560 Life and Letters of Francis Gallon
at the Regent, which was a solace to all. We are healthfully situated here. Did I tell you that we spent a pleasant afternoon with Mr Webster, the Basque scholar, in his home among the hills at Sarre, nine miles off? He is growing very old and feeble, but is full of interests. It was a great pleasure to make Count Russell's acquaintance. He has sent his charming little book, full of genius, called Pyrenaica to Eva (it is in French). But at my age, I don't take kindly to the thoughts of a sleeping-bag in a big hole in a rock some 10,000 feet high, with the chance of sluices of rain and tempests and a most disagreeable descent afterwards. " Peace is of the valley "; Valkyries were not peaceful ladies, and are not at all to my fancy. We drove yesterday to Fontarabia ; two hours there, two hours at the place, and two back. But I sat still and left Eva and a lady friend, to whom I gave a lift, to do the sight-seeing (which I had seen forty and more years ago). Lucy wants me to write recollections of her mother to put into her mother's book of recollections which you probably know, or know of. She never liked talking about it, but I had once a good read at it. It is all very nice and interesting and well deserves being typed, which is being done by Lucy's niece. The only thing I could do, would be to give my own recollections of the family, my father, mother, brothers and sisters, as a whole; and I shall try, but fear making inaccurate and one-sided remarks, also I should be deficient in dates. The family is a curious one, from consisting of very heterogeneous elements; my father and his three brothers and three sisters, Theodore, Hubert, Howard, Mrs Schim., Aunts Adele and Sophia, having totally different temperaments and characters, and each very decided in its way.
Ever affectionately, FRANCIS GALTON.
HOTEL TERMINUS, ST JEAN DE Luz, BASSES PYRENEES, FRANCE. January 19, 1906.
MY DEAR EDWARD, I was glad to hear from you, though letter-writing is more than I can expect now, in this miserable time for you. The yawning gap left by the loss of a mother, and all the interests connected with her, and the extremely painful business of going through her things, which is a repetition of what you went through a year ago on dear Emma's account, are grievous to think of. Your Mother was very thoughtful and you are very good, to suggest my having some memento of her, but I really do not know what to ask for, for I want nothing. The many things I had on Emma's death fulfil the present purpose of family memorials. Don't let any Darwin or Wedgwood things, or anything referring to my Grandfather, or even to Mrs Schim., be lost. They are all family mementoes, but I cannot say either that any of them would be suitably bestowed on me, or that I should really care to have them. There is so little spare room in my house and I am perforce so large a part of the year away from home. Any trifle, such as a bit of tape, if characteristic, would quite serve my purposes.
We are staying on here, which suits us, and Biarritz seems about to be over-crowded with Royalty and their suites, and therefore not attractive to return to. When tired of this I shall probably try San Sebastian for a bit, also Sarre, a thoroughly Basque village where there is a clean Inn and where Mr Webster, the Basque scholar, lives with his family-but the present address holds good for a while.
I shall be curious to learn in time the fate of No. 5, Bertie Terrace and other particulars resulting from the great change. I was very glad on all accounts that you were both of you able to see so much of Erasmus during the sad week. For my own part, I feel that almost all interest in Leamington is gone ; it lay so predominantly in No. 5, Bertie Terrace. I had not only the personal affection to it, but some of the mere house-affection, like a 'cat's, also.
What a strange political change! Everything seems going topsy-turvy in England. We shall soon see some results, and can only hope they will not be dangerously bad.
Best love to M. L. Also please to Erasmus when you see him next.
Ever affectionately, FRANCIS GALTON.
HOTEL TERMINUS, ST JEAN DE Luz, BASSES PYRENEES, FRANCE. January 22, 1906.
(We stay on here till I write to the contrary.
DEAREST MILLY, My letter will have crossed yours, and explained why I had delayed writing. Erasmus tells me by letter this morning that Edward and M. L. propose going soon-to the Mediterranean for a complete change and rest. It must have been a most sad and -trying. work to look over all the old papers and things, and to arrange about them, a repetition with additions of what he went through a year and a half ago. The sad event has brought them and