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HEREDITY   293

all of which were honourable, and whose biography has since disclosed no skeleton in the cupboard, was almost furious at being questioned. On the other hand, a Cabinet Minister, whom I knew but slightly, gave me full and very interesting information without demur.

The results of the inquiry showed how largely the aptitude for science was an inborn and not an acquired gift, and therefore apt to be hereditary. But, in not a few instances, the person who replied was a " sport," being the only one of his family who had any care for science, and who had persevered in spite of opposition. The paternal influence generally superseded the maternal in early life, though the mother was usually spoken of with much love, and very often described as particularly able. This seemed to afford evidence that the virile, independent cast of mind is more suitable to scientific research than the feminine, which is apt to be biased by the emotions and to obey authority. But I have said my say long since in the book English Men of Science [36], and must not reiterate.

The dearth of information about the Transmission of Qualities among all the members of a family during two, three, or more generations, induced me in 1884-85 to offer a sum of Z50o in prizes to those who most successfully filled up an elaborate list of questions concerning their own families. The questions were contained in a thin quarto volume of several pages, printed and procurable at Macmillan's, cost price, which referred to the Grandparents, Parents, Brothers, Sisters, and Children, with spaces for more distant relatives. A promise was given, and scrupulously kept, that they should be used for statistical purposes only. My offer