Characterisation, especially by Letters 579
EDYMEAD, BOVEY TRACEY. October 19, 1906.
MY DEAR EDWARD, At length a newspaper notice has appeared of your Report which I enclose. It is by Prof. R. T. Hewlett, as I see from the table of contents of this number of Nature, Oct. 18, 1906. They have spelt your name with two e's. I am surprised that nothing was said about it at the British Association. It should have been referred to by the President of the Biological Section, but he (Lister) gave an Address by no means up to the mark, in at least certain particulars, and which is at this moment undergoing scathing criticism by Prof. Karl Pearson.
I have had a trying 12 days of Rheumatics and Bronchitis and though much better, am not yet sound. I funk now foreign travel and probably shall try Plymouth for November and December. Eva went down for a night to prospect, and reports favourably. Milly and I are to go down on Monday and conclude. London in November would help to, or quite, kill me. It is sad being banished. There are great offsets however to the discomforts of invalidism, in the care and affection one gets, the fires in one's bedroom, and the lots of sleep. Guy has been from home, but returns to-day. His renewed adjutancy hopes are now finally disposed of, by the appointment of Captain Weston as his successor. Sidmouth was a haven of rest to me for a week in bed. Thence I came here on Tuesday last in two easy stages, sleeping at Exeter. I was far too ill to see Beer*, but I read about it and saw a picture of it. Neither could I make an excursion anywhere. I have learnt nothing whatever during the last fortnight except the virtues of a new (to me) pill-Podophyllum, with a little eolocynth and hyosciamus. I shall adopt them in the place of compound rhubarb, of which in average health I take about one in two months. Of these, I have already had to swallow three. Erasmus wrote me such a nice affectionate letter in reply to mine; so also did Grace Moilliet. How beautiful Devonshire is, and how varied! Two seas, two (?) moors, lots of harbours and rich pastures, besides red earth and red cattle. Best love to M. L. I trust your Agents' meeting went off as usefully as hitherto. Eva goes to-day to London to look after winter clothing and the house. Ever affectionately, FRANCIS GALTON.
7, WINDSOR TERRACE, THE Hon, PLYMOUTH.. November 7, 1906.
DEAREST MILLY, I must write my first letter from this charmingly placed club (Royal Western Yacht Club of England) to you, to ask you to thank Guy again for procuring me admission to it. We get on quietly and happily. I have one friend at the Aquarium, Bidder, grandson of the " calculating boy," and have made acquaintance with the others there. They do excellent work. Their steam trawler, the "Huxley," is just back from the north seas, and is o f westward for a few days, and I am to go over her when she returns. Bidder has been making prolonged experiments on the drift currents of the North Sea, by sinking closed bottles with a paper inside and with a very legible label asking the finder to break the bottle, take out the enclosed small roll of card, fill up the spaces with date and place of recovery, and to post the card to him. It appears that fishing with trawls is so searching, that 77 per cent, of the bottles are recovered by the fishermen, some after drifting up to even 140 miles. My other important experience regards cutting a cake. The object aimed at is to make the arcs of the two slices equal, without regard to the part of the circumference, so (1) does as well as (2). I have tried both, and rather incline to (1). It is an excellent plan for keeping the cake moist. An indiarubber band keeps the halves together. Cross cutting is not necessary, (3) being as good as (4).
We were grieved at your bad cold. I hope it is disappearing
at a normal rate. It has been too cloudy and rainy to tempt us
out much, but the day before yesterday we had a grand forenoon (3) (q,) seeing the dockyards. The Nasmyth hammer worked beautifully.
Do you happen to recollect the crayon picture of a meteor' that I have? It was drawn and given to me by Nasmyth, who saw the meteor at his own place in Kent, I having seen it (and
* "Beer" or "High Beer," near Winterbourne-Kingston, one of the homes of the original Galton yeomen; see our Vol, i, p. 40, ftn. 2.
t This drawing is deposited in one of the drawers of Galton's writing table at present in the Galtoniana in the Galton Laboratory.