590 Life and Letters of Francis Galton
MEADOW COTTAGE, BROCKHAM GREEN, BETCHWORTH, SURREY. December 27, 1908.
MY DEAR SIR GEORGE DARWIN, Thanks for your letter-I am so glad you like the book,
and am grateful for the corrections.
It is, alas, impossible for me to attend the Darwin Celebration. I could not do it with safety, if at all, even in mid-summer. I get about partly in a donkey-chair. The movements of the animal's ears in connection with his presumed perceptions and thoughts are an unfailing object of interest.
My brother (simply Erasmus Galton, Leamington; he has a post-bag there) would I am sure be highly flattered by an invitation, but I am still more sure that he would be unable to accept it. He suffers from an old man's ailment that keeps him always in the immediate neighbourhood of his home. But he reverences your father's memory,-if possible, as much as I do.
I am pulling through the winter fairly well thus far, thanks to the pure air of these parts. I see in a Times article, that they seem to have discovered an anti-toxin to bronchitis. It would be indeed a blessing to me.
I' grieve to hear of your bad knee, one limb out of two cannot be easily spared. A centipede would not mind it.
Love to you all-not least to Charles. I would have sent him the book, had I foreseen that it might have been liked. One hates so to intrude. I hope his mathematics continue to prosper.
Ever affectionately yours, FRANCIS GALTON. MEADOW COTTAGE, BROCKHAM GREEN, BETCHWORTH, SURREY. January 7, 1909.
DEAR COUSIN GEORGE DARWIN, This is I think the correctest commencement of a letter ! Thanks for your letter in the Times, standing up for me. I only found it out this morning by reading the replies by Sir H. Cotton and Pollaky.
In my Finger-Prints I translated Purkenje, having got his exceedingly scarce pamphlet with great difficulty, and through a curious coincidence. As to Sir Wm. Herschel I have acknowledged my debt to him in print over and over again, and dedicated my Finger-Print Directory to him. He however did none of the three things that (as you quote from me) are essential preliminaries. Sir H. Cotton is I think mistaken in saying that Sir Edward Henry had organised the method in India before he had visited my laboratory. He had then organised the Bertillon system in. India with great care, but found it a failure there. But I shall not bother to write to the Times unless Sir E. Henry himself should write what seems to require an answer.
Your son Charles lunched here to-day. It was very-.pleasant seeing him, so bright and capable-looking. Few will be more interested on his behalf next June than myself. He tells me you have that painful malady, a gouty knee. I once had one which ultimately got quite well, and speedily, though it hurt badly at the time; I never felt better and happier than when ill with it. I suppose the gouty humours drained away mischief. That active man, Sir John Evans, had it also, badly, and I think more than once, but got quite well. Lord Avebury, who as you know is of the goutiest stock, told me that he had tried all diets, but the advice that suited him best was "Eat whatever you like but only a little of it" 1 Small quantity rather than good quality. This will reach you via Cambridge. Affectionately yours, FRANCIS GALTON.
To Professor SIR GEORGE DARWIN, K.C.B.
MEADOW COTTAGE, BROCKHAM GREEN, BETCHWORTH, SURREY. January 12, 1909.
DEAREST MILLY, I have been somewhat bothered and busy and cannot recollect whether I did or did not write to you on Saturday. If I did, excuse some repetition. You must feel quiet after the departure of two such restless though amusing guests, besides that of your own son. Quietude prevails here. Violet came two or three days ago for a week. My bother lay in newspaper letters declaring that my share in the Finger-Print System was very small, and it was indeed disregarded in a Times notice. Thereupon G. Darwin wrote a letter on my behalf, which led authorities (from India), on the other side, to write. It seemed at last necessary that I should say my say, which I have done in a longish letter to the Times which (if they insert it) will probably appear to-morrow. It gave me trouble to refer to past things, and to write