586 Life and Letters of Francis Galton
Address now : 42, Rutland Gate, S.W. August 29, 1908.
DEAREST MILLY, This will reach you in, or via,, your new home. I look forward to your next letter, anxious to hear that you are all at length settled at Shirrell House, but we go home to-morrow for a bit. Hubert Galton had asked us and we had accepted to go to Hadzor, but his wife is unhappily ill again, so that is off. We shall have some house-hunting to do from London on fair days. Otherwise I think I shall be chiefly in London all September. The recent storms and chilly wave of air make me less adventurous-minded, and a study of Bradshaw reminds me what a long journey it is from London to Minehead, so I fear that running down there is and will remain a dream till winter is overpast. How well and cheaply the Germans illustrate books and newspapers ! I post you one-don't return it please-in which I come in on page 178. I don't know why on earth they include me, for I take no part in the Geographical Congress, but the shape of the little photo was convenient to them. Proof revising and index making is tedious, but I am nearing the end of my book at last. It cannot, I should think, be brought out before mid-October, but that is wholly in the hands of my publisher, who has first to bring out a new book by Marie Corelli ! Eva went yesterday to the Isle of Wight, and came back disillusioned as to Ventnor and the like being suitable for us next winter, as I felt sure she would. I enclose one of the new programmes of the Eugenics Education Society, which may possibly interest you. If you can sow it (like a seed) in any likely place to meet with a favourable response, please do so. I am busy on a paper wherewith to open its proceedings next October, and find it very hard to steer between the Scylla of mere platitudes and the Charybdis of disputable details. If there proves to be time enough, I will venture to send you a typed copy for suggestions, if I may? We have had squally weather with fine intervals. Today it is as calm as a cat sleeping in a comfortable arm-chair after a night of fighting and caterwaulings. Ever affectionately, FRANCIS GALTON.
September 14, 1908. 42, RUTLAND GATE, S.W., but please address next letter to me at Claverdon Leys, Warwick, where we go on Wednesday; I for a week.
DEAREST MILLY, Your painful attack is grievous. One of my very few quasi-superstitions is that change into a new house spells illness for someone. In this case, you are the sufferer and Amy has escaped. What pleasant news you give of Guy's appointment. How many years does it last? and what pay does he -get? I am so extremely ignorant about army matters. I suppose the " Brigade" is one of the new territorial army?
Adele Bree is going on rightly but though the operation was not a serious one, the healing, as I understand, is a little delayed. Eva saw her for a few minutes one day last week, going down for the purpose, and returned quite happy about her. The Archdeacon too is quite well. So the house proves quite a success. I am so glad-also, that you do not feel at all cramped in it. The desideratum in life is to have all that you really want and as few superfluities as may be, and your house appears to fulfil that desideratum. The Roman Catholic Congress seems to have been uncommonly well managed by its officials. Eva has been to two or three services, and we both went together to see the school-children's long procession. I don't care much for great length in one. A sample is to me quite as good. Did you ever go to an oil-cloth shop, where they drop a box with reflectors on to a pattern, say one foot square, and at once the pattern is reflected and re-reflected into a great surface. One or two of these children, or of Eton boys, who outwardly are as much alike as peas, might be put under one of these boxes and, hey presto, they would grow into a multitude. But what a blunder the Home Secretary made in first permitting the procession for yesterday and then retracting it. The Premier shares the blame. I should have thought the question quite deserving of having been made a Cabinet one. The papers will shortly come in and we shall see what they say. They have just come, and say what I thought they would say. My personal news of this week is largely connected with dentists, tailors and hosiers, of no interest to others. Eva and I went to Methuen's and arranged about the cover for the book. Smooth green cloth with a flat gold band I have been very busy over a small matter which requires care, viz. a brief opening address - to the Eugenics Education Society. It has been typed and then much cut up by the skilled hand of Crackanthorpe, and is now being re-typed in a shrunken and disembowelled form, but made much more suitable thereby. It is a delight to me to put myself again to school, as it were, under a competent critic. Generally my friends are diffident and won't slash, but I have two excellent friends who happily feel no compunction in performing that operation, and I learn much thereby. Best loves. Ever affectionately, FRANCIS GALTON.