570 Life and Letters of Francis Galton
Bishop's Apron as soon as I can get a sight of it. The rain had not reached Claverdon`when I left on Thursday, but there hack been some snow. Edward is greatly improving the place by cutting down a' great amount of overgrowth and re-forming much of the garden. He is also evidently becoming an important man in the county, being so familiar with county duties, and eminently useful and kindly. His Land-Agents' Society is quietly growing into a great institution. The Studdys have arranged their house very prettily. He looks well, but is not yet quite well. I go this afternoon to the Frank Butlers for Saturday to Monday. He is now full Inspector of Schools and lives at Witham, in what I hear is a very pretty house, with his wife and three little daughters. His eldest brother, Cyril, will be there. Cyril married a rich Miss Pears many years ago, bought latterly a country place near Shrivenham and is High Sheriff this year for Berks (or is it Bucks?). Anyhow it is the county in which Reading is. I can't think of the preceding lines to Canning's "Buck-, Buck-, Buckinghamshire dragoon." How Canning must have bubbled over with fun ! Last week or ten days have been in great part melancholy. Weldon's funeral on Wednesday week in bitter weather, and the cold weather subsequently, had given me a sort of chill, which all the warmth and hospitality of the Studdys and Edward Whelers did not wholly overcome. You would have laughed to see how I was covered up at night, and fired-big fires, I mean, in bed-room-just like a decrepit nonagenarian. I drove over with Edward (shut up) to see the last of 5, Bertie Terrace, which has been a second home to me for more than fifty years. It was very painful. Bessy's old house, which with the garden went to Lucy, has been sold. We lunched with Gussie and had news of Grace from Athens. Eva would have added a line, but is just now upstairs. She is still far from strong, I am sorry to say. With loves to you all. Ever affectionately, FRANCIS GALTON.
42, RUTLAND GATE, S.W. May 6, 1906.
DEAREST MILLY, You will be growing restless like a migratory bird. I shall be curious to learn your plans and dates generally; by the 27th the weather ought to be warm in the south, but early June is full early for the Pyrenees near the bigger mountains. You will find flowers at all events. Your son Frank will have a busy and responsible time in Natal, such as young men love and parents fear. Eva and Walter Biggs* (who is up here for two or three days) went last night to the great meeting of Roman Catholics in the Albert Hall. That big building was full to overflowing, and vast crowds gathered in the streets. It was very impressive, I hear, most enthusiastic but well-ordered, and the speaking both good and temperate. The whole eleven thousand sang a hymn in unison. Frank Butler (as School Inspector) tells me that he thinks the bill would be quite workable, independently of its merits, I mean. I am going with Eva this morning to hear, or rather to try to hear, a sermon in its favour. All the same, I don't profess to really understand it, and have not fairly tried as yet to do so. Ethel (Galton) Marshall Smitht lunches here to-day and Violet looks in after. Then Eva and Walter go to St Paul's, and he is to hear the Education Debate in the House of Commons to-morrow. It is "history in the making."
Lunch is over. The sermon was, alas, almost inaudible to me, to my great regret. I have no news. Eva and I went to Hampton Court yesterday afternoon. The morning was brilliant, but clouds and cold wind came, and the expedition was a failure. So many things of Bessy's and Emma's have been offered very kindly to me, by both Edward and Lucy. One of these is the original picture of my Father, signed by Oakley, which I have put up in the place of the copy, also by Oakley, which I had. The latter is good, though not equal to the original, and it is now of no use to me. Would you like to have it? It ought to be in the family. I will send it at once, frame and all, in quite good order, if you like. Family matters remind me of Mrs Schim., and she, of Bristol Cathedral where she is buried, and that of the Bishop of Bristol, with whom I was talking two or three days ago at the Club. He is delighted at being asked to be President of the Alpine Club and has gladly accepted. He was a great climber in old days and more especially an explorer of caverns! Ever affectionately, FRANCIS GALTON.
* The Rev. Walter Bree Hesketh Biggs, Evelyne Biggs' brother. t Ethel, daughter of Cameron Galton, married a Marshall Smith.