572 Life and Letters of Francis Galton
I am. quite enthralled by one of Renan's books, the Antichrist. (I am reading it in an excellent translation with an excellent introduction by W. Hutchinson.) He makes out that'Nero is the Beast of the Apocalypse, and brings in an enormous amount of the history of those times, most of which was quite unknown to me. It is a book well worth reading. Best loves to you all.
Ever affectionately, FRANCIS GALTON. 42, RUTLAND GATE, S. W. May 20, 1906.
DEAREST MILLY, The paragraph about Guy is pleasant reading. Edward Wheler, who has been staying here three nights, heard to the same effect from - Smith (son of the publisher), who is (?) Colonel of Guy's regiment, a few days ago.
Eva and I had a most pleasant 24 hours at Cambridge, lunching and spending the bulk of the day at Trinity Lodge, and sleeping at the George (Sir George) Darwins. The portrait looks particularly well in the Hall. The background being much lighter than those of the other pictures, and all being surrounded by dark oak, gives a welcome light to the general effect. Nothing could be better all round. Eva is also quite pleased with the memorial; glass window' in Ettington Church. She went down to see it on Monday last and to lunch with the Studdys. She has got Count Russell's book back and proposed to, perhaps she already has, post(ed) it to you. I can quite fancy Biarritz becoming enormously expensive. This is the beginning of its summer season, when wealthy French and Spanish grandees visit it in large numbers; and ordinary French and, Spanish go in shoals and sleep six in a room, as we were assured often occurred. I shall be eager to know where you yourselves finally go to. We went last night to Stephen Phillips's play of Nero, having read it first. It is very." spectacular," but the acting was on the. whole not quite first-rate. Still it was extremely interesting; and apparently a just' rendering f Roman Court life in those days. What villains they were! Talking of villains, I spent an hour in the morning yesterday seeing the finger-prints in Scotland Yard. Mr Henry (the Chief Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police) has got them into good order. The methodical arrangements are excellent. He has about 84,000 sets of prints and thinks he could deal with 150,000 without straining the method. There are' more than 500 identifications' a month, now; in the old days, there were not so many in a whole year. The burglars begin to use gloves, and now and then they destroy the skin of their finger-tips, but this grows again.
Ever affectionately, with loves to you all, FRANCIS GALTON. 42, RUTLAND GATE, S.W. June 2, 1906.
DEAREST MILLY, I-wonder where and how you are, after your very hot start. To think of your having been so near Rutland Gate on Monday,! It was fortunate for you that you did not call, for on that day we had arranged to go to Claverdon. But in the morning I was suddenly seized with a strange ague-fit like I' had last autumn ; the doctor sent me at once to bed, and Claverdon had to be telegraphed to. I was rather bad' for a few hours, and could not have seen you. The thing is gradually working itself off with bronchitis, and ' I get out, but am still over-weak. When inquiring about interesting places, did you ever hear anything -of the Mediterranean side of the Pyrenees-Port-Bou, etc. ? The places are said to be very picturesque, but the accommodation is not smart. You reach them' via Perpignan. Louisa and I once spent some time at Vernet-les-Bains, at the foot of the Canigou. It had merits but is probably now a noisy bathh place. Ibrahim Pacha was sent there in his old age to recuperate from his excesses. The doctor said that he must stop wine. On a second visit Ibrahim was worse and the doctor rebuked him for not obeying orders. Ibrahim flew into a fury and said, "°O.h, pig-brained son of a she-ass, I have not touched wine, only two bottles of Cognac each day." Ever affectionately, FRANCIS GALTON.
42, RUTLAND GATE, S.W. June 8, 1906.
DEAREST MILLY, If you aro having splendid weather, like us, you will indeed' be joyful. Eva will enclose her letter to Count Russell.. She saw more of him than I did and has corresponded with him already. What an ovation you have bad at Montauban. Amy must have rejoiced in the Bishop, and you both have been delighted at the happy ways' of Jeannie Ronsell and her kindred. We English are a nation of natural snobs, which Southerners rarely are. We do however bear some polish, though it is costly and laborious to rub it on. The servility to