598 Life and Letters of Francis Galton
Best love to Lucy and Cameron. I fear the weather has been too dull for your sketchings. It will be pleasant to have you back on Thursday. Leonard Darwin was here and we talked to him of the approaching dinner. Neither he nor I then remembered the day. Doubtless you and they are in complete accord, especially as to week ! I said that the time was wholly in your hands. He will have a busy time on Monday next, with Lieut. Shackleton and Royalty at the Geographical. I saw something of the procession to South Kensington on Saturday, out of my bath-chair, from a path. leading from the Park to opposite the Alexandra Hotel. It was very "spectacular" and well proportioned though not long and only three or four carriages.
Ever affectionately yours, FRANCIS GALTON. 42, RUTLAND GATE, S.W. July 8, 1909.
MY DEAR MELDOLA, Your kind and hearty appreciation is peculiarly welcome, for your judgment is especially valuable to me. The last time we met was at the final ceremony to Herbert Spencer. Nothing in that made so deep an impression on my imagination as the volumes of smoke rising from the chimney as we all went away. It meant "business." My time for leaving the world cannot be far off, for I am become very and increasingly infirm. It was a great grief being unable to join in any way in the Darwin celebration. How admirably it went off! How much there is to do in life and how very much has to be left undone! I follow your work, and from time to time I see accounts of it, always with keen interest.
Believe me, yours sincerely, FRANCIS GALTON.
That stupid error of address in the Royal Society Year Book! I took the house during the past winter and they printed it as my permanent address-I am still, as always, a cockney as to my home.
42, RUTLAND GATE, S.W. July 18, 1909.
DEAREST MILLY, It was but a scrubby message that I sent you through Eva, being at the time tired and sleepy. Pray, in your next,'tell me the latest news of Jim'. His father kindly wrote me a very hopeful account. Has the visit to Folkestone confirmed it? And did you succeed in alleviating the "uncouthness" of Hugh's "solitary life"? You may recollect something of the sort about a great nonconformist Divine whose friends in consequence hunted out a wife for him, with great after happiness. I put the story into my Hereditary Genius, under the "Divines," but have not the book at hand. The cold weather has been against my mending, but has not made me worse. Are you a reader of Peter Pan? A group of small figures is to be set up in Kensington Gardens at the Bay where he landed. So Sir George Frampton told us, who is the sculptor. He came yesterday to tea, about doing a bust of me, which (but I shall hear more exactly to-morrow) he will begin at once. It will be amusing to witness the operation. It is to take place in my old dressing-room, above my present bedroom. I suppose a hodman will arrive with a bucket of clay. He will send the necessary furniture, stool and table, to work on. I miss you often. Do tell me how you found the garden, after the storm had treated it so rudely. We still get copious supplies of very big strawberries. It seems they send daily consignments of some sixteen tons of them from Alnwick, when the season in these parts is coming to an end. Loves to you all. Ever affectionately yours, FRANCIS GALTON.
42, RUTLAND GATE, S.W. July 24, 1909.
DEAREST MILLY, Good as your account is of Jim, I wish it could have been still better. There are so many dangers before abscesses in the bone of the ear can be wholly cured. Indeed the cessation of the wonted discharge is a danger in itself. It will be a pleasant experience for his brother to go to Claverdon. What an amusing but terrible enfant George must be! Poor Mary, pluck does much, but not everything. As regards home matters, one event last week was seeing a singularly beautiful black and white canary perched fast asleep on the frame of one of the pictures. He was carefully captured and put into the conservatory, pending inquiries. In the meantime I got him a cage, but in two days he died. I know not what from. It was a piteous sight. Sir G. Frampton gets on busily with the bust. He first gets the profile exactly, and does much of the side face, then goes on to the full face. He is wonderfully capable and painstaking. The time of our departure, August 9 or 10, approaches only too fast. Frank Butler comes next Saturday to clear out and arrange, as far as he can, my old instruments
* Second son of Mrs Lethbridge's son, Edward.