Characterisation, especially by Letters 601
THE RECTORY, HASLEMERE. November 25, 1909.
DEAR Miss ELDERTON, Thanks for your book, now safely received and read through. I sincerely hope that it will have the success that it merits and which you and your brother and myself have all at heart. Enclosed I send in return a reprint, just out, of my own lectures. They might all have been improved much, but I thought it better to let them stand just as they were; besides, I am grown too infirm to do anything of value now, I fear.
The post has just arrived, and among press cuttings I found the enclosed by Dr Saleeby, which refers to your work. Also, I read lately a speech by the Poet Laureate, who gave the advice "Do not resent criticism and never reply to it." As a general rule this is excellent, but if you should care to reply, it would be well to confine what is said to justifying the appropriateness of the data, which Dr S. attacked in a former letter somewhere. As to the statistical treatment of them, it is needless to insist on its accuracy. For the life of me, I cannot yet see how a Mendelian objection can bear on the value of your work.
Very sincerely yours, FRANCIS GALTON.
THE RECTORY, HASLEMERE. December 12, 1909.
MY DEAR MILLY, January 3 would suit us particularly well. So let it be, unless as the time approaches you wish to change the date. You must be most anxious for a letter from South Africa. Pray let me know as soon as you receive one.
Matters go on here as usual. Janet Fisher is with us. She will probably be Eva's companion when Eva goes abroad. It appears that there is much to talk over first. How you are getting on with the Braille ! A nice young fellow lunched here on Friday, who had been four years studying at the University of Freiburg (under Weismann). He told me about the vexed question of having boys and girls in the same school classes, and that doing so was considered a complete success in Baden, with one solitary drawback. You know what pretty blond tresses the Baden girls mostly have. It appears that the boys cannot resist the temptation of stealing up behind and dipping the ends of the girls' pigtails into an ink-pot. I suppose the pigtail of a girl in a fury would scatter its black charge right and left. What a picture! I have just procured a copy, 7d., of Harmsworth's The World's Great Books under which magnificent title four of mine are to be included. Certainly the No. 5, that I have, is uncommonly well done. It is not too snippety. The thing is published fortnightly and contains about 100 pages, good print. As I hear, 400 pages are to be assigned to me, 100 for each of (1) Hereditary Genius, (2) Human Faculty, etc., (3) Eugenics and (4) My Memories. They will take up four numbers or the greater part of them. We shall see. I am glad that Loxton* is within motor range of Minehead.
Ever affectionately, FRANCIS GALTON.
THE RECTORY, HASLEMERE. December 19, 1909.
MY DEAR MILLY, Only two days more, and the daylight will grow longer, and yet "as the day lengthens, so the cold strengthens." Thus far we have pulled through fairly well. Harmsworth has begun to publish epitomes of my books, on a much smaller scale than was proposed, and Dr Saleeby has put them together fairly well, certainly with much industry. You must be anxious about Frank, but a seldom-letter-writer accounts for much. You have, I suppose, no correspondents among his South African friends? So that astute, money-grubbing sovereign, Leopold II, is gone! If our Princess Charlotte had been his mother he might, according to the late Duke of Wellington, have been yet worse. I speak of Lord Stanhope's record of conversations with the Duke at Walmer Castle, in a passage that appeared in the 1st edition but was suppressed in the later ones. It stated that it was a mercy that Princess Charlotte died, for she had the vices of both her parents ! However, she was idolised by our nation, which of course knew nothing of her real character. Thanks for Xmas greetings, which I heartily return to you all. My pigtail story must, alas, be discounted. I thought it had been a frequent occurrence, but it was apparently one solitary outrage which impressed itself deeply on the Baden mind. We have been chuckling over the Caravannerst. What an intolerable idiotic prig the German Major is made out to be, and yet not an impossible one. January 3 will soon arrive.
Ever affectionately yours, FRANCIS GALTON.
Loxton had originally belonged to Samuel Tertius Galton, had passed to his son, Erasmus, and now belongs to Francis Galton's nephew, Mr Edward Wheler-Galton. t By the Countess von Arnim, now Countess Russell.
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