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that the ratio of distinguished kinships, through male and female respectively, is almost identical in his five first columns -namely, in the cases of judges, statesmen, commanders, men of literature, and men of science; and is as seventy to thirty, or more than two to one, in favour of the male side. - The only reasonable solution which I can suggest,' he adds, “ besides that of inherent incapacity in the female line for trans‘mitting the peculiar forms of ability we are now discussing is,

that the aunts, sisters, and daughters of eminent men do not marry, on the average, so frequently as other women'(p. 328). The reasons for which he thinks may be, first, that such women do not so readily meet with mates up to their own mark; the second, less complimentary, that they are apt to be • shy and odd,' and also dogmatic and self-asserting, and there

fore less attractive to men.' He however infers from his records that it appears to be very important to success in

science that a man should have a clever mother.' But inasmuch as he adds that he ' believes the reason to be that a child ‘so circumstanced has the good fortune to be delivered from • the ordinary narrowing partisan influences of home education (p. 196), it is clear that he is here ascribing to the mother a didactic influence, and not that of blood,—a confusion from which his speculations are, as we have seen, not always exempt. He also collects from his statistical inquiries that the influence of the female line has an unusually large effect in qualifying a man to become eminent in the religious world ; ' and believes that the reasons laid down when speaking of scientific men ' will apply, mutatis mutandis, to divines' (p. 276). As he somewhat quaintly adds, “it requires unusual qualifications, • and some of them of a feminine cast, to become a leading * theologian.'* If we were to venture on a very hesitating opinion, derived both from studying collections of facts like Mr. Galton's and from general observation, it would be this: that ability-general aptitude-comes frequently from the

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If, however, eminent divines have as a rule been fortunate in their mothers, it does not appear that they are equally so in all respects) in their wives :— The frequency with which the divines become widowers • is a remarkable fact, especially as they did not usually marry when young. I account for the early deaths of their wives on the supposition that their constitutions were weak; and my reasons for thinking 80 are twofold-first, a very large proportion of them died in child'bed . . .; secondly, it appears that the wives of the divines were ' usually women of great piety; now it will be shown a little further on,

that there is a frequent correlation between an unusually devout disposition and a weak constitution.' (P. 263.)

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mother ; talent-special aptitude---more generally from the father. But for this, again, there are reasons quite independent of any hereditary 'theory. Mothers, in education, contribute much to form the general character; it is chiefly the father who directs the mind to its peculiar pursuit.

This question of sexual prepotence' we must however pass by, together with another still more curious ramification of it, rather indicated than pursued by Mr. Darwin in his sub-chapter on Inheritance as limited by sex '--the supposed descent of special peculiarities from female to female and male to male respectively. Let us return to the more general inquiry from which we have thus far digressed. If we admit as probable the conclusions which have thus far been suggested, namely, that Ability and Talent are both liable to be inherited, but the former more frequently so than the latter, what shall we say of that higher and finer quality to which we give the vague, but generally intelligible, denomination of Genius? Let us begin by coming to an accord as to the meaning of the name. In the first place, genius may be a kind of exceptional attribute of minds not altogether of the first order of endowment. The original, creative, faculty is in itself superior to all other qualities; but any particular development of it may be of an inferior class. Any one possessed of a fine taste for music can readily distinguish between genius in a composer and mere talent of execution. But, unless we are misinformed on the subject, there are composers of real genius who have, nevertheless, made less mark in the musical world than others not so inspired. So in literature, which affords perhaps the readiest examples. We often, and truly, speak of works of genius, still more often perhaps of writers as possessing genius, without intending thereby to express any very high amount of estimation. They have the ethereal fire which renders them a different order of beings from other men; but they have misused it, or neglected it, or possessed it only in limited quantity. Mr. Beckford, the wonder of half a century ago, was a man of real genius. In his . Vathek,' and still more in his Travels in Italy and in Portugal, there are passages of the very highest imaginative order, a sense of the picturesque approaching to sublimity. Yet no one would assign to him a very high rank in literature. His genius, though real, was fitful, and its manifestations not of an attractive kind. Richard Ford's Handbook for Spain is commonly ranged on our shelves and in our minds with the rest of its useful, brick-coloured brethren. But that unpretending volume is instinct with original genius to which no other Handbook that ever was compiled makes

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the slightest pretence. We have taken commonplace instances, because they suit our meaning the best. Any one can apply the doctrine further by analysing the effect produced on his mind by such literature as he is familiar with. That is, any one who has the power of finding out and appreciating genius, a faculty very far from universal. There are many spirits, not otherwise ill-provided with acuteness, to which the distinctive presence of genius, whether in literature, or art, or life, is imperceptible. Our old friend Pepys the diarist was a man of ability, and not without pretensions to taste; but he thought • Othello' a very inferior play to · The Adventures of Five • Hours.' Nevertheless, special quality as it doubtless is, we may perhaps agree in Voltaire's definition of genius, in the inferior sense in which we are now treating of it, as being after all only a higher order of talent.

Is genius, thus understood, physically inheritable? It were bold to affirm the contrary, but the instances seem so rare that they might fairly pass, in the eyes of a sceptic, for fortuitous. Notwithstanding all the pains taken by Mr. Galton as well as by others to construct pedigrees of gifted men, we can only at present remember one clear instance of an English author of real genius belonging to a family of kinsmen remarkable for talent: it is that of Coleridge.

