614 Life and Letters of Francis Galton
Austin and said, "Well, have you been writing any more poems?" Austin replied, "Yes, a little; you know one must keep the wolves from the door." "How did you do it?" said Lord Young, "Was it by reading your poems to 'em?" !! What a contrast between Austin and his predecessor Tennyson. Ever affectionately, FRANCIS GALTON.
42, RUTLAND GATE, S. W. November 5, 1910.
MY DEAR MELDOLA, Excuse my not writing with my own hand. I am very glad that you are going to do justice to Herbert Spencer as an investigator, but I cannot help you with facts about it. I know of course about his experiments on the effect of wind on the upthrow of sap, but do not know where the account of the experiments is published. I feel myself unable to help you, as I wish I could. As regards his influence on contemporary science I feel it is small; on my own work it has been nil, but Romanes ascribed the idea of his beautiful experiments on the formation of nerves on medusae wholly to Spencer's published views. What a sad scene it was at Golder's Green*.
I am very infirm and have taken a house for the winter near Hindhead.
Ever sincerely yours, FRANCIS GALTON.
GRAYSHOTT HOUSE, HASLEMERE. December 8, 1910.
MY DEAR MELDOLA, Best congratulations on D.Sc., or Sc.D., as the case may be. It has been long deferred.
The enclosed letter is one you may like to read, and will I think sympathise with. Poor Collins; he gave, I know, much assistance to H. Spencer in revising MS., but my knowledge of this is not accurate enough to warrant my writing an obituary paragraph about him. Possiblyyou might be able and inclined to do so. His death was noticed in Nature, Dec. 1st, p. 146, 1st column.
I wrote to Miss Killick and mentioned that I had forwarded her letter to you. Poor Collins ! His life was tragical. Extraordinary physical powers, shown in his first attempt at Alpine climbing; then, arm-chair-ridden by pleurisy. Next, an unhappy event in which the She was not to blame. Then, frequent failures to do good intellectual work, all combined with the most unselfish and eager wish to help others, by revising and criticising, which within limits he could do well.
Requiescat in pace. If you see your way to writing a brief memorial paragraph to the Times, poor Miss Killick would rejoice.
Please send me back her letter. I am wintering here, being now far too infirm for London fogs, etc. Very faithfully yours, FRANCIS GALTON.
GRAYSHOTT HOUSE, HASLEMERE. November 13, 1910. (This will henceforth be my address.)
MY DEAR MILLY, Thanks for congratulations. Sir George Darwin will receive the medal for me on the 30th. People are very kind about it. There are only five other Englishmen alive who have received it: (1) Sir Joseph Hooker (Botany), (2) Lord Lister (Antiseptics), (3) Lord Rayleigh (Mathematical Physics), (4) Sir William Crookes (Molecular Physics and Radiometry), (5) Alfred R. Wallace (Zoology and Darwinism). I have pretty nearly finished Kantsaywhere in typewriting; but shall lay it by when quite finished for yet further revision, and then have two typed clean copies for friends to criticise, you to be one of them of course. I have no news. The weather has turned chilly and, according to advice, I spent most of yesterday in bed. They say it will be good economy if I lie up one day per week, selecting a nasty day, as yesterday was, for the purpose. We move on Tuesday. Love to those of your party who are at home. Guy wrote me a letter of congratulations from which I gather be is now at Claverdon, whence two fat pheasants have reached me. One is just eaten-so good!
Ever affectionately, FRANCIS GALTON.
Galton's account of Herbert Spencer's cremation, which would have had historical interest, seems to have perished. I have added at the end of this Chapter his reminiscences of Spencer, found in rough draft among his papers: see p. 626.