594 Life and Letters of Francis Gallon
I think it was then somewhat in a transition stage, so far as its avowed object was concerned. Parkes was a first-rate, original man, and ranks easily as the founder of army and other medical hygiene in this country. Evelyn Cunliffe has gone with her husband to Switzerland to be set up after all her anxiety and cares. Himbleton is to be let. It now belongs to the Gascoignes. Best loves. Ever affectionately, FRANCIS GALTON.
Address: CROWN HOTEL, LYNDHURST. February 25, 1909.
DEAREST MILLY, Thanks for letter. Erasmus' death* is another great break. He died very peacefully. To-morrow, Friday, he is to be cremated at Birmingham, and, at his express wish, without any mourners or signs of mourning. His instructions were minute and unusual. Edward is doing his best to carry out his wishes.
Ever affectionately, with loves to you all, FRANCIS GALTON.
CROWN HOTEL, LYNDHURST. March 21, 1909.
DEAREST MILLY, I am up for an hour in my dressing-gown, fit to write a short letter, though weak and with the sense of lumbago being just round the corner ready for a spring. It would not have done for you-to come here now, as you so very kindly proposed. When turned out from this hotel, it proves quite practicable to return to London, for the Cameron Galtons will- have by then left our house and their servants behind, only too glad if we keep them on for our use. I dare say that I shall be fit to move then, without risk of sharp pain. We must arrange to meet before long. I lie in bed doing nearly nothing and fancy that illness exudes slowly all the time. Have you ever had the opportunity or patience to read the booklet that Jaeger printed and issued with his clothingi It is original and curious. He himself was the executive head of the Zoological Garden in Vienna, and is an enthusiast. His view is that all illness is one in essence, with many aspects, and, so far as I recollect, argues his point with some force, enough to make the view not wholly absurd. I read very little. J. G. Frazer has just sent me his Psyche, a quaint name derived from the task somewhere assigned to her of picking out the good seeds from a mixture of good and bad. He shows the important help given by superstition, even of the absurdest kind, in building up society. It is an interesting subject, which I thought much about many years ago on the occasion of a memoir being submitted to the Anthropological Institution on the paradox "Why Nations who believed in auguries, etc., overcame those who did not." I felt then that any creed was of more importance to a nation than none, in that it saved them from anarchy and disruption. Frazer's book takes the same line, with a wealth of illustration. I think frequently of Erasmus and feel that somehow he had not a fair chance in life. Circumstance and his own temperament were often much against him; and all that was visible ending in a small shovelful of ashes, scattered over the flower-beds of a crematorium ! Edward, on the whole, liked the simplicity and common-sense of the last function. It is gratifying to know that many unexpected, kind remembrances of him were sent. They included one from the Committee of his London Club, to which be had belonged between 60 and 70 years. I wrote on this picture paper, partly as a safeguard against too long a letter. In fact, I have nearly reached the limit of my strength. With many loves.
Ever affectionately, good-bye, FRANCIS GALTON.
FOREST PARK HOTEL, BROCKENHURST, HANTS. April 16 (I think), 1909.
DEAREST MILLY, -Read this please as though written with the whining voice of a beggar. For it is to ask if you will very kindly tell me exactly what the enclosed German letter conveys. I am ashamed at troubling you and will write a proper week-end letter all the same. The Whelers come here from Loxton for two nights, to-morrow afternoon.
Ever affectionately, FRANCIS GALTON.
Is "Werter Herr" all right?
* The last of Galton's brothers and sisters. It was a long-lived family. Putting aside two who died in infancy (Agnes and Violetta), Lucy Harriot (Mrs Moilliet) died in 1848, aged 39, but Bessie (Mrs Wheler) died in 1906 at 98, Adele (Mrs Bunbury) in 1883 at 73, Emma (unmarried) in 1904 at 93, Darwin in 1903 at 89, Erasmus in 1909 at 94, and Sir Francis himself in 1911 at 89. His mother Violetta Darwin (Mrs Tertius Galton) died in 1874 at 91, and her grandmother Elizabeth Hill (Mrs Robert Darwin of Elston), mother of Erasmus Darwin, in 1797 at 95.