z THE POSSIBLE IMPROVEMENT
proached along the ways that recent knowledge has laid open, and it occupies in consequence a less dignified position in scientific estimation than it might. It is smiled at as most desirable in itself and possibly worthy of academic discussion, but absolutely out of the question as a practical problem. My aim in this lecture is to show cause for a different opinion. Indeed I hope to induce anthropologists to regard human improvement as a subject that should be kept openly and squarely in view, not only on account of its transcendent importance, but also because it affords excellent but neglected fields for investigation. I shall show that our knowledge is already sufficient to justify the pursuit of this perhaps the grandest of all objects, but that we know less of the conditions upon which success depends than we might and ought to ascertain. The limits of our knowledge and of our ignorance will become clearer as we proceed.
Human Variety.-The natural character and faculties of human beings differ at least aswidely as those of the domesticated animals, such as dogs and horses, with whom we are familiar. In disposition some are gentle and good-tempered, others surly and vicious ; some are courageous, others timid ; some are eager, others sluggish ; some have large powers of endurance, others are quickly fatigued ; some are muscular and powerful, others are weak ; some are intelligent, others stupid ; some have tenacious memories of places and persons,