Characterisation, especially by Letters 587
42, RUTLAND GATE, S.W. September 27, 1908.
DEAREST MILLY, This is a prompt answer; Ravenscourt seems quite a success. Enclosed is one of the prospectuses of my book, which I hope may he published next Saturday. A small misunderstanding of the printer threw it back for a while. Adele Bree is rapidly getting well and has no dread, I believe. The removal was an easy matter, though the healing was prolonged. -So you have to do with one of the "Feeble-Minded" of whom so much has been brought to light by the Royal Commission. In these border-line cases it is most difficult to know how to act. I know the Porlock Hill, perhaps it was then not quite so steep as you drew it, but was perilouslooking, and there were beautiful views. Motors are certainly great comforts, and bring far-off places near to one. The London taxi-cabs have a rare time of it in the afternoons ; every one of them in the neighbouring stand being always taken. Eva is off to-day to Malvern to stay with Mrs Keir Moilliet and to bicycle on Monday to Lewis M.'s. She returns on Tuesday. Give my love to all of yours. You will be a large party now, if Guy has returned from Exeter. I am about now to be trundled in my sister Bessy's bath-chair into the park, which I find very pleasant. Sometimes Mrs Simmonds, sometimes Gifi, pushes it, and I have lost all sense of oddity in the matter and enjoy it without drawback. Ever affectionately, FRANCIS CALTON.
42, RUTLAND GATE, S. W. October 10, 1908.
DEAREST MILLY, You are indeed enthusiastic. The book seems successful, as a second edition of it is being printed ; but I find that the first edition was only 750 copies. Still, it shows that the book has already paid its way, and my publisher writes prettily and congratulatorily (is there such a word?).
The idea of your troubling to join the Eugenics Education Society ! I never meant to cajole you into it. Still, it is not a bad thing to do, and a few of us are taking pains about it. I shall understand '° the ropes" better after next Wednesday's meeting. The absurd part of it is that the proper President of it, Sir James Crichton-Browne, has wholly absented himself for ever so long, and won't answer the letters of the Secretary to him. It was this that obliged me to take the lead, which I did not at all want to do. It is a funny thing that none of us can comprehend; Sir J. C, -B. is quite a pleasant man and seemed originally keen for the work. Personally I like him much. He sent much of value to Charles Darwin, who appreciated it. It did seem extraordinary in those far back days, that Crichton-Browne, then quite a young man and looking still younger, should have the control and mastery over the biggest lunatic asylum in England. He looked more like a man whom the hostess of a ball would introduce to partners lest he should be too diffident to ask them. Your gardening must be a great pleasure and matters of storage room must be difficult to solve. The Gibbons have built a cheap studio by their cottage. I sent them a perambulator and now the poor child is dead ! How they will bate the sight of the little carriage! I pity them much. Best loves. Ever affectionately, FRANCIS GALTON.
42, RUTLAND GATE, S.W. October 17, 1908.
DEAREST MILLY, It would be amusing if the next year's camp in the neighbourhood of Dorchester should be placed on " Galton Heath." There is a wide extent of open land there and the high Downs are within marching distance. But how the midges bit me there, one summer ! You must be full of gardening and hopes of flowers in the Spring; I now see flowers in shop windows here, that is all. My book is well reviewed thus far by most of the leading papers, but not yet by the Times, who kindly gave half a column to my paper at the Eugenics Education Society. It will be printed in full in the next (?) Nature, for they have sent it in proof to me to correct. You shall have a copy when it comes out. I contrived to read it myself and got through it creditably to a rather large audience, but was tired and bronchitic in consequence. All right now. Next Monday (to-morrow) week, .6th, we go to "The Meadows, Brockham Green, Dorking," so I shall get here your usual Friday letter, but thenceforward the address will be as above. How I hate the thoughts of the coming winter. Eva went yesterday to see Mrs Gibbon, who is very sad. My old friend, Lady Pelly, has just undergone a very serious operation, I know not what. She is doing fairly well.
I had to break off, owing to the earlier-than-expected arrival of a Bordighera friend, Mr Bicknell, to stay with us. Such an interesting man. He is the scientific and literary soul of Bordighera and a good botanist and artist. He gave a small museum with a good sized meeting