I.] ANTECEDENTS. 69
fact or coincidence, that 5 men out of a group of 1,450, or say 1 out of every 300, should be first of his year in the single university of Cambridge, either in mathematics or in classics. This is about the proportion that exists among the men who actually go to Cambridge, and these, as before mentioned, are no chance selections, but include a large part of the annual pick of the intellectual flower of the whole nation. Moreover, these distinguished brothers and cousins of scientific men. are themselves
inter-related ; the two senior wranglers, Alderson and Woodhouse, being first cousins, and the two classics, Scott and Brodrick, being first cousins also ; both families being, in other respects, rich in ability.
We may otherwise appreciate the influence of heredity, as distinguished from that of tradition and education, by observing the similarity of disposition that sometimes prevails among numerous scattered branches of the same family. The two following extracts from the replies I have received, are illustrations of what I mean :-