316 MEMORIES OF MY LIFE
as attractive, indifferent, or repellent. Of course this was a purely individual estimate, but it was consistent, judging from the conformity of different attempts in the same population. I found London to rank highest for beauty ; Aberdeen lowest.
I n another article, after some further discussion, I say .
" I hence conclude that the improvement of the breed of mankind is no insuperable difficulty. If everybody were to agree on the improvement of the race of man being a matter of the very utmost importance, and if the theory of the hereditary transmission of qualities in men was as thoroughly understood as it is in the case of our domestic animals, I see no absurdity in supposing that, in some way or other, the improvement would be carried into effect.
" Most persons seem to have an idea that a new element, specially fashioned in heaven, and not transmitted by simple descent, is introduced into the-body of every new-born infant. It is impossible this should be true, unless there exists some property or quality in man that is not transmissible by descent. But the terms talent and character are exhaustive ; they include the whole of man's spiritual nature, so far as we are able to understand it. No other class of qualities is known to exist, that we might suppose to have been interpolated from on high."
The article concludes as follows:
"It is a common theme of moralists of many creeds, that man is born with an imperfect nature. He has lofty aspirations, but there is a weakness in his disposition that incapacitates him from carrying