Characterisation, especially by Letters 585
the publisher, or rather his man of business, has written me a "fetching" letter asking if he might have my autobiography for publication. A curious double coincidence occurred, (1) Methuen himself, who has been seriously ill after some operation, lives here, though I do not yet know him, and (2) Frank Carter, the artist who copied my picture for Trinity College, was staying here for the week-end, and was engaged to lunch with Methuen (a connection of his) last Sunday. So I made him a sort of go-between. Briefly, I am disposed to attempt the job, making no further terms than the usual half-profits and an assurance that the book will be handsomely brought out and that I am liberally allowed to correct proofs. Also to have some simple illustrations and perhaps Furse's portrait. This will keep my hands very full indeed for months to come. Have you any old diaries or letters or documents that would help as to ancient dates? Now that Bessy and Emma are gone I feel singularly at sea about much. I have Louisa's diaries, but they refer little to myself; however, they should be very helpful. What a curious account you send of Guy's "dowsing." Edward Wheler had a like experience, but his dowser proved unsuccessful. There is a firm of dowsers. If I belonged to it and believed in it, I should construct a ' A paved yard with waterpipes below and stop-cocks (x), any of
which could J . I [_ be turned off or on, and should test people by it.
,. i Ever affectionately, FRANCIS GALTON.
QUEDLEY, HASLEMERE. December 2, 1907.
DEAREST MILLY, The Bogatzki*, which I return, has given just the events I wanted at this moment. I got between 70 and 80 dates from it, many of which help me much. The search into one's memory opens so many doors of the past that are usually passed by unregarded. A strange bygone experience (which I published) testified to the same thing. It was that when capturing, as it were, the first associations connected with any word the moment it was presented, they were often connected with some long past and habitually forgotten experience. I am working at different periods of my life in turn and have done a lot already about my medical epoch. How the ghosts arise ! What touching mementoes there are in Bogatzki's pages. So many by Aunt Brewin referring to 1700 odd. I can't, of course, decipher most of her initials, but some of them I can.
A man with a much more horrid name, which I can't venture to reproduce from memory, wrote to me yesterday asking permission to translate my recent "Herbert Spencer Lecture" into h ungar-ian, for his Sociological Review, of which he enclosed a prospectus. They do these things well in Buda-Pest. An old friend of mine, Kdrosi, lately dead, was the head of the Statistical Department there and wrote valuable memoirs. The numerous accents they use are to me unintelligible. I hope I have put them right in Korosi's name. It was pronounced Keresi. We have at last been visited by a " Yaflle," a green woodpecker. The old gardener had never seen one in this garden before, though they are common (they say) among the woods higher up. There were plenty about when our previous house "Yaflies" was built, but they disappeared after it was built and named. Two starlings are on the lawn now, picking up the crumbs I threw out for the Yaflie. How quickly they gobble them up. Our next neighbour is a famous etcher. Some beautiful specimens of his doing are now on exhibition in London. It has been much pleasure to make his acquaintance. They are Mr and Mrs Fritton, with an uncommonly attractive 16-year-old daughter, still at school. All goes on well here. You must be much grieved about Mrs Northy. How does Guy get on with his motor? Any further news from Africa? Many loves. Ever affectionately, FRANcis GALTON.
Address now : 42, Rutland Gate, S. W. February 9, 1908.
DEAR Miss ELDERTON, The tidings in your letter about the Eugenics Education Society t pain me much. Thank you greatly for sending them. I have written to Dr Slaughter withdrawing an offer of help that I made in response to an exceedingly sober and well-written letter from him, and said that I cannot consent to be connected with it at present. It is very sad. We are turned out of this house, " Quedley," for a fortnight by a damaged kitchen boiler, but letters will be forwarded either from here or from London. I hope when the spring is advanced and the place around grows beautiful, to tempt you down for a week-end. I think you would enjoy it then. Very faithfully yours, FRANCIS GALTON.
* A work by the well-known pietist, used by the originally Quaker Galtons like a family bible for personal records.
t See Note at the end of this Chapter.
P G 111 74