow it is a new one. `' Vivent le roi d'Angleterre et Al.. le Capitaine Lethbridge "! Don't let King Edward hear of it, or he will be still more savage than he is said to have been when General Baden-Powell struck coins under his own name at Mafeking. What an excellent time the British Association has had in Africa. We are very well placed here and happy in a quiet way, which I like above all things, with a scrimmage now and then to stir us up. Tin-foil is a trouble to get good. They adulterate it with lead, it looks equally shiny but is not so good. I shall be in London to-morrow for a few hours and expect to pass near a trustworthy shop. If I do, I will get and send you some. Your garden must be very pretty, ours has lost its best flowers already. Excuse more, as there is much to do and little free time before post. Loves to you all. Ever affectionately, FRANCIS GALTON.

THE RECTORY, OCKHAM, SURREY. September 11, 1905.

MY DEAR BESSY, You will be glad to have Gussy back. How much did Edward and his colleagues fine the motorists? Eva was taken in a beautiful one, and said she felt her disposition worsening. Every minute she felt more careless of other people on the road and more superior to them, and it was doing bad to her morals! It was Lord Rendel's motor and probably made - at the Armstrong works, in which he is a partner. Life passes very pleasantly and quietly here. Now and then an interesting luncheon or tea. There are very nice people hereabouts. Our Oxford friend Professor Weldon stayed with us last night and we went this morning to look at the "Swallows," or big pits made by rain in the chalk. One was as big as a small Coliseum, we did not go clown to the bottom where there was probably a hole into the depths. Another was not

* See the footnote to the previous letter. j See the last footnote p. 546.



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