314 MEMORIES OF MY LIFE
intellect might be bred with little, if any, sacrifice of fertility or vigour."
" Many forms of civilisation have been peculiarly unfavourable to the hereditary transmission of rare talent. None of them were more prejudicial to it than that of the Middle Ages, when almost every youth of genius was attracted into the Church and enrolled in the rank of a celibate clergy."
This argument was largely developed in Hereditary Genius.
" Another great hindrance to it is a costly tone of society, like that of our own, where it becomes a folly for a rising man to encumber himself with domestic expenses, which custom exacts, and which are larger than his resources are able to meet. Here also genius is celibate, at least during the best period of manhood.
A spirit of clique is not bad. I understand that in Germany it is very much the custom for professors to marry the [sisters] or daughters of other professors, and I have some reason to believe, but am anxious for fuller information before I can feel sure of it, that the enormous intellectual digestion of German literary men, which far exceeds that of the corresponding class of our own countrymen, may, in some considerable degree, be due to this practice."
I have not even yet obtained the information desired in the last paragraph, the correspondents who partly promised to give it not having done so. As many members of our House of Lords marry the daughters of millionaires, it is quite conceivable that our Senate may in time become characterised by a