148 ENGLISH MEN OF SCIENCE. [CHAP.
I have elsewhere met with when making inquiries in heredity, shown by men who, owing enormously to natural gifts, wish to accredit their own free will with being the real causes of their success. One phase of this form of vanity is prominently illustrated by the late John Stuart Mill, in his strange and sad autobiography, who declares (p. 30) that he was rather below par in quickness, memory, and energy, and that any boy or girl of average capacity and healthy physical constitution, who was properly taught, could make as rapid pro
gress in learning as he did himself I As regards the scientific men, I find, as I had expected, vanity to be at a minimum, and their returns to bear all the marks of a cool and careful self-analysis. My bias has always been in favour of men of science, believing them to be especially manly, honest, and truthful, and the results of this inquiry has confirmed that bias.
The influences and motives which urged the men on my list to occupy themselves with science fall under the heads given below. I