608 Life and Letters of Francis Galton
stared and said "but 3 times 9 is 27," which caused roars of laughter among the company, one of whom told me the story, which Gladstone himself was quite incapable of appreciating. Eva goes to Grayshott on Tuesday to lunch with my hostess and to learn about sundry details. My wonderful boy Jew, Laski by name, came here with his brother to tea. Eva was out, but Miss Savile fortunately called and did the necessary. The boy is simply beautiful. She is an artist and quite agreed. He is perfectly nice and quiet in his manners. Many prodigies fail, but this one seems to have stamina and purpose, and is not excitable, so he ought to make a mark. The two boys are grandsons of a famous Russian Rabbi, a mystic and a great Kabbalist. They told me much about the Kabbala; how only the initiated in it know the proper pronunciation of Jahveh. I told them about Professor Robertson Smith, who knew it, and on pronouncing it before a great Rabbi visitor at Cambridge was cursed by him from the crown of his head to the soles of his feet, and withered and died within three months!
Ever affectionately, FRANCIS GALTON.
42, RUTLAND GATE, S.W. Sunday, August 15?, 1910.
MY DEAR MILLY, I write full early, as to-morrow will be a busy time, though indeed I do next to nothing except saying "yes" or "no" when asked whether or no a particular thing is to be taken. Did you happen to read in one of Lord Morley's recent speeches that he looked upon having to say "yes" or "no " as the hardest part of his duties? In my case, I leave things very much to Eva, who works hard for me. I have been below par last week through the forceps of a dentist. The tooth had done good service for eighty-one years, so it was a moral as well as a physical shock to lose it. I am just going out for the first time for many days in my bath-chair into the park ; among other things, to look at the four big beds of Galtonias by the Albert Memorial. They were beginning to flower when I saw them last a week ago. We start on Tuesday afternoon by motor for The Court, Grayshott, Haslemere, Surrey, which according to the Post Office Guide is the correct address. Please when you next write, send to that address.
The past week has been, as you have recollected, one of sad memories to me. One of the young Butlers is now in Brittany for a tour in Auvergne, and will visit the cemetery and report. The death was in 1897, thirteen years ago ! I had a miserable week after, sorting out dear Louisa's trinkets, etc., but all her family were most helpful and affectionate. Harcourt Butler came two days ago to say good-bye. He starts in a day or two for India. He is given the control of education and sanitation, with his seat on the Legislative Council. It is a fiveyear appointment, that which he vacated was more important, but it was, I believe, terminable with the tenure of the Vice-Royalty. So he gains in one important way. He had 150 persons on his staff ! ! He is fairly satisfied with the interest and knowledge of influential persons about Indian matters. The King especially was keen and full of memories. Lord Morley seemed rather despotic, he thought. What an amusing story about your small American grandchild and the galloping pony ! Best loves to you all. Ever affectionately, FRANCIS GALTON.
I have seen the Galtonias, which are good in a way, but warm rain and sun are wanted to plump them out.
(Post-card.) THE COURT, GRAYSHOTT, HASLEMERE. August 23, 1910.
MY DEAR MILLY, I am so asthmatic that you must excuse this card. We are in a beautiful and spacious house, high up, but for all that my asthma has been bad. I was in bed all day on Wednesday, and again all yesterday and some other half-days. But every now and then, it suddenly goes and I breathe freely. Some kind friends came on Friday and I was able to enjoy tea with them. One of the visitors was Captain Lyons, F.R.S., the retiring Surveyor-General of Egypt, who is full of interesting information. His work is reputed to be of the most thorough order. The plan of my novelette has been often altered, but is, I think, approaching its final form. I hope that Guy's fever is passing off. With best loves.
Ever affectionately, FRANCIS CALTON.
THE COURT, GRAYSHOTT, HASLEMERE. August 26, 1910.
DEAR LASKI, Were I to rewrite now the extract which you quote I should alter it. The exceptions I had then in mind were the large families of many conspicuous personages. Thus Maria Theresa had sixteen children. Of those of very modern times the Kaiser has a large family, and so on. The question might be usefully discussed by comparing the size of the families of