But if this kind of sterility or isolation be truly predicable of genius, even of that lower and more every day kind with which we have been hitherto dealing, what are we to say of the doctrine of heredity as applied to genius of the really exalted order-to those minds which subjugate our very powers of judgment, insomuch that we are compelled to own,

• That we can judge as fitly of their worth
As men can of those mysteries which Heaven

Will not have earth to know.' If we follow the almost unanimous voice of our instructors, we shall say that genius of this order, at all events, is absolutely kinless. True genius, say Spurzheim, Virey, Lordat, and their disciples, is always isolated. • The extremes,' says

• ' Dr. Elam, ' are solitary; that is, do not transmit their charac* teristics. The lowest grade of intellect, the perfect idiot, is ** unfruitful: the highest genius is unfruitful as regards its psy• chical character : true genius does not descend to posterity. • There may be talent and ability in the ancestry and in the • descendants, directed to the same pursuits even; but from * the time that the development culminates in true genius it • begins to wane.'

To this leading truth surely all the records which we possess bear witness, although Mr. Galton, who seems by no means fully alive to this essential distinction of rank in the hierarchy of great men, tries as far as he can to include men of genius in his tables. Let us take the case of literary greatness alone, not as more remarkable than others, but as that of which examples are most at hand and least questionable. Shakspeare and Milton for England ; Molière, Voltaire, Rousseau for France; Goethe and Schiller for Germany; Dante and Machiavel for Italy; these may stand, not as the loftiest names by universal assent (we decline all controversy), but as those most frequently in men's mouths when personifying the literary genius of their respective nations, and as possessing that recognised stamp of supremacy which moves us to involuntary respect whenever they are mentioned. In the case of not one of these is there the slightest evidence of genius being inherited by them or derived from them. They were mostly of quite undistinguished ancestors ; none remarkable in a father, except that Milton may have derived a musical organisation from his; several died childless; of none has child or grandchild, notwithstanding the social advantages of such a relationship, attained any distinction worth noting. And if the same course of investigation were applied to the highest genius in its other manifestations, we suspect that the result would be the same. Even in the art of the painter, where kinship is so remarkable a phenomenon, Raphael and Leonardo da Vinci stand alone. In music, Beethoven, Mozart, and Mendelssohn left no rivals of their own race. No recorded son of men—such at least is our own judgment-ever was gifted with such genius, in his own sphere, as Napoleon I. Of all his numerous and well-cared for kindred, not one evinced anything more than a respectable amount of ability; and Flattery itself renounced in despair the endeavour to make him out any but the most commonplace pedigree.

Omitting, however, the case of sheer genius as exceptional, some may think the evidence in favour of the hereditary transmission of intellectual peculiarities so overwhelming as to dispose them to agree with Sir Henry Holland that the real subject of surprise is, ' not that a character should be inherited,

a . but that any should ever fail to be inherited.' They might almost be inclined to adopt Voltaire's lively suggestion, that if as much care were taken in managing the breeds of men as those of animals, ' les généalogies seraient écrites sur les visages * et se manifesteraient dans les meurs.' But there is assuredly no danger, or no hope, of the creation anywhere of such a racę

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of intellectual patricians. In the first place, mirus Amor' would very certainly render any efforts towards it fruitless by introducing his own capricious exceptions. And, in the next place, if our very elementary knowledge of this branch of physiology has established anything it is this: that from some unknown causes, hereditary peculiarities are certain to die out in time, and most likely to die out early. Such was the judgment of the ancients according to the experience of old times. The most brilliant families, says Aristotle, pass off into insanity; those of steadier ability, into idiocy. Or, as the same notion was polished into a proverb, heroum 'filii noxæ : amentes, Hippocratis filii.' • The upward move'ment (le mouvement ascendant) of the high faculties which

distinguished so many founders of families almost always • stops short at the third generation, rarely continues to the • fourth, and scarcely ever beyond the fifth,' is the judgment of Prosper Lucas. How far this apparent brevity of duration, in families, of the hereditary transmission of ability, may be reconciled with Mr. Darwin's general views of the durability of inheritance, inquiries starting from more advanced knowledge may possibly determine. But it is consistent, at all events, with one fundamental law of human nature, which limits the progress of the individual, if not of the species. Each generation inherits the accumulated knowledge of its predecessors. But the individuals of each generation inherit no increase of intellectual power. It is no more possible to add a cubit to the mental than to the bodily stature. Physical training gives health and vigour to the physical faculties; but only up to a certain point, and that a point which has assuredly been reached before. Mr. Galton's oarsmen’ and wrestlers' may maintain inherited supremacy as a body; but the individual best oarsman of this generation is not, except accidentally, a better man than he of the last. Well-trained men may be stronger, swifter, more enduring, than those who are not so; but you cannot train a man to be strong, or swift, or enduring beyond a certain limit, and that a limit which we may be sure some other man has already reached. And, in the like manner, mental cultivation reaches inevitably its appointed maximum. No combination which we are entitled to conceive as possible of hereditary influences will produce an individual fitted with mental powers beyond a standard, not so definable indeed as that of bodily powers, but quite as certain. • Es ist dafür ' gesorgt,' says the German proverb, das die Bäume nicht in . den Himmel wachsen.'

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